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Hudlin's Huddle => Hudlin's Huddle => Topic started by: Reginald Hudlin on September 05, 2009, 05:15:28 am

Title: GUARD THE CHANGE by David Evans
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on September 05, 2009, 05:15:28 am

Again, this year I was asked by the Black
Students Association to offer remarks at its
annual President's Welcome Reception at which
President Drew Faust offered a special greeting
this past Monday.  The following are my reflections on what I said:


Racial change in our society is much like the
setting sun.  If we watch too briefly or simply
gaze at a sunset, little seems to change until
the sun vanishes below the horizon.  If, however,
time-lapsed photographs are taken of that sunset,
we will see that much changed (both subtle and
obvious) while we gazed.  By virtue of your age,
your watch has been brief, so I suggest to you
that you visit the archives in Pusey Library and
thumb through the freshman facebooks from 70
years ago, 60 years ago, 50 years ago,
etc.  These are “time-lapsed photographs” of
change in Harvard’s history and will crystallize
the change President Faust described earlier.

I urge you, too, to consider the fact that twenty
years ago Nelson Mandela was serving a life
sentence in prison in South Africa and Barack
Obama was a second-year student at Harvard Law
School.  Had someone gone to a soothsayer or
fortune teller, asked that person to predict the
future for those two men and was told that they
would become president of their respective
countries, he or she would have demanded an
immediate refund and cried fraud.  So when you
think of problems confronting your generation, I
dare say that none of them could match the
problem of apartheid that confronted Nelson Mandela just twenty years ago.

I was an engineer on the Saturn/Apollo Project
and there is some instruction in that experience
for you.  While you have no way of knowing it,
your laptop computer has 10,000 to 15,000 times
more technology than the mainframe computer that
coordinated the Saturn/Apollo Project that sent a
man to the moon and returned him safely to
earth!  When you add your cellphone, the
Internet, etc., each of you is your own “media
outlet.”  Think what Dr. King and the Montgomery
Bus Boycott might have done with an infinitesimal segment of your blessings.

Please try to recognize and appreciate the
opportunities and resources that your Harvard
experience will provide and use them for the
enlightenment and advancement of all of
humanity.  Think of new courses and propose them
to your faculty members.  For example, I once
proposed that a faculty member from Harvard Law
School and another from Harvard Divinity School
might consider teaching a course titled “Human
Rights from the Bench and the Bible.”  Such a
course would demonstrate that those two sources
of right and wrong in our society haven’t always
been rightly dispensed or interpreted, especially
for minorities, women and others…

Finally, I ask you to recognize that change (even
positive change) alone, isn’t sufficient, it must
be examined and monitored.  Please know that:


Guard the change!