“Trude Lamb” Honored with 2021 REV. JEROME R. MILTON AWARD FOR NON-VIOLENT SOCIAL CHANGE


Tyler Together Race Relations Forum is pleased to announce the recipient of our 2021 REV. JEROME R. MILTON AWARD FOR NON-VIOLENT SOCIAL CHANGE is: Trude Lamb.

Trude Lamb – 2021 REV. JEROME R. MILTON AWARD FOR NON-VIOLENT SOCIAL CHANGE HONOREE

Trude Lamb is the daughter of the late Augustine Foe and Thomas Adzrago of Mafi America and granddaughter of Patience Foe of the Volta Region of Ghana, Africa. She resides with Laura Owens (2nd mom) and Nathan Singley (step-father) of Tyler, TX. She immigrated with her younger brother Felix to the United States from Ghana in 2014.  Her brothers Evans, Magnus, Gabriel, and Daniel Foe live in Ghana and keep the family-village appraised of their sister’s successes in America.  

Last year as a Robert E. Lee High School sophomore, Trude was a District 6-A champion track and cross country runner.  She loved and enjoyed participating in her sport, but as the issue of changing the school’s name heated up again in Tyler, she decided she had to take a stand.  Trude wrote to ask that the TISD board, to “change the name, not to ‘Tyler LEE’ but after someone who we can all be proud of.” 

The following is Trude’s letter in full.

I am one of you {sic} true African and 1st generation African-American students at REL. I am from Ghana, Africa where slavery first began. I came to America in 2014. I have stood in the dungeons of the slave castle and seen the three foot urine and feces stains on the walls where my brothers and sisters were kept. I’ve seen the tiny hole at the top of the ceiling where they would throw food in to the captured souls. I’ve walked through the “Gate of No Return” where over 12 million of my brothers and sisters were kidnapped never to return back to their home. I have worked the very fields and fetched water for my family from the very places my people were kidnapped.

I love and enjoy the sports I play at REL. I can’t be playing sports, supporting, and going to a school that was named after a person who was against my people right here in the United States. He owned slaves and didn’t believe people like me were 100% human let alone ever go to my very high school. I cannot bear and will no longer wear his name on my race jersey. I’m currently the fastest girl on your varsity cross country team. I held that place my 9th grade year and plan to do the same my 10th grade year.

I don’t see a future of remembering a person who did nothing for our country and who didn’t care for me or my people. He continues to bring our city down.

As one of your black students, I’m respectfully asking you take up the REL name change issue. Please vote to change the name, not to “Tyler LEE” but after someone who we can all be proud of.  Using the excuse that it would be too expensive, is not okay. This town was built on the back of my enslaved brothers and sisters. Do it in their memory and honor the future of their ancestors that are at REL.

 

I hope you understand where I am coming from.

 

On July 16, 2020 the school board voted unanimously to initiate changing the name of both Robert E. Lee High School and John Tyler High School.

 

According to the Owens-Lamb family, Trude and her brother Felix are local celebrities back home, because they are the first in their village to live and be educated in America. Relatives report back to the village elders about how the siblings are doing in school and the message is then relayed to everyone else.   

Whenever they return home, a feast is prepared in their honor and the village is “incredibly proud of them and honored that they represent their culture and heritage here in America.”

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