I was honored again to read from the Declaration of Independence at the start of the Roland Park 4th of July parade.
Unlike years past, there was no sound system this morning. Before I read from the Declaration, I said:
Thomas Jefferson did not have a microphone in 1776. Neither did his colleagues who, in Ben Franklin’s phrase, hung together instead of hanging separately. They had the power of Jefferson’s words.
At lunchtime, I was waiting to be seated at Wicked Sisters in Hampden. One of the other people in line recognized me.
He had served as a page in Annapolis. He was a senior at City College then; he’s completed his junior year at Harvard.
“The best response I heard during floor debate was yours,” he said. “Someone on the other side quoted Yogi Berra, and you replied by quoting him as well.”
“I don’t remember it specifically,” I told him, “but my colleague could have said, ‘It’s not over until it’s over,’ and I said, ‘It gets late early.’”
Frank Robinson left spring training early in 1966, his first year with the Orioles.
He needed to find a place to live. No one would rent to him in segregated Baltimore.
I spoke about that at a meeting of the Access to Justice Commission this morning.
In 1966, I was a student at City College. So was another speaker this morning, Congressman Elijah Cummings.
City College, I said, was our access to opportunity.
My access to justice bill this session would provide legal counsel on a pilot basis in a child custody case or for either party in a protective order proceeding resulting from domestic violence.
My access to opportunity bill would provide scholarship money for low-income students attending four-year colleges.
More on Frank Robinson http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/orioles/bs-sp-frank-robinson-housing-0124-20160122-story.html
“We are not here long, but our accomplishment is a lot,” declared a speaker before the dinner.
I have gone to countless community meetings, religious services, and synagogue banquets over the last 30+ years.
Last night, for the first time, I went to the annual dinner of the Ohr Hamizrach Congregation, the religious home of approximately 200 Jewish families who fled Iran after the fall of the Shah.
“My family got a phone call telling us the police would soon be at our home,” recalled one congregant during the cocktail hour. “We took jeeps to the mountains, then camels, and fled to Pakistan. Then to London and Baltimore.”
I drove past City College this morning.
The tower was impressive amidst the fog.
So is the teaching that takes place inside that building, I said to myself, as it has for immigrants, their offspring, and African-Americans who were equals in an integrated setting there for the first time in their lives.