I commend you for rightfully honoring Dr. J. Herman Blake for his superlative work for the academy, for your institution and for his community. Dr. Blake continues to make a positive impact through his work at the Medical University of South Carolina and through his efforts to chronicle and preserve the Gullah-Geechee heritage in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. I count him as one of my role models and rejoice that he is an ongoing blessing to all who come under his tutelage.
The Reverend Joseph A. Darby, Senior Pastor
Morris Brown AME Church
Charleston, South Carolina
A tribute by Candis Kent Stephens
Thanks for the opportunity to go to Daufuskie Island: The first time was in 1972, I believe, then again in 1973. What a different world, though it had some striking parallels to my experiences E. Africa before that. I have an abiding love for the Low Country because of my time there.
Many thanks also for being my professor at Oakes college which didn’t even exist yet. And for so aptly naming my independent major – The Psycho-Social Dynamics of Community Development – which is what I continue to do today and always have through my work life.
I am looking forward to seeing you in April!
~ Candis Kent Stephens
Jock Reynolds ’69
A thank you from a UCSC Pioneer Class Member
Dear Doctor Blake,
You may never know how many students whose minds you tickled and whose imaginations you stoked during your distinguished teaching career at UC Santa Cruz. In my case, you kindled in me a deep curiosity to learn more about the history of African-American people and their art and culture, a quest that I have pursued constantly throughout my own now long career in the visual arts. For this I will always be grateful to you. I could not attend your tribute dinner, but had you strongly in my mind during a recent visit to Charleston, South Carolina, where I once again observed the great craft of sea grass and pine needle basket making still being carried on across time and generations with a consummate quality of artistry.
Is there a mailing address to which I could send you some exhibition catalogues I have authored that I think you might enjoy reading and adding to your personal library?
With thanks again for your part in making my learning experiences as an undergraduate student at UCSC so interesting in so many ways from 1965-1969!
Jock Reynolds ’69 (Stevenson College)
The Henry J. Heinz II Director
Yale University Art Gallery
Dr. Carol Schmid
Professor of Sociology
Guilford Technical Community College
Thank you for honoring Professor Herman Blake. He is a excellent professor and friend to students. I was greatly influenced by him. I did an independent study with Herman on Nat Turner and took his Black Culture class. Unfortunately I am unable to attend the Tribute Dinner.
Carol Schmid Thomas
Stevenson College 1969
Submitted on 2013/02/12 at 8:16 pm
During one of our runs we came across a master surfer. He and Herman seemed to know each other very well. Herman turned to me and asked would I like to learn the art? I kindly said, “No thank you.” Now after viewing the movie Searching for the Maverick, filmed in the Santa Cruz area, I wished that I had said “Yes.” I was Herman’s chauffeur. He loved jazz, and was constantly advising me. It is so great that we get to Grace an Elder.
Ralph Steele: Pawleys Island, SC…living in Santa Fe, NM