What about United Negro College Fund and other historic uses?

February 23, 2011

So has Baltimore Sen. Lisa Gladden ("Tribute questioned," Feb. 21) actually looked in her own district at the use of the word Negro? She claims it's not a word that's used anymore. I'd like to hear her explanation of the statue, at the steps of City Hall, right here in Baltimore, that's titled "Negro Soldier." It's a tribute to the "Negro Heroes of the United States."

Well this statue was designed by a Morgan State University professor and artist in 1972 but wasn't added to the lawn of City Hall until 2007. So this is a recent memorial, and somehow this hasn't caused controversy over its name. The same can be said about multiple sites in the city. What about the Negro Baseball League Museum, should we "update" history and rename it as well?

I wonder how many other places in the city have the word Negro in the title? What about the United Negro College Fund in Fairfax, Va. or the National Council of Negro Women in Washington, D.C., or the National Council of Negro Business? If you want to eliminate the word from history, it's going to take a long time to get rid of all the places it is currently used, and I believe the African-American community is going to fight you when you ask for their organizations to be renamed because the word is perceived as derogatory.

I feel that the issue is only an issue to Senator Gladden because Negro Mountain is in a predominantly Caucasian area. Apparently she doesn't care if it's used in an area that is predominantly African-American, even when that area is her own district. That is not equality, senator, that is racism.

Equality is just that, equal rights for everyone. But I somehow feel Senator Gladden is not after equality. Do us all a favor, leave Garrett County and their mountains alone, and start working on the enormous mountain of problems that Baltimore has on a daily basis. Your focus on Baltimore is greatly needed.

Grant Bigalow

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