OCTOBER 2, 1959
HYDE PARK—Not long ago I happened to run across the October number of "Equity," which is published by the Actors Equity Association and, of course, deals primarily with matters of interest to the theatre world. To my surprise I ran across an interview with a young friend of mine, Mr. Charles Pursell. He is one of the people I know who loves the theatre as a profession and will not give it up in spite of his many ups and downs. The article tells you that he inherited this love from his grandfather.
I am always amused at people's perspective. Charles Pursell evidently thinks that "The Corn is Green" was a play of long ago, and I think of it as one of Ethel Barrymore's later successes, after she had already gained top billing, so to speak.
The interview was amusing, just as Charles Pursell himself is an amusing person. He is a born comedian. I have no doubt he can play other parts, but I have never known anyone who could make one laugh so easily and so successfully.
I move quite naturally from Charles Pursell to Cheryl Crawford who on Tuesday, October 6, will be presented with a citation as "Woman of the Year" awarded by the New York City branch of the American Association of University Women.
Commissioner Anna M. Kross will present this citation as a former "Woman of the Year" herself. Cheryl Crawford is a theatrical producer, and in 1959 she was responsible for the production of "Sweet Bird of Youth" by Tennessee Williams. She also produced "The Rivalry" by Norman Korwin.
This will be an occasion which many women will not want to miss, for it is always a great satisfaction to be able to pay tribute to a woman who has been a success in a profession in which, by and large, not too many women as yet have been successful.
Since I cannot be on hand on October 6, I want to congratulate this winner of the award.
Now let me mention a much more serious question.
At the end of the labor convention of the AFL-CIO in San Francisco there was an interchange between A. Philip Randolph and the president, George Meany, on the attitude of certain unions on segregation. Mr. Meany was not contending that there should be segregation, but since there was great opposition to setting a time when segregation should be wiped out he was vociferously opposed to forcing a specified date on these unions for doing this.
These unions are using the same arguments that have been used on the desegregation of schools all over the South.
"Leave us alone, we will work out our own problems," they say. And this they have said for the past 100 years and the colored people are still without complete equality and freedom. It seems to me that Mr. Randolph is not asking anything unreasonable in saying that the union, just like the states, should specify a time when they would accomplish compliance with the Supreme Court order in the states.