As we approach Independence Day, it’s appropriate to focus on worthy heroes we ought to remember rather than concentrating on controversial figures we seek to erase. One of those little-known giants of our past bears a familiar name — Cassius Clay — and I wrote about his contributions to the anti-slavery cause in a Wall Street Journal column for Juneteenth.
In an era of racial “reckoning,” the U.S. seems determined to obliterate statues and other public honors for those, such as Confederate generals, who fought to preserve slavery and racism. But there is no countervailing effort to remember or honor those who risked everything—career, wealth, prominence and personal safety—to promote emancipation.
Start with a towering figure who contributed significantly to the cause of liberation and union, Cassius Marcellus Clay. Born in 1810, Clay defied his slave-owning and influential Kentucky family when he became an abolitionist during his student days at Yale….Click here to read Michael’s full Wall Street Journal column.