America is known as the land of opportunity, but the land of the free doesn’t usually come free to many….
He’s living with a relative. There’s barely enough money for food and a deep-seated fear of what’s outside his home. Growing up, three of his friends were brutally murdered. His school is run by gangsters. He never knew his father. When he was 5, his mother, desperate to ensure his future, left because her only option was to find work in the U.S. Her last words to him were a promise: “I’ll be back soon.”
Growing up in New Mexico, playwright Carol Carpenter was used to hearing stories of United States citizens crossing the border to Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, for a good time. She said the border was more open back then, and a drunken trip to Mexico was, for the most part, safe.
At 10:45 a.m. today in the Amphitheater, Brian Winter will share his thoughts on Brazil’s place in the modern world and whether the nation is capable of asserting itself as a force on the global stage.
Western New York has a rich history in barbershop music, starting with one of the most famous American shop groups, the Buffalo Bills. The quartet, formed in 1947, found professional success and was the Barbershop Harmony Society’s 1950 International Quartet champion. Though modern barbershop quartets and choruses have decreased in popularity, the art form is still very much alive. Today, the Barbershop Harmony Society has 17 different districts across the country, upholding the longstanding tradition of the live music and soaring spirit associated with the golden age of barbershop.
“The United States rose to become a great power and is not surrounded by other great powers,” said Robert Kagan, Tuesday’s morning lecturer, who spoke on the week’s theme of “Diplomacy.” Kagan, a veteran of the Department of State, now serves as senior fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution. “I apologize to Canada and Mexico, but [because of its geography], the United States has enjoyed enormous security in the region.”
Kagan traced the trajectory of America’s rise as a superpower in the past century, arguing that the intervention of the United States in World War I and World War II, as well as its hand in rebuilding Europe after those wars, has led to the peace that the world knows today. And this relatively peaceful world order, with the U.S. at the forefront, should not be taken for granted, he said.