The book, Fraternity, by Diane Brady, is intriguing me. In 1968, after the death of Martin Luther King, Jr., a visionary priest, Father Brooks, recruited 20 black men to the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts in an effort to materialize Dr. King’s dream of an integrated society. However, seeing that dream become a reality required stamina, bravery, and forethought from not only the young men but also the schools leaders.
The black students found themselves naïve to the rigorous demands and cultural challenges on campus. Moreover, the Holy Cross leadership found itself ill-equipped and unprepared to leave behind the status quo representing bias and racism.
Father Brook initiated and nurtured give-and-take discussions. It became obvious that the school curriculum was irrelevant to black students. Traditions, borne in the era of segregation, were offensive. The students wanted to be educated in the art of being a whole man. They didn’t want to be conformed to the white man’s ways and beliefs.
It was a turbulent time. But, the school went on to produce some outstanding figures. I look forward to finishing the book.
Tagged: black student union, good priests, Holy Cross Alumni
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