Life & adventure
“… I never felt that I was a victim and I did not live my life in fear. There is a great peace and many tangible benefits to that frame of mind. Here is a story that illustrates my point: In 1935 I was serving as a chef on a large cruise ship, making regular runs between New York City, Miami, Florida and Rio De Janeiro, Brazil as well as other cities down the Brazilian coast. On one particular day my crew mates and I got into a debate as to which was the best and most beautiful beach. Pointing to the sandy swath not far from the deck on which we were seated, most of my friends were adamant that Miami hosted the finest beaches on the planet. I, however had a very different opinion. Having been born in Brazil, I clearly felt that Copacabana Beach was far superior, with its white sands, clear blue water and throngs of Cariocas swimming,dancing and enjoying life. It was, for me, a paradise on earth. But try as I might, I was unable to sway my unyielding companions.
I decided at that moment I had to see with my own eyes whether the beach in front of me could truly be better than that of my homeland – after all, I had never set foot on its sands and therefore could not properly compare the two. When I voiced my plans to my shipmates, however, they jumped to their feet in alarm. I was informed in no uncertain terms that this particular beach was for “whites” only, and any black man caught there would most certainly be arrested, beaten and killed. But my mind was made up, and no amount of persuasion would make me alter my plans. Finally, when they realized that their arguments were useless, they leaned over the railings and watched me descend the gangplank …”