The Upper School has taken several moments to celebrate and honor the legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. On January 11th, Gail Boyd and Walter Beach III, friends of the Greene family, joined the Upper School for a special assembly to share their experiences within and thoughts on the civil rights movement.
Gail Boyd is President of Gail W. Boyd, P.C., an entertainment law firm, and Gail Boyd Artist Management. She is a graduate of De Paul University and De Paul University School of Law. She was a founding partner in Boyd, Staton and Cave, the first African American female law firm in New York. Gail has been involved in entertainment law since 1976. She has been involved specifically in music with a specialty in jazz since 1979. Gail presently serves on the Boards of the Martin Luther King/Coretta Scott King Memorial, the Allentown Jazz Festival, and the North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents. She is the former Vice Chair of the Entertainment, Sports, and Art Law Committee of the National Bar Association. She also chaired the Entertainment, Sports, Art Law Committee of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association and served as a member of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Entertainment Law. She is a former board member of the International Women in Jazz. She served as a member of the Jazz Jam Committee of the National Association of Recording, Arts & Sciences and on the Board of WBGO FM Radio in New York as well as the Noel Pointer Foundation. For nearly 20 years, she served as Chair of the Board of Brooklyn Legal Services. Her husband, Walter Beach III, serves as the Curriculum Director for Diversity, Inclusion and Equity for PACE, a not for profit corporation. He also serves as Director of the North Eastern Division of Amer-I-Can Foundation for Social Change, founded by Hall of Famer Jim Brown. A Pontiac, Michigan native, Mr. Beach attended Central Michigan University and Yale Law School. He also attended the Unification Theological Seminary. He spent four years stationed in Germany in the United States Air Force as a cryptographer. He served as Special Assistant to the Cleveland, Ohio’s Mayor, Carl B. Stokes, the first African-American mayor of a major United States city. For six years, Walter was a defensive cornerback with the Cleveland Browns professional football team, winning the World Championship in 1964.
Thursday, January 17th, at the recommendation of Liz Burke ’19 and coordination of the upper school diversity committee, Dr. RAS Mikey Courtney, acclaimed dancer, dance professor, and ethnochoreologist, shared with the upper school his thoughts on Dr. King and how dance has intersected with his study of the world’s cultures. As his Wayne State bio says: RAS Mikey’s works are a reflection of his life experience as he strives to use the expressive arts as a bridge for cultural understanding. “Movement is life and I am a Lifist”. Dr. RAS offered the upper school a dance workshop that afternoon and visited the lower and middle school the 18th.
Speeches and sermons from Dr. King were streamed in the student lounges January 18th. Next week, quotes from Dr. King will be shared each day via email with students and faculty to encourage thoughtful conversation and meditation. A sneak peak at Tuesday’s email is below:
Through our scientific and technological genius, we have made of this world a neighborhood and yet we have not had the ethical commitment to make of it a brotherhood. But somehow, and in some way, we have got to do this. We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools. We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. And whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the way God’s universe is made; this is the way it is structured.
John Donne caught it years ago and placed it in graphic terms: “No man is an island entire of itself. Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” And he goes on toward the end to say, “Any man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind; therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” We must see this, believe this, and live by it if we are to remain awake through a great revolution.
–Martin Luther King, Jr., Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution, 2 June 1959