Discussion:
Willam Henry Mackey, Jr. 1920-2004 (My Dad)
(too old to reply)
Chef Juke
2004-10-02 11:27:51 UTC
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Hi all,

First off, I've been mostly lurking around here for the last 4 years
or so. Don't post often unless I actually have something on-topic to
say.

My Father William Mackey Jr. passed away this morning at the VA
Hospital in Lake City, Fl.

He was, most notably a history professor, beginning at City College of
New York in the early 70's then moving to Empire State College's Harry
Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies until last year.

He had been suffering from colitis/crohn's disease and a resultant
perforated bowel and collapsed intestine. Went in the hospital 3
weeks ago and it soon became clear that his system wasn't able to
process food any more and, as he was too weak for surgery, that he
wouldn't have too long.

My Dad lived more than a full life and has left a great legacy in the
students that he's taught and mentored in the past 34 years of
teaching history (and more importantly, critical thinking), as
evidenced by the hundreds of letters from former students that I
sorted through when I was packing up his Brooklyn apartment for his
move back to Georgia.

If you had met him last spring you would have pegged him as being in
his early 60's rather than 83. He walked to work at Empire State
College 3 times a week from brooklyn to manhattan, , 12 miles round
trip and was in great shape.

My Dad had the most varied of careers and life experiences: Born in
Jacksonville, Florida in 1920 he was raised in the backwoods of
Georgia just outside of the town of Woodbine by his Maternal
Grandmother Harriett Weston.

He worked at many varied professions in his first 50 years.

In his early years in addition to being a student and day laborer he
was a singer a gospel group. He was drafted into the army and fought
in WWII in the Europe where he subsequently studied French and became
an interpreter for the army in postwar France. Upon his return from
WWII he studied engineering in NY on the GI Bill becoming a structural
engineer (he helping design many school buildings and office buildings
in NY State).

In the early 1960's he opened a coffeehouse called Les Deux Megots (a
takeoff on the famous Parisian café, Les deu Magots) in the East
Village of New York City with partner Mickey Ruskin (who later went on
to open Max's Kansas City, http://www.maxskansascity.com/), where many
poets, famous and not so famous came to recite, and local and national
luminaries spoke on issues of the day. LeRoi Jones, Allen Ginsberg,
Paul Krassner, Robert Anton Wilson and William F. Buckley were a few
of the folks who spoke or performed there.

After I was born in 1963, he sold the coffehouse in order to have a
more reasonable home life instead of working 7 days a week until all
hours. While he continued to work as an engineer, he studied and
taught himself photography and became a professional
photographer/photojournalist, having his photographs of inner city
life published in numerous local and national publications including
Time & Life.

In 1969 after a 20 years away he returned to visit the Georgia
backwoods where he was raised. He saw a way of life that was rapidly
changing and decided to document the life of the rural Blacks in the
community. He took thousands of photographs and did hundreds of
interviews and wrote a manuscript accompaniment to his photo essay
that detailed the lives and history of the Black community in
southeastern Georgia in the 20th century. His resultant photo essay
had numerous showings in the US and abroad. Portions of his written
essay was included in 'Black Southern Voices: An Anthology of Fiction,
Poetry, Drama, Nonfiction, and Critical Essays edited by my Dad's
friend, Author John Oliver Killens (http://tinyurl.com/6wqsx).

(I recently self-published my Dad's Georgia manuscript via Cafepress:
http://www.cafepress.com/mackeys3

In the early 70's he became guest lecturer at City College of New
York, mainly in their African American History department. He soon
became a full-time professor in the department. In the late 70's he
moved over to Empire State College's Harry Van Arsdale Center for
Labor Studies, where he taught until becoming ill in June of 2004.
In addition to his classes at the college, he held free community
history/current event classes in the community room of his apartment
building in Brooklyn.

He was a very outspoken teacher who emphasized the neccessity of
critical thinking skills to his students. Based on many of the
letters from his former students, many of whom kept in contact with
him over the years, he opened many of their eyes to the importance and
value of education in an increasingly competitive and complex world.


He was one of the most well-read people I have ever met. He could
read a thick, dry, 700+ page historical tome in an evening and quote
from verbatim the next morning. The 6 room apartment which he lived
in from 1965-early 2004 was FILLED with his 10,000 album record
collection (the old-fashioned vinyl kind) and an almost equal
collection of books, each of which he had read.

Two things I'm glad for. First, that I got to spend a lot of time
with my Dad over this last year helping him move and recuperate after
his first stint in the hospital. Next, that while he was better he
made it clear that he was ready when the time came. He said that in
his life he'd gone a long way from his upbringing in the Georgia
backwoods and was glad to be home and if his time was short now, it
wasn't like he'd missed out on doing anything he'd planned on doing.

So it isn't like he's left anything undone.

I just hate to see him go.



-Chef Juke
"EVERYbody Eats When They Come To MY House!"
www.chefjuke.com
Rich Clancey
2004-10-02 12:52:13 UTC
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Post by Chef Juke
My Father William Mackey Jr. passed away this morning at the VA
Hospital in Lake City, Fl.
He sounds like a guy who would have been worth knowing.
Thanks for his story, they don't make em like that any more.
--
rich clancey
Mathematical Jiggery-Pokery is Truth
And Truth is Mathematical Jiggery-Pokery.
That is all ye need to know.
Brigid Nelson
2004-10-02 17:49:07 UTC
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Post by Rich Clancey
Post by Chef Juke
My Father William Mackey Jr. passed away this morning at the VA
Hospital in Lake City, Fl.
He sounds like a guy who would have been worth knowing.
Thanks for his story, they don't make em like that any more.
Oh I don't know, it seems the "people like that" help to create more of
the "people like that". He sounds like someone who has left a great legacy.

brigid
The Kentucky Wizard
2004-10-02 15:45:37 UTC
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Post by Chef Juke
Hi all,
First off, I've been mostly lurking around here for the last 4 years
or so. Don't post often unless I actually have something on-topic to
say.
My Father William Mackey Jr. passed away this morning at the VA
Hospital in Lake City, Fl.
Sorry to hear of the loss of your father, CJ, and I offer my
condolences. It sounds like he lived a full life. We all could only hope
to do the same.
--
© The Wiz ®
«¤»¥«¤»¥«¤»
Kathi
2004-10-02 22:36:44 UTC
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What a lovely tribute you've written. My sincere sympathy on the loss
of your father. What a wonderful *life*-filled life he had! A
lasting legacy lives on in his former students.

Kathi
Bob Feigel
2004-10-02 23:24:50 UTC
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Post by Chef Juke
Hi all,
First off, I've been mostly lurking around here for the last 4 years
or so. Don't post often unless I actually have something on-topic to
say.
A fine tribute to a fine man. He must have been very proud of you.



"When weaving nets, all threads count." - Charlie Chan
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Wax-up and drop-in of Surfing's Golden Years: <http://www.surfwriter.net>
a***@portup.com
2004-10-02 23:30:44 UTC
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What a great lifestory. He sounds like a wonderful man. Sincere
Condolences.

AJG
Bubbablue
2004-10-03 01:26:38 UTC
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Post by Chef Juke
Hi all,
First off, I've been mostly lurking around here for the last 4 years
or so. Don't post often unless I actually have something on-topic to
say.
My Father William Mackey Jr. passed away this morning at the VA
Hospital in Lake City, Fl.
I'm so sorry. My sympathies are with you in your loss.

It's so difficult losing parents. Even if they're ready to go, you're
not ready for them to leave you.

wd40
Bob Champ
2004-10-03 02:59:21 UTC
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Post by Chef Juke
Hi all,
What a full and remarkable life! This is one of the best obits I've
read in this newsgroup. Your father was obviously an admirable man,
and I send my condolences to you and your family.

Bob Champ
a***@aol.com
2004-10-03 04:42:46 UTC
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Hi Chef,

What a wonderful father you had and how wonderful that you were able
to share his last year in such a meaningful way. Thanks for sharing
his life with us. It would make a great movie! Sorry for your loss. It
sounds like a situation where there are no regrets as he lived such a
full life, but your life would be that much richer if he was still
around. Take care. Nice website by the way!

Rusty White
EInsiders.com
Kathi
2004-10-03 05:22:35 UTC
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Hi Rusty,

Saw you popped in earlier and was wondering if there's anything good
to report? Still praying and sending good vibes...


Kathi
a***@aol.com
2004-10-04 05:33:41 UTC
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Post by Kathi
Hi Rusty,
Saw you popped in earlier and was wondering if there's anything good
to report? Still praying and sending good vibes...
Kathi
The prayers and good vibes are paying off! Christy squeezed my hand
tonight! She squeezed my hand about a dozen times when I asked her to.
She is also starting to follow you with her eyes. She can squeeze with
her right hand as the left side of her brain wasn't damaged nearly as
bad as the right side. Still no response with her left hand. One step
at a time. This is a big step. It lets me know that she is still
inside there somewhere and will fight to get out. God is great. Thank
for your continued prayers!
Kathi
2004-10-04 05:36:19 UTC
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Post by a***@aol.com
The prayers and good vibes are paying off! Christy squeezed my hand
tonight! She squeezed my hand about a dozen times when I asked her to.
She is also starting to follow you with her eyes. She can squeeze with
her right hand as the left side of her brain wasn't damaged nearly as
bad as the right side. Still no response with her left hand. One step
at a time. This is a big step. It lets me know that she is still
inside there somewhere and will fight to get out. God is great. Thank
for your continued prayers!
That's terrifically encouraging! Fight, Christy, Fight! Keep us
posted...


Kathi
The Kentucky Wizard
2004-10-04 06:20:11 UTC
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Post by a***@aol.com
Post by Kathi
Hi Rusty,
Saw you popped in earlier and was wondering if there's anything good
to report? Still praying and sending good vibes...
Kathi
The prayers and good vibes are paying off! Christy squeezed my hand
tonight! She squeezed my hand about a dozen times when I asked her to.
She is also starting to follow you with her eyes. She can squeeze with
her right hand as the left side of her brain wasn't damaged nearly as
bad as the right side. Still no response with her left hand. One step
at a time. This is a big step. It lets me know that she is still
inside there somewhere and will fight to get out. God is great. Thank
for your continued prayers!
Great news, Rusty! Thoughts and prayers continue......
--
© The Wiz ®
«¤»¥«¤»¥«¤»
Volfie
2004-10-07 15:39:59 UTC
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Post by a***@aol.com
The prayers and good vibes are paying off! Christy squeezed my hand
tonight! She squeezed my hand about a dozen times when I asked her to.
She is also starting to follow you with her eyes. She can squeeze with
her right hand as the left side of her brain wasn't damaged nearly as
bad as the right side. Still no response with her left hand. One step
at a time. This is a big step. It lets me know that she is still
inside there somewhere and will fight to get out. God is great. Thank
for your continued prayers!
Great news, Rusty!! Keep us up to date with progress as often as possible,
please. We're all pulling for you!

Giselle
a***@aol.com
2004-10-08 02:04:00 UTC
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Christy underwent surgery to repair her shattered jaw on Tuesday. As
of this morning, the doctors removed both of the drains in her brain.
It seems her intracranial pressure is under control. She still has the
brain monitor in place. She is scheduled for another CAT scan tomorrow
to see if the swelling in her brain has stopped. On Sunday, she began
to track us with her eyes, and to squeeze our hands. This is when she
is not sleeping, which is most of the time. The swelling in the rest
of her body has finally gone down. She also had a tube placed in her
plural cavity as she was getting to the point that she couldn't
breathe, even with the respirator. She has made a lot of progress in
the last week. Still has a ways to go. The doctors are evaluating her
for treatment at the Shepherd's Spinal Center in Atlanta. Reportedly,
that place performs miracles. I'd hate to have her so far away, but if
they accept her and it is what she needs to come back to us, I'll deal
with it. I appreciate your continued prayers Christy'e healing and our
family's strength to deal with this one day at a time. I'm encouraged
by her progress, but to exhausted to jump up and down.
James Neibaur
2004-10-08 04:00:51 UTC
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Post by a***@aol.com
I'm encouraged
by her progress, but to exhausted to jump up and down.
I'll do it for you, Rusty.

JN
Bob Feigel
2004-10-08 04:29:28 UTC
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Post by a***@aol.com
Christy underwent surgery to repair her shattered jaw on Tuesday. As
of this morning, the doctors removed both of the drains in her brain.
It seems her intracranial pressure is under control. She still has the
brain monitor in place. She is scheduled for another CAT scan tomorrow
to see if the swelling in her brain has stopped. On Sunday, she began
to track us with her eyes, and to squeeze our hands. This is when she
is not sleeping, which is most of the time. The swelling in the rest
of her body has finally gone down. She also had a tube placed in her
plural cavity as she was getting to the point that she couldn't
breathe, even with the respirator. She has made a lot of progress in
the last week. Still has a ways to go. The doctors are evaluating her
for treatment at the Shepherd's Spinal Center in Atlanta. Reportedly,
that place performs miracles. I'd hate to have her so far away, but if
they accept her and it is what she needs to come back to us, I'll deal
with it. I appreciate your continued prayers Christy'e healing and our
family's strength to deal with this one day at a time. I'm encouraged
by her progress, but to exhausted to jump up and down.
Anne and I thought we knew everything there was to know about
'exhaustion' before the kids' accident. But we discovered a whole new
level after it happened.

Great news about Christy, but try and take a breather. While Fiona and
Steve were still in hospital (and Fiona in and out of consciousness)
we'd go back to the motel at night, grab some Chinese takaways
(takeouts) on the way and watch some mindless television. Then we'd
climb into bed and read until we dropped. It wasn't much of a break,
but at least our minds were occupied with something else for a few
blessed hours. Oh ... and our GP also prescribed us some rather
effective little sleeping pills (Halcion). I don't think we'd have
been able to cope so well otherwise. b



"When weaving nets, all threads count." - Charlie Chan
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Wax-up and drop-in of Surfing's Golden Years: <http://www.surfwriter.net>
Brigid Nelson
2004-10-09 00:42:57 UTC
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Post by Bob Feigel
Post by a***@aol.com
Christy underwent surgery to repair her shattered jaw on Tuesday. As
of this morning, the doctors removed both of the drains in her brain.
It seems her intracranial pressure is under control. She still has the
brain monitor in place. She is scheduled for another CAT scan tomorrow
to see if the swelling in her brain has stopped. On Sunday, she began
to track us with her eyes, and to squeeze our hands. This is when she
is not sleeping, which is most of the time. The swelling in the rest
of her body has finally gone down. She also had a tube placed in her
plural cavity as she was getting to the point that she couldn't
breathe, even with the respirator. She has made a lot of progress in
the last week. Still has a ways to go. The doctors are evaluating her
for treatment at the Shepherd's Spinal Center in Atlanta. Reportedly,
that place performs miracles. I'd hate to have her so far away, but if
they accept her and it is what she needs to come back to us, I'll deal
with it. I appreciate your continued prayers Christy'e healing and our
family's strength to deal with this one day at a time. I'm encouraged
by her progress, but to exhausted to jump up and down.
Anne and I thought we knew everything there was to know about
'exhaustion' before the kids' accident. But we discovered a whole new
level after it happened.
Great news about Christy, but try and take a breather. While Fiona and
Steve were still in hospital (and Fiona in and out of consciousness)
we'd go back to the motel at night, grab some Chinese takaways
(takeouts) on the way and watch some mindless television. Then we'd
climb into bed and read until we dropped. It wasn't much of a break,
but at least our minds were occupied with something else for a few
blessed hours. Oh ... and our GP also prescribed us some rather
effective little sleeping pills (Halcion). I don't think we'd have
been able to cope so well otherwise. b
I never really appreciated MTV before my daughter spent 6 weeks in NICU.
I know just how exhausting that begging-your-child-not-to-die thing
really is - try to remember to take care of yourself too.

Good luck,
brigid
The Kentucky Wizard
2004-10-08 04:41:42 UTC
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Post by a***@aol.com
Christy underwent surgery to repair her shattered jaw on Tuesday. As
of this morning, the doctors removed both of the drains in her brain.
It seems her intracranial pressure is under control. She still has the
brain monitor in place. She is scheduled for another CAT scan tomorrow
to see if the swelling in her brain has stopped. On Sunday, she began
to track us with her eyes, and to squeeze our hands. This is when she
is not sleeping, which is most of the time. The swelling in the rest
of her body has finally gone down. She also had a tube placed in her
plural cavity as she was getting to the point that she couldn't
breathe, even with the respirator. She has made a lot of progress in
the last week. Still has a ways to go. The doctors are evaluating her
for treatment at the Shepherd's Spinal Center in Atlanta. Reportedly,
that place performs miracles. I'd hate to have her so far away, but if
they accept her and it is what she needs to come back to us, I'll deal
with it. I appreciate your continued prayers Christy'e healing and our
family's strength to deal with this one day at a time. I'm encouraged
by her progress, but to exhausted to jump up and down.
Thanks for the update, Rusty. Best to you and yours, and our thoughts
and prayers continue....
--
© The Wiz ®
«¤»¥«¤»¥«¤»
MJohnson
2004-10-03 14:55:40 UTC
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I'm so sorry he's gone. What a lovely obit you've written.
Marilyn
Chef Juke
2004-10-09 04:41:56 UTC
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Here is my Dad's obituary from "The Daily Challenge:

http://tinyurl.com/688eu

A WARRIOR LION PASSES


By NAYABA ARINDE

Professor William Mackey ''the great lion'' has made his transition.
Whether he was talking about African world history; the pathology of
slavery; or the impact of a name; or the diabolical
counter-revolutionary plots to derail the Black freedom train, Prof.
Mackey enthusiastically taught what he knew to eager and receptive
students of all ages.

His was the reputation for meeting people where they lived, connecting
and communicating - and passing on vital information to inspire an
insatiable appetite for knowledge on all things African.

''It is with a sense of great sorrow that we have lost a great
scholar, thinker, teacher, and community soldier, Professor William
Mackey, Jr. on Saturday October 2, 2004 during the early morning
hours,'' said Medgar Evers' professor Clinton Crawford.

''We at the John Henrik Clarke-C.L.R. James African World Research
Institute paid homage and honor to Professor William Mackey, Jr. on
several occasions. Last November while he was ailing, we hosted a
Tribute in honor of his undying service and knowledge he imparted to
his community.

Professor William Mackey, Jr. was one of the scholars invited to our
first lecture to respond to Henry Louis Gates' 'Wonders of the African
World,' 1999. He made several other guest lecture appearances at our
forums at Medgar Evers College.

''He was a bibliophile who read the several thousand books in his
collection on St. Marks. He devoted his service through teaching a
class at his St. Marks Home once a week with his core group called
Mackey 3. His knowledge of the African American past and solution for
the future of the Black family was always lucid and practical. I have
lost a personal friend and father figure, since he always referred to
me affectionately as, 'son'''.

Activist and CEMOTAP co-chair Betty Dobson was stunned when the Daily
challenge broke the news. ''He was a great scholar, a great person and
someone who we could always reach out and touch. I am in shock,'' she
said ''It is another loss of such a great leader. There is an
advantage to long life, but when it is your time, it's your time.
Prof. Mackey will certainly be missed in the community. The grassroots
community has lost a great lion.

''Although I knew that he was not doing well, but it is still a
shock.''
''I always admired him as a person, an educator, and as an author,''
said Rev. Herbert Daughtry. ''He was always a man of the community,
and we are going to miss him very much. But, at least he put his
footprints in the sands of time, and left us his ideas, and therefore
he will always be remembered.''

''We have lost a great and important teacher of our time,'' said Dr.
Philip Valentine, founder of the Temple of the Healing Spirit. ''He
will be greatly missed. I do hope that someone is waiting in the wings
with his courage, his vision and his foresight - to take his place.

''My sympathy and condolences go out to his family.''
Sister Kefa Nephthys, chairwoman of the popular First World Alliance
told the paper that Prof. Mackey had been home in Georgia, when he was
taken to a veteran's hospital in Florida, where he passed away on
Saturday.

''Prof. Mackey had a tremendous impact. He was a great African author,
and African scholar, and all the accolades we can think of - they
would all fit him.''

He was a frequenter of the First World Alliance meetings, and was
remembered as ''a community educator,'' who apparently also conducted
classes with DC 37.

''Although, I only went to a few of his classes I have been greatly
effected by his teachings,'' said educator Solwazi Olusola. ''His
commitment to African culture and the recovery of its greatness was
second to none. He will surely be missed as an African elder and an
African scholar. He joins the ranks of great ancestor scholar warriors
like Dr. Clarke, Prof. Edward Scobie, Dr. Charshee Mcntyre - among so
many others.''

Dr.Crawford concluded, ''Prof. Mackey must be remembered for his
straight and direct approach to problem solving of any kind. This
Griot committed our story to memory and told it with such conviction
that he transported one back in time and space with great
believability.

''May his memory be always etched on the slate of our memory about a
man who lived his life not only for himself but for the benefit of
others.''





-Chef Juke
"EVERYbody Eats When They Come To MY House!"
www.chefjuke.com

-Chef Juke
"Everybody Eats When They Come To MY House!"
Bob Feigel
2004-10-09 05:20:57 UTC
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Post by Chef Juke
http://tinyurl.com/688eu
A WARRIOR LION PASSES
A powerful tribute from people who obviously treasured and respected
your father. What a great legacy. b



"When weaving nets, all threads count." - Charlie Chan
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Wax-up and drop-in of Surfing's Golden Years: <http://www.surfwriter.net>
Brigid Nelson
2004-10-09 05:28:57 UTC
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Post by Chef Juke
''May his memory be always etched on the slate of our memory about a
man who lived his life not only for himself but for the benefit of
others.''
High praise, it sounds like he was a great inspiration to the community,
and had a life well lived.

