Friday, February 21, 2014

Letter from Harvard Professor Charles J. Ogletree Jr. on the Black Arts Conference at University of California, Merced

To those attending the UC Merced Black Arts Movement Conference, February 28-March 2,2014, I write to salute you for a timely and important event. I grew up in Merced and attended elementary, Middle and High School classes before graduating from Merced High School in June 1971.I learned a lot about the struggle for justice and equality in Merced and throughout California and around the United States.
I was deeply influenced by people like Amiri Baraka and the global struggle they fought for decades. I owe all of these women and men everything for paving the way for me. Amiri died much too soon but his writings, teachings,and words of wisdom continue to inspire us today. As we celebrate his life we must also celebrate so many like him, including President Nelson Mandela, Dr.Martin Luther King Jr, Fanny Lou Hamer, Queen Mother Audley Moore, Rosa Parks and so many others who opened doors for us to pass through during critical times in our lives.
If we firmly believe in the mandate of each one teach one, then the legacy of Amiri Baraka will continue.
Yours in the struggle.
Professor Charles J.Ogletree Jr.,
Harvard Law School

Jesse Climenko Professor of Law

Director, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice


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