1,000 miles from Lawndale, the good life beckons Eddie
Chicago Sun-Times Sept. 19, 1969
by John Adam Moreau
The distance is 1,000
miles from Chicago’s Lawndale area, where the people stand around
waiting for the buildings to fall down, to Hanover, N.H., where it is
lovely and young men live in hope.
Why the distance between Chicago and Hanover could be figuratively more or less than the road map miles is simple. Perry fears the competition, he admits, and worries about his academic capability.
On the other hand, he said in an interview at YMCA Community College, where he has done academic catch-up work since 1967, he’s had such a strong, rewarding taste of the good life and what academic credentials can bring, that he is hungry for Dartmouth.”My two friends from the Lords,” Perry said, “Tiny Evans and Henry Jordan. Well, they went up there and they were just dynamite. They burned it up and I know I can do just as well.
“I want that degree. I’ve seen what it can get.”
The Foundation Year program will permit Perry and his fellow students to take fewer courses while they and the college learn whether they like college, whether they want to stay at Dartmouth, indeed whether they are college material.
“I’m not going to Dartmouth to be a savior or something for the black people, come back and lead the people and stuff,” Perry said. “I’m going ‘cause I want to come back here, Chicago, and have a good life, build a family.”
Not many years ago, Eddie said, he probably wouldn’t have given Dartmouth a second thought, had the chance been offered.
“The whites,” he said, meaning society, “taught me to believe I was second-rate. I believed it for a long time but I don’t now.”
By telephone from Hanover, Paul Rahmeier, co-coordinator of Foundation Year, confirmed that Evans and Jordan had indeed done well. In fact, Jordan lived in France last year.
“What they bring here,” Rahmeier said, “is a maturity that most college students don’t have. They’ve seen stuff these other kids don’t even know about."