Thanks for the [Above] picture in your article [on the SCLC archive]. My daughters, who attend Oxford and Emory, will cherish the photograph of their grandfather on the right of the picture, the Reverend Leon White.

—Michael Alford 14P 17P,Rincon, Georgia

Your article about Cuba was extremely interesting. The concept of a “softer racism” (less institutionalized) in Cuba is true, but its history is of much longer duration and evolution and predates the revolution. As referenced indirectly in the article, Antonio Maceo, el titan de bronce (the bronze titan) and his mother, Mariana Grajales, were of color and are revered by all Cubans regardless of political belief; it is also true that Fulgencio Batista, the despised and murderous dictator overthrown by Fidel and the Revolution, was also of color. To say the Cuba of today is color-blind is false—just look at the people at the highest ranks of the communist party—it is much “lighter” than the population at large. To say Cuba of yesterday was totally color-fated is also false. I agree with the sentiment that it is likely better to be poor in Cuba than in Atlanta, but the tragedy is that there is little chance to be anything else but poor in Cuba. Why else would remittances from relatives in the US be such a major source of income on the sixtieth anniversary of the start of the Cuban Revolution? That is not the “fault” of the Americans and “imperialism.” Sometimes it is necessary to look in the mirror and blame ourselves.

—Rene Romero, Emory Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Atlanta

Thanks for your effort and portrayal of my native country. Too bad that you wrote the story prior to the pronouncements of President Raul Castro. I find his words enlightening and they help many outside of Cuba understand some of the complexities you touch upon. Those of us who . . . keep in touch with close relatives inside the country understand the Cuban situation as a tragedy. Please make sure that the member of your group who would rather be poor in Cuba than in Atlanta reads the speech made by President Castro. To tourists who travel to Cuba for a few days and return enamored with the romance of revolutionary gains, I say: Return to Cuba and live there as a Cuban for a month with all the opportunities and restrictions Cubans face, then let’s talk. Keep up the good work with Emory Magazine.

—Emilio Chaviano 68T, Miami

After reading the article on Cuba, I am very disappointed. The article’s primary focus is on race relations in Cuba. Although the article makes some good points, it completely ignores the fact that in Cuba, there are no rights afforded to its citizens. A one-party system where the government is picked by a handful of officials is no democracy. The group of people that went to Cuba were “escorted” by government officials to have them “see” only what is convenient for the government to show the world, not the everyday struggles to find food to eat that day or enough money to be able to purchase a pair of shoes, if they are to be found anywhere.

—Bruno Denis 74OX, Stephens, Georgia

I read your article about the closing of Everybody’s. I was sorry to hear of it. I remember J. R. Cricketts (I think I used them so much that they nearly went out of business when I graduated), Jaggers (one of my professors gave us our grades there), and the Kroger. Of course, I remember the Dugout where, among others, the Indigo Girls used to perform. Your article was a great trip down memory lane.

—Larry Allen 84OX 86C, Leesburg, Virginia

Your piece on Everybody’s closing rekindled wonderful memories. Many are the times I enjoyed a hamburger with friends at the snack bar. One day when asked what I wanted to drink, I replied, “ . . . a beer!” with tongue in cheek. DeKalb was a dry county in those days, and we all chuckled. The waiter went to the back, mixed up soapsuds in a glass with a bit of tea, and proffered it. It looked for all the world like a freshly drawn beer. I have watched two sons and a daughter-in-law enjoy the Village in their years at Emory. It was always a real community.

—Bill Simpson 68T, Burlington, North Carolina

Thank you for the beautiful article on the Reverend Alice Rogers, new pastor of Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church. What a great thing for the church and for the Emory community. Reverend Rogers is multitalented and will be perfect in her new role.

—Alice Griffin Walker, Covington

Editor’s Note: Thanks to those Emory Magazine readers who responded to our request for memories of Lullwater Preserve. We received a delightful array of stories, anecdotes, photos, and even poetry. Look for more on Lullwater in a future issue of Emory Magazine.

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