The Foundation for The Gator Nation An Equal Opportunity Institution Samuel Proctor Oral History Program College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Program Director : Dr. Paul Ortiz 241 Pugh Hall Technology Coordinator : Deborah Hendrix PO Box 115215 Gainesville, FL 32611 352 392 7168 352 846 1983 Fax The Samuel Proctor O ral History Program (SPOHP) was founded by Dr. Samuel Proctor at the University of Florida in 1967. Its original projects were collections centered around Florida history with the purpose of preserving eyewitness accounts of economic, social, political, re ligious and intellectual life in Florida and the South. In the 45 years since its inception, SPOHP has collected over 5,000 interviews in its archives. Transcribed interviews are available through SPOHP for use by research scholars, students, journalists and other interested groups. Material is frequently used for theses, dissertations, articles, books, documentaries, museum displays, and a variety of other public uses. As standard oral history practice dictates, SPOHP recommends that researchers refer t o both the transcript and audio of an interview when conducting their work. A selection of interviews are available online here through the UF Digital Collections and the UF Smathers Library system. Oral history interview t ranscripts available on the UF D igital Collections may be in draft or final format. SPOHP transcribers create interview transcripts by listen ing to the ori ginal oral history interview recording and typing a verbatim d ocument of it. The transcript is written with careful attention to refl ect original grammar and word choice of each interviewee; s ubjective or editorial changes are not made to their speech. The draft trans cript can also later undergo a later final edit to ensure accuracy in spelling and format I nterviewees can also provide their own spelli ng corrections SPOHP transcribers refer to the Merriam program specific transcribing style guide, accessible For more information about SPOHP, visit http://oral.histor y.ufl.edu or call the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program office at 352 392 7168. October 2013
MFP 0 71C Interviewee: Dr. Alan Bean and Mrs. Nancy Bean Interviewer: Jessica Taylor Date: September 20, 2012 T: This is Jessica Taylor interviewing Dr. and Mrs. Bean on Septemb er 20, 2012 at 10:10 a.m. Mrs. Bean, can you please introduce yourself? NB: Nancy Kiker. activist since I was born. It was thing that what I did mattered. It was a calling. When I was four, my mother ran over me. I fell out of the car and because this was before there was seat belts tle bitty town to deliver a pie or who knows what, and she said, stay in the car, and I tried to get out because she stayed a few too many minutes and I, you know, wanted to see what was going on. So I managed to, evidently, get the door kind of ajar, and notice that the door was ajar, so she drove off and I fell out and she ran over me. When she came out of the car, the front tire was on my chest, and so she had to get back in the car and drive off of me. And . my dad was working at a little farm supply store across the street. They called the them touch me, I would only let my dad touch me, so he carried me to the hospital. And I was fine, I was just fine. But the pastor who my mother was visiting told me year old he told me that e had to make my life count. So, basically,
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 2 place to put that, you know? You have to make up your own hook. So, in a tried to make everything we did cou when you go into e way things are. our life, I guess that would be the definition of our life, uncomfortable, right? AB: It would be a definition. NB: One definition of our life is uncomfortable. But, the way we moved to Tulia and I guess everybody wants to know about Tulia because Tulia is what became a national struggle. Up to that, everything was, our life was nobody was, there was no cameras. There were no cameras. JT: Oka y. NB: In Tulia, what happened was, we were feeling restless. And I was feeling particularly restless. Here we were in a suburb . Alan was marginally employed because, once again, he had been preaching the Gospel that we understood it, which is a revol utionary gospel; the parables of the least of these, and that the grace of God means that grace of God unless we are . including everyone as brothers and
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 3 re voluti onary thing. Anyway, so he was we were run off from this church in Derby AB: Kansas. NB: In Derby, Kansas, right after Alan had this was his first job after he had finished his Ph.D. So, I was teaching; so, he took this little small, part time minis try in a Methodist church. After three years, we were just feeling restless. We were living in a suburb and everybody lived you know, they lived from garage to garage. You know? You could see the garage doors go up and down. There was no community, though. And the kids were in good schools, but there was no community, and I felt like we were just not teaching. The kids were not learning what it meant to be citizens of the Kingdom. So, I started having dreams, and we started doing a study on community life. We were reading books about different communities; the Bruder Hoff community, which is a Christian community and we decided we were going to have to make a major change. And so, in the end, it turned out just everything fell in place so that we decided to move back to my hometown. My parents were going to be retiring there. My sister decided, if we were going to be close to my parents, so was she, so she and her husband sold their house s and quit their jobs and we all we had a caravan, I call it a family reunion on crack. So we all sold, quit our jobs and moved to Tulia, and Alan so, he quit his job so we were moving to this small town. Well, what was a guy with a Ph.D. in church history going
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 4 part time, interim pastorates, and maybe I can get a little country church and then write and have a little country church, part time country church or something. I was able to get a job teaching in the panhandle of Texas. So, off to college and the boys came with us, and we had in mind or, I had in mind, anyway, this family reunion; this quilting bees, this re introducing the kids to living in community and belonging. And that kind of backfired. the quilting be es which my family still does and family dinners, and we had bir thday parties, and the kids played football and basketball and started to be big men on campus. Amos was in junior high and Adam was in high school. But then I read about this in the newspaper, we read about this kid named Jamie Moore who had just received a seventy five year sentence for rape. It was considered aggravated rape, but there was no weapon. I said to Alan, Jamie Moore, is he one of my kinfolks? were attending the Baptist chur ch at the time at this time we were attending the Baptist church and so, on Wednesday given a seventy five year life sentence. I just wrong. The pastor said this is a Wednesday night, Bible study kind of
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 5 thing probably he might be your relative, AB: worst families. NB: Yeah, and a thug. AB: NB: So that was sort of like shh. Because I put it out as a prayer request, and it was just, poof. At that point, I could feel all the curtains closing. And bust hit, and that was all in t on television at first because w ut we were looking at the names in the paper because we were looking for our relatives; my parents had moved, also, to retire, back to their homet own. My father was in the pastoral ministry and we had lived all over the place. AB: We had only been in Tulia for a month or so. NB: Yeah, because they waited till my mother could retire and they moved back. We started looking at the names listed in the paper to see who, which one of my relatives had been caught, because I had several lots of cousins who were . involved in drugs. We could well, and their names, but my dad starte d reading the addresses, and he said, oh, these people are all on the black part of town. And my mother says, what
