JULY 7, 1958
NEW YORK—I was particularly glad the past week to learn that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People had won its case in refusing to surrender its membership list in Alabama under present circumstances.
The Supreme Court held that in the present climate, disclosure of this list would endanger its members.
The Supreme Court acted wisely, I think, in leaving to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis a review of the lower court decision on the Little Rock, Ark., desegregation issue. The Court of Appeals should act before the September term begins at Little Rock's Central High School. It will be interesting to see what the decision is.
I sincerely hope there will be no need anywhere in this country to use troops again to allow children of any color, race or creed to go to any public school.
For our own dignity, we must recognize the fact that public schools are open to every child in this country and that no child should be made to feel different or set apart. For we have had ample time to discover that discrimination actually is harmful in developing a child's character and sense of responsibility for the community in which he lives.
If any child is ignored and set apart, he naturally will not feel the same sense of participation that leads to responsibility as a citizen.
One night last week I went to the season's opening concert presented by the Lower Eastside Neighborhood Association of New York City. These concerts, presented for the fourth successive year are called "Evenings by the River." They take place every Tuesday evening from July 1 to August 5.
The associations also put on four Thursday evening events starting July 10 and ending July 31 and two children's concerts starting at 11 a.m. on July 8 and 29.
Financial support for these concerts comes from the Eda K. Loeb Fund, the Mayor's Committee for Living Music, and the Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians through a grant from the Music Performance Trust Funds of the Recording Industry, and from 500 individual contributors who supported the Theatre Benefit last winter.
The organization does many things to make the Lower East Side a better place in which to live, and it certainly has the support of the neighborhood.
The outdoor benches of the stadium were packed on this opening night, and I was particularly amused to see the young children who were fascinated in watching the orchestra. They wandered around at will, but they never made a noise. And as they stood and listened, they seemed to appraise the music.
One small boy, when the orchestra brought forth a particularly loud movement, put his hands over his ears and fled, bringing forth many smiles in the front row benches.