Say Brother; Older Members of the Black Community
You say you should do that myself and pay to Told be like that. Do. You plan to.
Do the. Math. Can always find me.
OK. Tell me do you think that governmental agencies is doing enough to help retired people working.
For our country for everything.
That's been done. You know. To help. Build a park. Know they don't have any. You know really good form of transportation. How much. Of. What.
Do you think. The young people in the community can learn from our elders.
First of all I think young people from the older people come I hope based discipline themselves respect that you know people have people you know from all the people you know. And although you know ma'am.
Tonight say it brother will present the talent and thoughts of older members of the black community. We feel that much of the credit for the existence and development of the black community today belongs to our senior citizens. Despite their many contributions over 50 percent of the senior citizens in the United States live below the poverty line the large majority live on fixed incomes which are not automatically adjusted to meet the constant rising cost of living. During the show we'll be in the community talking to Charles Moore and other senior citizens who will share their insights and understanding of one another. We'll also be listening to the poetry of Bishop Curtin and the musical artistry of rolling Evans in the studio with me this evening. Mrs. MELLER meercats.
Mrs. Lomita of Boston and Ralph Banks.
Are you all doing. It's good to have you here. Nice to be here. It's always good to have some of our elders on the show. Thank you very much. Good to be appreciated. Yes indeed. It's good to have you here. I always believe that you have a lot to teach us particularly younger people. We should. It's nice to recognize it. OK so they don't. Before we start I just want to ask you about a recent award understand that you got in this case.
Yes I was on it greatly honored and surprised by the American mother's Committee which is a national group and they chose me for the Massachusetts mother. Of the Year for 1974. So I'm going to represent all of you. Have a very grand affair in May at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York along with all the other 52 mothers from all over the country.
That's going to represent all the mothers this is going to represent all of you represent all of mothers black white mothers I'll make a difference. I represent them all. That's right.
So you certainly are the mother of the black community here. But there's no question about the sanctity of life. I was pretty sure she grabbed the wrong answer. I am going to represent all of the mothers.
One of the things you want to talk about today are some of the programs that exist for senior citizens in the community.
I'm wondering if any one of you would like to talk about that. Well we have now more than.
We are doing different thing you know and raising money. And so they can take trips and things and have we're having a fashion show in May and we were doing different things and haven't we had the XYZ things raising money and going around see the one who's sick and can't get out and help them. We have quite a group to bring the one down my church and one in my building.
But you live in I live in the world. Do they have any housing programs or food programs.
Yes. And they have you can call up and they'll come and get you and take you for meals all day and bring it to you 50 cents and I haven't tried but my friends do and it's very good. I've seen it. Very good. You know.
All kinds of programs do you know Mrs. Cox but we have the curve where I am so under Title 7 and Title 3 of the federal. Act which gives us a nutrition program we get the money. We're really a council of elders I represent. As a. Organization funded by model cities and we have in that the meals on wheels that Miss Boston spoke of which are delivered to people who are shut in. And new. To the program. Group feedings which are going to bring the isolated. Shut in elderly into a place where they can eat with the others once a day we feel a good many living rooms where they don't have facilities to cook. So we're really focusing on them this time to bring them into a group setting and get their meal and then have some other kind of recreation and along with it. We also have the council of elders the home care that's a homemaker. We have about 120 who go into the homes throughout the model cities area take care of the needs of the elderly. Chores for them such as keep the place clean and cook them a meal if they can get out of the door and do it themselves and so other be the caretaker or custodian of an elderly person who's shut in. There a two programs that I'm very proud of in my area.
Mr. Banks are you aware of any programs that currently serve the old way.
Well I'm afraid that I am very. Much out of place in that area.
