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The Drum. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
Volume 13. Number 1 & II 

University of Massachusetts 
Amherst. Mass. 01003 

New Africa House 
Room 115 


BACK COVER: Diz-Paul Goodnight 


"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and 
live out the true meaning of its creed, 'We hold these 
truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. ' 
/ have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, 
sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners 
will be able' to sit down together at the table of brother- 
hood. . . .1 k(^ e tf^ dream that my four little children will 
"* 'ay li$S^in^a nation where they will not be judged by 
olor ofyjheiriiskins, but , b y the content of their 
"11 ,.~™ 




■ — Mkrtm Ijuther King, Jr. 
Lincoln Memorial, 1963 



';^ ■- » j^» 




^JM 4 Stevie Wonder — Salute to Martin Luther King Jr. ^M^ 

^4 10 Governmental Ploys Used to Discredit Martin Luther J^ 

83 ^"^^ 

by Pamela Heard 



12 Brother Thelwell with Brother Clinton Gooden 

by Michael Thelwell 

14 On Toni Cade Bambara 

by Andrea Rushing 
17 What Manner of Man Dared to Dream 

by Kai El-Zabar 

23 Interview with Mr. Tony Brown 

by Sylvia Kinn and Carla James 

24 The Artistry of Painter Paul Goodnight 

by Theo Moore 
27 "Up Ye Mighty People" 

by Voncille Ross 
29 Marion Brown, a Musical Treasure 

by Laurie Spinelli 
32 Archie Shepp: Classical Blues 

by Carol Barlow and Amy Reichard 

35 A Dream Come True 

by Christine A. Moss :^ 

38 James Augustus Joseph Van Der Zee 
42 Self-Determination for Blacks in Television News 

by Frank Oglesby 
46 What Is The Significance of The Chicago Election? 

by Frank Oglesby ,, 

51 A Century of Music 

by Beth Marie Robinson 
55 Those Blessed Politics: An Interview with Shirley 

by Margo Un-Tevi Fernandes 
59 Statements from Mrs. Correta King 

by Christine A. Moss 
44 "Let The Trumpet Sound" 

by Lance Edward Wallace 
76 John A. Williams "Ten Times Better" 

by Bill Strickland 
83 Max Roach 


^^ by Homer Meade ^A 

dennis o. callwood "^ photo credit 

^^^^^ A A^A^AAA.. 

Nyati Bolt#72821 
Louisiana State Prison 
Angola, Louisiana 70712 

11, July 1982-time 8 : 45 AM 

The Drum Publication 
115 New Africa House 
University of Massachusetts 
Amherst, Mass. 01003 

Greetings Brothers / Sisters ! ! 

My sincere thanks to you for thinking of me here in this kamp, 
and keeping me on your listing. I just received the latest issue of the 
Drum (Spring 1982 - Volume 12, Number 1) and once again you 
have done a beautiful job. Over the years I have always looked 
forward to your publication, and the informative articles, and 
news features, and I haven't been disappointed in all the years. All 
of the articles were very good, and I am looking forward to the 
next issue. 

I am still confined to the maximum security section of the prison, 
and this has been a very long hard struggle for me. But I am press- 
ing forward all the time. I just wanted to let you know that I am 
still here, and still moving forward— never backward, and to thank 
you all for thinking of me here and keeping me on your list. Keep 
up the beautiful work that you are doing, and my greetings to all. 

Uhuru Sasa/ 

P.S. Would like to hear from anyone who cares to open up a line 
with me! 













Isn't it ironic that here we are in the 
year before 1984. Remember that book 
and the fear it provoked? Wasn't it scary 
and isn't it scary that our present tech- 
nology makes this book seem like the old 
Jetson cartoons. And even though the 
invasion and surveillance of personal Ufe 
in that fiction shocked our sensibilities 
then, now it is outdated science fiction 
and the intrusions by big brother are 
just as real. 

Yes, 1984 is old time fantasy and the 
year 1983 is modern day space age. Our 
advancements in technology have blown 

our minds. We have gone to the moon 
and around the moon; we have replaced 
vital organs and created vital organs; we 
have eradicated diseases and created 
medical monsters; and we have repro- 
duced human life and perfected human 
destruction. Oh yes, in the last tweny 
years we have outdone ourselves. Im- 
agine that. 

We have legally executed six U.S. 
citizens while the informal executions of 
poverty escalate each day. Let Life 
Move On. We are too concerned with 
self, while rejecting a community of 

cooperation. Let Life Move On. 

We have not harvested the seed of Ufe 
and the youth we have sown may not 
respect us in our old age. Let Life Move 

We have g^ven lip service to our 
heroes and ignored the legacy they've 
left us. Let Life Move On. 

We have marched and marched for 
peace, justice and freedom, while legisla- 
tors have ignored this mandate. Let Life 
Move On. 



We have come to Washington, D.C. for 
the last two years demanding that our 
elected officials give us a national 
holiday of peace. Our mass gatherings 
have been examples to the Congress that 
the nation wants this holiday for Dr. 
Martin Luther King, Jr. Therefore, we 
must Let Life Move On. 

We will move on to assist the 
legislators in reaching our goal. We will 
take this national energy and direct it 
toward Congress Through our legisla- 
tive plan. We must create the changes so 
that the world knows the people of the 

United States are serious about peace. 
We will Let Life Move On for those who 
wish not to participate in this process. 
We hope you will join us in reaching our 
goal, a birthday for Dr. Martin Luther 
King, Jr. in the 98th Congress. 

Understand that we have seen the sun 
rise 7,305 times, which means that 
nature has continued her command that 
the earth continues these rotations. 
Throughout it all, all elements of the 
universe have continued on their course, 
its mandate by nature to do their job in 
the scheme of the order that surrounds 

The question is whether we have 
honored our mandate by nature while 
we've explored outer limits with her 
patience? Just as the sun rise is a funda- 
mental necessity, so too is human 
survival. With our ability to do so much, 
we have done so little to provide societal 
survival for all people. Survival in the 
eighties is a real challenge for many 
people in the space age. Nuclear war- 
fare, social unrest and economic depriva- 
tion have somehow slipped our busy Ust 
of issues to resolve. I wonder why. 

We have been busy making the most 
non-fundamental issues priority over 
those issues that will determine a true 
stability of our society. It is obvious that 
we have the ability, but we have chosen 
to do otherwise. 

Even as this country compares to 
others, our technology has not been as 
sensitive as it can be. An example is my 
most recent tour in Japan where their 
societal concerns for the blind impressed 
me most. They have ridges on the curbs 
of sidewalks to signal the street and 
tones to signal the crossing Ughts. They 
exist there because the people have 
decided that this is a priority. Those 
constructions for the handicapped here 
in this country exist because the people 
have willed it, but have we gone far 
enough? Have we gone far enough in dic- 
tating these kinds of concerns for the 
human survival of not only the handi- 
capped but the poor, the illiterate, the 
youth, the aged and peace lovers. 

Throughout history specifically in the 
last twenty years, we have had the 
chance to move forward in this direction. 
We have been blessed with different 
kinds of leaders who have shared 
messages of peace and equality for men 
and women. These leaders understood 

the universal balance that is required in 
nature and society; they understood that 
there is natural and societal evolution. 
They knew that regardless of color or 
class, we must all move ahead in life. 

Medgar Evers marched down a lonely 
highway in protest of the denial of the 
right for Blacks to attend a southern 
school. Unfortunately, that lonely march 
became a fatal march. In our space age 
mentality, it sounds like fiction but it 
was only a short whUe ago. Mahatma 
Gandhi changed the course of a country 
and influenced the world with his princi- 
ples of nonviolence. His gift to peace is 
priceless, and unfortunately, the price 
cost him his life. 

Dr. King taught the world nonviolence 
by living a life of love in a country torn 
by racial hostility and violence. His vari- 
ation on Gandhi's principles was becom- 
ing a lesson on economic rights. As he 
began to struggle for the sanitation 
workers, he lost his life struggle with an 
assassin's bullet. 

Bobby Kennedy could have taught us 
the balance. His continued concern for 
poor people in the midst of his wealth 
was visionary. This vision rendered him 

Of course, John Lennon showed us 
how to imagine a world where people 
could live as one. His song that begged 
us to g^ve peace a chance will continue to 
live on in our hearts and minds. Inter- 
esting enough, John does not continue 
to live on. 

These five leaders were the five 
fingers of the hand of hope for our 
future. We have lost our hand and we 
must learn to adjust to this handicap. 
They understood and practiced the 
L.L.M.O. concept and it is this concept 
that will help us survive and ultimate- 
ly achieve our natural balance. 

Let Life Move On. Although it seems 
terribly simplistic, it is most difficult for 
us to do. Let Life Move On. For those 
who have touched our lives with their 
message, let them live on keeping faith 
until we reach their conclusion. 

We must begin to let all facets of our 
life move on. We spend too much time 
bickering over racial balance in schools 
where our children experience a basic 
imbalance of understanding who they 






How Will You Spend the Day? 

By Johnnetta B. Cole 

Associate Provost 

How will you spend the day when Martin Luther King's birthday is a 
world holiday? In words that express the full range of human 
languages, in ways that reflect the diversity of human cultures? How 
will the world's peoples spend Brother Martin's birthday? What will I 
do on that day of special tribute to a man who so deeply loved peace 
and justice that he dared to dream that justice and peace would 
prevail- one day- and struggled to make that day come just a little 

I do not know what I will do every January 15 th, but I know how I 
should feel on that day, if I am to truly honor Martin Luther King. Like 
every woman and man on our earth, I should feel dissatisfied Martin 
taught us the power of righteous indignation and gave us the call to 
action embedded in genuine dissatisfactioa He taught us this with his 
life, he instructed us with words, none more clearly put then these: 

...Today we are still challenged to be dissatisfied Let us be dissatisfied 
until every man can have food and material necessities for his body, 
culture and education for his mind, freedom and human dignity for 
his spirit... Let us be dissatisfied until the empty stomachs of Missis- 
sippi are filled and the idle industries of Appalachia are revitalized 
...Let us be dissatisfied until our brother of the Third World-Asia, 
Africa and Latin America- will no longer be the victim of imperialist 
exploitation, but will be lifted from the long night of poverty, 
illiteracy and disease. Let us be dissatisfied until this pending cosmic 
elegy will be transformed into a creative psalm of peace and "justice 
will roll down like waters from a mighty stream." 

From the Centennial Address delivered by Nobel Laureate Dr. Martin 
Luther King at Carnegie Hall in New York City, February 23, 1968. 












Dear Reader: 

It is to the credit of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst that 
DRUM magazine is listed as one of the University's publications. 
DRUM magazine has been a student staffed journal since 1969. During 
its 14 years of publication, DRUM has shared the concerns, opinions, 
pains, joys, sorrows and struggles of its students, and through them, 
the concerns of the Third World community. These concerns have 
been presented in story, poetry, interview, art, photograph, cover 
story; Le., through virtually every form of journalistic tool 

I am especially honored to preface this edition of DRUM magazine 
which is dedicated to the memory and legacy of Dr. Martin L King, Jr. It 
is well understood that Dr. King gave his life in the service of mankind. 
However, since his death this nation's attention has too quickly been 
turned away from giving long and honest attention to the issues of 
continuing racism and discrimination. 

DRUM magazine has taken an editorial positioa It supports" the 
efforts to designate Dr. King's birthday- January 15th-as a national 
hohday. By these efforts it is hoped that Dr. King's birthday will 
become an international occasion. 

The Chancellor's Office here at the University of Massachusetts at 
Amherst fully supports these efforts for this office remembers and has 
learned from Dr. King that: 

...The greatest virtue is committed empathy with oppressed peoples 
everywhere and divine dissatisfaction with all forms of injustice. 
Today we are still challenged to be dissatisfied. Let us be transformed 
into a creative psalm of peace and "justice will roll down like waters 
from a mighty stream." 

Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Centennial Address 

February 23, 1968 


Joseph Duffey 



The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther 
King, Jr., winner of a Nobel Peace Prize 
in 1964, was an avid supporter of human 
rights. Throughout his life, he struggled 
to dissolve the boundaries existing 
within the legal framework of the United 
States which restrained minorities and 
the poor. In doing so, he came under the 
scrutiny of the public. The media 
followed Dr. King's nonviolent move- 
ment and kept the public informed of his 
activities both political and personal, 
real and contrived. Yet, as any respected 
medium wSs not in the habit of creating 
news, but rather of reporting it, news of 
the Rev. King's activities was supplied 
by sources outside of the media. These 
sources were all hired by and working 
for the same system that the Black 
integrationist sought to change. 

In addition to news of Martin Luther 
King's arrests for his involvement in 
boycotts, marches and other modes of 
protest employed, was that reported in 
the February 18th issue of The New 
York Times in 1960. Dr. King, on the day 
preceding that publication was arrested 
following his indictment for perjury. As 
the first person in the state of Alabama 
indicted for perjury in filing tax returns. 
Rev. King expressed his belief that it 
was another attempt by Alabama of- 
ficials to harass him due to his civil 
rights activities. 

However, County Solicitor Willilam F. 
Thetford, a Montgomery official, stated 
that the arrest was justified. King, he 
explained, failed to report a total of 
approximately $31,000 in income tax 
statements of 1956 and 1958. Through 
information not readily released to the 
press, however, it was revealed that the 
state of Alabama had collected income 
tax from the Black leader on $27,000 of 
the disputed $31,000 preceding the 
indictment. In addition, implications of 
embezzlement of Southern Christian 
Leadership Conference (SCLS) funds of 
which King headed were made. In reply 
to the accusations made throughout the 

trial, Dr. King contended that he had 
"nothing to hide and that (his) conscience 
and records were clear" (The New York 
Times, Feb. 19, 1960). His failure to 
report income on his tax statements was 
explained as his misconception that 
donations made by supporters to help 
rebuild his home which had been 
victimized by bombs during the boycott 
in 1956, were gifts and thereby non- 

King's followers who believed this to 
be true, attempted to show their con- 
tinued support. Support came again 
largely through monetary means. An 
example of this support was the three 
New York clergymen. Rev. Drs. H. 
Fosdick, G.C. Taylor and R.A. Hilde- 
brand who held church and synagogue 
drives to raise funds for his defense. Aid, 
on a larger scale came in the form of a 
full page advertisement which heralded 
the caption "Heed their Rising Voices." 
This ad, making its debut in the March 
29th issue of The New York Times in 
1960, was endorsed by both Black and 
White public figures. Through the ad, 
advocates such as Eleanor Roosevelt 
appealed for contributions to "The 
Committee to Defend MLK and the 
Struggle for Freedom in the South." 

As a result, repercussions were felt by 
the representatives of the sixty sup- 
porters who placed the ad, in addition to 
the publication in which it appeared. 
Repercussions, in this case, took the 
shape of several libel suits. Each of 
Montgomery's three City Commission- 
ers filed separate suits asking for 
$500,000 as reparation for their ridicule 
and embarrasment which they claimed 
resulted from the ad. On May 30, 1960, 
a month after these initial suits were 
filed, came another libel suit. Asking for 
$1,000,000 in damages from The New 
York Times, Dr. King, Rev. Lowery, 
Rev. Shuttlesworth, Rev. Abernathy 
and Rev. Seay, Sr., was Gov. John 
Patterson. He said that the partial re- 
traction made by The New York Times 

after the appearance of the "offensive 
ad" wasn't "full" or "fair" (The New York 
Times, May 31, 1960). 

Nevertheless, on May 28, 1960 despite 
the controversy that was occurring over 
the ad and the prosecution's attempt to 
convince the all white jury to convict 
Dr. King, he was acquitted. Much of the 
credit for his acquittal was given to 
King's leading attorney, William Ming. 
Ming, one of Dr. King's five Black 
lawyers, was also a tax expert. His 
expertise proved to be instrumental in 
obtaining King's release. During his 
closing argument for the defense, Ming 
exposed the prosecution's attempts to 
conceal the fact that the statute says the 
taxpayer must report his gross income, 
not the amount of money deposited in 
the bank ". . . and by fraudulent tech- 
niques, in other words, a mathematical 
trick, they said the taxpayer's gross 
income is the total of all deposits he 
made in various banks in the year 1956" 
(The New York Times, May 29, 1960). 
Following this statement, the defense 
counsel challenged the jurors to convict 
Rev. King if they felt the state should 
consider their total deposits of the last 
year as their gross income. 

Upon his acquittal of the 1956 perjury 
charge. King stated that this strength- 
ened his faith that there could be justice 
in the South. Nearly two months later, 
the pending trial for the second charge of 

perjury pertaining to his 1958 tax return 
was dismissed. Prosecutors in the case, 
said they dropped the charges because 
they lacked sufficient evidence. This 
however, did not reflect an end to the 
system's attempts to discredit the Black 
integrationist who persisted in his 
demand for progression. Five months 
after being acquitted of perjury charges, 
a Georgian judge ruled that King's parti- 
cipation in an Atlanta sit-in-demonstra- 
tion had violated the terms of a sus- 
pended sentence in a traffic case. Sub- 
stituting for this suspension was a condi- 



tional probation. This probation was 
based on the premise that there would 
be no violation of State or Federal law 
for a year. As a result of this violation. 
Rev. King was- ordered to serve a four 
month prison term. 

However, King's lawyers pointed out 
that his original year long sentence for 
driving without a Georgia driver's 
license was twice as long as the law per- 
mitted. Therefore, they argued, the 
suspended sentence could not be re- 
voked. As a result, the civil rights leader 
was resentenced for both the original 
traffic infraction and his participation in 
the demonstration for which he was sub- 
sequently placed on probation. 

Coinciding with the revocation of 
Martin Luther King, Jr.'s probationary 
sentence, was the declaration of his in- 
eligibility to vote in the November 8th 
Presidential election. The Montgomery 
probate judge's office stated that be- 
cause King had not paid his poU tax 
since 1958 and had missed the deadline 
for the 1960 payment, he was not eligible 
for absentee voting. Rev. King, it was 
learned, had planned to cast an absentee 
ballot in Montgomery as his recent move 
to Atlanta made it too premature for him 
to vote there. 

Similar to the actions taken by the 
courts against Dr. King, were the verbal 
attacks publicly made by leaders in 
American society. On November 19, 
1964, The New York Times reported a 
meeting held by J. Edgar Hoover, the 
director of the Federal Bureau of Inves- 
tigation (FBI) with Washington news- 
women. During this news conference, he 
called King "the most notorious liar in the 
country." Hoover's statement was ru- 
mored to stem from his annoyance of 
Rev. King's public criticism of the lack of 
action taken by FBI agents on com- 
plaints of violence by civil rights 
workers in the South. This verbal attack 
on King in addition to accusations of 
Communist activities, caused outrage 

among leaders in the civil rights move- 

As a result. President Johnson, then serv- 
ing in office, was confronted by groups of 
enraged supporters of King who demanded 
Hoover's resignation. President Johnson, 
however, had no plans to insist on Hoover's 
resignation. He considered Hoover to be a 
"quiet, humble and magnificent public serv- 
ant" (The New York Times, Nov. 20, 1964). 
Considering Hoover as such a valued 
employee of the government, Johnson had less 
than a year prior to this incident, signed an 
executive order suspending compulsory retire- 
ment provisions for Hoover for an indefinite 
period of time. 

Surprisingly, King like Johnson, pub- 
licly took Hoover's comments lightly. He 
reasoned that Hoover had "apparently 
faltered under the awesome burden, 
complexities and responsibilities of his 
office" (The New York Times, Dec. 2, 
1964). Following a meeting held with 
Hoover, two weeks after the accusations 
were publicized. King announced that 
he was pleased with the amicable tone 
of the conference. Beheving that "a 
nonviolent leader must seek to maintain 
communication with all who are in a 
position to help the disadvantaged 
Negroes of the South" (The New York 
Times, Dec. 2, 1964), King was not 
amongst those who sought Hoover's 
removal from his position as director of 
the FBI. 

However, King's envisionment of es- 
tablishing a working relationship with in- 
fluential public figures, proved to be 
one-sided. In 1969, a year after his death, 
it was learned that Dr. King had been 
placed under telephone surveUance by 
the very same people he hadbeUeved 
could help him in his quest for civil 
rights. This became known inadvertent- 
ly during testimony in the draft evasion 
trial of boxer Cassius Clay, also known 
as Mohammad Ali. Apparently, All's 
phone conversations had been recorded. 


including one held with Dr. King. 
Hoover's comment on the admissions 
made in court was that Robert F. 
Kennedy had initiated the wiretap for 
security reasons. Later testimony by 
former Attorney General Ramsey Clark 
revealed that Hoover had repeatedly re- 
quested him to authorize FBI wiretaps 
on Dr. King. "The last of these requests, 
none of which were granted, came two 
days before the murder of Martin Luther 
King, Jr." (The New York Times, June 
21, 1969), which occurred on April 4, 
1968. Supporting this claim were allega- 
tions made in 1973 by Arthur Murtagh, 
a former FBI agent. Murtagh said that 
Hoover wanted to tap King's phones in 
order to obtain information that could be 
used to undermine Dr. King's support 
from White backers. 

In addition, steps were taken to 
prevent Rev. King from receiving honor- 
ary degrees from colleges and universi- 
ties by planting stories that he directed 
SCLC funds to his own use and Swiss 
bank accounts. Apparently not satisfied 
with the outcomes of its previous 
endeavors to discredit Martin Luther 
King, the FBI took further action against 
him. The director of the bureau ordered 
William C. Sullivan, then in charge of the 
bureau's counter-intelligence operations 
to secretly send a tape to Mrs. Coretta 
King. The tape, sent in 1965, was hoped 
to be an effective tool to silence King's 
criticism of the FBI, as well as destroy 
his marriage. 

Fortunately, this fruitless attempt, like those 
preceding it to discredit King, proved to serve 
only as a slight and temporary smmbling block 
placed in the pathway of the civil rights move- 
ment. These obstacles were overcome through 
the continued support displayed by his faithful 
followers. Thus, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther 
King, Jr., was able to continue the slow yet 
determined progress towards securing basic 
civil rights for those he represented; Blacks 
and the poor. 



Editors Note: 

Drum is pleased to publish three short pieces by a young man in Jamaica, 
Clinton Gooden. Apart from the inherent interest of the pieces by Mr. 
Gooden, we feel that his own situation will be of particular interest to 
our readers. The essays were given to us by Mike Thelwell of the Depart- 
ment of Afro-American Studies. We asked Professor Thehvell to give 
some information on the author, and he wrote: 

"Last June I received among my mail a most intriguing letter. It 
came from Jamaica in a plain envelope addressed in a hand which I 
did not recognize. It had no return address. Inside was a neatly, 
even elegantly printed letter on ruled note-book paper. But one's 
eye was immediately caught by the institutional stamp which 
dominated the top of the page, the purple oval-shaped seal that 
suggested Victorian bureaucracy. It was from one of the two maxi- 
mum security prisons on Jamaica. The St. Catherine District Prison 
is an ominous, towering structure enclosed by high and massive 
stone walls of the kind one associates with medieval fortresses. 
Built in the 19th century, it is one of the most massive and endur- 
ing relics left by colonialism in the country. As was to be expected 
the letter was a plea for help, but in terms somewhat different than 
one might have expected. Rather than summarize, I shall quote the 
letter which began with a very polite expression of appreciation of 
our work in black studies then continued . . . 

. . . 1 am Clinton M. A. Gooden, 23 years of age and presently an in- 
mate on Death Row at the above mentioned prison. I was innocently 
convicted for murder after two trials and have lost my appeal to the court 
all because I am financially incapable of employing a good attorney. But 
I am still seeking all the help, Mr. Thelwell. 

I am a past student of Calabar High School and was successful in three 
subjects at the G.C.E. "O" Levels, economics, Caribbean History and 
Religious Studies. After leaving school I joined the police force where 
I spent three years until I was convicted of the murder of another 
policeman, purely on the basis of circumstantial evidence, which was 
inconclusive. So, Mr. Thelwell, without expert help I am a doomed man. 

My main reason for writing Mr. Thelwell, is to ask your help in the 
continuation of my studies in History and World Affairs. Irrespective 
of this catastrophic dilemma that surrounds me I am eager to further 
my education. I would like to keep an open correspondence with you 
on all aspects of Black History, especially where I am very backivard in 
American Black History and Africa itself. Mr. Thelwell I am asking you 
for all the text books you can provide to help me. Also I will help all 
of us here on Death Row. 

On Death Row, Sir, we are being victimized and executed and no 
chance is given to save the innocent. Capital punishment served for all 
those who do not possess capital. Mr. Thelwell, the committee has not 
made known its report, but every three months, men are being hanged. 
We are suffering and have no one to help us. Could you. Sir, give me 
and Others some educational materials to help us prove to society that 
we are not recalcitrant slaves and deserved a chance? So, Sir, I am 
trusting that you will respond and generate all the help you can to your 
unfortunate brothers. 

I have read that you will be working on a new book about Jamaica's 
recent political affairs. I wish you all success. Please give my kind regards 
to your family and all the lecturers and students at your university. 
Tell them all Death Roiv inmates would like their help. 

Hoping to hear from you. Sir, 

Yours Sincerely, 

Clinton M. A. Gooden 
Inmate Death Row. 

It would have been difficult not to be moved by such a request or 
to be plagued by all the unanswered questions it raised. What was 
the background of this case? Did it have to do with the political 
wars that had accompanied the recent elections there? Books could 
be sent easily enough, but would the young man still be alive to 
read them? (I knew that the Manley Government had suspended 
executions and set up a commission to study the abolition of the 
death penalty, but that the new regime had started to execute some 
of the "backlog" of condemned men that had accumulated, as it 
were, in suspension between life and death.) Most troubling of all 
was how one could respond to the request for books and informa- 
tion without raising unrealistic hopes in the heart of someone who 
must be clutching at any faint shadow of hope? In my reply I 
explained that I had no training in the law and no influence with 
the authorities there but that I could and would be willing to 
supply books and to correspond with him on the African and Afro- 
American situation. I was planning another trip to Jamaica in con- 
nection with my work and would try to visit him at that time. 

In a surprisingly short time a reply came. He had received the 
books that I had sent, was already almost finished with Chin- 
weizu's The West and The Rest of Us, which he said, he found 
instructive, answering a lot of questions for him. It was, he wrote. 




a great book. He and other inmates were much taken with the 
copies of Drum .... Again I was impressed with his eagerness to 
learn, and particularly his enthusiasm for information about Black 
people. As was Andrew Salkey, to whom I showed the letters, who 
inscribed eight of his own books for inclusion in the box of books I 
had selected to take to Gooden. 

