Last month the new Australian president -- no, we don't know his name either -- did something admirable. After being signed in to duty, he did something no Australianleader, or American leader, had thought to do before. He apologized for the country's treatment of its aboriginal people, which included the forced removal of many children from their families and moved into missions or put up for adoption. One observer said of the president's address regarding this 'stolen generation':
"Part of recovery is having some validation and some acknowledgement that it was bad and that it shouldn't have happened."
Good idea. The FBO believes the US should follow this example. Apologize, acknowledge. It's a small gesture, some might say meaningless, but notable in that no one has done it before.
What happens after that? The FBO has an idea: an 'African American museum' in our nation's capital. Often Americans criticize how the Russians are reticent to acknowledge the crimes from Stalin's gulags, in which untold millions perished. The same for Mao's legacy in China. But along DC's mall, you'll find no museum that tributes the vital and tricky history of black America. The country is 242 years old this July, slavery is older. Only a few years ago did the capital finally acknowledge -- through the diplomatic gesture of a museum -- the Native American history of the country. We have museums for far more recent histories, from space exploration to the Holocaust. One for black history is over due.
The FBO would like to lead the movement for a new museum in Washington, DC, for that. And architects should consider using black granite. We've lost count of how many buildings are made of white granite or marble or limestone in DC already.
And we want a free t-shirt when it opens.
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY