"Posterity will owe everlasting thanks to John Brown for lifting up once more to the gaze of a nation grown fat and flabby on the garbage of lust and oppression, a true standard of heroic philanthropy, and each coming generation will pay its installment of the debt. . . . John Brown saw slavery through no mist or cloud, but in a light of infinite brightness, which left no one of its ten thousand horrors concealed." Frederick Douglass

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

A Gravestone Selfie
John Brown Day 2015--
A Visit to the North Country

Pan Shot--The John Brown Farm: to the left, the Joseph Pollia statue (1935) of John Brown; center, the tent for the program; to the right, the great rock, the grave site, and the Brown farm house
I haven't been able to visit the John Brown Farm and burial site in Lake Placid, NY for a good many years, mainly because my academic obligations generally have me seated at Nyack's all school graduation ceremony on the same day.  This year, thanks to the forthcoming publication of my two John Brown books, I was able to get some time off and join the annual observance of Brown's birthday, now made possible through John Brown Lives! a non-profit organization that supports human rights and social justice issues in honor of the abolitionist.  JBL's indefatigable leader, Martha Swan, the founder and guiding spirit of the organization, kindly included me as part of this year's program, which remembered Brown and the late Yusuf Abdul Wasi Burgess, an activist and environmentalist who died late last year.  Besides the moving program in remembrance of Burgess, the featured speakers were Dr. James Carter, who was among those who marched in Selma with Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965, and yours truly.  You can find press accounts of the day on JBL's face book page.

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