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Being un-muzzled is not about engaging in hate speech. That’s not the point of

the book at all. Its aim is to encourage “honest debate” which is why that’s in the

subtitle. The extremists saying the rudest and sometimes the stupidest things aren’t

being muzzled. In fact, some of them are making a lot of money doing that.

 

 

Books by Juan Williams

Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary  / Eyes on the Prize  / Muzzled  / Enough

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Juan Williams Muzzled

Interview with Kam Williams

 

Juan Williams was born in Panama on April 10, 1954, but raised in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn by his mother Alma, a seamstress, and his father, Roger, a boxing trainer. After graduating from Haverford College, Juan went on to become one of America’s leading journalists.

He is presently a political analyst for Fox News, a regular panelist on Fox ’s public-affairs program Fox News Sunday, and a columnist for both FoxNews.com and for The Hill. He has also hosted National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation and anchored Fox News Channel’s weekend news coverage.

A former senior correspondent and political analyst for NPR, he is the author of the bestselling book Enough, the critically-acclaimed biography Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary, and the national bestseller Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954–1965, the companion volume to the Emmy-winning PBS television series. During his twenty-one-year career at the Washington Post, Williams served as an editorial writer, an op-ed columnist, and a White House reporter.

His articles have appeared in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Time, Newsweek, Fortune, The Atlantic Monthly, Ebony, Gentlemen’s Quarterly, and The New Republic. Here, he talks about his new book, Muzzled, a memoir generally bemoaning the pressure nowadays to speak in sanitized, politically-correct sound bites and specifically reflecting upon his being fired by NPR for honestly expressing his feelings about getting on a plane with Muslims.

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Kam Williams: Hi Juan, thanks for the interview.

Juan Williams: Hey, Kam, you’re very welcome. If you don’t mind, I’m eating a salad. Let me know, if you find it obnoxious.

Kam Williams: Not a problem. I’ve often talked to folks in real-life situations, such as to Soledad O’Brien while she was cooking in the kitchen surrounded by four kids. I like it because this sort of stuff tends to humanize the interview. Anyway, I have a lot of questions from my readers and my editors, just let you know that I’ll be mixing them in with some of my own.  

Juan Williams: That’s cool, man.

Kam Williams: I went to high school in your neck of the woods. Do you remember Brooklyn Prep at the corner of Nostrand Avenue and Carroll Street in Bed-Stuy?

Juan Williams: Sure!

Kam Williams: Legist/Editor Patricia Turnier asks: What is the biggest lesson you learned from the experience of being fired by NPR?

Juan Williams: I think the bottom-line takeaway lesson for me was that there’s intolerance on the left that I had not fully appreciated. Growing up in the Sixties and Seventies, I had come to think that it was the Archie Bunker crowd on the right that was rigid and inflexible, which they certainly were guilty of back then in terms of the Civil Rights Era. In this instance, I discovered that people on the left react out of anger if you vary at all from their orthodoxy. And it resulted in my firing. But in general, they might ostracize you and say you’re not a good Democrat. It’s unbelievable!  Or if the conversation is about race, they’ll say you’re not a good brother or even call you a bigot or an Uncle Tom.

Kam Williams: Or your boss might suggest you need to see a shrink. How did you take that?

Juan Williams: Being fired was bad enough, but then having the president of the company say publicly that my comments should be kept between me and my psychiatrist, and that all you get out of me were words from publicists, was further upsetting because it suggested that I was infantile and incapable of speaking for myself. I found it incredible. I realized that they will lower the hammer on you, if they feel you are not following their path.

Kam Williams: Patricia also asks: what message do you want people to take away from Muzzled?

Juan Williams: To resist the temptation in the current media landscape to listen only to people you agree with. In order to have a good sense of what’s really going on in this country you also need to read those publications and to watch those TV programs and to listen to those radio shows featuring opposing views. You have to talk to people who disagree with you while showing mutual respect, all in service of better ideas and better solutions for the country’s problems.

Kam Williams: Harriet Pakula Teweles asks: If we all go around un-muzzled, how soon before we're approaching a hate speech walkabout?