I am a senior citizen my age. I can't escape that. Time it's caught up with me so that I qualify as a senior citizen. That's the only qualification I have. Unfortunately for this group. Naturally I. Am. In sympathy but I'm very much concerned with the. Lot of my. Other. Senior citizens. And anything I can do. Or any hope I can give. I'm always available. I want to go on record. But as an active participation I am. I don't consider myself a senior citizen really because. I am still engaged in activities which. I pursued before I was a citizen senior citizen. So I'm afraid I can't be of much help in that score. Right now. I have my ideas as. I see it says he's being treated now and how they were treated in the past and how he should be treated. But as to their programs. I'm satisfied that they're very. Well qualified. And. These ladies and their associates I know the work you're doing they do wonderful work. They go into the rest homes they're going to the. Veterans facilities. They go into the schools.
And they are always available for and call. In fact.
Well no I better not say what I had in my mind. Sometimes are two well-qualified. Sometimes they resent resented because they do such a fine job.
And even though I myself. Have not gotten into it. I can find comfort and consolation. By saying that the better half. Too has got herself involved as far as she is allowed to be.
That's all I have to say. I'm asking is cast do you think that there are in fact enough programs out here for elderly people.
No they're not enough top of them. There's so much more that could be done for them particularly by our government. In fact at this present time in their administration we're on now. There has been very disappointing to elderly citizens all over the country. I'm a member of the National Council of senior citizens three million who are organized to get better legislation and who were responsible for getting Medicare and who are responsible for getting the SSI which is supplementary Social Security income added to what they had which is a pittance for what we asked for. But this government has taken particular pains to cut down. A lot of the benefits that should come to the elderly people things that we thought we had. And particularly now there's one program called the senior aides. That pays the elderly person a little money while they do something with senior citizens. If they could be recreation or they could be outreach or whatever that program was cut almost in half. So a good many of these elderly who are retired could pick up just a little bit of money to help as you said with this income which is so small. And those are the kinds of things that we are out in the legislative area to try to stop or to try to improve. We have a wonderful legislative committee here in Massachusetts under Frank Manning. I know you've heard of him who really is a friend in Massachusetts. And every state has organized in that type of way to legislatively that's the only way we're going to get anything put forth the effort to change and to bring about better conditions to clean housing there's not enough housing for elderly. They live in housing developments which are out moated as far as they are concerned. They need the newer type of housing. True we've got some more in box but you know lately but we need so many more types of housing units that we could live in and be comfortable and be there with the things that we didn't have when we were younger such as elevators to take up when you can hardly walk up a flight of stairs such as the safety things that are in there when you get into your tub your shower and all kinds of protections. We need those things as we grow older because physically we've grown weaker and these things should make up for it. But our government turns it head the other way. And so we really have to. Organize which we have politically to fight it and it's on the way we're going to get it. So we're out to do it and it's all senior citizens Mr. Banks he has been a fall runner in legislation and he knows good and well what it means to fight for anything. He's been one of our pioneers and legislation in my area. So when that legislation comes through we have people like that who perhaps not right in the senior citizens little group but supporters of the movement. And that's what you need. And we do have that.
Ms. Boston would you talk about some things you'd like to see happen for senior citizens programs or any ideas you might have.
Well I will. We're organizing a group to go into the different homes you know and see what they need because in the mall then they have about five or six places they have built and they have elevators and they have the bars. Like she says in the bathroom and different place that the emergency bell is. We have emergency valve made the bed. It's a long cord. You have to take it or pin it on your bed that night. You go to the bathroom one in the bathroom when you take a bath dispose of bring it on a case or something happens. Is pretty well organized. We have Lucy. They have five buildings they have put up.
And they're very well equipped. But you know there's a very few and they won't go. There. Why do you think they won't go. Well I don't know what it is.
I don't know what it is but they don't keep them out. They hit when they put up the other place and they begged them to get some to go in and they won't go but they have one development the city has down on New Orleans street and all of a street. And they put up and tear them up and down. If you want to get the children get two and three bedrooms and they charge you for what you make say and a lot of them are down there. That's Elda. They will come in to the other place. We begged them we go and see them but they said they they're satisfied.
Mr. Banks why why do you think.
