Masonic Hall: Once A Hub of African American Culture and Society

 

The building pictured below is the Masonic Hall. It is but a remnant of its past glory.Built by  an Indiana chapter of the Prince Hall Free Masons the fraternal and service organization is a branch of North American Freemasonry founded by Prince Hall in the 18th century  composed predominantly of African Americans.

For years, the Hall served as a civic and social meeting place serving several generations of African American and Puerto Rican citizens of East Chicago, Indiana a polyglot city also referred to as the “Twin City” because of its two-distinctive business and residential corridors both incorporated under one city charter, East Chicago and Indiana Harbor.

However, the most fundamental difference was the way the bloods of different races and nationalities mingled within each twin. Both twins had predominantly foreign populations, but one was more foreign than the other. After completing of the North Township on July 30 1907, their report cited that foreign born residents made up fully 75 per cent of the people of East Chicago, and an even greater 85 percent of the population of Indiana Harbor. The writer Archibald Mckinlay describes in his book Twin City, East Chicago had a high percentage of so called Old Immigration, including Welsh, English, Irish Scandinavian, and German; the number of nationalities in East Chicago was limited mainly to northern European,Slavic, and Italian, and the number of races to one: white, Indiana Harbor on the other hand had all of the tongues of Babel and all the colors under the rainbow, and the number of races and nationalities was unlimited.”

The Twin Cities various civic, social and fraternal service groups such as the Elks and Kiwanis, were for all intent and purpose, segregated with restricted membership. A wide range of planning and organizing activities were the exclusive province of the largely white business and civic leaders. As tens of thousands of blacks migrated and settled into the city there was a need for spaces and institutions to accommodate cultural and social activities that were not within the purview of churches or public schools. Prince Hall Masons attempted to fill a void by building a facility to serve as a venue designed for convening conferences and meetings to accommodate both entertainment and social events for a growing urbane black middle class.

The Masonic Hall was built on the Harbor side of town; a two-story brick edifice  designed with a stage for the  performance arts,music concerts lectures, conferences and social gatherings.

The old Masonic Hall building conjures memories of doting parents accompanying aspiring  young performers with incredible talent and glazed with dreams, poised to dance or stroll down a fashion run way eager to sing or play with a band before an audience. There were lectures, rallies, regular dances, teas, wedding receptions,political rallies, civil rights forums, plays and other social events that helped make the fabric of black communal life from post WW II era leading up to the civil rights era and the accepted normalcy of northern defacto racial segregation. In fact, any activity deemed social, communal and constructive for black folks in East Chicago took place at this historic venue. My early teen singing groups, appeared before their first audiences there along with pretty young debutantes, and tap dancers; Puerto Rican and Mexican wedding receptions, musicians’ recitals, weekend teen dances, featured bands and artists from the Region, aspiring singers, guitarists all found a welcoming forum within the walls and safe haven of the Masonic Hall.

I recall my last appearance there with the Valiant’s, a group I organized a few years earlier as a sophomore at East Chicago Roosevelt with the late Fred Kelly a gifted baritone.

I returned to East Chicago the end of my sophomore year in college with my roommate, a fine guitarist, Frank”Silk”Smith a chemistry major from Cleveland I’d teamed with in Nashville. That summer Frank stayed with my family and I. Our plan was to secure music bookings and gigs around the Chicago/Gary area together as we worked in the steel mills to make a little extra money before heading back to Fisk.I also sang with The Valiants my earlier group who were booked for a show at the Masonic Hall.The group was still fantastic and had recorded my early ballad,“I Shed a Tear” sung by lead singer Fred Kelly an original Valiant. My next-door neighbor, Solomon Ard,who was the first black Fire Chief of East Chicago, along with a former member of “The Senators” singing group, Delroy Bridgeman who’d returned from the Armed services. Rounding out the group was the late beloved Clifton “Bellows” Johnson.

Frank “Silk” Smith and I had gigged around Nashville’s clubs and colleges and earned a few bucks on the Music City’s famous Music Row recording demos and jingles. Frank backed us on guitar and was asked to play for the The Opals who at the time were riding the “Hit Chart” with  a danceable tune,”Hop, Skip and Jump”. The talented group was the Region’s answer to the “Supremes” but never received the deserved recognition nor the needed promotion as a female vocal group. Talented, singer/actor Ludie Washington sang with the Valiants after I left the group to attend University also performed on the show along with Gordon Keith. Both men were among the four co-founders of Steeltown records; the label that originally discovered and recorded the Jackson Five and Michael as well as “The Valiants.”

