Tim Barton, the president of WallBuilders, is telling Americans the forgotten stories of black American heroes.
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His organization has assembled a collection of stories of black American heroes who are ignored by the left. The “American Heroes: Black History Month Edition” tells the stories of 20 black Americans whose stories should be celebrated – not ignored.
Barton joined the “Todd Starnes Show” to tell the audience about the collection.
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The WallBuilders president contrasted the collection with the 1619 Project and other woke attempts to retell history from a Marxist lens.
“And it could be because under Marxist ideology, they only believe that there’s oppressors and the oppressed, and therefore the narrative they want to tell black Americans is how they’ve all been oppressed when the reality is some of the greatest American heroes are black heroes of American history,” Barton told national radio host Todd Starnes.
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LISTEN TO THE FULL CONVERSATION HERE:
The following is a rush transcript from the Todd Starnes Show which airs daily from noon to 3:00 p.m. ET.
TODD STARNES: [00:02:23] I want to go to the Patriot Mobile Newsmaker Line real quick. We’re honored to have with us, Tim Barton, who is president of WallBuilders. And, Tim, Black History Month starts tomorrow. And I’m very excited because you guys are putting together some incredible resources about the work of black Americans that has really gone unreported in history. [00:02:44][21.1]
TIM BARTON: [00:02:47] Genuine American heroes that largely are just left out of the history books, and certainly with millions and millions of Americans, there are so many great stories we could highlight. But we thought for Black History Month. Let’s just take, there’s 20 Monday through Friday days of the week in February. So we said let’s pick 20 black history heroes that we can just tell the honest story. One of the ironies of like the 1619 project when they say they want to retell the stories of black heroes or of African American heroes or just a story of African-Americans or black people in America, is that they seem to leave out some of the most incredible heroes. And it could be because under Marxist ideology, they only believe that there’s oppressors and the oppressed and therefore the narrative they want to tell black Americans is how they’ve all been oppressed, when the reality is some of the greatest American heroes are black heroes of American history. And so we just took a page and a half to tell some of the story. We footnoted it like we do with pretty much all of our writing at WallBuilders. And so if people want to know more, they can certainly dive in and try to find out more about these individuals. But it’s high time we start to re learn and once again celebrate some of these incredible black American heroes. [00:03:59][72.9]
STARNES: [00:04:00] And some of them who happen to be conservative and happen to be Republican even back many, many years ago, these people are completely ignored. These heroes are ignored by modern day activists. And I think that’s disappointing. But I’m excited that you guys are out there and you’re bringing these folks to highlight their actions. [00:04:24][23.9]
BARTON: [00:04:26] Well, it’s very sad and disappointing that so many of these individuals have been overlooked for so long. And why it’s also really sad is because these are very knowable people in the sense of if you do a basic Internet search for some of these people, whether it be a James Armistead Lafayette or a Bass Reeves or a Robert Small, the Phillis Wheatley. I mean, we can go through a list of names of very famous Americans. It’s easy to know their story, and yet we don’t tell the stories anymore. And you could ask the question, It might be important. Why aren’t we telling their stories? Why? Why don’t we want to highlight them? And it could be because they don’t fit the modern narrative. And therefore that’s why the left and modern academia doesn’t want to highlight them. But they should be highlighted. These are stories that we should remember and celebrate together. [00:05:14][47.8]
STARNES: [00:05:14] I mean, you know, the British, they have James Bond. All right, but our first our first double spy here in America was was the guy you just mentioned, James Armistead Lafayette. [00:05:23][9.1]
BARTON: [00:05:25] Yes, genuinely one of my favorite heroes from the American Revolution. If I look at the revolution, George Washington, you know, certainly is my number one. I’m going to argue James Armistead Lafayette, he’s for sure in the top five, probably my top three might even be right behind George Washington. The guy was an incredible hero after the fall of Richmond in 1781. He wants to go fight for the American military. He gets recruited to be a spy serving under the Marquis de Lafayette, and he’s sent into a British camp to gather intelligence and is the one that starts getting word back to Lafayette, who gets word to Washington, to the British movements. The British recognize there’s no way the Americans should be able to track the movements unless there is a spy in the camp. Well, Cornwallis didn’t know who the spy was, and he thought the only way we can really compete with a spy in our camp, we need to send a spy to the American camp. So he recruits someone that he has grown to really love and trust. James Armistead Lafayette, the actual American spy, gets recruited by the head of the British forces to go be a spy for the British. So he’s pretending to spy for the British. The whole time, he’s actually a spy for the Americans. It’s I mean, it’s an amazing story. Well, he’s also the guy who found out that Cornwallis was going to Yorktown. He got word, James got word to the Marquis de Lafayette. Lafayette gets word to Washington. Washington shows up at Yorktown, surrounds Cornwallis. With the surrender of Cornwallis, this is what ended the American Revolution. And it was because of the intelligence work of the first double spy in American history, James Armistead Lafayette. This guy should be celebrated. There should be movies about him. [00:07:08][102.9]