Getting permission to visit the jail was surprisingly easy once I 
had identified myself as a college professor who was bringing some 
books on Black history for an inmate. Over the phone the com- 
mandant's voice was pleasantly casual. 

"Well ... I suppose that's alright. You can come." 
"And I will be able to see him?" 
"Yes, that will be possible." 

Entering the prison was like stepping backward in time. One 
enters through a small door set in a huge arched iron-ribbed hard- 
wood door set in a huge cutstone archway that is about twenty feet 
deep giving the impression that the entire wall was that thick. The 
medieval grimness of the entrance evoked descriptions I had seen 
of the infamous Elmina Castle in Ghana from which so many of 
our ancestors had been shipped out to the Americas and slavery. 
This impression was heightened by a towering cage-like gate of 
iron bars enclosing a concrete hall from behind which a group of 
about thirty young black men stared out silently into the 
courtyard. The fact that many of them wore only shorts in the 
afternoon heat only compounded the impression of slavery. 

Even though I was exactly on time I was unable to see Gooden. 
After asking me a few questions the Commandant made a phone 

"A condemned man . . . Gooden . . . bring him up." 

After about fifteen minutes a longer call, but no Gooden. 

"Is there a problem. Sir?" 

The commandant looked a little embarassed. The men were com- 
plaining. Death Row had already been "locked down" for the day. 
Getting out one prisoner meant relaxing the security for some fifty 
other "condemned men". It was three o'clock in the afternoon. 

Author MICHAEL THELWELL Photo by Edward Cohen 

"Of course, I could order them to bring him but it would be bad 
for morale and if anything were to happen ..." 

I hastily agreed to come back at a more convenient time. The com- 
mandant seemed to appreciate that, he seemed like a very nice man. 
I left musing on the incident and what it suggested about power, 
coercion and fear in the relationship between prisoner and their 

It was three weeks before I was able to get back to the prison, at 
which time I did see the young man. During the interim, he wrote 
me three letters which I never received until I returned months later 
to Amherst. Here is one of them. 

September 18th. 

Dear Bro. Michael: 

This is my third letter to you. The previous two I wrote to you to 
your address at Pelham Road. I am hoping you received them. On a 
more sour note, I have been informed that you came to visit me, but 
I cannot see why you were not allowed to see me. I hope you will tell 
me in your reply. Bro. Michael, my conditions have somewhat 
deteriorated with the recent upsurge of hangings in Jamaica. One of the 
men recently hanged was helping himself to my books to study. But I 
am still alive and am continuing. 

This magnificent book you have sent me From Slavery to Freedom is 

such a remarkable work of Black History in America it impells me to 

get to the deepest root of such a study and I am only hoping that you 

will continue to help me. When one reads of Harriet Tubman, that great 

female fighter against oppression, one cannot just overlook this study. 

One has to truly to further to find all facts. 

Continued on page 80 




Photo by Edward Lnhen 

****************************** **^ 

By Andrea Rushing 

In addition to editing the ground-breaking anthology The Black 
Woman and collecting the short fiction of her Rutgers' students and 
well-known writers in Tales and Short Stories for Black Folk, Toni 
Cade Bambara has published her own marvelous short stories in 
Gorilla, My Love and The Sea Birds Are Still Alive. Her novel, 
The Salt Eaters, has received enthusiastic reviews from both Euro- 
American and African-American critics, and she is currently 
working on an account of the Atlanta child murders and the 
screenplay for Toni Morrison's novel. Tar Baby. 

Born in New York City, Bambara settled in Atlanta ten years 
ago and sees herself as a cultural worker who writes to advance the 
liberation struggle. Though her ideas about art as an instrument to 
raise political consciousness mesh with those of the 1960's and 
1970's Black Arts movement, Bambara's politics have moved 
beyond "Black Power" and "Black is Beautiful". She calls herself 
"a Pan-Africanist-socialist-feminist". 1 

A "politically correct" writer can be a dreadfully dull one; how- 
ever, Bambara is never dull. Though her every paragraph bears 
the unmistakable imprint of her politics, this self-described 
"message writer" creates art which constantly compels our atten- 
tion and nourishes our souls. 

There are several strands in Bambara's amazingly consistent 
excellence. Let's look at them one by one. First, her language re- 
flects the spoken African-American idiom. In lines like: 

And cause my Mama come uphere in a minute when them 
teachers start playin the dozens behind colored folks. She stalk in 
with her hat pulled down bad and that Persian lamb coat draped 
back over one hip on account of she got her fist planted there so 
she can talk that talk which gets us all hypnotized, and teacher be 
comin undone cause she know this could be her job and her behind 
cause Mama got pull with the Board and bad by her own self any- 
how. 2 




Salt Eaters 


She captures the cadences we really talk in with an easy accuracy 
which surprises and delights us. Second, her fiction is "saturated" 
in African-American music. 3 Sometimes, as the story "Witch- 
bird", she compares a female character to a blueswoman like Bessie 
Smith or Ma Rainey. More often, as in the story "Medley", the 
very structure of her narrative parallels the improvisional mode of 
a "jazz" combo with its heads, bridges, and riffs. In fact, in a 1982 
Drum interview, Bambara herself described The Salt Eaters as "a 
jazz suite". 4 Stephen Henderson has drawn our attention to 
African-American speech and music as the bases of African- 
American literature. 5 No contemporary novelist makes better use 
of this rich folk treasure-trove than Bambara does. A third critical 
aspect of her work is her concern with reconciling our often- 
divided political and spiritual forces : 

I had been observing over the years ... a gap between . . . our 
warriors — activists, guerilla historians, political theorists — and our 
medicine people — spiritualists adepts in the mysteries. It struck me 
as an unfortunate, wasteful, dangerous split. 6 

One of the reasons Bambara moved to Atlanta in 1974 was to come 
into closer contact with "people adept in clairvoyance, dream 
analysis, telepathy, healing, precognition." 7 One of the central 
motifs in The Salt Eaters envisions the reunion of these political 
and spiritual workers and the healing power that will surge forth 
from that reconciliation. 

I am arguing throughout the book that necessity of resisting 
the bite of the serpent and being splintered. I am arguing the 
birth-right of wholeness, wholesomeness. 8 

A fourth salient aspect of Bambara's work is her persistent atten- 
tion to female experiences. From her essay in The Black Woman 
through Gorilla, My Love and The Sea Birds Are Still Alive to 
The Salt Eaters, she has depicted Northern and Southern, urban 
and rural female characters in a variety of age brackets and 
occupations. Whether one looks at the feisty elementary school 
track star in "Raymond's Run," the astute and sensual middle-aged 


woman in "My Man Bovanne", the community organizer in "The 
Apprentice", or the manicurist in "Medley", one sees a rainbow 
of literary creations who challenge stereotypes and chart new 
courses: No one could ever confuse them with caricatures or 
paragons. "They seem," one exclaims with a sigh of relief and 
delight, "like people I know." Much of the literature currently 
written by and about African-American women centers around 
women's victimization or reports the tensions between women 
and men. The fifth noticeable thing about Bambara's work is that 
she consciously takes different tacks : 

Temperamentally, I'm much more concerned with the caring 
that lies beneath the antagonisms between Black men and Black 
women. There is a great deal of static that informs our relation- 
ships, above and beyond the political wedge that has been jammed 
between us by myth makers of the oppressor class. Whereas other 
writers, other women, other people are more concerned with the 
hurt of it all, the hurt doesn't teach me anything and I'm concerned 
primarily with useable lessons. The caring does teach me 
something and I think I can offer a useable something for someone 
else. 9 

The timbre of the relationships between the elderly couple in 
"Blues Ain't No Mockin Bird", the young activists in "The Organ- 
izer's Wife", and Velma and her husband Obie in The Salt Eaters 
illustrates the octaves of caring which interest this committed 

One can learn more about contemporary African-American life 
from reading Bambara's wise and witty words than one can gleam 
from a year of reading tabloids, going to the movies, watching 
television, or listening to disco music. She has said: 

Writing is one of the ways I participate in struggle — one of the 
ways I help to keep vibrant and resilient that vision that has kept 
the Family going on. Through writing I attempt to celebrate the 
tradition of resistance, attempt to tap Black potential, and try to 
join the chorus of voices that argues that exploitation and misery 
are neither inevitable nor necessary. Writing is one of the ways I 
participate in the transformation — one of the ways I practice the 
commitment to explore bodies of knowledge for the usable 
wisdoms they yield. 10 

In our landscape of despair about male-female relations con- 
fronted on every hand by racism and Reaganomics, assailed by 
sexism and cynicism, our parched souls need the self-images that 
Bambara's piquant and pungent prose supplies. She hooks us up 

with powerful arpeggios of African-American culture and history 
that we have perilously forgotten or ignored. And, at the conclu- 
sion of The Salt Eaters, she boldly flashes forward to portray 
dramatic moments in our future. Dazzling and substaining, 11 The 
Salt Eaters begins as Minnie, a traditional healer, asks a suicidal 
woman, "Are you sure, sweetheart, that you want to be well?" It 
ends, after Velma's journey through the underground of her 
psyche, with the protagonist healed and aglow : 

The patient turning smoothly on the stool, head thrown back 
about to shout, to laugh, to sing. . . . No need of Minnie's hands 
now so the healer withdraws them, drops them in her lap just as 
Velma, rising on steady legs, throws off the shawl that drops down 
on the stool a burst cocoon. 12 

In the 1960's LeRoi Jones/Imamu Amiri Barke wrote, "If the 
beautiful ones see themselves, they will love themselves." We still 
need truth-telling mirrors, and Toni Cade Bambara definitely 
creates them for us... check her out. 

1. Toni Cade Bambara, "What It Is I Think I'm Doing Anyhow", in 
The Writer on Her Work, ed. Janet Sternburg. {New York: W.W. 
Norton, 1980), pp. 153-168. 

2. Bambara, Gorilla, My Love,(New York: Pocket, 1972), p. 25. 

3. 1 borrow this term from Stephen Henderson's classic work. 
Understanding the New Black Poetry, (New York: William 
Morrow, 1972), pp. 62-66. 

4. Jackson, Deborah, "An Interview with Toni Cade Bambara, 
Drum 12 (1982), 43. 

5. Henderson, pp. 30-31. 
6. Jackson, p. 43. 

7. Jackson, p. 43. 

8. Jackson, p. 44. 

9. Beverly Guy-Sheftall, "Commitment: Toni Cade Bambara 
Speaks", in Sturdy Black Bridges: Visions of Black Women in 
Literature, eds. Roseann Bell, Bettye Parker, Beverly Guy-Sheftall 
(New York:- Anchor-Doubleday, 1979), pp. 230-249. 

10. Bambara, "What It Is I Think I'm Doing Anyhow", p. 154. 

11. Bambara, The Salt Eaters, (New York: Random, 1980), p. 3. 
12The Salt Eaters, p. 295. 

What Manner 

of Man 
Dared to Dream? 

"What happen's to a dream deferred 
does it fester like a sore and run or does 
it dry up like a raisin in the sun?" 

Langston Hughes 

It is no secret that Martin Luther King 
Jr. envisioned a dream so great that it 
encompassed the prayers, hopes and 
wishes of thousands of people around the 
world. It is no secret through his 
ministry and devotion to his commit- 
ment that he affected the lives of these 
people with his dream and planted it in 
them to grow. Perhaps it is a secret 
that the decision to become a minister 
and foUow in the footsteps of his father, 

required years of deliberation. In fact 
the young Martin had dismissed the 
ministry as too unintellectual, even too 
archaic, to speak effectively on contem- 
porary issues. Perhaps it's safe to 
assume that it is a secret that the young 
Martin's dream was to become an 
accomplished doctor or lawyer, both 
fields he thought to be more congenial 
and meaningful pursuits. And yet finally, 
perhaps it is a secret, that he had come 
round to deciding that it should be minis- 
try after all, and eventually he was even 
reasonably confident that he wanted 
a Southern pastorate. And so it came to 
pass that he had come to Montgomery. 

Perhaps the best well kept secret is 
that he never made the decision to 
become a minister at all. The reality 
being, that he was destined to serve the 
world as a messenger of truth. In retro- 
spect, his youthful doubts seem iUunion- 
ary, as if he must have been blind to the 
inevitable direction of his Ufe. Even the 
most casual acquaintance, or an observer 
would have bet money that the young 
'Martin' was destined from birth to 
pursue the ministry, for he had been 
blessed with the power. Such was the 
tradition, a heritage that came down 
through blood. His maternal grand- 
father, the Reverend Alfred Daniel 
Williams, had founded Ebenezer Baptist 
Church, and his father, Martin, Sr., had 
established it as one of the largest most 
prestigious Baptist churches in Atlanta. 
Young Martin's upbringing was marked 
by reverence for deity and devotion to 
divine worship, and deeply influenced by 
the great many activities arising out of 
his father's pastorial responsibilities. 
So it's no secret that his precocious 
vocabulary and his natural appreciation 
for the rhythms of language were clearly 
the patrimony of two generations of 
fundamentalist ministry. It is no secret 
why he knew by instinct the code that 
unleashed the powerful emotions of 
Black people, in particular Black 

worshippers. As early as four years old, 
people responded, to his power of con- 
jecture, people "rocked with joy" to his 
rendering of religious songs. 

The King family was of the school of 
hard preaching, of which great devotion 
of personality, sanctioned manipulation, 
occasional hints of exploitation, and viru- 
lent evangelism are essential ingredi- 
ents. Such being the case the tradition 
demands that it is not enough to be 
called to preach. Much more than the 
'calling' is required and expected of one. 
To be a success, one must be a strong, 
charismatic personality— a man's man, 
yet attractive to the good sisters of the 
church congregation. The young Martin's 
gfrandfather Reverend Alfred Daniel 
Williams was such a minister. He had 
few credits in theology at Morehouse 
College, but he spoke the language of the 
people he served, having no need for 
sinuous rules of grammar, for the 
medium for direct communication had 
been established. 

Reverend WUllams was one of the rare 
few in the Black community who was 
financially secure and independent of the 
whites, and therefore was able to play 
an important role in race relations. The 
1906 Atlanta race riot. Impressed greatly 
the Black/white Issue Upon Reverend 
WUllams' mind and spurred him along 
with others to organize a local chapter of 
the recently founded NAACP. As one of 
the Atlanta Chapter's charter members, 
he with other prominent citizens, led a 
successful movement to defeat a city 
bond Issue that made no provisions for 
the contruction of Black public high 
schools. As a result, Booker T. Washing- 
ton High School, the first school for 
Black secondary education In Atlanta 
was built in the mid 1920's. The 
Georgian, the local Hearst newspaper, 
in an editorial denounced the opponents 
of the bond Issues as "dirty and 
Ignorant" protestors. For this Reverend 


Williams again in the forefront with his 
colleagues called for a boycott of the 
newspaper and this contributed to its 
eventual demise. 

The presence of the realities of the 
boycott were alive and well in the young 
Martin's life, not as some intangible, his- 
torical fact, rather a very strong link to 
the future he had yet to embrace. Such 
strong memories of this boycott in young 
Martin's childhood, inevitably, recalls 
the more famous bus boycott that he led 
in Montgomery several decades later. 
Again, it is no secret that such leader- 
ship and commitment to the betterment 
of Black life is something Martin Luther 
King, Jr. inherited, without question. 
Yet being of an inquisitive mind, he was 
not so easUy persuaded by the example 
his grandfather and father had made 
of the potential of the ministry for civil 
contribution. Martin Sr., had continued 
on in the same manner as Reverend 
WiUaims. He was one of the Atlanta 
Voters' League, an active Republican 
and a sponsor of programs for Atlanta 
youth. Martin Sr. sent himself through 
school at Moorehouse College, and later 
was elected to the college's board of trus- 
tees. With these two men as role models 
setting strong examples, stUl the young 
Martin doubted his future and ques- 
tioned his security in the family tradition 
of the ministry. 

The examples continued throughout 
young Martin's formative years reveal- 
ing the realities of racial effrontery. One 
such occasion in rigidly segregated 
Atlanta, an arrogant traffic poUceman, 
drawling through a lecture begun with 
the traditional address "Boy", was 
instantly reprimanded with the Rever- 
end King's intolerant correction, "That's 
a boy," as he pointed to the young 
Martin Jr. setting beside him, "I'm a 
man." Another incident which remained 
a vivid memory in young Martin's con- 
sciousness was the time a shoe clerk 
refused to serve him unless he and his 
father moved to the rear of the store. He 
could remember his father's growling 
tone, "We'll either buy shoes sitting here 
or we won't buy any shoes at all," and he 
marched young Martin Jr., to the door. 
Not only did these experiences impress 
the importance of strength of character 
upon the young Martin's mind they 
periodically surprised the city's whites. 

Powerfully built, the iron constitution 
of King Sr., had been proof against the 
economic and psychological acids of 
Southern debasement. In a time when 65 

per cent of Atlanta's able bodied Black 
male population was unemployed, during 
the 1930's, Martin Sr. had nearly fulfilled 
his vow, made in the kitchen of his 
mother's white employers, that some 
day he would have a "brick house, and 
my brick house is going to be as fine as 
any brick house." Though not a brick 
house, the spacious twelve room dwel- 
ling was a thoroughly comfortable, quite 
princely place. The brick house would 
come years later. 

The manifestation of one's goals, the 
accomplishment of one's objectives, was 
perhaps the greatest contribution young 
Martin's grandfather and father could 
have given him as inspiration to achieve. 
From their examples, the young Martin 
learned that there is little one cannot do 
if one sets one's mind to it. This under- 
standing laid the groundwork for the con- 
ception of a dream. It was through his 
relationship with his father, their inter- 
action that Martin Jr. developed his 
wholesome ego. The children were 
Martin Sr.'s weakness and he wished to 
play the grand impressario for all his 
children, but with the young Martin Jr., 
the boy's special light made this role 
more thrilling. Part of the joy had to do 
with the fact that the young Martin was 
quite a character just as the senior 
Martin had been. In fact, many Atlan- 
teans who frequently commented about 
this were quick to say that young Martin 
was a 'chip off the old block.' Perhaps 
then it's a secret that in the quiet of his 
mind, it is possible that young Martin Jr. 
even resented, subconsciously, this pat- 
riarchal presumptuousness and that his 
early determination to have nothing to 
do with the ministry was prompted by 
an urge to escape the professional prison 
that his well meaning curator was con- 

Equally to the point, however, was the 
influence of black bourgeois Atlanta. The 
Atlanta of young Martin's teens was pro- 
fessionally diverse and socially sophisti- 
cated. Certainly, to be the son of a 
successful Baptist minister was an estim- 
able birthright, but there were many 
other standards, supplementary and com- 
peting by which to gauge community 
status. During these teenage years, his 
exposure to the local Baptist community 
enlightened him and he became aware 
that the congregations of the Wheat 
Street, and Friendship Churches were 
more refined in their Sunday worship, 
the ministers more rigorously intellect- 
ual than at his own Ebenezer. Thus, 
these combined experiences in his 

father's church and his growing aware- 
ness of the polished standard within 
the Black community convinced the 
young Martin that the ministry that he 
knew neither intellectually nor socially 
high toned. Meanwhile there was an 
adolescent's world to live, there was 
time in which to select a career. So life 
continued around him as he grew up. 

Protected, insulated against the most 
brutal aspects of Southern bigotry, the 
young Martin continued nevertheless 
to confront its mind and emotional 
boggling bitter manifestations. The 
experience in the shoe store rankled 
deeply and remained perennially etched 
in the memory bank of his personal 
documentation. Still, another encounter, 
more disappointing, however was the 
defection of two cherished white play- 
mates whose parents owned a small 
store in the neighborhood. When young 
Martin, at the age old enough to attend 
elementary school, discovered that his 
playmates' parents had forbidden them 
to associate with him and his brother. He 
had good reason to believe his mother 
who told him not to be affected by it, 
"that he was as good as anyone else, 
white or Black." But the experience left 
its small cicatrice. Only five years later, 
at eleven did young Martin experience a 
rather bewilderingly gratuitous indigni- 
ty. While in a department store a white 
woman he had never seen before walked 
up to him and slapped his face. "The 
little nigger stepped on my foot," she 
explained. Another experience, another 
mark. Many years later Martin Jr. would 
say "As far back as I could remember, I 
had resented segregation." Fortunately 
his encounters with racism did not turn 
his disdain into blind anger or despair. 



Martin Jr.'s elementary school experi- 
ences recall a boisterous and mischiev- 
ious boy tussling incessantly with other 
little boys and scampering under the 
back porch grumbling about a bruised 
knee. Quite different from the Buddha- 
like figure portrayed by journalists 
years later, Martin Jr. by all accounts 
was a coltishly rugged youngster pos- 
sessed of a considerable degree of street 
savvy. There's no question, in fact it's no 
secret that Martin Jr. could take care of 
himself in a fight, but his preferred 
mode of self-defense was verbal rather 
than physical. His life experiences seem 
to have been a formula to create the 
manner of man he became. 

One Sunday, after listening to a spell- 
bindingly eloquent visiting preacher, 
the young Martin informed his mother, 
"Someday, I'm going to have me some 
big words like that." As a result, he 
studied to improve his vocabulary regu- 
larly, and was able to out talk a would be 
opponent with first-class words in most 
situations. However not always, his 
brother A.D., could be downright con- 
temptuous of young Martin's defense. 
There were times when the young 
Martin was compelled to resort to more 
forceful expedients. Yet moreover, it's 
important to recognize his adolescent 
propensity for nonviolence. Great men 
are not born, rather, they create them- 
selves out of years of an incubatory 
period. During his nurturing period the 
young Martin could demonstrate a 
robust capacity to assert physical 
prowess. It was no secret, that an invita- 
tion "Let's go to the grass" challenged 
an opponent when the question of 
property rights arose. The young Martin 
Jr. was an excellent wrestler and there- 
fore preferred selecting his arena; more- 
over he remained throughout his life 
immensely fond of professional boxing. 
Still there is some basis for retrospec- 
tively depicting Martin Jr. as an adoles- 
cent exponent of nonviolence. His father, 
Martin Sr. observes that when he 
received whippings young Martin Jr. 
exhibited an almost philosophical stoic- 
ism, not a whimper, not a murmur of 
protest. "There was always something 
special about Martin Jr.", the senior 
recalls. "Even before he could read, he 
kept books around him, he just liked the 
idea of having them." 

High school began at the Atlanta Uni- 
versity experimental laboratory school 
in secondary education. However at the 
end of his second year the university 
discontinued the prog^ram. So Martin Jr. 

joined his privileged classmates at the 
mammoth public secondary institution, 
Booker T. Washington. In high school 
he earned the nickname 'tweed' because 
he dressed so well. He also had a way 
with the ladies and was quite popular. 
All this in addition to his transferral to 
Washing^ton High, which allowed him to 
skip the ninth grade, was a challenge. 
But greater was the challenging arena 
the school provided in which to measure 
himself against the cruder forensic 
talents and more direct protocol of court- 
ship of public peers. He was especiaOy 
proud when his chief extracurricular 
passion was rewarded by the Elks, who 
bestowed upon him their annual oratori- 
cal prize for his presentation that year of 
a topic dealing with the Negro and the 
Constitution. As earlier as then destiny 
was revealing itself to an obstinent 
young Martin. In keeping with the hand 
of destiny, one of young Martin's experi- 
ences with oratory was as cruel as any of 
the racial contretemps by which he had 
been previously beleaguered. It was 
years later that Martin Jr. related in his 
eloquent manner to a Time Magazine 
correspondent the repressed anger at 
being compelled with his fellow high 
school debates to surrender his seat to 
white passengers boarding the bus 
returning from Valdosta, Georgia. Verb- 
ally abused by the driver, they had had 
to stand in the aisle for 90 miles. "It was 
a night I'll never forget. I don't think I 
have ever been so deeply angary in my 

Life continued to act as an artist's 
hand carving the young Martin into a 
beautiful sculpture for the purpose his 
creator designed him. So in the summer 
of his junior year in high school, the 
young Martin traveled north with his 
brother A.D. for the first time to work 
as a laborer on a Connecticut tobacco 
farm. The group was made up of high 
school seniors and college students, most 
of whom just as Martin had accepted the 
harvesting contracts not out of financial 
necessity, rather in the spirit of adoles- 
cent idealism and Puritan desire to 
insure themselves to the physical hard- 
ship. Quite different from his southern 
experience, the young Martin witnessed 
the greatest illusion of all times, masked 
racism. The freedom of movement, the 
casual sociability and lackadasical atti- 
tude of northern whites and the cultural 
offering of Hartford were overwhelming. 
The veil of mystique and peril that 
masked the relations between the races 
in the south appeared to be totally void 
in the North. 

It appeared to the young Martin that 
one might go freely where one so desired 
should one's economic circumstances 
permit. It was in his youth that young 
Martin failed to recognize the vicious 
disguises of the sophisticated system of 
racism in the north. The illusion worked 
its magic because Martin Jr. did not 
recognize that Hartford Blacks made 
little display either of affluence or of 
cultural inclinations. Indeed, it would 
come to pass that Martin Jr. perceived 
clearly the different but no less stulti- 
fying forces of discrimination in the 
north. Thus the young Martin enjoyed 
his summer internship and accounted it 
an enlightening. It was his train ride 
home that put a damper on his summer. 
Forced to sit behind a curtain when he 
entered the dining car, Martin Jr. felt 
"as if the curtain had been dropped on 
my selfhood." He referred to the "bitter 
pill" of returning to the omni-present, 
routine inhumanity of southern segre- 
gation. It was at this time that the young 
Martin came close to hating whites, an 
emotion that he normally rejected as the 
must unworthy and toxic affliction of the 
spirit of American Blacks. It was at this 
time too, that, the young Martin envi- 
sioned himself "playing a part in break- 
ing down the legal barriers to Negro 
rights." Though commendable of him, it 
was premature, for as a teen he was not 
an activist yet. 

