Saturday, June 28, 2008

AMERICANS WHO TELL THE TRUTH / WE WILL BE HEARD
























In college, I had this incredible professor named Bud Schultz (Bud is pictured above in the middle of me and my friend Chapin Spencer). Bud taught a class called Radical Ideas in Education and assigned great reads by Paulo Freire and the likes.

Bud had a huge respect for our thinking and he also was a real support for student activism. Bud was also my advisor until he retired from his teaching post. My school and my studies were not the same after he left. But he stayed in the minds of many of us on campus, students and professors alike.

Recently, as I passed a neighborhood book store, one book in particular caught my eye. I thought to myself "This looks like something Bud could have done." And sure enough, I was right. Bud's new book, which he created with his wife, Ruth, is called We Will Be Heard: Voices in the Struggle for Constitutional Rights Past and Present. I like what blogger Scott Lewis says of the book:

"We Will Be Heard is the result of over thirty years of passionate work by Bud and Ruth Schultz and could very well be the most important book ever published in this decade. [The book]covers nearly a century of individuals standing up for freedom of association and expression from the 1920s to the present. Noted Georgetown Law Professor David Cole calls it 'the most beautiful political book you will ever read'. There are more than 90 first-person accounts, accompanied by stirring portraits where you can see the pain of the struggle yet the resilience and determination on these individuals faces who demonstrated remarkable courage by refusing to be silenced. The stories of Janet Nocek, Ray Rogers, Jim Guyette, and Hany Kiareldeen and others should be required reading."

Shortly after I saw Bud's new book, I discovered a project similar in nature called Americans Who Tell The Truth. Rob Shetterly, an artist who lives in Maine, did portraits and short biographies of more than 50 Americans who exemplify integrity and courage. He turned the collection of portraits into both a book and a curriculum and now spends much of his time talking to young people in school about the project.
Bud Schultz, my college prof, noted that both he and Rob covered some of the same individuals in their respective books, including Pete Seeger, Harry Hay, and Dan Ellsberg.

I am heartened and inspired by how Both Rob and Bud have used their artistry to highlight individuals who speak and work for justice.
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