Mrs. Robert Billingsley, Miss Gaylane Bowman, and I attended the 32nd convention of The National Council of Negro Women which was held at the Sheraton Park Hotel in Washington D.C. November 8-12th. The theme for this session was "The Crisis in the Black Community-Direction and Decision."
Wednesday afternoon we attended a Board of Directors meeting, where we were greeted by such ladies as the Dean of Bethune Cookman College and the President of The National Council of Negro Women, Dr. Height. Everyone who knew of the struggle that the ladies in Crawfordville are having was really thrilled to see some of them at the convention. They made us feel like a wonderful group of ladies at the Crawfordville Enterprises.
A picture was on display in the lobby of the hotel telling of the Crawfordville story. On this picture were a lot of interesting faces I knew, (to name a few), Calvin Turner, Eunice Evans, Dorothy Wiggins, Bernice London, Florence Turner, LaDelle Merkerson, and Leila Terrell.
Professor Preston C. Wilcox from Brooklyn Community College, Dr. Alexander Allen from the National Urban League and Dr. Kenneth Marshall from Metropolitan Research Council spoke on some Dimensions of the Crisis in the Black Community. From what they said I knew that "Black People" all over are caught in a web of the day by day existence; without any chance to relieve the monotony by a variety of cultural and social experiences. Therefore, the negro women must respond now, more than ever; directly, swiftly, and with greater skills and newer approaches.
The honorable Robert C. Weaver, Secretary of Department of Housing and Urban Development was there. His theme, "Changing Patterns-New Ideas- Different approaches to Housing Problems.
Dr. John Henry (Henrik) Clark from New York City spoke on our Negro Heritage. Dr. Vivian Henderson, Clark College President, and "yours truly" Attorney Randolph Blackwell was there telling about job producing co-operatives.
After hearing all these great and important people, I like Dr. King have a dream today.
I have a dream that this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed. I have a dream that one day Black men and White men will sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that my two little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord will be revealed and we shall see it together.
Are we aware of what's happening? What can we do about it? What is the women role? (to be continued in next issue).
Copyright © Loraine Howard, 1966
[See Crawfordville GA School Bus Struggle for background information.]
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