From the August 2019 magazine.

I’m here we’re here

A long-time African-American member tells his story and encourages others to get involved beyond the group

I grew up in a segregated part of St. Louis, Missouri. I was one of the students who participated in the forced integration of schools. I went to integrated schools from the sixth grade through college. In many of those educational settings, I felt unsafe, unwanted and less-than. As a result, I developed a pattern of social isolation.

When I was in the eighth grade, we moved from the city to the suburbs, where I discovered alcohol. I had found a solution to my living problem, including the racial problems I lived with. Whether with my white or black friends, I discovered a new freedom through alcohol. During the turmoil of the ’60s and ’70s, I became an outspoken student leader committed to changing the social conditions in our country. 

-- Clement C.

New York, New York

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