Feel free to submit written comments or video reflections using the comment box below.
Though not everyone was formally Rod’s “student,” it’s fair to say we all learned immeasurably from our dear brother and dear friend. As such, I (Daniel) don’t need to explain what it felt like to hear of his sudden passing this past December. Succinctly put, losing Rod was like being on high seas and having the North Star disappear from view – I can only hope that I will find a way to reorient myself and continue on.
Rod taught through his scholarship and his very way of being to do and to recognize the kind of serious intellectual and engaged work necessary to promote social consciousness and social change. For any of you who saw The Matrix, Rod’s teaching was my “Red Pill.” Rod Bush was a radical educator, revolutionary leader and a dear friend.
Thus, we (Daniel and Melanie) invite you to participate in a project in commemoration and support of Rod’s life and legacy. For some it will be: “Dear Dr. Bush” (aka Rod, RDB, etc.); for others it will be one of “Reflections and Tributes” so that we may share stories among the many people and communities he touched.
We’d like YOU to comment below (or record and insert a video clip) to be part of this collective effort! What might you write about? Maybe how his example, his interactions, his teaching, and/or his encouragement affected you and the impact he had. Or, how you first encountered him, or the last thing you spoke about. Share the most important part of your relationship with him. Ask questions that you would have liked to ask him. Write what you would have said if you had known you wouldn’t get another chance.
‘Letters’ can be long or short; general or specific; political, theoretical or everyday; serious or playful. We all know Rod’s very way of being embodied it all. Like your interactions with him, what you write about can span a few months, a few years, or a generation or more.
You can write about how he modeled relationships (with family, friends, colleagues, comrades, students, etc.) centered in love, humility and a profound belief in humanity. Express whatever is meaningful to you. For all the time Rod spent with us and for all the time he spent spreading information and inciting action, we feel this is a fitting tribute.
We may use some of your words at public events commemorating him, in print and digitally published works about his legacy, and/or on the website so please indicate how you’d like to be identified.
If you have any questions or suggestions about this project, just let us know.
Thank you in advance for participating! We look forward to hearing from you.
Dan Douglas working with Mrs.Dr.Bush aka Melanie, etc.
4 thoughts on “Submit Reflections”
Rod was one of those rare individuals who valued all human beings. To be in his presence was to feel valued an appreciated. It was easy to feel the smile coming on in his presence. There was always positive energy when Rod and Melanie were together. They transmitted their sense of care and urgency to correct the wrongs in the world. It was a privilege and an honor to have met Rod and his most wonderful wife Melanie. The legacy will survive for many generations to come. He truly exemplified the art of giving all you got even when all you got is you!
I first met Rod about 40 years ago when he lived in Kansas City. At the time he worked for the city’s Neighborhood Development Department. Some of us had formed a group called the African Student/Youth Coalition. Although I read a lot of the movement literature of the day, I was primarily an activist. Rod, on the other hand, was always more of a scholar. Often he would challenge me and others on the intellectual and ideological basis of our activities. He encouraged us to view and shape our activities more towards the overall goal of liberation. Rod would remain a movement scholar but never took an Ivory Tower approach to his scholarship. He would remain committed to the struggle for liberation of the oppressed peoples of the world and thus made major contributions to today’s movement.
I had the pleasure of meeting Rod and Melanie from a friend. After meeting both of them I wasn’t just a friend I became a family member. The amount of love and support they provided to me when my wife was sick was unbelievable. I had the pleasure of working for Rod in his house during that time. He’d always make time to talk to me, he was never too busy or in a rush to stop and have a conversation with me. I cherished every conversation and every moment we had together. Thank you Rod and Melanie for pouring out your Love.
Dr. Bush will forever be in my memory. I returned to SJU as a full-time adult student and a single mother and met him in in his “Race, Class, and Gender course.” Where I learned more than about social justice and inequality than I have ever learned in any other class. In fact a decade late, and I found myself reflecting on him while speaking to a colleague, and even remembered the text he used and recommended it to my colleague. I was telling my colleague how “Dr. Bush was one of those professors that left a lasting impact.” In an attempt to reach out to him after that conversation, I found this website. I am very saddened to learn that he has left us. But I know he is ever more knowing of the world and all its intricacies. Rest easy Dr. Bush!