No shortage of white men in the history books

March 16, 2011

The writer who wishes to smear another writer and proponent of the Tubman statue with the noxious taint of "political correctness" couldn't be more wrong ("Tubman statue: political correctness run amok," March 15). He believes John Hanson will be unfairly relegated because he was a white male and Tubman unreasonably elevated because she was not.

My academic experience, albeit a long time ago, was decidedly to the contrary. Although I excelled in history and got a academic prize for it along with a degree cum laude from Western Maryland College, I was somehow unaware of who Harriet Tubman was.

The full importance of her accomplishments was not brought home to me until I read a chapter of "Black Profiles In Courage" by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in a Cumberland bookstore in the 1990s. Before then I had no idea who she was or what she accomplished or even that she came from Maryland, a state where I have always lived and loved. How I did acquire the 120 magic credits to graduate an institution of higher learning with some distinction in the 1970s without knowing Harriet Tubman? Could it be because I am a white male and was taught history exclusively by white males?

In contrast I did know who John Hanson was.

Paul R. Schlitz Jr., Baltimore

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