Republican Style: Me, James Carville
The Role of Youth,
Art in Black Liberation Struggle
Conversations with Floyd, Dennis,
Herbert, Brisbane, Jeannette
Floyd: I continue to have white
students in my classes who claim that white supremacy and
anti-Black racism are dead in America. Yet, coupled
with the New Orleans police assault on Robert Davis—along
with any number of other everyday forms of these twin evils
across this nation--Bennett's utterances demonstrate how deeply
embedded are white supremacy and anti-Black racism in American
culture and institutional practices. On "racial
matters" America is beyond redemption!
Rudy: Floyd, when we were at Acklyn's
house, we left off with a discussion whether the murder of a
black city was a "rupture in time," a situation that
would not allow us to continue our lethargy in response to
"racial matters." Of course, in the last two decades
of the 20th century, we were not without racial oppression on a
mass scale. True, it was not as sensational as that situation we
observed at the superdome and the convention center in which the
misery and the neglect of the suffering of the poor were
brought into our living rooms, our comfortable bedrooms. The
corporate media made it impossible to ignore. Of course, the
media did not do this exposure for us, but rather for ratings,
I find it indeed curious you speak of
"racism, Republican style." Maybe there is a
party difference in America's racial oppression. But one would
have to be a specialist to make any real distinction. For me
there's little or no difference in the MO of William Bennett and
James Carville. But we choose William Bennett for our venom
rather than James Carville. Now Carville was out at Johns
Hopkins. Here is what was reported:
|Carville also demanded greater personal
responsibility from the poor, urging teenagers to
"stay in school longer and get pregnant less".
. . that the public accept the need to work longer
before retirement and include smaller cost-of-living
increases in Social Security for the sake of the
Hopkins News-Letter, 29 September 2005).
My conclusion is that neither Bennett the
Republican nor Carville the Democrat has any love for the
"poor" (code word: black poor), and thus no love for
black people. Carville's primary and only interest in blacks is
that they have a vote, which is necessary for the Democrats to
win anywhere. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have a
program for the elevation of the poor, and thus no program for
In our affections we must part from both the
Republicans as well as the Democrats. We must get to the stage
that it is no longer to vote at all, if the choices are only
Democrats and Republicans. We must reach that level of
consciousness in which we see that it is patriotically black to
boycott the polls as long as parties on the ballot have no
guarantees for the black poor and thus for black people.
Suburban, insulated comfort and security can no longer be a
first priority for our middle-classes. Their first priority must
be the liberation of the poor, otherwise our politics will be
nothing other than opportunism.
Dennis: I can relate to Floyd.
Interesting, however, what you said stands for an ultimate truth
in my humble opinion: “Suburban, insulated comfort and
security can no longer be a first priority for our
middle-classes. Their first priority must be the liberation of
the poor, otherwise our politics will be nothing other than
opportunism.” Right on!
All I have to say is that Democrats and
Republicans are all the same and if we can't see beyond
electoral politics and the sham that it is, nothing will change
I believe now is the time of the assassin, as
Rimbaud wrote. Meaning to destroy any illusions, structures,
internal fears one has. Combat and learn. . . . the key can
only be found through the voices of a few: the artists. .
I mean the artists like Kalamu—the elder
revolutionaries of the Arts Movement. They must make a concerted
effort to engage the younger artists. Still, from my limited and
perhaps ignorant point of view—the only ones who can
disarm just a portion of the venom, who can perhaps prepare us
for the next era – are folks of my own kiln, my generation. .
There are some fabulous fine artists of the
new millennium whose work pushes and enlightens, deepens, and
challenges and yet all the so-called progressive groups and
organizations don't work with them. People forget: this is
exactly how Baraka's Black Arts House in the 1960s came
about and how a group like the Black Panther Party formed (and I
do believe much to the patronization of my elders and to their
chagrin – that a similar group will form itself, unaware of
the past – just knowing that "something isn't
Panthers were twenty-three, twenty-four when
Huey and Bobby started it, right? Hutton was sixteen? Didn't
the Panthers feel what had come before them was stagnant
and dead. I feel the same way – police brutality has
become too much of a staple of our times, no? How many times
must the image run?
Now this opens a whole can of worms and room
for a completely different philosophical and dialectical debate, but
since we control neither our own images, we control
neither our political realities, social realities, personal
realities. . . .
