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Randy Kryn

Joined 5 July 2007
(In his less-lucid moments this editor self-identifies as a Wikipedian citizen of Kryń)

Hello! Thanks for coming by. Pull up a chair. Pretzels? An 1881 timeline of human history? A Wikipedian since 2007, I've cranked out a few templates (see below), serenaded a space travel/visual art/baseball edit or two, and carelessly tossed a handful of words into suffragist articles, 1960s pages, and other odds and ends. A few italic runs, category walks, and a bit of writing and random template distributions have occurred in-between fits of popcorn.

Notes on work with James Bevel's 1960s Civil Rights Movement historyEdit

Awhile ago, while still eating meat and walking around dehydrated and Vitamin-C deficient, I likely snuck onto the top tier of 1960s Civil Rights Movement historians, a fairly small and stuffy room inhabited by David Garrow (a nice fellow), Taylor Branch, Adam Fairclough, and one or two others (Garrow and Branch seem among the few who know I'm wandering around in there). My early findings, greatly assisted by a promotional fundraising paper written by Helen Bevel which pointed the way to her then-husband's Civil Rights Movement history, occurred during a political campaign as James Bevel's unpaid press secretary. Knowing that he'd lose a bid for congress in a heavily party-controlled district, we agreed that I'd take the position so I could concentrate on independently researching his history with himself and others. My early papers on Bevel's 1960s work consisted of articles sent to historical societies, historians, and the media, as well as writing data-driven campaign handouts and press releases. Besides that 1983-84 congressional campaign I've never fully promoted this work.

Yet since 2007 my cited and sourced James Bevel research has been presented in Bevel's Wikipedia article, on various Wikipedia talk pages, and on or under other internet outcroppings. These findings concerning Bevel's historical achievements have never found dispute on any major point, nor has anyone cited sources which contradict them. James Bevel simply did all of the things in the 1960s movements that he gets credit for on his Wikipedia page. Although I initially added a few edits about his legal problems, since Bevel's death in 2008, except for minor grammar or formatting edits, I've edited only the data in his article about his 1960s Civil Rights Movement accomplishments, his 1960s Anti-War Movement history, and a little on Bevel's major role in the 1995 Day of Atonement/Million Man March.

In 2005, Middlebury College published one of my papers. That paper echoed and added to earlier writings, the most notable being a 1984 research paper later reprinted, with a new addendum, in the 1989 book We Shall Overcome, Volume II edited by David Garrow. My article in the Garrow book contains quite a few sources not yet added to Wikipedia's Bevel article. The only fact or analysis academically questioned concerns an event not used in the Wikipedia article. Historian James Ralph publicly disputed Bevel's version of the agreement which ended the 1966 Chicago Open Housing Movement (see my 2005 paper, linked above). Since Bevel, as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's Director of Direct Action, initiated and ran SCLC's 1966 Open Housing Movement, after running his other major SCLC movements - the 1963 Birmingham Children's Crusade and the 1965 Selma Voting Rights Movement - I would think that he remembered how he agreed to end it. It makes an interesting story that Bevel repeated over the years without much variation.

That one point aside - and I still trust Bevel's often-repeated rendition of it - if the Bevel information in those papers and on his Wikipedia page accurately reflects the events of the era, it gives established Civil Rights Movement historians, newer writers and researchers, and young students just in-or-out of university seeking an academic specialty, access to James Bevel's Civil Rights Movement legacy and its potential research topics.

Needed research includes James Bevel related interviews with Dorothy Cotton, Bob Moses, and a few other key people from the 1960s movements. Done well and honestly, and with a stated goal of further ascertaining the facts about James Bevel's role in the events of the era, these should add to already collected information. I personally haven't interviewed the law enforcement side of the Selma and Birmingham Movements, and suggest that as long as any police personnel or Alabama State Troopers who manned the Birmingham or Selma frontlines still walk the Earth, first hose them down and then interview them. Aside from any new Bevel and King material, interviews with law enforcement personnel should uncover new points of view on the era's historical events and perspectives.

Tools an established or student historian may also find useful would include the Bevel audio and video tapes in the hands of a wide variety of relatives, friends, and organizations. An inventory of those materials doesn't exist, which opens up another task for interested researchers. Going through those tapes and videos would dig up many nuggets on 1960s movement history. Another avenue: Nobody has fully, or in most cases even partially, interviewed Bevel's relatives, his students from the 1960s, or his post-movement associates, friends, and students, all available areas of inquiry.

As David Garrow described in 2015, James Bevel's place in American and world history seems proven and assured. Bevel's observations about the 1960s movements, and personal descriptions of his step-by-step understanding and use of the science of nonviolence, deserve further principled and ethically compiled research and publication projects. Added to accurate data from existing writings, well sourced and scrutinized information may then find its own use on the Bevel Wikipedia article and other Civil Rights Movement articles throughout the site.

Well, time to edit!Edit

If you haven't joined your expertise, interests, or spare-time and/or space-time curiosities with Wikipedia, feel assured that it ably fulfills its intended purpose as a good and accurate place to share knowledge. Knowledge which you consider interesting, fun, and important to chronicle in any field of endeavor. Knowledge that you can back up with sources stated in a neutral voice, like a robot.

Here are some maps I've thrown together or added to - templates remind me of maps, a one-stop visual of links to all of the important and interesting Wikipedia articles on their subjects. Articles which hundreds, and in many cases, thousands of Wikipedian volunteers have researched and written:

Templates created:





Swimming Reindeer, a 12,500-year-old sculpture by an unknown artist, featured on the List of Stone Age art

Existing templates given a few coats of paint and a new wine cellar: {{Prehistoric technology}} {{Art world}} {{Suffrage}} {{Slavery}} {{African-American Civil Rights Movement}} {{Benjamin Franklin}} {{Jesus footer}} {{George Washington}} {{Abraham Lincoln}} {{William Howard Taft}} {{Woodrow Wilson}} {{Franklin D. Roosevelt}} {{Harry S. Truman}} {{Dwight D. Eisenhower}} {{John F. Kennedy}} {{Robert A. Heinlein}} and others

Existing templates pollocked: {{Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood}} {{Veganism and vegetarianism}} {{Chess}} {{Historical American Documents}} {{Mohandas K. Gandhi}} {{Martin Luther King}} {{Nikola Tesla}} {{Nelson Mandela}} {{Pete Seeger}} {{Kurt Vonnegut}} {{Mark Twain}} {{Herbert Hoover}} {{Lyndon B. Johnson}} {{Richard Nixon}} {{Gerald Ford}} {{Jimmy Carter}} {{Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis}} {{Robert F. Kennedy}} {{Winston Churchill}} {{Underground Railroad}} {{Gautama Buddha}} {{Martin Luther}} {{Ray Bradbury}} and others.

 This user has earned the
100,000 Edits Award.
 This user attended Wikimania 2017 in Montreal, Canada.