Travel has provided the answers to the deeper questions I have about the past on a personal and professional level. Unfortunately, it seems the more I travel, the deeper the questions get; fortunately, it has been an amazing journey thus far.
I recently visited Bacon's Castle, located in Surry County, Va., a Jacobean architecture built in circa 1665, it boasts the oldest brick dwelling in North America. Pretty remarkable.
So, how did this castle become named? In 1676 when several of Nathaniel Bacon’s men occupied the home for four months during the uprising that became known as Bacon’s Rebellion. It was led by Nathaniel Bacon against Colonial Governor William Berkeley, after Berkeley refused Bacon's request to drive Native Americans out of Virginia.
Visiting historic plantations seem to always bring on a sense of anxiety. All of them are miles away from the main road and the ride up to the main entrance is haunting. In an attempt to alleviate the known anxiety, I do my homework which helps tremendously. This visit was no different.
Upon arrival to the castle I was greeted with great staff and to my liking a very pristine gift shop neatly tucked away in a corner to my left. I could see out of the corner of my eye gift wrapped soaps, candles, and snacks. As I said before, to my liking. So, I quickly bought a ticket for the next tour and headed over to see all of the goodies.
While perusing the gift shop I took a peak out of the window behind me and noticed the one and only original slave house in the back, so I put the book down in my hand and made my way to see the amazing structural story.
African American History At Bacon
The African American history at Bacon's Castle began in 1673, when Arthur Allen II claimed 2,000 acres of land in Surry County, Va. and sponsored 31 individuals of which seven men were of African descent. Their names were Simon, Emmanuel, Comsee, Tony, Stephen, Mingo, and Matthew.
Bacon and Nurses
I was stopped in my tracks as I continued to read the history and ran across Juliana Johnson. Juliana was a midwife in the Bacon's Castle area during the mid-twentieth century. Known by the community as 'Mama Juliana', she delivered 341 babies. She died in 2018 at the age of 103 years old. Another example of how nurses have contributed to medicine and research. It was a gem of a find.
Disparities in Education
History is a reminder that ethnic and racial disparities in socioeconomic status are detrimental to health outcomes and health care for individuals as well as their families. Science and research offers us the opportunity to redress developmental and psychological differences in education from childhood to adulthood. From performance to graduation rates, minority students have been affected disparagingly due to racial biases, social injustices and financial illiteracy.
Affirmative action is a tool that we all need to continue progress made over decades. And if history repeats itself, the restrictive use is not a good sign. We still have work to do.
History continues to play a pivotal role in our education. With the recent Supreme Court restrictions on affirmative action in colleges and the striking down of student loan forgiveness, education is in a crisis. History is an invaluable tool.
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