Friday, April 6, 2007

Time's Recent Articile on "Slave Quilts"

Shame on Time Magazine for yet again giving essentially positive exposure to the Tobin and Dobard book and all its followers. Pseudo-history does not need main-stream support; it gets all the exposure it needs and far more than it merits. Poor Ms. Tobin is"frustrated" that her nonsense is under attack and she laments that she is not "allowed to celebrate this amazing oral story..." Not allowed? With exposure on Oprah, in the New York Times, on NPR (favorably!), and now in Time, it is hard to understand who is not "allowing" this story to be celebrated. And as for Ms. Lopez in Plymouth, Michigan, all we can do is to keep trying to make meaningful distinctions between knowledge and lore, history and fantasy to counter her slurs and her tribute to the uses of ignorance. The worst slur is perhaps against fugitive slaves themselves. To suggest that they needed to see symbols on quilts hanging on clotheslines or in windows to know what to do and where to go insults their intelligence.

Carl Sandburg was right when he wrote: "And when has creative man not toiled deep in myth?" But he was right for reasons that our modern day Underground Railroad myth makers do not really understand. Oh what a lovely deflection from reality of past and present the "quilt codes" provide.

Time now owe sits readers a story on how slaves actually escaped - and did not escape.

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