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  • Writer's pictureAdelaide Fuller

My Hero Monday:Eugene Goodman

Updated: Jun 26, 2021

From protecting the senate from an angry mob during the insurrection at the Capitol to escorting Vice President Kamala Harris at the Presidential Inauguration: here's the story of a Black man who put his body, his very life, in harm's way to protect a government that has rarely served him (and how he was recognized for his heroism).

You may have seen his face on the news, but did you remember his name? Hailing from Southeast Washington and an army veteran, Eugene Goodman faced down a nightmare on January 6th that white people cannot fathom. In front of him was a mob of white men carrying Confederate flags and proudly bearing white supremacist symbols, zip ties in hand. They were on their way to the Senate chambers - it is horrifying to think what their plan was once they reached that room. It had all the bone-chilling hallmarks of a lynching. Before them was an officer of the law; they only saw a Black man unwilling to step aside. Based on the screaming and yelling in the video below, that infuriated them. But Goodman kept his head. He steered the mob away from the Senate chambers where the leaders of our government were taking cover behind benches and under seats, away from a door into those chambers that was still unguarded. He saved lives. You can watch the viral video of his bravery here (please note that this video contains explicit language). Goodman's heroic actions were recognized on January 20th when he escorted Vice President Kamala Harris (the first women and the first person of color to hold that office in history) to the Presidential Inauguration ceremony as acting deputy Senate sergeant at arms. And last week bipartisan lawmakers introduced legislation to award Goodman with a Congressional Gold Medal - one of the highest honors awarded to American civilians. He certainly deserves it.

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