The Masonic Hall was packed that grand night and the entertainment was as usual excellent. I had seen The ECW Senators a male vocal group led by Delroy Bridgeman and made up of black , white and Puerto Rican students, signed to Gary’s Vee Jay records as well as Mo Rodgers and other great local groups had appeared at the Masonic Hall over decades. The Valiants last show remains my fondest memory of a place and time in history with old friends with whom I spent many hours singing and harmonizing some of whom have  made their transition: Fred Kelly, Solomon Ard, Richard Sanders (original Valiant), Clifton “Bellows” Johnson all gone too soon.masonic-hall-ec-indianaMasonic Hall Indiana Harbor an historic landmark and popular hub of Black and Latino  Social life. The  ECW Senators a racially integrated student singing Group, A classic picture of An African American Debutant’s Ball. Social events, dances and performances were part of the Masonic Hall’s community based programs.

The Masonic Hall, a fabled institution that provided much fun, recreation and community engagement for generations of black and Hispanic residents. One other personal highlight of that special summer came when” Frank “Silk” Smith and I performed at the new Sheraton Hotel in downtown Gary. Headlining the show were the Jackson Five featuring a phenomenal other worldly, supremely gifted “man-child” named Michael, we all knew Michael and the group were destined for ‘Big, Big’ things, everyone within ear shot of the Sheraton’s new sparkling hotel ballroom was in awe, completely mesmerized the rest as they say:”is history”! D. Day Media 2017

 

Terry Morrissett Leaves A Rich Legacy of Jazz and Community Service for Chicago & Beyond

R.I.P. Terry “Tut” Morrissette, whose transition was made earlier today, Saturday January 7, 2017 at his home in Chicago, Illinois.
     Terry Morrissette has long been a first-call drummer on Chicago’s legendary creative and always deepening Jazz scene. Early in his career Terry was a member of  The Ramsey Lewis Trio, and frequently toured with that august ensemble.
     For me it’s a personal loss. Terry produced my first CD at his Southside residence where he created TUTS Studio (his nickname was derived from the Egyptian Boy King Tut). Tut was always learning, tinkering, exploring, and creating in the spirit of the true artist and consummate musician he was. He was an early proponent of digital technology, as being ahead of the game was Tut’s M.O.
     Tut was somewhat of a musical conduit and magnet, as are most great producers, in that he always seemed to know everyone in town on the Chicago jazz scene, and most of the top-tier players knew him as well.  It was at his studio that I met the late great Art Porter Jr. (President Bill Clinton’s favorite saxophonist), Lawrence Hanks (pianist/ keyboard player extraordinaire and musical director for both the Regal Theater and award winning R&B singer Jerry Butler), and Nick Corlionne the internationally renowned Smooth Jazz guitarist. All four of these incredible musicians were assembled by Terry and appear on my debut recording, Dennis Day For Only You, which Terry produced in 1989-90.
     Perhaps Tut’s Southside moxie and experience entertaining and informing music lovers while he served as the on-air knowledgeable disc Jockey on the University of Chicago’s Community Radio station WHPK 88.5 FM’ further anchored him in the music and culture he loved. His long running evening Jazz radio program emanated from Hyde Park.
     Terry has worked with numerous musicians over the years – many familiar names, and some just starting out. Terry always gave the same 110% whatever the occasion. Frank Russell, a first-call bass player from Chicago says this about Terry Morrissette, “It was at Terry’s house where I met Randy Hall, Bobby Irving and Vince Wilburn. They had just done Miles Davis’ comeback album The Man With The Horn, and they were big heroes of mine. I played that record until the grooves wore out. That meeting was very monumental to me.”
     More importantly, Terry Morrissette was like family in an even more visceral sense. We’re both proud uncles of the same nieces and nephews, since my youngest brother is wed to his youngest sister. Our holidays from both sides of our families were filled with music, singing, and playing. No one in the house could escape at least a chorus of some melody.
     Terry has one beautiful daughter who was his pride and joy. Terry is one of four brothers, and he has two sisters. Younger brother Kevin Morrisette is a well known jazz pianist in the”Windy City,” and is in fact one of the Obamas’ favorites, so I’ve been told. From what I know and have heard of Kevin, I’m not surprised – he’s fantastic.
     In recent years Terry was part of the worship music ensemble for a church on the Southside. Details of his funeral arrangements are forthcoming. R.I.P. Terry Morrissette. Well done and thank you for all the joy you brought to this world. Dennis Day 1/7/17

(Here is a YouTube link to one of the Ramsey Lewis recordings entitled “Sassy Stew” which Terry appears on drums as part of the Great RL Trio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9snFv0gJ9yE.)

