FRIDAY, APRIL 6, 1979
THE BENNETT BANNER
Tucker speaks on political involvement
by Raquel Stewart
and Debbie Hodges
“Politics is using your mind,
your talent, and your skills,” the
former secretary of state of the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
told Bennett students and faculty.
C. Delores Tucker stressed po
litical involvement to an enthusi
astic audience attending the
“Readers Digest” Lecture in
Pfeiffer Chapel on Tuesday,
March 27. While women have
come a long way, she feels they
can become more effective in
politics, the changing process of
Citing birth and death certifi
cates, zoning ordinances, and mar
riage and drivers’ licenses as ex
amples of obtaining political per
mission, the first black female
member of the Philadelphia zon
ing board testified that “govern
ment influences everything from
“concep^;ion to resurrection - so
you had better be about the busi
ness of affecting government.”
Urging Bennett’s black women
to assert themselves politically,
Mrs. Tucker pointed out that po
litical leaders must respond to
blacks and women in order to
survive. She compared the chains
of Kunta Kinte to the chains
placed upon Blacks by their own
political apathy. The barriers of
no money, jobs, or education will
have to be removed by those the
barriers are hindering, she said.
Mrs. Tucker remembered other
barriers from her days of march
ing with Dr. Martin Luther King,
Jr., most notably the Selma-Mont-
gomery march. She said it was
during these marches in the North
and South that she first realized
the need for Blacks to put their
hands on the levers of power.
Although the marches usually
began in front of a church, she
said, they ended in front of the
“political kingdom,” whether it
was a courthouse or the White
She also charged that the “A-
merican Dream” was just that -
a dream - but that America has
Photo by Myra Davis
Mrs. C. Delores Tucker, who spoke on campus last week, visits with Dr.
Trader’s class. She was joined by H. M. Micheaux, a North Carolina state
attorney. They discussed many current events including the desegregation of
North Carolina colleges and the plight of the Black family.
the potential of actually becoming
that dream. The founding fathers
could not have envisioned the
country that the U.S. has become,
She pointed out that blacks have
given much to build this country
and that their roots are here.
“There’s a lot of black in the red,
white and blue - and nothing will
wash it out,” she claimed. But she
also claimed that blacks tend to
sit back when it comes to taking
an active part in politics.
Mrs. Tucker gave examples
from her own experiences in
which her having a hand on the
levers of power induced positive
change. In her first two years as
Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State
13 women judges and 11 black
judges, more than in the entire
history of the Commonwealth,
were appointed in that state. She
was also instrumental in gaining
and implementing 18 year-olds’
right to vote in that state.
One of her greatest disappoint
ments is that the young people
whom she helped to gain the vote
and to register have not taken ad
vantage of their new right. No
one, she said, has the right to say
she is concerned about the plight
of her people if she does not fully
evercise her duties by voting.
Mrs. Tucker’s career began at
age 17 when she volunteered to
pass out leaflets and to drive
people to register and vote. She
continued volunteering and of
fered to help a candidate for gov
ernor reach her people for free.
When he won the primary, he
offered her the vice-chairmanship
of the party.
“Cast your bread upon the
waters,” she urged Bennett stu
dents who wish to get a foot in the
political door. “Volunteer to help
someone and they will remember
you,” she said.
Mrs. Tucker ran for lieutenant
governor, but lost by a “political
fluke.” A biology teacher with
the same name as the guberna
torial candidate ran against her,
she explained. Voters, thinking
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the teacher was the candidate for
governor, voted for him. She
didn’t have a chance, she declared.
This defeat did not keep the
first black woman to sit in a state
cabinet back. StiU very active in
the lecture circuit, Mrs. Tucker is
now campaignning to elect the
first black mayor of Philadelphia.
Historically, she noted, women
have generally been believed in
capable of holding powerful po
sitions in government. She
quipped, “God put the crack in the
liberty bell because he knew the
founding fathers didn’t mean lib
erty and justice for all.”
Active in numerous political
organizations, Mrs, Tucker noted
a different type of slavery which
exists in this country for blacks.
“We no longer face the peace
lines, but the unemployment lines.
