Like so many others, I marched into adulthood immersed in the Movement as I described in "Coming of Age: Civil Rights and Feminism", my "testimony" plus an interview with the editor, in "The Feminist Memoir Project-Voices from Women's Liberation."
What was unique to my experience was being involuntarily swept along by the force that was Hosea Williams, my father. For our family being in the movement was a given, just as working with and for the people was as I again described in another autobio chapter, "My Brothers' Keeper", in "A Cup of Comfort for Christmas."
These experiences shaped both my education and my professional life. Why else would I get a Master in Community Organization and Planning and a Doctorate in Social Welfare from Columbia? Or, spend 30 years in higher education working in the Search for Education, Enlightenment, and Knowledge (SEEK) Program at the City University of New York; creating and holding folks accountable for Diversity Initiatives and Affirmative Action plans at the New School for Social Research; and serving as VP for Academic Affairs at a college that started out at a Job Corp site?
Or, spend summers and vacations in Atlanta engaged in the demonstration, march, campaign, or project of the day being waged by the force that was Hosea Williams? Certainly not to make money or gain fame but because of "the Movement."
I am completing a lecture/power point presenation titled "The Life of Hosea Williams, an American Heroe."
Copyright © Barbara Williams Emerson, 2007.