The Bronx Is Up
Comment of the week
Winner gets a free Nextbook Press book appropriate to his or her comment (provided he or she emails me at firstname.lastname@example.org with his or her mailing address).
Bess Meyerson lived in the “The Amalgamated,” which is how we in the Bronx referred to the first cooperative housing development for workers, about three miles from where I lived, built by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union for their members. Most of the children in my elementary school lived in The Amalgamated. They were the children of Eastern European Jewish immigrants. They were good students and strong believers, with me (the only child in our class with American-born parents), of the American dream. When Bess won Miss America, I was a teenager, bemoaning how my wild, curly brown hair (in an era without gels and mousses) and curvy body was so unlike the blonde, long-legged glamourous movie stars and fashion models. Her victory (with dark hair like mine!), certainly helped me boost my self image and the pride in our neighborhood reminded me of the joy, years before, when Joe Louis beat Max Schmeling. You go, Bess!
“Delores Sloan” will receive a copy of Douglas Century’s biography of Barney Ross, who like Schmeling was a great boxer but who unlike Schmeling actually was Jewish (Schmeling wore a Star of David and was a Righteous Gentile, but he also flew in the Luftwaffe).