As remembered by Sam Mahone
June 15, 2014
See also Remembering John Perdew, by Sam Mahone.
Those of us who knew John know how committed he was to the Americus Movement. Most of you knew him personally and not just someone in the abstract and he and his work will surely be missed. It I rather ironic that as we continue to commemorate the movement as we did in August 2013, and this month the 50th anniversary of "Freedom Summer" in Mississippi, many foot soldiers across the country have fallen. The take away here is to continue to uplift each other in prayer and spend the time we have left to remind ourselves that not all wars are won on the battlefields, but in our minds and hearts as well.
Thank you and Be Well!
As remembered by Dennis
June 16, 2014
I will miss John. He was a guy a, Harvard student, who would have been a success in any endeavor he chose and he dedicated his life to the Movement. You know we were all young adults in those heady times so if you add 50 to our age we are staggering towards the end. But so many of those who came up in the Movement went on to live worthwhile lives and John was the poster boy for living a life of dedication. You will be sorely missed.
As remembered by Gordie Fellman
June 16, 2014
I was John's tutor during his undergraduate days at Harvard. I knew him in his marriage to Amanda and met their two talented, wonderful children. Over the years, we did not remain in close touch but heard from each other once in a great while.
I remember John's determination and mature idealism as he went South to work in the civil rights movement. His values were well thought out, and his heart was, I am certain, big enough to encompass them and everyone he worked with and worked for.
As one grows older, it is of course painful to see friends turn ill and die. I hope John's going was peaceful and would be glad to receive word of this from Natasha or Glenn or anyone else who would tell me.
I hope and trust you all form a community of support for each other. I'll be there in spirit.
As remembered by Nancy Elaine
August 1, 2014
I first met John and his wife Amanda through SNCC. I can't remember exactly how we crossed paths.
In 1969, however, we came together again in Roxbury, MA, where John and Amanda had a 2-apartment house. My husband, Donald (Kwame) Shaw, our daughter, Gwendolyn, and I were their renters. During the next 3 years, we lived first in one apartment and then in the other, after John and Amanda moved to Atlanta.
Sharing a house with John and Amanda was wonderful. We were an interracial family, just like them. The four of us were also a big mix of backgrounds in terms of culture, education, region, food, and ideas on child-rearing. At the same time, we shared basic values and political commitments.
John was one of the most dedicated, gentle and thoughtful persons I have known, with an incredible level of empathy. He also worked hard at everything he did. He understood completely that idea of taking what you love, developing your skill at it, and practicing it in service to the movement. He and Amanda were also wonderful parents, supporting and encouraging their two immensely talented children, who we knew by their nicknames of Tasha and Tambwe.
I saw John again at the 50th anniversary of the founding of SNCC, where he was as energetic and committed as ever.
I hope people will remember him for his courage, activism, dedication, persistence, and for his love for justice.