STARNES: [00:07:08] You’re right. And I haven’t seen a movie about this guy. It would be a great story. Also, the story of Blanche Kelso Bruce, who was the first black American to serve a full term in the U.S. Senate. And this happened back in the in the 1800s, the 19th century. And what I find interesting, Tim and I will let you broach this issue, he was not a Democrat. [00:07:32][23.9]
BARTON: [00:07:34] Right. Yeah, if you look back in history, remember the Republican Party founded in 1856, it was the party of equality trying to give voice to black Americans. And so when you go to the Civil War and then you have the 13th ammendment passed, you had so many of these black Americans who had been enslaved in the South who are now finding freedom, who have the opportunity to vote. And in so many of these places in the south, they had the majority of the population. So they began electing some of these really incredible leaders from some of these southern states, which is where he was elected from. And he, of course, was elected as a Republican and was the first Republican to serve a full term because there was a Republican before him who served two years. But then when the election came, he gets to serve all six years. These are guys their stories are quite significant of what they went through, but then even what they achieved after all that they overcame. And these are things that, as I mentioned, we took about a page and a half just to write a very short kind of story. It’s not even quite a biography. It’s just to introduce you to their story and maybe why this person is a hero and should be celebrated, why they certainly should be remembered. And then, of course, we have footnotes at the end. If you want to know more, you can kind of go click on some of those links and resources. But these are things that if we begin to learn the history, this would be a great inoculation to some of the nonsense from the 1619 project or the evil critical race theory being promoted and taught in so many schools today. [00:08:59][85.3]
STARNES: [00:09:00] And again, these resources are available for you moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, teachers at WallBuilders.com. That’s WallBuilders.com. What I love most about Senator Bruce. Again, a black Republican, the first black American to serve a full term in the U.S. Senate. He was quote and I’m reading here from this, Tim, “he was effective in each job he filled and had a reputation for strict financial integrity. Lord knows we need some more Republicans like that in Washington these days. [00:09:32][32.4]
BARTON: [00:09:33] There’s no doubt. And because of that, he actually was appointed, which we have some currency from the 1800s, where it actually has his name on the currency because he was put on the Treasury, where was the registrar of the U.S. Treasury Department, where he gets to oversee how a lot of the money process was done. But, I mean, really, he was politically involved for a couple of decades – very significant. But to your point, yeah, with all the spending happening in Washington now, it’d be super helpful if we had some Republicans saying, hey, let’s make sure we’re accountable for all the money we’re printing right now. [00:10:11][37.1]
STARNES: [00:10:12] We got to wrap this up, but you’ve got to tell this story. And I’m not sure why. I was channel surfing on the Netflix and ran across the story of Preston. Is it Preston Tucker? He built his own cars and he went up against the big dogs. And of course, it did not turn out as well as they had hoped. But there was actually a black family that made automobiles, America’s first black family that actually made automobiles. I’m talking about Charles Richard Patterson. [00:10:43][31.0]
BARTON: [00:10:44] Yes, the Patterson automobile. And real quickly, so they made carriages. And actually, their story is also fascinating. And you can read a lot more about this, but they get into the automobile game. They wanted to make it cheap and affordable but high quality and it was. When the Model T comes along because it was mass produced, there’s just so many more on the market. Patterson wasn’t able to keep up with it. But then they say, hey, we know how to make engines, we know how to build it, because they had done carriages for years. They said, we’ll just make kind of the bodies for some of the trucks and the busses. And they did that and very financially successful. And they were one of the businesses that closed in the Great Depression because of the economic downturn and all of the problems that happened. But literally one of the very first automobiles in America was from the very first black automotive maker and producer. And their story is phenomenal. So there again, one of the other heroes that we highlight for their accomplishment and what they did to produce in America. [00:11:45][61.5]
STARNES: [00:11:46] And to your point, these are black Americans that children should learn about and should know about, and they’re only going to learn about them if they go to your website and check out the materials you have at WallBuilders.com. [00:11:58][12.6]
BARTON: [00:12:00] Yes. And this series is the American Hero series. And hopefully, we’re going to come out with several collections. And this is the very first installation of the Black Heroes and the American Hero Series collection. And these are people again, these are very well documented stories. They’re just not talked about. These are heroes that should be celebrated. They’re just not known today. So we want to reintroduce Americans to some great American heroes. [00:12:23][22.7]
STARNES: [00:12:24] I love this. What a great idea. And, Tim, thank you for putting this together. It is a much needed resource. And again, folks, WallBuilders.com can’t say enough great stuff about the the work that WallBuilders is doing. Tim, we got to leave it there. Again, congratulations, and this is a great project. [00:12:40][16.7]
BARTON: [00:12:42] Thanks so much. We appreciate it. [00:12:43][1.2]