In recognition of January as National Braille Literacy Month, I would like to salute Helen Keller (1880-1968), one of the great chroniclers of life in New York City, in braille or any other writing system. Deaf and blind since early childhood, Keller wrote fourteen books and lectured widely with her teacher Anne Sullivan and was also a political activist who campaigned for women’s suffrage and labor rights.
Keller visited New York City many times, as she was drawn to its energy, palpable beyond what one can see or hear. In “I Go Adventuring,” from her 1929 book Midstream: My later Life, she writes:
Cut off as I am, it is inevitable that I should sometimes feel like a shadow walking in a shadowy world. When this happens I ask to be taken to New York City. Always I return home weary but I have the comforting certainty that mankind is real flesh and I myself am not a dream. Read the rest of this entry »