At the age of, fifteen in September of 
1944, the young Martin Jr. entered 
Morehouse having skipped another high 
school grade. Naturally Martin Sr. was 
delighted as was his mother, for Martin 
Jr.'s attendance at Morehouse repre- 
sented a continuance in family tradition. 
It is important to note that Martin Sr. 
saw to it that Martin Jr. remained at 
home whUe attending his four years at 
Morehouse to give himself time enough 
to persuade Martin Jr. to enter the 
ministry and accept co-pastorship of 

Morehouse in the 1940's was not very 
different from the institution of today. 
Shaded by sweet smelling magnolias, 
it shared a spacious, walled campus with 
the new Atlanta University administra- 
tion building and library. Architecture 
design gave the school a viliage-like 
neatness and an almost inconsequential 
air that totally belied its excellence. 
Despite its size, Morehouse was a con- 
sciously arrogant place. Martin Jr. 
entered Morehouse determined to study 
medicine, a respectable, independent 
and socially beneficient profession. It 


was during his freshman and sopho- 
more years that the young Martin Jr. 
discovered that he was both temper- 
mentally and intellectually unsuited 
for the medical profession. It is fas- 
cinating that for one who accepted so 
much on faith in later life, young 
Martin's greatest difficulty with the 
sciences was precisely his inability to 
embrace principles without question. 
Old classmates recall that it was impos- 
sible for young Martin to accept the 
reduction of social forces and animate 
entities to mere numbers. Behind the 
theorem and the fundamental law, young 
Martin sought to grasp the fallible and 
human process by which they were 
devised. He was greatly appalled by 
what he took to be the apathetic fallacy 
of statistics. This skepticism was part of 
a larger dialectical phenomena. It was 
obvious that the young Martin was 
never satisfied when he was outdone in 
a discussion. But he displayed clearly 
little more satisfaction when an argu- 
ment of his own overwhelmed an oppo- 
nent by force of sheer data. It was the 
young Martin's desire to always per- 
suade as much by sincerity as by fact 
and logic. It often surprised young 
Martin's classmates to hear him revive 
a several-days old discussion, prepared 
with additional reasons and renewed 

It is strange that his inclination for 
dogged inquiry and his resolve to pene- 
trate to the source of problems fell short 
of translating themselves into superior 
marks in philosophy. As a required 
course all Morehouse freshmen had to 
take Professor Willaims' two-semester 
introductory course. Philosophy 361 and 
362. It was during the course of this 
study that the young Martin was intro- 
duced to and in the margins of his mind, 
registered a quick reaction to Socrates, 
Plato, and Aristotle. He was highly im- 
pressioned by Macchiavelli, Kant and 
Descartes. He earmarked the works of 
Moses to those of Marx and held their 
writings for future references. The 
young Martin was repelled and drawn to 
Marx simultaneously and justifiably so. 
It took a season of hard study at Crozer 
before he could come to terms with 
philosophical communism. He held an 
uncritical fascination for Hegel, yet it 
was Thoreau's essay "On Civil Disobed- 
ience" that stirred the young Martin Jr. 
more deeply and perennially than any 
other classroom encounter of that 

Surely we can logically conclude 

reasons for the young Martin's decision 
to pursue a major in sociology. After 
all, the discipline of sociology presented 
the ideal compromise between the firm 
methodology of the science and the 
exciting imprecision of the arts. Soci- 
ology reputed to be an exact discipline 
requiring mastery of disagreeable statis- 
tics, but its data derives from the 
vibrant stuff of human interaction. 

What Manner of Man Dared to Dream? 

Professor Chivers, a thorough realist 
impressed upon the young Martin that 
as far as they were concerned, the pri- 
mary evil was racism, of which the eco- 
nomic system was the root. Moreover 
though were two of the young Martin's 
vacation jobs which indelibly impressed 
upon him the veracity of the profes- 
sor's comment. The young Martin wit- 
nessed the hopeless Blacks who toiled for 
Railway Express and Southern Spring 
Bed Mattress Company and were sub- 
jected to conditions of unforg^veable 
degradation. They were abused daily by 
people whose only protection against the 
same disrespect was their white skin. 
Blacks suffered dismissals capriciously 
after years of loyal service. Young 
Martin's growing insight and expansive 
vision perceived that, even if whites 
received better pay, relatively, both 
races earned less than was their due, 
because of the racism contrived and 
sustained by their invisible employers. 
Unique in his experience as a young 
Black man, the young Martin recognized 
his good fortune, when he was able to 
quit his job once the Railway foreman 
persisted in calling him "nigger" and still 
dress in a stylish manner befitting his 
nickname "Tweed". It was these anom- 
alies that he was able to discuss candidly 
with both professors and peers. Such 
discussions opened his eyes to see that 
'nobody there (Morehouse) was afraid.' 
This fearlessness of the institution 
braced the young Martin Jr. for the life 
trials ahead. 

The young Martin Jr.'s junior year at 
Morehouse, another secret, was quite 
momentous. For it was this point in time 
that the intrinsic strains of his character 
as well as the exemplary influence of 
those two grand personalities, gfrand- 
father Williams and his father Martin Sr. 
conjoined and culminated. The young 
Martin, informed his parents that he had 
decided to enter the ministry. Both 
naturally were pleased. Under his 
father's direction, the young Martin 
undertook a trial sermon. And it is no 

secret that his gift shone through, its 
success compelled the youthful novice 
minister to repair to the main auditor- 
ium of Ebenezer in order to accommo- 
date the growing crowd. At last the 
young Martin had received his calling, so 
prepared with the prestigious More- 
house B.A. deg^reed and ordained a 
minister in the Baptist faith, he finished 
one of the most significant chapters in 
his life in June 1948 as he entered the 
world. At nineteen years old the 
co-pastorate of Ebenezer awaited him. 
Though met with some opposition, when 
the graduating senior decided to pursue 
his education further, he was able to 
persuade his father of its necessity. 
Fortunately the keen mind of the young 
Martin who was supported by both 
President Mays of Morehouse and 
Professor Kelsey. Another special ally, 
the venerable J. Pius Barbour, a grad- 
uate of Morehouse who attended Crozer 
Theological Seminary in Chester, Penn- 
sylvania in the 1930's had graduated 
with distinction was then one of the most 
respected members of the National 
Baptist Convention. Reverend Barbour 
had been and intimate friend of the King 
family for many years. It was his sug- 
gestion that young Martin Jr. pursue a 
bachelor of divinity degree at Crozer. 

His years at Crozer were much like 
those that had preceded in that they 
were filled with preparatory experiences 
which readied the young Martin for his 
greater tasks. In addition to wrestling 
with the romantic distractions of his final 
year at Crozer he was too, deeply 
absorbed by a number of intellectual 
problems. In an article, 'Stride Toward 
Freedom', Martin Jr. wrote, "not until I 
entered Crozer Theological Seminary in 
1948 however, did I beg^n a serious intel- 
lectual quest for a method to eliminate 
social evU." In June of 1951, young 
Martin Jr. graduated from Crozer with 
the highest g^ade average in his class. 
He delivered the valedictory address 
and was awarded the Pearl M. Plafker 
citation for the most outstanding student 
and the J. Lewis Crozer fellowship of 
$1,300 for graduate study. So in Septem- 
ber another chapter began, what would 
end in another deg^ree, this time at 
Boston University, where he enrolled as 
a doctoral candidate in the faculty of 
philosophy. Thank God, that the young 
Martin upon his confrontations and 
meetings of the philosolphies of men 
such as Nietzsche, Marx, Niebuhr, 
Muste, Gregn, Gandhi, Sartre, Hei- 
degger, Kirkegaard and all the others 
did not lose sight of his own understand- 









Artist JAMES PHILLIPS was born in 
Brooklyn, N.Y. and has lived in 
Washington, D.C. since 1974. His work 
has been exhibited in the U.S., Africa, 
South America, the Caribbean, and the 

He is an Artist in Residence at Howard 
U. and was commissioned by the city of 
Baltimore to do Several murals. 

He has received several grants and 
fellowships and is a member of Afri 

Meditation Red Second Phase 1982 


Com. from P. 20 

ing: That one must not lose sight of the 
nonutilitarian values of education, that 
one must not emphasize utility at the 
expense of morality. He felt strongly as a 
young man "the function of education, 
therefore is to teach one to think inten- 
sively, and to think critically. But educa- 
tion which stops with efficiency may 
prove the greatest menace to society. 
The most dangerous criminal may be the 
man gifted with reason, but with no 

During his most philosophical growth, 
Martin Jr. met with the philosophy of 
marriage and was united in 1953. This 
same year he prepared his dissertation 
"A Comparison of the Conceptions of 
God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and 
Henry Nelson Wieman," he wrote 
"seems to point to an impersonal God." 
Martin Jr. believed these conclusions to 
be erroneous, for God is much more to 
the human experience than the "creative 
event" of Wieman or that of Tillich. He is 
more than Hegel's historic process of 
that upon which Rauscheubusch's evolu- 
tion toward the secular kingdom de- 
pended. In conclusion, young Martin Jr. 
resolved that human nature requires far 
more than theological abstraction to 
quiet it. "Reason is darkened by sin," he 
wrote later. "Reason devoid of the puri- 
fying power of faith can never free itself 
from the distortions and reationaliza- 
tions." It is evident that although the 
young Martin Jr. was of a tolerant cast 
of mind, his intellectual range was, 
baptized in the colors of his social and 
cultural experience. "Being raised as a 
rather strict fundamentalist tradition," 
he admits, "I was occasionally shocked as 
my intellectual journey carried me 
through new and sometimes complex 
doctrinal lands." 

This manner of man, no wonder 
immediately offered his cooperation 
when E.D. Nixon telephoned him and 
asked him to join a committee to organ- 
ize a boycott around the 'Rosa Parks 
incident'. The rest is history. Together 
with Nixon and Rev. Ralph Abernathy, 
Martin Jr. began the planning for the 
historical boycott which changed the 
lives of the American people. This was 
only the beginning of the realization of a 
long held dream, "to play a part in break- 
ing down the legal barrier to Negro 
rights" this time his timing was not 
premature, but on the one. 

As years added to Martin Jr.'s ac- 
complishments and contributions to the 
American people, he struggled to bring 

to fruition his dream. A task far more 
difficult than any obstacle he had faced 
in the streets against wild angry crowds 
hurling bricks and body breaking water 
from full power hoses. The reality of 
making a dream come true, of putting it 
into motion, planting it in the mind of the 
world who it is to benefit was his 
greatest test. His pursuit was relentless. 
The fullgrown Reverend Martin Luther 
King, Jr. recognized that the victory of 
human rights for Blacks in America 
meant evolution for mankind. A change 
in mind and attitude would constitute a 
world evolutionary progression. It would 
mean the realization of equality of 
mankind throughout the world. 

This mature manner of man spoke 
from his heart a culmination of hard 
study, blood, sweat and tears, "the 
Neg^ro lives in a lonely island of poverty 
in the midst of a vast ocean of material 
prosperity. There will be neither rest 
nor tranquility in America until the 
Negro is granted his citizenship rights. 
The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to 
shake the foundations of our nation until 
the bright day of justice emerges." 

He continued to enlighten 250,000 
people attending at the March on 
Washington and the listening world, that 
despite the bitter temporary setbacks 
and frustration, he held fast to a dream, 
a profoundly American dream, of a 
nation radically changed. He went on to 
describe this dream we've all come to 

It was that one day, the nation would 
really practice its creed— that "all men 
are created equal; that the children of 
slaves and of slave owners would one 
day live in brotherhood; that one day, 
even the state of Mississippi would 
become 'an oasis of freedom and justice'." 

His dream is that one day, his four 
little children would be judged not by 
the color of their skin but the content of 
their character. His words were like 
truth moving enzymes for tens of thou- 
sands of shattered Black aspirations and 
guilt ridden white desires for fellowship. 
The crowd responded with open hearts. 
"I have a dream that one day every 
valley shall be exalted, every hill and 
mountain shall be made low, the rough 
places will be made plains, and the 
crooked places will be made straight, 
and the glory of the Lord shall be 
revealed and all flesh shall see it 
together. This will be the day all God's 
children will be ale to sing with new 

meaning, "My country tis of thee sweet 
land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land 
where my fathers died, land of the 
pilgrim's pride." Perhaps never so 
strongly was the strength of his under- 
standing of reason and rhythm so clearly 
revealed as when he delivered those 
lines for the crowds antiphonal response 
was nearly deafening. Pressing on, 
Martin Luther King, Jr. closed his 
speech with the final words of his dream. 
"When we let freedom ring, when we let 
it ring from every village and every 
hamlet, from every state and every city, 
we will be able to speed up that day 
when all God's children. Black men and 
white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protes- 
tants and Catholics, will be able to join 
hands and sing in the words of that old 
Negro spiritual, 'Free at last, free at last. 
Thank God almighty, we are free at 

And so Wednesday, August 28, 1963 
was a superbly memorable event. Meirtin 
Luther King, Jr., that manner of man, 
shared his dream and etched it in our 
hearts and souls, yes we were touched, 
our spirits moved. Now decades later, it 
apotheosis in the pantheon of national 
historic moments is beyond challenge, 
—Really? Like any other masterfully 
produced and thematicaUy provocative 
drama, its intrinsic and lasting impact 
upon those who lived in the experience 
was greatly, though hardly totally, dis- 
sipated against the obdurate mass of 
prejudice, apathy and politico-economic 
stasis in race relations. It's painful to 
reflect upon the greatness of this 
manner of man whose entire life was an 
orientation for the enlightenment of 
mankind. It was no doubt an education 
that inspired his dream which to our 
fortune he shared. Unfortunate "is the 
reality that through the memorable 
events of history, are visible effects of 
the invisible changes of human thought" 
in all his sacrifical gfiving, all of it, none of 
it has changed the attitudes of the 
masses of whites in America, and the 
world. Racism prevails and yet the time 
is come that the dream must come to be 
. . . "Free at last, free at last. Thank God 
almighty, we are free at last!" 

Such a dream of this manner of a man 
who dared to do so in a world society 
which does well to destroy a Black man's 
dream, must not be deferred lest "it 
fester like a sore and run, or dry up like a 
raisin in the sun." 

Kai El'Zabar 



By Sylvia Kinn and Carla James 

Standing on the stage lecturing to a 
crowd of University of Massachusetts 
students, faculty and Pioneer Valley 
residents, was a man who is the leading 
black professional in the field of Journal- 
ism. He is the Writer and Editor of a 
magazine which is circulated quarterly, 
the Producer of a nationally viewed tele- 
vision series and the Writer of a news- 
paper column. 

Most people are used to seeing the 
reserved person and host of people like 
George Kirby and Levar Burton, on his 
weekly shows. But tonight we got a 
treat. He spoke with inner dynamics 
unknown to us who watch his show. You 
could see the strength of his character 
as his hand and body movements empha- 
sized his words and as his voice echoed 
as it filled the ballroom. Who is this 
Lecturer, Writer, Columnist, Television 
Host, Producer and Dynamic speaker? 
Tony Brown. 

Tony Brown was born and raised in 
West Virginia. He later attended college 
and received his undergraduate degree 
in Psychology. By the end of his col- 
legiate career Mr. Brown also held a 
degree in Sociology. This may seem 
surprising to many considering the fact 
that Mr. Brown is known for his exper- 

tise in Journalism. An insight into this 
man may be found in our Magazine's 
exclusive interview with Tony Brown. 

Drum: Do you think there has been a 
decrease in the numbers of Blacks 
in the Mass Media? 

Tony Brown: Well, no. I don't think 
there has been a decrease, but 
actually an increase, particularly 
with blacks in the local news. Yet 
there has not been an increase in 
positions of decision making as far 
as blacks are concerned. Although 
you see more blacks visible on the 
scene there are fewer blacks who 
are making decisions about the 
content. This is the next threshold 
that we have to cross. 

Drum: Do you feel there is a ceiling 
for black Journalists? 

Tony Brown: Yes, there is a ceiling 
for black Journalists if you are 
talking about news. There are 
only so many markets and the 
markets with large concentra- 
tions of blacks have more blacks 
on the air. In areas where you 
have few blacks in the population, 
you see fewer blacks on the air. 

Drum: How did you achieve your 
current status? 

Tony Brown: I don't really know 
how to answer that question. I've 
been asked this question for a 
long time. There was no master 
plan, I just took one step at a 
time. I started out by writing a 
little column in a black news- 
paper in Detroit called "The 
Detroit Currier". I did it because 
I wanted to do it. It was a hobby. 
I gradually started doing televi- 
sion shows and one thing lead to 
the other. I got a national series 
and then its been a matter of 
keeping it alive, on the air and 
getting money for it. There is no 
scheme that you can come up with 
like taking class 101, or 102. It's 
like a football, you don't know 
which way it's going to bounce 
when it hits. 

Drum: Are there any extra pres- 
sures put on you to stay away 
from controversial issues? 

Tony Brown: If there are any pres- 
sures put on me they are to get 
me away from controversial 
issues. No, I don't have any pres- 
sures other than the normal ones. 
For example, I got pressure from 
a white woman who didn't want 
me on the air. She said she didn't 
like the topics I addressed about 

Continued on page 26 


The Artistry of Painter 

by Theo Moore 

Boston painter, Paul Goodnight, has 
used his sometimes negative life experi- 
ences to find a positive direction for his 
art and himself 

A Chicago native, his childhood was 
full of running the streets and being 
shuffled between foster parents. He 
moved to Boston and then to New 
London where he was convicted on a 
robbery charge. When the judge al- 
lowed him to choose between a jail 
sentence and a draft induction, he chose 
the army. 

He spent two years in Viet Nam, 
where he learned that knowing how to 
survive was more important than having 
material things. After his time in the 
army, he enrolled at Vesper George 
School of Art under the G.L Bill in 1969. 

He transfered to Massachusetts Col- 
lege of Art and was inspired by artists 
Dana Chandler and Gary Rickson, who 
were largely involved with, the depiction 
of Black life. 

Goodnight received his Bachelors of 
Fine Arts Degree and has since devoted 
his skills to showing Black life in a 
unique and personal way. He has had 
group and one-man exhibitions all over 
the East coast been commissioned for a 
protrait of David Walker, worked in 
television, and is deeply involved in a 
prison arts program at Bridgewater State 

Those are only a few of the many 
contributions that this talented artist has 
touched us with in such a short time. He 
is sure to continue to touch all who view 
his work in the future. 




Continued from page 23 

blacks in the Mass Media. She 
wrote somebody to try to get me 
cancelled. Also there was a very 
wealthy white man who spent a 
little time last year trying to use 
his wealthy influence to get me 
canned. The reason was because I 
did a program on Malcolm X and 
he didn't like that. That kind of 
pressure is normal, but I don't 
have any kind of pressure not to 
do certain kinds of things. 

Drum: Do these negative pressures 
ever work? 

Tony Brown: Well, it could work. If 
I were wrong, it probably would 
work. But the fact that a woman 
doesn't like my position on some- 
thing I put on the air is not going 
to hurt me because she's got a 
right not to like it. However I've 
got a right to put it on the air. 
When your dealing with the 
public, whether your dealing with 
noncontroversial or controversial, 
or whatever it is, your always 
going to be subject to some kind 
of pressure. But I'm not subject to 
any editorial pressures or any one 
telling me I can or can't do some 
thing, I don't have that kind of 
pressure at aU. 

Drum: What form of Media do you 
think blacks pay most attention 

Tony Brown: There's no doubt that 
blacks pay most attention to tele- 

vision, something Uke sixty per- 
cent of blacks get their news ex- 
clusively from television. Black 
women constitute about thirty 
percent of the audience for soaps 
during the day. Blacks dispro- 
portionately watch television 
more than whites and television 
has a much greater influence on 
the attitudes of blacks than it 
does on whites in terms of per- 
centages. This is because blacks 
are more influenced by television 
than whites. 

Drum: How do you feel about white 
coverage of black events? 

Tony Brown: Well, I don't think 
they're very adequate, I guess the 
better statement would be the 
vast majority of things that take 
place in the black community are 
not covered at all. Then to a very 
great extent, the black communi- 
ty is covered on a sensational 
basis when it is covered. Many 
blacks with opinions don't have 
the opportunity to express them 
on television because of the selec- 
tivity of the Median. So I guess 
overall I'd give television a failing 
grade in terms of its ability to 
report attitudes of black people 
and the black community. 

Drum: What are your feelings on 
Martin Luther King? 

Tony Brown: I think Martin Luther 
King was in no doubt a great man. 
He had a tremendous impact on 
this country and was a very im- 

portant part of our struggle in 
this country. But I think where 
we are going in this country has 
everything to do with our ability 
to recognize ourselves as a people 
of worth and not to depend on any 
one leader. To develop ourselves 
as individuals and to have the 
kind of self image that is going to 
produce for us what we as a 
people must have, we could go on 
forever having an exceptional 
leader here or an exceptional 
singer there. That's not going to 
do it for us. We are going to have 
to start orientating our messages 
towards the masses of people and 
telling each individual that they 
have some role and some respon- 
sibility in this struggle of ours. 
Depending on how well that is 
done I think our outcome will be 
contingent on the level of respon- 
sibility that people take. 

So, as you can see from our interview 
with Mr. Brown, he is a man who pos- 
sesses inner dynamics. He stands out 
amongst many g^reat people, in his field. 
His knowledge of many world wide 
issues, and his inner feelings and 
thoughts of today's world have been 
illustrated in his many lectures and tele- 
vision programs. Someday, Mr. Brown 
will be looked upon as a very wise man 
in black history. If blacks who attend 
his lectures and watch his Journal would 
take heed to his messages, they as 
people could unite more strongly and 
achieve a much higher success level. 

"When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring 
every village and every hamlet, from every State and 
from every city, we will be able to speed up that day 
when all God's children, black men and white men, Jews 
and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to 
join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro 
spiritual: 'Free at last. Free at last. Thank God 
Almighty, we are free at last. ' " 

—Martin Luther King, Jr. 
Lincoln Memorial, 1963 

"The Economics that disregard moral and sentimental 
considerations are like wax works that being life-like 
still lack the life of the living flesh. At every crucial 
moment these new f angled economic laws have broken 
down in practice. And nations or individuals who accept 
them as guiding maxims must perish. " 



By Voncille Ross 

In 1950, the Elma Lewis School of Fine 
Arts was founded, by using the dona- 
tions of her father which included $300, 
two second-hand pianos, twelve folding 
chairs and a table. She established a 
school of twenty-five pupils, in an apart- 
ment in Roxbury, Massachusetts. The 
school expanded over the years. She 
founded and directed in 1968 the 
National Center of Afro-American 
Artists. In June 1973 the National 
Center of Afro-American Artists was 
chosen as the National Representational 
Symbol of Current History Art. 

Her early performing talents ranging 
from dramatic reading of Black poetry 
to teaching ballet, created a vision of a 
center which became recognized world- 
wide. A center in which she would teach 
the Black people, not only about culture 
and the arts, but how to bring out their 
words, their music, their dreams, but 
most of all what it meant to be Black, 
to walk tall and proud with their heads 
up and say, "I Am Somebody." 

Her main interest wasn't teaching, 
her love was the stage. She wanted to be 
on the stage every moment of her life. 

She found joy and relaxation in perform- 
ing. She expressed herself through her 
culture. She defines culture and the arts 
as the lifestyle of the people, how they 
worship, what they eat, the places where 
they live, etc. . . whereas the Arts is the 
interpretation of their culture. There- 
fore she would not play a role that de- 
graded her, took away her dignity or 
what she stood for. So, she felt the need 
to teach Black people, through them- 
selves with the firm hands of her 
guidance, they established the center of 
her dreams. Not only is it known world- 
wide, it is the only one of its kind in the 
United States. 

In the Summer of 1981, the actions of 
some insane person resulted in the burn- 
ing of the Elma Lewis School of Fine 
Arts, Inc. hoping to close the doors of 
the school permanently. But as she stood 
watching her dream, her life's work 
going up in smoke, she was thinking of 
a location where classes could be held 
the very next day. When she was asked 
why she kept the doors of the school 
open she said: "Nobody runs me, if you 
let people run you, they will run you 
for the rest of your life. You will never 
have a firm g^ip on life because you will 
always be worrying about what others 

think, instead of going on your own 
judgements and ideas. I rebuilt the 
school to carry on the teachings. I 
haven't received an income from the 
school since 1977, but I must keep it 
running for others to earn an income. I 
have never put my hands on anything 
and quit. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
gave his life; he never quit. The doors 
of the school shall remain open. 

One of the reasons why she never 
moved from Roxbury, Massachusetts is 
that she wanted to be an example that 
people can live in filth. Then it is because 
they chose to. They don't think any 
better of themselves. But if you have 
that quality thinking- about yourself, 
then there is no reason why you 
shouldn't live a quality life. 

This extraordinary woman is Elma 
Lewis. She has had major impact on her 
community through her commitment 
of getting things done. She has been the 
recipient of over 100 awards and cita- 
tions; 19 honorary degrees. In the 
Spring of 1981, she was the proud 
recipient of the "Genius' grant from the 
MacArthur Foundation. She is indeed 
a living legend. She has proven time and 
time again that you can do what you will. 



HAITI '82 

Paul Goodnight 







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Itlarion browa His name strikes a 
familiar note in the musical world of jazz 
as a master alto-saxophonist, composer 
and ethnomusicologist. His gentle and 
soulful presence attests to the creative 
energies flowing deep within his Georgia- 
bred life. In my mind's eye, he is synon- 
omous with tool breeze' — refreshing and 
mystical with A. spirit that realizes no 

An Amherst resident, he is currently 
teaching a class. Music in African Life, 
at the University of Massachusetts/ 
Amherst where he also studies drawing. 
He is identified with the "free jazz" 
movement of the 60's which included such 
notables as Pharoah Saunders, Archie 
Shepp and the legendary John Coltrane. 
In his own right, Marion Brown has 
achieved popular acceptance in Europe 
and Japan and is currently planning his 
next trip abroad. In April of this year, 
Marion successfully had his first exhibit 
of drawings at a gallery in Amherst. The 
following will testify to his life which is 
another chapter in the gospel according 
to jazz. 

•i'Viiii'V:::?* under the influence ■^S-.'-$:-.''$:-. 

In a moment of musical ancestor 
worship, they are my building blocks, 
they are my gods sent to speak," Marion 
Brown acknowledges the influences 

which gave him a "foundation" on which 
he "can stand and claim to be a Black 
classical musician." "I have been influ- 
enced by Duke Ellington, Charles 
Mingus, John Coltrane and Thelonius 
Monk. Almost everybody who has had 
something to say, I've been moved by 
them. In fact, I've been moved by every- 

Many of his compositions have been 
inspired by poets as well, especially Jean 
Toomer. "Around 1963 I was having a 
conversation with Amiri Baraka and I 
wanted to know who he thought was the 
most melodic and lyrical Black poet. He 
told me about Jean Toomer and sug- 
gested that I read Cane. I found out he 
was right. Jean Toomer's poetry was 
also very special because the setting of 
Cane was Georgia. Right away I could 
relate to the images, the red clay, the 
pine trees and the racial mixtures. The 
images were so beautiful and inspiring 
that they did not have to have any other 
meaning for me. Sweet Earth Flying 
became a composition based on the 
images in one of his poems called 
"Storm". I also recorded a version of 
"Karintha" with Bill Hassan." 

