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My birthright as a citizen of America, of Madison Park, came with no easy cost.

Eric Motley Deputy Director, National Gallery of Art
Aspen Ideas To Go

The Power of History, Community, and Hope

The Power of History, Community, and Hope

Show Notes

Though his grandparents were his primary caretakers, Eric Motley was raised by a community. The author, former White House staffer, and Aspen Institute vice president says the townspeople of Madison Park, Alabama, taught him everything he needed to know about love and faith. Madison Park was founded by freed slaves in 1880, and Motley learned early about his heritage and legacy. While he cleaned graves and left flowers at the local cemetery, his neighbors taught him about his past. Racial injustice and segregation were part of Motley’s growing up, but instead of resentment he took on resilience and determination. Motley talks with Joshua Johnson, host of the national public radio show “1A” about how Madison Park is a metaphor for the ties that bind us in a politically divisive time.


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