It was a great trip. Five cities in six days, and my first stop was Milwaukee.
One of the highlights of the time was dinner the first night with Myles Horton, founder of the Highlander Folk School. For more than 50 years now Myles has been educating for social change, helping ordinary men and women to reclaim their own lives and history.
You may not have heard of the Highlander Folk School, but everyone has heard of the people, movements, and music that have come through it. Rosa Parks was there for a conference just a short time before she sparked the Montgomery bus boycott. Martin Luther King, Jr. was there. Literally thousands of union leaders, civil rights workers, and community organizers have come through Highlander. Even "We Shall Overcome" was written at this extraordinary school in the hills of Tennessee.
Myles was a "resident teacher" for a month in Milwaukee when I passed through. Characteristically, he is a story-teller, and a good one. His are great stories, full of faith, courage, and human struggle. Being with such a man was both a great delight and deep honor.
The dinner was too short. Soon we were off to a Lenten talk for the Catholic parishes of Milwaukee. The crowds were large and eager to dig deeper into the gospel message of peace for our dangerous times. It felt more like a revival than anything else, an old-style camp meeting--for peace. Here was a church filled with citizens of Milwaukee, from the bishop to the Catholic workers, the district attorney, and the city cop. They were older than such crowds used to be. They were family people who spoke to me about their children. Many of them were readers of Sojourners. It's always like meeting old friends, even the first time.