Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Pretty Houses, Forgotten Lives

 I somehow slept through my alarm. My apologies. That’s the problem with running my life through my iPad- - sometimes I fall asleep without making sure my sound is turned on.

I want to point you to a local story I wouldn’t have known about if I hadn’t stumbled across this piece in the Catholic Review.

St. Mary’s Cemetery, resting place to enslaved people, will undergo revitalization , Kyle Taylor, Catholic Review

Why should you read this story? It has:

  • A church in Ellicott City
  • A well-known HoCo landmark
  • High school aged Girl Scouts
  • Local history
  • Collaboration with local government
  • An historical discovery 
I grew up being dragged from one historical house museum to another. My mother adored old houses and, in particular, the history one could learn from them. She was always that one person in the tour group that could answer questions that the docent couldn’t. It’s hard to have a parent like that, even while admiring her wide range of general knowledge.

My feelings about old houses have become increasingly conflicted over the years that I have lived in Howard County. Many of the ones that have survived are connected with the subjugation of humans and the theft of their lives and labor. It has become impossible for me to separate beautifully preserved specimens of history from the injustices perpetrated by their long-ago residents.

This is especially true because for so long the practice of the general public has been to ignore that part of the story. 

The article I’m recommending today is a reminder of the history that has been woefully neglected over time, both in Howard County and elsewhere in this country. Take the time to read it if you can. I’ll be back tomorrow with a few thoughts on this and probably some questions, too.

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