Real art was interwoven, almost seamlessly,
in the political tide of the sixties and seventies revolution,
no? On all counts. What Baraka did for the mind, Coltrane
maybe did for the soul. One could study, engage in groups,
debate all night – but there seemed to be things still and
real actually happening. Even if was just a happening: a
play, a movie, poetry. Art is the highest celebration of
life – the only thing I see celebrated around me is Media and
Money. Our artists are corporatized. . . .
Most adults over fifty have no respect
for me, or any of the people I associate with. That's a
fact and I have been told that to my face. In turn, most
people I know between thirty and forty have a rather strange and
anxious feeling of stasis, hopelessness, and severe repression.
They don't trust older folks . . . and most young people late
teens to early twenties or so – just seemed concern with
money. Now I generalize obviously, but when political
groups tell me they want younger black people to become engaged
in the struggle and yet they have no interest in our art, ideas,
or point of view. . . .
I am NOT a leader, as much as I would like to
be—in the traditional sense. I am an artist. I am a
filmmaker, no one cares about that and I have not found or met
others within my generation who I can relate to within organized
activism or electoral politics. . . .
I did not get one email or phone call
regarding that Negro's beating—except from you.
Because I am in Berlin? Bullshit. Because we are inured to
it; in fact, one acquaintance of mine from good old Los
Angeles made a fucking joke about it. . . .
Americans—all of us—get what we
deserve when we constantly pay taxes to fund a war, but no
one will fund its artists, political groups (real ones) or
think about actually doing something they haven't been told. . .
We need healthy ways of constantly engaging
in revolutionary activities—the wheel should constantly be
Rudy: Dennis, your response is
excellent in its insights. I will address those points that
carry the most weight, that I find most relevant in our
discussion: the role and support of art in liberation struggles;
generational antagonisms; and the direction of consciousness
raising. Each of these probably deserve a paper or a dozen
papers, or even books. So my responses will probably be at best
Here is what Eugene Redmond and his DrumVoices
have said about Baraka and the Black Arts
Often referred to as the artistic and
spiritual “twin” or “sister” of the Black Power
Movement, BAM and BPM helped usher in the “Black
Aesthetic,” Black Self-Determination, Kwanzaa and
Black Studies movements which had a domino effect
leading to the creation of Asian, Chicano, Native
American, Women’s and Gay and Lesbian studies.
This is very high praise. But I am
uncertain of the real value or the real legacy of either the
Black Arts Movement or the Black Power Movement.
In that I lived through this period and
participated to some extent in key events of both BAM and BPM
and found at the time faults in both, I am more measured when it
comes to such exaggerated statements as Redmond's or even yours
when you say, "the key can only be found through the
voices of a few: the artists." For me artists bring as much
confusion as they bring light. They are as much reactionaries as
they are revolutionaries. Though the few may be important, but I
do not consider them "key" to the liberation struggle.
The people are the key; it is they who make the revolution.
The work of the artist is tertiary; at best,
secondary (a support) to the liberation struggle. That support
depends very much on the relationship they have with the people
and their struggles. Bohemian or petty bourgeois artists are
often isolated from the people and usually view the people as
those from whom they wish to escape or those they look down on
as stupid and irrelevant for their own selfish ends. This is
where we find Leroi Jones aka Amiri Barka, in his early career.
Today, this is where we find the cave canem
writers and the poet Yusef Komunyakaa. They are elitists and
generally despise the people. For them the personal is all; they
will have nothing to do with racial oppression or liberation.
They are a slippery crew, filled with snide remarks, irony, and
mockery, which is usually directed toward those who have few
defenses. They are representatives of their class and their
emphasis usually resides solely on personal success. Though
excellent technicians, they fall short in service.
I think you overstate and overemphasize
generational conflicts and differences. For as you point out,
the youth are as culturally regressive as their elders, and
sometimes more so. Of course, part of the problem is the lack of
institutions for the transmission of cultural and political, and
historical awareness from generation to generation. A lot of
this is out of black hands, as you point out. So often the
problems that the young and adults have with the other are
out of the hands of both. Too often expectations of youth are
unreasonable and irrational. The bickering back and forth, I
find juvenile and unproductive.
Huey P. Newton, a man of the people, saw
the Black Panthers as a successor to Malcolm's secular program.
