To the editor:

If one looks at the history of our nation, Black lives have always mattered. Black men have served in all our wars, beginning with the Revolutionary War. That service alone should have more than paved the way to complete equality.

Our Black women were well-represented in the movement for women’s right to vote. In this COVID-19 pandemic, many of the front-line medical personnel are Black doctors and nurses. They and their white counterparts are risking their lives every day; some have died.

And look at what our Black men and women have accomplished in sports -- boxing, track and field, tennis, football, baseball and basketball. Think back to the 1926 Olympics when Jesse Owens showed the Germans they were not supermen.

And the music they have brought us, starting with Scott Joplin, who gave us the delightful ragtime. Then the jazz of the ‘20s ad doo wop of the 50s. Think of Marian Anderson (who sang “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial), Bessie Smith, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Ray Charles, Nat ‘King’ Cole, and so many others who gave us so much pleasure in their renditions.

We should all be proud of all they have accomplished with one hand tied behind their backs. Yes, Black lives matter.

Louis Zirin

Peabody

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