Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Who is Pat Murphy? What's in a name?

Legally, I am Emmett J. Murphy. Professionally, I was for many decades known as E. Jefferson Murphy, PhD. But I’ve always been Pat to my friends.

Who/What am I?

I'm a dedicated political activist, but I'm also a father, a husband, a sailor, a Quaker, an author, an amateur homebuilder, a former African specialist, and a former college professor and administrator.

My political activism is currently expressed through my work with Progressive Secretary, the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice, the South West Florida Peace Coalition, Sarasota Friends Meeting (Quakers) , and the Coalition of Concerned Patriots. I am a member of the Green Party and Veterans for Peace.

A brief career sketch.

I retired from Smith College as Five College Professor of African Studies in 1991, but I remain enthusiastically active when I am in Florida for the winter and Western Massachusetts for the summer.

Before I retired from Smith, I was Five College Coordinator for Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. I served in that position from 1975-1987.

From 1971-75 I finished my PhD in Education and Anthropology at the University of Connecticut, then worked as consultant to various foundations and organizations. I was full time consultant on African and international programs at Carnegie Corporation of New York from 1973-75.

From 1954 to 1971 I worked for the African-American Institute (AAI), serving successively in Washington, Accra, Dar es Salaam, Washington again, then New York. From 1965 to 1971 I was Executive Vice President in New York.

My books include Understanding Africa (1969 and 1981), Teaching Africa Today (with Harry Stein)(1973), History of African Civilization (1973), The Bantu Civilization of Southern Africa (1974), and Creative Philanthropy: Carnegie Corporation and Africa (1975).

My Immediate Family

My spouse is Freddie WindRiver. In addition to being an energetic political activist, she is a Holistic Nurse and a wonderful companion. A lifelong devotee of community living, she now is a deeply-committed member of a spiritual/ecologhical community (www.SiriusCommunity.Org).

Freddie has three children - - David Willoughby of Cambridge, MA, Mark Willoughby of Greenfield, MA, and Barbara Willoughby of Eugene, OR. She also has two grandchildren, Barbara's son Colin Caleb Willoughby and David’s daughter Stella Gertie Gitelman Willoughby.

My children are Terry Murphy , Kathy DeGrenier, and Emmett J. (Patrick) Murphy, III. All three are great people, and all three, not coincidentally, are accomplished sailors.

Terry was formerly national director of communications for a large fast food company headquartered in Boston. She now owns an imaginative gift shop in Ludington, MI. She is a talented writer with a rich educational background, and is very active in community art work. Her partner, Deb Dila, an artist/photographer, has an art gallery in the same building.

Kathy is a mother, and works for the public school system in Sarasota, FL. She has been a part-time ski instructor, and a professional worker in eco-tourism and related fields. She and her husband, Steve DeGrenier (a tennis coach), live in Sarasota, FL. My two grandsons are Alex and Andre DeGrenier.

Patrick is a successful professional drummer who has recorded and toured for years with a prominent alternative rock band. He is a passionate motorcyclist and loves travel - - a good thing since his band tours all over the US and to rock festivals and music gatherings throughout Asia and Europe. He lives in Amherst, MA and Berwick, ME.

Home Building

As a retirement project, I designed (with Freddie) and built our home in Shutesbury, MA. To learn the rudiments, I took the course at the Shelter Institute, Bath, ME, then worked on the house for six months of each year from 1992 through 1996. It is located on the lands of Sirius Community; Freddie and I live in it during the portions of the year we are in Massachusetts. It won't win architectural prizes, but we love it!

So welcome to my web site. I hope you'll find my work and thoughts interesting and provocative.

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