In 1976, Marion graduated from 
Wesleyan University in Middletown, 
Connecticut where he received a Mas- 
ters Degree in Ethnomusicology. That 
same year he received a g^ant from the 

National Endowment of the Arts to 
write some compositions for the piano 
based on several poems written by 
Toomer. Marion moved to Northampton, 
Massachusetts where he finished that 
series of work including Sweet Earth 
Flying, November Cotton and Evening 

Marion went on to explain how he 
translates images on a printed page to 
musical features. "When you read 
something, two things happen when you 
look at a word. Words either have a 
meaning or no meaning. When a world or 
image is very poetic, you are able to 
attach a meaning to it. Now when I read 
"Sweet Earth Flying", I thought about 
the earth being sweet. I know the earth 
is sweet because I like living. I'm an 
earth bound person but, at the same 
time, when I think about the sweet earth 
flying, that becomes a real challenge to 
me. So basically what I try to do is get a 
sound out of an image, because words 
not only have meaning, they also have 
sound. When using poetic images, the 
meaning is not always clear but I can 
hear a definite sound in the word." 

For Marion's purpose, the piano em- 
bodied the sound of Toomer's poetry 
better than the saxophone. "I can hear 
the piano in the human voice. Although 
the saxophone has lots of emotion and 
sound, what I wanted to do with "Sweet 


Earth Flying" was to create music that 
would not necessarily be associated with 
me performing. I wanted to create some- 
thing that would give me the opportun- 
ity to sit back and listen rather than be 
the performer. In other words, it was a 
gift that was supposed to go out of me 
and into the hands of other people." 

Pianist, Amina Claudine Myers played 
the music which, according to Brown, 
"was one of the most definitive versions 
of the poetry because, from a musical 
standpoint, the meaning was closer to 
her. In Toomer's work, I can hear the 
Bible. I can hear the way he was able to 
give words and sounds a spiritual flavor. 
Amina was able to produce that sound 
because of her background in church 
gospel music. She also had the ability to 
intellect ualize the music. 

!w'!-S--'!?>-* ^^^ shake -^['x^!;?^:;' 

Evolving out of the jazz revolution of 
the 60's, a time when some musicians 
armed themselves with a musical instru- 
ment to speak out against racial injus- 
tices, Marion believes that Black artists 
are still not being heard. "Black people 
have not been accepted for their music, 
poetry, or visual arts on the same level 
as Europeans because we have been 
portrayed as a people whose expression 
is basically spontaneous. Black poets 
have not been elevated to the level of 
Shakespeare or Byron because we have 
not been accepted as a people to whom 
language was a basic means of communi- 
cation. Since music is an expression of 
culture, and langjuage is basic to culture, 
I see music as another kind of language. 
The music of a culture is very close to its 
language. It's just another way of 

Looking back to the mid-60's and his 
association with Amiri Baraka, Marion 
Brown believes that the changes most 
Black artists went through were a direct 
result of the times. Things that hap- 
pened to people had a crippling effect. 
The emergence of Avant Garde or "free 
jazz", whatever you want to call it, was 
made by musicians who were beaten, not 
so much physically beaten but spiritually 
beaten. The public did not like the sound 
of the music nor did they like the life- 
style or the type of people who were 
making the music. What happened was 
many musicians began to change their 
style. I am an example of a person who 
kept trying to change my style so I could 
reach the people." 

"Jqzz has never been given the 
respect that it deserves". 

"Things have changed though. There 
are some people who highly regard jazz 
and accept it for being the new music, 
but many jazz musicians have also been 
forgotten. For instance, Ornette 
Coleman, Cecil Taylor and Sun Ra are 
practically ignored for their musical ac- 
complishments. Then there are per- 
formers who have gone on to receive 
world-wide acclaim for doing what we 
were crushed for doing in the early 60's. 
Prime examples are the Art Ensemble of 
Chicago and Anthony Braxton." 

When Marion was asked if he sensed 
a wider acceptance of his music today he 
replied, "No!" He described a period of 
self-emposed isolation from the music 
scene. "I started to withdraw musically 
from the public in the 70's because I 
didn't enjoy being beaten. Most people 
couldn't understand my music so I 
decided to transpose some of my earlier 
compositions and create very melodic 
tunes. It seemed the more sophisticated 
my music became the less I was able to 
satisfy the people." 

"I think of Black music as being 
circular. There will always come a time 
when something new is coming from jazz 
and popular music, which changes much 
more often because it is based on a 
certain type of change. Not social change 
but the change in the taste of people, 

changes very quickly. Jazz changes 
every now and then, maybe every few 
years there is a big change in the way 
this music sounds, and, when this change 
comes, we get back to where we were 
earlier. When I said it is circular, what 
that means is that it is always moving 
around change and then the change 
suffices for a number of years until 
something else comes up. I've noticed 
that our music changes when we change. 

"In the early days of Afro-American 
music, around the New Orleans period 
for example. Black people were very 
much community oriented. There were 
many association guilds and things like 
that in the community where people 
related to each other in interesting 
ways, in terms of the community being 
together. Then, as the music changed 
and moved from New Orleans to 
Chicago, people were changing too. 
Black people were changing. They 

moved into more urban centers so that 
they would have more opportunities to 
make money. One of the ways that 
people take advantage of opportunities 
is verbal. People have to be able to deal 
when they leave the fog and go to the 
city. The language has to change. New 
concepts develop and then the music is 
going to change as a result." ,^ 

.5?'.S?\':?-' fhe solo root •^•^!.-^ 

In 1977, Marion recorded "Solo Saxo- 
phone", his first solo album which was 
released on the Sweet Earth record label 
and recorded live at Environ in New 
York City. This concert marked the 
beginning of Marion's solo career which 
has brought him all over the country, 
Europe and Japan. He also recorded one 
cassette of a solo performance at Yale 
University in New Haven, Connecticut 
in October 1981 at an event sponsored by 
the Creative Musicians Improvisors 

When I asked Marion the number of 
solo performances he had given over the 
last six years, his last recollection 
revealed that he had "stopped counting". 
Marion views his solo career as a 
challenge and a very satisfying experi- 
ence which began with a self-determina- 
tion to "get to the music". Last year, 
Marion donated a collection of concert 
programs, magazines, interviews and 
other materials in several languages, to 
Forbes Library in Northampton, Massa- 
chusetts as a record of his endeavors. 

"I hove olwoys wonted to reach 
the people and hove never 
thought of playing music for 

"I do it because I don't have conflicts. 
Group work deals with a lot of people 
with different ideas and personalities. 
Sometimes these differences make it 
difficult to get to the music. Conflicts 
often arise over money or someone may 
decide at the last minute not to show up. 
Maybe the band may miss the train or 
someone falls down and breaks their leg. 
So, rather than being in a situation 
where all kinds of calamities might 
destroy a performance, I learned to rely 
on myself. People should be able to play 
alone. It is not natural to always be with 
people in a group. So a certain amount of 


time spent alone is vital. What I'm trying 
to say is that it's important for me to be 
alife to function alone at times because 
certain things just call for it." 

When performing a solo concert, 
Marion Brown identifies himself as a 
singer, number one, not as a horn player. 
"I think of myself as a singer and select 
material that is singable. Now some 
pieces of music in jazz are purely instru- 
mental and they don't sound the same as 
a song would each time it is played. I 
think of myself as using this horn to sing 
through. I look for pieces of music that 
have certain vocal qualities. I also look at 
the amount of time I have to spend on a 
solo program. I look at it the way a long 
distance runner looks at distance. I have 
to set a pace. I ask myself, when I get to 
a mile, what pace must I have? When I 
get to the ten mile mark, where should I 
be in terms of my endurance? When 'do I 
turn everything on? Do I show the 
people ever3rthing I know and feel in the 
first five minutes of my performance, or 
do I spread it out? I've learned that the 
further I am along into the program, the 
stronger I get and, at that point, I am 
able to project the sounds and the notes 
in such a way that I can feel the presence 
of myself being larger than I am. Like 
there is an invisible force there with me, 
playing along with me on an invisible 
bass, drums and piano. I also try to hear 
the piece in my head from the beginning 
to the end before I start to play. 

My program is well to the point where 
I can play three sets of solo music and 
not weaken during the process. And 
what I mean by weaken is to become dis- 
interested. When I give a solo perfor- 
mance, I give a truly solo performance. 
I can do everything on one instrument — 
the alto-sax." 

^.#VS-''.-S-** reflections •^A%'^?;^S-. 

Marion's lifetime has spanned nearly 
four decades of intense effort to express 
his musical and artistic creativity. He 
confesses that it has not been easy 
because he considers himself to be a very 
sensitive person. 

"Emotions. There are emotions that 
can lead to depression over personal 
problems, unrequited loves, break-ups 
and things like that which all can have a 
negative effect on the music. But on the 
other hand, good things can happen 
which effect positive feelings in the 

sYouve qot to hove some form 
i)f inspiration and on enormous 
Ibmount of self-confidence". 

"What makes a great musician is being 
able to accept the accolade graciously as 
well as the negative criticism. I try not 
to feel as though someone doesn't like 
me or my music. I have to be able to 
endure on many different levels as well 
as produce. Just surviving, when it 
seems like survival is the hardest thing 
to do. These things make people great. 
SQlJie people are destined to be great, 
otKiers are not. I'm talented in certain 
ways because, from the time I actually 
stafirted as a kid up until now, playing 
music has always been a natural thing 

li^fter high school, I was a musician in 
the: army band and following my dis- 
charge, I went to college on a scholar- 
shijp. I got paid for playing music, but I 
doii't play for nioney; I get paid for it. 

I've been fortunate. I've travelled 
extensively and have made records. In 
my life, I've had the opportunity to per- 
form for and meet many great people. I 
consider myself fortunate. They say 
sometimes it rubs off on you. Maybe 
what happened is some of the people I 
knew in greatness rubbed off on me." 

"There is o concept in our society 
rhot genius is 10 percent 

inspiration ond 90 percent 

/'Marion Brown may have achieved 
greatness by association, but his creativ- 
ity and talent are uniquely his own. Yes, 
the earth is sweet because of him and his 

:•...; note: This article contains ex- 

i^^-^icerpts from a conversation 

;$•; between Morion Drown and Dr. 

■*:::•:• Ernest Washingtoa 

•W: tronscribed by Lincoln Carrero 

Jr^:;" designed and written by Laurie 

•^ Spinel li 

!;•:•;! photograph of Marion Drown by 

■^•" Edward Cohen 


Photo by Adger Cowans 

By Carol Barlow and Amy Reichard 

'I see the blues as a metamorphic force in Black life standing for 
thfe amalgam of earlier spiritual music. It was the way Black people 
expressed themselves in a typical way to make allusions and refer- 
ences to their lives and at the same time, maintain a certain spirit- 
ual contact.' 


Classical Blues 


Archie Shepp is a professor in the W.E.B. DuBois Department 
of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts/ 
Amherst where he teaches classes relating to the history and evolu- 
tion of music beginning with its early development in Africa. He 
has expressed his belief in the blues and talent in jazz and is dedi- 
cated to preserving the traditions of Black music. Although associ- 
ated with his exceptional performance on the tenor saxophone, 
Shepp is noted for having a great concern for culture and how dif- 
ferent cultures interact. Through his teaching, the importance of 
maintaining a sense of community within the African-American 
tradition is continually stressed. He fears that this ancestral tradi- 
tion is fading because Blacks are losing what ties them to their cul- 
ture and whites are taking those traditions and using them in a cul- 
ture where they do not belong. 

'The blues is supposed to be our whole metaphoric syndrome. 
From the point of view of music. Blacks are becoming white and 
whites are becoming Blacks. 

Blacks respond to music and do so in a very special way. . . . 
Those who listened were Black and were oriented in a soul medium 
— those who were blues people and those who played it were blues 
people . . . and when we cease to be that, we are white people.' 


Prior to his teaching, Shepp toured Europe with the intent of 
introducing an element of Africanism into his work. In this way, he 
expresses his love and concerns for Africa, where he first played in 
1969. He is considered one of the leaders of a new generation of 
players. His intense solos were filled with a multitude of new 
sounds and unusual ideas which established him as an important 
leader in his own right. 

Shepp recorded several albums which focused on his commit- 
ment to exploring new ground and stressed his involvement with 
the social and political struggles of the 60's. Aware of economic 
and social problems within the country, Shepp felt that we simply 

' . . . something that would put sense into the economic and 
bureaucratic machinery that runs this country. 

That's the key ... a position of power. It always seemed to me 
that Martin LutherKing, Jr. would have made a great President. 
Kennedy — either of them could have helped to move this country a 
step forward. ... I think we need a mixed economy. I started out 
from the point of view of a socialist, but I believe now in mixed 
economy, very strongly. I think mixed economies tend to pre- 
serve some elements of individual freedom. I don't like what I've 

seen in socialist countries — how individual freedoms are manip- 
ulated. I like the idea of a certain amount of personal freedom of 

Freedom to express oneself and the simple recognition of Blacks 
as a major and beneficial part of society was essential to Shepp. He 
saw music, unlike other art forms, as one form of expression where 
Blacks were seen as themselves and were highly regarded. 

'In the area of music, the Negro is himself. He has no master. 
The Negro has no teacher. It's the one area of American art in 
which he has retained a modicum of freedom due to his own intui- 
tion and profound creativity.' 

Shepp's feelings coincide with those of Dr. Martin Luther King, 
Jr. — Blacks are an important aspect of American society and 
deserve such recognition. Professor Shepp believed in King's be- 
liefs; his stress for nonviolence and his political standings. 'I 
remember King's voice, he was not going to back down. That is 
why I supported him, because he was so strong.' 

In question of the celebration of Martin Luther King's birthday 
as a world-wide holiday, Shepp seems more concerned with what 
King stood for and how he left his mark on society. 



'I think it is the day to day world of struggle that we are en- 
dangered of overlooking. Holidays are obscure — they merely give 
the people a chance to make speeches and in our day of media, 
speeches are easily forgotten. It is a question of the educator — the 
meaning of King. 

Racism is the basis of war. Painters can't paint and workers 
can't work because of their color. There is a whole stratification 
about that. The individual is the basic unit of society. If you pre- 
sent the individual with the opportunity to grow, you give society 
the best chance to evolve.' 

— Archie Shepp 

Photo by Adger Cowans 




by Christine A. Moss 

During the Civil Rights struggle of the 
1960's, Dr. Martin Luther King became 
internationally known for his philos- 
ophy of non-violence to win humanitar- 
ian civil rights and justice. 

These extensive efforts earned Dr. 
King the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. 
Although he was slain in 1968, his phO- 
osophies have been kept alive through a 
living memorial, the Mjirtin Luther King 
Center for Nonviolent Social Change. 
The Center officially opened its doors on 
January 15, 1982. This date also marked 
the 53rd anniversary of Dr. King's birth. 
The dedication ceremonies took place in 
the 8.5 million dollar Freedom Hall com- 
plex. This day proved to be a joyous one 
for Mrs. King, her family and friends. 
It marked a dream come true. Fulfill- 
ment of this dream has been facilitated 
under the leadership of Mrs. Coretta 
Scott King who initiated the idea of the 
center in 1968 after her husband's death. 
The center sponsors local and national 
programs and exhibits the most exten- 
sive collection of King memorabilia in 
the world. The center attracts approxi- 
mately 300,000 visitors each year. 

Despite the fact that several financial 
contributions have been made, the 
center's non-profit organization faces a 
decline in support and financial difficul- 
ties. Assistance from the city, state, and 
federal governments are small. The only 
source of steady support comes from the 
income made by the gift shop. Mrs. King 
feels that due to finances, the survival 
of the center is in danger. The state of 
world economy is the major deterrent. 
The importance of the center to the 
King family and the public does, how- 
ever, give hope to the situation. 

The King Center has been designated 
as the only "official" memorial in honor 
of Dr. King by the U.S. Congress. The 
shrine is a multi-faceted operation which 
not only honors one of the foremost 
advocates of human rights and non- 
violence but also sponsors community 
and educational programs for the public 
For example, the Scholars-Internship 
Program brings together college and 
university Students to study an ac- 
credited course in history, philosophy 
and methods of nonviolent activism. The 
city of Atlanta and the rest of the 
country should be proud to possess a 
three-block (23 acres) historic site of 

both exquisite architecture and justified 
purpose, nonviolence and racial equality. 

The children of Dr. and Mrs. King are 
also continuing their fathers' legacies of 
service and leadership. They take an 
active role in management of the center 
as well as conducting involvement in 
outside projects which vocalize their 
fathers' philosophies; one of which is 
accepting speaking engagements. Dr. 
and Mrs. King's eldest daughter, 
Yolanda, is the director of the Cultural 
Affairs Institute at the King Center in 
Atlanta. This goal is also accomplished 
through the artistic talents of Yolanda in 

"Realization of a Dream" — The Freedom Hall Complex of The Marrin Luther King, Jr. 
Center for Nonviolent Social Change is officially opened at a special ribbon-oitting ceremony 
on January 15th, Dr. King's 53rd Birthday Anniversary. Pictured in front of the 
International Conference and Cultural Center are (L-R): Lloyd Davis, Executive Vice 
President of The King Center; Mrs. Jean Young; "Bo" Young; Rev. Joseph Roberts, Pastor of 
Ebenezer Baptist Church; John Cox, Secretary of The King Center; Bemice King; Mrs Coretta 
Scott King, President of The King Center; Mrs. Christine King Farris; Senior Vice President 
and Treasurer of The King Center; and Rev. Otis Moss, member of The King Center's Board 
of Directors. 


The Nonviolent Movement transcends age at The King Center. Here, Dr. Martin 
Luther King, Sr. and Martin Luther King, III (background) greet pupils at The 
King Center's Early Learning Center. 

a theatre company called Nucleus which 
was co-founded by her and Attallah 
Shabazz, the eldest daughter of Malcolm 
X. The two women are currently 
starring in a Nucleus production called 
"Stepping Into Tomorrow". 

Nucleus means the center of positive 
energy. According to the women, the 
company's productions seek to en- 
courage and reinforce high moral stan- 
dards among young people. "Stepping 
Into Tomorrow" has been viewed in 
various high schools, universities, and 
community settings across the country. 
The production is a series of monologues 
which incorporate music, dance, drama, 
and humor. The messages projected 

speak to young people about subjects 
such as teenage pregnancy, high school 
drop-outs, suicide, peer pressure and the 
importance of education. "Stepping Into 
Tomorrow" specifically focuses on the 
struggles of going into adulthood. Its 
lessons can be appreciated by people of 
all ages. The main goal is that the 
production will promote strength in 
character and the kind of determination 
that is going to be necessary for people 
to stand up or even survive in these 
difficult times. 

"Stepping Into Tomorrow" grew out 
of Shabazz's and King's desire to bring 
a positive message to young people with- 
out lecturing to them. Yolanda portrays 

a teenage mother while Attallah chose to 
play the role of a talented yet unfocused 
student. Yolanda feels that we are going 
to have to find a way to live together and 
these ways must be based on justice, 
love and equality. She also tries to 
convey the ideas that her father ex- 
pressed in whatever artistic expression 
she is in. 

So, the legacies and the dream are 
being continued through the Martin 
Luther King Center for Nonviolent 
Social Change as well as through the 
King children. Both are seeking to follow 
in a great and noble mans' lead. These 
are both surely fitting tributes to the 
late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 




Cultural Intercourses 



James Augustus Joseph Van Der Zee was born in Lenox, Massachusetts on 
June 29, 1886 to John and Susan Van Der Zee. During a photographic career 
which spanned three cities, two World Wars, the Great Depression of the 1930's, 
and more than 70 years in Harlem, Van Der Zee captured more of the essence of 
urban Black America than any other photographer. 

Van Der Zee's childhood was spent happily in Lenox where he grew up bask- 
ing in the love of a large adoring family. It was in Lenox that Van Der Zee's 
earliest photographic attempts were made at the age of 14. In addition to his child- 
hood interests in photography. Van Der Zee became an accomplished painter, 
pianist and violinist. 

In 1906 Van Der Zee moved to New York City and during the same year mar- 
ried his first wife, Kate Brown. Two children were born to this union, a daughter, 
Rachel and a son, Emile, both of whom died during their childhood. Van Der Zee 
and Kate moved to Phoebus, Virginia in 1907 where Van Der Zee worked in the 
Hotel Chamberlain and photographed in his spare time. Van Der Zee's neighbors 
in the Tidewater area of Virginia and the teachers and pupils in the nearby 
Whittier Preparatory School comprise one aspect of Van Der Zee's early works. 
The other segment include the intimate family groups and picturesque outdoor 
landscapes Van Der Zee photographed during frequent trips to visit friends and 
relatives in Lenox during 1908 and 1909. 

By 1916 Van Der Zee was practicing photography on a full-time basis. He 
maintained various studio addresses in Harlem at 109 West 135th Street, 2065 
Seventh Avenue, 2077 Seventh Avenue and from 1943-1969 at 272 Lenox Avenue. 
In 1916 Van Der Zee married his second wife, Gaynella Greenlee, with whom he 
had a long and happy marriage and business partnership until her death in 1976. 

The most prolific period of Van Der Zee's photographic career occurred dur- 
ing the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920's through the 1940's. Most of the Black 
celebrities who lived in New York or traveled there during the 20's, 30's and 40's 
patronized Van Der Zee's studio. One of Van Der Zee's most celebrated clients of 

Photo by C. Simps 





Gordon Parks 
and P. H. Polk 
with J. A. 
Van Der Zee 

Pholo by C. Simpson 

the 1920' s was the Pan Africanist leader, Mzircus Garvey, for whom Van Der Zee 
served as official photographer. Other celebrated patrons included Florence Mills, 
Hazel Scott, Countee Cullen, Jack Johnson, Harry WUls, the Mills Brothers, Kid 
Charles, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Adam Clayton Powell Sr., and Jr., Blanche 
Powell, Father Divine, Daddy Grace, Madame C.J. Walker and others. Joining 
the famous among Van Der Zee's clients were thousands of less-celebrated persons, 
from all races, whose portraits were afforded the same careful attention as those of 
celebrities. Van Der Zee's photographs embrace every aspect of life in Harlem cap- 
tured through the lens of a resident photographer who loved this area as intimately 
as a native son. 

Van Der Zee was a universal man and was gifted with a personality which was 
as unique as his artistic endeavors. Gentle, loving, sensitive, generous and caring 
as much as was humanly possible. Van Der Zee was an incurable romantic who 
saw beauty in everything and always viewed the world through rose-colored 

Public recognition for Van Der Zee came only neju- the end of his career when 
he was the major photographic contributor to the highly-publicized "Harlem on 
My Mind" exhibition held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1969. Following 
this exposure, honors were bestowed upon Van Der Zee in rapid succession, in- 
cluding invitations to the White House, numerous awards, citations, speaking 
engagements, keys to several cities, four honorary doctorates and was the subject of 
four books. 

In 1978 Van Der Zee married his third wife. Donna Mussenden, who survives 
him and must be credited with the positive image Van Der Zee projected so suc- 
cessfully during the past several years and for the renaissance of his career in 1980 
when he resumed photographing. Van Der Zee's return to the camera during the 
final three years of his life represented a new period of happiness for this aged yet 
vital genius who always seemed to be at his very best behind the lens of his camera. 
During Van Der Zee's renaissance df the 1980's he photographed such luminaries 
as Lou Rawls, Bill Cosby, Muhammed Ali, Eubie Blake and Romare Bearden. 
For Van Der Zee, photography was a true labor of love. 

In addition to his devoted wife. Donna, Van Der Zee is survived by a nephew, 
cousins, several generations of photographers for whom he and his works serve as a 
constant source of inspiration, and an entire nation of friends and admirers who 
mourn the loss of one of America's most eminent artists. 


Visual Artist 


''Soweto" struggle so we too struggle 









by Frank Oglesby 

"Can whites report and present news 
in a manner that is fair to Blacks? Per- 
haps, but I ask: would a white person 
accept a reverse situation where the 
news was ninety percent controlled by 
persons of color? Of course not! And 
whites would be justified!" 1 

In the eye of the public, the most 
noticeable Blacks on the national level 
are Ed Bradley and Max Robinson. 
Despite the constant exposure of nightly 
newscasts, few on-air people have much 
control over the final show. A high- 
powered anchor person like Max Robin- 
son can say "this is a good story, let's 
cover it". Producers also have the option 
of coming up with story ideas and 
getting them covered. However, it is the 
executive producers who make the daily 
line up and deletions. The small number 
of Blacks who work behind the cameras 
regard these jobs as a way to shape the 
final product that goes on the air. In- 
fluence is what makes producers, pro- 
gram directors, and new directors such 
powerful figures in television. "If you 
only have a few minutes and there is a 
lot of news, editorial judgement is im- 
portant because the audience sees what 
has been determined, editorially," says 
Cindy Walker, Program Manager at 
WBBM, a CBS owned and operated 
station in Chicago. 

When asked about hiring practices, 
Adrienne Baughns of CBS affiliate 
WFSB Channel 3 in Hartford, Connecti- 
cut, revealed that on the local news 
level, her station produced the first 
female general sales manager in her 
market, Nancy Boyer who is now ABC 
spot sales director in New York. Ed 
Jones, now in Washington, D.C., was the 
first Black program manager in the mar- 

ket, and Bob Warfield, now the number 
two man with a CBS affiliate in Detroit, 
was the first Black business manager. 
The people who came through WFSB in 
Hartford made their mark and continued 
on-which is the nature of the industry. 
Baughns has been with WFSB for the 
past eight years, which is an unusually 
long tenure. Her reason for staying is 
she feels secure and does not want to go 
from city to city chasing a network job. 

In order to work at a major market 
station in a management position, you 
really need to have managerial experi- 
ence. Television is an industry where 
connections are important and jobs in 
the upper tiers tend to go to people with 
ten to fifteen years in the business. 
Because Blacks are just approaching this 
level of seniority, they are pretty much 
still caught up in the "cath-22" predica- 
ment—no job without experience. The 
normal sequence people take to get to 
the top has not worked well for Blacks. 
According to Bob Reid, executive pro- 
ducer at Los Angeles' KNXT, "a smaller 
station may be least likely to hire a 
minority as a news director or any other 
top job, so there are fewer places to gain 
experience." Even if Blacks do manage 
to get in, their chances of moving up in 
the field depend largely upon things 
that are not within their control. "A 
Black person of average skill or level 
of accomplishment is not likely to ad- 
vance to management. If you look at 
management in general, you will find 
that most whites in management are not 
super in terms of their skills and 
abilities. Although it may be acceptable 
for them to be average, it isn't for us," 
says Reid. 

