"Huntington -- A civil rights committee, which sent Negro and white members posing as prospective home buyers to real estate brokers in this township over the weekend, charged yesterday that 19 of the 20 brokers tested discriminated against Negroes. The group said it would send its findings to state officials to seek interdisciplinary action. The Huntington Township Committee on Human Relations said about 35 Negro and white members visited 21 Huntington brokers Saturday. Mrs. Joyce Insolia, co-chairman of the committee, said the prospective white buyers were shown numerous homes by brokers who had told Negro customers that they had no houses to show or had taken them on tours of homes in substantially Negro neighborhoods." -- "LI Group Finds Realty Bias," NEWSDAY, January 21, 1963 (Exactly a year before my parents moved us to a new home in that same township)
"Yes, and, how many years can some people exist Before they're allowed to be free? Yes, and, how many times can a man turn his head Pretending he just doesn't see" -- Bob Dylan song performed by Peter, Paul and Mary, April 24, 1971 in Washington DC, for the half-million of us who traveled there to protest the Vietnam War It is so weird how these things sometimes work. I was researching in the library over in Glen Rock yesterday for a few hours. I then walked a few miles back in the dark, with a few borrowed books in my backpack, which just happened to include a copy of THE PETER YARROW SONGBOOK: SONGS FOR LITTLE FOLKS, which is a wonderful combination picture book and CD containing a bunch of traditional kids songs that Peter – from Peter, Paul and Mary -- recorded with his daughter Bethany.
Walking into the lobby, just before the snow started, I found a newly-delivered box of books waiting for me. When I got upstairs and pried it open, I discovered a copy of a brand-new picture book/CD combination featuring an old Peter, Paul and Mary song (written by Les Braunstein). I didn't recall the song, but I loaded the CD into the laptop, opened the picture book, and as sure as heck understood what this on-the-surface goofy song was all about as soon as they got to the part that goes: "The neighbors are against it and it's clear to me, And it's prob'ly clear to you, They think value on their property will go right down If the family next door is blue."
Having been a Long Island kid who grew up reading NEWSDAY every day, and who saw a nearly-completed new house in our new neighborhood somehow burn to the ground (Guess who was moving into it.), I am so moved by this song -- which is a piece of our history -- and the treatment given it in this book. Back in those days, you needed the imagination of John Lennon -- and then some -- to envision a day when the country would vote to have a black family live in the nation’s most famous house. No matter how much I talk about it, I don't think my kids could ever begin to imagine how exciting it is for me -- have lived through those days -- to see so many of our dreams coming to fruition. Anyway, you should watch this great performance on YouTube of BIG BLUE FROG at Peter, Paul and Mary's twenty-fifth anniversary concert in 1986. _http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svoVxWcGNzA_ (http://www.youtube.com/wat ch?v=svoVxWcGNzA) . And once you get a hold of this book, be sure to watch for details like the sheep with the new For Sale sign on their front lawn. 978-
Recommended by: Richie Partington, MLIS, Librarian, California USA
To see more of his recommendations: Richie's Picks _http://richiespicks.com_