Tag Archives: Princeton Public Library

Why is the White doll the good doll?

Why is the white doll the good doll? In a study of kindergarten children, both black children and white children chose the white doll as their favorite.

Blacks and whites alike have been programmed since birth to think that whites are better. Black children are taught to be aware of their behavior at all times, because of possible danger, while white kids have the privilege of just being kids.

Tonight (Monday, December 2, at 7:30 p.m.)  I will join Debra Raines, Director of Mission Advancement at the Princeton YWCA, in facilitating another in the series of Continuing Conversations on Race and White Privilege at the Princeton Public Library.

Continuing Conversations on Race and White Privilege are a friendly, safe, confidential opportunity to share ideas and voice concerns. They are planned and facilitated by Not in Our Town Princeton and held on first Mondays, from October through May, in partnership with the Princeton Public Library.
We will consider the particular cases of two men and two women. The  men: George Zimmerman (trigger happy and violent against both blacks and stinneywomen) and George Stinney  (at left, 14, the youngest male executed in the 20th century). Also the case of Eleanor Bumpers (fatally shot in New York in 1984 during an attempted eviction)  and Reneisha McBride (shot by a Detroit man when she knocked on his door in the middle of the night.)
Then we will discuss what you THINK is helping
and what you think is HURTING. What is your role on either side?
All are invited — we meet in one of the conference rooms on the second floor, either the Princeton room or the board room.
(This post first appeared on the Not in Our Town Princeton blog).

Get the Facts on Obamacare

health insurance flyer

GET THE FACTS on the Affordable Health Care Act. The Princeton Human Services and Princeton Health Departments are staging a very useful workshop on how to sign up for healthcare coverage — Tuesday, November 26, at 6 p.m., free. Among the sponsors is Not in Our Town, which I work with.

Get your questions answered: Are you eligible? How do you apply? What documentation will you need? How to sign on to the website.

It’s not rocket science but it helps to get advice.

Scripture Tour: No Andrew Carnegie Library Here

bainbridge-houseBainbridge House, home of the Historical Society of Princeton, is the former home of Princeton’s municipal library. Princeton was not one of the 1689 cities to which Andrew Carnegie donated a library building. As the story goes, the university asked Carnegie to donate, not a library building, but a lake for its rowing team. Result: Carnegie Lake, hand dug.

A just-aired NPR story by Susan Stamberg reveals that Carnegie (some compare him with Bill Gates) was a self-made steel magnate. Fresh from Scotland, as a 17-year-old worker, he petitioned the Pittsburgh library to let him borrow books and was at first refused, but prevailed until the policy was changed. An indefatigable worker, he sold U.S. Steel for half a billion dollars to JP Morgan and then, as Stamberg said, “gave it all away,” or at least $350 million of it.

Carnegie money paid for impressive buildings in the style of the time. What would Princeton have looked like with one of those? Perhaps it would have been built on campus? In any case, the eager readers of Princeton had to find their books stuffed into an 18th century home, getting a purpose built building only in 1966. Now Princeton has its Taj Mahal building, adored perhaps even worshipped, called “Princeton’s living room.”

Perhaps it is a double blessing that we don’t have a Carnegie building. We might not have had the gumption to tear it down to build our three-story Taj Mahal.

(This post is part of the Scripture Tour of Princeton series, inspired by a tour I gave to Ohio’s Peddling Parsons when they visited us at Princeton United Methodist Church. But I haven’t decided on the Bible verse. Suggestions?)

We can’t hear this story without two codas. Carnegie famously built his empire on the backs of the steel workers, provoking the bitterest union fight in the history of this nation. And, supposedly Ellen Wilson, wife of the university president Woodrow Wilson, entertained Carnegie in her home (now Prospect House) and importuned Carnegie to give Princeton a library. Carnegie’s answer: “Madam, I gave you a lake.”