Elderly people have problems. I mean that may sound like a very simple question but you know why is it that elderly people still have to fight for housing or for nutritional programs.
Well I tell you it in my opinion the reason they have to fight because they are considered to be an organized minority. And I feel that as the older people. Become better organize and use the talents which are still bears. They will receive many more benefits and much more recognition. Now when I see the towns which are theirs. I think the majority of the senior citizens. Have their abilities and mental abilities their faculties. They can write. They can use the telephone. Now. They can take. Their pen in hand and write to the editors. These newspapers especially the globe where I would say especially to a little global hell they can write to their congressmen and senators. They also can take part on these topics.
In other words they've We have got to begin to try to influence the media more. Now they can become more involved in the TV programs like this and I commend you for this move you make them. But I must say this though. As I understand this program is supposed to take into consideration the way things used to be. In my day. A lot of the OAM person.
Pool was terrible deplorable. It was shoved to one side. As a rule says really quite often there are a liability to the family. Quite often they will be put in the old folks home or the poor homeless people. In other words when they get to be a certain age to retire they just tolerate. The next step for them was the grave. There's no way now.
We citizens now are recognize as seniors by gays as citizens do and they are given many projects to work on. They are recognized as human beings. And why compared to where it used to be it's wonderful ladies and very.
But we can't be satisfied no by no means. And. Your question was. What was your question for.
Why. Why do you think they held are people even still have problems in arsis.
Well I don't think they have any more problems. The average person I don't have problems. And the reason they have published because life is full of promise but I don't think they have any problems that they can solve themselves that we can't solve ourselves by living together. By using the intelligence and the talents which we have. And by being asked to become involved. Now I think another thing too. All the people. That we have certain assets which they can't take away from us. We have been over the road.
And we have the experience which is in great need to do. The people. Now we've got to find ways. To impress young people that we have what they need. I don't think we should try to dominate them by no means. But we must. Make them realize that. They are being in the position of which we are now. Where they are being recognize. Where they have good educations where them making their own thing as they say is a result of what we did in our younger days. And they must realize. That we have fought hard. In this country in this state from the PC phrases that was no easy battle. What is your employment practice now. It's a massive truth commission. All right. Is there an answer. We have fought hard to have all addicts stay recognized. As it should have been as a great deal of great history where the first blood shed in the American Revolution was that of a black man convinced that if we had to fight hard for that people we had to. Everything that is of any consequence which all the young people benefit from we had to fight. We had to fight hard to get the first black nurse in the hospital. The truth we had to fight hard to get our condition here and the civil service here right here in this state where if you are colored they would send out three names them. And you will be a top of the list. And this in all three names. And you and two whites. They were picked one to three. They know the truth. You keep going down. I know of one case.
Where they had. It was a job for foreman. And the. Public works department.
They had one name left. Then they hadn't nobody but this black man a felon named Scott Rubin. So what did they do. They dug up. A white girl who was disqualified. And they put him on a list and then made an informant. Shradha went up to the state house and he over the border.
He will try to stay them. Now they bring up all those things the things which we fought for and they must know about it and give them inspiration and courage and they must also learn what we also have learned through the years. That you got to use your hand and not use your mouth so as the case to use patience. Now I've got a scene which I guess that gets sick and tired of my saying this around the house. I say that when you cut your head in the lion's mouth there is no hope. I don't say that. You don't pull this tail.
No no we don't drop. You cut your hair off. What do you do. You pull his teeth one by one. Use your head and pull his teeth. Then you get on with people.
Then you can pull his tail I have that before that's what you do.
So the people we know they know that we had the constitution and bylaws not the Constitution and the laws of a state which guarantee us full justice and equality. And we have the Bill of Rights. And that is for all American citizens we are American citizens. Now I was up to us to make people realize that on that basis. Those who oppose this have on the losing side they can't win. That's number one. Number two our enemies. They hate the spotlight. It didn't get us in the corner. We have built our heads off. Quite often. But. If took us in a corner to try to blow the head off and all of this brought by the publicity is thrown on them. Trying to get our heads off. They'll desist. Well and the pub and publicity is the bottom line. If we are being done wrong we've got a lot of noise. We got to let the papers know about it. We got to get the NAACP and all the rest of them into the act.
