To the editor:
For many years, Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black lived on Lee Street in Alexandria. A distinguished jurist, Black shaped the unanimous school desegregation decision and championed civil liberties during the dark days of the McCarthy era.
Now is the time – past due time – for Alexandria to pay tribute to Justice Black. Interestingly, Black was an Alabaman who in his early years had been a member of the Klu Klux Klan, but moved on.
Instead of pursuing the misguided goal of erasing the Confederacy from street names, City Council should shift gears and create a small Hugo Black museum with public and private funding. Imagine a museum with Justice Black’s voice, combined with photographs and a bold narrative, that underscores the continuing need for civil rights and civil liberties, providing a model for other cities to emulate. In so doing we would have done something great for the country.
-Peter Bernstein, Alexandria