Once again, I'm sorry for your loss -
brigid
s***@gmail.com
2017-10-10 15:33:16 UTC
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Post by Chef Juke
Hi all,
First off, I've been mostly lurking around here for the last 4 years
or so. Don't post often unless I actually have something on-topic to
say.
My Father William Mackey Jr. passed away this morning at the VA
Hospital in Lake City, Fl.
He was, most notably a history professor, beginning at City College of
New York in the early 70's then moving to Empire State College's Harry
Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies until last year.
He had been suffering from colitis/crohn's disease and a resultant
perforated bowel and collapsed intestine. Went in the hospital 3
weeks ago and it soon became clear that his system wasn't able to
process food any more and, as he was too weak for surgery, that he
wouldn't have too long.
My Dad lived more than a full life and has left a great legacy in the
students that he's taught and mentored in the past 34 years of
teaching history (and more importantly, critical thinking), as
evidenced by the hundreds of letters from former students that I
sorted through when I was packing up his Brooklyn apartment for his
move back to Georgia.
If you had met him last spring you would have pegged him as being in
his early 60's rather than 83. He walked to work at Empire State
College 3 times a week from brooklyn to manhattan, , 12 miles round
trip and was in great shape.
My Dad had the most varied of careers and life experiences: Born in
Jacksonville, Florida in 1920 he was raised in the backwoods of
Georgia just outside of the town of Woodbine by his Maternal
Grandmother Harriett Weston.
He worked at many varied professions in his first 50 years.
In his early years in addition to being a student and day laborer he
was a singer a gospel group. He was drafted into the army and fought
in WWII in the Europe where he subsequently studied French and became
an interpreter for the army in postwar France. Upon his return from
WWII he studied engineering in NY on the GI Bill becoming a structural
engineer (he helping design many school buildings and office buildings
in NY State).
In the early 1960's he opened a coffeehouse called Les Deux Megots (a
takeoff on the famous Parisian café, Les deu Magots) in the East
Village of New York City with partner Mickey Ruskin (who later went on
to open Max's Kansas City, http://www.maxskansascity.com/), where many
poets, famous and not so famous came to recite, and local and national
luminaries spoke on issues of the day. LeRoi Jones, Allen Ginsberg,
Paul Krassner, Robert Anton Wilson and William F. Buckley were a few
of the folks who spoke or performed there.
After I was born in 1963, he sold the coffehouse in order to have a
more reasonable home life instead of working 7 days a week until all
hours. While he continued to work as an engineer, he studied and
taught himself photography and became a professional
photographer/photojournalist, having his photographs of inner city
life published in numerous local and national publications including
Time & Life.
In 1969 after a 20 years away he returned to visit the Georgia
backwoods where he was raised. He saw a way of life that was rapidly
changing and decided to document the life of the rural Blacks in the
community. He took thousands of photographs and did hundreds of
interviews and wrote a manuscript accompaniment to his photo essay
that detailed the lives and history of the Black community in
southeastern Georgia in the 20th century. His resultant photo essay
had numerous showings in the US and abroad. Portions of his written
essay was included in 'Black Southern Voices: An Anthology of Fiction,
Poetry, Drama, Nonfiction, and Critical Essays edited by my Dad's
friend, Author John Oliver Killens (http://tinyurl.com/6wqsx).
http://www.cafepress.com/mackeys3
In the early 70's he became guest lecturer at City College of New
York, mainly in their African American History department. He soon
became a full-time professor in the department. In the late 70's he
moved over to Empire State College's Harry Van Arsdale Center for
Labor Studies, where he taught until becoming ill in June of 2004.
In addition to his classes at the college, he held free community
history/current event classes in the community room of his apartment
building in Brooklyn.
He was a very outspoken teacher who emphasized the neccessity of
critical thinking skills to his students. Based on many of the
letters from his former students, many of whom kept in contact with
him over the years, he opened many of their eyes to the importance and
value of education in an increasingly competitive and complex world.
He was one of the most well-read people I have ever met. He could
read a thick, dry, 700+ page historical tome in an evening and quote
from verbatim the next morning. The 6 room apartment which he lived
in from 1965-early 2004 was FILLED with his 10,000 album record
collection (the old-fashioned vinyl kind) and an almost equal
collection of books, each of which he had read.
Two things I'm glad for. First, that I got to spend a lot of time
with my Dad over this last year helping him move and recuperate after
his first stint in the hospital. Next, that while he was better he
made it clear that he was ready when the time came. He said that in
his life he'd gone a long way from his upbringing in the Georgia
backwoods and was glad to be home and if his time was short now, it
wasn't like he'd missed out on doing anything he'd planned on doing.
So it isn't like he's left anything undone.
I just hate to see him go.
-Chef Juke
"EVERYbody Eats When They Come To MY House!"
www.chefjuke.com
Your father was a God who knew who he was. I watch his Youtube posts every day. He was a true teacher and his humor helps you understand and overstand better of how to be an African.
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