No excuse for forgetting Black St. Louis
History happens twice they say: once tragedy, then again as farce. Never more so than under the Arch. In July 1964, Percy Green II climbed the Arch to protest the all-white work crews building it. In July this year, an all-white ribbon-cutting ceremony suggested that the lesson of Green’s protest continues to elude many.
Whether one views the all-white opening as a misstep or as a symptom of a deeper malignancy, there should be no excuse for forgetting black St. Louis while memorializing the city’s past. Some reminders are in order.