Proud of Dickinson CollegePosted: November 2, 2021
I went to college at the tenth oldest college in the country, Dickinson College. It was a fabulous place for me and I met so many of my life long friends there. A place that was founded in 1783 most certainly has a checkered past when it comes to race. It was not talked about much when I was there, but then again it was a ridiculously white place when I was there. Not that it was not diverse in other ways, just not so attractive to African Americans, which was a shame.
Today I read about Dickinson’s House Divided Project which commemorates the 150th anniversary of the civil war and Reconstruction. A big part of the project includes the Dickinson and Slavery Initiative where the college is facing injustices of the past and doing their part to right wrongs.
On November 20 they are having a renaming ceremony for a gate and a building to honor four different African American people who worked around Campus in the nineteenth century, Carrie and Noah Pinkney and Henry W. Spradley and Robert C. Young. The college also has an extensive walking tour to illustrate the college’s history with Black People. I am happy to see this as such a large initiative to bring to light histories we are not always proud of and to learn from them.
One of my friends, and classmates, Eric Wittenberg, is a distinguished Civil War historian and prolific award-winning writer is the keynote speaker at the events on November 20 at Dickinson. He will be talking about some of the myths about the battle of Gettysburg.
Dickinson, as a true liberal arts institution, is doing exactly what I would expect, and examine history from the points of view of many and not just the authors of the history books. We all know that the one who tells the story gets to insert their point of view, but that is never the only points of view. Truly educated people are constantly learning and adjusting their thinking based on more information.
Congratulations to Eric for being invited to speak at this important occasion. I am sorry I won’t be there to witness it.