Today is the second Monday in October. Since the 1930s, the day has been recognized as a federal holiday commemorating the first arrival of Christopher Columbus and crew to the Americas in 1492. Last week, the Baltimore City Council passed a bill to rename Columbus Day, Indigenous Peoples Day. Mayor Jack Young has yet to sign the bill into law.
If the mayor signs the bill or allows it to become law without his signature, Baltimore will join more than 130 cities and counties across nearly 35 states in creating an alternative to celebrating the life of Columbus, an explorer that Native Americans have long viewed as a brutal colonizer.
What do we know about Columbus, and what should we know to be able put him in historical context? The historian and author Laurence Bergreen joins me. He has written several books about explorers, including biographies of Marco Polo, Magellan, and Christopher Columbus, the subject of his 2011 book, Columbus: the Four Voyages. Mr. Bergreen joins us on Zoom from New York…
Then, Tom welcomes Ashley Minner, a local artist and a professor and folklorist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Ms. Minner is an enrolled member of the Lumbees of North Carolina, the largest native American tribe East of the Mississippi, and the ninth largest in the country. A small community of Lumbee Indians has lived in Baltimore since the 1940s. She describes her work preserving the history of that community, and her advocacy for a heightened public awareness of the cultures of Indigenous People. She joins us on Zoom.
Some upcoming events related to the Baltimore Lumbee Community and Indigenous Peoples Day are listed below:
UMD Indigenous Peoples' Day Panel (requires registration): 10/12/20, 6:30 PM;
Walter's Art Museum LIVE Artist's Talk: Indigenous Futures: 10/13/20, 5:30 PM;
MICA Lecture - Art & The Archive: What is the Archive?: 10/19/20, 7 PM
Oral History Association Annual Meeting: Virtual Walking Tour of "The Reservation": 10/22/20, 1 PM