News Release

New President’s House Exhibit Includes Slavery

The Black History of the White HouseThe Philadelphia Inquirer writes: “After more than eight years of street demonstrations, arguments, haggling, and missed deadlines; after unprecedented public debate about the impact of slavery on life in Philadelphia and the United States and on the life and moral character of George Washington; after thousands of news articles, feature stories, and TV and radio programs, the site marking the intertwined lives of presidents and slaves is set to open to the public with a simple ribbon-cutting at noon Wednesday.”

CLARENCE LUSANE
Lusane is author of the new book The Black History of the White House and an associate professor at American University. He said today: “The opening of the new exhibit ‘President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in Making a New Nation’ at Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell Center pavilion in Independence Park is an opportunity to highlight the long history and contemporary status of race relations in the United States. As Tea Party activists shout their determination to take the country back, in many instances, what they really want to do is take the country backwards. They yearn for a mythical period before the 1960s — for some, this means the 1860s — when the nation supposedly had little racial, economic, or social conflict. The President’s House exhibit, however, demonstrates that from the very founding of the nation, in the most famous home in the country, there existed a contradiction between the stated principle of freedom and the reality of millions in slavery. As Obama noted in his renowned speech in the city during the campaign, ‘[W]e do need to remind ourselves that so many of the disparities that exist in the African-American community today can be directly traced to inequalities passed on from earlier generations that suffered under the brutal legacy of slavery and Jim Crow.'”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, (202) 421-6858; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167