A multi-media presentation of a blind man’s journey, as he confronts prejudice, racism and bullying, through music and the gift of blindness.
My mother and father began their life together as part of an arranged marriage. She was twelve, he was twenty eight. I was their sixteenth child. I was born with glaucoma and totally lost my sight by the time I was eight years old.
Living in a poor, predominantly Italian neighborhood, the streets and sidewalks were our playground. In those days, we didn’t call it bullying. But I was well aware of the constant rejection and cruelty aimed at one young boy. Ironically, it was my blindness that allowed me and him to become friends.
I grew up at a time when prejudice and racism were an acceptable part of everyday life. And although I was blind, it didn’t stop me from learning how to hate. As a teenager, I was faced with the realization that I was a racist. Even more shocking was the revelation that I didn’t want to be.
My name is Vinny St. Marten. Through words and music, I have been privileged to share my unique experiences with many diverse groups of people, in schools, colleges and churches. Please join me, as I continue my effort to touch as many lives as possible with my story.
“You have taken what many characterized as a disability, which is actually an ability to help teach and enlighten others, mainly to inspire them to be change agents as yourself in this great and diverse society we live in.”
Derrol M. Rhodes
Director, Housing and Residential LIfe
New York Institute of Technology
Old Westbury, New York
“I wish everyone were blind like Mr. St. Marten because then everyone would truly be able to see!”
“Thank you for working with our students, for making a difference in their lives, and for helping to launch an extremely successful day focused on learning, helping others, and giving back to others.”
Dr. Marc Ferris
Principal, North Shore High School
North Shore School District
John Jay College of Criminal Justice , City University of New York “Certificate of Appreciation”
Declan Walsh, Director of Community Outreach, CUNY
“The children had never met a blind person before, but Vinny instantly connected with the audience and made them feel comfortable. His story is remarkable.”
Andrew Hall, Head Instructor of Martial Arts Program
Nassau County Police Athletic League
“The students were drawn into his presentation and his captivating discussion. If given the opportunity, be sure and have Vinny St. Marten share his story with your school or organization.”
Social Studies Coordinator, Glen Cove School District
Here are some video clips from ‘Think About It’ at Glen Cove High School, February 2012. Click on a video to view.