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 6 are we how can this town have forty six kingpin drug dealers? Who are doing this investigation, and the circles of people who were incarc going on in the system. We kind of assumed that the civil rights m ovement had made justice, right? And there was justice now. AB: Yeah. From the time that we graduated from seminary to the time that we arrived in Tulia, whic h was 1975 to 1998, the prison population in America NB: AB: I mean, we knew they were locking up more people probably, than we had been, but we had no idea of the magnitude of all of this. NB: No. No. Alan did a lot of research on that. But, for us, at this point, it a very spiritual exercise. I mean, what what was at risk. We started putting out calls: the Justice Department my father was involved in this, my mother the Justice Department, NAACP, ACLU, nobody cared. I mean, because, we di business as usual. There was no this is nothing unusual. So, we decided we had to organize ourselves. Finally, we were able to get a local chapter
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 7 of LULAC to invite us to just come out and talk, and they set us up with a lawyer, one of the lawyers in Plain View who was working for the January. It was actually Martin Luther King Day, and there was some activity; there was a house repair day that some of the local communities were working on. It was LULAC and the TRLA, which is Texas Rural Legal Aid. By the way, Texas Rural Legal Aid is forbidden to do any criminal defense. AB: Or political NB: Or anything political. In other words, nothing. Basically, they anyt hing because anyway, we were put in touch with them, so we took a caravan of families who had family members impacted by the drug sting. We went down to work in the housing repair, and while Alan and my father went and spoke to the lawyer, it was a crisis. Because the lawyer AB: The drug sting happened in July 23, 1999, and this was NB: In January. AB: January 16, I think, 2000. Quite a bit of time had elapsed. NB: Yeah. So, what happe ned was, the lawyer told Alan and my father that in this, we should know that the DA would not be above putting out a hit out on our family, and certainly not be above planting d rugs in our vehicles. We had two teenage sons, so that was a very real threat; and,
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 8 two teenage sons who were just starting to drive, so, you know, driving is a very vulnerable activity for being stopped, pulled over, searched. So, what we did that night, we took it home to our boys and we had a family meeting and told them what the deal was. Of course, they were teenage it meant was, we were deciding that we were going to be ousted from our family not my parents, but the extended family. So, we received not too long after, Lydia graduated actually, this is four years later, this is a long struggle what happens is, when we go to basketball games and football games where our kids are playing, we know no one knows us any longer. Family friends from ever and ever AB: urselves. NB: No longer know us. AB: NB: faculty meeting because all the places are saved. No one speaks to me anymore in the school except the Mexicans. [Laughter] The custodians, became my spies and they would come and tell me what was being said in some room or AB: Because they were virtually invisible.
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 9 NB: They were invisible. I d they could be in a room and people would just keep talking as if they on. Our phones were tapped. My brakes were cut one morning w hen I police that we were afraid of. The pol ice were following our children, our That they were being pulled over regularly and . it was very traumatic, but, you know, I feel sometimes I feel sorry that we put our kids in this school; because it was a small town, the expectations were q uite low. But we gave them an education, a real education. AB: One of the things that was so hard about this is that, of course, however ambivalent our feelings about organized religion might have been, we wanted our kids to have a faith that worked for th em. And, because our involvement brought out the absolute worst in the local religious community point they got a very jaundiced view of religion in general, and found it very difficult to take C hristians seriously. NB: Yeah, oh, yeah. AB: As religious people. And that made it hard for them to relate to the whole faith dimension, which was not true for our daughter. NB: She was away at college.
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 10 AB: But it was true for our two sons. NB: Yeah. So, w hen she graduated I sent an invitation college invitation to the matriarch and patriarch of our family, Aunt Lucy and Uncle John. And they sent it back with additional pages scrawled, disinviting us from the family, telling us that they had torn up all of AB: And taken them off the refrigerator. NB: Taken the pictures off the refrigerator. AB: The ultimate excommunication. NB: mother, especially, because this was a lmost like her mother, because her mother had died when she was pretty young. Aunt Lucy and Uncle John kind of had stepped in. Interestingly enough, Aunt Lucy, in the last few years, has had a stroke which destroyed her short term memory, and she no longer carries those grudges. [Laughter] So we can visit her again. I But, you know, you it was like I was a conspirator; a conspirat what the conspiracy was. The church people that we tried to minister to what the conspiracy was, either, but at this point it all came into perspective, t hat . that there is really a systematic . plan to make sure that some people have more power and more power and some people have no power.
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 11 ounseling after that. because they we re so hurt not just by what happened in Tulia, but by our experiences in churches all around. Amos, our youngest, says he gets nauseated when he walks into a church. The smell of the church makes So, he is empowering the least of these. Adam is starting to have a perspective on it; he turned project. Our daughter play the academic game, either. Once she gets tenure which is like winning your prize in the system she may leave the academy and actually try to work with Friends of Justice, try to get some funding so that she can make empowerment a full time, a full what else to say. T: I have questions. [Laughter] NB: Good, good, good. Oh, good, yay. Good. T: So, first of all, before you moved to Tulia, where was your mind with empowering? Ho w did you pick this path out of all of the things that you could have done that
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 12 NB: Moving to Tulia? How did I pick which path, empowerment, or who to empower? T: Yeah. Actually, the second one. How did you two meet, and how did it get to mass incarcerati on? NB: We met . Alan was at seminary in Louisville if Ph.D. at Southern Seminary in Louisville Kentucky, in 1968, the summe r you know, it was a a nd we moved to Edmonton, Alberta, in 1968, the summer of 1968. I was still in junior high. Alan was living in Edmonton, Alberta. My father actually supply preached. My father accepted a position as a professor at a little school there a little German three years; we were the re three years in Alberta. Alan was in Alberta. We actually met when Alan came down to seminary in Lousville. I had just finished university in Lexington, Kentucky, and I was contemplating going to seminary. I had a little job, a little nothing job, civil service job, counting what it was job analysis, it was a job analysis job. It was a make work job. And we met at a party, a youth young adult party, and when we were introduced, Alan had actually heard of me because I was pretty firey.
