Remember Hillary Clinton’s book It Takes a Village? Well, in Eric Motley’s case, it really did take a village, or the community of Madison Park, more specifically. His grandparents housed, clothed, and fed him, but the townspeople came together to ensure he was doing well at school and knew and respected his family history. Motley’s hometown of Madison Park, Alabama, was founded by freed slaves in 1880. Though a young Motley encountered racial injustice and segregation, he escaped feeling resentment because of the resilient and determined adult examples in his life.
From Madison Park, Motley went on to become a special assistant to President George W. Bush. He also serves as executive vice president at the Aspen Institute and executive director of national programs.
In this politically divisive and culturally confusing time, Motley says Madison Park has lessons for us all. “Madison Park is a metaphor, a metaphor for community, a metaphor for relationships, a metaphor for the ties that bind us together,” he says.
Discover more about what’s discussed in the podcast episode by exploring the links below.
- Madison Park: A Place of Hope, Eric Motley
- From Madison Park to Washington, DC, with Eric Motley, 1A
- Q&A with ‘Madison Park’ Author Eric Motley, The Aspen Times
- A Path All His Own For Eric Motley, the Measure of a Man Isn’t His Politics, The Washington Post
“Aspen Ideas to Go” is a weekly show featuring fascinating speakers who have presented at the Aspen Ideas Festival and other public programs offered by the Aspen Institute. For a curated listening experience, subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or find an archive of episodes here.