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?

Carolyn Morris

Waynesburg