This is a case in which Blacks must try 
harder to be recognized and rewarded 
for good work. Liz Walker of NBC affili- 
ate WBZ TV 4 in Boston said, Overall, 

the number of Blacks broadcasting news 
isn't increasing and, in fact, it may be 
going down. A lot of community and fed- 
eral pressure to hire Blacks is off. There- 
fore, fewer attempts are made to find 
qualified Black people. I don't think it's 
heavy duty racism — it's more like benign 
neglect. I felt that I had to give one 
hundred fifty-five percent, not one hun- 
dred percent, to come up to other 
people's standards." 

Adrienne Baughns discusses why self- 
determination in the media for Blacks is 
essential for stability and clout. 

"We need to start working for our- 
selves. If we see ourselves working for 
someone else, we can not move as 
readily in the direction of self-reliance 
and the independence we need. If ratings 
drop, so can we. Competence might be 
unimportant because you might be 
working under some other variable such 
as your aesthetic beauty. When you give 
me Black news directors, assistance 
news directors, and executive pro- 
ducers, then you will see some changes. 
But if you're looking for the ones who 
look good on the front or are reporters 
doing the number, then they have to go 
with what they're given. They are not 
making the significant decisions. That is 
why when we talk about community, we 
have to think in decision-making terms." 

A very important service that WFSB 
has is the grievance system used when 
employees think that an injustice has 
been done. Baughns filed a grievance 
when a white reporter covered two 
murders. A Black woman was stabbed 
forty times in a Connecticut hotel. She 
was an alleged prostitute and was 
probably killed by a pimp. The other 
murder was a white suburban house- 
wife killed for burglary. In the projec- 
tion of that story in comparison to the 




murder of the housewife, the Black 
woman's life was made to appear much 
less and unworthy. Baughns complained 
about the reporter, and the white news 
director agreed with her fully. What 
really helped stressed Adrienne, was the 
uproar of the community. They were 
calling to voice the disparity between 
the way the two deaths were covered. It 
was as if to say Wait a minute, we will 
be heard." Adrienne g^ves evidence that 
reporters do not have to go out of their 
way to show bias in their reporting. 
Personal bias generally permeates, but 
we are not obligated to perpetuate 

Reporters are biased in terms of their 
experience. We keep perpetuating 
stereotypes out of negligence and habit. 
If we're doing an economic story, why 
can we not use a Black economist from 
Yale? In the fact that the producer has 
not even considered this, does it mean 
that Blacks cannot be experts? Why are 
Black schools always covered in a nega- 
tive light, and when we want to show 
something good in school systems, we go 
to white suburbs? They (producers) have 
to go out of their way to look for a Black 
author and read press clippings to find 
someone who knows what is going on 
positive in the Black community. The 
whole world's existence makes it too 
easy to perpetuate the stereotype, but 
does the Black community complain, call 
up, etc.?" 

The biggest problem of Blacks in the 
newsroom seems not to be getting Black 
stories on the air, but including Blacks 
in these stories which are neutral or 
which are not necessarily about Blacks. 
Bob Reid of KNXT says that if we could 
succeed in getting people to think in 
terms of a pluralistic society and not 
just the typical "all American" family 
who just happens to be white, to illus- 

trate every point. The effect of this isola- 
tionist coverage is that, most coverage 
we see of Blacks seems to be negative. 
To avoid this, Reid says he would like to 
see a broad spectrum of people who 
would be included in stories on how 
people are coping with inflation or the 
energy crisis, for example. Reid and 
Baughns share a commonality in terms 
of their perceptions of what's happening 
and what needs to take place in order for 
Blacks to attain fair representation in 
the news. 

In Detroit where there is a large Black 
population, station WDIV assistant news 
director Bob Warfield says it would be 
"foolish and unprofessional" not to have 
a Black perspective on daily news cover- 
age. "Television is a mind-control game. 
If we are going to avoid the kinds of 
misconceptions that have held Blacks 
back for two hundred years, then televi- 
sion programming, and news in particu- 
lar, are places where Black perspectives 
have to be." 

An interesting insight can be gained 
through a Black man whose forum we 
have not touched upon yet. Gil Noble is 
a television journalist who works in 
New York with his own public affairs 
program. Like It Is, and who also has 
worked for WABC in New York. Noble 
recently wrote a book about his experi- 
ences in television and public affairs 
called Black Is The Color Of My Tele- 
vision Tube. Among other things Noble 
discusses, is the special commission that 
was appointed by President Johnson to 
deal with the cause of riots. (The answer 
rendered by the committee and in one 
section devoted to mass media, they 
noted that the Black presence in the 
media was almost non-existent.) Noble 
added that the mass media had been 
"caught with their zippers down". Red- 
faced executives scurried about seeking 

Blacks for on-air and other job cate- 
gories. Black stations and newspapers 
were literally gleened of all interested 
personnel. Interestingly, the stations, 
when asked if they felt pressure to hire 
minorities, they would retort "we're 
an equal opportunity employer". 

In the '60's, stations attempted to ap- 
pease the Black community, putting 
Blacks in front of the camera, when their 
knowledge of television operations in- 
creased. Blacks began craving for the 
decision-making positions. If experience 
goes a long way in procuring key 
positions in television news. Blacks who 
are relative newcomers are at a dis- 
advantage and more sophisticated strat- 
egies have to be developed. "Whites who 
have these jobs_ have been in the 
business for twenty years or more. Af- 
firmative action is fine, but the networks 
aren't going to get someone who has 
arrived in the business recently and 
make him vice-president," says Marquita 
Pool, an associate producer with the 
CBS Evening News. 

In conclusion, of all the opinions ex- 
pressed, only Liz Walker's did not have 
anything encouraging to say about the 
future of Blacks in the news media. 
Walker's station, WBZ-4 Boston (NBC), 
has a history of mistreating personnel 
and interns, so there is a small wonder 
why she might not have nice things to 
say about her oppressive situation. Men 
and women in television news state that 
we can not cry racism whenever some- 
thing does or does not happen. Blacks 
must strive to attain the key positions 
and it will take time. Gradually, change 
is becoming more substantial and ade- 
quate representation wUl soon be the 
norm. With Black experts in the field, 
aspirants know the direction in which to 
head in order to best take advantage of 











Nimba 36 V2" Earthenware 




By Frank Oglesby 

The Chicago Mayoral campaign was 
one of the ugliest in recent memory. 
Rep. Harold Washington, a black man, 
won the democratic nomination over 
incumbent Jane Byrne and Richard M. 
Daley, the Cook County State's attorney 
and son of the late Chicago Mayor. In- 
itially after the nomination Byrne 
pledged her support to Washington. 
Upon finding that there was a rift be- 
tween those wanting Washingfton and 
those voting for the Republican nominee 
Bernard Epton, Byrne attempted to 
garner write-in bids. She was persuaded 
not to and she realigned herself with 
Washington and unified the Democrats. 

The Republican nominee Epton is a 
millionaire and undistinguished former 
state legislator. Epton attempted to play 
the role of the lesser of two evils in this 
election. Although the city of Chicago 
has been a stronghold for the Democrat- 
ic Party for 56 years, the Republican 
Epton was almost the right man at the 
right time to turn the tables. The divis- 
iveness of the election dealt with the 
race of Harold Washington. The city was 
racially polarized practically upon the 
nomination of Washington. A large 
number of powerful Democratic ward 
bosses defected to Epton because they 
were upset by Washington's vow to end 
the Democratic machines patronage 
system. Epton promised he'd be a 
reform Mayor but wouldn't abolish 
patronage. With this polarization it is 
clear to see how bigotry entered into the 
race. Washington was criticized for his 
primary election appeal to blacks "It's 
our turn" he repeatedly said. Meanwhile 
Epton was criticized for his slogan 
"Epton for Mayor . . . before it's too 
late". Critics, Washington included, said 

that was an appeal to the racial fears of 
whites in what has come to be regarded 
as the country's most segregated big 

Epton's ground gaining argument 
dealt with Washington's history of 
financial irresponsibility. In 1972 he 
pleaded no contest to charges of failing 
to fOe federal income tax returns for 
four years and spent 36 days in jail. He 
was suspended from legal practice for 
five years for failing to render services 
after payment. Other problems included 
property tax and unpaid utility bills. As 
if his criminal record was not enough, 
Washington withstood some heavy 
handed racist artillery. At one rally in 
a formerly strong Democratic neighbor- 
hood, ex-Democrats sernaded Epton 
with a campaign ditty to the melody of 
Bye-Bye Blackbird. There were also 
campaign buttons. One shows a water- 
melon with a black slash through it. 
Some are simply all white and some of 
the T shirts said VOTE RIGHT VOTE 

It was unusual that John Deardourff, 
Epton's strategist and Pat Caddell who 
is Washington's appealed so bluntly to 
race consciousness to buUd up the turn- 
out for their candidates. This was such 
a heated issue that the two publicly and 
angrily debated over campaign ethics. 
This emphasized the degree to which 
strategists have become combatants 
rather than combat advisors in modern 
campaigns. It is important to note that 
there are no specific guidelines as to 
what's acceptable political behavior. The 
press covered each and every slur hurled 
but had no reference point or grid to 
consult in judging the epithets. 

The election came down to old patron- 

age politics as usual as supported by 
Epton vs. Washington's proposed end to 
the exclusionary patronage system and 
in effect a re-structuring of power and 
those benefiting from it. In order to win 
Washington had to secure at least 15% 
of the white vote and virtually all of the 
black vote, which makes up 40% of the 
city. In order to get more of the white 
vote Washington added more visits to 
white areas and addressed more issues 
of interest to liberal whites, such as 
feminist matters and political reform. 
Controversially blunt television ads jux- 
taposing photos of the KKK, Rev. King, 
and John F. Kennedy and a Chicago 
crowd screaming at Washington outside 
a church were designed to force many 
voters to face bigoted voting decisions 
they'd made. 

Washington won 51% of the total vote 
whle accumulating 18% of the white 
vote and an incredible 99% of the black 
vote. The almost maximum effort ex- 
hibited by the black vote is seen as in- 

"Washington's victory was 
looked upon as a shift in power 
from white wards, which have 
dominated the city politically, 
socially, and economically for 
decades, towards home for blacks 
and hispanics. Many of whom had 
felt powerless before Tuesdays 
election." 1 

Many share in this analysis. "We have 
broken the yoke of oppression," said 
Raymond Drew, Washington's campaign 
manager. 'Can you believe it we've 
won'. 2 He viewed the victory as history 
in the making because Drew saw it as 
the first of several upcoming efforts by 
blacks to overthrow a political structure 




they saw as unfair and uncaring. Drew 


"Up to now, ours (blacks) has 
largely been a protest vote, when 
we get mad at being ignored or 
taken advantage of. Now we have 
a Mayor who will be fair to all". 3 

This feeling was also shared by people of 
the city. Deborra Roller, a student at 
Chicago State University, said 'This is 
historic. He is the first black man elected 
Mayor in the most racist city in the 
country. He will truly work to heal the 
city'. 4 

At his acceptance speech Washington 

"We have finished our course 
and kept the faith. Today, Chica- 
go has seen a bright day break for 
the city and perhaps the whole 
country. Hispanics, blacks, Jews 
and gentUes, protestants of all 
stripes have joined me in forming 
a new Democratic coalition. We 
will rebuild the city and open it's 
doors. I did nothing in the course 
of this campaign that will make it 
hard for me to govern on the 
course you have set". 5 

Washington left no stone unturned in 
his pledge of loyalty to those under his 
rule. He told them that what they voted 
for is what they will get since he doesn't 
plan to deviate from the platform that 
got him elected. 

The national ramifications for the 
Washington vicotory are many. The 
Democratic party survived a lapse in 
tradition with many crossing over to 
vote Republican. Epton's loss cost the 
Republicans a chance to install Republi- 

can officials in positions where they 
could monitor the voting count. They be- 
lieve that voting irregularities have 
made it difficult for the party to carry 
Illinois in the Presidential elections. It 
is most important to note that though 
unable to deliver the white vote for 
Washingfton, the Democratic National 
Committee gave Washington more 
money and campaign support than any 
Mayoral candidate has ever received. 
Committee officials also dispatched the 
party's Presidential candidates in a 
display of soUdarity aimed more at 
national black leaders than at the 
racially polarized Chicago electorate. An 
interesting element in the race is that 
Republican leaders in Washington kept 
Epton at arms length because "they 
didn't want blacks to think that Repub- 
licans would go to any lengths to defeat 
a minority candidate". 6 In fact the 
White House wasn't particularly upset 
with the loss. This is a time which 
Reagan wants better rapport with 
blacks and Epton's loss removed a 
Republican who was accused of using 
racial appeals. 

Howell Raines of the N.Y. Times also 
reports that "Now it appears that these 
efforts plus the 18% white vote that 
provided the victory margin may be 
enough to drain the emotional energy 
from the drive for a black Presidential 
candidate". 7 Such black leaders as 
Mayors Tom Bradley of LA and Andrew 
Young of Atlanta have turned away from 
the idea. Despite pessimism in terms of 
a black Presidential candidate, there are 
many in the political arena both national- 
ly and locally who feel that the Chicago 
election is the harbinger of a new day in 

Some people feel that control in the 
cities has been shifting steadily in the 
past decade as white majorities drift to 
the suburbs, where political organization 
is more lax and interests more divided. 
As a result political power is left to the 
minorities who stay behind. State Rep- 
resentative Raymond A. Jordan, (D) 
Springfield, the only black state legisla- 
tor from Western Massachusetts said 
that Washington's victory shows what 
can happen when blacks participate in 
the process. "People are beginning to see 
that if you can get out and turn out your 
vote impossible dreams can happen. It 
makes elected officials take notice that 
the minority vote is something they 
should pay attention to". 8 Jordan said 
that in Chicago Washington made a de- 
cision to 'play to his strength', the black 

vote rather than seeking large amounts 
of white votes. However, he said he is 
confident Washington will reach the 
entire city. As for the national political 
scene Jordan said "It says we're not 
going to be satisfied with the need to 
strive for our goals. We're saying we 
insist on being a vibrant force in the 
Democratic party, and I think the Demo- 
cratic Presidential candidates are going 
to be cognizant of that." 9 

The impact of Harold Washington's 
victory in Chicago is easily identified 
with in Boston where the possibility of a 
repeat performance is not out of the 
question because of the black candidate 
Mel King. It is interesting to see some 
of the initial reactions that the Boston 
Mayoral candidates had to the Chicago 
results: Mell King, "People of color in 
this city will be buoyed by the success 
they saw in Chicago". City Councillor 
Flynn, "It was a repudiation of machine 
politics by a grassroots effort. Washing- 
ton overcame an incumbent, a machine 
and millions spent against him." Larry 
DiCara, "The swing vote in Chicago was 
the upscale white liberal vote. That will 
be the swing vote here too, and our 
polling shows they're mostly undecided". 
David J. Finnegan, "I think Boston's 
election will be decided on wider creden- 
tials than race". Dennis Kearney, 
"Boston is a different city . . . Mel 
King isn't as moderate a candidate as 
Washington". Robprt Kiley, "Boston and 
Chicago are extraordinarily different 
cities". Mayor Kevin White, "It's a real 
victory for Washington . . . Chicago is 
a great city". 10 It has been said that 
White wUl some day run for President. 
He displayed diplomacy befitting a 
President with his quote. While ac- 
knowledging the fact that it was a great 
victory. White appeased Washington 
detractors with accolades. AH of the 
Boston candidates know what could 
happen in the city if the total minority 
vote as well as the usual average of 20% 
white vote in the northern states for 
black Mayoral candidates were to vote 
black. King would be Mayor. Most of 
the white Mayoral hopefuls are banking 
on an apathetic minority turnout as in 
the past. Due to the events in Chi- 
cago such a turnout is in jeopardy. 
Blacks are feeling new clout after 
the Chicago win. "Republicans ac- 
knowledged that the victory of a Black 
candidate m the nation's second largest 
city, long a stronghold of white ethnic 
political power, will enhance black politi- 
cal influence across the country next 
year". 11 Despite this valuable acquisi- 

Continued on page 50 




— Sculptor — 

Ibeji 34 " Terra-cotta 1982 




Song of Isis 1983 

Nelson Stevens, internationally recog- 
nized artist, has held since 1972 a position 
of professor of art within the W.E.B. 
Dubois Department of Afro-American 
Studies. His art has been shown throughout 
the United States, throughout the Carib- 
bean and West Africa. In the May, 1977 
Drum Magazine his "Springfield Mural," 
a work of urban art, was featured. Pro- 
fessor Stevens was singularly honored 
when he was commissioned by Tuskegee 
to create in paint the "Tuskegee Vision." 
Most recently Mr. Stevens has shown 20 
new canvasses in his Martin Luther King, 
Jr. and Stevie Wonder shows. 


tion, Democrats have voiced private 
fears that the proposed Presidential 
candidacy of a black would disrupt the 
Democratic primaries and would serve 
to weaken the party's chances to retake 
the White House. The most likely black 
presidential candidate would be Rev. 
Jesse Jackson. Through his behind the 
scenes organizing of black voter regis- 
tration drives, Jackson helped Harold 
Washington win Chicago's Democratic 
Mayoral nomination. He is not looked 
upon as a black leader because he has not 
used his charismatic personality for any 
lasting good works. As a consequence 
of Jackson's apparent shallowness he is 
seen as something of a liability. Both 
Washington and Wilson Goode, the fa- 
vorite to be come Philadelphia's first 
black Mayor, kept him at arms length 
from their campaigns. In spite of his 
"persona non grata" status, Jackson is 
traveUing the country as if he's a Presi- 
dential candidate with a message. In 
explaining why blacks must exploit their 
new found political clout. Rev. Jackson 
said "We have an investment in the 
Democratic Party and now we must 
demand dividends". Other charismatic 
quotes were, "We have a membership 
but no proprietorship in the Democratic 
Party" and "We've got to seize the spirit 
of the moment". 12 

This is the kind of talk that upsets 
the managers of the current front runner 
Walter Mondale, who is very popular 
with black voters. A black Presidential 
candidate would ciphon much of that 
support. Mondale would suffer in the 
southern states that hold Primaries or 
have caucuses if a black rival were on the 
ballot. This is why black Democratic 
leader Joseph Reed of Alabama says the 

proposal of a black candidate must be 
weighed carefully to see "to what extent 
a black candidate might hurt a white 
who is sensitive to black needs". 13 

Some black leaders think that because 
blacks might elect a hefty amount of 
delegates in 1984 and that if the 
candidate ran strongly in certain key 
states, blacks would have some strong 
hold over the nomination. It is important 
to note the much higher chance that 
things won't work out so smoothly and 
a black Presidential candidacy could end 
up to be a national embarrassment. 
Mayor Young of Atlanta would rather 
see blacks inside of all the camps of 
the Democratic contenders responsive 
to black issues, so they can exert in- 
fluence on the campaign and the victor's 
subsequent administration. Young feels 
that blacks need a consensus candidate 
who brings together all the divergent 
streams of the party to beat Ronald 
Reagan. This could be a tall order to fill. 

In conclusion, it is very impressive to 
behold all that may transpire as a result 
of the Chicago election and the elements 
that catalyzed the outcome. Some of the 
elements were evolutionary, such as 
whites slowly leaving urban areas and in 
effect abandoning political power to 
minorities who stay. While other ele- 
ments such as the 18% white vote gar- 
nered by Washington weren't really so 
extraordinary in comparison to the 
average for northern cities. A crucial 
element in which black political life 
hangs in the balance is the black vote. 
This election with its almost total 
minority voter turnout is looked upon 
as revolutionary, historic, but most 
importantly as the shape of things to 

come. Races all over this nation will un- 
doubtedly be influenced by what hap- 
pened in Chicago. The minority vote, 
when used to its potential, is a self- 
determining and effective instrument for 
political change. The press did not be- 
little this point, in fact they seemed to 
marvel at the sight of these masses 
unifying in Chicago to "break the yoke 
of oppression". It will be interesting to 
view the posturing that many white 
politicians will be forced into if in fact 
that sleeping giant, the minority vote, 
is risen and active. Time wUl tell if 
minority consciousness was raised or 
merely stirred. Whatever happens the 
Chicago Mayoral election has made its 
mark nationally. 

1. Nathaniel Sheppard, Jr., "Victor's 
Backers See Shift in Power", N.Y. 
Times, April 14, 1983, p. B 15. 

2. Ibid, p. B 15. 

3. op. cit. 

4. op. cit. 

5. op. cit. 

6. Howell Raines, Effects of Chicago 
Race, N.Y. Times, April 14, 1983, 
p. B 15. 

7. Ibid., B 15. 

8. Glen Briere, Don McLeod. The 
Morning Union, April 14, 1983, p. 1. 

9. op. cit., p. 1. 

10. David Nyhan, "Blacks Feel New 

Clout", Boston Globe, April 17, 1983 

11. A.P., "Chicago Loser Snubs Talk", 
Boston Herald, April 14, 1983, p. 4. 

12. Ibid., p. 24. 

13. op. cit. 



From a shaded view of bodies 

A bright eyed baby lights a scene 

A mom pray s pray er 

While others bathe in stream 

A man defies death in shadowed stanz 

A woman holds life in the palm of hands 

Strength in weakness, Weakness in strength 
Danger in play, Play in danger 
Still life of lifeless living 

Torso immersed in water 

Cooling out woman smiles in toned sun ablazed 

Mother's make-shift stove fire a child's gaze 

Child on hip, kettle in hand, on head a large filled pan 

Play time, cleaning time, canoeing time in the water 

Prayer time, cooking time, all time by the river 
Veiled woman laced in gold 
Prideful child in cultured robe 

Essence, life, light, darkness 
Spirits, water, beauty, abundance 
Sharp shadow on full body 
Breeding harmony in timeless Surinam 

Cowan 's love weaves balance round 

sunlit river embraces shaded silhouettes in sound 

-Earlean Knox 



By Beth Marie Robinson 

Eubie Blake was an internationally 
renown Black genius of the theater and 
music world. Blake accomplished excel- 
lence as a composer, pianist, arranger, 
and entertainer. His musical composi- 
tions range from rags, blues, and baUads 
to classics and Broadway scores which 
are estimated at more than one thousand. 
He was notorious for his diversified 
styles in which intricate and complex 
musical concepts had evolved into 
Eubie's own unique style, "Blake-ism." 

Blake was a walking archive. As far 
back as 1920, Blake possessed an exten- 
sive collection of early blues and spiritual 
piano rolls. His style was often laced 
with the favorite tricks of other legend- 
ary players, like Bayview, Kitchen Tom, 
Jesse Pickett, One-Leg WiUie Joseph, 
and Jack the Bear. 


Throughout his career, Blake had 
always set a precedent for Black enter- 
tainers "in demanding acceptance and 
equality in the American theater and 
entertainment industry." 1 

Born James Hubert Blake, Eubie came 
into this world on February 7, 1883 and 
left us on February 12, 1983, one 
hundred years and five days later. Try to 
imagine what this man saw and went 
through in a century of seeing the world 
grow and change. Blake evolved with the 
phonograph, silent and sound pictures, 
the radio, and the television. 

Blake was the only child of John and 
Emily Blake who were freed slaves 
living in Baltimore, Maryland. Blake's 
musical interests started when he was 
about four or five years old. As recalled 
by Blake in his biography by Al Rose: 

I was shopping with my mother 
in the market at night and I must 
have got away from her. I wan- 
dered across the viride street and I 
found a music store. I climbed up 
on the bench of an organ and 
fooled around with it until it made 
a noise. 2 

A noise he did make, and from that 
point on Eubie Blake did not stop pump- 
ing away at his seventy dollar organ 
that his parents were making weekly 
payments on. Blake's early organ play- 
ing days were basically religious in 
nature, but soon he discovered the hot 
sounds of piano players' music floating 
out of the downtown brothels. This 
rhythmic sound Blake was soon to learn 
and be a convert to was called ragtime 
or what his religious mother referred to 
so vehemently as the "devil's music." 
She refused to let him play any ragtime 
in her home. His father, on the other 
hand, had encouraged Blake in his musi- 
cal endeavor by taking him to burlesque 
shows every Saturday insisting that 
young Blake listen intently and learn 
the music and songs. By the age of thir- 
teen Blake had not only mastered the 
keyboard, but he also learned to be an 
expert buckdancer often practicing on 
drainage covers in the streets. Yet Blake 
always knew from the night in the music 
store that his life would be committed to 

Blake's first job in the music profes- 
sion started when he was fifteen. He 
played in Aggie Shelton's "five-dollar 
house" for three dollars a night plus tips. 
These "bordellos" or "bookshops" as 
Blake called them, were places where 
legendaries such as Jesse Pickett and 
Jack the Bear would play their rags. 
Blake would sneak-out at night, rent a 
pair of stylish pants at a local pool hall 
for a quarter and be on his way to 
Aggie's playing until dawn. Eubie's 
nightly wages and tips contributed to his 
families income considerably and, "kept 
his father in whiskey and cigarettes until 
the old man died." 3 Al Rose best recaps 
Blake's younger days; "Eubie played out 
the century happily coaxing a new music 
out of any piano he could reach. And 
he prospered in his modest way, really 
spectacular for a barely grown colored 
kid in that day and age and looked to the 
day — and he just knew it had to come — 
when the whole world would sing his 
songs." 4 Continued on page 53 





'It is 

the task of all artists to provide the food that nourishes and sustains the spirit'' 

Man Looking At Someone '82 

Evelyn Patricia Terry is a resident of 
Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She earned a 
B.F.A. degree from the University of 
Wisconsin's visual arts program in 1970. 
She earned a Masters degree also from 
the University of Wisconsin's School of 
Fine Arts in 1973. 

Ms. Terry is an up and coming artist 
with both flair and sensitivity. Her a- 
wards include the "Celebration of 
Community Arts Fesitval" first place 
graphics award,1981; and, the "Arts and 
Crafts Society" Best of the Show award 
in Tallahassee, Florida, 1976. 

