Tuesday, 20 January 2009

New Dawn

In 1939, a black pastor called Walter Coachman was interviewed by the Federal Writers’ Project. The son of a South Carolina sharecropper, he had an unvarnished perception of his place in the world:
“A mere whimsy of fate made me black and you white. You were born with the blessing of Providence; hands were extended to help you the day you were born – you may go as far as your capabilities permit. But me? The cards were stacked against me the day I was born. I can go just so far – and no further…”.

Forgive me for uploading yet another clip from “American Voices”. But today, on the day an African American family enters the White House, I can’t resist. Here’s Walter Coachman’s testimony, brought to life with quiet dignity by the brilliant American actor Clarke Peters:

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