Share / Discuss

Grateful for Their Courage

I so appreciate your highlighting in “Behind the Takeover” (spring 2020) the book Seven Sisters and a Brother.  

Having been on campus when it all happened, I rushed to buy the book. The authors’ different experiences of President Courtney Smith, Dean Hagedorn, and others clarified exactly their point. I just assumed those campus officials were warm and friendly with everyone, and it was startling to understand more fully the unacknowledged racism and paternalism pointed at the authors and other Black students. 

I am grateful for their courage and vision, and for their insistence that Swarthmore live up to its ideals. And for telling their stories. 

I also really appreciated their work for the campus workers to be treated with dignity and respect. The warmth of the kitchen staff, the housekeeping staff in the dorms, and Jack (whose last name I unfortunately never learned) in the library all helped me stay sane and provided a humanity that mattered deeply. 

Please pass along my thanks to the authors.

— JANET MATHER ’70, Philadelphia, Pa.