In an interview with Dale Gentry on BPN Radio, Dr. Eddie Hyatt expressed his belief that his recently released book, 1726, holds a key for racial reconciliation across America, beginning with the church. Hyatt explained that it has to do with setting the record straight about race and slavery in America’s founding.
Whereas students in schools and colleges throughout America are taught that America was founded on racism and slavery. Hyatt says there is much more to the story, which modern liberals are leaving out. In his book, he documents the anti-slavery movement that emerged out of the Great Awakening that ebbed and flowed between 1726-70.
According to Hyatt, this Awakening, and the anti-slavery movement it produced, transformed Colonial America and had a profound impact on America’s founders. In 1726, Hyatt shows that virtually every Founder turned against slavery and even those who did not immediately release their slaves, admitted that it was sinful and wrong. Some, such as Benjamin Rush, became passionate abolitionists.
Hyatt says that as a result of the Great Awakening, and the anti-slavery sentiments it produced, George Washington allowed free blacks to serve in the Revolutionary Army. As a result, one out of every eight soldiers was of African descent. Blacks and whites fought together for freedom from Great Britain. Washington later released his own slaves and declared,
I clearly foresee that nothing but the rooting out of slavery can perpetuate the existence of our union by consolidating it in a common bond of principle (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 103).
Hyatt says that as a result of the Great Awakening, and the anti-slavery sentiments it produced, America’s founding documents are colorblind. No mention is made of slaves or slavery and there are no classifications based on race or skin color. Hyatt pointed out that this is the reason Dr. King, in his “I Have a Dream” speech, spoke highly of America’s founding documents and said they guarantee freedom and equality for everyone regardless of race or skin color.
Hyatt says that setting the record straight about America’s racial past is important for as George Orwell said, “Whoever controls the past, controls the future.” Hyatt believes that by regaining control of America’s true heritage, not as a nation without an ugly blemish, but as a nation that took radical steps to remove and heal that blemish, a new racial harmony could be in America's future.
Hyatt’s book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, is available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.