"It is necessary to feed ourselves with 
the food made from the positive aspects 
of our lifestyles and the creative ener- 
gies of our people, so that we wiU be full 
of good food and wiU then know that we 
control our lives, and, know once and 
for all, that we control our communi- 

Three Cherries With Haitian Doll '82 
26 X 3OV4 pastel 


Solo Exhibits 

Martin Luther King Library, Milwaukee, 
Wisconsin; 1982, 

Wisconsin; 1982 

Bradley Galleries, Milwaukee, Wiscon- 
sin; 1982 
Concordia College Fine Arts Galleries, 
Concordia College, Milwaukee, 
Wisconsin; 1982 

North Florida Junior College Art Gal- 
lery, Madison, Florida; 1976 
Union Art Gallery, "Five Black Artists", 
Milwaukee, Wisconsin;1973 and "Black 
Artists in Wisconsin"; 1972 

Continued from page 51 

During the summers of his early to 
mid-twenties, Blake spent his time in 
Atlantic City and on the New Jersey 
shores working in nightclubs banging 
away at the keyboards. Blake's "creativ- 
ity bloomed" and he wrote many great 
rags such as; "The Baltimore Todolo", 
"Kitchen Tom", "Britwood Rags", and 
"Tricky Fingers". Blake's intricate and 
involved musical concepts evolved tre- 
mendously during this period. His popu- 
larity had grown to such an extent that 
the musicians outnumbered the cus- 
tomers around his piano. 

Blake met Noble Sissle in 1915. This 
pair of phenominal entertainers, Blake 
as pianist and Sissle as singer, would 
show the world for the first time that 
Blacks could succeed in show business 
playing to white audiences without 
burnt cork make-up. With their awe- 
some talents and artistic efforts they 
collaborated on music and lyrics for their 
financially successful Broadway produc- 
tion, "Shuffle Along". Their success 
opened Broadway to Black songwriters, 
dancers, and entertainers and kept them 
working on a higher level than they had 
experienced before. "Shuffle Along" was 
the first all Black musical production to 
appear on Broadway. "It was not only 
successful in billing and the right to per- 
form in other than racially stereotyped 
roles but, also in payment according to 
the white artist." 5 With many hit 
songs, "Shuffle Along" was character- 
ized as a "record breaking, epoch making 
musical comedy." 6 

After "Shuffle Along" came other suc- 
cessful all Black musicals from the pair. 
"Chocolate Dandies", "Runnin' Wild", 
"Hot Chocolates", "Brown Buddies", and 
"Blackbirds". These were the majority 
which were received enthusiastically by 
critics. Soon the dynamic pair were off 
to Europe to show the world their fan- 
tastic talents. 

Blake and Sissle were coUaberated 
until 1926. They were briefly united 
again in 1932 and again in 1951, when 
Truman's campaign use of "I'm Just 
Wild About Harry", among other things, 
sparked a revival of "Shuffle Along". 

In 1946, after a successful career, 
Blake decided to retire at the age of 63. 
He entered New York University to 
study the difficult Schillinger system of 
composition. In June of 1950, he gradu- 
ated with a degree in music. 

During the 1960's and 70's there was 
a resurgence of ragtime revival and 
Blake was a celebrity all over again. 
Being the walking legend that he was, 
he was seen by millions on television 
shows and appreciated by thousands on 
stage. He revived his career that peaked 
again with the hit Broadway musical, 
"Eubie", which contained over 23 songs 
of Blake's music from previous produc- 
tions. The show ran for over 13 months. 

Blake was esteemed with multiple 
doctorates in music from various pres- 
tigious institutes such as, Dartmouth, 
Rutgers, and The New England Con- 
servatory of Music. 

Blake deplores the fact that true rag- 
time has become a white monoply 
because the Black artists have turned 
their backs on it. He speaks with admira- 
tion of those who have carried forth the 

On his 100th birthday, he was nation- 
ally honored by millions of people. The 
President sent cong^ratulations, the 
State of New York saluted him, and a 
host of theater parties and music 
tributes across the country were held in 
his honor. One can only admire and 
respect this phenomenal man who lived 
to see his birthday of a century. It is 

an amazing feat just to live to be one 
hundred, let alone accompUsh and 
achieve such excellence as did Blake. 

He was a strong-willed, totally func- 
tional, clear-headed, piano-playing man 
up until his last days. He is a true inspir- 
ation to young musicians of today. Blake 
once said of his age that "If I'd known 
that I was gonna live this long, I'd taken 
better care of myself." 

The magical, piano string breaking 
fingers of Eubie Blake will be remem- 
bered as a legend to the world. Singer 
Joe Williams puts it in a nutshell: 
"Eubie's career is beauty, excitement, 
whimsy, poignancy. This music will live 
forever. It is his legacy. His music 
crosses all lines, speaks all languages. 
Eubie always has been and always will 
be a superstar before the word was 
invented." 7 

EUBIE BLAKE Footnotes 

1. Al Rose, Eubie Blake (New York: 
Srhirmer Books, 1979), preface XIII. 

2. Ibid., p. 11 

3. Ibid., p. 14. 

4. Ibid., p. 27. 

5. Ibid., p. 67. 

6. Ibid., p. 75. 

7. Ibid., preface XIII. 

Artwork by NEAL PERKINS 


one by one 

shadows of a train 

done stole her sons 

pulverized spirits 

waiting in the fold 

consecrated fables 

bartered for gold 

cantillat ing crick et s 

all died by the mourning dawn 

and now she weeps 

for the drum in the song 

so little sista ' who you be 

and where'd you get that dream 

that 'spose to set you free 

looking in the west 

of Lucifer's hold 

grey dreams twistin in yo ' soul 

and the dream ain 't never Black 

no White 

never any colors like 

blood water fire 

or a son 

because the dream is a lie 

and the train is the dream 

and the wheels of life 

don 't turn for what it seems 

because the real dream 

came too late 

so those consecrated fables 

gonna have to wait 

ain 't no drums in the song 

ain 't no drums in the song 

just trains of dreams 

on tracks of lies 

slipping down 

sucking up 

the grey ticket stubs 

that grant passage for 

a grey journey 

to take you some 


up into the split second moments 

that cry 

the drums are still not here 

blue solace and twice answered prayers 

do not exist 

but it fits 

so you take it 

you dance to it 

you get high on it 

cause it fits 

and you roll in it 

you roll in it 

you rolllllllll in it 

until there are blisters on your soul 

till 'yo belly aches and cries 

can't take no more 

where are the colors 

where are the brothers 

where are the drums 

in our song 

March 1983 

© 1983 Barbara Dayle Holeman 




An Interview 



By Margo Un-Tevi Fernandes 


Is it not good for me to come and draw 
forth a spirit to see what kind of spirit 
people are of? I sees that some of you 
have got the spirit of a goose, and some 
have got the spirit of a serpent. . . . I've 
been lookin' 'round and watchin' things, 
and I knows a little mite liiout woman's 
rights too. I come forth to speak 'bout 
woman's rights and to throw in my little 
might, to keep the scales amovin'. I 
knows that it feels a kind of hissin' and 
ticklin' to see a colored woman get up 
again; but we have been long enough 
trodden down now; we will come up 
again. ... I am sittin' among you to 
watch, and every once and a while I 
will come out and tell you what time of 
night it is." 

Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) 

Western history is a history high- 
lighted by repeated injuries and attacks 
directed against Blacks and women. 

In spite of the struggle seen during 
the civil rights movement of 1955-1968, 
little attention has been paid to those 
who have been working diligently to 
correct the present inequities in the 

Even though it has been suggested 
that many changes in racial attitudes 
have occurred since the end of World 
War II, the nation would argue that 
much more change is needed. Blacks and 
women have learned to respect their 
roles in American society. The impact of 
their collective behavior has aroused 
revolutionary movements such as the 
civil rights movement and the women's 
liberation movement. 

Promises and prospects of getting 
ahead intensified awareness of addition- 
al opportunities in employment, educa- 
tion, the armed forces, minority voting, 
and housing. Expectations rose. Minor 
changes in locales brought about frustra- 
tions. Changes that were made were no 
longer satisfactory because Blacks and 
women began to see the differences, 
when compared with their white counter- 
parts, both in the amount of their pay- 
checks and in the institutional attitudes 
toward their special needs. 

As- history tells us, the role of women 
in the political arena has been "a some- 
times thing". She only endures so much 
from the controlling system— the white 
patriarchal system. Statistics argue that 
for over a decade little progress has been 
made towards her demands for "equality 
of opportunity and benefits". 

We realize, today, that the Equal 
Rights Amendment was defeated be- 
cause of incoherent ideological divisions 
between women and men. The defeat of 
the ERA has only jeopardized women 
realizing total equality in the near 

Any possibility of moving towards 
total equality demands leadership. A 
champion of the rights of disadvantaged 
Blacks, Puerto Jlicans, and women is 
Shirley Chisholm. 

On November 30, 1924, Shirley Anita 
St. Hill was born to Ruby (Seale) and 
Charles C. St. Hill in the Bedford- 
Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. To 
advance their children's ducation, the St. 
Hills sent Shirley and her three younger 
sisters to live with their grandmother, 
Mrs. Emmeline Seale, in Barbados. 
Years later after Shirley Chisholm's 
return to her family in Brooklyn, she 
began a tortuous path leading to the 
political arena. Before being seated in 
the United States House of Representa- 
tives, as the first woman Black or white, 
she became a noted educator. 

Ms. Chisholm received her B.A. de- 
gree from Brooklyn College, and a M.A. 
degree in elementary education from 
Columbia University. 

From 1953-1959, Shirley Chisholm 
served as director of the Friends Day 
Nursery in Brownsville and the Hamlin 
Madison Child Care Center in lower 
Manhattan. She became known and 


recognized for her expertise of early 
education and child welfare. 

This earned her the position of educa- 
tional consultant in the division of day 
care in New York's Bureau of Child 

She was a catalyst for the "humane 
movement". Shirley Chisholm's impres- 
sive gains on the child welfare plat- 
form prompted her to also engage 
in community and civic activities. Wo- 
men described Ms. Chisholm as being an 
instrumental leader in the Democratic 
Women's Workshop and League of 
Women Voters. A member of the 
National Association for the Advance- 
ment of Colored People, Ms. Chisholm 
also served on the board of directors 
for Brooklyn's Home for Aged Colored 
People. These activities prompted her to 
pursue a full time career in Politics. 

Her devotion to equality and intense 
activity in its support, won her the vic- 
tory at the polls in 1964. This made her 
the first Black woman from Brooklyn to 
serve in the New York State Assembly. 
Her Assembly's record of achievements 
include legislation providing for publicly 
supported day-care centers and unem- 
ployed insurance for domestic workers. 
Ms. Chisholm was an advocate of and 
instrumental in the passage of a bOl 
creating the program, "Search for Eleva- 
tion, Education, Knowledge", better 
known as SEEK. The program enabled 
Black and Puerto Rican students, who 
lacked academic capabilities upon enter- 
ing state universities, to receive remed- 
ial training. 

In 1969, Shirley Chisholm was elected 
to Congress. From her congressional 
seat, Ms. Chisholm steered her way into 
national political leadership positions. As 
Vice-Chairwomen of the Congressional 
Black Caucus and Secretary of the House 
Democratic Caucus, she advised us of 
her life-long goal to take racism out of 
the American bloodstream. 

Before the end of Ms. Chisholm's 
second term in 1971, she had lectured in 
over forty-two states on over one hun- 
dred campuses. On these campuses 
students often asked, "Why don't you 
run for the Presidency in 1972?" In 
answer to the seriousness and trust 
these college students had, Ms. Chisholm 
she announced, in 1972, her intentions to 
run for the Presidency. 


I ran for the Presidency in order to 
crack a little more of the ice, which in 
recent years has congealed to nearly 
immobilize our political system and de- 
moralize people. I ran for the Presi- 
dency, despite hopeless odds, to demon- 
strate sheer wiU and refusal to accept 
the status quo. 

February 1973-The Good Fight 

Confronted by the most overt racist 
and sexist attacks during her Presiden- 
tial campaign, Ms. Chisholm argued, 

I ran because most people thought the 
country was not ready for a Black candi- 
date not ready for a woman candidate. 

Photo by Edward Cohen 

She remembered the seriousness and 
intent of her decision to win. Her cam- 
paign was not to actually win the Presi- 
dency, but to set a precedent. 

Once I was in the campaign, I had to 
stay all the way to the end. Nothing less 
would have shown that I was a serious 
candidate. The next time a woman runs, 
or a Black, a Jew, or anyone from a 
group that the country is "not ready" to 
elect to its highest office, I believe he or 
she will be taken seriously from the 
start. The door is not open yet, but it is 

The Good Fight 


On February 10, 1982, Shirley 
Chisholm in a Washington interview 
announced her retirement. Ms. Chisholm 
who had represented the Bedford- 
Stuyvesant and Bushwick sections for 
fourteen years, expressed a deep con- 
cern to attend to personal affairs. 

Before my first meeting with Shirley 
Chisholm, I asked myself many ques- 
tions. I didn't know exactly what to 
expect. "Is she arrogant?", "From where 
did she draw her strength?", "How did 
she meet attacks of racism and sexism?", 
"How is she — unapproachable, intimi- 
dating?" Finally, I opened the door 
to the Political Science 202 class. There 
Ms. Chisholm sat with a smile. She 
seemed quite comfortable with her 
new position as Puritan Professor at 
Mount Holyoke College. 

She opened her lecture with history 
concerning the founding of the Consti- 
tion. (Notes from Political Science 202 
class, February 23, 1983) 

The Constitution of the United States is 
an economic doctrine founded by elite 
white farmowners and lawyers for their 
own protection of accumulated wealth. 
Blacks and women were not included 
in this doctrine. Blacks, in particular, 
came to the United States for pre- 
destined work. They were chosen for 
this economic drudgery, because the 
Irish could not withstand the work in the 
fields under the hot sun. In 1619, twenty 

Black men and women arrived in James- 
town, Virginia on a Dutch ship. They 
were the first of four million Blacks to be 
held in bondage. Blacks served two pur- 
poses; plow the fields and breed more 
laborers. Both purposes served to justify 
the farmowners and lawyers . . . wealth. 

"It is very important that we under- 
stand history", continued Ms. Chisholm. 

The slaves blood, sweat, and tears lie 
rooted in the soil of this land. Blacks up 
until the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amend- 
ment were considered 3/5 of a person, a 
mere piece of property for reduction in 

Shirley Chisholm then mentioned the 
injustices and implementations of 

Free Blacks had legal rights, but with 
stipulations. Blacks could testify in 
courts, but not against white folks. 

Being an advocate of equal education, 
she discussed the incompatibility of 
slavery and knowledge. 

Virginia enacted laws to prohibit as- 
sembling. Slaves caught assembling got 
twenty lashes. While in North Carolina, 
thirty lashes and a $200.00 fine for all 
whites caught teaching slaves was ac- 
ceptable. In Georgia, $500.00 for whites 
caught teaching slaves and a finger cut 
off of slaves caught learning was satis- 
factory. The Dred Scott Case in 1857, 

put the last nail in the coffin. Blacks, 
even free Blacks, were property and 
denied the rights of citizens. 

However, it wasn't all grave, noted 
Ms. Chisholm to a class of some 20-25 
young women. She cited examples of 
change and progress. 

There was hope found in the early Re- 
construction period. From the Recon- 
struction effort came the welfare pro- 
gram and Freedman's Bureau, a slaves 
initial transition into becoming a citizen. 
President Truman in 1948, declared 
racial equlaity in the armed forces. The 
decision in Brown v. Board of Educa- 
tion, 1954 set the stage for the Second 
Reconstruction, the American Re- 
awakening. I particularly remember 
John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. 
Johnson, They gave Black citizens the 
thought of good changing. 

Congresswomen Shirley Chisholm 
contested Reagan's New Federalism 

Did the raisin dry up in the sun? 
Reagan's ideological, philosophical reces- 
sion, is merely a period of retrogression. 
The major setback of the present admin- 
istration is its commitment to the major- 
ity. The administration often times tries 
to dilute policy to avoid bringing the 
real issues to the public. The press and 
the media focus. on anything negative, 
losing proper perspective on every- 
thing in the public forum. 

She concluded her lecture telling the 
class to pay particular attention to the 
upcoming Chicago election. 

The Black population is taking over 
offices and this poses a threat to the 
beneficiaries of the status quo. The Black 
(minority) vote is an important vote, 
as our present politicians all know. Low 
voter registration in this country is an 
embarrassment. The upsurgence of the 
Black vote will change this. Blacks, how- 
ever, will only vote if they are rep- 

Statistics in 'Newsweek" show that 
Blacks have made impressive gains in 
politics, but, again, much more change 
is needed. 

The class ended. Students hurried to 
ask Shirley Chisholm questions on issues 
that the class time did not allow her to 
elaborate on. After all questions were 
answered, Ms. Chisholm and I engaged 


in a conversation. 


How are you enjoying teaching at Mt. 
Holyoke College, Ms. Chisholm? 


I enjoy it very much here at Mt. 
Holyoke. I spoke on this campus a few 
years ago and the students gave me an 
extremely warm reception. I teach with 
another professor in two of my classes, 
so I have time for a more private life 
after twenty-five years in the political 


Your retirement came at a time when 
the job had become difficult. (Barbara 
Jordan of Texas and Yvonne Braith- 
waite of California had retired from 
Congress in 1978). What does your 
private life as a retired politician entail? 


First of all I would like to say that there 
is no other woman politician who has 
dedicated 25 years of her life for the 
cause. I can not be compared with any 
other woman politician. I never planned 
on dying a politician. My voice will stUl 
be heard, but not as an elected official, 
I want people to know that this is not 
a political funeral. 

I never sit idle. My private life entails 
writing books, giving social and political 
commentaries on a Spanish broadcasting 
station and visiting my husband. I 
promised him after an almost fatal car 
crash, that if he lived, I would spend 
more time with him. This meant step- 
ping down from the public spotlight and 


Why did you choose to teach at Mt. 
Holyoke College? 


Well, as I have mentioned before, the 
students gave me a warm reception the 
first time I had spoken here at Mt. 
Holyoke. The decision as to where I 
would teach and why, was not an easy 
one. I was offered more money else- 
where at larger universities. I don't 
particularly like large universities. 
They're like factories some of them. 
Mt. Holyoke offers an intimate setting. 
Here I can set the pace myself. It is also 
a challenge teaching at this college for 


A challenge in what way, Ms. Chisholm? 


By teaching, I present Black Americans 
in a historical context honestly. Thus, 
teaching at Mt. Holyoke is a big 
challenge. And I love challenges! Teach- 
ing is another arena for helping others. 
(That is the subtle difference between 
Ms. Chisholm's career as a politican, and 
her career as a Puritan Professor and 


Drum Literary Magazine, a publication 
distributed once a year by students at 
the University of Massachusetts at 
Amherst is dedicating its Spring 1983 
issue to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We 
are reopening the endeavors to make 
his birthday a world holiday. What are 
your feelings about the late Dr. King? 


I met Martin Luther King some twenty- 
two years ago in the streets of Harlem. 
Mr. King was a staunch man with great 
charisma and a serious overtone. He 
channeled his message through nations 
and through- the world. Dr. King should 
be remembered and accepted for his 
contribution of non-violence policy, 
awakening of consciousness, unveiling 
the evils of racism, and advocating the 
necessity for true brotherhood. He is not 
matched by any other leader from this 
perspective. His birthday should and 
must become a national holiday! 


What strategies would you suggest as 
an ex-politician to enact legfislation for a 
world holiday? 


First, all proper diplomatic steps must 
be taken. Secondly, in order to be a 
world holiday, we must first channel the 
holiday through the nations. We must 
first gain cooperation by influencing and 
persuading our own nations for a 
national holiday and move out in terms 
of a world holiday after. It is important 
that we gain the respect of Martin 
Luter King's birth place first, or else 
other nations will not cooperate. There 
must be 'fantastic cooperation' by a 
massive scale of people to enact legisla- 


If Martin Luther King's birthday, 
January 15, were to become a world 

holiday, who do you think should decide 
how the day should be spent? 


An organization of "compassionate 
people" must organize and develop strat- 
egies as to how Martin Luther King's • 
birthday can be "meaningfully and 
relatively" celebrated. This task calls for 
alternative and innovative strategies in 
acknowledging this phenomenal man. 


Ms. Chisholm, if Dr. King were alive 
today, how do you think he would be 
influencing national politics? 


People change, time changes, but I do 
know that as a leader, and only from the 
perspective of a leader, he would be 
buUding strategies to free Black Ameri- 
ca. Martin Luther King would be dealing 
with the same old problems that Black 
America faces: inequitable education, 
high unemployment, and poor housing. 


What advice do you have for aspiring 
young Black politicans and leaders? 


Religion is what has kept me in politics 
this long. My message to the Black 
community as a whole is 'while there is 
life there is hope'. 

The conversation concluded with a 
warm goodbye. To quote her colleague, 
Congressman Louis Stokes, also a mem- 
ber of the 91st Congress and present 
Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, 
"I hated to see her go". 

Well, if I can't be President, I can be 
an instrument for change. Why do you 
think people are running around saying 
"I can't be President?" They know I 
have the intellect and the creative ability 
to put it together. That's why they are 
afraid. They know I can't be bought; 
they know I can't be bossed. They know 
I can't be controlled. I am asking my 
brothers and sisters to give me a chance. 
The time has come when we no longer 
have to be the passive recipients of 
whatever the politicians of this nation 
may decree for us. We no longer have to 
remain disillusioned, apathetic, helpless, 
and powerless. We now have a person[s] 
who are willing to accept the snubs, 
the snide remarks, the humiliation and 
abuses because she/he dares to go 
against the tradition in this country— a 
country in which only white males can 
run for the Presidency. I am willing 
because I understand. 

Shirley Chishohn/The Good Fight 


"If we want our planet lo survive until tomorrow, we must 
live and leach the courage of nonviolence today. " 

Coretta Scott King 

by Christine A. Moss 

Statements from 
Mrs. Coretta Scott King 

Since the death of Dr. Martin Luther 
King, Jr. in 1968, Mrs. King, the King 
family and the Martin Luther King 
Center for Non-Violent Social Change 
have been working towards the day 
when Dr. King's birthday, January 15th, 
becomes a national holiday. The follow- 
ing questions, answered by Mrs. King, 
focus on the proposed holiday bill and 
its importance in fulfilling the "Dream" 
Dr. King envisioned in the 1960's for a 
world of peace and brotherhood. 

What exactly is the purpose of the 
Martin Luther King Center for Non- 
Violent Social Change? 

"The . . . Center has been established 
to continue the work of Martin Luther 
King, Jr., through using the strategies 
and the philosophies of nonviolence to 
bring about the changes that are neces- 
sary in our society. And basically Martin 
identified the problems of our society as 
being in three categories — poverty, rac- 
ism and violence — and our job is to elim- 
inate all the vestiges of these three great 

We have programs that address 
themselves to many different areas of 
concern in our society, and we are con- 
cerned about action, but basically we see 
ourselves as training leadership for the 

Do you see yourself as mandated to con- 
tinue the work of your late husband? 

People thought that a great Black man 
would carry on the legacy of your late 
husband and what he stood for, but it 
was you who carried on his work. What 
are your feelings toward this committ- 

"Yes, in a sense I have a mandate to 
continue the work. I feel that somehow 
my life has been directed after my hus- 
band's death. I wanted to discover what 
it was that God wanted me to do, and I 
feel very strongly that what I am doing 
in trying to establish the Center as a 
living memorial and institutionalize my 
husband's legacy is what was meant for 
me to do and that I am in my own way 
continuing to help in the fulfillment of 
Martin Luther King's dream." 

Mrs. King, you are quite active poUt- 
ically, socially and domestically. Which 
of these is your top priorty in life? 

"My children and my family were 
always my top priorty. Next to them is 
the Martin Luther King Center for 
Social Change and . . . the Center is very 
broad-based. It involves all of the areas 
that you spoke of, even including the 
domestic one, because I don't make a 
distinction between the various spheres 

of my life. My life has been one entity so 
all of the things that I do are inter- 

What will the passage of the King Holi- 
day Bill Mean for Black people? 

"I think the holiday bill will give en- 
couragement to Blacks and will renew 
their faith in the democratic way of life, 
in a larger sense, in America as being a 
nation that is truly concerned about all of 
its people. We need a holiday for Black 
Americans because we do not have a 
major holiday, a holiday in memory of 
the contributions of Black America. So 
this would be more than just a tribute to 
Martin Luther King, Jr., and his leader- 
ship, but it would be a tribute to the 
contributions ... of all Black America." 

If Martin Luther King's birthday was to 
become a national holiday, how would 
you advise people to spend the day? 

"Well, here in Atlanta, we have cele- 
brated for the last 13 years Martin 
Luther King's birthday with a variety of 
prorams and activities. I think the 
holiday should be a time of recommit- 
ment and re-dedication to the continuing 
goals and the principles of Martin Luther 
King, Jr., that we should take the time 
to study the life and the teachings and 
the philosophy of Martin Luther King 


and develop strategies that continue the 
unfinished work, to struggle against 
poverty, racism and violence. 

I think that the day should not be just 
an empty day of remembrance but a day 
of doing something, of getting involved." 

Mrs. King, how do you feel Black leader- 
ship has changed since the 1960's? Are 
they more or less unified? Have their 
goals changed? 

"We hear a lot of talk these days about 
the need for stronger Black leadership. 
The media, in particular, seems obsessed 
with what they perceive as a lack of 
Black leadership. Many people seem to 
feel that, since-Martin Luther King, Jr. 
was assassinated we are hopelessly lost 
because there is no single charismatic 
Black leader who dominates our national 

In reality, however, this is a distorted 
view of leadership in the Black commun- 
ity. It's also a cop-out because it's just 
one more excuse for citizen apathy. The 
simple truth is that Black leadership has 
never been stronger than it is today. 

When Martin Luther King, Jr. began 
to lead the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 
1955, there were less than 50 Black 
elected officials in the entire Nation. 
Today there are more than 5,000. Back 
then there was no Black caucus in 
Washington, just Adam Clayton Powell. 

Those who say that there is a void in 
Black leadership have missed the whole 
point of Martin's life and work. 

He gave his life so the Black communi- 
ty would be so strong that we would 
have not just one, but many strong, 
creative leaders. And, that is what is 
happening. Take the Congressional 
Black Caucus, for example. Today there 
is no more progressive, honest or 
responsive group of elected officials in 
Congress than the Black caucus. In a 
sense, the Congressional Black Caucus 
is the hope of America, providing moral 
leadership for the entire nation. 