And while that's enough for my talk I don't want to know how many years younger than you but I am 73 years young.
And next month will be 74 years. Actual And one great force which into my life.
Was William Ango Trotter. There was a man.
Who was born with a Spooner's molds so it was born and he died a poor man who sacrificed sacrifice. How many leaders do you find that in most of them are born poor. And they get fat jobs. Die and. We lose them. But we do we lose and we know that we don't want to be around here. I'm not blaming them. Everybody is in survival. Survival. We need to get the leaders. We need intelligent leaders. What are they.
Well I give more ammunition but I don't want to get a lot of done with that. I'm the only girl I could go for and I really want to go to the hospital as city or any hospital they will let us you know to be a nurse. That's right. Yes. And Dr. Golland had a hospital that's what I think it is disappointing for us but he has been in the hospital going and dirt and he couldn't get enough to support it.
So he had a close up you know. But he was a good doctor and so was Dr. Robbins Dr. Robinson one of the biggest doctors on my master. And so was Dr. go. And so I remember remember oh yeah I know what I mean. Sure. So we help Dr. Golomb out to that one right there. But he didn't have the facilities and enough money to go on he couldn't get surgery.
I could not could have said if I tried. And so on in prejudice they said the hospital you couldn't go in.
You know so far. And one of your courses your last six months I live in the hospital but you were black would you.
Say. No that's not what this came up. I don't like. I'm I'm really very popular in some sort of case because I say what I believe is right. But on the other hand I believe everybody has the same privilege. And I'm always I've been on these. Most times I'm wrong. But too many times in the past. Our people have tried to assume positions. And authority for which they were not qualified.
Now if you're qualified speech today there's plenty of positions. Into which you can enter and be respected and receive for good pay. But in the old days. They weren't too many times they weren't qualified. That's true. I'm going to say I would say it wasn't. It was their fault. But when it comes to going to the higher techniques such as in the hospital where you deal with people's lives. Where you have to know what you're doing. You can't get by. I said well I'm black. And I am that no one else around who is in this field. That me and who has the representation because I'm black. No. We want representation because we're qualified because we're black. We want these jobs because we are qualified. We want you opportunity. Now you notice. That in the fields where there are the greatest opportunities. We are way out in front. Take the sports world cup competition competition will cover the competition. We welcome it. If we can make it. Shame on us. Protect the sports where we are qualified.
I don't need to anymore. As they grow right. All right. The problem with that is there are other areas in medicine science. So what we've got is that I agree with him.
I haven't had a fight for first place is because said get the education and that's why these bigots are scared of us these kids out there where they're located. You know when Mississippi is here in Massachusetts you know it is here in Boston. They're scared of us. They should be scared of us. We don't wish them any harm. We want to say anything they want. We want a country and we want this city state where we all may live in peace together and be able to make a contribution because we're here for service where we could all live in peace. And harmony. And contribute to the common good work together because of our color but we don't want any ghettos were there. I wish I were there. Blackamoor there are other Gallo's of any kind we should have in any ghettos because that's against the American principle. There was a time they used to call this country. They're not in the pot. What happened to it. We have to get it. And that's contrary to the spirit of democracy.
Well I will tell you one thing we shouldn't have of blame for a lot of us don't like them so people make sure they do because I'm going to tell you something. I'm in an outdoor church because my girl lives there. Now. Those people. Could get together and keep the streets clean and keep their trash picked up. I don't care who that guy when we were kids coming up and Malta Friday said you picked up your yacht and kept it clean it up. That's right. You come down the street. That place was clean. Your mother cooked. There was no such thing as being poor. We were rich in a way because our mothers made bread cookies and everything. But you had to clean that house you had to keep your yard clean. You get your dresses ready Friday and Saturday for Sunday and for the week. These kids today you know when they have so much money they don't know what to do with it. They're not taking care of it. I thought it was a. Grass grass shoe question.
