Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Journal 10 by Kai

     You want to talk about having a purpose then look no further than Rose Brudno. At the start of her interview she set the tone when asked what she was doing in 1959 by not talking about her vocation, but rather her disdain for her husband. She was looking for a way to support her children and found it in a corner bar. Rather than use the bar simply as a way to make ends meet she made the most of it. She cared about her customers and wanted them to enjoy their time before returning home to support their families. Anyone she saw as an irresponsible money spender would have their paycheck locked away. "I knew they had families to support. So I would give them a 20 dollar bill to party, and I just took their checks and put them in the safe." It was an involuntary benefit.
     Rose began profit sharing to her barmaids in lieu of a union. She couldn't get them to unionize, so she introduced other ideas. This gave her fiercely loyal staff. Anytime a barmaid would ban a customer that was that. Rose would back the employee 100 percent. Her feisty attitude and way she managed her bar gave her obedient customers and the nickname "Crazy Rose".

Bars are usually the community center and lifeblood of small towns.
     I had a hard time finding a profile helped me understand anything until I came across Nascar driver Wendell Scott. This man did what he loved despite society. He was the only black nascar racer at the time. In the 50's, he was still oppressed due to race. From death threats to blatant cheating racetracks tried to keep him down. In one race they refused to drop the checkered flag for him and gave him third place. They claimed that the winner kisses a white beauty queen and if Scott won it would cause a race war. It didn't phase him. As long as he was behind the wheel, he didn't mind. What finally threw him off the track was finances. Being black, he couldn't get any big name sponsorships.
     I grew up in Alabama and used to drive past the 16th street church in Birmingham nearly every day. I decided to do my research on the theme of racism in pursuit of the American Dream. Many black musicians, activists, preachers, all walks of life fought hard simply to have a fraction of what white individuals take for granted. Even disadvantaged, it shows amazing grit and spirit to do what you love when the entire world seems against you. I got my bitter dose of reality from a Calisphere online exhibit.
     It is sad that this nonsense still continues today.


  1. I can't imagine being in Wendell Scott's shoes and even though we have made a lot of progress on this issue their are still times when this happens today.

  2. Reading Wendell Scott's story today made you realize what people went thru. The guy did everything on his own.

  3. I agree that its very sad that people with a different skin color still get treated differently. People today think that everything is okay now but all you have to do is open your eyes.

  4. It is sad, and tragic, that people always look for a way to deny others the rights they demand for themselves. Wendell kicked out the jams, man, but let's not fool ourselves that it's easy. When I took Sociology in graduate school, I started to understand why. They taught us about structures and superstructures, and how you can get rid of structures like slavery but if the superstructure still exists, like the idea that one race is inferior to another, you will continue to have racism and see scapegoating everywhere. Thoughtful post Kai. Made me remember quite a bit. Thanks.

    1. Also really like the link. Great history and use of images to bring us back in time. The Black Panthers were huge in the Bay area and California.


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