We are no longer barred at the
school house door, we are turned
away at the factory door. We are
perfectly free to sit at the front
of the bus, but we must find the
money for the fare. We can enter
any eating place in town, but we
can’t afford to order. We no longer
fear clubbing by the police, but
our prolonged failure to find work
is beating us to the ground,” she
“These barriers will remain un
til we remove them,” she added.
During the marches for civil
rights in the 1950’s and 1960’s,
Mrs. Tucker became more aware
of how change would occur. She
said, “In City Hall, they hold the
key to what we want. Politics is
what you feel is best for your com
munity, family, and benefactors.”
Tucker referred to the women’s
coalitions which are joining, in the
move for political power. Speak
ing of a conference held with
President Jimmy Carter, she said,
“We told him, we’ll support you
if you place more women in gov
ernment, in the non-traditional
areas in proportion to their repre
sentation in the country.”
During the question-answer per
iod, Mrs. Tucker discussed the dis
integration of the black family.
She called attention to concern
about the increasing numbers of
black men who opt for homosex
ual relationships, interracial mar
riage, or who are going to jail.
“The answer? We need a spiri
tual revolution in America,” she
said, emphasizing the strong re
ligious faith held by “our black
“Our mothers and grandmoth
ers could not go to Bennett; they
didn’t have the money. They could
not read because it was against the
law, but they had one thing— they
had God and spiritual awareness.
They had values,” she said.
She noted that women must ac
cept some of the responsibilities
and return to a tradition of moral
character and sound values.
“We have to search ourselves,
for women are the cornerstones of
any society. We are the moral
weavers of the special fabric of
To an audience that was greatly
awed by her comments, Mrs.
Tucker added that one young man
informed her of part of the prob
“He said that ‘we don’t respect
our women because they don’t
respect themselves.’ ”
She added, “My nephew told
me that there is one type of wo
man you marry, another type you
During the question and answer
period Mrs. Tucker came out in
support of the ERA. Regarding
the women’s liberation movement,
she said that black women are
not fighting black men. Racism is
the priority for black women,
while sexism is the priority of
white women. She stated that
black women will help their white
sisters in their fight if they will
help their black sisters in their
In reference to a question con
cerning black political leaders who
are not helping blacks, Mrs. Tuck
er said there are two kinds of po
litical leaders: those who are in
office for personal power and ego-
gratification and those who are in
office for “people power.”
The system tries to tear down
those who are for the people with
bullets and pens, she said. “If
the press is never attacking a
political leader, he’s not doing
anything for you,” she said. The
big political machines will select
leaders who it feels will do what it
says. Until blacks and women se
lect and pay for their own can
didates, she testified, they can
not fault leaders for following the
Bundy finds 'roots' and writes booi(
by Joan Walker
Dr. V. Mayo Bundy, born June
8, 1914, professor of sociology and
political science, is the author of
“Meeting Our Ancestors: Culbreth,
Autry, Maxwell, Bundy, Winslow,
Henly and Allied Families.”
Dr. Bundy was told remarkable
stories about his grandparents
when he was a youngster back in
the ’thirties by his mother, grand
father Bundy and cousin Armelia
His family motivated him to
learn more about his roots and till
this day he still tries to gather
information about his roots when
he’s not on campus.
He wasn’t the only one who
learned about his roots, however;
some of his not-to-close relatives
read his book, and a few of them
are visiting him in May.
He is the son of Vivian Linley
and Minnie Nicholson Culbreth
Bundy. He married Norma Har
rington Melvin on April 30, 1940.
He has four children—Vee Mayo,
Norma Mckay Culbreth, Deborah
Harrington and Linda Jo.
His book tells fascinating details
of how last names were derived.
Even if one doesn’t know much
history, one can look at the book’s
photographs dated back to 1850
and take note of the fashions.
If you look closely at the photos
you’ll see no one smiled.
His book shows a picture of
Joseph Henley (first cousin to Dr.
Elizabeth) who was active in the
A story that might be humorous
to others is the one of Dr. Bundy’s
roommate in college. Every time
his roommate made home-brew
and drank it. Dr. Bundy would
sleep in a friend’s room because
he was taught those who drink
Dr. Bundy stressed that no one
in his family owned slaves.
No harsh words or bragging are
to be found in this book, just plain
His book indeed is appealing.
Dr. Bundy worked hard to find
enough materials for his book on
his family roots. Shown are only a
few he used.