So there is no starting new and fresh. There must always be
ideas and programs upon which one must build. If there is no
righteous appreciation of what comes before, there can be no
movement forward. Huey's ideas are based on those who had lived
before, including Nietzsche and his Will to Power,
Nathaniel Turner, and Mao.
I will allow that in personal matters and in
gender issues, we have gained by the work of writers and
artists. During this period of the 80s and 90s, our political
consciousness deteriorated to its lowest point, so much so that
we have a general disparagement of the poor by the black
middle-classes, whose views and sentiments are probably closer
to the white middle-classes than to the poor and working
classes. Seemingly, we can hold only one thought or emphasis at
a time. Certainly that is true for the last two decades.
The Civil Rights Movement and the Black
Consciousness Movement moved forward on the backs and sufferings
of the black poor and working classes and their children.
As the leaders of these movements became more and more peculiar,
and became more and more ideological and esoteric, they moved
too far ahead of the people into impractical matters, and they
eventually abandoned the people for elitist or personal
As we know the poor and
undereducated within our communities are as plentiful
now as when these movements began in the 60s and ended in the
70s. So what artists have produced of substance for the
people is small and that which has value, like the work of
the late August Wilson, is seen only on Broadway and other
white venues rather than in our neighborhoods and in our
schools. So if artists are not committed fully to the liberation
of the poor and the powerless, they cannot be the
And if their work is not disseminated and
absorbed by the poor and the powerless, their work can have no
social value in the liberation struggle. In any event, the work
of the artist must mirror the people, their sentiments, and
their aspirations if it is to have any lasting value. And if it
does not move the middle-classes to sacrifice its interests for
those of the poor and powerless, it is damn near worthless in
Herbert: I will have more to say later
on this topic, but as you may expect, I do not find myself in
agreement with you. What evidence do you have that the Cave
Canem writers "generally despise the people."
Rudy: What sort of evidence do you
require? What sort of evidence do you have they don't?
will be at Pratt on Friday, Nov 4, at 6:30 P.M. By the
way, it was a Cave Canem writer who helped in bringing him here.
Rudy: I agree that Kalamu's words are not as derisive as
my own but he does set himself apart from them, read
his own words.
Herbert: Rudy, yes I would agree with
you. This same cave canem writer also interviewed
Rudy: Are these interviews available?
Herbert: My colleague, Reggie Harris,
just showed me the announcement yesterday of the dvd of Joanne
Gabbin's conference in which his name appears on the catalog
interviewing Tony Medina. It is obvious that Kalamu
likes a great deal the kind of poetry that Tony does. I have
also met Tony. His poetry is very much in the style of Louis
Reyes Rivera. The dvd is now available for ordering. I
can give you more information later about the interview.
My point being, I think you are a better scholar and critic to
have arrived at the conclusions that you wrote about earlier.
Rudy: I make no pretense to be scholar or literary critic
when I speak of cave canem. I speak more as a social critic, in
the same way that they speak of BAM or Baraka or a Marvin X. Are
the statements exaggerated, maybe slightly. But I'd like to hear
their raison d'etre.
Rudy, I understand your frustration with our inability to
organize a black political party. A few of the reasons
relate to our divisiveness over many things based on our
failure to identify a sufficient number of reasons to be
cohesive. We were not one people from the beginning of our
enslavement and the 60s emphasized integration into the american
culture, thus blocking any real efforts to organize as black
people in america. It seems that we feel the pull of
nationalism more than that of racial cohesion. Brainwashed
be appropriate here.
The other reasons relate to the work it takes to build a
party and sustain it. We may be too weary from all the
other battles to undertake this one too. Nothing,
absolutely nothing, we have achieved in this country has come
without major struggles that never end. Perhaps we are
human after all. Tired is what I think, and that
leads to disengagement. We have had to fight alone
and against incredible odds since the 1600s. Maybe we
need a rest.
I am sure you are not happy with that response but it is
what I believe hampers the efforts you feel will make the
difference. I wonder if we haven't lost faith in a
certain way-the faith that what we do really does matter.
You do have to believe that your work will mean something
to go out and struggle everyday.
People have to focus on something that will anchor them
and thus we look for smaller battles that are more evenly
balanced and frankly, battles that have tangible outcomes that we
understand. I am not saying that we can't understand
political power or its likely result, I just think it is too
tenuous at this point in time. And too, those who
would build a party must be clear about cohesiveness by their
actions. We can't seem to pick one person
around who we will rally.