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 13 Actually, I was hot. I was hot. [Laughter] I had long hair down to my waist, you know? Red hair and a red personality, red headed personality. Anyway, he met me; we were introduced by . one of my co horts at university, and she said, this is Nancy Kiker. She just graduated from the University of Kentucky with me in Human Development & Family Relations and Early Childhood Education. And AB: She would make a wonderful NB: She would make a wonderful A B: Mother. NB: Mother. And Alan said, glad to meet you, will you marry me? [Laughter] [Laughter] Is that the story you were expecting? many ways because he had on a housecoat, it was a masquerade, it was a Halloween party, he had on a housecoat and this little, creepy mask that was for little children. AB: NB: But he did take his mask off to be introduced to me, thank God. He really looked ridiculous. And he had on and his hairy legs were at the bottom, out of his housecoat. But he had a guitar. You know? You got to get a guitar if you want to get a gal. So, anyway, I invited Alan was living with four other guys in a walk up apartment, four other Seminary students, and two of the other guys were also from Canada. Since I had lived in Canada, this is like, oh, cool, we have something in common. So, I invited them all
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 14 back to my apartment, which was actually an upstairs little apartment in my they could actually make the payments. So, I invited the guys, the Canadian guys, up to my apartment for tea after the party, and Alan had to study for a church history exam AB: It was O ld Testament. NB: Old Testament. He got an A. He turned me down, got an A on the exam. So, I started going out with one of his roommates. Even though I had tea, so I started going out with one of his Canadian roommates, who was a real sweetheart, but we were not . AB: He went into life insurance eventually. [Laughter] NB: We were we, I think we were . po l ling up different rivers. AB: He went into life insurance and we went the other end of spe ctrum. NB: the wall. [Laughter] So, anyway. Kent went in for a conference and he said company? So, Alan said, okay. So, that was the end of that. We . we talked the entire, we went to the museum, we saw a French AB: Francois Truffaut movie. [Laughter] NB: You know, real dark. AB: Because it was free. [Laughter]
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 15 NB: Yeah, because it was free. [Laughter] And we both, I pretended like I knew art museum, Alan. But I pretended like I was, you know, sophisticated, I tried to be. He was pretending we . AB: We were both pretending to be sophisticated for each other, I guess. NB: Park in Louisville ; we talked and talked and then we came back to my apart see you around, means, fuck around, call me tomorrow. So he did. We were marri ed very shortly after that because we were T: So mass incarceration and the justice aspect of this comes together. [Laughter] You discovered it together. NB: We discovered it together accidentally. We did not ever think about inc kingdom, that we wanted to live in community, that we wanted to make our lives to matter, always, from the very beginning. AB: This was the late 70s, and at that time, mass incarcera tion was NB: No. AB: Just started to take off. NB: No. AB: So it was not the issue.
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 16 NB: AB: The issue that we were primarily concerned about and this flowed from an ethics professor, Glen Stassen, who is the son of Herald Stassen, pere nnial Minnesota presidential candidate NB: Republican. AB: But he had graduated from Duke with a degree in physics and then he went into ethics. So, he was really into the nuclear power issue. NB: Yeah, yeah. AB: And there was a big generation in Madison, Indiana, just across the Ohio River from Louisville. NB: Right, right. That was our first big cause. AB: Yeah, so that was kind of but, you know NB: We joined AB: The whole civil rights thing had just, it was over. Nobody talked about it as a present reality, but that was the thing that I really found inspiring. I wanted to be involved in something that was like that. NB: Yeah, yeah. A movement. So, we joined Mobilization for Survival in Louisville, which was an anti nuclear organization, and we worked with Fellowship of Reconciliation that John just talked about, John Due, just talked about the Fellowship of Reconciliation. We worked with them a little bit. AB: And they had been involved with CORE and stimulated the first Freedom Rides back in the [19 ]40s
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 17 NB: Yeah. And they were the ones who had taught nonviolence to the m ovement. AB: Yeah. And I remember Daniel Berigan, the radical Catholic priest, coming and speaking at Seminary. Although it was a Southern Baptist school, it had this radical wing. I mean, it sort of tolerated these weirdos out here. And Glen Stassen was part of that. He was kind of a . clueless optimist, idealist NB: On the spectrum. AB: Because he had bee have done this stuff. NB: powers and principalities. AB: But he was very much into nonviolent spirituality and so he would talk about G andhi and talk about Dr. King. NB: And Simplified Living. AB: Yeah, and so that yeah, the smallest, beautiful kind of stuff. N B: Yeah, the simplified living m ovement was part and another movement that was right th en and there was the w m ovement. And so, I entered Seminary, but I got invited to leave on several occasions because, well I went into to the Divinity program, the pastoral preparation program, couple of times and it w as suggested that I should change . change
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 18 went as co know the systems we were getting into. We thought that this mean t that we were going to go as equals, but when we got there, they made it very clear they were just kidding ; they just said yes to our co pastor thing so that they could get Alan. So my name was never on any c recorded as having any pension; AB: We had no idea of the kind of subculture that we were entering into. NB: No. AB: And we had no idea of the kind of religious subc ulture in the South that we had come out of, because what we were exposed to, the professors that taught us that we chose you know, we had sort of self selected a totally unrepresentative spirituality that was completely atypical for Southern seminary and Canada were like. NB: No, no. No. AB: We were completely oblivious. NB: And I had been in my teaching. My father was . he was a blend of country Met hodism and dogma, because he was a Biblical scholar. So, he was always looking for he was always looking for the biblical way and the Jesus way, and
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 19 t realize that you had to be bound by the dogma, and the dogma was very, very bureaucratic. Because the church is very much a microcosm of a culture at large, with the power structures and the resistance to any kind of empowerment. Because that box, that d economically, but also socially mostly socially in the church. But we any time we had disempowerment and oppression in our face, we about small town Baptist churches. T: How did you decide to respond to that once you figured out that they were enforcing gender inequality on your relationship? AB: Well, NB: Yeah. AB: NB: Colorado. AB: Colorado, and we were ordained by the American Baptist church es. Which, again NB: We thought, yeah. We thought Alan refused to be ordained. When they refused to ordain me in Canada, talking 1981, 1980 . AB: Yeah, 1980 to 1986, basically.
