Happy New Year!
From Gibbs's Journal:
On Jan. 1 1940 En route for Little America. Today is New Year’s day and although I am at sea, almost at the bottom of the world, I am still ok and very anxious to get to the South Pole. Today is very beautiful at sea and there are many icebergs to be seen. Also whales. We ran into some very thick ice packs and lost a day trying to find a hole through the ice but couldn’t. So, we turned back and after getting out of the ice trap we headed west. This is my first time of seeing day light for twenty-four hours.
We are All Antarctica is a story about my father George W. Gibbs, Jr’s adventures as the first person of African descent to set foot on the continent of Antarctica. He sailed on the famous ship the USS Bear in 1939 to 1941 on Admiral Byrd’s III expedition to the South Pole. It was the first joint venture with the US military and private exploration. Gibbs went on to serve humanity in countless ways, paving the way for not only people of color in the community of Rochester, MN but for all people to become more human, serve their community and appreciate differences.
Through compassion, tenacity, faith and countless hours in the trenches, Gibbs’ life is a model for community service, equality and fun. As the lowest rank on the ship, he was honored for his contribution at a time when people with dark skin were considered less than human.
This story integrates my experiences with natural healing, the arts, the science of the ice, the metaphysics of the South Pole and the history of the expedition and its mystery.