AUGUST 1, 1947
CAMPOBELLO ISLAND, N.B., Thursday—As my readers already know, I am not very fond of comic books but, having children and grandchildren, I recognize that these books are very widely read and have a tremendous influence. I have just been sent a newcomer in this field, "All Negro Comics." The publisher is Orrin C. Evans, formerly a reporter and editor in the Negro newspaper field. I must say that, as I glanced through the pages of this newcomer, I felt that it compared very favorably with the best of the comic books. In some features it is really better.
Of course, these comics have a purpose—the better understanding of Negro life and history—and they will undoubtedly show the best side of the Negro. We can well afford to do that, it seems to me. There are so many people doing just the opposite.
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It is curious that, on the same day I received the copy of All Negro Comics, I also received a letter telling me about the 10th anniversary of Greenbelt, Maryland. The two deal with two of our most important domestic problems—the first with better racial understanding, and the second with better housing for all.
On August 2, there will be an anniversary festival in the town of Greenbelt, which is probably the oldest of the planned communities started during the depression and is situated near Washington, D.C. The town itself and Greenbelt Consumer Services, Inc., which is the local consumer cooperative, are sponsoring the festival. They have planned quite a day—a parade, sports events, fire-truck and rescue squad demonstrations, outdoor movies and a dance.
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Greenbelt takes its name from the fact that it has a protective "greenbelt" of parks, farms and forests around it. It was initiated by the Resettlement Administration as a model suburban development. Since 1942, it has been under the jurisdiction of the Federal Public Housing Authority.
The town has a city-manager type of government, with a town council of five members selected every two years. The council appoints the town manager, who is responsible to them for the administration of the government, including the departments of public safety, sanitation and recreation.
At the same time that this community was founded, two simpler developments were started—Greenhills, near Cincinnati, Ohio, and Greendale, near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I speak of them because I think that anyone who is able to visit these towns should do so, and should carefully consider their planning and the consumer activities. They have had troubles, of course, through the years but, by and large, I think they have proved very successful. And in the situation in which we find ourselves today, anything the public can learn about housing is valuable.