As I was going through the files, I found a letter written by my father to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in response to the speech King gave at Riverside Church in New York in which he links the Civil Rights Movement with the resistance to the quagmire of those days, the war in Vietnam.  
                        2027 Parker Street
                        Berkeley, Calif. 94704
                        April 20, 1967

Martin Luther King
c/o SCLC
334 Auburn
Atlanta, Ga

Dear Reverend King:

    Let me congratulate you on the wonderful speech of April 5th. You have drawn an inescapable conclusion for anyone concerned with the welfare and honor of the American people. Caesars and presidents pass but the people sustain the nation. We must strive to make our actions consistent with our best traditions and heritage. Your speech marks a great turn at this period.

    We in the Bay Area have just had a great march and meeting and we wish to follow it up with more intense action. In this work we would like to use your speech and want to know if it is being reproduced at some central point where we can get considerable quantities at a low cost.

    We have a very successful vigil at the City Hall in Berkeley which brings around 500 people together from 12:30 to 1:30 each Tuesday. We think we can greatly increase this number. It was reported last night over the radio that there are 147 such actions in our area of the Spring Mobilization so we would like a letter from you addressed to all congregations inviting them to participate in such vigils.
                        Sincerely yours

                        William Reynolds

Obama keeps saying we are in the wrong war, that we need to take troops out of Iraq and put them in Afghanistan. When he is elected, we will need to remind him of Dr. King’s speech. Afghanistan is the wrong war too. Terrorism is an intelligence problem, not a military problem. 
 Malvina sings “You’ll Be a Man,” © 1969, one of her Vietnam-era                           anti-war songs.

Just before I saw The Secret Life of Bees I read an article about African-Americans in movies. Seems that individual black stars are bankable when playing a part that could have easily been played by a white person, but when you get too many African-Americans in one movie, when the movie is about race, it doesn’t bring in the money. So The Great Debaters, which was a fine movie, with excellent reviews, lost money. The Secret Life of Bees had mixed critical reviews, and the financial jury is still out. I enjoyed it, though not as much as The Great Debaters. My problem was that I couldn’t hear much of the dialogue. Luckily I had read the book so I knew what was going on and the acting was good. In a way I liked the film better than the book (rare for me). Reading the book, I felt uneasy about having yet another story in which the African-American hired help provides the emotional support for the white kid. Somehow in the movie this issue was addressed and seemed OK.

©2008 by Nancy Schimmel
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."
—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.