Humanities Moments

Humanities Moments

We’ve all had “humanities moments” — when our lives were made richer, more poignant, and meaningful because of the insights the humanities provide.

Where Dreams Were Made and Humanistic Visions Forged

Contributed by Stephen G. Hall, Alcorn State University
African American voter registration, 1960s

Description

Throughout their son’s childhood, Stephen Hall’s parents, both children of sharecroppers, crafted a “deeply humanistic perch” from which he could “view the world.” Though possessing none of the benefits of class or race privilege, they harnessed the power of the book, searching for what historian Isabel Wilkerson has called “the light of other suns” in the “recesses of their minds.” Their personal library—including the Bible, Encyclopedia Britannica, and the Great Books—stoked young Hall’s imagination. The harmonies of musicians, such as Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, played alongside images of athletes like Muhammad Ali. The ritual of accompanying his parents to vote in local, state, and national elections deepened a conviction: being humanistic entails civic engagement.

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Where Dreams Were Made and Humanistic Visions Forged

Description

Throughout their son’s childhood, Stephen Hall’s parents, both children of sharecroppers, crafted a “deeply humanistic perch” from which he could “view the world.” Though possessing none of the benefits of class or race privilege, they harnessed the power of the book, searching for what historian Isabel Wilkerson has called “the light of other suns” in the “recesses of their minds.” Their personal library—including the Bible, Encyclopedia Britannica, and the Great Books—stoked young Hall’s imagination. The harmonies of musicians, such as Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, played alongside images of athletes like Muhammad Ali. The ritual of accompanying his parents to vote in local, state, and national elections deepened a conviction: being humanistic entails civic engagement.

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Stephen G. Hall, Alcorn State University

Identifier

hall-humanistic-visions

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