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She is leaning forward in her chair, her right hand is open, palm-up, in supplication, a non-verbal "please-understand-me." She begins again to explain how she got her father back at age 18, how thorough his redemption was: "He died two years ago. John Street, the mayor of Philadelphia, went to the funeral."
When he sobered up, Clarke was able to bid his daughter farewell as she left for Howard University his alma mater. He was a quiet man who believed that being loud or using profanity shows that a person is not intelligent enough to articulate ideas in an acceptable tone of voice. Franklin's own voice has sunk a few decibels as she says this.
Soon after her arrival at Howard, she met and married a student named Sam Brown. It was a brief marriage. While she worked a summer job at the federal office of contract compliance she got to know David Franklin, a law student who worked there, whom she'd already met through friends at Morehouse College. She divorced, graduated and attended graduate school at Penn.
She took a job teaching at Talladega College in Alabama and she traveled to Atlanta to visit relatives and to meet up with David. When Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968, she and Lomax and several other students got together in a nightclub after the King funeral and talked about what was beginning to emerge as a social imperative: to continue the work of Dr. King.
Lomax describes it as a watershed moment. Franklin remembers that the feeling of responsibility for changing the world was endemic to her generation. They were too young to go on the famous marches, but old enough to understand and feel the consequences of those marches. They were coming of age in a world where the legal protection of segregation was gone, but the cultural freight of it remained.
Franklin did everything she could to carry out the political mandate of her time, maybe never even thinking that one day her turn would come. But it has. In the words of Lomax: "We were too young for the sit-ins. We didn't cross the Pettis Bridge. But we made sure that the vote which people died for resulted and we engaged an agenda for our lifetime. Shirley, certainly, will continue to engage that agenda."
@Atlpaddy Amongst my brethren we call that 2nd Tuesday. As for the "winter celebration"; you…
QM, do you think CL has an obligation to reach Lucy for comment?
I don't mind this too much: The key to embracing diversity is to be aware…
@question man You seem to be in favor of MARTA winning the contract to operate…
what the hell is going on with lucy? is she fucked, or what?