Editor’s note: The Rev. Laurence Nevels challenged his grandchildren at Thanksgiving to share their thoughts on why young lives matter. This is the response of his 11-year-old grandson.
To the editor:
Have you ever thought of what America would have been like without all the slaves ?
You might be thinking, “What’s this have to do with how black lives matter?” Well, my mom and dad are always telling me that this country was built on the backs of black men and women. Now, that might sound offensive to some people, but that’s the real deal. Slaves, Africans, and even Native Americans.
I’ll give you three examples of how this fits in with how black lives matter. Number one is when Englishmen were close to starvation the Native Americans gave them food. Now that happened on this exact day, which we now call Thanksgiving. Now if it weren’t for the generosity they probably would have left, or worse, they would have died. Yet they thank them by stealing their land and forcing them to go to schools and they lived in poverty. Number two, Harriet Tubman, who helped in the Underground Railroad. Born a slave, she not only escaped and had a chance to start a new life but went back and saved over 300 slaves’ lives.
Last, but not least, Barack Obama not only served four years but eight years as president. Now, can you imagine how hard it must have been to be elected the first black president and how discouraged he must have felt at times and how many people said he’d never accomplish it. There were people who encouraged him and built him up. If it weren’t for them our president would have been Mitt Romney or Hillary Clinton.
You can see how black lives and white lives are all equal and how black people helped make America what it is today — the strong safe country I am proud to say I live in!
Grandson of Pastor Laurence Nevels