MARCH 14, 1956
NEW YORK—The forum arranged in Hartford by a group of college graduates from various women's colleges to discuss education for citizenship was a most successful one and I enjoyed my time there last Saturday.
I liked all of the members of the panel very much and wish I would come in contact more often with people concerned with education in all its different phases.
Sunday afternoon I took part in a broadcast at which the foreign language papers of New York made their annual awards for the three best films of the year, one to a British film, one from the continent of Europe (this time an Italian film, "Umberto D"), and one from the United States.
Choosing the recipients of these awards was really very difficult because, on the whole, some wonderful movies from different parts of the world were produced last year.
The British film chosen was "The Prisoner," which has been particularly successful in New York City. The American film selected was "Marty." This film has been very successful here in the city, but I have not heard what its success has been in the country as a whole.
Later, I went out with Mr. and Mrs. John Gunther to meet Miss Autherine Lucy at Ralph Bunche's house. I found her a simple, gentle and poised young woman. She told the story of occurrences at the University of Alabama very calmly and unemotionally.
It was a gathering which might well have impressed and, at the same time, frightened a more sophisticated person. But Miss Lucy seemed entirely unembarrassed and completely at ease. She corrected certain parts of newspaper stories concerning the case in Alabama, but on the whole she made little allusion to what others had said, preferring simply to tell her own story and let it go at that.
It seemed to me that no one anywhere in this country need be troubled by meeting this young woman as an equal. Sometimes I think one of the difficulties is that people in the South and many in the North generalize to put everyone into the same category, not realizing that race makes less difference than education and opportunity for cultural and social development.
I watched the faces of many of the United Nations Indian representatives present and a few from other areas of the world and thought again how foolish it is to label people because of race or color. We need to learn this lesson in every part of the United States.
North and South alike must learn to evaluate human beings as such and not generalize or attach labels which have no real meaning when you look at people as individuals.
In this connection, the Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh, Pa., has developed a booklet called "We Humans," for circulation through the Pittsburgh schools.
I wish everyone could see the first picture, which shows three different divisions of mankind, each with an American hat. And under the picture is the caption, "A nation is not a race, a religion is not a race, there is no pure race."