• Jeb Brack

How long did this Lakota man prevent this machine from digging for the Dakota Access Pipeline? Probably not that long. But he put his body between it and the land he was trying to save.


For much of my life I thought people who did things like this were crazy. Tree-huggers who protested logging; no-nukers at power plants; freaks who seized administration buildings at colleges. How strongly must you believe something to put yourself in such a position, when you know it will only be temporary? But the point is to be seen and heard and to make people think and act. To the cops and workers around him, this man was a minor inconvenience, but to people who believe that clean water is life, he is a symbol.


What do you care enough about to take action like this? How bad would things have to be for you to defy the authorities and put yourself in harm’s way? I’m pretty craven, all things considered, but we’re getting close to my threshold.

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  • Jeb Brack

Okay, so the Black man behind the Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, NC, in February of 1960 is probably not a chef. You might call him a “soda jerk” or maybe he’s a busboy. Whatever, he’s working there. But the four guys on the other side (Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, William Smith, and Clarence Henderson) are NOT supposed to be there. This is day two of the sit-ins that would protest the segregationist policies of Woolworth and the South. The other two members of the “Greensboro Four,” David Richmond and Ezell Blair Jr., are not in this picture, but together they helped spread the “sit-in” movement of the Civil Rights era.


Can you imagine walking into an establishment that actively prohibits your presence, then sitting down at the lunch counter and ordering food while other patrons jeer at you and assault you? My god, these people were courageous. And you know what? That lunch counter is preserved in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History.

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JEB
BRACK

The Brack of All Trades

 

​I'm a freelance writer and editor.  I'm a podcaster.  I'm an artist and a magician and a game master.  If you need help with any of these things, send me a message.  If this is an emergency, then what are you doing reading my website?  Unless you need an emergency magic show or something...