Richard e Hill - a Writer's Journal

Dr Martin Luther King Jr and Cultural Sabermetrics

Selected opinions from a seeking mind

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Poem du Jour
 
 

Charting the Way (The Mapmaker, Bayard Rustin)

Counseled the Great in shadows

           disdained by mirrored kiss

Garnered allied knowledge from abroad

            oblivious to slander, risk

Withstood bigotry, injustices

            from growing nation’s troubled past

Mapped the beginning of the ending  . . . .

When the rainbow could cry “Free at last”

 

Richard e Hill Baja CA MX 2011©  


         

Q & A (a combination of several similar theme missives):

Given your intellect and vocabulary, why do you write and circulate things like “Happy Hour”?

Taking a cue from some great songwriters ---- such as Whiting, Arlen, Gershwin, Porter and Carmichael ---- who composed some ditties as well as timeless classics; a little levity balances one’s lifeworks. Life is serious --- it has to be because it ends in death. I receive many missives that intentionally wish to elicit a comedic, an edgy or a double entendre response as well as those seeking contemplative discourse (contemplative discourse ---- is that intellectual enough?).

The social drinking based work, Happy Hour does have redemptive qualities as a major character dies and the protagonist has an epiphany.

Non-serious entries are the foreplay within the passion of accumulated creativity and we know the value of foreplay to passion.

 

 

 


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Dr Martin Luther King Jr and Cultural Sabermetrics

The zeitgeist of social networking phenomenon is the need for quantitative analysis. There are “top ten lists” and ongoing discussions of who is the best, greatest, most or first in almost every category.  The prevailing conclusion usually being “that the latest is the greatest” as the shadows of obscurity await the fore-bearers.

Elizabeth Jennings, a teacher in the New York Negro public school system grew weary waiting for the Negro omnibus --- which ran on CP time (ask an older Black associate about CP time) ---- took a seat on the “Whites only” omnibus and was beaten and arrested 100 years before Rosa Parks suffered indignation. The NY transit system was integrated because of the successful lawsuit by Jennings’ attorney Chester A Arthur who was elected to the Presidency later in his career in public service. The Port Arthur Transit Authority bears his name to footnote this historical achievement as Elizabeth Jennings faded into a segregated abyss; cruelly ironically losing her only son in the NY draft riots for the Civil War as well.

This is not to minimize the courage of Rosa Parks or her impact on the Civil Rights Movement including launching the career of the then 26-years old MLK. The 385 days Montgomery bus boycott, the March on Washington DC, the numerous demonstrations, the many marches, the “I Have a Dream Speech”, the personal sacrifices, and the Nobel Peace Prize, part and parcel of the cultural Sabermetrics identifying modern day icon, Dr Martin Luther King Jr.  Where is Bayard Rustin?

Bayard “Who? What?” Rustin, the social activist who was the cartographer of the ship sailing the troubled seas of Civil Rights, the mentor and confidant of Martin Luther King and an internationally acclaimed strategist of reform. Born in 1912, a gifted tenor who performed with and collaborated with another denizen in the shadows of social reform, Paul Robeson. Mr Rustin sought out while travelling to international destinations including Africa, met with Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi (when MLK was a teenager), developed the non-violent principles acquired in his sojourns and imparted his experiences to Martin Luther King and others seeking his counseling organizational skills until his death in 1987 ---- including Black mayoral candidates, Richard Hatcher, Carl Stokes and Harold Washington. Bayard Rustin also rode public transportation in the 1940’s in order to document the social inequities incurred; while being mentored by another social rights pioneer, A Phillip Randolph of the rail porters’ union fame. 

There is a Zelig phenomenon wherein everyone desires to be present at every significant event in the manner of the fictional character from a Woody Allen movie; reprised as Forrest Gump in a more contemporary film. While wishing or claiming to be there, remember those who were there ---- Bayard Rustin.

 


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