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The Downtown Berkeley YMCA’s
Spring edition of “The Observer!"
Ishmael Reed: Finding a lifetime of activity at the Y
At the age of six or seven internationally known author Ishmael Reed became a member of the Michigan Avenue YMCA in Buffalo, New York. His parents both worked during the day and the YMCA provided day-care for low income parents.
He has vivid memories of the myriad of indoor and outdoor creative, educational and fun activities the YMCA daily provided for the children.
In 1955 when he was a high school junior, he was presented with the opportunity to travel outside of the U.S. when the Y staff raised the money to send a group of teens to Europe for three weeks. “It changed my life,” says Ishmael.