Tuskegee monument speaks to brotherhood

To the editor:

The Black History Month theme for 2018 is “African Americans in Time of War.” The undeclared wars of the past 27 years have been fomented and led not only by the Bushes and Clintons, but also by Powell and Obama. That is something to be recorded when we honor Oberlin’s contribution to peace as in this Tuskegee Airmen Investiture.

James Cannon, Gilbert Cargill, William A. Johnson, Jr., Norman E. Proctor, Wayman E. Scott, Ferrier H. White, William L. Williams, Jr., William Young, Perry H. Young Jr.

Today we add these voices to this special ground that continues to speak to us about the meaning of America and Oberlin’s place in it. These are the voices of our own speaking truth to power. They are voices from our small community, but they are also voices representative of a larger brotherhood, one that gave to our nation the blood, the sacrifice and the dedication of the immortal soldier, and yet even more.

These are the voices of monumental accomplishment against overwhelming odds of a brotherhood that showed the world the capacity of black Americans to master and to refine the technology of an age, to form units of extraordinary cohesion and resilience, and to extend with utmost dignity and resolve the meaning of American democracy against the inordinate power of the state and society arrayed against it.

This votive stone of that brotherhood and our community’s exceptional contribution to it will rest, as if suspended, between the quest for peace and the sacrifice for freedom that anchor this memorial ground. On this day, when America knows no peace and sacrifices to perpetual war the freedom of young and old, black and white, this brotherhood will forever remind us, even as victors, the truth that war is waste and only this truth shall set us free.

Delbert Spurlock