Juan Williams: Oh, cool question! Being un-muzzled is not about engaging in hate speech. That’s not the point of the book at all. Its aim is to encourage “honest debate” which is why that’s in the subtitle. The extremists saying the rudest and sometimes the stupidest things aren’t being muzzled. In fact, some of them are making a lot of money doing that. The problem is that those of us who are trying to engage in honest debate are being muzzled and discouraged from listening to and associating with people with different ideas as a warning to everybody else in the club that independent thinkers will be shunned and ostracized.   

Kam Williams: What did you think about MSNBC’s suspension of Mark Halperin for referring to President Obama as an [expletive]?

Juan Williams: I thought it was appropriate.

Kam Williams: Did you see any similarities between what happened to you and what happened to Shirley Sherod whose speech was edited to make her look like a racist? 

Juan Williams: Yes, I think my words were intentionally taken out of context by people who were trying to harm me.

Kam Williams: Would you say you’ve moved to the right over the years?

Juan Williams: It’s hard for me to have that level of self-awareness. But that does seem to be the perception others have of me. I’m still very much in favor of gun control, a woman’s right to choose, and affirmative action which would make me a liberal. So I haven’t changed in terms of my own inner GPS system, if you will, I don’t see any radical changes except perhaps like Bill Cosby I’m commenting as a journalist about what I see as critical issues for our society, such as the high out-of-wedlock birth rate, the breakdown of the family, and so forth.  

Kam Williams: Tony Noel says: Mr. Williams I am a Muslim who does not think that you should have been fired for your statements about your fear of being on an airplane with Muslims in traditional Muslim dress. My question is: Based on the information regarding terrorists since the 9/11 attacks, up to now I don’t recall any wearing traditional Muslim clothes. So why are you afraid?                        

Juan Williams: Because there’s a clear link in my mind between radical Islam extremism and terrorism. I wouldn’t be able to identify most Muslims based on their dress. But when I can, I have this instinctive fear. Believe me, it’s not a fully thought out opinion, but just a reaction. I still have that feeling, and that’s the reality.  

Kam Williams: Tony was also wondering whether some fellow guests on news talk shows have a real personal dislike for you. He says it certainly appears that way to him.

Juan Williams: I will say that there have been moments when people were outraged by my point of view, or when they roll their eyes as if it’s not worthy of their response. Look, I work at Fox, and there are people there who strongly disagree with me.

Kam Williams: Larry Greenberg observes that there has been a lot of debate recently about the federal funding for NPR. He asks: Where do you come down on this issue today?

Juan Williams: I initially stayed away from commenting on it, because I felt that anything I said could be misinterpreted as sour grapes. Upon my firing, the issue instantly became politicized, with Republicans calling for the withdrawal of all public funding of NPR. So I stayed away from the issue until the man who runs the Democratic Congressional Caucus sent out a letter saying, “We have to protect NPR’s funding because it’s the answer to Rush Limbaugh.” I said to myself, “Wait a minute!” because that sounds like NPR is indebted to the Democrats for its funding. That is not a good working situation for honest journalism. So I think it’s now time to end the charade and just have NPR rely on its listeners and on advertisers who ought to be eager to have access to its affluent, highly-educated audience.

Kam Williams: Will Cooper says: Given that NPR's listenership is mostly liberal upper-income urban and suburban whites, aren't continued government subsidies unnecessary at this point? Surely such a devoted and wealthy listener base or the advertisers looking to target them will be able to fill the 5% gap in NPR's budget that it claims comes from the federal government, yes?

Juan Williams: Yes.

Kam Williams: Kevin Williams, director of the documentary The Fear of a Black Republican, asks: Do you think that the Republican Party will completely forego the African-American vote in the 2012 Presidential Election? 

Juan Williams: I do, and I think it’s a mistake. I wrote a column about Newt Gingrich’s recent speech in Baltimore where he stated that Republicans need to reach out to the black community and make the case that Barack Obama hasn’t done all that is possible about the high poverty and unemployment rates and the declining quality of the public schools. I thought the speech was a revelation because, whether you think Gingrich is right or wrong, you never hear Republicans say they could do a better job of appealing to African-Americans. As we see the dominoes get lined up for the 2012 race, I believe most Republicans will try to activate their base in the white community while making some small inroads in the Hispanic community.        

