Friday, October 14, 2005

courage



This woman embodied courage and grace. As all saints day approaches i'm mindful of heroic ones that inspire selfless living. these notes from today's obituary column in the NY Times.

Vivian Malone Jones, who on a blisteringly hot June day in 1963 became one of two black students to enroll at the University of Alabama after first being barred at the door by the defiant governor, George C. Wallace, died yesterday in Atlanta. She was 63.

The cause was a stroke, her sister Sharon Malone told The Associated Press. Her entrance to the university came as the civil rights struggle raged across the South. On June 12, the day after Ms. Jones and James Hood were escorted into the university by federalized National Guard troops, the civil rights leader Medgar Evers was shot to death in Jackson, Miss.

On May 30, 1965, Ms. Jones became the first black to graduate from the University of Alabama in its 134 years of existence, earning a degree in business management with a B-plus average.

rest of the article here (free with registration)

2 comments:

brad said...

geoff--i watched a video of robert coles last night with my brother-in-law. dr. coles tells a story to his class of when he was in new orleans during desegregation. he was meeting consistently with this one eight year old girl and her family. she had gone to an all-white school for several months with no altercation except for the crowd hassling her. one morning she stopped and said something to the crowd that made them furious. her guards pulled their guns out, the teacher feared bloodshed. that night dr. coles asked her what she said to the crowd. the little girl said she wasn't talking to the crowd, she was talking to god. he asked her what she said to god. she said she prayed every morning on the walk to work, but had forgotten that morning. when she stopped in front of the crowe, she prayed her daily prayer, "god forgive these people. they don't know what they're doing." we could learn quite a bit from that.

billy said...

Geoff,

It is hard to believe that this series of events was less than fifty-years ago. And it is very helpful for me to be reminded of the passing of a person who was so instrumental in helping us to obtain the freedom to be together that we currently enjoy (and usually take for granted). In reality, there was no "Forest Gump" present to help her cross that line and add some levity to a deadly serious moral showdown. Thanks.........