On HBO’s Lovecraft Nation, Tic, Leti, and George battle not solely monsters but additionally unsavory racists whereas on the highway. Alongside the best way, they cease at Simmonsville Dinette, which they thought was going to be a Black-friendly restaurant known as Lydia’s. Noticing the restaurant’s white partitions, Tic asks George to remind him why the White Home was painted white. George replies that enslaved folks painted the constructing white after it was scorched by the British through the Battle of 1812. Tic then notices burn marks below the ground, they usually deduce that the previous restaurant was burned down by racists earlier than scrambling out. However is George’s story about why the White Home is white truly true? Not fairly.
It has been ingrained in well-liked tradition that the White Home was painted white to cowl up harm after the British set hearth to the constructing in 1814 through the Battle of 1812. Sure, the White Home had actually been burned. However in keeping with the White Home Historic Affiliation, the hearth did not account for the constructing’s shade scheme, which had been in place earlier than the harm. The well-known mansion on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. was first painted white in 1798 with lime-based whitewash. The paint prevented water from leaking into the porous stone constructing and freezing. Individuals referred to the constructing by its colloquial title not lengthy after. In March 1812, Congressman Abijah Bigelow wrote in a letter, “There may be a lot bother on the white home, as we name it, I imply the President’s.” Notice that this letter was written three months earlier than the US even declared battle towards Britain. A couple of century later, Theodore Roosevelt lastly made “White Home” the constructing’s official title in 1901.
With all that mentioned, the White Home was predominantly constructed (and rebuilt) by enslaved and freed Black laborers. In keeping with Smithsonian Journal, enslaved folks possible contributed to all sides of development, together with carpentry, masonry, and, sure, portray. George’s rationalization is not fully correct, however the historical past of Black folks creating America’s most outstanding constructing – a white one at that – is one thing that Lovecraft Nation possible referenced deliberately.
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