[ISSUE TWENTY-ONE]
"It's a very connected world"
Many recent happenings at the Alliance show freshly how disparate Eli Siegelthings can meet in surprising, meaningful, and delightful ways. And so I'll begin with a line from a poem by Eli Siegel, "And It Does, Marianne,"
which I have cared for over many years:

"It's a very connected world, Marianne."
The poem presents musically, powerfully, tenderly, a central idea in Aesthetic Realism: that every person of the past and now is related, connected with all other people and things in this universe we're in and share. Marianne is related to sun and winds, young men, streets, socks, ties, afternoons, rooms, forces of nature, with matter-of-fact simplicity and grandeur. The poem appears in Hail, American Development, nominated for a National Book Award (see link below right).
      It is a pleasure now to give some instances of how this is "a very connected world."

Dr. Jamye Williams, Rosetta Miller Perry,
& The Christian Recorder

Here is a tale about how people, geography, time, and large feelings came together in such a way that my article, "A South Carolina Story about Hope", was published by The Christian Recorder (TCR), and is reaching people around the world at this very moment--in ninety-one languages!
     The article tells of the lifelong effort by Bishop Frederick C. James (93) to restore the Rosenwald School he attended as a boy from 1927-1937 in Prosperity, SC, so that it might be used by today's community as a resource of education and culture. It also tells how the Alliance was instrumental in attaining a Puffin Foundation grant which, unexpectedly, resulted in saving the school building from devastation in the recent floods and rains. A link to the story appears below, right.
      A few weeks ago, Bishop James called me in New York Dr. Jamye Williams had called to congratulate him on the story, which she'd read in the Tennessee Tribune. He suggested that I call Dr. Williams in the hope of interviewing her for the Alliance's oral history project, "The Force of Ethics in Civil Rights." I did call her, and during our lively conversation – which will indeed lead to an interview – I learned that she'd lived in Tennessee for many years and was friends with Rosetta Miller Perry, publisher of the Tennessee Tribune.
      I was glad to express my gratitude to Rosetta Rosetta Miller PerryMiller Perry for publishing articles by me and my colleagues about Aesthetic Realism over many years, and also for opening her offices to the Alliance for video interviews with many unsung pioneers in Nashville. On one of these trips, I conducted interviews with Rosetta Miller Perry and her late husband Dr. L.O.P. Perry in their home, which added new, important knowledge of civil rights history, including in relation to medicine and publishing, to our project.
     Which brings me again to The Christian Recorder, the official journal of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, and the oldest black periodical in continuous publication since its inception around 1848. Dr. Jamye Williams, is an educator – as is her husband, Dr. McDonald Williams (98). Her work as a religious writer, human rights activist, and leader in the ranks of the AME church continues to this day! She suggested I contact Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor III, the 20th editor of TCR and send him my article. I did.