While visiting a friend in Tennessee, I saw cotton fields for the first time. I took photos.  My friend was surprised that I had not seen cotton fields even though I have been in the south before. For me, cotton fields represent much of the history of black people in the U.S.A. and thereby my awareness of the enslavement of my ancestors and their coerced contribution to the American economy.

“If we stand tall it is because we stand on the backs of those who came before us.” (Yoruba saying)

When returning to my friend’s house, we drove past a house displaying a U.S.A. flag and a Confederate one.  

I expressed my discomfort with the Confederate flag.  

My friend, a black woman, said that white people considered the flag to represent history, while black people saw the flag as racist. 

Well, as a black person, I saw the Confederate flag as racist, a symbol of the oppression of black folks in the U.S.A.

“You cannot fix what you will not face.”  (James Baldwin 1924-1987, American novelist, essayist, playwright and activist)

Oppression in the U.S.A. is found STILL.

The late Congressman Elijah Cummings, an American politician and civil rights activist who served in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 7th Congressional District of Maryland from 1996-2018, will always be in my heart.  

I admire him for all he did and tried to do to make the U.S.A. a better/fairer place for all its citizens.

Peggy Tarr has been a columnist for the Evanston RoundTable since its founding in 1998. Born in Bruce Springsteen's hometown of Freehold, New Jersey, she graduated from Rutgers University with a degree...