San Francisco, California

The Past is Not Dead and Can Never Die

Clint Smith drove to Talbot County, Maryland—the hometown of Frederick Douglass—and he wrote this lovely and heartbreaking piece about the trip. He notes that Douglass feared that the Civil War would be used as propaganda, that the Confederacy might be forgiven for slavery, that in fact we might begin to celebrate them instead:

“I am not of that school of thinkers which teaches us to let bygones be bygones; to let the dead past bury its dead,” Douglass said in 1883. “In my view there are no bygones in the world, and the past is not dead and cannot die.”