Christopher C. Bell Jr.
Hello, I am Chris Bell Jr. I will introduce myself by saying; I am a Black man, a poet, an essayist, an educationist, a novelist, a retired army Major, a Doctor of Education (ED.D.), and a Unitarian Universalist.
In a longer version of an introduction, I’d say to you that I am Christopher C. Bell, Jr., a Black man, and I was born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia, when racial segregation was the law of the land. How much I was hurt by the racial discrimination I faced as a young man, I don’t really know, but I do know it didn’t help me. In any event, I dodged most teen-age hazards that befell many young Black men of my day and went off to college, Virginia State University. I graduated with a degree in chemistry and a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S Army, and with no idea as to what I wanted to be or do as my life’s work.
While in the army, I served in France (twice), Korea (twice), Germany, Vietnam, and Ethiopia. My military assignments opened to me vistas of sensitivity to and awareness of other cultures that jarred my “Made in America Mind.” And so, in my early twenties I began stepping to a cadence that was different from most of my colleagues, but not so different as to cause me concern. I was moved to try to write. I did so partly to not to lose available spare time and to clear my mind. My writings were attempts at fiction (novels) and poetry.
After military retirement, I earned a Doctorate (ED.D.) from Boston University’s Graduate School of Education. I served in the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, DC., and as a Program Coordinator in the District of Columbia Public School System. In the District of Columbia schools, I became an educationist: a front line observer and student of the relationship between high school student behavior, school’s academic structures and the community cultural ecology.