Friday, May 27, 2011

Question for Steve Harris: Why this blog ?

Comanche County Native, Morris Kight, and I became phone friends in the days following 9.11.2001 When I returned from a Vacation in Colorado and New Mexico in September of 2001, I found Morris had called and left several messages. Morris had read the Texas Observer report "Pineapples vs. Chicken-Fried Steak: A Multi-purpose Activist in Brownwood" (see below) and wanted to speak with me. Until that day I had never heard of Morris Kight. The more I learn about Morris, the more I understand why he took the time to call that day. Morris was a fellow "Pineapple Activist" and wanted to extend a word or two of encouragement. It was then that I learned of his love and fond memories of The Carnegie Library in Brownwood and standing up against injustice in his hometown. It takes a discriminatory Village to raise/create a "Pineapple Activist" !

Pineapples vs. Chicken-Fried Steak: A Multi-purpose Activist in Brownwood

Steves' Market and Deli doesn't quite seem to fit with the rest of Brownwood, a sleepy little country town located in almost the exact center of Texas. The downtown restaurant occupies a turn-of-the-century building, its roof lined with colored glass bottles, its windows plastered with random bumper stickers. Inside, sayings from famous leaders and movie stars are pinned up next to photos of old Brownwood, while Mexican folk-art figurines of nuns stand next to paintings rendered on the sides of old suitcases. The menu is as unexpected as the decor, offering veggie clubs and aqua della madonna (Italian …

A young Steve Harris "in the Kitchen" !

Sixteen year old Morris Kight was very brave in a land of many racist cowards

Did Comanche's Morris Kight, at sixteen years old, bravely serve the parents of United States Attorney General Eric Holder ? Morris knew an injustice like discrimination when he saw it. Morris Kight did not care about being an outcast in his community because of his first act of civil disobedience.

"Holder says his sense of what is right comes from his parents, immigrants from Barbados. His father has faced discrimination in the past.

"While he was in the service, in the South and in Oklahoma, he was refused service at a couple of places where he was in uniform, and was told that African Americans, blacks, Negros, were not served. And in spite of that, I've never known a man who loved this country more than my father did," he said.

Holder raised a lot of eyebrows with his own comments on race last year, when he said: "Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial, we have always been and we, I believe, continue to be in too many ways essentially a nation of cowards."

Salud Morris Kight

A Candid Conversation with Gay Legend Morris Kight

Interview by Andre Ting,

On December l3, l999, I visited Mr. Morris Kight in his residence in Hollywood Hills. We had a wonderful time talking about our past and recent events. After much reminiscence, I conducted an interview with him, which is of interest to CRA members:

Q Andre Ting: I know that you have being a human rights advocate for a long, long time. Did you first start your activism in Texas?

A Morris Kight: Yes, I did. As a child, I was different from anybody else. I was literate, and I spoke clearly, brilliantly, and thoughtfully. I read poetry and I wrote poetry. I started developing a philosophy of social positions. In l936 my mother and I were partners in a roadside food stand. An African American family came by and said, " We've driven all across this country and nobody would serve us. We're very hungry. Would you serve us?" I said to them, " Sit down, sit down." I knew the mixing of the races was a violation of the law. But I served them anyway. A couple came and saw us and told the sheriff. I was detained. [But] I was proud of my first act of civil disobedience...