Shirley Temple is gone

America’s little darling and our home boy seemed to have a special magic together.

Bill “Bojangles” Robinson was born in Richmond on May 25th 1874. I always thought it must have been galling to the Richmond African Americans to have all the statues of the Confederate military leaders along Monument Ave. with the only statue commemorating one of their own located in Jackson Ward and depicting a shucking, jiving tap dancing “Mr. Bojangles”. The solution twenty years later? Erect a monument to the tennis player Arthur Ashe apparently withholding books to some begging children. Although the Confederate statues along Monument Ave are some of the finest equestrian sculptures in America I have always wondered why the northern victors allowed them to be erected. Apparently no one asked their permission and the were entirely paid for by Confederate veteran groups. Some in the north would have preferred to hang these same honorees as traitors but the angels of the better natures of Lincoln, Grant and other sensible patriots led them to the true belief that the healing of such a nearly mortal wound to our national unity could only be accomplished with a maximum portion of understanding, forgiveness and reconciliation combined with the minimum degree of vengeful retribution.
Goodbye, Shirley Temple, child star, stateswoman, ambassador.


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