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The French Connection

Posted by Elwin Green on September 25, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Last November, I shared the news (passed on to me by Councilman Burgess' chief of staff Shawn Carter) that France had issued a warning to its citizens not to visit Homewood. Noting that French citizens were unlikely to do so anyway, I asked "Why should we care?" and answered:


I care because I see opportunity here. If Homewood can be internationally famous for one thing, then it can be internationally famous for something else...The opportunity is to make Homewood famous enough so that French citizens (among others, from everywhere) would plan to visit.


Well, it looks like a bit of that is happening. There's a young man in Paris named Olivier Saby. He's a government official and a businessman and a novelist. With all of that going on, the German Marshall Fund of the United States has named him as a young leader whom they want to visit our country. As part of his trip, they asked him to arrange a meeting with someone who inspires him.


He wants to meet with me.


Paris, meet Homewood.


When Homewood's transformation becomes obvious enough for everyone to see, what many people will not see is that what they see is the result of hundreds of incremental steps taken by individuals over a period of years - steps that looked - and WERE - so small when they were taken: like a young man in France choosing to read a blog from an overlooked neighborhood in America.

Homewood, meet Paris.

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