At Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina, there is a unique baptismal font in the chapel. Before the Civil War there was a block of stone on what later became the Abbey property. It was called the “Slave Stone” because slaves being sold at auction were made to stand on that stone so that potential buyers could see them.
Imprinted in this stone was the emotional memory of the coarse cruelty of the slave traders and the anguish and trauma of slave families being separated and further stripped of their human dignity.
The Slave Stone carried some of the emotional imprint of the stones of Calvary itself as do historical images from our nation’s history of lynchings, Jim Crow laws, film footage of fire hoses turned on African Americans engaged in peaceful civil rights protests and the recent tragic and brutal death of George Floyd on a Minneapolis street captured on film.
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