Ken Kelly dies


ABC News is reporting that Black space engineer, housing advocate Ken Kelly dies at 92Ken’s place in the Peanuts world is that when Harriet Glickman was trying to convince Schulz to add an African-American character to Peanuts and Schulz was dubious about how that would be accepted, Ken was the person she convinced to give Schulz a Black perspective. Without him, it’s likely that we’d not have gotten Franklin.

But that’s neither the beginning nor the end of Ken’s activities to make America more welcoming to Black folk. Read that ABC piece, and you’ll see a guy who faced repeated discrimination from real estate agents, so turned around and became one himself, who got into jobs where others tried to keep him out on the basis of the color of his skin…. and achieved important advances in communications engineering.

And here’s where I’m feeling guilty, folks: I didn’t know (or at the very least, didn’t process) he was still alive and living in the area until I learned of his death. I could have and should have interviewed him at some point in the last decade. And now the chance is gone.

Fine figures

I don’t collect Peanuts action figures. I have accumulated a few over the years, but I make a point that the only thing I actually collect is Peanuts books; that is a sufficiently large and expensive hobby on its own. Which is not to say that I cannot appreciate the fact …

Yes, I’m talking about the Franklin radio drama again

  Yes, I’m talking about the Franklin radio drama yet again. I realize that I spoke sloppily last time when I said that I could not vouch for the accuracy of the conversations that took place. That’s acting as if they were supposed to be accurate.   This radio piece …

More on the Franklin radio drama

Having now listened to that BBC 4 Radio drama about the introduction of Franklin into Peanuts, I can say that it is quite well made. I cannot, of course, speak to its accuracy in the depictions of specific conversations, but I believe it is worth the listen. But I know …