Dr. King is remembered today and every day for struggling against the cultural legacies of American race-based slavery. He is also remembered for advocating the inclusion of equal rights for all people in the Declaration of Independence, the document that began the United States of America. In 1776, the Declaration was broadcast to the world as a message of hope. It spoke of human potential and the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Yet for much of the history of the United States, that ideal was allowed to tarnish badly. The cotton boom of the early 19thcentury not only revived slavery but also established the first industrial revolution focused on the production of inexpensive cotton textiles. Exploitation of free labor increased in the North as human beings were forced to work to the quickening tempo of cotton-mill machinery. Antebellum Southern writers frequently referred to so-called Northern free workers as “wage slaves,” who had no recourse when maimed on the job by dangerous machinery. The Civil War of 1861-1865 resulted in the legal abolishment of slavery. It also freed up all restraints to entering the machine age at full speed, whatever the consequences.
At the very end of his life, Dr. King was broadening his focus to include the dignity of labor. He was assassinated while in Memphis to support a strike of garbage workers. King realized that slavery comes in many forms, some of which can demean the meaning of free labor. Had he lived beyond 1968, he would have seen the emergence of the global economy that is now repeating the U.S. story of labor in the 19thcentury in many far-away places. This new development affects modern American labor as well.
Over the course of this century, it is my sincere hope that Dr. King’s ideals may become actualized everywhere and that Webb students and graduates can play a meaningful role in bringing this about. As Webb's educational philosophy is devoted to encouraging the light of human potential, we need to remember what Dr. King stood for, so that not only the work of our own institution but the cause of education everywhere can expand opportunity both here and throughout the world.
Eshaana Sheth ’10 describes her short film, "The Butter Knife" as "a snapshot of modern, intercultural dating." It has won Best Romantic Comedy at the Los Angeles Film Awards and Top Shorts online film festival so far.
In this fascinating article in The Atlantic, writer Jeffrey Selingo dives into the argument many economists, educators, and work-force development professionals are making today--our education in early life does not seem sufficient for the needs of our 21st century economy. The third wave, as he describes, will be one of continual training and education and retraining. Read more in The Atlantic.
Alumni, family and friends are invited to join Head of Schools Taylor Stockdale and special guests for three events this April in New York City (April 11), Philadelphia (April 12) and London, England (April 14).
Once again, Webb athletes had a strong showing across the board during the 2018 winter season. Led by WSC soccer, which finished the season League Champions and with a deep run into CIF, both VWS and WSC athletics posted very positive results. VWS Water Polo also finished its league play in second place.
“It is always great each season to not only see our athletes and teams be successful on the field of play, but to see them learn and grow as individuals and part of a community,” said Director of Athletics Steve Wishek.