By Randall Robinson
Randall Robinson's protecting The Spirit is a private account of his upward push from poverty within the segregated south to a place as the most exotic and outspoken political activists of our time. In 1977, Robinson based TransAfrica, the 1st association to foyer for the pursuits of African and Caribbean peoples. TransAfrica used to be instrumental within the unencumber of Nelson Mandela from criminal in South Africa and the reinstatement of President Aristide in Haiti. Robinson's considerate and provocative memoir paints a shiny photo of racism within the hallowed halls of Harvard, the place he went to legislation tuition, in addition to the corridors of energy in Washington, D.C. He additionally recounts in attention-grabbing element his journeys to distressed African and Caribbean countries; greater than somebody else, he has raised expertise of the issues in these international locations. protecting The Spirit additionally offers a devastating statement on America's international coverage endeavors in African and Caribbean countries, and an impassioned name to African-Americans for brand new management and activism to struggle racism world wide.
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My mind wandered. I was thinking about how white students might be accepting the news at Hermitage, Highland Springs, and Thomas Jefferson. I couldn’t visualize these schools. I’d never seen them. But I pictured white faces, some tear-streaked, some angry. Don’t flatter yourselves. I’m not coming to your school. I needn’t have troubled. Forty-three years later, Richmond’s public schools are virtually as segregated as they were that spring afternoon of Mr. Bland’s bombshell. ■ Summer 1955: Richmond, Virginia I was fourteen and in the second year of my job life.
I do remember that this personalwatershed account was the first positive thing I had ever read about the continent that had produced everyone I loved and trusted. This reading experience also may have been the genesis of some new reckoning that the problems of the black world were not a phenomenon solely of the American South. The magnitude of our dilemma was much greater than I had any reason to suspect. In the first twenty-three years of my life I’d seen only a small mean piece of the puzzle.
I left the golfer and the bag of clubs on the twelfth green. I should have known better than to caddy. I never told Daddy. ■ I don’t know if the story is true or not. But it was widely accepted that Max was experimentally inoculating chickens in the basement of Armstrong High School in 1955. He was brilliant. Bronchitis caused him to hunch his shoulders in a scholarly fashion. His favorite piece of music was Sheherazade and he looked like a scientist at sixteen. While we moved in quite different social circles (my friends were largely pubescent jocks), I loved him.
Defending the Spirit: A Black Life in America by Randall Robinson
Categories: African American Studies