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From the Publisher

PublisherFrom the Publisher

When the late Guy Mhone and I entered Dartmouth College in September of 1965, there were African American students who matriculated at the same time. This was Dartmouth’s class of ’69. Because Guy and I had done Advanced Level subjects (two years of Sixth Form) under the British educational system in Belize (British Honduras) and, in Guy’s case, Malawi (Nyasaland), we would graduate with Bachelor’s degrees from Dartmouth along with their 1968 graduating class. Guy and I were given a year’s worth of credits for our Sixth Form work, so that we did the four- year Bachelor’s course in three years.   

The African American students who started their first degree program along with us, would graduate a year later, in 1969. Amongst these students were Wallace L. Ford III and Robert E. “Bob” Bennett.

Wally Ford later earned his Ph. D. and is presently a professor at Medgar Evers College in New York. After many years, I re-established contact with him through Astor Foreman, a Belizean who lives next to him in New York City. Small world, eh? So our newspaper has resumed the publication of Wally’s columns, something he used to do decades ago. He is an outstanding writer.

AMANDALA began in August of 1969 as a stenciled, four-page newspaper, printed on a Gestetner stenciling machine. The United Black Association for Development (UBAD) bought the Gestetner from British Honduras Distributors for $534.00. We had raised about $250.00 in donations from our members and supporters, but the rest of the purchasing price came from Wally Ford, who had solicited a donation from a Dartmouth College professor named Mirsky. I think he was a professor of Chinese. 

I don’t remember how Wally and I were communicating back then, because there was no e-mail in 1969, and my written correspondence was being searched by the authorities. UBAD was considered a security threat.

The preceding is to begin explaining to you that there was another African American member of Wally Ford’s class of ’69 named Bob Bennett, who went on to Yale Law School after graduation from Dartmouth. Bob was the student who, when I told him that we had no racism in Belize, shot me down. He said wherever there were black people, there was racism, and he was right, of course.

Anyway, I received news from an organization of Dartmouth grads this morning (e-mail) that Bob had passed in his sleep a couple days ago. When I read of Bob’s great career accomplishments, I was so very impressed. We have lost a truly great brother here.

Our newspaper extends condolences to his family and his Dartmouth classmates and schoolmates. I repeat, this was a great brother. Robert E. Bennett, rest in peace. Maximum respect.

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