When we look at the highway marker for “ Freedman’s Bureau and Freeman’s Bank” in Richmond, Virginia, we can see over the course of history African Americans have been denied many things. The goal was to address the denial of education and other skills required to exercise the freedom won by the civil war. The agencies united families, marriages, and provided food, education, clothing, job placement, legal and other services to former slaves. Which the agency’s written records are some of the earliest and most accountable histories of African American heritage.
I chose this because I know from my experience as a chef and instructor in D.C. That a lot African American history, especially early american culinary history is largely left out. Which to me really fits the bill of silencing the Past from Trouillot. Because if you do not even acknowledge the agents were present by the actors, then you do indeed silence apart of history. What I mean by that is when you hear accounts of early political dynamics like informal dinner meetings and even artworks of George Washington in the White house. But can you recall one famous depiction of Hercules Posey? He was George Washington’s personal family’s head chef, that was brought with George to the White House to serve as the 1st White House Chef. Which would mean he served every major dignitaries both foreign and domestic to sell this new concept of America. Which it is true, “ Human beings participate in history both as actors and as narrators.” Which is important to mention all the parties that have contributed to that pivotal point in history. Just as “ That history of the US didn’t start with the mayflower” African American history didn’t start with the Civil War, and there is a long and rich pre existing history to explore.
“We cannot exclude in advance any of the actors who participate in the production of history or any of the sites where that production may occur “. Which is the main method to walk away with, an I wanted to press upon you as a reader. Because once you start limiting the actors that are participating in the given scenario or event at hand. Then you are now silencing history and begin to muddle the line between history and fictional accounts. An as a scholar and historian we have to look at the four moments where silence can enter the narrative. The moment of fact creation, fact assembly like in archives, fact retrieval thru incomplete accounts, the moment of retrospective significance. So upon further exploring the selected historical marker, we will search for the as much relevant information and build to have the most complete account so not to tailor its historical significance to anyone direction.