In 2010, when the Black History Committee of Dutchess County unveiled this marker, it was forward looking and progressive to be highlighting such neglected areas, where history had been actively erased, or passively ignored.
In the decade since that time, there is even greater awareness that the word slave suggest a fixed condition, and removes the humanity of the subject. The preference for the word enslavement has evolved because it more accurately reflects the fact that the Storm family were enslavers, but the men, women and children they enslaved maintained their humanity. Enslavement never stopped them from being mothers, fathers, daughters and sons.
The Black History Committee has evolved to the group, Celebrating the African Spirit, still dedicated to the telling of the contributions of Africans and their descendants. This context is made available here through the efforts of neighbors of the cemetery who worked with the group to provide this explanation, so that the cemetery, and the people whose remains lie beneath, are awarded the respect and dignity they deserve.
We prefer to leave breadcrumb trails of our evolving history, rather than erase any part of it, so the richest lessons may be learned.
October 2021, Celebrating the African Spirit & cemetery neighbors