You Should Know These People

Here are links to essays and tributes about people you may not know but should.

  • Lucille Clifton was a poet and author.  Her words were real, powerful, imaginative, and I’m grateful to Tayari Jones for pointing me to a great poet and to this reflection by the NYT.
  • John Wooden was a coach and theologian.  His life was an interesting display of what I think this blog is partly about, crossing different worlds in creative ways.  Amir Hussain remembers Coach Wooden.
  • Nina Simone was a singer, composer, and musician, and her work has shaped and influenced many artists.  Though I haven’t found a written tribute, I think hearing Nina’s daughter, Lisa Simone Kelly, sing while accompanied by Nina is fitting.
  • John Johnson founded Johnson Publications Company, and he’s the trailblazer responsible for Ebony and Jet magazines.  Congressman Jesse Jackson speaks of this man who he says is “the tallest tree in the publishing forest”. 
  • Julius Rosenwald built a fortune as an executive at Sears & Roebuck, contributed much of his wealth to education in southern and rural communities, fortified the YMCA in the early 20th century, and strengthened educational institutions in Black communities when most wouldn’t.  Mr. Rosenwald has been lauded a great man whose enduring legacy you can read about here.
  • Dorothy Day founded the Catholic Worker Movement with Peter Maurin, and has written insightful books which frame issues of justice, ethics, work, and the practice of faith.  Rather than reading a tribute, take a look at the continuing efforts of the Catholic Worker Movement and some of Ms. Day’s writings here.

Who’s missing?  Who do we need to know?

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