Dr. E. Faye Williams
TriceEdney—A week ago, I traveled with an associate to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. With 13 and 1/2 hours travel each way and a brief stay, we completed the trip in less than 48 hours. With great joy, we returned to Dulles Airport with one additional person, the Rev. Walter E. Fauntroy.
In cooperation with Attorney Johnny Barnes and Keith Silver, I have worked with the Fauntroy Support Group. In Reverend Fauntroy’s four-year absence, our primary goal was to assist his wife, Mrs. Dorothy Fauntroy. Our second goal was to bring him home. With the help of many people, we did that.
Questions remain about his absence and the reasons for it. I claim no knowledge of that, but wish to commend the family that looked out for our former Congressman during his last months abroad. I give high praise to the family I briefly met while picking him up.
The family was African and recognized him from his earlier work in the Sudan. They consisted of a couple and their young son. They were not wealthy people, but saw a brother in need and shared what they had. Despite cultural differences, there is something special about the “Black Family” that former Congressman Fauntroy recognized and his benefactors practiced. Many remember the Black Leadership Family Plan he developed years ago–and on which he has been working ever since. Like me, others know of his concern for Black people wherever they are in this world.
The family that aided him spoke no English. He spoke no Arabic. They’d heard about him, but they’d never met him. Every facet of their culture was vastly different from what was accustomed, but they saw a brother in need and identified with him. Their compassion led them to care for him as one of their own.
When we arrived, the family had prepared many kinds of fruit and water for us. Their greeting was welcoming. As we prepared to leave, the woman began to cry so much that it brought tears to my eyes. The memory of their parting will always be with me. Through a translator, we learned that the family considered him a father. Although it was time for him to go, they were heartbroken. Leaving, I only wished I had the ability to bring the family with us. Someday, I would like to be a part of facilitating a visit to the US for them to have a reunion.
For me, that experience confirmed something very special about the Black Family. I only pray we can reconstruct that spirit among us, in the USA, and with our African brothers and sisters in the Diaspora and in the Motherland. We badly need to return to a time when we were our brother’s and our sister’s keeper.
The National Congress of Black Women is entrusted as the fiscal agent raising funds for helping the Fauntroy Family heal and adjust to the challenges they face in 2016. Considering the support that the former Congressman has given so many of us, it is only appropriate that we come together as a community to give him support in his continuing time of need. If, like the family in the United Arab Emirates, you feel the spirit to assist in his support and the resolution of some of the Fauntroy family’s immediate challenges, you may send your donation and make checks payable to: National Congress of Black Women, 1250 4th Street, SW, Suite WG-1, Washington, DC 20024. Please write Fauntroy Family Fund in the memo section of your check or money order. Matthew 25:40 tells us, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
Dr. E. Faye Williams can be reached at: www.nationalcongressbw.org; or at 202/678-678