How do we support
and Malik Rahim?
Rudy: I'm somewhat overwhelmed by your
response. You have covered a lot of territory and you have
approached the question of black power in a most curious way.
I'm not sure altogether what is appropriate. Nevertheless, you
have laid a groundwork that is a good beginning for a
discussion that is necessary under the circumstances we now find
ourselves, that is, our being set upon on all sides.
My frustrations have little to do with
"our inability to organize a black political party."
For I do not think we have tried in a concerted way. Of course,
we recall the Black Panthers. But they were more a party in
name, than otherwise. There was an effort in DC. The source of
its failure, I'm uncertain. But that should indeed be
investigated and discussed. It may be a rewarding
My frustrations result from our inability to reach
a level of consciousness that we think that organizing a
political party is the most appropriate and logical thing
to do within the circumstances and context we find ourselves.
That is, if I have political frustrations, it is about our
unwillingness to consider and discuss the topic of the viability
and necessity of a black political party merely as an
So our discussion might begin here. Why
do we fear on just a scholarly basis to consider this
extraordinary phenomenon, that is, why do we fear organizing
independently of the Democrats and the Republicans, two parties
that have not had the black poor on their agenda for more than three
decades? Why do we continue an alliance with the Democrats when
they have failed us, ignored us, operated around the issues that
most concern us? It is tantamount to making Lyndon Johnson a god
and praying at his altar. Why do we, like Bill Cosby, try to
shame the poor into voting for a party that has not served its
interests, nor has any plan to serve its interests?
There are other relevant places we can begin.
What is the nature of the divisiveness within the black
community? I do not think that it is geographical. Nor do I
think that it is age, that is, generational, as is suggested by
my filmmaker friend Dennis. Nor do I think it a matter of
education, nor even income.
This divisiveness has more to do with
consciousness and the levels at which it exists within the black
community, generally. There is a considerable amount of muddy
thinking, which has resulted from fear and opportunism. These
have been with us from the slave ships across the Atlantic and
on the plantations of the masters. It did not cease when
"White Only" signs in the 50s and 60s came tumbling
down. There was no dismantling of the "White Only"
Our schools, our colleges, our teachers and
professors, our churches, and other professional institutions have
not had their minds on the liberation of the poor, especially
the black poor. They have not struggled against the "White
Only" attitude, but rather our leaders have made alliances
with it. Thus, black institutions have failed us and our
children and the unborn generations. We as much as George Bush
are responsible for the scenes we all watched on network
We pretended as if everything was everything.
Our emphasis has been more on affirmative
action than on jobs for the poor, more on contracts for black
businessmen than on substantial wages for black women who work
in service industries. So consciousness raising has had more to
do with the narrow interests of the middle-classes and the
Democratic Party agenda than the interests of our people.
At this stage my advocacy does not require
the energy and resources to build a political party from the
ground up as it has to do with raising the consciousness of our
people from the low state to which it has sunk. First, we might
praise the poor for not going for the okey-doke of electoral
politics as now organized and thus staying away from the polls.
Second, we might praise them for sustaining black people by
their taking on of two and three jobs and maintaining households
despite the criminalization war that has been waged on their
men, since forever.
Third, we can withdraw our support (financial
and otherwise) from those black politicians who do not have a
viable program for the liberation of the poor. Fourth, we should
abandon the notion that we need the
leader around which to rally. We are now grown up. We do not
need leaders to read the Bible to us, or the constitution. We
are sufficiently literate to do that for ourselves now. What we
need now is free thinking, widespread. We need persons who are
willing to think outside of the political boxes we have been in
since the mid-70s. We are not too exhausted for this kind of
democratic action and thinking.
Here's the contact for Malik
we have all kinds of info on Kalamu.
