Yet, he recognized that, though this work is essential, it is not sufficient for full integration or the most meaningful of lives. It is only one element among many. The writings from the Kernel Books speak for themselves from the heart of the man who wrote them. In 1991, the Kernel Books were initiated with What Color is the Sun, which included this "Editors Introduction" and Dr. Jernigans article, "Growing Up Blind in Tennessee During the Depression."
by Kenneth Jernigan
For at least twenty years I have been appearing on radio and television and in the newspapers as the spokesman of the National Federation of the Blind, and lately something has been happening with increased frequency which I probably should have anticipated but didnt. Total strangers keep stopping me on the street or in the supermarket or airport to ask me about blindness. Well, not exactly about blindness as such, but about what it is like to be blind-about the everyday experiences and the ordinary happenings in the lives of blind people. I do the best I can to tell them, but usually neither they nor I have the time for me really to do it right. This book is an attempt to remedy that situation. Even so, I still dont know that I have done it right, but at least it is better than a hurried attempt in a supermarket.
The persons who appear in the pages of the book are people that I know-friends, former students, colleagues in the National Federation of the Blind. Mostly they tell their own stories-stories of ordinary men and women who think about last nights dinner, todays taxes, and tomorrows hopes and dreams. These are people I think you would like to know, so I am introducing them to you. And I am also telling you a little about myself. When you have finished reading these personal accounts and reminiscences I hope you will have a better picture of what it is like to be blind and how blind people feel. Mostly we feel just about the same way you do.