Earlier today, I was taking a break and indulging in some TV (a rarity for me), when on PBS, I came across a documentary called America Beyond the Color Line. While I don’t often have the patience or attention span to sit through a documentary, this one struck a chord when I saw an interview with Maurice Ashley — the first Black chess international Grand Master in history. It wasn’t his accomplishments that piqued my interest, though — it was his views on what chess can do for others, especially the people we often let slip between the cracks in society. You can see what I saw below:
It’s when those who’ve managed to share fame, prestige and power in life choose to share it with those less fortunate than themselves that we start to make some real change in the world. As is said later in the same documentary by someone else, the program that Maurice helps with is trying to convert “people eating up $60,000 in taxes a year to people who pay $60,000 a year in taxes”.
With a lot of work, little by little, and more people like Maurice Ashley — we can make it.
–Casey E. Palmer