Three decades after his release on Jan. 20, 1981, after 444 days of captivity in Iran, Barry Rosen discussed the ordeal and its emotional aftermath. “I lived on a day-to-day basis and my only hope was to survive each day,” says Rosen, who today is the executive director of public and external affairs at Borough of Manhattan Community College. Rosen was the press attaché in Tehran when students stormed the U.S. Embassy, and was among the 52 people who were bound, blindfolded and isolated during their incarceration. “It affects me today — Iran is part and parcel of my life and anybody who says it isn’t, who went through this situation, is not telling you the truth.”
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As unimaginable as it may seem today, New York City was considered the capital of American slavery for more than two centuries, according to Kathleen Hulser, the public historian of the New-York Historical Society. Speaking at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, Ms. Hulser discusses freed slaves such as Venerable Pierre Toussaint, a candidate for sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church, and others who were able to amass small fortunes to feed and shelter slaves as they worked toward their common goal of emancipation.
Frederick Douglass’s struggle for education was also his pathway from slavery to freedom, says the Rev. Herbert Daughtry of the House of the Lord Church in Brooklyn. At an observance of the abolitionist’s 190th birthday at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, Rev. Daughtry discusses Douglass’s burning desire to educate himself, and the key to his hard-earned freedom. Rev. Daughtry, 77, has been involved in the civil rights movement for more than 40 years, played a crucial role in the integration of New York City schools and spoke out against the death of African-American businessman Arthur Miller in 1978.