Youth & Family

Upon Whose Shoulders YEE Stand

By March 16, 2021 March 17th, 2021 No Comments

As Young Ethical Explorers gather on Sunday mornings, YEE often reflect on “those upon whose shoulders we stand.”

We’d love to hear from you, our readers: WHOSE SHOULDERS DO YOU STAND UPON?

We invite you to visit our Facebook Page @youngETHICALexplorers and Instagram at EthicalYEE, “like us” and answer the question for our survey!

We have been building our lists through group brainstorms… inspired by themes of the day, memories we’ve created in our mutual learning, children’s individual research projects…  Children teach each other, as they share. For example, here is  one focused on Women’s History Month.

One name that comes up often for us is: ANGELINE BUTLER.

Why? Well…

Perhaps it’s because many YEE had the great honor to meet Ms. Angeline Butler last year just before the pandemic! YEE workshopped with her in the Adler Library of Ethical NYC, hearing her stories of the highly disciplined Civil Rights activism of her non-violent protest of the 1960’s.  In fact, she not only workshopped with YEE, but here is a link to Angeline Butler speaking at our Sunday Platform at Ethical NYC last January!   FUN FACT: she trained and sang professionally with a wonderful voice!

Well… we ALL can have a great opportunity to hear from Angeline Butler again NOW! She is an honored speaker with many other exciting activists of justice in a very special Zoom event on Thursday March 25th.  Link here for the details of this event honoring LIVING ICONS OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ERA  on March 25 at 6:30pm — commemorating the 24th Anniversary of The Gandhi-King Season For Nonviolence.   In pre-pandemic times this gathering met annually, hosted by Ethical NYC with hundreds of student groups from all over NYC in attendance!


So, as you contemplate the question:  “Upon whose shoulders do you stand,”  see if you recognize all the names below that YEE thought of in recent brainstorms! You may find some surprises here.  For example, how many of you recognize Melba Liston?

One bright “young ethical explorer” researched this female  jazz trombonist to share with us in our Bias- Adjusters Gathering in the FIRST SUNDAY of February with Dr. Bentley Gibson.  Here’s a children’s book, read on YouTube, to learn all about Melba Liston: Little Melba and Her Big Trombone By Katheryn Russell- Brown.

As we zoom together from our living rooms with our parents in the backgrounds or right there with us, we make lots of new home-based connections in our learning! In fact, “connecting the dots,” so to speak, to the fore-mentioned trombonist, Melba Liston…. led us to a home-interview with an impressive YEE-dad, an esteemed jazz trombonist of the Count Basie Orchestra! 

One dear YEE got us all up and dancing together to Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald‘s “Cheek to Cheek!”  Yes, YEE are having good fun!

While many of the people we have recognized in our discussions seem obvious and are popularly known, like Dr. Martin Luther King or Rosa Parks, there are, of course, ever more whose names are fun to find, with focused inquiry…. and beyond that, people whose names we will never know, who have shaped our world and the lives we live.

Indeed, in researching Black inventors and innovators, another keen “young ethical explorer” introduced us to the inventor of a hamster wheel that tracks “miles run” —  Mr. Kevin Woolfolk.  The Hamster Workout Wheel.  One thing YEE’ve been able to appreciate about each other over Zoom is… OUR PETS! And it turns out there are several HAMSTER LOVERS in YEE!!!! Now, take a guess at how many miles a hamster can run at night in a NYC apartment hamster cage?

So, finally…

try to guess how many miles a hamster can run at night in a NYC apartment hamster cage!

Blow us an emphatic horn,  dear Melba Liston… to preface the surprising answer:

Yes! Nearly 5 miles! 

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