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 20 NB: Well, in 1981 they refused to or way. You know that all this conversation you know, when we talk about this, all this conversation happened to you. I was not in any of these re ady to orda in you. They told Alan. Do you know that? That this conversation that you tell me all came from you to me. I never had a conversation directly with any of these bureaucrats in the denomination. And I was not empowered enough to take it on. T: Empowered enough personally? NB: Personally. Because I taught how to negotiate. I knew how to love. AB: Mm hm. In Canada, there had be en in the 1960s all of the, you know. Well, in the late 40s and 50 s everybody came back from the war and they wanted to settle down and have conventional, mainstream kind of religion. So, everybody the majority of people moved into either the Anglican church, which was sort of the official church of Canada, or the United Church of Canada, which was created in 1925, a very ecumenical blend of different denominations, and was becoming progressively more liberal. Our little denomination sort of saw itself as a bridge denomination between the more fundamentalist, sect like de nominations, and this kind of big tent, liberal, United Chur ch of Canada. But it was deciding in the early 1980s that it was going to pretty much close itself off from the liberal
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 21 world and move in the direction of the fundamentalist groups. So, we NB: The way I dealt with it was Alberta, British Columbia, churches, so there was nobody to b uild an alliance with. AB: No NB: The Canadian government makes that possible, for women to stay at home. They have mothers in Canada, and, of course, you have universal healthcare. The nurse would come to our house when we were way out in the country, when Amos was born. The nurse was the Royal Order of Victorian AB: Victorian Order of Nurses. NB: Yeah. Very British kind of thing. She came out to our house and checked me and checked Amos and did all these tests, and it was all . there were no bills. We got monthly checks for each child, per child. A lot of support So , but we had healthcare. So, if stayed at home for several years and brewed. You know? I was brewing. d for times of AB:
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 22 NB: Yeah. For times of AB: Gestation? NB: Yeah. There are times, there are times for action and there are times for contemplation. So I did a lot of contemplation. T: Well, how did you reach that moment? NB: The moment of T: Of self empowerment. NB: AB: light came on. NB: No. It was a rising to occasions. AB: Mm hm. NB: A ri sing to occasions, becoming who I am. AB: What we were trying to do is find a way of living an authentic faith that mattered, was engaged with injustice and trying to bring on the kingdom of God, as we understood it. NB: Yes. As far as action AB: t know how to make that happen within the conventional structures of organized religion. NB: No. As far as taking action, the big action that I took that said, I am going wait to b e funded, was when we packed up and moved out of our home in Derby and moved to Tulia, with Alan having no job. I mean, we had never
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 23 were always eligible for food r get food stamps, but we were eligible, as far as our income, for free lunches for the kids and all that fitting i n and going through the ranks, we were going to move to a small town where there was really no opportunity. We were going to put our kids one of the things about moving to Tulia was, you may say that small towns are even more racist, but small towns are to cities, everything is segregated because the neighborhoods are street, you st ill go to the same one elementary school. So, it was totally integrated. Our kids we were moving our kids from a very segregated to a very integrated community, from a majority Hispanic community, from a white community to a majority Hispanic by now commun ity in the while we were in Tulia, the schools became majority Hispanic. AB: Yeah. NB: were there AB: Now it is. NB: live our own lives.
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 24 AB: The novel that I was working on that Nancy r eferred to earlier was set in Louisville Kentucky, and the heroes, to the extent he was a hero, was a pastor who was very unhappy. He was in a very ma inline, liberal, kind of middle America church. He was very unhappy with his lot in life. So, he rented to two women, one of whom was the daughter of a black Baptist pastor and the other was a stripper. Of course, I had to figure out ways of getting him into the strip joi nt and maki ng all of this sound reasonable, called Stirring U p the Stars and it was about the interaction of these worlds, the worlds and collisions type of thing. But what I was doin g through the novel, I realize now, was I was trying to come to grips with the way the sinner saint division and all of this stuff. So, when we got involved in the Tulia fight, I kind of dropped the book. Well, there was some overlap for a period of time; I was working on both. But, more and more, I was moving away from working on the theoretical story and the real life narrative took over, which was much more compelling. NB: Yeah. Alan did a lot of research in the early days. Well, he continues to do resea ing moment. Every moment is a culmination of ng into immigration issues, and
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 25 AB: Which was another issue that w really eally opening NB: Yeah, yeah. And part of that Vanessa. I know. Part of that, moving to that, is that, while we were in Tu lia, people kept dropping in and living with us. So, I always wanted six children. So we joked we always had six children. Lydia, our daughter, jokes to people, we always had people living with us, so when she was looking for a husband, she would say, now you f I group of children drop in our house and Lydia, because she grew up with people dropping into our house. Always. When we were in Medicine Hat Alberta, our first pastorate . a kid was on a motorcycle heading to Calgary from Nova Scotia and he ran out of gas in Medicine Hat and h e called the Baptist parsonage that was our house and ended up living with us for a year. You know, he ran out of in Nova Scotia, they came and lived with us for a year. His brother and friend came and lived with us, it was kind of creepy Then, when we moved to Tulia well, when we were in Peachland, a neighbor dropped in and lived with us for a year, sixteen year old g irl. But then, when we moved to Tulia, we started having kids
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 26 just would come, a nd there they would be. In the m ovement, in the Tulia m ovement, we had a concert. We were taking a bu nch of kids, a busload of kids, to a church in Lubbock to sing and to try to raise funds. Of course, building activity. So, we were going door to door finding children. We knocked on a d oor; this old, old man answered. What was his name Alan These two little girls were living with him; we assumed he was their grandfather, their great grandfather, Mr. Burns. So I said, we would like to take the little girls to si Lubbock and do a concert. What we would do is, then we would rehearse on the way, because it was an hour drive, hour and a half drive to Lubbock. So, we would have all that time to rehearse our singing, and we did songs. AB: t out my guitar, and . NB: be back late. AB: He was eighty two. NB: too late when we get back the back the next day. Before I had those words out of my mouth, the two little girls, who were five and six, were standing in front of me, each with a
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 27 p met me. Nobody in this room the old man, Mr. Burns, nor had Kayla or LaKendra, they had never seen me or met me, but they were standing right there, one on each knee, with their little p aper bags grocery bags ready to go to my house, to stay with me. It was for the It was a couple of nights. But they were ready to go, they wanted to go now with me. AB: Both their mother and her partner and NB: Yeah. Everybody was in p rison. AB: Almost everybody they knew had been locked up. NB: s, they never went home. Mr. Burns would come and visit them sometimes and bring candy or take them to the store for candy, so they lived with us for a while, and then we discovered that they had a brother who was just staying on b ecause hi s mom and dad had been in prison. H e had the same mama, but his dad had been in prison since he was born. So, come streets. It was very, very sad because we told him, if he could stay with us,
