On May 1st, 1983, two of us walked in Dorothy Day’s footsteps in Union Square at Fourteenth Street to distribute the twelve-page anniversary issue of The Catholic Worker. Joseph Zarella had been a full-time volunteer at the Catholic Worker when Peter Maurin was in his prime, in the years from 1935 to 1942. Zarella had travelled with Peter Maurin in 1936 to visit the newly founded houses of the Catholic Worker movement. He remembered the talks that Maurin had given to the struggling groups, as well as to monasteries, seminaries and parishes throughout the country. I had encountered Maurin in the early nineteen forties on visits to the Catholic Worker. What we most remembered about Maurin was his utter selflessness, his total absorption in the message he was impelled to share. We cherish the memory of that craggy face, illuminated from within, as he delivered the carefully phrased concepts. We recall what it was like to have the index finger of that broad peasant hand brandished before our faces as Maurin “made his points.” It was these “points,” lived out dramatically by Dorothy Day, and enfleshed not only in her memorable writing but in the C. W. movement, that captured the minds of young people and set them on fire with zeal to remake the world.
Black participation in the Revolution, however, was not limited to supporting the American cause, and either voluntarily or under duress thousands also fought for the British. Enslaved blacks made their own assessment of the conflict and supported the side that offered the best opportunity to escape bondage. Most British officials were reluctant to arm blacks, but as early as 1775, Virginia’s royal governor, Lord Dunmore, established an all-black “Ethiopian Regiment” composed of runaway slaves. By promising them freedom, Dunmore enticed over 800 slaves to escape from “rebel” masters. Whenever they could, enslaved blacks continued to join him until he was defeated and forced to leave Virginia in 1776. Dunmore’s innovative strategy met with disfavor in England, but to many blacks the British army came to represent liberation.
Anthologies Warner, Charles D., ed. 1917. The Library of the World’s Best Literature. With 5,550 selections and over 1,000 essays on primary authors and ...
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