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White and Negro Alike (Kindle edition), Audrey Mike

1948-01-04 to Ellsworth Blackwell re anti-racism protests

Jan. 4, 1948 Haifa

Dear Bahá’í Brother,

Your letter to our beloved Guardian of Dec. 26th, 1947, was received, together with the clipping you sent, and he has instructed me to answer it on his behalf.

He does not see any objection to Bahá’í students taking part as Bahá’ís in a protest such as that mentioned in the clipping. On the contrary, he does not see how they could remain indifferent when fellow students were noticing our own Bahá’í attitude in such a vital issue and one we feel so strongly about.

He thinks that the quotation you cite, from “The Advent of Divine Justice” would certainly indicate that such a protest was justifiable as there was nothing political about it there was no reason for the Bahá’í students not to participate.

He assures you and your dear wife of his prayers on your behalf, and his loving appreciation of your trusted services to the Cause.

With warmest greetings, R. Rabbani

[response to follow ltr]

4641 So. Michigan Ave.

Chicago 15, Illinois, USA

December 26, 1947

Dear Shoghi Effendi,

I am enclosing for your consideration a newspaper clipping and photo from one of the Chicago newspapers.

As you can see, it concerns a protest meeting by the student body against racial discrimination at the University of Chicago.

At the present time there is an official Bahá’í study group at this institution. Examination of the photograph will show that this Bahá’í group participated in this protest rally along with other University groups by the display of a placard or poster with the name Bahá’í thereon.

My question, then, is this: Is there anything wrong in the protesting of Bahá’í student groups against racial prejudice along with other student groups or organizations?

I would also like to know if the following quotation from The Advent of Divine Justice, (page 20), would in any way justify such action by these students:

“Freedom from racial prejudice in any of all its forms should …be adopted as the watchword of the entire body of American believers, in whichever state they reside, in whatever circles they move, whatever their age, traditions, tastes and habits. It should be consistently demonstrated in every phase of their activity and life, whether in the Bahá’í community or outside of it, in public or in private, formally as well as informally, individually as well as in their official capacity as organized groups, committees and Assemblies. It should be deliberately cultivated through the various and everyday opportunities…… at their schools and colleges, their social parties and recreation grounds, their Bahá’í meetings, conferences, conventions, summer schools and Assemblies.”

My wife joins me in Bahá’í love and greetings to you and all the Holy Household.

Faithfully in His service.

Ellsworth Blackwell

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