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 28 we would make sure he I said, you have to follow the house rules if you stay here, You have to be home by nine. I have to know where you a re. He said, no, a guest stays for three nights, not for three years. So he left. AB: NB: AB: He had been on the streets too long, and his life NB: Yeah. But not even getting to the story of Vanessa, that moves from this story. They stayed with us until their mother got out of prison and then they continued to stay with us because she would have t o go and she had her lifestyle and it was were so, after their mother got out of prison, they were in constant turmoil. A s were we, because by now the se were my babies and she was going to take my babies away from me, but they were hers. So it went on for months and months, where she would promise she was going to come she came w you know, just sort of out from under me. Pretty soon, they were learning how to steal cigarettes from her. But anyway, after that, people noticed that people were living
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 29 with us, and so now my students one of my students c ame to live with me for, she was supposed to live with me for a couple of weeks while her mother was out of town, went to Mexico for medical treatment, and that turned into about six weeks. Then, another one of the students, one of my students at Tulia Hig h School .. came to live with us. And she I thought this was my idea, but I found out later she had already been telling people for several months that she was going to go live with Mrs. Bean. So, she worked so that I invited her, and she lived with us f or two years. Graduated from high school. And she was an undocumented an undocumented alien. She had come to visit relatives when she was fourteen and, with the intention of staying, so she could stay for school and she had been going to school. For the la st two years, she lived with us. She would have kept living with us, but we moved out from under her. We moved to Arlington, so she I kept wanting her, you know, I said, you have to go to college, you have to go to college, you have to start in the summer, summer if you wait? So she finally did go to college. Her child is my only grandchild. [Laughter] Anyway, so then we started understanding more about that undocumented the state of undoc umented, because she would have parties and all of her . we had her sixteen birthday party at our house; huge, huge affair. AB: NB: Oh, yeah, we had lots
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 30 AB: Most of our social life was in the H ispanic community, oddly enough. NB: Yeah. Well, we lost Mr. Freddy Brookins, one of the activisits in the Tulia in our white card, but we never got a black card. We were never inv ited into the black community. There was really a the black community in into. But we were invited into the Hispanic community. And so, we were no longer invited to any of the white functions, but we got invited to graduations and quinceaeras, and AB: And we did a lot of activism in the Hispanic community. NB: Yes, yeah. AB: We got two young boys out of prison who had been charged in some very bogus circumstances. One of them was m entally NB: Like stealing a AB: Mentally retarded. NB: was mentally retarded. I mean, he was in high school, but he was really mentally retarded, and he had evidently gone in and s AB: So we managed to get them out and reunify their families. NB: Just by being really loud. AB: Then, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission did a NB: Graduation raid.
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 31 AB: Graduation Night raid on a Hispanic family. They were having their typical Mexican celebration. NB: And this was the first person in their family who had ever graduated from high school, so they were having a multi family, generational party, barbeque in t he backyard, and everybody was invited. Lots of other high school students were there, and AB: They used to hire people, many of whom were Hispanic, who were physically large. So, a lot of these guys that came into the yard were over six foot fou r and bee fy, like two hundred and eighty pounds, and very intimidating. There was black NB: what they did was a raid. They actu ally busted into the party and had everybody on their knees with their guns, and talking about six year old girls and mamas and babies and raided the party because they were serving alcohol to minors. But this this is a family. They had no search warrant actually allowed to serve your children alcohol if you are the parent and you consent Y But, anyway, they burst in, and we were able to overturn that and actually change the becaus e Alan and Gary Gardner were so loud and published everything all over the place. AB: We knew we had our strategy down now. We got the story together. We interviewed about twenty five people, put their stories into a timeline, and then told the story throu gh their eyes in a very graphic kind of way. Then
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 32 published this in independent newspapers here and there, mostly in Spanish and English versions. Eventually, they sent six bureaucrats from Austin up from a meeting and we packed the gy m and NB: They came to the meeting to tell us the way the cow eats the cabbage. They were going to tell us why they could do whatever they want, and why search warrant and why it was so evil that there was underage drinking and all this stuff. They started lecturing to this hall, and the mother stood up Lydia was translating. They were speaking in English. AB: Our daughter, Lydia, who is fluent in Spanish. NB: So, our daughter was translating to some people because they were speaking in English to these people who are mainly Spanish speaking. So, our daughter was translating, and her translation went something like, to have a voi ce. So, actually, I went up to one of the organizers and I said, they stopped their lectures and then we st arted talking. AB: The chief administrator of the TACB was there, Rolando Garza. And he was a good hearted guy, and NB: You know, these are guys in black suits and cowboy hats, right? And they march in from Austin.
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 33 AB: Cowboy boots. But what it eventually it boiled down to a conversation in Spanish between the mother NB: Who had been arrested. AB: Yeah, a nd this administrator. Lydia was giving me the translation, and basically what she said, how dare you send these big men into my backyard? Like, people house to interrupt our gathering and to spoil the graduation of our first as a result of that meeting, they ended up firing two of the officer s and they completely rewrote their search and seizure policy statewide. NB: Yes. AB: That really gave us NB: Sense of empowerment. Now, we can make a difference. AB: Yeah. We understood the power of story, getting the story together and giving people a they did their own talking. NB: But Alan gathered the stories. AB: But we put them in a position where they had a narrative. They taught us the story, and we NB: Taught it back. AB: Put it all together and taught it back to them. It was in that conversation that the narrative emerged.
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 34 NB: One of the things transition is know how to tell a story. They have no sense of chronology. By the way, the research the educational research bears this out, that underclass people le in They would tell you incidents from all over their life, that somehow AB: And in their minds, it all happened; it was all undifferentiated experience. one thing after another. NB: So the role that Alan had, the role that Alan had, was in listening and writing down every incident and then talking to more people so he could finally get it into a chronology. So a shot. AB: Well, even if you NB: And he takes it and he was able to chronologize it and find out what the common stories were. He did this with the only, by the time we had the Rosales raid, he had learned th is as a strategy. It was an accidental thing that he had to do in Tulia. AB: A good example of this is a couple nights ago, a few nights ago, we were visiting with one of the families in Church Point, Louisiana, where we were able to overthrow this federal drug bust NB: Conspiracy charges.
