I was raised in the 50's in the Southwest of England, about the whitest part of what was then a an almost entirely white country, yet I grew up with a prejudice about black Americans. My view was acquired subliminally through my father, a sensitive man, even hyper-sensitive, who campaigned vigorously for the anti-war movement during the 1930's, but who felt compelled, once war was declared, to serve in the armed forces.
Altogether, he must have been an odd recruit. Old enough to be called uncle by most of the fellows, at heart still a pacifist, and taking with him on induction into the RAF copies of David Henry Thoreau's Walden and Mark Twain's Huck Finn.
In due course, I tried Thoreau, who I found vaguely uplifting but too dull to finish. Twain, however, became my lifelong companion, who instilled in me a warm regard for black Americans from Huck's companion, the nigger Jim, to Twain's friend, Booker T. Washington, a man who played an important role in providing America's newly liberated slaves the opportunity of self advancement through education.
To that list, with other names accumulated over the years, I have added Elizabeth Wright, whose blog I found only recently. Her calmly expressed but definite views I find both eminently sensible and nicely expressed. Elizabeth Wright is a conservative who combines a pride in her own race with a love of, and concern about, the greater American society in which she lives.
Today, Elizabeth Wright is awaiting a place in a cancer hospice. I offer her my kindest good wishes during this difficult time.
Elizabeth Wright died on August 19, 2011.