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

You chose Choice Two, which is what actually happened. Thomas attended the birthday gala secretly and did not speak about it afterwards.

Even though Thomas was not formally invited, he wished to see his mentor honored.

To my knowledge, Vivien was there. But I remember seeing him only in the back of the room. I don't know any of the details about what his invitation had been or anything like that.

He did not give a speech. But I know that he was there in the back of the room.
-- Alex Haller


Thomas will be able to share in Blalock's finest hour without creating any disturbances or awkwardness.
Clearly ill, Blalock should be allowed to bask alone in the glow of appreciation during this crowning moment of his twilight years.
By slipping in, Thomas can avoid the kind of trouble that could cost him his job and his livelihood.


After all they have been through, Thomas will have to watch the event from the back of the room as Blalock receives accolades for the work they accomplished together.
Blalock will never have to think about Thomas' feelings about how he was treated that evening, after thirty years of dedicated collaboration.
If caught, Thomas could be arrested or publicly humiliated for appearing at a segregated hotel.

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