For far too long, African Americans' plight, their experiences, and contributions have been marginalized or omitted throughout the telling of this nation’s history to present day.

This continuing false narrative is what prompted AARCH (African American Resources, Cultural and Heritage Society of Frederick) to work toward opening an African American Heritage Center in Frederick to highlight the achievements and significant role African Americans played in building this county and country. We hope to charge the old narrative by focusing on telling our history in an all-inclusive way by simply facing the truth in its wholeness, as painful as it may sometimes be.

We are inspired by an African Proverb which states: “Until the story of the hunt is told by the Lion, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”

On July 25, The Frederick News-Post published a wonderful keepsake edition called “Hello Frederick, 52 Things You Might Not Know About Frederick’s History.” It was very rewarding to see African American stories included this time.

But as I began to read, I quickly noticed these stories were being told by the hunter rather than the lion.

My first concern was on page 6, regarding The Frederick Hornet newspaper.

It would have been noteworthy to point out that the original newspaper, and only known copy, is preserved in the AARCH collection. A credit of “photo courtesy of AARCH” would have sufficed. As it is, any mention is omitted of AARCH, the African American heritage group preserving this otherwise ignored chapter of our history. Since we have the only known copy, we were interested in knowing where you got the photo.

Another concern, which was perhaps even more significant, is on page 36 about The Tivoli. The article, regarding AARCH’s production and celebration of our award-winning documentary feature film, The Tale of The Lion, would lead the reader to believe this production was an initiative of the Weinberg Center and the city of Frederick. Again, AARCH was not mentioned.

The film production along with every detail of the program of the Tale of The Lion was planned and initiated by AARCH members including the significance of the location, the VIP seating, the red carpet treatment and the invitation to our elected officials. AARCH invited our community together to honor the women and men of the film, and all whom they represent, at this sold-out event, but is not acknowledged anywhere in the article.

A critically important part of the event was that AARCH, the Weinberg Center and our city collaborated together to make it happen.

Again, more recently, on August 10, a News-Post article listed the recipients of the competitive Frederick County Tourism TRIPP grant. Although AARCH is a recipient and was listed first in the press release sent by tourism, AARCH is not listed anywhere in the article.

When we look back through the history records, our contributions and accomplishments are often marginalized or altogether omitted. It appears in many ways as if African American people did not exist. The examples of News-Post omissions I have pointed out here fall into that same pattern.

Because the July 25 insert will be a keepsake for many and undoubtedly used for historical documentation and research, it is very important to make these corrections known. I’m hopeful that these corrections are given more attention than the standard small printed corrections in a daily edition where it could be overlooked.

I mention these things because they are extremely important to recognize if we hope to move forward together. Whether these omissions are intentional or not, the impact is the same. I propose that we ask ourselves why, and embrace a commitment to change.

Thank you for the opportunity to voice my thoughts and concerns.

David Key is the president of African American Resources, Cultural and Heritage Society of Frederick

(11) comments

isteph6815

Hi, Mr. Key, your concerns are valid. My name is Iyo Stephensbailey, a recent graduate of Urbana, and I am running for District Two's county council position in 2022. As a biracial individual I hear what you are saying and would like to bring that to my campaign. If you would like to talk further my number is 2027901266. I enjoy having meaningful discussions.

Are we truly a tolerant society if we tolerate so much intolerance? (Popper)

-Mr. Stephensbailey

mcrider

And might that have been BEFORE the AARCH was in possession of the only known copy ? Back in Feb 2018 the NewPost ran an article about the DISCOVERY of it in a home home in Burkittsville MD. And according to that article, a founding member of the AARCH, would most certainly know about all of that.

hmmmm....

www.fredericknewspost.com/tncms/asset/editorial/e38c9eaf-c882-57b0-8db4-6c15126ec858

rodoch

The article was about AARCH having the original. They must have cut the paper from the photo of the person holding it. It was not a courtesy photo

mcrider

No doubt.....Exactly, my point. So the Frederick NewsPost ALREADY HAD possession of a photo of the Hornet paper, in their photo archives. And it is noteworthy, in that earlier (Feb 2018) article, it was noted..... “The only known existing issue of The Frederick Hornet — a faded piece of newsprint — remains safely with the president of AARCH.”

So there, credit WAS given, not only to all those involved in the discovery, but to the AARCH as well.

I don’t think it would be necessary, to give such “credit” again, in such a short snippet of an article as appeared the other day. Nor an “overlooking” of any sort, intentional or not.

Much ado about nothing.

mcrider

Um, “ it would be nice to know where they got the picture of the only known copy of the Hornet” ? Well, with a quick google search, the answer can be found. From Maceo Hallmon. How about that.

Dwasserba

"Whether these omissions are intentional or not, the impact is the same." A missed opportunity for an editorial footnote of some kind - providing the source of the photo as requested...or an apology for unintentional omissions...

Thewheelone

I agree, Dwasserba. My guess is that these are unintentional omissions.

mcrider

Except for the fact that the Frederick NewsPost ALREADY HAD possession of a photo of the Hornet paper, in their photo archives. (From a previous EXTENSIVE article on the matter). And it is noteworthy, in that earlier (Feb 2018) article, it was noted..... “The only known existing issue of The Frederick Hornet — a faded piece of newsprint — remains safely with the president of AARCH.” So there, credit WAS given, not only to all those involved in the discovery, but to the AARCH as well. I don’t think it would be necessary, to give such “credit” again, in such a short snippet of an article as appeared the other day. Nor an “overlooking” of any sort, intentional or not.

Much ado about nothing.

Thewheelone

In the book entitled Pictorial History of Frederick, Maryland written by Timothy L. Cannon, Tom Gorsline and Nancy F. Whitmore, copyright 1995, I have always noticed the absence of African Americans throughout the majority of this work. Mr. Key's letter this morning prompted me to take another look at this book. The book boasts that it has over 500 photographs, and there are literally thousands of people contained in these photos yet there are only a relative handful of African Americans pictured. Looking at the index, there is no mention of slavery, the term African American is not used, the term civil rights is not in the index and I can find only a few mentions of prominent African American names from the community of African Americans that lived in Frederick. Lord Nickens is listed in the index as being mentioned on page 266; when I opened the book up to page 266, there is an advertisement for State Farm Insurance. Within pages 176-179 there is a spread entitled " Black Community." There is information and photos contained in these 4 pages about the Black community who lived around West All Saints Streets and 5th and 6th streets around Klinehart’s Alley. This section appears in “Chapter 6, 1900 to 1949” and is not mentioned in either the Table of Contents or the index. There is so little inclusion of African Americans in this book that a simple perusal, or a quick flipping of the pages of this book would indicate that Blacks had no place in the history of Frederick; your point is taken, Mr. Key.

Jane and Ed

👏👏👏👏 great to read this truth! Thank you!!!

NewMarketParent

@Thewheelone

Thank you for taking the time. Many would not have. It is important to start to notice when people are left out of the conversation and include them.

History is a conversation between our past and future selves.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. No vulgar, racist, sexist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, not personal attacks or ad hominem criticisms.
TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
Be civil. Don't threaten. Don't lie. Don't bait. Don't degrade others.
No trolling. Stay on topic.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
No deceptive names. Apparently misleading usernames are not allowed.
Say it once. No repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link for abusive posts.

Thank you for reading!

Already a member?

Login Now
Click Here!

Currently a News-Post subscriber?

Activate your membership at no additional charge.
Click Here!

Need more information?

Learn about the benefits of membership.
Click Here!

Ready to join?

Choose the membership plan that fits your needs.
Click Here!