Thursday, August 1, 2013

A commitment to remember

I’ve been looking forward to this meeting for awhile. Jen and Melissa of the board of the Andrew Goodman Foundation. Next summer will be the 50th anniversary of the murders of Goodman, Cheney and Schwerner in Mississippi during Freedom Summer of 1964. The three were murdered by the Ku Klux Klan during their Voter Registration Work. The work of Freedom Summer and the accompanying violence led directly to the Voting Rights Act  of 1965. 
Even though the main commemoration will take place in Mississippi, and there will be other ceremonies around the country, it makes sense to have a commemoration here at West-Park for two reasons. One, Andrew Goodman lived next door to West-Park. Two, the events of Freedom Summer marked a particular time in the life of the Upper West Side of New York City, when the predominant ethos was one of liberal social progressives.Andrew Goodman came from a particular social context that would inform him in his values formation and support him kn the living out of those values.  It’s important to lift up this legacy in today’s gentrified Upper West Side. 
We’re thinking of two kinds of events. One, a musical night with any surviving singers of that era and new artists for social change. And two, an exploration of the meaning of this summer from the perspective of 50 years later, a time when the provisions of the Voting Rights Act are increasingly under attack. The Center  at West-Park was immediately honored to be a sponsor and creator of this event. It’s the very meaning of who we are. 
Bella is here for a full day of work helping Danielle, cleaning the church, going through files. 
Today’s the day the lock smith comes and changes the main outside door lock. Next we will begin to padlock interior spaces. We will secure the safety an security of our house. 
As I finish for the night, I see Roger walking out, too. He’s worked a long day for RL with Max and David S and Gabe. And a long night of rehearsal. It’s good to have him here. Learning what this place really is, combining his art as an actor with the rest of our life. 

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