 

The Great Comet of 1812 : Catch it if You Can!

D-Day Media : New Broadway Play, My Take!

dday media

denee-comet-danceWe lucked out and received theater tickets last night — one of those unexpected perks we New Yorkers sometimes joyfully encounter when friends unexpectedly have to forego their evening plans. It’s now intermission at the Imperial Theater on Broadway in Manhattan. The play is Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, based upon a portion of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. The musical stars singer/actor Josh Groban as Pierre in mid-life existential crisis, paired with a lovely rising young African American co-star, Denee Benton, as Natasha, an alluring young love interest.

Now by intermission I can say that this is shaping up to be a great show with a fantastic musical score that combines elements combining a Russian Pop and Bolshoi Opera production blended with postmodern urbanity. There’s the “street” rhythmic energy of Hip Hop’s cultural panache,  captured with riveting precision and style similar to Lin Manuel Miranda’s block-buster Hamilton.

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The Great Comet of 1812 : Catch it if You Can!

denee-comet-danceWe lucked out and received theater tickets last night — one of those unexpected perks we New Yorkers sometimes joyfully encounter when friends unexpectedly have to forego their evening plans. It’s now intermission at the Imperial Theater on Broadway in Manhattan. The play is Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, based upon a portion of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. The musical stars singer/actor Josh Groban as Pierre in mid-life existential crisis, paired with a lovely rising young African American co-star, Denee Benton, as Natasha, an alluring young love interest.

Now by intermission I can say that this is shaping up to be a great show with a fantastic musical score that combines elements combining a Russian Pop and Bolshoi Opera production blended with postmodern urbanity. There’s the “street” rhythmic energy of Hip Hop’s cultural panache,  captured with riveting precision and style similar to Lin Manuel Miranda’s block-buster Hamilton.

The Great Comet’s clever staging sets the entire Imperial Theater’s ambience as a night life cabaret soiree in 19th century Moscow. Embellished in period costumes of pre-Soviet-era Russian bourgeoisie life, dancers and instrumentalists festively romp throughout the entire theater, surrounding the audience’s 1000 seats in a uniquely entertaining manner, capped by a marathon of Vodka toasts and Cossack dancing.

This production is loaded with unanticipated active engagement of full audience participation, but not in a gratuitous pandering manner. The high-energy bombardment of the audience’s sensory field helps bring alive a ebullient pre-Bolshevik spirit of 19th-century Moscow’s elite social class with a bristling verve that seems to nearly burst at the seams at times. The merriment belies the story’s original backdrop of Napoleon’s French Brigades impending invasion.

The musical is anchored by the rich mercurial baritone of co-star Josh Groban as Pierre, an heir to a wealthy Count’s estate, who struggles with his existential crisis, reflecting on life’s meaning with the aid of an ample stock of Russian vodka. The Great Comet of 1812 appears, and through his struggles to pursue a righteous, meaningful life, Pierre, having been protector, patriarch, and bedrock of his family, discovers his love for Natasha.

Lovely and vibrant Ms. Benton’s Natasha, a dainty girl scarcely past puberty who is poised, refined, and impressionable. Betrayal by her lover, the carouser Anatole, leaves her forlorn and she’s eventually rejected by her fiancée, Andre, who discovers their affair.

Denee Benton is indeed well suited for the demands of the complex role of Natasha. Given the current tensions between Russia and the U.S.A over allegations of Russian sanctioned cyber-hacking of the U.S. 2016 presidential campaign, it’s a breath of fresh air to see classical Russian literature come to life on the “Great White Way” with a beautiful and talented African American actress.

The songs performed by the cast are powerful – some whimsical and joyful, others haunting. The music and lyrics explore the reaches of the interior lives of Tolstoy’s nuanced characters; conflict, joy, disappointment, rage, and aspirations – all qualities theater goers are privileged to experience via the adaptation of the great Russian writer’s 19th-century characters to our 21st-century sensibilities.

