A reason why I
One two bop skip
cannot be concerned about
Love or simple fantasies or dreams
that occur while I sleep peacefully
You know why I
One two three bop bop bop
cannot smile or paint a happy picture or
sing a simple song or write empty hateless words
is obviously because
One two three four ping pong ding dong
Walk all over me
Is it based on questions, insecurities, fears, hope, and fantasies,
this thing called love, or is it simply a reflection of ourselves,
checking us out while we don’t even know it?
How foolish we are, those who love boastfully, displaying our vulnerability,
wickedly maneuvering our own emotions simply to fit them for all
occasions, except real reality.
© B.Michael Hunter 1979
This event, only the second in as many years, was most likely a highlight of Bert’s school year. He is listed on page 4 among the planning committee. Many of his running buddies were involved on stage and/or behind the scenes playing leadership roles in the Black Community, both on and off campus, and in the Adelphi University student body in general — Sam Aymer, Karen Fraction, Lorna Johnson, Bruce Jones, Jeff Lee and Pam Tyson.
By its fourth year (and Bert’s graduation year), the *Third World* Senior Luncheon was co-sponsored by La Union Latina, highlighting solidarity between Black and Brown students.
As a Junior at Adelphi University, B.Michael sent a piece to the Delphian, his college newspaper. Though it hasn’t yet been located, it critiques the publication’s prioritization, or lack thereof, of issues related to students of color.
In her response, the editor at the time seems to take a defensive posture, assuring Bert and others that: “. . . there is no conscious effort on our part to ignore minority events. Yet I’m sure you would agree that with as many problems as [Adelphi] has (tuition, dorms etc.), everything on campus cannot be covered.”
She also uses her missive to convey the institution’s views that minority students share the responsibility in their lack of coverage: “. . . the Editorial Board of the Delphian . . . has been frustrated by the lack of involvement of minority students . . . I’m sure that if more minority students, especially those living on campus, could find time to get involved . . . it would be 100 times easier for the rest of us to know about the special activities which [minority] organizations . . . sponsor.” Because, in the end, it is about making it “easier for the rest of us [i.e., white students].
On a slate that included President, Vice-President, Secretary, Arts & Sciences Representative, and Business Representative, B.Michael, a Sophomore, ran unopposed for Treasurer of Adelphi’s Student Political Association (S.P.A.)!
Below are samples of meeting minutes from his 1978-79 Junior year, together with some communications regarding the business of the S.P.A.
B.Michael valued strengthening community in whatever context he found himself. As an undergraduate at Adelphi, he pursued a myriad of ways to support his fellow students, which included applying to be an on-campus Resident Assistant (RA) for his Junior year. He sought a written reference from Kathleen Harrison, aka his beloved Aunt Kitty.
Please describe the nature and length of your relationship with the applicant.
I have known Bertram all his life. There is a close intimate friendship between his family and mine. He has always evidenced courtesy, intelligence and interest and has contributed greatly to all social gatherings by his helpfulness and willingness to do anything requested cheerfully.
What might his/her outstanding contributions be to such a position?
Bertram relates well not only to his own peer group but all other age groups as well. He is personable, well-groomed, and sensitive to the needs and wants of others. He is also forthright, honest, dependable, articulate and capable of assuming responsibility.
What, in your estimation, might be his/her weaknesses?
If Bertram has any weaknesses I have yet to discover them. I have discussed Bertram with others who know him and I find they concur with the high opinion which I have of him.
List some questions which our interviewer might ask to further evaluate the special qualifications of this applicant.
- Will you be capable of keeping up your grades if you are hired in this capacity?
- Do you feel this type of position would better prepare your for the business world?
Imagining that 19-year old B.Michael was inspired by seeing this troupe and also wondered where were all the dancers of color on stage.
B.Michael pledged Alpha Phi Alpha as a first-year student at Adelphi University.
In 1976, B.Michael is among the 93rd class of graduates from Brooklyn Tech. See page 5 below.
I saw the blue skies turn fiery red.
Maybe it was love… maybe it was fright.
And clouds, that hold cool rains or cold storms,
That wipe out life by over-abundance.
I saw the blue skies turn fiery red,
And then turn blue again.
I saw the blue skies become windy
And blow the clouds, that held the cool rains.
I remember the wind blowing the clouds,
First slowly, then increasingly fast,
Building up to an uncontrollable force
That couldn’t be checked by life.
I remember that windy blue sky
When it was as calm as a breeze
That checked the fiery red skies,
And reached a medium
That was subtle, and sweet.
© B.Michael Hunter 1976