Sept. 8, 2011
From Jim Dean: JimWDean@aol.com
No Potters Field for Elizabeth Wright...died August 11th, 2011
Dear Friends of Miss Elizabeth,
As of this morning I am holding her remains under my name now at the Brooklyn medical examiners. No family had come forward and I wanted to put the brakes on the Potters Field option. Because she had lived in the Bronx there were two city groups to deal with. They confirmed her estate was zero or they would have used any funds to bury her already.
Plans now are to probably have her remains cremated (costs and logistics) and brought down to Atlanta where she had a wide following in Georgia among the Southern heritage folks. I owe her for 90% of everything I know about the civil rights movement trashing the Booker. T. movement and the disastrous consequences that it had.
We are in a good position logistically to have a memorable ceremony for her here, at a suitable time, and produce a video of the event to share online with all those who admired her courage and her work.
The Georgia Heritage Council (I am the new chairman...Jeff Davis is emeritus now after many years of service) has offered to accept and be accountable for donations. We will do this in two parts starting with the cremation and shipping to Atlanta. And then we will have some time to explore ceremony options, timing, and final decisions for disposition of her remains based on funding that is available.
I have a strong suspicion that some of her ashes might end up with Booker T. Washington.
Our whole focus is to not have this unique and rare lady's legacy go out with a fizzle, and that we can use her passing as a jump start to keep the legacy of her work ongoing. Maybe then the rest of us can be a bit more optimistic about the same happening to our work with our times come.
I will update you on specifics as they develop. I will continue looking for contacts to fill us on in on the missing pieces of her life, what kind of work she did, any clues as to her resistance in personally meeting her historical colleagues, etc.
We will also begin making sure that we have a safe copy of all of her archival Issues and Views work and begin planning a presentation of it on a new formatted 'in memorium' website for her.
I got an rough quote today on cremation and getting her ashes down here at roughly $1000.
Donations for this effort can be made out to:
Georgia Heritage Council, Inc. (please note that it is for Elizabeth Wright)
c/o Jim W. Dean
We have avoided a double tragedy here. I might have heard about this a month later after it was all over and she was in Potters Field. Thanks to Michael Santamauro for clueing me in.
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