Thursday, September 24, 2009

Salve* (for Slave*)

There is no salve on earth capable of easing the unspeakable pain of slavery. During Reconstruction, freed slaves were promised "forty acres and a mule," although that supposed compensation for their trouble was later rescinded. Today our leaders are still debating "reparations" as a way of saying we're sorry. But such gestures don't begin to touch the truth of it, nor should we ever allow ourselves to forget this terrible chapter in American history. OhioLINK reveals five instances of Salvery for slavery and a combined search on Salve* + Slave* returns 21 hits, although half a dozen or more are not typographical errors.

(Scars of a whipped slave, April 2, 1863, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Original caption: "Overseer Artayou Carrier whipped me. I was two months in bed sore from the whipping. My master come after I was whipped; he discharged the overseer. The very words of poor Peter, taken as he sat for his picture." From Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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