Eighty-one

I believe this image, as well as the video, is likely to become one of the most powerful and iconic images in American history. It’s so profound and there are so many layers.

On January 6, the foundations of our nation, a nation founded by and long dominated by whites, was under attack by a largely white crowd. Then we have this solitary black man, Eugene Goodman, standing alone against a violent white mob, protecting a nation that for so many decades enslaved and marginalized his people. He was brave and about fifty times smarter than the mob. Goodman was certainly not the only one that acted with honor that day. There were officers of varied backgrounds that bravely stood against the insanity of January 6, but Goodman is the one that truly saved lives in the Senate and is the subject of the most profound image of that day.

But this is nothing new. Black troops fought bravely to defend our nation throughout the Civil War and in all of our wars. At Milliken’s Bend during the siege of Vicksburg, black troops were engaged in vicious hand to hand combat and drove back a larger Confederate force from Texas. They were new recruits that were poorly trained and armed, but the defeated Confederate commander noted that while many of the white Yankee troops ran, the black troops stood and fought.

The battle changed how the Union viewed its use of black troops and black troops went on to further prove their mettle at Port Hudson, Fort Wagner and in many other battles during the Civil war.

Fast forward to our un-civil war of 2021, and once again, it’s a black man helping save our nation from itself.

I honestly don’t know how black Americans have so much grace, forgiveness and goodness in their hearts after being treated so poorly for so long. Many will likely attribute this to their faith in God, and I have to say, to possess such grace, strength and goodness after enduring so much at our hands is truly the face of God.

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