What advice would you have to give some of your younger brothers and sisters.
You know about the future. I mean you're your past on way before. What kind of advice do you have to give.
Well the only thing I would say to them that first of all I want to tell them they're living in the era in which they really can make it is you are saying there's no reason why you can't make it. But you first have to make up your mind to make it. It can grow with a defeatist attitude said Oh well I can't get anything I'm black and I can't get this wrong and that that was once. I must say years ago we felt that way because we saw it taken you know picture movement. But today a youngster has an opportunity if he wishes to develop himself to look forward to the future as a bright hopeful future. America is here in all of its opportunities. They grasp them. They say the term and that they'll get them. It's up to them they have to be determined. They have to not sit by and just wait to see what is going to bring them something and give it to them get out and see what's there. See where they fit in. Prepare yourself for it and get it. And there's no reason they can't get it today. There's enough laws on the books. They are intimidated. We've got enough laws on the books from the federal government to the state to back them up in their search if they are ready and prepared. But you can't go in and say I can do anything that is gone because nobody is doing anything. You got to do something and you got to be prepared for it. I say first get to education. Make up your mind you're going to get what you want to go real high and get it. And there's no reason why they can't. OK. I believe that.
I want to I want to thank everybody for coming to the minute I would say to the public and the children.
Our parents can. Boast about being a bit short because it's very if your children come out. And you want them to be you can only thank God for it because the conditions that you can never tell what they can get in front of a train. But there are certain things that parents parents should do with their children. In my opinion from my experience. In the first place a child should first recognize who he is who he or she is.
They should realize who she is that's very important. And I think a lot of people don't realize who they are. Now I know Minister. I don't pretend to be a minister but I do believe that one of our great weapons and we've been so successful is that we had our fourth for parents and we have any good sense realize that we are children of God. That's number one. I think once you realize that they are children of God and God is with them and with God no one can stop them. Nobody can stop them and no matter what field they go into whether it's on the sports or whether it's in the schools as long as they would go out and do what God wants them to do. They can't be stopped. That's number one. Number two. We have been so misguided and so foolish to allow people to hold us back and make us a shadow of our color. Who may me black I'm not black but they can be black. OK. OK. It goes by name names not just you what I am today. And baby what I am. If you want to me to be white you would meet me right. You want me to be. That wouldn't leave me alone. You want me to be black. You may be black so-called. Why should I contend with God as to why he made what I am. He mean people like him because he has a certain job for me to do as I am right with this color. And that's up to me to be able to do that job to be of service to mankind as he made me. And that's another thing I think but shows that realize now one thing they should realize is that the reason they're on this earth is to be of service to mankind. And we think that we have this chair. They kept everything on this earth created to be of service. Right. And man it's made to be of service. And we should realize that we have to be of service to our fellow man and by being so I mean this that we should always try to treat people right try to help them and do the best we can to make things work for everybody. And make this world a better world. Well really it was when we came in here and the only way we can do that is to become educated and educated means to call out. We have been really leading ourselves out of the darkness of ignorance ignorance is the greatest curse of mankind. We have been we lead ourselves out of the tunnel of ignorance into the light of truth. That's what we should seek the truth. And that's what I would tell the people good people but that's enough.
Those are the basics not a very good cause. Right right right. I hope people in our audience rely on most people. Thank you. Thank you for coming. Thank you for having us here we have you back. It's very nice to be here with you. This is. So here goes OK. Thank you. Can't move.
