MY SMALL CONTRIBUTION TO
THE CONVERSATION ON RACE
Back in the early 1960s when I was in ninth grade, I was selected to represent Franklin Delano Roosevelt Junior High School at a regional gathering of the National Conference of Christians and Jews. At that time, NCCJ was a leading exponent of racial integration in support of the then-current Civil Rights Movement (the group is now called the National Conference for Community and Justice, a much trendier/leftier name).
The event I attended featured a slate of speakers, both black and white, addressing the topic of interracial cooperation. They cast that objective in terms of brotherhood, reflecting the faith-based organization’s sponsorship of “National Brotherhood Week.”
The next day I gave a report on the program over my school’s PA system. I thought I did a bang-up job. But afterward, several schoolmates complained that my presentation was more of a sermon than a report, and much too long.
Alas, certain tendencies of a budding writer showed even then.