Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A New Foster Statue

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A New Foster Statue

Article excerpt

A committee recommended hiding the offensive statue of Stephen Foster. When a committee decides to replace it with an inoffensive rendition, I pledge $1,000 to the cause. Foster's short life ended before the Civil War's end; he was at least as sensitive to the plight of blacks as anyone today.

This geezer (with fading memory) doesn't know all of Foster's 200 songs but can testify that they were sung by the greatest of singers, black and white, 100 years after his death. "Old Black Joe," like traditional Negro spirituals, recognizes in the most sensitive way that the only escape from slavery is death and afterlife. "Camptown Races" should bring unrestrained joy to any heart. Is there a greater love song than "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair"?

And what better relief is there from the tuneless percussion of today - requiring singers to grunt their best grunts over the public address system while they embarrassingly grind. …

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