Political Correctness Closes the Book on History at the Library of Congress

Article excerpt

The Dec. 21 news article "Exhibit on life of slaves canceled" (Nation) carried disquieting news from an unusual sector of the politically correct battle front. Because of complaints from several black employees at the Library of Congress, a display on slave-era plantation life was dismantled hours before its planned opening.

The 80-photograph exhibit, based on a book by Professor John Michael Vlach of George Washington University, drew on 20,000 pages of interviews in the 1930s with former slaves who recalled their skills and crafts as well as the cruelties they suffered.

Mr. Vlach, who called slavery a great evil, said the exhibit "lets the makers of history speak for themselves."

Further, the traveling display was well received by black viewers at five university museums as a sensitive, scholarly effort to revisit stereotypes from a bitter and conflicted period of American history.

Ironically, the exhibit, which had been approved by three experts, two of them black, and by library officials, was reportedly shot down by Joann Jenkins, the library's senior adviser for diversity. …