Jeannette: Rudy, I'm not quite sure
what you mean by "we pretended as if everything was
everything?" Are you speaking of conscious or unconscious
denial on the part of middle-class black folks? Or does it
Between 1981-1991 I observed, as a school
social worker (with "emotionally disturbed" students,
99% of whom were black males) elementary, middle and high school
teachers who were bogged down with a myriad of personal, family
and financial problems (brought on by materialistic needs) which
required them (the teachers) to also work more than one job. If
the equation becomes working a part-time job after teaching in a
"stressful" environment for 8 hours, how much
is left to give the student who comes from a
Teachers (who refused/did not have time/were
afraid of the neighborhood...could not make "home
visits" to connect with the stressed-out "single"
parents/grandparents of the student) often found themselves in
church on Sunday weary and trying to "feel better"
about their own lives. So, if you have most
of the pews filled with persons massaging their own wounds,
instead of attending to the people in the decaying drug infested
neighborhood of the church, what is the answer? How can these
people keep their minds on the poor? Is this conscious
pretense/denial? How could these folks sitting on pews
"liberate" the poor?
It's starting to feel like I am about to
answer my own question...I have written so many letters to the
editor about this and it hasn't done anybody any good. (And
being an advocate inside the church doesn't seem to work for me
at the moment.) We all know that many churches have
huge budgets because church folks contribute large sums of money
but they don't invest in programs that would make a difference
in the lives
of the teenage drug dealers or single moms or
miserable elderly that live near the church. Where
does this stinginess come from? Is it all about serving
dinners, redecorating the building or buying a few pencils at
the beginning of the school year?
I will not even begin to deal with the church
leadership issue except to say that too many brothers bring
their unresolved issues from childhood to the leadership
roles...which significantly adds to the failure of the
What I saw in the churches were many pews of
sad, depressed, sometimes angry and often jealous,
back-biting/stabbing hard-working folks who have great
difficulty getting along with each other, let alone some from
the neighborhood not "dressed to kill, etc."
These folks occupying pews either don't
have the interest or don't know how to figure out what's wrong
with themselves? How can they liberate when they have
taken no responsibility for their own knowledge or growth? How
can one "liberate" his neighbor if he or she is not
(I think one must love oneself in order to
liberate oneself, then he or she can think about love/liberaton
of "the other.") I'm talking good old plain
health/self-esteem/wellness kind of self-love.
I've witnessed folks hanging onto depression
or whatever else ails them as though it were a sugar tit.
Neither the scriptures nor the sermons seem to have much effect
when it comes to actual change. The singing/shouting
becomes a feel-good substitute/catharsis for the long, hard work
of self-examination/healing/recovery and the journey to
Perhaps I am starting to ramble. I realize
that somewhere there must be a few progressive black churches
that make a difference in the lives of the poor. This
whole issue makes me so sad and angry that I can hardly talk or
write about it anymore...and another issue comes to
mind...dependency. A lot of folks sitting on churches pews
apparently are not grown up. Many seem overly dependent on food,
drugs, alcohol, clothes, gossip, unhappy marriages, and the
preacher's interpretation of scriptures. Why do we continue
our alliance with the Democrats when they have failed us?... for
the same reason that one stays in an unhappy marriage when it
has failed...dependency. It's comfortable (?) on some level,
familiar and doesn't require much work.
So... I've been in a mood for listening to
Marvin Gaye lately, but I still don't quite know what
"everything is everything" means. I thought it meant
"it's okay." My sense is that the folks I've been
speaking of (public school and church) don't think it's okay
(everything is everything.) I can't speak for the other
institutions you mentioned because I don't have any close
observations. Intuitively public school and church folks know
things are messed up! So why don't they try to fix it?
Depression, angry, weariness, dependency,
fear of the unknown (what if I leave him after 25 years of
marriage? What if I quit being a burnt-out teacher and do
something I really love? etc. etc. Who could possibly be better
than the Democrats?) Trust. How can you trust the unknown? Let's
just make do with what we know.
Ah yes. Trust is a major issue for us...or so
it seems. Why would we trust ourselves enough not to be
spoon-fed? We would have to really, really, really love
ourselves in order to trust ourselves, would we not? And do we
love ourselves? (Or perhaps this trust issue is simply my
Rudy: Jeannette, half the time I don't
know what I'm saying, though I try to be fair in my estimation
of things. I don't really mean to be mean, to say things that
are hurtful. I just don't think we where we should be in our
thinking within the context and circumstances we find our
selves. For certain I had thought that thought before I wrote,
before I said it aloud. And I think I had held that view for
sometime, maybe a decade or more, that too many people thought
"everything was everything."