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 35 AB: Federal narcotics conspiracy case after the family, a mother and three of her sons, had spent three months locked up. Bu t anyway, the mother, a few nights ago, was just kind of free associating, talking about her exp eriences and how painful it was to be the mother of three or four young men who were always being stopped by the police, always being hassled, always being beaten up and mistreated But because I had spent so much time going over their story, I understood how everything fit together, what happened first, what happened but she was going things that happened three years, things were going thirteen years ago, and bouncing around indiscriminately, bringing up events. In her mind, it was all just part of the his tory that she had lived. But she was not thinking of one thing leading to another. She was not discriminating between the various official actors. They were all just sort of an amalgam or a single personality who was expressing himself through various acto rs in different ways at different NB: But if she was talking to a lawyer, the lawyer would just go, plop. Because [Break i n recording] NB: have a unique role, in that we Alan, as a pastor, listens to the whole story, puts it in a chro nological narrative that is understandable to middle
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 36 class people, and then teaches that story back to the people. That teaching it back to the people you know, when people come in and say, you have to let the grassroots organize themselves, people who hav e no ability to tell their story cannot organize themselves. AB: NB: Yeah. So our role as whitey has been to hear the story, put it in a narrative that is decipherable to power, and teach it bac k. AB: Yeah. And even with Fannie Lou Hamer, you know, there was a lot of her interactions with people like Anelle Ponder and Septima Clark, so, she learned a lot from other people. Back in the 60s, and in our etween the people who do have the training and the academic ability to put things into a package and the p eople who have actually lived t NB: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. T: When was the raid and how long was your involvement in that? AB: It would have been around 2002, 2003. In that range. NB: AB: NB: far as resolution, this happened fast the resolution to that happened fast. It was a matter of months,
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 37 AB: Yeah. It might have even been in 2000 and . I remember we were coming back from a rally that we did in Lubbock. NB: We were still okay we were still working on Tulia. Tulia took a long, long, long time to unravel. Five years. We worked on Tulia five years, and that was very, very painful. But, in the meantime, our reputation got out and people started calling; all the time, people start ed calling. So Alan was doing stuff; Alan and Gary Gardner and my father see, I was, my role was basically paying the bills. I had the job. During this time, Alan was there was no income. As a matter of fact, most of the time you know, AB: Right. Well, we would have meetings meetings in our home every Sunday night. Whenever and Nancy of course, would shape that event, and do all of the hospitality, an d then whenever we traveled with people, Nancy would be the organizer and the disciplinarian and the NB: For the children and I. AB: NB: traveling as Alan and Gary Gardner and my parents, because, like I said, I had to keep a job. AB: Right. Then, after Tulia was over, more and more it became just me and everybody was there to support me. But everyone you know, I travelled with Nancy or I
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 38 was always different people. Sometimes, it was folks from our board. NB: Yeah. T: write a lot about the civil rights m ove ment. c lergy people were very important and integral in shaping the philosophy of that in the 60s. How did that shape your own philosophy and your own spirituality and understanding of Christianity? And how has how you apply it changed since the 60s? NB: Okay. In the 60s, we were children. So, when John talks about the civil rights movement T: NB: But I remember seeing my father crying and, when Martin Luther King was assassinated. I remember talking to classmates m at this point, in seventh grade. So, I am a listening to bubble gum music . and talking about how horrible this is. And my friend know that that existed, that feeling. Except I did know that, when we went to visit our family in Tulia, people used ugly words that made me cry. But the civ il rights m ovement totally informs our faith and our faith totally informs our civil rights m ovement. The civil rights m ovement was a faith movement.
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 39 AB: Yeah. For me, personally, my father grew up in Wayburn, Saskkatchewan, in the heart and depth of the D epression in the 1930s. A guy named Tommy Douglas, who had just graduated with a Master degree in Sociology from the University of Chicago after getting his divinity degree earlier came up from Chicago to Wayburn to be their pastor at Calvary Baptist Churc h in Wayburn. He started organizing because he was a sociologist, and he was you know, very much imbibed all this stuff. He was a Socialist, a very committed Socialist, and always called himself that. NB: In Canada, you were allowed to call yourself a Soc ialist. AB: Eventually, Tommy Douglas got so politically active that the denominational officials told him to pick a lane; you know, be a pastor or be a politician. He decided that he was going to be a politician, and so he ran for premier of Saskatchewan and won, and then started this new party called the New Democratic Party, eventually. So, that influenced my father and influenced me in very profound ways. NB: Yes. The civil rights m ovement for me is not a historical thing. Unidentified female: I know th trying to AB: Unidentified female: Okay. NB: obviously, the people here do understand that the new civil rights m ovement is about immigration and incarceration and defunding of
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 40 m ovement. And er with the Disenfranchising m ovement, so I think even the old time civil rights organizers are starting to see. Because I think, a few years ago, they were talking about the civil rights m ovement AB: Yeah. Another thing civil rights m ovement came to me through a vehicle of music: Peter, Paul, and Mary, who were, again, reflecting the Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan kind of protest song. Woody Guthrie, that whole tradition was sort very much reflected in the popular music and I really liked th at kind of music when I was a kid. NB: Mm hm, mm hm. Yeah, yeah. AB: I liked the guitars and the close harmonies and the folk kind of music that influential on me. And then, of c ourse, when in 1964 when we moved from this little tiny mining community in the Northwest Territories of have television until eleven years old. NB: in common by the way, and that I really recommend for people in raising their children. Neither of us grew was no television that far north.
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 41 AB: But when I got down to John Kennedy was assassinated while we were still in Yellow Knife, and then when we came down to Edmonton, it was just after the March of Washington, I Have a Dream speech, and Dr. King was on the t and response kind of dynamic in those religious services, and that just Christianity that ever really got to me. I remembe r once, after we were married this was, of course, much later I had a job while Nancy was drive thro ugh rural Kentucky and Indiana delivering coffins and caskets at funeral departm ents. But I used to take a little tape recorder along and play tapes, and one of them was Martin Luther King. There was one tape that I listened to where he was sort of doing the same thing, Letter from the Birmingham Jail to the Pastors, kind of very dry and academic, and then he eventually I flipped it over and it was one of these meetings during the civil rights m ovement. And I started to weep uncontrollably. And chest was heaving. No w, this was not I mean, I get emotional sometimes me emotionally. And I started to realize that, you know, that this is really where the Christian faith speaks to me, is through th is justice thing and the kingdom of God merging with the civil rights vision. So, the theology of,
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 42 sort of, the social gospel tradition as it was interpreted by the black church during the civil rights era, this liberation theology, is our theology. NB: Ye ah. It is, actually. Libe ration theology is our theology and narrative. Both of us are propelled by the commission that the spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captive and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, and to proclaim the acceptable year Alan our marriage is based on that scripture, and when we founded Friends of Justice, we sat in our living room. Friends it was music. We always, music was always the center of everything, but we founded Friends of Justice and we tossed around names with Thelma AB: Johnson. NB: Thelma Johnson was there and she was kind of the auntie of the black community. And Freddie Brookins was there, and his son was caught up in the sting, and they were the people who were really core in the black community, who were core in our movement. We said, who are we? It was justice, is the word, and friends, is the word. So we say, are we Friends of Justice. So we were ready to go to Austin, so I had us made our t shirts, that Friends of Justice, and our logo was, do justice, love mercy, walk humbly, because the other scripture which propels us is AB: Micah 6:8.
