THE EVERETT ADVOCATE – Friday, February 7, 2020 Page 11 Everett Advocate Celebrates Black History Month Walter Carrington “U.S. Ambassador” By Michael Matarazzo T here is no way one can capture the spirit of Walter Carrington by the written word. His resume, while certainly impressive, does not tell the full story. His own words better express this man’s heart, and most of the quotes are from his essay, “Remembrance of an Atypical Black American Boyhood” published by the Harvard Book Store in “Paige Leaves: Essays Inspired by New England.” Walter Charles Carrington was born July 24, 1930, in New York City, N.Y., to Marjorie Irene Hayes Carrington and Walter Randolph Carrington, an immigrant from Barbados. His mother and father divorced, and Walter and his sister came to live with his father’s family on Cedar Terrace. At the time Everett was a predominantly Italian-Irish community. In his essay, “Remembrance of an Atypical Black American Boyhood,” he recalled, “My younger sister, Marilyn, and I were the only black kids on the block in a town that was a sociological anomaly. I would learn many years later, while a Commissioner on the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, that an Urban League study had found my Everett to have been the least segregated city of its size in the country. So assimilated did I, as a youngster, become to my heavily Italian neighborhood that I could curse in Italian, with a Sicilian accent, almost before I could in English.” Walter was very popular throughout his public school years – being elected vice president of his class at both Parlin Junior High and Everett High School. This puzzled Walter; as he quipped in that same essay, “I was a popular kid in a sports obsessed town who was not an athlete. Our high school football teams were legendMATTHEW | FROM PAGE 10 ernor Leverett Saltonstall convinced him to serve on the Parole Board again. Bullock continued in that position until his retirement. Matthew Bullock’s reputation soon expanded beyond academia and Massachusetts state government when, in 1945 as WWII was coming to an end, he was asked by Secretary of the Navy, James Forrestal, to serve on a commisAmbassador Walter Carrington as Grand Marshal of the City of Everett’s 125th Anniversary Parade (Photo by Katy Rogers) ary. They won more state and national championships than any other. They were memorialized in Look Magazine. The basketball team was a state power house. Jocks were the most popular group in school. Yet I, who excelled, not on the field but on the stage as a debater and orator, was each year elected Vice President of a class of five hundred of whom but five were black.” Walter graduated from Everett High in 1948, and at encouragement of his Everett High guidance counselor took the entrance exam and was admitted to Harvard. “I often read in the national black newspapers tales of horror about white high school guidance counselors steering promising black students away from college careers to vocational ones. I was blessed to have one who insisted that I should settle for nothing but the best. With his encouragement I got into Harvard.” Carrington was one of only four black students at Harvard University at the time. At Harvard, he founded the first Harvard chapter of the NAACP. and, as its Youth Council delegate, he was also vice chair of the Students for Stevenson organization when Adlai Stevension to investigate relations between black and white enlisted men in the Pacific theatre. This assignment, a sense of great pride to Matthew, resulted in a report that began the process of racial integration of the United States Navy. Matthew was unable to relish in his accomplishment however as 1945 was also the year that his beloved Katherine died. Bullock would continue to work for several more years son campaigned in 1952 as the Democratic candidate for President. Carrington graduated from Harvard with a Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) degree in 1952. Like many young men at the time, Walter was drafted into the United States Army in 1955, where he served as a clerk typist in Germany, eventually being assigned to the Judge Advocate General Corps. After his discharge, he enrolled in Harvard Law School, earning his J.D. degree in 1958. He practiced law in Boston and served on the three-member Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, becoming, at the age of 27, the youngest person to be appointed a Commissioner in the Commonwealth’s history. At the MCAD, he was in charge of the case which led to the Boston Red Sox, the last remaining all white Major League Baseball Team, hiring their first black player – “Pumpsie” Green. It was the establishment of the Peace Corps in 1961 and Carrington’s appointment as one of its first overseas Country Directors that began the historic