Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Foster Statue Controversy Brings an Opportunity

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Foster Statue Controversy Brings an Opportunity

Article excerpt

I agree wholeheartedly with Jo Ellen Parker's Aug. 24 commentary ("Move the Foster Monument"). The racist interpretation of the current Stephen Foster statue is undeniable.

We may never come to consensus on claims that Stephen Foster's music is racist and that Foster unjustly stole from African-American musicians. However, I think we should agree that Foster made a lasting contribution to American culture. His contribution is worthy of honor along with those of many other beloved musicians. It is worth noting that many of those musicians also practiced what some now disparage as "cultural appropriation," and much of our popular music today borrows from diverse cultures.

I would like to offer one additional idea. The city of Pittsburgh is presented here with a fabulous opportunity. Some say that the statue was meant to also honor the African-American musicians who inspired Foster. …

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