Excellence in education is paramount
7/2/2020, 6 p.m.
As a veteran participant in the struggle for racial justice, I enthusiastically support the unparalleled street demonstrations, sparked by the 8-minute, 46-second police execution of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and spearheaded by the Black Lives Matter movement.
These demonstrations, which mirror the marches led by the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., could lead to meaningful change. I hope that the marches will be successful in curbing the police abuse against African-Americans.
However, we must intensify our efforts to improve education for minorities and low-income citizens.
There was a reason why slave masters made it a crime for white people to teach slaves to read.
As the late Arthur Ashe Jr. indicated in his 1984 address to the Richmond Urban League, “We will never achieve true racial equality unless we teach our children to excel in reading.”
We must not forget that our quest for racial justice will not succeed if we fail to pursue excellence in education. As we continue to fight against police abuse, we must strengthen our fight for excellence in education and vote on Nov. 3.
HENRY L. MARSH III
The writer, an attorney who served as Richmond’s first African-American mayor, is a former state senator.