Let's not worry about Black leader- 
ship so much. Black leadership is doing 
fine, stronger than ever. Next time you 
hear somebody lament the lack of Black 
leadership, ask them first of all if they 
voted. Then ask them who are their rep- 
resentatives in the City Council, the 

State Legislature and the Congress. 

The point is that our problem is not 
Black leadership. Our problem is Black 
citizenship. Black leaders like Martin, 
Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, Jimmie Lee 
Jackson and so many others gave their 
lives so we could enjoy the fruits of 
democracy and active leadership. And 
yet, only about half of eligible Black 
Americans even bother to vote. This is 
the central internal problem we face." 


Mrs. King's speech to the 25th Annual 
Southern Christian Leadership Confer- 
ence's Convention, Birmingham, Ala- 
bama on August 12, 1982. 

Milwaukee Courier Newspaper, Mil- 
waukee, Wisconsin, January 17, 1981. 

Special thanks to: Mr. Stephen Klein, 
Executive Staff Member for the Martin 
Luther King, Jr. Center for Non- Violent 
Social Change, Inc. 











The dried valley 

hugged by the hills and the mountains 

of our land 

is matted with a soil that hugs many 

unbudded seeds . . . 

On it stands a muddy house of a farmer 

who hopes to revive the soil with the thousand seeds. 

No cattle feeds upon it 

nor stream runs through it 

the stream is dry 

the soil is rich, the sun is strong 

But, they have taken the farmers sickles from them 


our land has fallen into 

the pattern of silence 

those in charge across the mountain 

make the patterns. 

the pattern must change 

we must come together 

to open the water upon our fields. 

The cattle must be fed 

The child is crying 

We must plant the thousand seeds 

for us, for our children, 

for our valley. 

They say "quiet'", they may hear you. 
I say the soil, the sun, the valley 
is speechless. 

OUR VOICE . . . 

stands here to speak. 

We must be pulled from the eternity of 
darkness, from the burden of the nights. 

The wheat seeds have swollen the dry ground 
The valley is an abstract of people 
and empty bowls. 

The children cry of hunger 

Can you hear them screaming 

trapped inside the thick shell 

of the world they have been patterned into? 

They have swollen that shell 

Just as the wheat has swollen the ground ' 

The pattern must change. 

The dried valley 

hugged by the hills and the mountains 
is matted with a soil that hugs many 
unbudded seeds. 


wait for change 
wait to be freed. 

L et 's help together 

to make our own pattern. 


DRUM Presents 






SERIES 1982 
Arturo Lindsay was born 
in Panama and obtained his 
MFA in Painting from U- 
Mass/ Amherst in 1975. He 
is a painter & sculptor who 
employs figurative & 
abstract symbolism in his 
work. A recurring theme in 
his work centers on com- 
munication with the 
ancestors. Mr. Lindsay has 
actively exhibited in one 
man and group shows na- 
tionally. His work is 
presently included in 
private and public collec- 
tions in the U.S., Colom- 
bia, Ghana and Cuba. 










CCEBMS Heartfelt Congratulations 

It is a great feeling to know that in some small way we at 
CCEBMS have assisted you in achieving one of your life's goals : 
attaining a college degree. For me, it has been a pleasure to see you 
make the long transition from freshman summer orientation to 
graduation. For many the road has not been easy, but 
realize— without hard work there is no real satisfaction. 

As you reflect on your college experiences I hope positive mem- 
ories come to your thoughts. Remember all the educational, social, 
cultural and political lessons you have learned here. Hopefully, 
in retrospect, you will look at your tenure at the University of 
Massachusetts and CCEBMS as a significant part of your lives. 

Now, as alumni of CCEBMS, we will work to keep you 
informed of future plans and changes so you can assist us in our 
quest to reach and assist your family members, friends, and other 
students who ha-ve not yet arrived. Try to live up to the positive 
legacy you leave behind. You have our word CCEBMS will be here 
as long as the University of Massachusetts stands — and we will 
not forget you! 

Congratulations, Class of 1983! And to quote my favorite 
group, "Keep Your Head To The Sky!" 


John Lopes / / 
Advisor - Class of '83 

Norma Aldridge 
Tracey L. Armstrong 
Priya Bahl 

Valerie E. Brathwaite 
Sandra Y. Briggs 
David T. Bromery 
Angela C. Brown 
Susan Butler 
Victoria Carter 
Patricia Cassell 
Jennifer Castro 
Raymond M. Chambers 
Danny Chang 
Sung Soo Chang 
Kin Wah Chow 
Binyu Chu 
Brynne Clark 
Jomaria K. Coleman 
Adriana Coley 
Barbara Curtis 
Donna M. Davis 
Perry Fong 
Hung T. Goon 
Camian L. Harris 
Monique E. Harris 
KimM. Hatton 
Bettina Henry 
Diane Higginbottom 
Kermit Holliday 
Judy Hom 
Carl S. House 
Joan D. Hudson 
Phillip D. Jennings 

Edward Kim 
Hyun Kim 
Yvonne K. Lai 
Jeanette Leung 
Cho Chau Li 
Clara Lima 
Yat T.Man 
Augusto Martins 
Alexander Murkison 

Frank E. Oglesby, Jr. 
Julia Olf f 
Hong Ki Paik 
Hilary Park 
Lan T. Pham 
Richard H. Pina 
Dorothy J. Roberts 
BethM. Robinson 
Roxana L. Rocha 
Mayra J. Rodriguez 
Stephen Samuel 
Marilyn D. Sargeant 
Mark Semedo 
Julian Shaw 
Glenn A. Silva 
Calvin Simons 
Robert Smith 
Todd Tsiang 
Marian Ty 
Darise Victory 
Michael Williams 
Tin Yau Ying 
Ahmed Yakudima 





I've heard all about musicians 

they take love/don 't give love 

'cause they 're savin ' it for the music 

Got to be so one night I was watching him 

take a solo/and when he closed his eyes 

everyone in the club closed their eyes 

The first thing I saw was my shoes 

float out of his horn 

my favorite leopard-skin high heeled shoes 

the left foot/then the right one 

followed by my black silk stockings 

With the seam down the back 

my best hat/and all that 

were floating in the air lik e half-notes 

like they belonged to nobody 

least of all me 

I tried to close my eyes 

but I couldn't 

out flew my blue silk scarf 

my alarm clock 

my alligator suitcase 

even last months phone bill 

He kept on playing that horn 
as if nothing had ever happened 
and when I slowly closed my eyes 
I saw his fingers wrap around my waist 
my spine turn into saxaphone keys 
my mouth became his mouthpiece 
and there was nothing left in the room 
■- but mercy 







An interview with Author and Professor 
Stephen B. Gates on Martin Luther 
King, Jr.'s life and the issue of making 
King's birthday a national holiday. 

by Lance Edward Wallace 


Stephen B. Gates is a Professor of 
History at the University of Massachu- 
setts at Amherst. As a youth in Texas, 
Gates was involved in the Civil Rights 
struggle. He is the author of Let The 
Trumpet Sound, a biography of the late 
great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
Gates, along with millions of others, 
feels that Dr. King was a great leader 
of all men and our country should im- 
mortalize him and his purpose by making 
his birthday a national holiday. 

Mr. Wallace: 

Mr. Gates, what scholarly contributions 
have you made with respect to the late 
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.? 

Mr. Gates: 

Last year I published a biography of 
Martin Luther King named Let the 
Trumpet Sound— The Life of Martin 
Luther King, Jr., published by Harper 
and Row of New York. Selected by the 
Literary Guild Book Club and published 
in England under the same title by 
Search Press Limited. I worked five 
years on this book. It is based on 
hitherto unused archivael collections; 
the private Martin Luther King papers 
in Atlanta and in Boston University, 
numerous presidential libraries, private 
documentary and archivael collections 
around the country. 

It is the first really major biography 
of King published to date and the first 
overall biography in the last twelve to 
thirteen years. It is part of a quartet of 

biographies I have written over the 
past sixteen years that deal with four 
famous Americans profoundly affected 
by the problems of slavery and oppres- 
sion in a country, like the United States, 
based upon the ideals of the Declaration 
of Independence. The other biographies 
are of Nat Turner, the slave revel, John 
Brown, the abolitionist; and, Abraham 
Lincoln, the Republican President. So 
Martin Luther King joins these men to 
round out what I called, rather modestly, 
my CivO War quartet. 

Mr. Wallace: 

What, in your assessment, was Martin 
Luther King's historical accompKsh- 

Mr. Gates: 

The foremost American spokesman 
for the liberating forces of his day. King 
forged a world view of striking insight, a 
world view which pointed the way to 
the promised land of love and human 
brotherhood. Let us consider what King 
saw and said, as he orated on a global 
stage in the nineteen fifties and nine- 
teen sixties. 

For the first time he brought the 
Negro masses into the freedom struggle. 
After segregation had taught them all 
their lives that they were nobody, King 
taught them that they were somebody. 
Acting on Frederick Douglass ' dictum 
that the black man himself must secure 
his rights. King taught the Negro 
masses to straighten their backs ("a man 
can't ride unless your back is bent") and 
confront those who oppressed them 
through the technique of non-violence 
resistance; he furnished them something 
no other black leader had been able to 
do. He showed them a way of harnessing 
their pent up anger (as he had harnessed 
his own) and channeling it into a creative 
and constructive force for social change. 


The mass demonstrations he orches- 
trated, produced the strongest civil 
rights legislation in American history. 
It cannot be stressed enough that this 
was the purpose of King's major South- 
ern campaigns. He would single out 
some notoriously segregated city with 
officials prone to violence, mobilize the 
local Blacks with songs and scripture 
readings and rousing oratory in Negro 
churches. He would then lead them to 
protest marches conspicuous for their 
g^ace and moral purpose. Then he and 
his lieutenants would escalate the 
marches, increase their demands, even 
fill up their jails untO they brought about 
a moment of "creative tension" when 
white authorities would either agree to 
negotiate or resort to violence. If they 
did the latter. King would thus expose 
the brutality inherent in segregation 
and so stab the national conscience that 
the federal government would be forced 
to intervene with corrective measures. 


This technique worked with equal bril- 
lance in Selma, Alabama in 1965. Here, 
Martin Luther King launched a drive to 
gain Southern Blacks the most funda- 
mental right. The right to vote. The 
violence King exposed in Selma, the 
beating of black marchers by State 
troopers and deputized possemen, the 
killing of a young Negro Deacon and a 
white Unitarian Minister, horrified the 
entire country. When King called for 
support, thousands of ministers, rabbis, 
priests, nuns, students, lay leaders, and 
ordinary people— white and Black alike 
— rushed to Selma from all over the 
Nation and stood with King in the Name 
of human liberty. Never in the history 
of a movement had so many people of 
all faiths and classes come to the South- 
ern battleground itself. The Selma cam- 
paign culminated in a mass march to 
Montgomery that dramatically illustra- 
ted the symbolic ties of the Civil War 
and civil rights eras. After the march 
from Selma, along the Jefferson Davis 
Highway, King led an interracial force of 
25,000 on a triumphal procession 
through Montgomery, the first capital 
and much-trumpted "cradle" of the 
Confederacy. Like a conquering army, 
they surged up Dexter Avenue to the 
State Capital, where Confederate and 
Alabama flags were snapping over its 
dome. The spectacle was as ironic as it 
was unprecedented, for it was up Dexter 
Avenue that Jefferson Davis' first inaug- 
ural parade had moved, and it was in the 
portico of the Capital that Davis had 
taken his oath of office as President of 
the slave based Confederacy. Now more 
than a century later, Alabama Negroes 
—most of them descendents of slaves- 
stood massed at the same Statehouse, 
facing the statue of Davis himself and 
singing a new rendition of "We Shall 
Overcome", the anthem of the Negro 
movement. They sang, "Deep In My 
Heart, I Do Believe, We Have Overcome 

Aroused by the events in Alabama, 
Washington produced the 1965 Voting 
Rights Act, which outlawed all literacy 
tests and similar voting restrictions and 
empowered the Attorney General to 
supervise federal elections in seven 
Southern States by appointing examin- 
ers to register those kept off the rolls. 
At the time, political analysts almost 
unanimously attributed the act to King's 
Selma campaign. Once federal examin- 
ers were supervising voter registration 
in all troublesome areas in Dixie, 
Negroes were able to get on the rolls 

and vote by the hundreds, forever alter- 
ing the pattern of Southern and North- 
ern politics. 

The powerful civil rights legislation 
generated by King and his tramping 
soldiers wiped out statutory racism in 
America and realized at least the social 
and political promise of Lincoln's Eman- 
cipation Proclamation. The white Presi- 
dent had issued that bold and revolu- 
tionary decree in the midst of Civil War. 
Now more than a century later, the 
Black man and his non-violent warriors 
had made it stick. 

King exhorted his country to abandon 
"the madness of militarism" to get out 
of Vietnam, to stop supporting repres- 
sive dictatorships in the Third World, to 
get on the right side of the liberating 
spirit of the age. With that insight, he 
called America to an even greater des- 
tiny than Lincoln envisioned. To demon- 
strate before the world that, in this land 
of immigrants, people of all racial, 
ethnic, and national backgrounds could 
live together "in a beautiful symphony 
of brotherhood". But if the United 
States failed in her mission, if human 
beings could not get along here as 
brothers and sisters, then no doubt 
they could not do so in the world at 

Mr. Wallace: 

Mr. Gates, what are your thoughts 
about making Martin Luther King's 
birthday a national holiday? 

Mr. Gates: 

I think it is a national disgrace that 
King's birthday is not already a national 
holiday. I say that because the man 
emerged in the Twentieth Century to 
become one of the greatest Americans I 
think who ever lived. He is certainly 
the greatest American produced in our 
country and I would rank him along 
with Abraham Lincoln or anybody else 
for that matter in terms of what he did, 
not only for Blacks, but for whites and 
the United States as well. 

I feel we should make Martin Luther 
King's birthday a national holiday a lot 
more than a Columbus holiday. I feel 
that Martin Luther King is a hell of a lot 
more significant than Columbus who 
did not discover America after all. The 
native Americans had discovered Ameri- 
ca thirty thousand years before there 
was a Columbus. To have a Columbus 
day as a national holiday and not Martin 

Luther King's birthday as a national 
holiday is an insult to the man and his 

We tend to think of Martin Luther 
King strictly as a civil rights leader in 
the late nineteen fifties and throughout 
the nineteen sixties. He was that 
emphatically so and has earned himself 
a lasting place in history as a famous 
orator and leader of the civil rights 
movement in the South and then ulti- 
mately in the nation at large. 

Martin Luther King was more than 
that. He transcended the justice civil 
rights movement which was enormously 
significant. He also became one of the 
most eloquent anti-war dissentors as 
well as speaking out against nuclear pro- 
liferation. He earned the Nobel Peace 
Prize for his global stance against non- 
violence and against warfare as well as 
for his work in civil rights. 

I think of Abraham Lincoln whose 
birthday isn't a national holiday either. 
Although George Washington has a na- 
tional holiday, Abraham Lincoln and 
Martin Luther King do not. These men 
are two of the most able moral leaders 
this country has ever had. 

If we don't have Martin Luther King's 
birthday as a national holiday, we ought 
to have Martin Luther King's date of 
assassination, April 4, 1968, as a national 
day of prayer and meditation. Everyone 
should have a day off work and medi- 
tate on the contributions Martin Luther 
King made, the historical significance of 
the man, and the leadership he provided 
at one of the most tumultuous periods 
of the late nineteen fifties and nineteen 
sixties through which this country has 
ever passed. One way or another, Martin 
Luther King should be recognized by the 
United States for the historical, moral 
and envisionary leadership he afforded 

So we need to recall him both as a 
civil rights leader and as a national 
leader. Martin Luther King has a world 
view of profound spiritual, moral and his- 
torical insight and we have not had 
moral leaders like Martin Luther King, 
Jr. very often in American history. It is 
my opinion that because of his world 
view, because of his accomplishments in 
civil rights, because of his global stance 
against non-violence and against war- 
fare in general, that he contributed so 
much to the country that his birthday 
should be a national holiday. 




By Bill Strickland 

". . . . There is an exictement about writing of Black life in 
America that I would never have found as a white writer. But as 
a Negro writer I can measure the mounds of sand upon which the 
glass house of this nation is built. . . . When I came to understand 
that completely, the label 'Negro writer' was unimportant. A 
Negro writer? YES! While that designation was meant to restrict, it 
has opened up a vast, breathlessly appalling view of America and 

'Career By Accident', 1967 

Most young people today do not know the name or work of 
John A. Williams — but they should — for he is one of America's 
best modern writers. The author of some twenty works of fiction 
and non-fiction, John A. Williams was born in Jackson, Mississippi 
and reared in Syracuse, New York where he attended Syracuse 
University as an undergraduate and graduate student. A Navy 
veteran of World War II, he plied many trades and travelled in 
many lands seeking to perfect his craft and earn his living as a 
writer. In 1968, his third novel. The Man Who Cried I Am, an 
exploration into the contemporary heart of American racial dark- 
ness, was thought by many to have been the Great Ignored Ameri- 
can Novel of our time. It is now, like almost all of Williams' work, 
out of print. In 1981 his novel. The Junior Bachelor Society, was 
adapted for television as "The Sophisticated Gents". Mr. Williams 
presently teaches English at Rutgers University in New Jersey. His 
most recent book is Click Song. 

This interview was conducted at his home in New Jersey, 
March 12, 1983. 

Q: A few years ago Haki Madhubuti (Don Lee) wrote that 
contemporary Black writers face an immense problem because they 
are living in an age when the younger generation hates and fears 
books. What is your reaction to that? 

A: I don't know if they hate books or fear them, but I think that 
they may have been taught indirectly by other people. 

It is also true that America is no longer a reading society, if it 
ever was. So, I tend to think that the problem with Black young- 
sters is mainly psychological, in that we are traditionally inclined 

to be storytellers rather than readers of stories. 

Another thing is that it is only one hundred and twenty years 
after slavery and there are many psychological ramifications of all 
those generations of Blacks not being able to read books. 

In my family, as a child, there was great opposition to my read- 
ing because I read all of the time to escape the pressures. Even 
today they can't believe I've read all of the books on my shelf. 

Q: The Man Who Cried I Am was obviously a book into which 
you poured your heart and soul. What do you think about the re- 
ception it received? 

A: Actually, I expected a lot more from the book than what 
happened. But you understand that the book industry manufac- 
tures its big books. If they don't want your book to be a hit, then 
they won't manufacture it. This began with the publisher who 
wrote to the Justice Department to find out if American concentra- 
tion camps truly existed. Also a number of predictable establish- 
ments got on the book right away. Newsweek killed it, for in- 
stance. There were a number of people who really liked the book 
but in terms of a literary success it was not up to par. This is a 
shame because many people wanted to teach the material but the 
book soon went out of print and this happens with many Black 
authors. The result is that Black History doesn't get taught in Afro- 
American literature in terms of contemporary issues. 

Personally 1 don't think it is a mistake. I think it is partly con- 
scious and partly unconscious. They probably feel that they have 
been deciding things for so long that there's no reason to cease. 
The sun has not fallen out of the sky so it must be all right. Then 
of course you have the real devils who know exactly what they are 
doing. Put them together and you've got real problems. I gave up 
on this type of literary success long ago because I understand that 
personality has a lot to do with success in this business and that 
personality, from their point of view, is how one can be used, 
sometimes without one's knowledge, to create a certain atmos- 
phere for the country. 

I've been fairly lucky in the sense that I've had my feet on the 
ground most of the time. This not to say that I certainly would not 
have enjoyed more money but the fact that I have not made it has 
kept me fairly honest. I am not unhappy. If I were to make a 
million dollars tomorrow it would probably be too late because I'd 
be my same loving self. 

Q : How has Click Song been received? 

A: I haven't read the reviews yet. As you know, I don't read the 


reviews until one year later. This keeps me from being mad and 

Q : I saw Jervis Anderson's review in The Times. 

A: Yes. Everyone called me up about that review and people 
wrote letters to me. Of course that was a set-up, a hatchet job. I 
gave up getting anything from the Times a long time ago because 
of its current editor. We had a falling out several years ago. The 
book that came out after he became editor was never reviewed. 
That was Mothersill and the Foxes. Then Junior Bachelor Society 
came out and was reviewed two months after it was published. 
Which didn't help. 

Q: There is a recurrent theme in your work about the value of 
truth, that the word can change things. Then in your later work 
this conviction -^eems more muted, as though you've found that 
truth is not enough to get people to change. 

A: I believe in the truth but I feel the problem is the people who 
are in a position to disseminate it don't put forth the effort to do so. 
In fact, I remember reading somewhere that Richard Pryor said, 
"Television is nonsense. . . . But if television could be used to 
broadcast the truth for one week it would turn the country 

I have to believe in the truth because people fight so hard to pre- 
vent other people from getting the truth. What I'm trying to 
suggest is that if there were a way to let people know about the sins 
of omission as well as commision then maybe they would wake 
up to what is going on. Most Black people don't know that there 
have been seven Civil Rights Acts since 1866. That doesn't include 
the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments. I tend to think that if 
people kaew that they would question the excess nonsense, i.e., 
why weren't the other three Amendments and the Civil Rights 
Act of 1866 enforced? Here we have Reagan extending the Voting 
Rights' Act of 1965 for another twenty-five years! I keep waiting 
to hear the sound of outrage and I don't hear it. So again, I think 
the problem is not with the truth but the channels through which 
the truth must pass. I work in those institutions where it should 
pass and I know it doesn't go through. 

Q: In Click Song I was interested in your re-introduction of 
Raffy who is Ralph's young daughter in Sissie. Only now she has 
grown up into a messed-up college student. Did that character 
come out of your experience working in an institution where the 
truth is supposed to pass through? 

A: Well, I see that happening all of the time with a lot of kids in 




school who are the first in their family to go to college. They 
think they are so slick and so hip and value absolutely nothing 
except their grades. The majority of them are more messed up than 
they have a right to be. I tell them, "Hey look, I don't want to hear 
that. I don't care if your old man doesn't want you to live in his 
house after next week. I don't care if you're having trouble with 
your girlfriend, your mother, or your auntie. That is not my con- 
cern. I am here to teach you and you are here to respond to me." 
I see this as being one way of keeping some sanity in these kids. 
At Rutgers, the woman who is in charge of the psychiatric clinic 
tells me that more and more students are checking in each year. I 
had a student who turned up at my door one night. She was a 
nice girl. She talked about the way her teachers looked at her. I 
asked her what she meant and she said, "They don't like me." I 
suggested that she go see a "shrink" — which she didn't. I called 
the "shrink" and he said: "We can't go out and lasso people. They 
have to come in of their own free will." There are more and more 
of them catching this disease. I just don't know what I can do about 

Q : Do you have a name for this disease? 

A: No, I don't. I tell students all of the time that they have no 
right to expect anything from this society. What you have a right 
to expect is what you can do for yourself and for your family. You 
can't really expect people to come out and give you anything. 
But these students don't want to hear that. In my generation the 
parents told us that we had to be ten times better than the average 
white child just to get by. I don't think parents are telling their 
children that anymore. 

Q : In American literature a great deal is made of the meaning of 
manhood in the work of people like Hemingway and Mailer. Yet 
no one seems to pay attention when you raise the question of the 
struggle for Black manhood in a basically hostile society. Why 

A: We understand why and I don't think we ought to waste our 
time laboring over it because I don't see it changing at all. I even 
had great difficulty getting Click Song published. 

Q : Even after all of the books you've written? 

A: Yes. It's like being an actor on stage or film. You can have a 
hit last year but that means nothing when it comes to this year. 
There are no guarantees. But the idea of being a Black man is 
bothersome to a lot of editors though, strangely enough, the 
women editors are fine. It's the men. I've had more women editors 
than I've had men. I've had a female agent but the last three agents 
were men. There are some reservations the men hold, some way 
in which they are always looking over their shoulders expecting 
something wierd from you that you haven't even thought about 
doing. This projection not only affects agents it also affects editors, 
agents, and book reviewers. I don't mean to denigrate Baldwin 
but I believe it's a lot easier for him, for somebody who's gay, than 
for somebody whose reputation is that of being a trouble maker — 
which I don't think I am. I think they think I am on the basis of 
something that supposedly happened over twenty years ago that 
never in fact actually took place. It's just something they've got 
in their heads. 

You are always running into these concepts that people hold 
about you as a person and if you're a Black male there is a kind of 
concept of a Black male that they hold. Transferring my male con- 
cept to literature was fairly easy because I grew up with a good 
group of guys. I didn't know my father well but I knew my uncles 
and some other older men, all of whom were pretty sure about 
themselves as Black men and never had any questions about it. 
They just went out there and did what they had to do everyday. It 
wasn't a question of being a hero but taking care of what you had 

to do. This rubbed off on me. So writing about it is not a big prob- 
lem. A big problem is dealing with the various heads of some Black 
men like the guy who feels he has to beat up on every Black wo- 
man he sees. Maybe he's angry over something that I don't under- 
stand. I've never used a character like that but I can understand 
some of Pryor's characters very well. Some people do complain 
that I'm always dealing with middle-class Black males but that's 
who I know best. I don't want to get my own head back into the 
foundry. I don't want to get back into being a vegetable clerk. 
Those things have all changed and I know they've changed. They 
don't make cores in the foundry the same way they used to and 
vegetable clerks use computers now. It's not the same. So I tend to 
stay in the area that I do know and that is the middle class, the 
small upper class, and the masses, even though some people feel it's 
not there. I know it's there. For instance, if there was a bank rob- 
bery across the street and I happened to be going by in a Mercedes- 
Benz wearing an eight-hundred dollar suit, the man is still gonna 
stop me. He doesn't care what class I belong to. 

Q: How do you see the state of the country now and what rela- 
tionship do you feel writing should, or shouldn't have, to social 
change in America? 

A: A lot of writers maintain the white view because of the way 
they have been taught to write. The problem with these writers is 
that they're more concerned with the language than the material. 
Anybody can write, and there are a lot of talented Black writers, 
but no one sees what they write. You don't have to go to school to 
learn how to write. And since there is a barrier between the educa- 
tional system and the students, I don't think the students can learn 
there what is needed to be effective writers. I write because it's a 
habit and I have about four more books I'd like to write. 

needed to be effective writers. I write because it's a habit and I have 
about four more books I'd like to write. 

Q: What are you working on now? 

A: I'm working on a non-fiction novel and I have some poetry 
in the back of my mind. I've always written poetry. I like it! Also 
I've been nibbling away for ten years on a book about Black people 
which is a cross between disciplines — politics, history, anthro- 
pology — the whole works. I'm sort of rebuilding my resources and 
I've started writing it again, off and on. I hope to get back to it 
full time in a couple of years. I'm also doing another novel set in 

Q : Who were your early influences? 

