Today Senator Kamala Devi Harris will stand in the Capitol Building and she will take the oath of office for the Vice President of the United States. I hope you will take a moment to remember Ignatius Beck. In 1798 he was one of the four hundred enslaved Black men that were “rented” to the United States government to work on the erection of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
After his liberation, Mr. Beck eventually came to Philadelphia and became a valuable member of Mother Bethel and a significant conductor on the Underground Railroad. After a very full life he was buried by his family, with dignity, at Bethel Burying Ground.
As we watch the glorious moment Vice President Harris is sworn in, maybe take a moment to remember that two hundred twenty-three years ago a Black man lifted that stone that VP Harris is standing on.
Please say his name. Ignatius Beck.