1. When meeting new folks in Bridgeport in recent years with info about me, I have often said, “I am just an old white man who has lived in Black Rock for 35 years.” Often, the response is a chuckle and a smile which works for me. It is factual, accurate, and I am very happy in my home, with an amazing view of nature changing, season by season, and sharing a view of my garden space in front of my home with walkers of all types who pass daily often with comments.
    About a decade ago, I was invited to join the Greater Bridgeport NAACP and agreed to work on communications for and with them. Previously I wrote, spoke, and served other groups in the region but suddenly I found myself practically a stranger to an entire narrative of American History. And I have gone about making up for my lack of understanding about how slavery came to America, what sustained it, and especially what has replaced it in the lives of people of color since 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, 1865 Juneteenth celebration with freedom announced in Texas and the 12 years of “repair” until Reconstruction fell apart with Federal troops disappearing from the South.
    Equality, justice, and civil rights are due all our neighbors in a democratic fashion, though what that means practically proves different priorities to live for different folks. But getting the knowledge first from
    widely acknowledged sources, reflecting on your own condition and that of one or more of your ancestors who came to the US, and ‘standing in different shoes’ if only for a moment may be a first step towards a change of priorities.
    Attend a parade. See someone there who appears approachable to you. Strike up a conversation and listen. It may be a beginning of your own democratic journey. What risk do you face versus the possible gain? Time will tell.

  2. On Juneteenth, in Bridgeport, the enormous contributions of George Mintz to the Bridgeport NAACP and the Juneteenth memorial celebration must be remembered and recognized. George labored unceasingly to improve the quality of life of people of color, and, indeed, of all people in an ailing Bridgeport and in an increasingly chaotic world. His contributions to the betterment of the Bridgeport school system must also be remembered and recognized… George is currently sidelined for health reasons, but his contributions toward the wellbeing of all of the people of Bridgeport must not be forgotten and should certainly be remembered and recognized on Juneteenth!


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