Dear Friend of CHARIAD:
Please put Thurs. Feb. 6 on your calendar for a Friends of CHARIAD Meet Up.
I have one more chapter to write for my new book – Create the Future – for your company and for yourself. What a lot of work!!
Publication should be next fall. If you hang around me these days, you will have to listen to me talk about THE BOOK. I feel like I am living in a cave chained to the computer. Writing a chapter is not the hard part. Editing, revising, and making all the pieces fit together is much more difficult.
Thoughts On Martin Luther King Day
I usually limit these notes to topics within our shared community. Since I have life experience most of you don’t relating to MLK Day, you might find these thoughts helpful.
I met Martin Luther King in Philadelphia in the late ‘60s. His complex human character is usually masked by the popular press. My view is that he is one of the truly important and courageous figures in American history. He transformed American society. He did not do it by himself. Thousands of courageous men and woman of all ages and races fundamentally changed this huge and complex society at great risk to themselves.
The summer I graduate from high school, I was awarded a National Science Foundation grant to attend a special science enrichment program before entering college. I grew up just outside Baltimore, MD. The program happened to be held that summer at Morgan State College in Baltimore. When I told my parents that I was spending most of the summer living at a dorm at Morgan State they were concerned and surprised but did not try to stop me. Morgan State was and is a “black college.”
The program I attended was not a Morgan program, but they hosted it for kids from all over the US. After we were living in the Morgan dorms and the education program was underway, some of the students approached me with concerns and questions. Directly across the street from the college was a shopping center. The movie theater in the shopping center would not allow blacks to enter the theater and watch movies. This theater was in the City of Baltimore and one block for a black college.
Freedom Riders were being arrested in Alabama for trying to desegregate lunch counters. Buses carrying Freedom Riders were burned. Several of the students in my program wanted to picket the movie theater. They wanted my advice as someone from Baltimore. The dilemma was that this program was a once in a lifetime opportunity for many of them. The risk of being arrested and expelled from the program was real.
Two years later, while I was at Penn, I spent more than a week researching the struggle to desegregate public accommodations in a rural county in Maryland. I interviewed many of the people involved. That summer, I spend two weeks in western North Carolina. White and colored drinking fountains were standard. But the segregation was three ways – black, white, and hillbilly white. All three groups had separate places to live, eat, and drink.
America is a society that strives to do better and be better. We are stronger as a result. I have witnessed and been involved in two transformative American social revolutions. The first was the civil rights movement. The second was the environmental movement. Both movements were profoundly successful in ways unimaginable when I was young.
I am telling the story about my summer at Morgan State because the magnitude of change, of accomplishment, is obscured by the clamor of today’s issues. I am disappointed that on MLK day we are not celebrating our accomplishments. Instead, we hear from hustlers and hucksters.
I have similar disappointment about our inability to celebrate our environmental accomplishments. We are accustomed to clean air, clean water, and safe products. We take these for granted. Most Americans do not realize that our society was not clean and safe 50 years ago, and most of the worlds population does not live with clean and safe today.
We can say that a society that continuously strives to be better has a hard time remembering and acknowledging its history and its successes. That may just be the way it is. But you now know my perspective.
A Sailors View of Winter
I have not included one picture. I am violating some rule of CHARIAD communication. Here are two winter images.