How Should History Remember This Black Hero?

Iron workshop
Via Pixabay
Leslie Taylor-Grover
May 16, 2021

Gilbert Hunt was the town’s blacksmith, but he was known for much more. In fact, his fame would follow him for the rest of his life and define his place in history! But his legacy would unfortunately become tainted.

He saved the town’s white citizens from not one, but two deadly fires! In both, some people died – but Hunt’s efforts prevented much worse. However, he was an imperfect hero.

Though an enslaved man, he had a reputation for ALWAYS speaking his mind. By the time he purchased his freedom and built his own businesses, he was in the habit of saying exactly what he thought. Of course, whites didn’t like this – so there was trouble ahead.

Hunt became an outspoken force for Black liberation, so they looked for ways to discredit him. They mentioned other parts of this life, such as his “questionable” business dealings, his propensity to fight, and his quick temper. His “hero” identity was called into question.

Why should we care about this in 2021?

It happens today! Hunt was a hero and an outspoken Black activist, but he also had flaws like any other human. Being honest about our ancestors – and our modern day leaders – actually ADDS to their power to inspire us. Liberation is not just for the perfect and pristine. It’s for ALL of us!

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