A Lindley Hall suggestion

 

I am watching the paper to see the discussion of removing of the name of Lindley Hall. This is a tricky issue, and if the Board of Education will or will not remove the name, either way there will be angry people. This is a little personal to me, as I played there two years while at Bethel College.

I understand why those among racial minorities feel hurt with the restricting of their participation. It is an insult to them, and as a white person, I cannot pretend to fully know what they feel. It is more than just being allowed to bounce a ball and run around on a court while a youth. For such a person, it is a rejection of their very personhood.

On the other hand, should we disappear the memory of one of the greatest and most innovative coaches in Kansas history? Not only do we mark his success, but marvel in the genius of his creativity and efficiency. Should all that go away?

I have a suggestion for the Newton community. What say the School Board tables this one more time, and give an idea time to develop. Let's tell both stories. Have the Board form a special committee, which would include both representatives of white alumni/athletic groups who played, and representatives of people of color who were shut out. Put together two graphic plaques that would be placed in the lobby of Lindley Hall, with text and pictures. Have one tell the story of Coach Lindley and his accomplishments. The other plaque would tell the truth of earlier days, and how people of color were shut out, not only from sports but other activities. And, to tell how this era came to an end under Coach Ravenscroft. To know the full truth would give a more complete story. If needed, this committee could bring in an area history professor or teacher to help in the writing. A second set of plaques should be in a prominent place in the present high school, maybe near the Hall of Fame, or a high traffic area. This could be an educational opportunity for today's students.

— Brian D. Stucky, Author "Hallowed Hardwood, the Vintage Basketball Gyms of Kansas," Goessel.