Kam Williams: Kevin has a follow-up: Do you think that African-Americans will basically vote as a bloc for President Obama or is there an opening for the Republican Party's challenger to win a significant percentage of their votes?

Juan Williams: I don’t think there’s an opening. The polls that I see still indicate the existence of overwhelming support for the President in the black community, despite a few loud critics like Cornel West. But there’s no evidence that those complaints have diminished the level of support for Obama.

Kam Williams: Victoria Plummer, an impassioned, starry-eyed, 2011 Spelman graduate is seriously contemplating a career in journalism. She wants to know what advice you have to share which might help her enter and navigate the profession at a time when journalists appear to live continually stressful lives, choked by the forces of market volatility, bottom-line pressures, political biases of media ownership and management while simultaneously aspiring to live up to the canons of professional and ethical journalism?

Juan Williams: Well, for me, at 57, the key has been that I love journalism. I want to be a journalist, and I feel blessed to have been able to be in the profession. My sense of it is that I write about things that fascinate me. From the time I was a little boy in Brooklyn, I wanted to know how power works in American society. Why some people get their trash picked up while others didn’t. And why the police respond in some communities intending to help and in other intending to arrest or to silence citizens.

So I always wanted to tell the story of how power works in America. And beginning with Eyes on the Prize through my biography of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, I’ve been able to tell those stories. So I hope that Victoria would be able to find stories that she wants to tell. And I believe that if she’s telling those stories effectively, then she’ll find an audience. Alex Haley once said to me, “Find the good and praise it.” That’s the key to good writing.       

Kam Williams: Has Fox ever asked you to hack into somebody’s cell phone to get a scoop?

Juan Williams: [LOL] Is that a serious question?

Kam Williams: No, I was asking it tongue-in-cheek. What do you think of the debt ceiling debate?

Juan Williams: I think it’s a great illustration of what I’m talking about in my book. Democrats and Republicans can’t even have an honest discussion about the depth of the debt problem in this country. Democrats were willing to make cuts yet Republicans refused to raise taxes on even the most-wealthy Americans. It’s crazy!   

Kam Williams: Is there any question no one ever asks you, that you wish someone would?

Juan Williams: I wish I had a cute retort, but nothing comes to mind.

Kam Williams: The Tasha Smith question: Are you ever afraid?

Juan Williams: I was afraid my career was over, when they fired me.

Kam Williams: The Columbus Short question: Are you happy?

Juan Williams: I live a very stressful life with lots of assignments and deadlines.

Kam Williams: The Teri Emerson question: When was the last time you had a good laugh?

Juan Williams: I laugh all the time.

Kam Williams: What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Juan Williams: I spend a lot of time watching sports. I go to see the Wizards. The NBA is my passion.

Kam Williams: The bookworm Troy Johnson question: What was the last book you read?

Juan Williams: I just finished two books. A mystery novel by Lawrence Block and the new, sanitized version of Huckleberry Finn without the N-word. I hadn’t read it in decades, but this prompted me to go back and take another look at it.

Kam Williams: What is your favorite dish to cook?

Juan Williams: I used to make some great bread, but right now I’m so busy, I don’t have the time. My favorite dish to eat is curried chicken, or ribs.

Kam Williams: When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

Juan Williams: An aging man. [Chuckles] I’m often surprised enough to say, “What happened to you?“ I became a grandfather about a year ago yet I still think of myself as the 4 year-old in a picture I have of myself with my parents. It’s amazing!

Kam Williams: The Ling-Ju Yen question: What is your earliest childhood memory?

Juan Williams: One of my deeper memories is sitting on the front stoop in Brooklyn, waiting for my mom to come home from Manhattan everyday. She worked as a seamstress in the Garment District and wouldn’t come out of the subway until around 6 PM.  

Kam Williams: If you could have one wish instantly granted, what would that be for?

Juan Williams: Well, besides peace and happiness throughout the world, I pray for my family. I pray for their safety, their well-being, that they find God’s purpose for them, and that they are willing to fulfill it.  

Kam Williams: Dante Lee, author of Black Business Secrets, asks: What was the worst business decision you ever made?

Juan Williams: Listening to a friend who told me to invest in a stock. I ended up losing every dime.

