Thursday, February 7, 2008

Black History Quiz Answer - His Name Is York

The photograph was of one several statutes honoring a man simply known as York. He was an extremely important part of the famous Lewis and Clark expedition to the West. York is often described as a "man-servant" but the truth is he was a slave. Until the 21st century, York's contributions to the expedition was either completely overlooked or downplayed.

York was the property of Clark and the only non-volunteer on the expedition. He served as a equal participant on the expedition, risking his life to save his fellow travelers. At the conclusion of the expedition, when all the other explorers where granted money, land, and fame, York was given absolutely nothing. All York asked for and was denied was his freedom. It would take Clark nearly 10 years to finally agree to free York.

The Native Americans were extremely interested and impressed with York's dark skin and muscular physique. He was treated as an honored guest by the indigenous people who admired his bravery, hard work, and physical strength.

York has been overlooked in American History too long. More African Americans should know who he is and his important contribution to the discovery of the West.

6 comments:

Seattle Slim February 7, 2008 at 11:59 AM  

Prof. Tracey this breaks my heart. I am saddened that he is overlooked so much. Thank you! This will also further help me to educate my sons about the RIGHT history.

History has not been kind to black achievement. I want to drop a dime on National Geographic's current issue or last issue on the great nubian pharaohs of Egypt/Sudan, particularly Taharqa. It's a must have.

wisdomteachesme February 7, 2008 at 12:51 PM  

you know, i had forgotten about him. i learned about him years ago by examining and learning about art work.i ran across this very painting/drawing.

hummm, let me go get some books and find this image. :D
thanks prof-and i'm sharing via email .

Anonymiss February 7, 2008 at 1:18 PM  

I really need to get my bookworm on.

Professor Tracey February 7, 2008 at 2:22 PM  

@seattle slim -

You are on point about the magazine, I run over some white woman in the Las Vegas Airport Borders bookstore trying to grab a copy it's awesome.

Seattle Slim February 7, 2008 at 5:02 PM  

LOL Prof. Tracey! Good! You know they think we don't read anyway lol.

Shazza Nakim February 7, 2008 at 7:52 PM  

Thank you for dropping this piece of knowledge. I didn't know about York but now I will make sure that everyone that mentions Lewis and Clark will add York to that list.

I would assume that York, due to his ancestry, knew much about traveling in high grasslands and in the wild and Clark depended on him to get the rest of the Company through. They just did a movie about Lewis and Clark and guess what? No York in it either.

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