The statue that formerly stood outside the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh depicted the young Stephen Foster being inspired by an African American playing a banjo.
Nearly all the important American music of the 19th century was composed by Stephen Foster in the course of his brief lifetime. The music of the minstrel show comes essentially from Stephen Foster, and that music went right on into vaudeville and later Hollywood. A handful of Stephen Foster tunes remain staples even today. Try imagining the Kentucky Derby without “My Old Kentucky Home.”
No one played a greater role in integrating the music and culture of African Americans into the universal popular culture of the country. No one ever depicted the viewpoint and character of the African American with more sympathy and affection.
It was the music of Stephen Foster that made white entertainers don blackface in order to emulate with affection the humor, the rhetoric, and the distinctive character of the African American.
No one more important and influential to the culture of the United States ever came from Pittsburgh.
Who would imagine that in blue-collar, beer-drinking, steel-making Pittsburgh the Social Justice Warriors would be in power and able yesterday to pull down Stephen Foster’s statue put up in 1900 by a local committee headed –no less– by Andrew Mellon?
What a despicable time we live in, in which being some species of nincompoop seems to be an essential ingredient for promotion to a position of public responsibility and authority!
Some News Agency has the story.
The Second Reconstruction marches on, right over America.
I disagree with this selective cleansing of history. These historical artifacts need a federal law of protection similar to that which is applied to native American artifacts. Remove, destroy or alter in any way and go to jail.
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