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Maxine Beck: Giving thanks to county BoE and discussing the play 'Fences'

Maxine Beck

Maxine Beck

Thanks, Talladega County Board of Education.

Willie D. Nix, foundation members and alumni of the former R.R Moton School express their gratitude to Dr. Suzanne Lacey and the Talladega County Board of Education for their work on transferring ownership of Sycamore Elementary School to the R.R. Moton Alumni Education Center Foundation, Inc.

Nix founded the organization in 2020 in recognition of Corine E. Patton, the late principal of R.R. Moton School.

Because of integration, R.R. Moton closed in 1969 and later became Sycamore Elementary School. In 2019, Sycamore closed, and the students relocated to Winterboro School.

The Foundation's mission is to provide educational and non-educational programs and services to underserved communities in Talladega County.

The Foundation is a non-profit and equal opportunity organization, and current services provided include health and wellness services in coordination with Coosa Valley Medical Center and the Agency on Aging, movie matinee for children, a full-scale gift shop, EIY Girls Outreach (Elegance in Youth), food box distribution, Treats in Trunk, and toy distribution at Christmas.

Educational classes are being planned for the future.

The center offers spaces for meetings, reunions, birthday celebrations, and other community friendly gatherings.

The Foundation asks to be contacted at least 30 days in advance of anticipated use of the facility.

The Foundation will host its open house Nov. 12.

For more information, contact Nix at 513-374-2612 or Faye White at 256-368-3818.

Play sparks memories

Memories returned during August Wilson's play "Fences."

I am sure George Culver, the board, and friends of the Ritz Theatre are happy with the Talladega College and the Ritz Theatre collaboration, the community's involvement and AIDB's support strong support Oct. 4 and 5 — dates of performance.

Fences leaves a somewhat-sting on some; the scenes are too real.

I was still home in the ’50s, but can remember men sitting under trees, telling jokes, drinking alcohol, and swearing while their wives were preparing supper, making sure the children were home and not going to do anything to upset their father whenever he came home and even making sure "Blue," the family's dog, had a ham bone or an old-pot of week-long thrown out leftovers to keep him alive, too.

Everything from the time "daddy" arrived home revolved around keeping him "content" and the family and everyone else alive for another day.

According to neighborhood gossip in the ’50s, the men were angry at life and often carried switchblade knives.

In the ’70s, I remember a wife, whose husband's pattern of handling anxiety was similar to Troy (daddy/father character) telling me, "Being shot and hit with a brick hurts, but never get stabbed."

This behavior/pattern of life was not/is not confined to racial lines.

According to Google, "While Wilson's plays seem to be specific to African-American life, the overall themes of his plays are universal."

As soon as Troy steps foot on his property, he calls his son's name, loud and repeatedly, until he and his son are standing face-to-face. As if ready to go blow-for-blow, they each stand boldly without blinking an eye.

The son finally tells his father that he is tired of being afraid of him.

I don't know if it is a general consensus today that men continue to drink and swear to relieve some of the venom from the sting of life and women feel that their sole purpose is to keep everyone alive and halfway content. But the majority feels that the home is no longer a safe haven- especially for the youths in the household.

Troy told Bono (his friend) that his daddy was mean, too. However, Troy's father did not desert his family, but the family deserted him — due to his meanness.

In the ’20s through the ’60s, mainly, it was common for men that could not adequately provide for their families to simply "walk away."

How do you cope with the guilt of having "walked away" from your family — and even "Blue"?

Could this be the cause of so many of today's cases of mental problems, alcoholics, drug addictions, absentee fathers, youth violence, etc.?

I was listening to Dr. Charles Stanley this past Monday and his sermon was on the decline of the family. He listed the following as ways of strengthening the family:

"Be a good listener, read the Bible with your family at least once a week, encourage individual readings and voluntary discussions, keep discipline consistent, never slap a family member because it is seen as a 'put-down' and the scar(s) can remain for life, be consistent in what you say and always be honest with your family."

Dr. Stanley also said that it is hard on a family when a parent walks away.

The home is supposed to be a refuge for the family; nonetheless, it has been stated many times, "It all starts in the home."

For the benefit of our youths, we must get it together!

Thanks, and enjoy your weekend.

Maxine Beck is a contributing columnist for The Daily Home. She writes about the Black community in and around Talladega.