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 43 NB: Micah 6:8. He has shown ye O man what is good and what the Lord requires of you, but to do justice and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Anything else than those any thing else but to do justice AB: And the strangest thing is that mainstream Evangelical Christianity is the obv erse of that. You know? NB: Yeah. AB: It is the denial of compassion, and it has been suspicious of anybody who uses freedom, justice, liberty language is suspect. NB: . you coming back, Alan. This little group of middle class white people meeting in our house on every Monday night, and we call ourself the Mustard Seed Conspiracy. I thought that that title alone would keep them away, but: we have a Mustard Seed Conspiracy and we are studying the gospel revolutionary shit. So we r ead it. W e study it every Monday night, and we talk the question is, and I keep bringing this back to the question. The question is, what does this mean for the choices I make personally? What does this mean for the choices I make professionally, civilly? What does
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 44 this mean for the ways that the policies, civic policies that we promote, what do these words mean? AB: And what does this mean for the church? NB: And what does this mean for the church? And we keep asking the question, and these middle class pe ople in Arlington, Texas who are very conservative Arlington is really, really conservative keep coming back, and I keep thinking, what is growing in their hearts that they keep coming AB: Mm hm. And I think that, too. NB: AB: One of these Republican guys is my treasurer right now. NB: right now. AB: NB: But . AB: because Jesus says, the kingdom of God is like a mustard seed that is the smallest of all seeds, and yet grows into a large plant. NB: Yeah. AB: NB: Yeah. And we may always stay at the small seed stage.
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 45 AB: So er of hope than anything else. So, you know, this is when I talk to young people, often, they have some passing relationship with Christianity, but then they also have this strong interest in justice, and they grown up in with this concrete NB: get to application and this is what happened in our preaching; we were preaching to ourselves, an d what does that mean to how we live our lives? ready to take the next step. T: Can you explain that to me? NB : Well, I want a retirement. I want to have some financial security. I want Alan to have a pension, too, and I want him to have a salary. And Jesus says, if you want to follow me, you sell everything you have. AB: Give it to the poor. NB: ery subtle. AB: [Laughter]
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 46 NB: intend to wiggle around that. You know, I intend to wiggle around that. AB: We like the idea of spiritual poverty so long as we get to keep our shit. NB: Yeah, yeah. You know, every few months I say to Alan, okay, this is it. this is what I said last time. You got till January to raise a salary. Not going to put up with if the society because all these progressive organizations, we can never get any funding so, every few months, I give him an ultimatum and he throws a little hissy and . and then I come to something like this and I go, oh, we can live without the salary, you know? This is real stuff, this is real work, and it matters. And I T: Yeah. NB: afford to know what it means? T: y the government and life insurance companies can say, you can play by my rules, you know? NB: Yes. I wish just rambling.
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 47 T: No, I love this. I mean, I was expecting a complic ated philosophical cont inuity and the twenty first century and then the civil rights in the 1960s, but it seems churches have been doing. NB: and I you, is that what is key here, that the key philosoph y is what I just quot ed you, that the spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me. This is what Jesus Jesus quoted this from Isaiah. One of the most beautiful songs that Alan te poet and songwriter. One of the most beautiful songs he wrote, has ever written and I think it was early, early he wrote it was Isaiah and the Temple And being called, being sent, and Isaiah says he goes into the temple and the te mple is filled with smoke. Alan, quote it here. Q uote your song. AB: Okay. And spirit died within me, for my lips were twisted; lips that gripped deception like the people round me. While all the dragon angels which is what seraphim are sing their song forever. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord, almighty The n flew a dragon angel, and a glowing coal was lifted from the altar, bright with burning. To my lips he pressed it He said, your crime is lifted Then, in words of whisper came the words of wonder. Oh Lord, God almighty, here am I, send me.
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 48 NB: So I want these students are saying even though they may not have the scriptural words, they may not know the stories --me. T: ughter] NB: No. And none of us know what to do. What we do is respond in compassion into a situation. We only respon d when the family begs and begs, because AB: Right. Those who want to dedicate themselves to public service will go into social work, in which case they end up doing paperwork and being frustrated an discover the only way that they can make money is NB: Working for the man. AB: Servicing fat end up being exploited and paid crummy salaries. NB: Used. AB: And the only way they can make any money is to become Executive Director of an established organization, in which case they spend all of their time schmoozing with people with money so that they can fund their operation. And have ve ry little time left over for any actual engagement with h erding people.
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 49 NB: Or with corrupt systems. AB: So what I mean pro gressive options that are stimulating. NB: Real. AB: civil rights m ovement is how many young people, black and white, came streaming into this movement. Even like, for instance, during the Freedom Ri de. Everybody was dumping on these people, and Harry Truman, the ex president, was calling them making derogatory comments about the Freedom Riders. Nobody had a good word to say about them; they were getting terrible press, just making everybody upset, fr ustrating everybody. And yet, something was happening, and there was this thirst for experience and justice, and being part of something bigger than themselves. It drew thousands and thousands of these young people, who s nothing like that now. T: Maybe it gets back to what Miss Nancy was saying about privilege. These corporations and bureaucracies enforce our privilege and NB: Co opt your passion. T: Yeah. Pet your white privilege and maybe what you were saying about th e scriptures. AB: Yep. Because, if t who have funded us public welfare foundation.
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 50 NB: For a minute. T hey funded us for justice a minute. AB: money, it person who is at the heart of the largesse is necessarily cynical or ignorant or insincere. They probably are trying to make the world a better place with their big bucks, but i the reality, and so they are going to determine how going to say, these strategies are acceptable to us; these strategies are not. It gets back to what we were talking about this morning, the work that basically happened here in the Mississippi Delta was unfunded, largely. NB: John was on salary. John was on salary. AB: Yeah. And there were a few others. NB: Yeah. AB: But the salaries were meager, and often, people were getting nothing. They were basically living off the folks that they were helping. NB: Yeah. One of the things that makes me feel somewhat connected is th at, laws in their lake home. Then, we traveled to Louisiana to minister on the C olons and we stayed in her guest room, and w e stayed on a bed with dirty sheets and no pillowcases.