Awake. Arouse yourselves. Spring is here. The rustling of natural gears fills the air. The birds the bees the fields the flowers the swaying of the leafy BOWERS The Ivy claims as mortar towers. Spring is here. Ploughshares tale the fertile soil. Spring is here. In GLI the ploughmen onward Claude without a care. To see time. Soon the sprouts will shoot. Grass plucked rudely by their roots. Harvest time we shall soon solut cause spring is here. Yet lambs or the meadows are all spring is here. Sleepy brewing hunger struck quits. Here's where. Yearlings camp across the land that. Oh I'm hard to find. Tony Lyons Pearn there. Then when spring is here. Review Let's cast off their balls. Spring is here. Faltu sparkles Stream. Let's run also for. The breezes through the pine childrens gardens. We shall twine skipping or leafy line. Spring is here. Nightingale and blue bluebirds at trail. Spring is here. Fancy the hearts each other thrill without fear. Plentiful with doves flit and cool.
Rob Ingersoll off to woo sunbeams kiss the morning dew. Spring is here.
The captain to his ship.
Our ship was sailing smoothly upon that placid to see the course was not evening by good old the captain. The ship was old but sturdy. It had sailed the seven seas had rescued scores of sailors setting them allow at ease. The lovely moon was shining. It has shed its celebration upon the pale blue waters. It was a rich compelling scene. The passengers were strolling along the triple deck. The diners were vacated.
So was the huge honor. Then suddenly out of the Northeast swirling wind arose. The scene changed completely. Just why. Nobody knows. The angry waves rolled him idly. They lashed the gallant ship pounded at her often the forward stopping just like a. The storm raised on a battering away into the night. The captain and his crew man had fought a gallant fight. They were all men of vigor. They knew a note of despair. Their hearts were in the stoutest timber with heavy burdens bear. A horror they came from the lookout. I the captain said I see a flickering starlight in the distance overhead. Great God. Exclaimed the captain. Tis the ruler of this forest who has sent his morning Herald. To keep us on our course. The swirling wind has subsided. The sea returned to calm and captain crew tourists enjoyed the oceans of time. The mother ship sailed smoothly but her captain's voice was hoarse from shouting to his crew. We shall not change her course. So likewise on life's journey. Great storms shall be. Heard. Pilgrims must press onward they never cease to play to him who made the sunrise and sunset day and night. Who leads his weary children on to eternal life.
Tell me do you feel that you think it's our responsibility to support the older people once they become.
Very much. It's just it is our responsibility to be responsible for other members of society. You know. We're all going to get old at some point in time and I believe. That. You know. Most older folks generally are. Somewhat wiser. And. In life as a whole and they have gone through things that. You know that we have not experience. And I think it's that can be used as very much of a kind of a transition for young folks to. To kind of be in tune to the various changes especially now because. Change is coming so rapidly. There is a lot of stress that's coming with this and I think it can be very instrumental in kind of easing. That. Pain that goes along with transitional time.
Do you think governmental agencies do enough for the retired people. No.
You know my point is no they don't. They don't. Know if. They. Should get more money or. Should have better living for the whole.
Time. Tell me do you feel it's your responsibility to help support them. Once they do become older.
No I don't. Feel that the government should. Know all the time that they have to pay. Until they reach 65 and. You know. And they just don't give them enough. To live on.
Thank you very much. Do you think that the governmental agencies are doing enough to help retired people. No. No. No.
Why. You seem to be more attention to what is going on around and take care of all people. As soon. As it comes. I mean Flager federal all right. I'll let you take good care of. This. I mean when you're young you can walk in here all. Week. And isn't anything to do. But need some help from somebody. You can get it gun. I mean. Any advice. Thank you very much.
What do you think about. Parents moving into maybe your house. After they become elders.
Well I'll put it this way. You know. My mother she's about 54 years old now and I. Came to a point where she didn't have any place to go. Know to live. I much prefer her to be. With me. Harvey's on one of my sisters you know and you know taking care of him put her home because. Basically this is what's been happening too long and a lot of people say you know when they come to a certain age the first thing people want to do. Is put a small boy you know side put them in a nursing home or some type of fracture locked up.
