Reflecting on a Mentor: Dorothy N. Peterson

Peterson, Dorothy N.Thank you Dorothy N. Peterson (August 14, 1913 – February 19, 1993) who will always be identified with your home at Lenox Terrace on Fifth Avenue off 135th Street.  Bronx River Sankofa would NEVER have come to be had you not opened countless cultural doors to the Powell family (author’s clan) from the late 70s to the day you expired.  You and your generation of southern-born Americans also modeled people power and cultural ambition.  The memorial committee (listed below) from your funeral says so much about the power of association and the social force of people-centered institutions.  As one born in 1973, I look around me at a vast field of mostly under-associated peers and posterity.  What does our social splintering mean and direct us toward?  Robert Putnam writes about this expanding culture of strangers in his classic Bowling Alone.  It becomes clear why we must wake up and build a new society while recycling the bankrupt Deep State that is undermining our current one on every level.

I dedicate this song to your memory because you taught, by example, both what life is and how to live it.  Take it away Patti LaBelle with your timeless classic Oh, People!

Auxiliary, Harlem Hospital Corporation

Beautification Committee, Harlem Hospital Corporation

Bowling League, Harlem Hospital Corporation

Bradhurst Improvement Association

Brownies and Student Junior Scout Leader, St. Mark’s United Methodist Church

Cancer Society

Central Harlem Senior Citizen’s Coalition

Community Board, Harlem Hospital Corporation

Community Planning Board #10

Concerned Tenant’s Association of 2186


Employees Association, HCC

Eureka Grand Chapter, O.E.S. Affiliate AASRM

Friends of Harlem Hospital Center

Friends of Neighborhood Board #1, AREA

Harlem Inter-Agency Council on Aging

Harlem Red Cross

Local 1784

Local 1549

Lincoln Hospital Bowling League

Minisink Town House


National Council of Negro Women, Inc.

Neighborhood Board #1

New York Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women, Inc.

Retirees Association of D.C. 37

Fred Samuel Democratic Club

Senior Citizens of Today

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture Volunteers

St. Mark’s Federal Credit Union

St. Mark’s United Methodist Church

St. Philip’s Episcopal Church

Utility Club

Varick Church Bowling League


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