LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Article should have been published in its entirety, reader says

I submitted an article with regards to the Wilds Family Reunion which appeared in the News & Press’ Feb. 19 edition. I want thank your paper for considering that article.
However, I was extremely disappointed that this article was not presented in its entirety. The goal of this article was to emphasize one’s family achievements as we celebrate African Heritage and Women’s History Month.
I can’t comprehend why Jennifer Wilds-Jensen’s achievements (were) explicitly removed from the article which certainly expressed achievement. I would like not to think it was an act of overt racial journalism. Her achievement was very pertinent to the article.
The published article omitted a historical fact with regards to Macedonia Baptist Church being a historical landmark but chose to highlight the Wilds/Edwards House where African-American Wilds were enslaved. In my article I attempted to point out that Homer Wilds, my great-grandfather, had a family and siblings even though he was a victim of Chattel Slavery. By this omission you failed to give him human value.
I certainly don’t think the length of this article had anything to do with space in the paper. I have observed your new format is not utilizing space wisely with its back page filled with large photos. In addition, the paper omitted the very criteria of why the Homer Wilds Spirit Award is given. I, as a long-time out of town subscriber, would appreciate a reprint of this article in its entirety.
On another note, I want to share with you my late Caucasian uncle Andrew J. Bethea was a former editor of the Darlington Press, currently the News & Press, in l909. Andrew is the younger brother of my father, Dr. Percy Anthony Bethea, who fathered me at the age of 74. He was a local dentist, philanthropist and the founder of the Bethea Baptist Home. The Bethea Baptist Home and my connection is truly a worthy news article.

Peter Wilds-Bethea,
New York

Author: Rachel Howell

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