I gratefully submitted the following opinion piece concerning United States Senator Scott Brown in reaction to a very gracious letter, dated late-December 2011, to thank three SouthCoast organizations that have done yeomen’s work preserving and promoting both local and minority (African American & Wampanoag tribal) history, not just recently and certainly not only during February as “Black History Month”.
The Senator’s letter was carbon copied to the Dartmouth Historical Committee, which received it in late-January. I am a member of DHC and I recently discussed Senator Brown’s letter about a little over a week ago on the Ken Pittman Show on WBSM 1420 AM. This letter to the editor was my public response.
The letter has appeared in at least the following locations:
GOP official cites Sen. Brown’s connections to local communities published on Wednesday, February 8 in the Chronicle, the weekly for Dartmouth & Westport.
Your View: Scott Brown embraces region’s diverse history was published on Thursday, February 9 by the Standard-Times of New Bedford.
CAMPAIGN 2012 LETTER: Scott Brown loves the SouthCoast published on Saturday, February 11 by the Fall River Herald News.
It has been over two years now United States Senator Scott Brown was elected by the people in a special election to replace the late Ted Kennedy. Since his first day in office, Scott Brown has been a tireless advocate on behalf of the New Bedford fishing industry. Brown, fiercely independent, methodically and deliberately labors on behalf of all residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts but he has proven time and again from his legislation to innumerable visits that there is a special place in the Senator’s heart for New Bedford and the SouthCoast. Additionally, as a member of the Senate’s Veterans Affairs Committee, and through his role as a 32 year member of the Massachusetts National Guard, Brown has been a passionate advocate for all our veterans.
Senator Brown recently sent letters to the leadership of the New Bedford Historical Society, New Bedford Whaling Museum, and the Old Dartmouth Historical Society thanking those organizations for devoting “each day of the year to the history and contributions of people of color in our Commonwealth. In doing, you help to preserve unique and valuable elements of our culture and shatter stereotypes.” Senator Brown specifically noted the collaboration of these organizations holding the Paul Cuffe Symposium in October 2009. The Senator is also keenly aware of the recent dedication of the Paul Cuffe Park at the corner of Union Street and Johnny Cake Hill that occurred during as the recent collaboration upon the New Bedford Genealogy Symposium in September 2011. Senator Brown singled out both the Paul Cuffe Symposium and the later park dedication in his letter. I’m honored that Senator Brown has submitted my Master’s thesis, Paul Cuffe: A Study of His Life and the Status of His Legacy in Old Dartmouth, to the Library of Congress.
Scott Brown cares about New Bedford, its people, and our rich history. I know this because I have stood with the Senator, a friend of over a decade, at an establishment on Union Street, pointed up towards what today is the park, and discussed Paul Cuffe and other significant local historical figures. I frequently forward newspaper articles, emails, and other history related items to Senator Brown. The Senator’s letter was written in late December and mailed sometime in January. Scott Brown cherishes local and African-American history throughout the year and not only in February when we celebrate Black History Month.
The Senator’s recognition and his deep admiration for people of all colors with their rich history, is evidence of his overwhelming commitment to all people who have contributed, and sacrificed, for all of us, today. As Senator Scott Brown wrote, “…we would be remiss if we did not recognize and appreciate the vital contributions of African-Americans who have contributed so much to the rich tapestry of Massachusetts history.”
Brock N. Cordeiro