Some observers in 1812 viewed t Comet as an apocalyptic event signaling the end of the world, while others saw it as a symbol hope. During this current transformational period in Russian-American relations let’s hope that our nation’s love of art and the cultural appreciation of heritage in literature and music we share in common will steady our course towards a continued peaceful co-existence.

Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 is a theatrical experience that I highly recommend. (D.Day Media 2016)

Ancient Egyptian Africans and EXODUS the Movie

With the 2015 holiday’s season’s movie Exodus anticipating great expectations at the box office during the last quarter and season,director Ridley Scott and producer Rupert Murdock Fox News media magnate’s epic film continues to generate controversy.
Anthony T. Browder who is the author of “Nile Valley Contributions To Civilization: Exploding The Myths” noted archeologist ,author and historian,
states: “Rupert Murdock a principal producer of the movie recently tweeted: “Since when are Egyptians not white? All I know are. They treated blacks as slaves.” Browder adds,Ridley Scott,renowned English director and producer said that “he didn’t hire any Black leads for the film because, “I (can’t) get it financed. So the question doesn’t even come up.”, referring to the question of racial representation and authenticity in casting the film’s principal characters.
 
A recent article in the Daily Monitor Ugandans’ largest newspaper writes : “Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs related to Ugandans DNA”,reporting in December 2012, DNA tests were conducted on the mummies of Pharaoh Rameses III and his son, which proved that they belonged to human Y chromosome group E1b1a. This is the Y chromosome group of Sub Saharan Africans who speak Niger–Congo languages.
The disclosed Y chromosome group of the Pharaoh, at the time of releasing the report, was considered as just one of the details to make the investigation scientifically solid with facts. But its revelation caused a stir equal to the purpose of the original forensic investigation.
Another group of mummies from the Amarna period of Egyptian pharaohs were tested by DNA Tribes, an American Company which specializes in conducting DNA tests, in 2013.
The conclusion of the tests were that the mummies autosomal profiles would be most frequent in the present day populations of the African Great Lakes region and Southern Africa. Subsequent analysis of the autosomal profile of the mummy of Pharaoh Rameses III also concluded that this matched the genetic profiles of the population of the Great Lakes region as well.
It was reported in the DNA Tribe’s digest of February 2013, that the DNA match results of the ancient Egyptian armana royal mummies with the present day world regions reflect the population changes in Africa after the time of Rameses III .
One issue which remains unresolved is that of language. The language of ancient Egypt is classified as belonging to the Afro-Asiatic family of languages, which are spoken by people like the Somali and Amhara of Ethiopia, while the genetic profiles of the mummies match those of Niger–Congo language speakers. The most likely explanation is that some of the Niger-Congo speaking people, who were carriers of human Y chromosome E1b1a, moved into ancient Egypt along the Nile from the Sahara region as the region dried up and fused with the Afro-Asiatic speaking people, giving rise to the unique language of ancient Egypt.
 
When billionaire Rupert Murdock is quoted as having made such an asinine statement that “all Egyptians are white” he has either been misquoted,is poorly educated ,uninformed or pandering to the Fox News conservative fan base and likely white movie goers he hopes will fork up $12-15 bucks for the feel good movie ticket this season.But at what price for expanding authenticity and historicity.
 
Recall last Christmas season 2013 and Fox News anchor Megan Kelly exclaimed in an archeologically baseless rant “Jesus was a white man, too. It’s like we have, he’s a historical figure that’s a verifiable fact, as is Santa, I just want kids to know that. How do you revise it in the middle of the legacy in the story and change Santa from white to black?” Well Mr. Scott, Murdock and Ms. Kelly it’s called science;enlightenment, truth seeking and removal of your historically biased blinders that stifle ones comprehension and acceptance that all human beings origins are in Africa. Egypt is part of the African Continent and at various epochs in time different dynasties ruled over Africa’s empires for centuries at a time. And based upon substantial archeological, forensic and DNA evidence, including drawings on cave walls, statues,pyramids, sphinxes and thousands of artifacts the African presence in Africa was ubiquitous. It doesn’t take rocket science to figure this one out,only an open non-threatened mind! D.Day 2014
 
Pictured: LUPITA NYONG’O (top left) IDRIS ALBA (top rght.)
 
