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MY CONGRATULATIONS on a fine work of fiction! Philip Burnham’s account of my comments about the Library of Congress (LC) traveling exhibit “The Cultural Landscape of the Plantation” (“Eating Jim Crow,” 2/2) rarely let the facts get in the way of a good story.
For example, I said that I hope the time would come when American history would include the full history of all Americans and we would no longer need black history month. He “quoted” me as saying “It’s time to get over Black History Month.”
I said that all people throughout history have wanted to write their own history from their perspective. He turned this statement into a racist remark, claiming that I had “professe[d] doubts about whether a white person should have been permitted to curate the show.”
My statement about history being used for different purposes was twisted into an accusation about LC employees not being prepared for historical accounts that strive for accurate understanding about this part of the American past.
This is not reporting. This is invention.
Assistant Librarian for Library Services
Library of Congress