If you use this material, please credit The Jonestown Institute. Thank you.
Man: It’s my pleasure this morning to introduce to you one of the truly great men, not only of this city but of America. There’s a man here that’s on the platform sitting to my left and to your right who has had the courage to take a stand on behalf of social justice when, with words and conduct that only a man of courage can execute. This gentleman is not only a highly-trained, highly-educated person, he’s concerned about the plight of the common man, and he’s concerned about the plight of those who are oppressed by racism, by sexism, by every type of –ism, except that which is liberation for mankind. This gentleman that I’m about to introduce to you, publishes a truly outstanding (stumbles over words) uh, newspaper which is circulated both uh, by our people up in Santa Rosa, up in Redwood Valley and in Ukiah, which isn’t afraid to come to the defense of those who are looked down upon, those who are unpopular, those who have been destroyed by the system, and he has managed to keep afoot, both in terms of– both in the world of the uh, physician, the world of medicine, at the same time, not lose his integrity, by– by launching forth with such crusades as protest against the– (Pause) against the war, protest against racial injustice wherever he finds it. He’s known throughout, not only the United States, but he’s known in various parts of the world, he’s asked to come to various– various states, various countries like Italy and France and other such places, because he has built, by dint of hard work, by dint of character, by dint of integrity, by dint of courage, to be the type of person that all of us should try ourselves to be. And with this, it gives me great pleasure to produce– to introduce to you, Dr. Carlton Goodlett, publisher and editor of The Sun-Reporter.
Goodlett: My friends, it is written, let your light so shine among men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who art in heaven. If it is pleasing to the ruler of the universe that men should be about the business of doing good deeds, it certainly is important from time to time that we men and women followers of the Christ should pause to say to our neighbors, well done.
Goodlett: Approximately 18 years ago, our community newspaper felt that there was a void in our community, that not enough opportunity or time was taken to pause and say to those who have given a little bit more above and beyond the call of duty, to making our lives meaningful, to say, well done to them, to present them with flowers or mementoes of appreciation while they could yet smell the flowers, or hear our praise or approbation. So 18 years ago, we launched upon a program, and we first cited the Man of the Year, the Woman of the Year, and the Club of the Year. After several years, it became obvious to us that no man is an island, and that the members of the black community, if we were successful in forging ahead to end racial discrimination and to build a better tomorrow for our children, we had to reach across the boundaries of race and say to our brothers, you too have made a significant and meaningful contribution to our lives. So we organized and presented a prize in nineteen hundred and fifty-eight for the Citizen of the Year, to be given to a non-black who had made a important contribution. And then as we moved forward, we noted that our young people were building under trying circumstances to develop strong of body and mind, to participate in the struggle to end racism, and we decided then to cite the Youth of the Year. As we moved along, however, it became obvious that, to just have one Citizen of the Year would indicate that we were indeed suffering from difficulty of sight, because there are many people outside of our community who, without their help, our lives would be bottomless pits of nothingness.
Voices in Crowd: Yes. Amen.
Goodlett: So we then began to expand the Citizen of Merit award, and from time to time, we have, on the basis of nominations from the community at large, and a study of the nominations by unknown, unrecognized committee of s– public-spirited persons, decided to cite others with a Special Merit Award. This year, when we began our request for nominees, we were overwhelmed by many, many nominations, pointing out to us many of the good deeds, the social concerns and a profound implementation of the social gospel of the leader of this flock.
Goodlett: One of the interesting things about the Merit Awards, during our 18-year history, only one minister has received an award.
Crowd: Laughter, followed by sustained applause
Goodlett: I’m hoping that the plau– applause was not premature. You didn’t let me finish my statement.
Goodlett: Only one minister had received an award up until this time. And why is that? Basically because men usually anticipate that men of the cloth will be about their Father’s business of doing good. About six years ago, we received (Pause) tremendous number of nominations for a man who I believe is very courageous, who has moved into the Tenderloin area of this city, and he’s attempting to bring the social gospel to the prostitute, the pimp, the dope addict, the young who uh, have strayed away. And I’m speaking of Reverend Cecil Williams. And this has been the only minister who has received an award until this time. But more significantly, the award which we give today moves out of our community of color, and it extends itself broad across the panorama of race, and it says to me as I read the nominations and a discussion of what he was doing, this is indeed a good man.
Goodlett: So I am pleased to say to you, that the award today, small as it is, is a recognition on the part of a discerning people, that goodness is such a rare quality, until when we find it, we must exemplify it.
Goodlett: So today we honor him, not because of the fact that he long ago decided to be a minister of the gospel, but because of the fact that in the implementation of this life direction, he has lifted out his hand to help the oppressed, the distraught, the lost, and every opportunity, every minute of the day, he seeks for a new opportunities to reach out and touch somebody.
Goodlett: So today we honor Reverend Jim Jones, a man whom I am honored to call a friend.
Goodlett: Because he has shown profound concern for the children of the world.
Goodlett: And no man can do any more than to open up his hearth or to place under his roof the children of God of all colors, all creeds and all religions.
Goodlett: We honor him because he understands that in a world as troubled and as distraught as the present day, that there are many people who are unable to face the trials, the tribulations, the frustrations of living, and who stray away, and who seek temporary safety and flighty comfort in the destructive mechanizations of narcotics. But he has found an opportunity to snatch from the living hell of narcotics hundreds and scores of young people and made their lives meaningful.
Crowd: Sustained applause
Goodlett: I could spend a lot of time talking about this good man, but– but let me– let me be brief.
Goodlett: As we live in a world of advancing medical science and technology, I’m fascinated historically when I recognize that at 1900, the year, the average male, female had a life expectancy of between 32 and 28 years. And in 70 years, we find that we’ve been blessed as follows: the average white female lives to be 75 years of age. The average black female lives to be 73 years of age. The average white male lives to be 71. The average black male lives to be 69. In 70 years, man, with all of his wretchedness and wickedness, has been able to use the sciences of medicine and the bounty of the earth to increase our longevity by one-hundred fold. (tape edit) He not only is concerned with the beginning of life, the alpha, but he has a profound program for the omega, or the end of life. And because of his concerns for the aged, we have a re-affirmation of the fact that this is a man for all seasons.
Crowd: Sustained applause
Goodlett: I would like to call to the microphone your leader, Reverend Jim Jones, to give him the token of appreciation of a grateful community.
Crowd: Sustained applause
Goodlett: We have here– (Pause) We have here a small bowl with the inscription, The Sun Reporter Merit Award, the Special Merit Award to James Jones.
Crowd: Applause. (Music)
Goodlett: This is a memento that he can share with the family, he can share with the congregation, and we are happy to present this to him.
Jones: Thank you.
Goodlett: But we have something more, because a busy man who lives a busy life, he has to be at a lot of places on time.
Goodlett: So we are presenting him for his own personal use a Hamilton Automatic wristwatch, so that he can be on time everywhere all the time.
Jones: It may be a reflection on me, but there have been honors that I have re– refused, and there’ve been appointments that I’ve refused, but I’m so honored by the– this, uh re– recognition of the Special Merit Award by Dr. Goodlett because of what The Sun Reporter represents through his inspiring leadership.
Jones: All I can say is that I will endeavor to live up to all of the things that he said. Thank you. Thank you from the depth of my heart.
Music, woman sings
End of tape
Tape originally posted July 2014