LETTER Why is the Foster statue offensive?
The lyrics from the Stephen Foster song “Old Black Joe” speak to me about the pain and suffering slaves endured:
Gone are the days when my heart was young and gay,
Gone are my friends from the cottonfields away,
Gone from the Earth to a better land I know.
I hear the gentle voices calling “Old Black Joe.”
Why should I weep when my heart should feel no gain?
Why do I sigh that my friends come not again?
Grieving for forms now departed long ago;
I heard the gentle voices calling “Old Black Joe.”
Where are the hearts once so happy and so free?
The children so dear that I held upon my knee?
Gone to the shore where my soul has longed to go,
I hear their gentle voices calling, “Old Black Joe.”
Foster was lifting that pain and suffering up to the world in song. Therefore, I have a difficult time understanding why the statue of Foster in Pittsburgh has caused so many hateful feelings, or why it should be destroyed or hidden.
Am I missing something?