SIGOURNEY WEAVER – TUYA(bottom right)
Tuya, not portrayed in Biblical accounts, is believed to have been the wife of Pharaoh Seti I and mother of Ramses II. She has been portrayed in movies as the Egyptian woman of royalty who pulled baby Moses from the Nile River, while the Bible presents the Hebrew deliverer’s foster mother as “the daughter of Pharaoh” who named him Moses (Exodus 10:1-10).
 
JOEL EDGERTON – PHARAOH RAMSES (bottom left)
While Ramses is not identified in the Bible as the pharaoh who Moses faced, extra-biblical accounts suggest that Ramses II ruled over Egypt during the 13th century BCE, the period suggested by some experts for when Moses might have lived. The Book of Exodus portrays the pharaoh as defiant to Moses’s claims that God required the enslaved Hebrews to leave Egypt. The Book of Exodus indicates the pharaoh pursued the Hebrews as they left Egypt. Moses and the pharaoh have been portrayed in popular movie accounts as sibling rivalries. 

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Two Words : White Backlash an Electoral Factor

“White Backlash”, two words nullify the need for further paralysis of analysis by media talking heads.I am not surprised nor will I succumb to fear or cynicism.Cast the blame on globalization as you may; scapegoat hard working immigrants, lawlessness and urban crime as the culprits or dismantle every vestige of social progress, health care, banking and financial reform or climate change.The people have spoken through it’s electoral college.They seem to be saying, “we’re afraid, losing our grip help us we’re nearing a tipping point.”Halt the pace or change direction before the “others” change us or our way of life and the America we used to know.Take back our nation, secure my place and identity in the fast paced, over whelming competition of ever expanding technological advances and new global digital economy.”

Trump has successfully tapped into those fears and promised results without well articulated policies or programs.It matters not to Trump supporters, they were eager to buy whatever he branded and sold as long as it bought them personal validation.The campaign slogan,”Make America Great Again” by default became the mantra in the minds of many black, hispanic, Muslim and “otherAmericans, code for”Take Back America”, “Make “America White Again”.This may or may not have been the sentiment intended but it was for many ethnic minorities the covert message.

Now that Donald Trump has become president-elect of the U.S.A. he will need to summon his better angels to build bridges and mend the trail of brokenness his divisive candidacy has left behind in an already bitterly divided nation.Frankly, I don’t expect too much. I will try to respect the office of the presidency,although his behavior throughout the campaign hasn’t predisposed me favorably to that attitude.I will observe scrutinize,editorialize, blog and report to the best of my ability on the workings and dealings of a Trump administration. With God’s grace,I will prepare my spirit and resolve to refuse to be burdened or cowed by Trump policies or proposals I may not agree with.I will observe, blog, listen, research,probe, question, challenge and rigorously critique governance under a Trump administration as long as I am able and their remains a United States of America.May God Bless America.(D.Day 2016)

 backlash

“Maggie’s American Dream” an ORAL History: Quest for Education, Dignity, Self-Discipline, Inspired by a Mother’s Love and Dedication.

