mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
A Final Fourth of July Story

This one comes from the glamorous borough of Queens. The NY Times reports today that the greatest borough in New York has another feather in its cap: Dr. Olivia Cousins, who traces her ancestry back to a 17 year old volunteer in the Continental Army, was elected regent of a new chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution here in Queens.

Dr. Cousins is African-American, and as far as anybody knows, hers is the first DAR chapter anywhere in the country to be founded by an African-American descendent of Revolutionary soldiers.

There’s a lot to be happy about in this story; three things in particular stand out.

Number One: That Dr. Cousins is qualified to found a DAR chapter. The Continental Army was America’s first true national institution — and it was our first integrated institution as well. Our armed forces today are among the most integrated institutions in American life, and without the leadership and service of minority officers and warriors of all colors and genders, they would not be able to do their job.

Number Two: Instead of fighting Dr. Cousins, as past generations of the DAR were known to do, today’s DAR wants her and her contributions to be part of the family. George Washington wanted and needed non-whites to help win the war against the British; the DAR needs the support of as many of their descendants today. Eleanor Roosevelt, it is well known, resigned from this society over its opposition to allowing a great African-American singer perform in a building the DAR owned. That nonsense, thankfully, is long past.

Number Three: That Dr. Cousins cares enough about America and its history, and is proud enough of her ancestor, that she wants to go to the time and trouble of commemorating our past and perpetuating the ideals of the American Revolution. 1776 was a long time ago, but that legacy still inspires people today.

Via Meadia congratulates everyone involved in this story and wishes all concerned a happy Fourth of July.

Features Icon
show comments
  • Anthony

    The impact of the black American presence on America has been tremendous and historically conditioned; but this fact generally the Amrican psyche has been loath to admit but families like Dr. Cousins’ are not unique in our inter-group cultural fusion – Via Meadia renders an important service on Nation’s birthday (the American condition and identity). Thanks….

  • Mrs. Davis

    Hear, hear. Thank you for the splendid tiding.

  • Thrasymachus

    The ideals of 1776 are still vital, and still working to complete themselves in our society. Good for Dr. Cousins, and good for the DAR.

  • Jim.

    It’s a great relief to see that those wounds are healing over… charges of “racism” and “playing the race card” have been the ultimate in ad hominem attacks for a generation.

    Now we can only hope that the Left’s disingenuous, false, and absurd argument that “You’re racist, therefore your claim that 2+2=4 is invalid” against the TEA Party and other fiscal conservatives fall on deaf ears as well.

  • thibaud

    Good news indeed.

    The Daughters of the American Revolution have come a long way since 1939, when the DAR denied african-american singer Marian Anderson the ability to perform an Easter concert at DAR-owned Constitution Hall on account of her race.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service