relationship between Walter Carrington and the continent of Africa. Walter served 10 years in the Corps that included directing programs in Sierra Leone, Tunisia and Senbut his attention was gradually turning toward his Baha’i Faith that he had accepted in 1940. Starting in 1953, Matthew spent his winters in Curacao, Netherland West Indies as a member of the Baha’i community. Bullock often made public appearances on behalf of the Baha’i Faith and served as a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’i Faith in the United States. For his efforts in opening egal and rising to the position of Regional Director for Africa. After serving with distinction in the Peace Corps, the following decade saw Carrington serve as executive vice president of the Africa-America Institute, and as a member of Africare. He also taught at Marquette University in Wisconsin, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Washington College in Maryland and served as a consultant at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. In 1980, Carrington served for a year as President Jimmy Carter’s Ambassador to Senegal. In 1981, he was named director of the Department of International Affairs at Howard University. In 1991 Carrington, along with Edwin Dorn, published “Africa in the Minds and Deeds of Black American Leaders.” In 1993, Carrington, who had served as a senior advisor on Africa to the Clinton Transitional Team, was appointed by the President as Ambassador to Nigeria. The newly appointed Ambassador was to assume his post just as the military was voiding the democratic election recently held in that country. Still, his appointment began on a positive note for it was during the very first diplomatic function that he attended as ambassador that he met Dr. Arese Ukpoma, an intelligent and impressive physician. She would become Mrs. Carrington in 1995, while continuing to add to her already stellar record of service to humanity. During his tenure in Nigeria, Carrington consistently challenged the Nigerian government on the questions of democracy, human rights and drug trafficking. The dictatorship of General Sani Abacha was firmly committed to discrediting Ambassador Carrington and blamed him for every shortcoming in U.S.-Nigenew territories to the Faith during its Ten-Year Crusade from 1953-1963, he was given the title Knight of Bahá’u’lláh and his name was added to the Roll of Honour that stands beneath the entrance door to the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh; the most holy place for Bahá’ís. By 1967, he moved to Detroit where his daughter lived and with his health gradually diminishing he entered a nursing home. In 1970 Harvard University conferred upon him rian relations. However, the attitude of the Nigerian government did not deter the Ambassador from standing firm in defense of the values that he held so dear. The situation was so bad that even a farewell reception held in his honor was interrupted by armed police who threatened to shoot one guest and ordered all foreigners, including the Ambassador, to leave at once. This shocked many in the diplomatic corps, but not Ambassador Carrington, who saw the dictatorship as a self-serving government that was wasting a talented population and vast natural resources for its own gain. After the fall of the dictatorship, the Nigerian government surprised Carrington by naming the diplomatic area of Lagos after him. Today, Water Carrington Crescent is the location of more than 12 diplomatic missions. In 2017, Everett celebrated its 125th Anniversary as a city. Upon learning that he was to be the Grand Marshall of the Anniversary Parade, Carrington with his trademark humility told the Everett Independent newspaper, “I was really overwhelmed when I learned I would be Grand Marshal because I still have a soft spot for Everett, because without Everett, I might not have become the person I became had I grown up in another place that wasn’t so accommodating,” he said. “To be remembered and honored like this is more than I can put to words. It’s a great honor to me.” Accomplished, intelligent, humble, principled, honest and loyal – it is Everett that is honored to call Ambassador Walter C. Carrington a favorite son. —EDITOR’S NOTE: Michael Matarazzo is the former Everett city clerk and the author of "They Came from Everett" available at bookblues.com. an honorary degree and in 1971, Dartmouth College and honored him with the honorary degree Doctor of Laws. Matthew Bullock a true pioneer in so many arenas died in Detroit on December 17, 1972. His life, legacy and accomplishment are just recently being recognized. - EDITOR’S NOTE: Michael Matarazzo is the former Everett city clerk and the author of "They Came from Everett" available at bookblues.com.

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