Maybe it is my background that will give some
context for it. By the time I was 19 I had joined the Black
Consciousness Movement and was organizing for a black studies
program at Morgan State College that would lay the groundwork
for our liberation as a people. I had joined the anti-war
movement and was waging a campaign against ROTC being a required
program for all freshmen and sophomore males.
By the time I was 19 I was part of a black
student group that was quoting Fanon.
By the time I was 20 I was a draft resister. By the time I was
21 I was helping black women in Baltimore organize a union when
they were making on an average of $1.65 an hour. So it is out of
this youthful background that I speak. These were my first
efforts in organized resistance.
Maybe I first heard the expression
"everything is everything" in some song, or maybe it
was some hip expression induced by some drugged escapist view of
the world. I believe I might have heard some speech by H. Rap
Brown who argued that "everything isn't everything."
In short, we ain't free. And we ain't free in a number of ways.
The social controls have tightened and become more numerous. We
have been duped, bamboozled, fell for the okey-doke, hoodwinked.
Consciously, we have accepted our oppression. Wake Up!
The "White Only" signs are down and
we accept that we have thus been accepted as an equal and
respected part of the American fabric as all other American
citizens. In our failings to move about or move up in this new
world, the fault is not in the world, the fault is in us. So
instead of beating up our bosses, we beat up our women, our
children; we pursue every kind of perversion, to keep our minds
off thinking that we are an oppressed people, that is, the same
niggers we were before civil rights and voting rights, before
the signs came tumbling down. In short, we turn on ourselves.
I submit that it this kind of psychological
operations you observed: "depression, angry, weariness,
dependency, fear of the unknown." Here we have persons who
know deep down that "everything isn't everything" but
still a person afraid to think the truth and respond to it with
integrity and dignity. You know, It Ain't
And we are shocked and surprised by New Orleans. Well, a New
Orleans is subject to happen anytime in America. Can we wake up?
posted 13 October 2005
Style It Ain't
ducks at the superdome
* * *
* * *
1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created
By Charles C.
I’m a big fan
of Charles Mann’s previous book
New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus,
in which he provides a sweeping and provocative
examination of North and South America prior to the
arrival of Christopher Columbus. It’s exhaustively
researched but so wonderfully written that it’s
anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up,
1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly
global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of
Alfred Crosby (author of
The Columbian Exchange and, I’m proud to say, a
fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less
than the story of our world: how a planet of what
were once several autonomous continents is quickly
becoming a single, “globalized” entity.
Mann not only
talked to countless scientists and researchers; he
visited the places he writes about, and as a
consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging
yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one
far-flung corner of the world to the next. And
always, the prose is masterful. In telling the
improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures
collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth
century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose
“southern coast consists of a number of small bays,
one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.”
We learn how the spread of malaria, the potato,
tobacco, guano, rubber plants, and sugar cane have
disrupted and convulsed the planet and will continue
to do so until we are finally living on one
integrated or at least close-to-integrated Earth.
Whether or not the human instigators of all this
remarkable change will survive the process they
helped to initiate more than five hundred years ago
remains, Mann suggests in this monumental and
revelatory book, an open question.
* * *
The Persistence of the Color Line
Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency
Among the best
The Persistence of the Color Line is
watching Mr. Kennedy hash through the positions
about Mr. Obama staked out by black commentators on
the left and right, from Stanley Crouch and Cornel
West to Juan Williams and Tavis Smiley. He can be
pointed. Noting the way Mr. Smiley consistently
“voiced skepticism regarding whether blacks should
back Obama” . . .
The Persistence of the Color Line
is so resonant, and so personal, it could nearly be
the basis for a book of its own. That chapter is
titled “Reverend Wright and My Father: Reflections
on Blacks and Patriotism.” Recalling some of
the criticisms of America’s past made by Mr. Obama’s
former pastor, Mr. Kennedy writes with feeling about
his own father, who put each of his three of his
children through Princeton but who “never forgave
American society for its racist mistreatment of him
and those whom he most loved.” His father
distrusted the police, who had frequently called him
“boy,” and rejected patriotism. Mr. Kennedy’s father
“relished Muhammad Ali’s quip that the Vietcong had
never called him ‘nigger.’ ” The author places his
father, and Mr. Wright, in sympathetic historical
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Ancient African Nations
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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan
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Only a Pawn in Their Game
Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for
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Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804
January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of
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