Kam Williams: The Judyth Piazza question: What key qualities do you believe all successful people share? 

Juan Williams: Perseverance, optimism, and a good spirit about them.

Kam Williams: The Tavis Smiley question: How do you want to be remembered?

Juan Williams: As a journalist who made a difference telling the story of his time and of his generation.

Kam Williams: Thanks again for the time, Juan. I really appreciate it.

Juan Williams: Nice to make your acquaintance, Kam, and thanks for taking the time to talk to me

posted 4 August 2011

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 Juan Williams,  Muzzled: The Assault on Honest Debate

Crown Publishers / Hardcover, $24.00 / 304 pages / ISBN: 978-0-307-95201-1

Book Review by Kam Williams

 

Is it possible to talk about Muslims and terrorism without being called a bigot? . . . What happened to me was not about me alone. It was an assault on journalism and honest debate. . . . My purpose in doing this book is not to get people to feel sorry for me. The goal of this book is to set the record straight and to use my experience in what amounts to a political and media whacking as the starting point for a much-needed discussion about the current, sad state of political discourse in this country. It is time to end the ongoing assault against honest debate in America.The author explaining why he wrote the book (pgs. 3, 27 &92)

Juan Williams ignited a firestorm of controversy last year when he admitted to Bill O’Reilly on national television that he feels nervous whenever he sees fellow passengers in Muslim garb getting on a plane with him. Within hours, Juan was fired from his own talk show on National Public Radio (NPR) by his boss, Ellen Weiss, despite his having an exemplary record since joining the network almost a decade earlier.

He says Weiss essentially labeled him a bigot and “gave me no chance to tell my side of the story.” And the very next day, NPR’s CEO, Vivian Schiller, not only rubber-stamped his termination, but added insult to injury when she implied that Juan might be mentally unstable by suggesting that he should’ve kept the comment between himself and his psychiatrist.

Williams never retracted the Muslim comment, and he subsequently suffered some sleepless nights and shed some tears over the loss of his job and reputation. After all, didn’t his sterling civil rights record as the author of the award-winning, PBS saga Eyes on the Prize as well as of a critically-acclaimed biography of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood count for anything? Yet now he was left with no idea what effect the blowback from the brouhaha would have on his career as a journalist just for merely exercising his First Amendment right of free speech.

It is important to note that Juan’s incendiary quote had been taken out of context, and anyone who bothered to watch the whole interview understood that he had never actually advocated any intolerance of Muslims or expressed any anti-Islamic sentiment. Nonetheless, he remained dismissed by NPR, and effectively muzzled for the insensitive sounding sound bite.

Half heartfelt memoir/half an urgent appeal for the return of civil discourse to the public arena, Muzzled persuasively bemoans the pressure placed on pundits nowadays to talk only in sanitized, politically-correct phraseology. Its title probably sounds appropriate given that it was inspired by the unfortunate chapter of Juan’s life during which he was temporarily taken off the air. 

However, I’d say “Vindicated” might make more sense, given that both of the NPR executives who had humiliated Juan were eventually forced to resign in disgrace. Meanwhile he went on to sign a multi-million dollar deal with Fox Television where he’s finally free to speak his mind and to savor the last laugh.

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Juan Williams Fired by NPR for These Comments About Muslims

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Juan Williams

 

It seems we have another clear case of the perverted message, as in the case of Shirley Sherod a few months back. Clearly, when we hear the full comments of Juan, we get another perspective. Hearing his full remarks make NPR into the Jim Crow Media and the Nigger Breakers, as per Ishmael Reed's book title. NPR needs to take a look at itself for the residue of racist white supremacy in the deep structure of its programming.

The irony is that the negro has gone from the wolf into the full arms of the fox. Either way, he is still canine and dangerous, but with the fox persona we have no doubt about his viciousness as the fox is known to be wiser than the wolf! He claims to be a negro dedicated to civil rights but, as Sun Ra taught, he is about civil rites, or more properly last rites that may not be too civil. Throughout the years, his comments are often to the right of the righters, making us suspect NPR must  share some of his sentiments.—Marvin X

Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure

That Are Undermining Black America—and What We Can Do About It

By Juan Williams

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Don’t be fooled Americans are starting to embrace ObamaCareJuan Williams3 July 2012Watching President Obama's response to Thursday's Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of his health care reform law, I could not help but think how different things would be if he had given the same speech two years ago. He began his remarks from the White House by saying the Court had “reaffirmed a fundamental principle that here in America—in the wealthiest nation on Earth—no illness or accident should lead to any family's financial ruin.” Reaffirmed? 

