To the Editor:
My name is Dr. Timuel Black and I have lived in Bronzeville for 95 years. Captain Walter Dyett was a very important person within the community who I knew personally for most of those years. The proposal that has been developed by the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School and presented to Ald. Will Burns (4th), Mayor Rahm Emanuel and key decision makers at Chicago Public Schools preserves the legacy of this great teacher and icon of the Black Metropolis known today as Bronzeville.
The Dyett Global Leadership and Green Technology High School proposal preserves this rich and important history and deserves the support of elected officials and all decision makers. The coalition’s proposal enriches the proposed Barack Obama Presidential Library that would be potentially located near Dyett High School. As visitors from around the region, country and world visit the library, the proposed high school developed by the coalition would become an additional source of information that makes it easier for individuals to understand and appreciate the important legacy of Walter Dyett and the Bronzeville community.
The Dyett Global Leadership and Green Technology High School will be a place of art, culture and academic achievement that honors and continues the rich heritage of this important man. Captain Dyett taught and inspired Nat King Cole, Gene Ammons, Dorothy Donegan and many others. He was responsive to the needs of the community and the proposal embodies that. The Dyett plan is an important piece that connects the Presidential Library, DuSable Museum and the high school to the community. It should be noted that the community made the ascendency of President Obama possible. Additionally, First Lady Michelle Obama’s father was a graduate at DuSable High School where Captain Dyett was a teacher.
I fully support the proposal to convert the school into a Global Leadership and Green Technology High School. Many of our youth are in need of inspiration and this proposed plan is exactly what is needed in our neighborhood.
Finally, Walter Dyett was nurtured and profoundly influenced by the community in which he lived. Dyett High School’s future must also be nurtured and controlled by the community in which it exists. The Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School is the only group that has done the necessary work over a lengthy period of time that reflects that.
Dr. Timuel Black