From: Rube Yelvington [Rube@Yelvington.com]
Sent: Thursday, July 03, 2008 7:48 AM
To: Patterson, Martha H
The history of East St. Louis evolved while I was at the Journal from
the white dominated and literally segregated community "regulated" by
Buster, so we had the gangster years of a little law and a lot of order.
Then the national racial "revolution" started popularly by Rosa Parks
and her bus seat (It was Rosa?) bringing the crossing of the color line
with its violence, and resulting in the dissolve of the white political
machine dominated by Al Fields. And then the mess-ups of the black
leadership and the forces "just like whitey" as in Charles Merritts
using bad ways to accomplish good goals and failing, and the War Lords
trying to use threats and brute force, and the frustrations of good guys
with good ways but lacking the vision, backbone or skills needed in the
hour. And there are isolated scattered success stories too.
Revolution or evolution?
Athletic skills opened gates.
I have come close to tears over the lack of any acceptable future for
bright, good 16-17 year old kids in East St. Louis. That some survived
to live exemplary lives is miraculous.