If you ask most Americans, they will tell you the president and his party never made that point in the first place. All the talk was about “Cornhusker Kickbacks” and “Chicago-style politics,” to win votes in Congress. GOP critics hammered the plan as a “big government takeover” and “socialism.”

But with last week’s Supreme Court ruling in favor of the health care plan public opinion on the plan is starting to become more favorable. On Sunday Reuters released a poll showing 48 percent of registered voters now back the bill. That is up five percent since the ruling. That includes a bump in support among independent voters from 27 percent to 38 percent.  And even opposition among Republicans, who overwhelmingly hate it, went down five percentage points from 86 percent to 81 percent.

And those numbers are likely to keep rising. Also, GOP critics are now on the defensive. They have to talk about specific benefits in the law and how they could do better if they repeal the law. That is going to be hard for Republicans once Americans personally start reaping the benefit of the law. . . .

Chief Justice John Roberts has not only given ObamaCare the imprimatur of constitutionality, he has given the president license to brag about his bill on the campaign trail.foxnews

*   *   *   *   *

Don’t be fooled: Americans are starting to embrace ObamaCareJuan Williams3 July 2012Watching President Obama's response to Thursday's Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of his health care reform law, I could not help but think how different things would be if he had given the same speech two years ago. He began his remarks from the White House by saying the Court had “reaffirmed a fundamental principle that here in America—in the wealthiest nation on Earth—no illness or accident should lead to any family's financial ruin.” Reaffirmed? 

If you ask most Americans, they will tell you the president and his party never made that point in the first place. All the talk was about “Cornhusker Kickbacks” and “Chicago-style politics,” to win votes in Congress. GOP critics hammered the plan as a “big government takeover” and “socialism.”

But with last week’s Supreme Court ruling in favor of the health care plan public opinion on the plan is starting to become more favorable. On Sunday Reuters released a poll showing 48 percent of registered voters now back the bill. That is up five percent since the ruling. That includes a bump in support among independent voters from 27 percent to 38 percent.  And even opposition among Republicans, who overwhelmingly hate it, went down five percentage points from 86 percent to 81 percent.

And those numbers are likely to keep rising. Also, GOP critics are now on the defensive. They have to talk about specific benefits in the law and how they could do better if they repeal the law. That is going to be hard for Republicans once Americans personally start reaping the benefit of the law. . . .

Chief Justice John Roberts has not only given ObamaCare the imprimatur of constitutionality, he has given the president license to brag about his bill on the campaign trail.foxnews

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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The Gardens of Democracy: A New American Story

of Citizenship, the Economy, and the Role of Government

By Eric Liu and Nick Hanaper

American democracy is informed by the 18th century’s most cutting edge thinking on society, economics, and government. We’ve learned some things in the intervening 230 years about self interest, social behaviors, and how the world works. Now, authors Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer argue that some fundamental assumptions about citizenship, society, economics, and government need updating. For many years the dominant metaphor for understanding markets and government has been the machine. Liu and Hanauer view democracy not as a machine, but as a garden. A successful garden functions according to the inexorable tendencies of nature, but it also requires goals, regular tending, and an understanding of connected ecosystems. The latest ideas from science, social science, and economics—the cutting-edge ideas of today—generate these simple but revolutionary ideas: The economy is not an efficient machine.

It’s an effective garden that need tending. Freedom is responsibility. Government should be about the big what and the little how. True self interest is mutual interest. We’re all better off when we’re all better off. The model of citizenship depends on contagious behavior, hence positive behavior begets positive behavior.

