The Talking Lion

Sunday, July 31, 2005

This is amazing...

My home state of Virginia confronts and apologizes for its racist past. Not only that, not only is there an apology, but there is ACTION!
Five decades after Virginia ignored the actions of Prince Edward County and other locales that shut down their public schools in support of segregation, the state is making a rare effort to confront its racist past, in effect apologizing and offering reparations in the form of scholarships.

With a $1 million donation from the billionaire media investor John Kluge and a matching amount from the state, Virginia is providing up to $5,500 a year for any state resident, like Mr. Brown, who was denied a proper education when public schools shut down. So far, more than 80 people have been approved for the scholarships, and the number is expected to rise. Several thousand are potentially eligible, many of them now well into their 60's.

Rita Moseley, 58, was about to go into the sixth grade when the schools were closed. Her mother sent her more than 120 miles away to Blacksburg, Va., to live with an elderly woman and her daughter - "total strangers," she said - just to attend a public school willing to accept black children.

This is a large step in the right direction. Southern states take notice, VA just threw down the gauntlet.


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