Do you think governmental agencies do enough to help her type people. Not at all. I think one thing. Last to consideration in so far is. The number of elderly programs that have come about the. Extent of the elderly program. Has come about in the relatively short period of time that elderly have been. Traditionally. Looked at the class citizens. They have not. Been looked at as. Productive. Members of society after they have reached retirement. And one reason that. You hear so much about the elderly now. Is that they have organized themselves.
Do you feel it is our responsibility to take care of all this.
Yes ma'am. I'm leaving that one home. And I think it's time for. Us as people begin to Baystate begin to look more towards help from each other because you know all too you know history. You know people black people especially you know have been you know close knit together you know what I mean.
So I think basically it has come to the point where I that the black man in particular you know has to begin to more or less move and are forced to look in and take care of his own because if we don't take terasa nobody is going to kill us you know.
Eddie 1759 senior citizens live in Boston comprising twelve point eight percent of the total city population 20 percent of the elderly living in the city live below the poverty line. A study done at Brandeis stated that 40 percent of the elderly who are in nursing homes have no medical basis for their being there.
Mr. MOORE Can you describe the kinds of medical and income programs the federal and state government provide for all the citizens.
In this new supplementary income. The federal government has allowed 130 dollars for the individual in some states. This is much higher than what they had been previously receiving. In Massachusetts it is lower. But our state is making sure that no one will receive any less than what they have received previously. We also as far as money goes I think. Pay out. With old age recipients far more than the job of the states in this country. We reached the last year. At least when the Social Security increase was given to the people we were able to see those people on old age assistance and so forth was able to keep these 12 dollars of Social Security increase. Previous to that if they got an increase in Social Security the welfare and other institutions of this nature would deduct that amount from what they were previously getting. So reach out and give them with one hand and take it away with the other which fires old people's concern is quite a hazard. But I say we have accomplished that. Another. Big Foot fires old people's concern in this state is the creation of the department of elderly affairs. This is the first in the country where the old people have a cabinet post in the government itself and this state here is popping the community of Elephas is run by Jack left. One of the biggest things that's come out of that is this is home care coporation. Idea. This is to keep old people in their homes rather than putting them in nursing homes or hospitals. And it's been found that to too many old people in these places because there's no place else for them anymore. Quite often all that require as a slight attention a little bit of care possibly something to come in to cook a food for them make a bed do a little to and things of this nature which a minute but they individually themselves can't do that.
What kinds of problems do senior citizens face in trying to find adequate housing in the community.
Well in this city originally not too far gone with this tremendous influx of students. The two colleges bought up a lot of private dwellings and the result was that old people couldn't compete in the market for the prices that they were receiving. So it became very acute here in Cambridge. We fostered quite a demonstration of spotlight on this and my team went and has produced three housing units. They also produce housing for their students on campus and we have in construction now in the central square a tower for the alley which should be completed in about a year and a half or two years which all together will provide housing for about a thousand elderly people. This has relieve the pressure here in Cambridge but of course in a city where there's about. 18000 elderly in all walks of life it doesn't answer entirely.
Mr. MOORE You're active in trying to change the quality of life. For elder citizens of the community for the better. How do you spend your day.
Yes I received a call yesterday from a lady an aged lady she's 74. She's in difficulty with her husband is quite ill. She herself has quite a number of ailments and she hasn't had a reply from her request them as says I. I am going up to her house this afternoon to talk with the hood to get a little more detail. The when I received over the telephone. And with this information I will then go Windsor or if you can't make it go without her to the Social Security office and find out why they haven't acceded to her request again with the Council itself doesn't do anything of this nature but we refer them to the agency that does all we can.
We go there with them because a lot of times people a little bit nervous going into an office of that nature and somebody they can relate to both system up and they can talk freely on transportation which is one of the big things philes Odigo we've been very deep in that we succeed in having a minibus going through routes where there was practically no transportation whatsoever. And we are yelling and shouting that on the regular bus that first step is quite arduous for old people to climb up on. Talk with them BTA if there is some way they could. Have a temporary step that could be folded up when not in use but we load for a no people come on.
