In our work we have found a wealth of knowledge ‘lost’ texts, maps, artwork and manuscripts, as the works and stories of scholars are passed up for ‘more appealing’ historical characters and their work. One of our favorite philosophers fall into this lost category; Professor William Fontaine and his text Reflections on Segregation, Desegregation, Power and Morals. We wanted to share seven ‘rules’ that he frames in the text as essential to “the moral commitment to desegregation.” The messaging seems timely as we continue to work through our cultural differences around trade and commerce as a nation.
- Repudiation of the idea that an all-powerful “essence” called “racial endowment” determines the potentialities and accomplishments of the individual;
- Elimination of separation by spatial distance, and acceptance of a sentiment of justice that includes all men, regardless of color;
- Denial of the principle of preemption in economic life, politics and education;
- Concentration upon complete development of every individual, instead of deliberate retardation designed to retain leadership of caste;
- Refusal to believe that current accounts of the role of Negroes in history are complete beyond all possibility of significant revision;
- Freedom of association in interpersonal relations and rejection of racial taboos on sex and marriage;
- In communication, adoption of gestures and forms of address indicating acknowledgement of the intrinsic dignity of a human being.
These ‘rules’ have been guides for us in our design work. In the near future we are working many of the inspirational guides, that we use in the design process, into print format for the design community. Stay Tuned!