American Experience
Early Years: Pivotal Decisions
Pivotal Decisions: Should Thomas Attend Blalock's 60th Birthday Party?

You chose Choice One. Thomas should show up at the birthday gala uninvited and take a seat.

His long tenure with Blalock gives him as much right as anyone to be present.


Blalock's successes were realized as the result of considerable time and hard work on Thomas' part. He should share the glory.
The 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision and the 1956 Montgomery Bus Boycott are clear signs that the times are changing for black people. This will be a chance for Thomas publicly to take a stand.
It is possible that "the Professor" has found a way to bend the rules and just expects him to be on hand, as usual.


Thomas' uninvited and unexpected appearance at this private affair could ruin the evening for his friend Blalock.
Thomas could be arrested or publicly humiliated for demanding to enter a segregated hotel.
Even if Blalock welcomes Thomas' presence at the party, Thomas could earn the enmity of many of his Hopkins colleagues.

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