What are your impressions on how society relates to the elderly.
And the culture that we live. It's a waste culture. You buy it you use it you throw it away but you kind of do that with people. I don't think in this country here we're going to follow his example and put old people in ovens. But old people here and they must be. The whole country must we shape its thinking and realize and old people are just a part of life.
Do you think the values in our society prepare young people for the stage of their lives. We called old age.
Actually. But it needs to be done as a revolution in education. We have to educate educators. We have to re educate our judges are lawyers. The problem with old people the enemy of old people isn't old. It's middle age youth is climbing. They're trying to push middle age old so they can occupy that space. The middle age a tenaciously hold on to their position and they have the old idea that. They're indispensable and that's not true in life. No we must change our whole concept on aging and look at it as an equitable process of living. As it is now old age. Let me go back just a second. I have said this previously the Madison Avenue boys lining the streets of life with mirrors so that as we walk along it all we see is reflected youth. But there comes a point on that street where the mirrors no longer exits and suddenly we're into old age and too many of us are unprepared for it. Another facet of that is the thinking of our country is something like the ostrich. Old age is something they do not want to consider. So they put their head in the ground and. They think they're push it away but it exists. It's a fact of life. So that instead of looking at old age as something normal. To school and thinking of everybody should be change and top the fact that it is just a result of being alive. It's going to take a complete revolution in education in our schools beginning in the grammar schools right on through to reverse the thinking that old age is something that. You don't want.
It's the end of the line that old people. Not so good they should be ignored as much as possible or if they are not ignored. To just give them a token thing so that well my conscious of being solved I have done something for people. Too bad.
Far too bad. Mr. Nelson are there any senior citizens organizations in the city that could present the problem to the elderly to the officials who could alleviate those problems.
Yes and a number of senior citizens organizations in the city of Boston the golden as in Roxbury and the 464 seniors at 464 masters in Boston and the never too late group at pretty much everything to clock at the Boston Public Library and the lecture hall.
And I'm a member of all those organizations. Could you tell me a little bit about what the group and what role that they have lectures and they have travelogues just as we do a couple the square and they have various people to visit. I know that Americans who are familiar with senior citizens problems and they have medical instructors to visit from time to time from Mass General Hospital and other medical institutions in Boston.
Mr. Nelson can you enlighten us on some of the contributions of older black Americans that we might not have known about.
Well of course I met many of the great leaders in the 20s and 30s Dr. de Boys and spoke here for harmes for the whole forum several times.
Julie Rogers and the great historian and William Monroe Trotter was a friend of mine who sent me to Europe in 19 27. And Paul Robeson was a very personal friend of mine and Malcolm X was a great friend of mine whom I met in Boston.
Could you tell me a little bit about your relationship to Malcolm X..
Well I met at Micromax when he came here to organize a temple and I was talking with a group of students when I met him about lost cities in Africa which had just been published at that time. And he told me that he says you must be an unusual person because people don't discuss things like that they don't know anything about African civilizations.
What do you think is the single biggest problem that elderly people as a group face today.
Well health is one thing that some of them need more medical attention and then subsistence I think is another great problem.
Some of them receive pensions and some are seen just small grants which I don't think is sufficient.
There's a lot of low income housing being built for the elderly lately. I was wondering whether she thought that was a good idea or whether she thought that these housing projects would become places where society forgets about the elderly.
I don't think they should put all senior citizens together. I think it should be made with not only young people and middle age people for example I live with younger people although my next birthday would be seven seven years old.
And I think it keeps you in shape in shape to deal with all these different levels.
This transcript is machine-generated and has not been corrected. It is likely there will be errors.
- Say Brother
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- Chicago: “Say Brother; Older Members of the Black Community,” WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 21, 2019, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_15-th8bg2hp6w.
- MLA: “Say Brother; Older Members of the Black Community.” WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 21, 2019. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_15-th8bg2hp6w>.
- APA: Say Brother; Older Members of the Black Community. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_15-th8bg2hp6w