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 51 AB: A home that probably had about a thousand square feet, built in to the ground. NB: kind of a baptism, you know? And then we drove to Mississi ppi to stay with Lola and Archie Flowers. AB: In Winona. NB: In Winona. Curtis is on death row, their son, and Ellen is trying to work with him. He was tried six times before they could get a guilty sentence. You know, we have this thing that we think you were all kinds of all of these things were thrown out because of . AB: It was either convictions that were overturned by the Supreme Court, usually on racial grounds, or hung juries, if they got more than one black person on the jury. NB: Yeah. So, but anyway, we drove into Winona, and Lola Flowers had been cooking all day. And she had cornbread and butterbeans and okra with boiled in fat back and sugar and salt fried catfish and two pies. AB: A spaghetti dish. NB: Sweet tea that she made for us. And that night, we slept in her guest room, and we slept on crisp, brand new sheets. AB: Right out of the package. NB: And I almost cried, because I thought, she new sheets to sleep on. And I think we have . community is so essential
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 52 to the civil rights m ovement, music and community. Because we have to who has T: Do you think that, ultimately, this next gener ation that grew up in security can organize without it? NB: Without community? T: Without security. NB: You know, a lot of the speakers this weekend came from middle class trained, th ey came in here and trained. But these college students and college graduates college students in the 60s came from middle class black families. Not unless you can move from privilege to community and to risk taking, to courage. You can move to courage from anywhere, but you have to be compelled. You have to have a calling. And, in order to have a calling, you have to be hearing. actually; Paul was on the Road to Damascus and he had no intention of hearing the calling, and he was struck a light. And I think, sometimes, AB: The Apostle Paul is like Fannie Lou Hamer. He was a religious genius. NB: Yeah, yeah. But, for most people I mean, I think you have, I think there has to be a calling and you have to have a m oment in the temple, like
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 53 Isaiah, where you say, here am I, send me. And my lips are twisted like the people around me AB: NB: the pure moment like John was saying, he was sleeping with the enemy. He was funded by the enemy. The reason they had him in there was to keep things from getting out of hand. He was are the enemy. AB: Yep. I have a feeling that if, I mean students in one of his class, he was a fellow student, one of his fellow students said professor, if present trends continue, this and that and the other will ha ppen. The professor looked at him and said, young man, present trends never continue. But, if present trends continue, we will have a middle class that is more and more stretched and squeezed, and we will have a one percent that becomes more and more wealt hy and arrogant and disconnected. If that happens and, of course, the bottom thirty or forty percent will become increasingly miserable. NB: Desolate. AB: Then, I think the issues will become a lot more NB: Stark.
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 54 AB: Stark and obvious. And, middle class people will have much less inducement NB: you know. AB: NB: man to enter the kingdom of God than it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, because the more you got to lose to lose my shit. I have a beautiful home. AB: Yep. And, basically, the 6 0s generation was co opted by materialism. NB: Yeah. AB: I mean, we sold in we talked about free love and justice and all of this the picket fence, we wanted NB: The pension. AB: The American Dream just like everybody else. NB: is the pension. AB: Right. NB: you know. Of course, the direction the right wing is trying to
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 55 really I me an, what is Romne ame is raiding pension funds. AB: Last winter, I was in Philadelphia at a conference and the Occupy m trying to participate. When I interviewed these people, so many of them had graduated from college and were unable to find work in anything resembling what they had trained for. And there was a tremendous amount of resentment and confusion and anger becaus e of what was happening to them. So, I think a lot of activism springs from what is happening to me as an individual; bably of moving on up and always improving my lot; when I run into a brick wall l these great academic credentials, and they organizing. So, then you might be able to get some real creati ve cohesion between the folks who are really suffering, the genuinely poor people, and these middle and for their children, may be able to make common
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 56 civil rights m ovement excitement. NB: AB: T: had AB: Well NB: one thing fails to emphasize, and that is family values, then the right really pushes the family values, and I think their family values are often corrupt. But teaching your children ess really, really a struggle, but I think I want to challenge young people to be very, very intentional about raising your children. To raise your children with empathy and compassion and give your children the things that you can afford to give them, and those things will ruin them. AB: life together, is that we always inves ted ourselves in family primarily. That was our main project. Going to school, getting a job, that stuff was secondary. So, we earned money so that we could fund our primary
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 57 project, which was building a family. It was just at the point when our children w ere ready to go out on their own that we sort of were making a transition into something different. But among liberals and progressives, the word family tends to evoke raised eyebrows, rolled eyes, you know. NB: AB : t have that NB: AB: No. NB : We mean the place where, the place of formation. AB: And stability. NB: Value formation and expectation. Expectation. I expect for you to be a world changer. And, of course, we always used faith language for that. AB: Yeah. High expectations, complete ac ceptance. You know, that combination, which is really produced The Children really, I think, brings this home that almost every one of those kids that was involved in the civil rights m ovement had a parent, usually a mother NB: Or a grandmother. AB: That drove them and had great dreams for them, almost without
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 58 addicted, purposeless pleasure machines, who basi cally exist for entertainment. NB: For themselves. AB: Then, their conversation exists of swapping popular culture references. to really become critical not just of Republicans and religious people, technology that gives us so many opportunities also tends to box us up critical and critical of the stuff t some third alternatives, because Republicans and Democrats do not have a corner on the possibility market. Right now, the Democrats ar e basically there to keep the Republicans from doing really bad stuff. You know, we NB: There is no common good. AB: There is no transformational NB: There is no right, transformation with t he goal of common good. AB: spring from a religious vision. Not necessarily a very dogmatic religious there are claims placed upon us, moral claims.
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 59 NB: The beloved community. The beloved community. AB: Yeah. What Martin Luther King called a beloved community. NB: Yeah, yeah. AB: And liberals are just as individualistic as conservatives. So, you know, came home, practically and con cretely for us, was with our children. Then, we took a lot of the stuff that we were teaching our children and NB: Realized we had to do it. AB: Yeah. Started living it out. NB: Yeah. AB: And we still do that with our kids. When our family gets together, NB: Yeah. AB: But our kids know how to talk about moral issues. NB: And lifestyle. AB: to them. NB: Yeah. T: Okay. Thank you very much. [End of interview] Transcribed by: Diana Dombrowski, August 5, 2013
M FP 0 71C ; Bean ; Pa ge 60 Audit edited by: Sarah Blanc, September 30, 2013 Final edited by: Diana Dombrowski, January 2014