Last week was Week 2 of “The 1960s Project.” In this project, we’re compiling reflections from those who attended high school in the 1960s. Some will have started in the late 1950s and attended high school in the 1960s. Others would have attended in the 1960s and completed their studies after 1969.
Week two is under our belts. We received a lot of positive responses on the submissions by David Lange’s New Beginnings: My Black Cultural Memory and from Subodh Mathur’s An Immigrant from India
What readers and viewers liked were the differences between their stories. David graduated from high school in 1966 in St. Louis, MO and Subodh graduated the same year in Jaipur, India. Here they were, 54 years later, sharing their stories. How cool is that?
The contrasts are sharp in another way. Subodh writes:
We did not have a radio or a TV in our home, and even the newspaper (from Delhi, no local paper) used to come two days late. So, in a physical sense, we were cut off from the world.
Cut-off then. Connected now.
The similarities are striking as well. Both were “gifted students” who had a solid educational background.
David was “class president and top banana.” He was academically prepared but culturally unprepared. His first year at Howard prepared him culturally as well as academically. “On Howard University’s campus in fall 1966,” ‘black’ wasn’t part of my lexicon,” David shares. He writes further,
I was “colored” or “Negro.” In my eyes, as well as the eyes of many, I was an “ultra-conservative white wannabe.” My freshman year changed all that.
David became a part of a cultural revolution on Howard University’s campus. By the end of his freshman year, he was “Black and Proud!”
Subodh notes that a
combination of strict schooling in a small city and our home atmosphere worked for my siblings and me – we were able to do well in academics and the world.
When Subodh arrived at graduate school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a tight group of Indian students embraced him and others to make the transition to living in the United States. It hasn’t been until recent years that he has to worry about racism, according to Subodh.
He feels a sense of “Indian Pride” as he sees Nikki Haley (R) and Kamala Harris (D) playing prominent roles in national politics.
What is David up to now? He has written a childhood memoir, I Am Curious Black, which details his experiences and escapades from age two to high school graduation, which is under review by a literary agent for the William Morris Agency. He also just completed a steamy romance novel, Cayenne, which is in search of a publisher.
What about Subodh? He’s recently completed a book, as well, Core Economics. It is economics written for non-economists in simple language with minimal mathematics. One of the reviewers on Amazon wrote: “Core Economics is an interesting read with excellent content and explanations of economic theory. Using real-world examples, this book is able to explain the most complicated theories in a digestible format. This is a very informative and enjoyable read.”
Read and share your comments on their submissions:
David Lange’s New Beginnings: My Black Cultural Memory
Subodh Mathur’s An Immigrant from India
Watch their FB Live on YouTube