I had the privilege to attend the University of Kentucky from 1975-1977. In April 1977, the epic miniseries Roots, a dramatization of author Alex Haley’s family line from enslavement to his descendents’ liberation, aired and transfixed a nation. I recall viewing the program with my dorm mates at the former Boyd Hall in the television room.
I also had the privilege to attend a lecture by Haley in Memorial Hall, the site of the current controversy in regard to the fresco depicting life in early Lexington and Central Kentucky. It was there that Haley autographed my copy of Time magazine that featured his photo on the cover and a detailed story about the search for his family's history within. He also surveyed the mural while there without comment.
The depiction of blacks working in fields in early Kentucky history is not any different than those roadside scenes I recall as a boy traveling through the Deep South. In this age of political correctness, to what extent do we extinguish what some may consider culturally offensive while accurately depicting history?
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