Not In Our Town Princeton

Condoleeza Rice: Say "Black" not "African American"


I have been meaning to add my thoughts to the questions posed by LeRhonda Greats the day after our first Continuing Conversation, on Oct. 4th.

Meanwhile I’ve attached excerpts from the first chapter of Condoleeza Rice’s new book, Extraordinary; Ordinary People, courtesy of NPR. Ms. Rice beautifully sums up some complicated issues which we have been discussing. I highlighted portions from that chapter which I found significant. I hope this will add to our conversation.

Don Stryker

The photo, courtesy of Random House, shows Condoleezza Rice in front of the White House during a family trip to Washington, D.C. Rice says her parents had her convinced “that even if I couldn’t have a hamburger at Woolworth’s lunch counter, I could grow up to be president of the United States.”


Juvenile Justice: What Needs to be Done

The Princeton Area League of Women Voters presents “A Discussion on Justice” on
Wednesday, October 20, at 7 p.m. at Princeton Township Municipal Complex, 400 Witherspoon Street. Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman of the New Jersey State Legislature, 15^th District, will discuss *Juvenile Justice: A time for change & what needs to be done.

For background, scroll down to page 8 for the state league’s position on juvenile justice. Refreshments will be served.

Bill Strickland Speaks at Princeton University

If he did it in Pittsburgh, somebody should be able to do it in Princeton — and Trenton.

Social entrepreneur Bill Strickland speaks at Princeton University on “Make the Impossible Possible” on Tuesday, October 12, 4:30, in the Friend Center on Olden Avenue. It is free and a reception, co-sponsored by the Keller Center and the Center for African American Studies, follows. For information, contact Jennifer Loessy at or 609-258-3216.

A MacArthur fellowship winner, Strickland is president and CEO of Manchester Craftsmen Guild and Bidwell Training Center in Pittsburgh. His book “Make the Impossible Possible” sells for from $10 to $14.

From the press release: Manchester Craftsmen Guild offers programs in ceramics, photography, digital arts and painting to more than 500 children a year, as well as 3,400 students in the Pittsburgh inner-city school district. Ninety percent of the students receive high school diplomas, and 85 percent go on to enroll in college or secondary education. Bidwell Training Center trains more than 600 adults each semester for professional careers in the culinary arts, pharmacology and horticultural technology. Through partnerships with major corporations in the area, Bidwell Training Center has helped 73 percent of its graduates land meaningful full-time employment. Manchester Bidwell now includes a 350-seat jazz auditorium, a 40,000-square-foot greenhouse covering half a city block, a state-of-the-art chemistry lab, a full-scale ceramics department and a culinary institute.

Also of interest: Eric Foner and Cornel West speak at Labyrinth Books on Monday, October 18, at 6:30 p.m. on “Lincoln and Slavery in America.”

Robert Moses and Imani Perry dialogue on Monday, October 19, at 4:30 p.m. in McCormick Hall 101 on “Quality Education as a Constitutional Right.”

Other events from the Center for African American Studies.

Events focused on civil rights at the Princeton Public Library, supported by Not in Our Town Princeton, include a series on Bayard Rustin starting October 27.

(This blog post was taken from Princeton Comment…bff)

The Seat Not Taken

On the Op-Ed page of today’s NYTimes there is an interesting article by a black man named John Edgar Wideman. The topic fits into our Monday night discussion perfectly.
The author is a professor who commutes a couple of times a week between NYC and Providence, RI, in a quiet car on the Acela train. So the picture here is all middle to upper middle, maybe even upper class. The seats are in pairs. He finds that even on crowded days, almost never does anyone take the seat next to him. Very interesting, though, alas, perhaps not surprising. Here is the link to the article.

Ann Yasuhara

For additional thoughts on the Monday night discussion, see LeRhonda Greats’ comment at the bottom of the post “It’s the Little Things.” That event, summarized on the national NIOT page, evoked a question from a man in Alaska. Not in Our Town Princeton may be determinedly local, but it has a wide reach.

Barbara Fox

Well Deserved Honors

Larry and Fern Spruill are two of the Princeton YMCA 2010 Centennial Award winners, to be honored on Tuesday, October 19, at 5:30 p.m. at Greenacres Country Club. “The Princeton Family YMCA is proud to partner with Larry and Fern Spruill to support programs for at-risk youth in Princeton,” says David Sandahl, board chairman of the YMCA. Both Spruills are long-time board members of Not in Our Town Princeton. For this annual YMCA fundraiser, tickets are $50.

Jim Floyd and his late wife Fanny will be honored by the Mercer County Community College Foundation at “Floyd Fest,” on Sunday, Oct. 17, from 3 to 5:30 p.m. at the Nassau Inn, Palmer Square. Jim Floyd was Princeton township’s first African American mayor in 1970 and sits on numerous non-profit boards. Proceeds from $50 tickets will be used for scholarships.

Deserved congratulations to all!

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