Many white people are tired of being spanked in the media for their shortcomings as to African Americans. The interventions of white people are many and need to be honored.

For as long as there has been slavery in the United States, some white people were committed to ending it. As early as 1688, the Statement Against Slavery in America was written by the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) – the beginning of white efforts - 332 years ago.

Abolitionism became a movement, seeking to end the Atlantic slave trade, setting all slaves free.

The Underground Railroad, for which whites risked penalties under the Fugitive Slave Act, was a network of secret routes and safe houses, established nearly 200 years ago, and used by slaves to escape to the North and to Canada. A testament to our forward thinking in Wisconsin - in 1854, our Supreme Court was the first to declare the Fugitive Slave Act unconstitutional

Virtually all historians in the 21st century agree that conflicts over slavery caused the Civil War in which most of our ancestral grandfathers served.

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PBS memorializes 2.1 million Northerners were mobilized. Of that number, 360,000 died, leaving families to fend alone economically, and in all aspects of life, for generations.

After WWII, with young families, and with no colleges in their communities, like Black persons, my father and millions of other whites were also forced to attend trade schools. informs of “Freedom Summer” in 1964. Over 700, mostly white volunteers joined Blacks in Mississippi in their quest to open segregated spaces and to end voter intimidation and discrimination.

Martyrs Schwerner and Goodman, Jewish social workers from the North, were shot in the head by the KuKluxKlan and dumped into a hastily dug hole in Philadelphia, Mississippi – this, a warning to all whites trying to help Blacks. But whites still kept coming.

And then there are the millions of everyday people like me, who try their best to be aware and to make a difference in small ways. Many of us have been Big Brothers and Big Sisters, mentoring Black children. We realize it is by coming together that change will prevail.

Roseanne Olsen

River Falls