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The River of No Return

The Autobiography of a Black Militant and the Life and Death of SNCC

By Cleveland Sellers with Robert Terrell

Among histories of the civil rights movement of the 1960s there are few personal narratives better than this one. Besides being an insider's account of the rise and fall of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, it is an eyewitness report of the strategies and the conflicts in the crucial battle zones as the fight for racial justice raged across the South.  This memoir by Cleveland Sellers, a SNCC volunteer, traces his zealous commitment to activism from the time of the sit-ins, demonstrations, and freedom rides in the early '60s. In a narrative encompassing the Mississippi Freedom Summer (1964), the historic march in Selma, the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, and the murders of civil rights activists in Mississippi, he recounts the turbulent history of SNCC and tells the powerful story of his own no-return dedication to the cause of civil rights and social change.

The River of No Return is acclaimed as a book that is destined to become a standard text for those wishing to perceive the civil rights struggle from within the ranks of one of its key organizations and to note the divisive history of the movement as groups striving for common goals were embroiled in conflict and controversy.

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 Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary

By Juan Williams

Thirteen years before becoming the first African-American justice on the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall's place in American history was secured, with his victory over school segregation in Brown v. Board of Education. Williams (Eyes on the Prize) offers readers a thorough, straightforward life of "the unlikely leading actor in creating social change in the United States in the twentieth century." Although he was denied access to the files of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, where Marshall devoted more than 40 years of his law career, and worked without the cooperation of Marshall's family, Williams has managed to fill in the blanks with over 150 interviews, including lengthy sessions with Marshall himself in 1989. Marshall is portrayed as an outspoken critic of black militancy and nonviolent demonstrations. Williams mentions, but does not dwell on, Marshall's history of heavy drinking, womanizing and sexual harassment. But his private contacts with J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI, even while that organization was working to discredit Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, receives critical attention.

This relationship "could have cost him his credibility among civil rights activists had it become known," writes Williams. Likewise, it would appear that his extra-legal activities and charges of incompetence and Communist connections would, if publicized, have kept him from the Supreme Court, as he himself admitted. Nevertheless, this work will stand as an accessible and fitting tribute to a champion of individual rights and "the architect of American race relations.—Publishers Weekly

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Woodholme: A Black Man's Story of Growing Up Alone

By DeWayne Wickham

In the 1950s and '60s, growing up in Baltimore's Cherry Hill had its ups and downs. When DeWayne Wickham's father killed his mother and then himself, the orphaned Wickham children were parceled out to relatives. DeWayne lived among yet apart from his siblings in silence and grief, trying to deal with personal issues that were both difficult and distressing. Woodholme, a Jewish country club, provided DeWayne with a job as a caddie and an escape from his family's situation. He saw the "good" life that poverty would not allow him to live. Throughout his years as a caddie, he developed a sense of self and a respect for others, virtues that allowed him to deal responsibly later with unexpected fatherhood. Ultimately, his experiences at Woodholme helped him to come to terms with the death of his parents and provided him with the strength he needed to move beyond that family tragedy.

The 1960s were not an easy time to grow up for a black male, but DeWayne Wickham, syndicated columnist for U.S.A. Today and the Gannett News Service, beat tremendous odds.—Booklist

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The Shadows of Youth

The Remarkable Journey of the Civil Rights Generation

By Andrew B. Lewis

With deep admiration and rigorous scholarship, historian Lewis (Gonna Sit at the Welcome Table) revisits the ragtag band of young men and women who formed the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Impatient with what they considered the overly cautious and accommodating pace of the NAACP and Martin Luther King Jr., the black college students and their white allies, inspired by Gandhi's principles of nonviolence and moral integrity, risked their lives to challenge a deeply entrenched system. Fanning out over the Jim Crow South, SNCC organized sit-ins, voter registration drives, Freedom Schools and protest marches. Despite early successes, the movement disintegrated in the late 1960s, succeeded by the militant Black Power movement. The highly readable history follows the later careers of the principal leaders. Some, like Stokely Carmichael and H. Rap Brown, became bitter and disillusioned.

Others, including Marion Barry, Julian Bond and John Lewis, tempered their idealism and moved from protest to politics, assuming positions of leadership within the very institutions they had challenged. According to the author, No organization contributed more to the civil rights movement than SNCC, and with his eloquent book, he offers a deserved tribute.—Publishers Weekly

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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posted 4 August 2011

 

 

 

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