Good Morning: Remembering our tarnished history

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
Michael Hutchins

Over the past month or so, I have written multiple times about efforts to memorialize a part of history that may be easier to forget than remember for some. Nearly 91 years ago, the county courthouse was razed to ground and a black man was denied his day in court and instead convicted by mob justice.

It was in1930 when George Hughes was killed during the destruction of Grayson County Courthouse during a trial for sexual assault. In the aftermath, Hughes' body was hanged from a tree, and neighboring black-owned businesses were burned to the ground.

It was inarguably one of Sherman's darker days and one that some may prefer to pretend never happened. However, some seek to immortalize this moment in the city's history with a historic marker.

While it may be easier to keep ones gaze fixed forward rather than looking to the past, I think there is value in remembering the good, the bad and the ugly in our history as a community.

People as a whole have a tendency to wear nostalgia goggles when they think about the past. The positive moments come into focus as the negative memories fade into a blurry haze, some times forgotten and overlooked.

However, true history is rarely as glamorous or perfect as we would want and often do remember. History is full of moments of great, pride accomplishment and honor along with moments that are the exact opposite. In the end, both are part of our collective history and are both worthy of being preserved.

We may not look back at those moments with the same fondness as we do others, but they serve their own purpose. They serve as a reminder of where we have been and where are now — the progress that we have made — and perhaps the progress we still have to make to become a better society.

They can serve as a reminder of our darkest days in an effort to keep us from repeating them and repeating the travesties and injustices that happened in previous generations.

They will never fond memories of days long past, but by preserving the history of us at our worst, we can use it to become a better community, society and people.