It’s no accident that Roosevelt is depicted on horseback with an indigenous man and a Black man standing behind him. Today, the statue is a blunt reminder that the founding of this country 400 years ago is the intertwined story of African slavery and the dispossession and genocide of Native America.
“This,” says Robinson, “is the airborne vessel on which the magician Bladud flew to London where he crashed on Ludgate Hill, the last stone of a circle that stood on the site of St. Paul’s. … This is the stone that Jack Cade, the Kentish rebel, struck with his staff when he took possession of the city.”
A stone can endure, it can change, it can harm, it can heal. It can make you rich, it can make you poor, it can become an enemy, a friend, and a teacher. It can carry your memories and your dreams. It can build empires and bury cities. It can reveal the history of the universe. It can open and close the gates of philosophy. It can change the course of nature. It can change its own nature. It can empty the world of time.