we shall overcome

On the day after human beings first set foot on the moon in that hot summer of 1969, I celebrated the event with my class. They were very excited. Thomas, one of the young adolescents who had been blind and retarded since birth but who could hear, had taught himself to play the piano. Another hearing student — a young lady who had been brain-damaged as a result of extreme abuse as an infant — suggested that we end the celebration of the lunar landing by having Thomas play our national anthem.

He did.

He played “We Shall Overcome.”

Prayers to Broken Stones by Dan Simmons, 1990

This anecdote, about the author’s time as a teacher’s aide at Upsal Day School for the Blind in 1969, appears in the author’s foreword for the short story “Eyes I Dare Not Meet in Dreams”, part of the Prayers to Broken Stones anthology.


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About imran

Twenty-something in Washington, DC.

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