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson and studentdr-tyson-w-kid-excelmaggie-comer-aahcm
Mrs. Maggie Comer  ( picture: African American Museum of History and Culture 9/2016
Over the week end, I re-read the book, “Maggies American Dream” a story about the Comers an African American family who migrated from the deep south to my hometown of East Chicago, Indiana in the 1920s.Narrated through voice of family matriarch Maggie Comer as written by her son,Dr. James P. Comer M.D., who became Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry at Yale University Child Study and has been a Yale medical faculty member since 1968.During these years, he has concentrated his career on promoting a focus on child development as a way of improving schools. His efforts in support of healthy development of young people are known internationally.
Dr. Comer, perhaps, is best known for the founding of the Comer School Development Program in 1968, which promotes the collaboration of parents, educators, and community to improve social, emotional, and academic outcomes for children that, in turn, helps them achieve greater school success. His concept of teamwork has improved the educational environment in more than 500 schools throughout America.
To say the Comers as a family are remarkable is not mere hyperbole.
After a visit during opening week of the African American Museum of History and Culture I was reminded of just how inspiring and sterling an example the Comer family set for students growing up in the rough urban industrial terrain of East Chicago. The AAMHC exhibit on the “Great Black Migration” to the north beginning after WWI includes a section devoted to selective stories of individuals and families from the period.I’d lie, if I were to say “my chest didn’t swell with pride” seeing among the photographs exhibited along with written narratives of each persons’ or family’s personal quest in succeeding at attaining the “American Dream”.
The “Comer Family” saga for me is personal and visceral.A chapter in “Maggies American Dream” is devoted to my third grade teacher Louise Comer the only daughter of the five Comer siblings.The museum entry for Maggie Comer simply states: “Maggie Nichols Comer was born in Woodlawn, Mississippi and moved to Memphis, Tennessee, with her mother and stepfather. In 1920, at age 16, she moved to East Chicago to join her sister and brothers. There she unsuccessfully tried to balance working and going to school. She eventually married Hugh Comer and had five children, all of whom graduated from college.” (Courtesy of Dr.James P. Comer)
What the book “Maggie’s American Dream” does so powerfully and adeptly through sharing a family’s rich oral history is provide context for Maggie and husband Hugh Comer’s struggles to educate, raise and train five children whom would each reach the pinnacle of success,and effectiveness within their given professions, community service,and leadership within their respective fields.My third grade teacher Louise Comer and I reconnected and remained in touch over the years.She had tutored me as she had generations of third graders. After her retirement she remigrated to live near her large extended family on her palatial Alabama estate.My mom,gospel singer Irene Day-Comer eventually remarried a family member, Richard Comer a relative of Hugh Comer .
The Comers of Alabama are a tightly knit family with southern roots who love God, life, family and value academic achievement.I was pleased my mom and Richard spent many of their happiest last days together traveling, visiting and reconnecting with their own southern roots. I didn’t get to see my third grade teacher, we’d talk and she assured me a standing invitation to visit her like my mom and Richard had. And based upon the book’s oral descriptive account, she achieved her own”American Dream” to own a beautiful home; a fete teachers could somewhat more easily attain “back in the day”.
But more than aspirations for material success Louise Comer imparted a lifetime of invaluable skills in the bright eyed, eager children she taught. She believed in her students; and she knew and understood the challenges poor and aspiring middle- class black kids would face during the pre-civil rights era of “Northern Jim Crow” tactics.
She taught at Columbus elementary school, which was built to educate black children in the New Addition neighborhood comprised mostly of black steel-workers’ families and served as a “fire-wall” against the increasing population over-flow of black grade schoolers attending the pseudo integrated Washington Elementary school and being taught in a separate “But in no in hells way” equal wood constructed annex located on the school property near the integrated predominately white middle and secondary school.Like Maggie Comer, daughter Louise refused to believe that we as African American students were any less capable than others. In her eyes we could achieve anything we set out to do.She believed we could over-come any obstacle encountered along the academic chain to achievement emerging into the “world of work” with study and discipline as our tools for success.
As I reflect on this important presidential election tomorrow, and stories like those of the Comers and more currently, individuals like astrophysicist, Dr.Neil deGrasse Tyson, I’m reminded just how important creating and sustaining equal educational opportunity is for our children.
Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson had been an excellent athlete, and found that he was not only lauded, but his qualifications and abilities were never questioned. Besides his accomplishments on the Harvard wrestling team, he was part of the rowing team and a gold medal-winning ballroom dancer. These activities didn’t conflict with society’s perceptions of where his talents should lie. However, in his academic pursuits, he often found himself faced with questions and disbelief; he had transgressed against the recognized order of things, and his path became a difficult one. But he wasn’t deterred from his goal to become a world class scientist.Pictured below Neil deGrasse Tyson as a college student at Harvard pictured after a dance contest in college.
Society sorely need teachers like Louise Comer as well as engaged parents like Hugh and Maggie Comer along with effective and committed political and educational leaders to lift up, guide and encourage our students being left behind without hope, dream or direction for a better future.Maggie Comer knew back then that “It Takes a Village”and to develop successful, well children with healthy self-esteem in their educational pursuits, parents, students, teachers communities and administrators must be accountable. (D.Day Media 2016) Top two pictures: Dr.Neil deGrasse Tyson, Mrs. Maggie Comer, below Dr Neil DeGrasse Tyson  as a student at Harvard and Dr. Tyson at work as an Astrophysicistneil-degrasse-tyson-harvard-danceneilbydavidgamble-300