A: No one. There is a tendency to assume that if you're Black 
you had to be influenced by Richard Wright. When I was a kid I 
read everything just to get away. I haven't had any real influences 
except for structure. Trying to structure a novel was the main 
problem for me, putting it all together. 

Q : What would you recommend to young people today? 

A: I would recommend a list of World literature. I'm not sure 
who would be on it, probably some Africans, Irish, Spanish, and 
Afro-American writers. The reason I say a world list is because 
most young people claim to be revolutionary but have only read 
Black writers and that is just as bad as white people reading only 
white writers. The concept of revolution is not only ours; it has 
been around the world. So in order for people to see what it is in 
its entirety, they have to see what other people are into as well. So 
rather than dealing with specific writers at a specific time, I would 
just give them a literature list. First I'd have to think about who 
would be on it. Then I would give it to them to read. But 1 do 
advise students to read the works of King, Malcolm X, Gandhi, 
Douglass, DuBois and Garvey. ■ 




Contiimed on /'H^'f 13 

Dewark Vesei/, Nat Turner, Peter Salem, Salem Poor, Frederick 
Douglass, and all the rest have left great influences on me. They have 
taught me the right to struggle, to face opf^iression, to deploy all the 
means that are available to me in order to win any successive struggles. 
I have reached the chapter on "Philanthropy and Self-help" and must 
tell you Brother that I am getting my first true study of the famous Booker 
T. Washington. He is someone who tndy fascinates me in truly becom- 
ing a Black intellectual. Are there many Black men of this h/pe? 

In the era of Reconstruction the South was really trying discriminate 
against our Race by trying all kinds of stunts in the form of enactments, 
the Kill Klux Klan and other racist groups. I believe that such condi- 
tions have changed, but tell me Mr. Theluvll, are there still white groups 
in America that fight racism? And, in regards to your home state now, 
how are conditions? In history quote a number of activities had taken 
place there? Are there still relics of slavery in Boston? 

Bro. Michael in my letter to you last week I have sent a copy of a 
article I have sent to Drum. I am seeking your comments and hoping 
to contribute more. I will be sending you some songs which have been 
luritten by some of us. You can let your students read them if suitable. 
You are a great friend, my brother, and your book have been loidely read 
by all of us here, and we are requesting some of your articles in Black 
Scholar and the rest. I really find great pleasure in corresponding with 
you and hoping you will be continuing to exchange ideas. Any possible 
way you can help me is fully accepted, especially if you could send a 
petition for me to our local Privvy Council asking them to connite my 
sentence. I am very sorry we did not get to see each other, but hoping 
you might come to Jamaica again. Give my kind regards to your family 
and students. And hoping to hear from you soon. 

Your friend, 


Inmate Death Row 

I did not, of course, see this letter until my return to Amherst in 
December, but it explains the look of surprise on Clinton's face as 
he was marched into the commandant's office a week later with- 
out apparently any explanation as to why he was b^ing taken 

There was a new commandant on my second trip. I was careful 
to get there early in the day and without calling ahead. The new 
man was even more interesting than the first. When the guards at 
the gate called, he let me in even though I had no appointment. He 
was a gaunt, very black man, immaculate in a starched khaki 
military style uniform. His bony, weathered face crowned by 
close-croped grey hair gave the appearance of a man who had seen 
much in a long career spent behind stone walls. 1 can remember 
thinking as I looked at the commandant, "I wonder what this 
brother's life has been?" While waiting for Gooden to come I gave 
him a book and we chatted about the prison system. The previous 
decade had seen an unprecedented rise in gun violence in the 
society. The prisons were full, some hundred and twenty men on 
death row. Prisoners were young, more articulate, and later I 
learned that there had been a rebellion on Death Row and Prime 
Minister Manley had had to intervene. As in all societies, the 
lowest priority at budget time was the penal system. Then, without 
warning or prompting the Commandant looked intently at me, and 
spoke slowly choosing his words carefully. "I come," he said, 
"from one of the poorest families in lamaica. 1 remember that 1 had 
to go through, what my family went through. These young boys, 
they are more educated, more militant . . . they not going to accept 
what I had to accept , . . that is why we don't . . . brutalize them. " 
There was a long thoughtful silence, then Cooden came. 

He came in blinking in the bright sunlight, looking at once 
apprehensive and hopeful. The warden stopped. The pusoner, a 
raw-boned athletic looking youth with wide bony shoulders came 
to attention and looked at the Commandant. "Clinton Gooden, 
Sir," he said, flashing a quick uncomprehending look in my direc- 

In his first letter he had given his age as twenty-three, but he 
seemed much younger. His face was smooth, youthful appearing, 
unlined and somehow vulnerable. There was not fat on his frame 
and he seemed physically strong and his eyes were alert though 
guarded. His prison issue white cotton shirt and shorts were crisp 
and clean, possibly they had him change before bringing him. He 
looked like the eager young freshman that I profoundly wished he 

"You have a visitor, Gooden, " the commandant said, and the 
prisoner looked fully at me for the first time, still puzzled. 

"You know this man?" the commandant asked. 

"No Sir," he said. I told him my name. He smiled for the first 

They let us talk at a table in the middle of the room. The com- 
mandant sat at his desk and did not appear to be listening. The 
guard stood a few feet away and seemed to be listening very care- 
fully. We sat facing each other across the table, leaning forward so 
that our faces were only a few feet apart and spoke quickly and in 
low tones. There was a supressed liveliness, a quality of energy in 
him as he quickly told me how he came to be there. He had been 
posted to a station in the far west of the island. One night, he said, 
he had returned from an investigation and turned in his gun to the 
desk officer, gone into the sleeping quarters and gone to bed only 
to be awakened by an explosion. He found the desk officer dead. 
The shot had come from the gun he had just turned in some half- 
hour earlier, he was arrested after an investigation. No, he said, 
there was no history of friction between him and the deceased, nor 
did the prosecution claim that there wa,s. These facts hardly seemed 
justification for the bringing of charges. Nor could I see how any 
jury could have convicted a man and seen him sentenced to death 
on that evidence. I told him so. Nevertheless, he assured me, that is 
what happened. ... In any event, 1 said, I was not there to retry 
the case. That was not what my visit meant. I had brought some 
more books. Was there anything more along those lines that he 
wished me to do? He told me that some forty to fifty of the con- 
demned men had indicated interest in the books and wanted a 
formal course in African and Afro-American history if I would 
offer one by correspondence. They were serious and when 1 said I 
was sure I could get my publisher to donate the textbooks he said 
that he was sure the inmates could (some of their families had a 
little money) cover the costs of the books. I agreed that if the per- 
mission were granted, myself and members of my department 
would do it. Once 1 was back in Amherst 1 would start work on it 
He- seemed quite pleased and we talked briefly about the books I 
had with me. It was with feelings of profound ambivalence that 1 
left the prison. The young man's interest, his excitement about the 
books and what they had to teach him about his people was pal 
pable and infectious. The interest of the others as he described it 
was also moving and if the authorities allowed it, the course would 
be possible. It was the other expectations that troubled me. The 
men's sad and rather desperate hope that by demonstrating ihei/ 
recepliveness to education they would favorably impress the 
authorities and perhaps win some lightening of their sentences, 
perhaps save their lives. I thought it unlikely, even in a society 
whose public rhetoric placed such emphasis on "the importance of 

nliH iition ', a course in Black History would have that effect 
on I he power structure. But could one expect men, especially 
young men. in jeopardy of their lives, not to clutch at anything 
cvi'ii remotely resembling a hope no matter how ephermal? I 
ikxidKl thai I was a techer, and if the Brothers wanted to study it 
was my duty to do so while cautioning them not to invest the 
undertaking with unrealistic hopes and expectations. 

1 1 wvTi December before 1 was able to get back home and I found 
.1 number of letters from prison awaiting me. Reading them one 
(.MiM feel, almost visualii-e (he paradox of the young prisoner's 
>,i(uatii'n. Ke was reading avidly and intelligently. His imagination 
tlovscred his intellectual horizons and political vision expanded. 
1 he b(Hiks took him into the world, and as his mind engaged the 
present .mil the past one could feel in his letters the intellectual 
( A( itiinenl that he lelt . . . but his material reality was firmly 
.ini hiMcd within the small, concrete cell on death row. 

he had come back to Chinweizu's The West and 

the Kest of Us. 

It was a good letter suggesting a quiet determination and a mental 
strength. My heart felt for the young man. He was pursuing what- 
ever channels were open to try to change his situation. 

A new year finds me in the same conditions but I have increased my 
working efforts to liberate myself, Michael, lam working on two fronts: 
to get back the case in the appelate court and to ask the Governor to 
commute my sentence. . . . If my forefathers can win freedom from their 
white slavers 1 can also win freedom from my injustices and oppression. 
. . . Here I also enclose a copy of my article "Down With Racism In 
South Africa". I have the profoundest revolutionary love for my brothers 
and sisters there who are struggling to regain their beauty and rights 
to their homeland. . . . Do you think all of us will unite and love each' 
other as Black to Black? 

1 7orote Mr. Salkey and he wrote back and gave me some of his poems 
XL'hich I find much solace in. He is a good intellectual brother and thanks 
for mentioning me to him. You are my two great friends. I am doing 
a lot of writing and would like to know if Drum will accept some. Do 
write soon, 

Iholhcr. mil cijorts^ fitill continue to achieve the ultimate goal of 
yimnumitting myself through hard work and study and I am not break- 
ing ^ucti golden opportunities to study with you. Presently I am on the 
iiii><l authentic xivrk of Chin'ioeizu and it is certainly a true work on 
the •I'orld's probh')ns today. One only has to look on the financial in- 
i/(Vi> (.if llii' ifuluslrialized countries and see the down turn that is rapidly 
///A;//V pliKC Otic has lo looinier what will become of poor countries in 

Love and Power. 

I was happy to be able to write back to tell him that the editors of 
Drum had accepted the articles, and that I was in the process of 
working out the course for him and the brothers. I am fairly certain 
he never received that letter because I got one from another 
prisoner written on March 3rd. It bore no institutional stamp and 
had been smuggled out. The last paragraph reads: 

( am not loo optinnstic avoul our countn/ s recovery progrannnes, 
because production lohich stimulates and gives power to development 
is not here. Our faltering iiuiustries are too tied up in North America 
anil these world conditions will only affect the poor of this xoorld. Con- 
illlio}i< like these -will cerlainh/ have an adverse affect on my life. '8^ 
icill .onic irilh plenty sornrws and I am liopin<,i Bro. Thelwell, that I 

. . . You have certaiidy instilled nezi> dignity, power and consciousness 
in my life ami I am glad. Mr. Thelwell. Your visit to me has painted 
clear inclinrs for me and I have found a new zest in my life. . . . With 
II nrir year approaching I hope lo work with yon more whole heartedly 
on iniy projeih you may assign. ... 

I.ti.'icnihcr. he wrote about taking his case to the Privvy Council 
d llie possibility of petitioning the Governor to commute his 
nlrnic. and about his studies: 

All/ ^Indies air coining on beautiful and I hope you still bear in mind 
»iy >iiggeslioii abinil giving me an exam on a syllabus that you will send 
aiiil ihrii you can grade it to the university level. My life depends on 

111 today on Africa'< militnn/ past. I have been stu- 
('.eiiiiis by Basil Davidson and it is very interesting 
with the Soiighay Empire which started with Sunni 
f his military exploits one is impelled to see that we 
and great iichievemeiils. Under his inilitan/ rule 
peioii-. and eiiioyed groivth in its economy from 

i/i/.'i/V / he .^trtcan (', 
Bni/Zici. Irt ^deal w. 

"^ni'hiiy .I'r 

ons throe letters, almost lost in the accumulated mail of five 
lis, lOiilained the short essays which appear in this issue. 
(Iter ,if knoivledging this and assuring him that the course 
<.l I't' toithcoming had apparently not reached him by January 
when he next wrote. 1 received that letter in mid-February. 

Charlie Gooden, an ex-cop on death row ask that I inform you of his 
predicament. He and a couple others tried to escape a fortnight ago and 
the plan blew up. They were caught and beaten with spring blades and 
iron pipes. . . . Gooden is admitted to the public hospital with a broken 
jaw, a broken spinal chord, couple fractured ribs and a leg broken in 
two places — being the major injuries. Three of them are admitted to 
the hospital, Goodeji being the worst injured. The warders wanted to 
kill him, saying he organized the escape. I saw them beating him with 
those great strips of iron used for truck springs. Nobody official is say- 
ing anything since it was an escape. 

That is all that I knoio. 


Culture and Art in Jamaica Today 

The art of various nations of the world each has its own pecuHar 
national form and national style. But are Jamaicans perspicuous 
about this? Certainly not all. They reject their own national char- 
acteristics and blindly worship the West. 

Ethnically and historically speaking Jamaicans are Africans, and 
are wholly enriched with African culture. The sounding of drums, 
cultivation of land to produce food and the practicing of myal. All 
these cultural activities were handed down by the first Africans 
who set foot on this tiny Caribbean island to generations and 
generations. But are these glorious heritages being preserved 
today? No! Contemporary Jamaicans are adopting cultures that 
affect the majority of Blacks here. Namely, cultures of the West. 
They even go so far as to advocate complete Westernization! This 
is wrong. Complete Westernization is impracticable. It will not be 
accepted, and cannot be accepted by the Black man of Jamaica. 
The arts and national Sciences differ in this respect. For example, 
removing the appendix and taking aspirin have no national form. 
This is not the case with our arts and culture! With them the 
question of national form does arise. This is because art and cul- 
ture is the manifestation of peoples' lives, thoughts and emotions 
and it bears a very close relationship to a nations customs and 

Historically the artistic heritage has grown up within the nation's 
framework and has excelled rapidly. Where Jamaican music, art, 
painting, drama, dances and songs have attained international 
recognition through the efforts of dedicated hard working 
Jamaicans, why now reject these rich and magnificent efforts for a 
foreign culture? Are we unwilling to develop and study them? 
Certainly Jamaicans cannot adopt these attitudes of national 
anihilism towards our arts. Jamaicans are quite aware that every 
nation in this world has its own strength and weaknesses. 

Since earliest times, excellent things and rotten things have 
mingled together and accumulated over long periods. To sort them 
out and distinguish the essence from the dregs is a difficult task. 
But we must not reject history, because of these difficulties. It is no 
good cutting ourselves off from our history and abandoning our 
heritage. Take note, I am by no means implying that we do not 
need to learn things from foreign countries. We must learn only the 
good things and master them for our development. 

Jamaicans have come from afar, our forefathers have fought 
many struggles and have won. Paul Bogle, Cudjoe, Nanny, Tacky 
Sam Sharpe and all the rest have helped to liberate us. We are 
proud of them. And also these who have liberated us culturally. 
Bob Marley, Trevor Rhome, Rex Nettleford, Louis Bennet, Ranny 
Williams, Peter Tosh and all the rest who are still hidden. We are 
Black and proud and we must all stand resolute in our Blackness 
and identify where our dignity and beauty lies. Never must we be 
led away by false cultural values that our psyche can be distorted. 

Jamaicans we are proud to be. 

Clinton N.A. Gooden 
Inmate Death Row 

"Down With Racism in South Africa" 

Black people are human beings just as white people are. Yet 
almost from the beginning of contact between the African people 
and the Europeans, the whites have relied on greed and impudence 

and cruelty to further their sordid and pecuniary interest. In this 
century we are still confronted with these morbid conditions. The 
cancer of racism is in full force in South Africa and is eating deeply 
in the beauty of the Black South Africans. 

The canker worm of racism still gnaws relentlessly at the vitals 
of the Black South Africans. Black people are subjected to arbi- 
trary arrest. Brutality, dilapidated housing conditions, no political 
rights; because of the color of their beautiful skin. But must we 
other natives of African descendants stand aside and watch our 
people suffer in torment and frustration? No. We must help them 
fight to regain their beauty and the right to rule their homeland. 
We must alienate ourselves from participating in the policies of 
apartheid by isolating the apartheid regime. 

Recently we have seen Black men participating in sports in South 
Africa. Playing with sportsmen who are barred internationally 
from participating in sports because of their country's racial 
policies. Black men who are well aware of the racial conditions of 
that country. Do they not realize that the are turning back the 
peoples united struggle to achieve freedom? All Blackmen certainly 
must have heard or read about Nelson Mandella and his book "No 
Easy Walk to Freedom" or Edward Braithwaite's book titled 
"Honorary White". Do we believe them or do we doubt them? It 
is nothing of a secret. This repulsive policy of apartheid is inter- 
nationally condemned by all progressive and peace loving people 
of the world and we as Black people should help our brothers and 
sisters to liberate themselves of the restrains of racism. 

Black people in their contact with the whites have struggled for 
all that is fine and noble and human. As Black people we must 
know that racism is an insanity, a disgrace to humanity and a nega- 
tion of man. We demand Black power in South Africa, not a means 
to commit inhumanity, cruelty, brutality and murder. The whites 
of South Africa hold the records for these insanities; no Black man 
can beat these records. We must demand Black power for South 
Africans. We are resolutely and irrevocably determined that they 
must no longer be beast of burdens, born to be exploited by the 
whites for inordinate profits. The fruits of their labor must no 
longer be taken away from them. The lands of their fathers are 
theirs to hold and to cherish and improve and preserve. 

Our ancestors are great and are always with us. We are proud 
of them and must honor them. All Black men should be proud to 
repeat the name of Queen Nefertiti, Amen Hotep III, Sunni Ali, 
Mansa Musa, Askia the Great, Toussaint L'Overture, Shaka, the 
Mahdi. They are all warriors of freedom for us. Pushkin, Ter- 
rence, Dumbar, taught us literature; Bridge-T«wer, Coldridge 
Taylor and Paul Robeson teach us music and art. Bannaker, 
Richard Wright, DuBois, Malcolm X, Lumumba, Nkrumah, 
Masser, Fanon and all the rest taught us that to be Black is beauti- 
ful. We can no longer tolerate racism. 

In our long march to exterminate the obscenities of racism. Black 
people must unite. For years we have seen the destruction of our 
Brothers and Sisters and cannot let it go further. Now is the time to 
march forward and win the battle. Let us not be blinded by gold 
and silver from the warehouses of our oppressors. But march 
forward in our various ways and disciplines to assume the awe- 
some task and burden of Black liberation for South Africans. 

Life and power for the people : 

Clinton N.A. Gooden 
Inmate Death Row 


By Homer Meade 

(Spring 1982) - CHATTAHOOCHIE RED continues a 
stream of creative output that Jazz Hall of Famer Max 
Roach launched in the 1960's with classics like We Insist! 
Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite, Percussion Bitter Sweet, and 
It's Time. Perhaps the most stunning moment on CHAT- 
TAHOOCHIE RED is an excerpt of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther 
King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech, with Max Roach 
soloing underneath. This piece explores three musical areas 
in which he has been a majoi innovator: the creative use 
of the voice and its timbres; solo drum improvisation of 
tonal substance and orchestral breadth; and the tension- 
generating juxtaposition of unusual time signatures. It also 
hints at Max Roach's keen interest in mixed media, 
(excerpts from an interview with Max Roach) 

... In Connecticut they celebrate Dr. Martin Luther 
King's birthday as a state holiday. Stevie Wonder is talk- 
ing about making Dr. King's Birthday a national Holiday. 
They do celebrate his birthday in about sixteen states in 
the nation. In Connecticut everything closes up even the 
banks, and 1 think that is important. We should have na- 
tional holidays honoring Black Americans because people 
like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X are more American 
than a lot of those folks on Capitol Hill. Simply because 
they are advocates of democracy in its pure sense. Just 
because someone is an advocate, in word, of the Pream- 
ble of the U.S. Constitution, that doesn't make him any 
more an American than those who advocate democracy 
without having heard about the Constitution. 


... To me those who advocate democracy in the true 
sense of the word are really Americans. This is for all of 
the people not just some of the people. That's what I had 
in mind when 1 used Martin Luther King's voice on the 
record. Martin Luther King's voice to me lends itself to a 
lot of things. His sense of rhythm, and the tone, centered 
around the way he spoke, lends itself to something very 
musical to me. He stood as a political figure, but it's a very 
musical, rhythmic experience when I hear him speak. . . . 

I have often thought about how we as Blacks should 
spend the holiday named for and honoring Dr. King. And 
I know that this is a hard thing to say, but 1 think that in 
some ways dealing with ourselves as a separate entity — 
i.e. Black, Afro- American, etc., etc., takes away from what 
our rights are in at least this point in time. At first I thought 
it was a reaction to a lot of things, but you know we are 
Americans. We. have as much right to everything in this 
country as everybody else and these categories that we 
seem to accept and try to find our place in seems in some 
ways not productive. I mean, why should 1 go around say- 
ing, "I'm a Black American." I'm an American! I'm sup- 
posed to have everything that everybody else has here. 
As long as this country isn't controlled by the indigenous 
people or the native American, it is up for grabs. Europeans 
have got it in their hands right now, organically, or 
however you want to put it. Nature put a certain group 
of people in this area and, if they don't have it, then it's 
up for grabs. Even with that 1 tend to think that we should 
opt for the whole thing. Not just some of Black America. 
What does that mean? Am I separate from somebody? Am 
I separating myself from the whole? What does it actually 
mean? I just think it's counter-productive. Before it was 
a reaction to something, but now I don't think it is. I think 
we have to deal with some things in other ways. And in 
fact it isn't anything new because when you read Frederick 
Douglass, when you hear his speeches, he always takes 
this country for his own. He says, "Our great nation and 
we are as we!" His things were like these. We've got away 
from that because we were reacting to all the racism. I 
thought it was appropriate at that time, but you change. 
We went through a period of Black Nationalism and that 
was that. Now I'm an AMERICAN NATIONALIST in the 
true democratic sense. Now America is not a democracy. 
I'm an advocate of the democratic way of life, com- 
munalism or whatever you want to call it. So anyone who 
is racist, who is exploiting the people to me is 
undemocratic, even The President of the U.S.A. 

. . . But let me get back to King. You see, to me there 
was something special in his voice. King to me was a 
singer. He was a great singer. He could speak. I mean that 
many people can talk and say profound things, but King 
could take something that was nonsense and make it into 
some sense. He could mesmerize you in "I had a dream." 
That was a very romantic piece that he used. To me, it is 
a romantic piece. The way he dealt with it; his voice; and 
the rhythm that he used to me was like a song. He's a 
singer, a great singer and of course he did say profound 
things as well, but that piece was something else because 
it had extras. It had a certain kind of rhythm which came 
out of the call — response and baptist — type approach 
to dealing with things. He was right smack there I believe 
into it, into the church, the Black minstrel church feeling, 
that old time religious thing. Great speech. . . . 

. . . There is another thing which struck me about the 
Stevie Wonder's suggestion that King's birthday be pro- 
claimed an international holiday. I hadn't thought of that. 
I don't know of any international holidays except May 1st. 
We celebrate it internationally. That's the workers day or 
something, isn't it? Individually I can think of maybe 
Christmas. Christmas really is not universal, but the ma- 
jority of the people in the Western World celebrate 
Christmas. Yea that's great, going past the narrowness of 
this country and the way they think. I think we're mov- 
ing into a period of confrontation on a different level. 
Before it was on, it was a lot of fear, a lot of passion and 
that kind of thing. This is exemplified by MLK. The way 
we used to talk, we had a lot of physical confrontation, 
but now it is on an intellectual level, or at least it should 
be. I think confrontation should become more intellectual, 
scientific issues and right into that area. . . . 

I have searched for answers time and time again. Perhaps 
the message that is to be left by the life and death of Dr. 
King and the efforts which I have been involved with for 
my professional life is summed up in this "Message" I 
leave for the children and the young. We must always try 
to excel. This demands that we try harder than the task 
would require. We must strive for our goals by TRYING 

— Critics have acclaimed Max Roach as: 
. . . the Duke Ellington of the drums. More than any 
other percussionist in American music. Max Roach 
elevated the trap kit and cymbals to orchestral 
dimensions. International Musicians and Recording 

World Magazine 


Sun Rise Missions: (for Hbyt W. Fuller) 

He will be missed, not lost among papers j 

remembered in midnight study cells 

and early morning runs. ' 

remembered as an originator of 


from a vision that was sound & sane i 

steadfast and tempered ^- 

Tempo between songs and dance between 

fist and articulation call him 

screamingly dangerous 

Sang beauty first 

notice the eyes of children 

locate their living & eating space 

try & smile now. 

run with & against the common wind 

do damage for damage be 

unpredictable with map and compass 

& weapons pressed against the cheek 

Catch fire & fire 


there is an uneasiness among us 

window shades are drawn, 

people talk in nods and whispers 

babies are again born in homes, 

people are picking up books and nails 

and anxiously listening to grandparents. 

there is sunrise on the horizon 

Pass this word quickly and quietly 

there are rats in the streets. 

Poison is needed. Now. 

Poet: for Larry Neal 

in time and time 

in evening nights 

in quiet search and final answer 

they took the poets away 

ii.'-> '.^IBilfJSHEiii^^PSS*" 

they promised them gifts of gifts and portable and 

lasting fame 
they promised them beautiful life, hungerless days, 

rising riches 
and lasting lust, they promised gold & university chairs 

& unlimited 

they promised promises 


in return 

they suggested that the poets 

sing a 


this world is full of 


and dying 

& unpublished 




awards this 


Given at Columbia University in the City of New York, 
October 8, 1982 in its Fifty-Ninth Annual Contest. 

Lyrics by Stevie Wonder 

You know it doesn't make much sense 
There ought to be a law against 
Anyone who takes offense 
At a day in your celebration 

Cause we all know in our minds 
That there ought to be a time 
That we can set aside 
To show just how much we love you 

And I'm sure you will agree 

It couldn't fit more perfectly 

Than to have a world party on the day he came to be 


Happy Birthday to you 
Happy Birthday to you 
Happy Birthday 

Happy Birthday to you 
Happy Birthday to you 
Happy Birthday 

I just never understood 
How a man who died for good 
Could not have a day that would 
Be set aside for his recognition 

Because it should never be 

Just because some cannot see 

The dream as clear as he 

That they should make it become an illusion 

And we all know everything 
That he stood for time will bring 
For in peace our hearts will sing 
Thanks to Martin Luther King 


Happy Birthday to you 
Happy Birthday to you 
Happy Birthday 

Happy Birthday to you 
Happy Birthday to you 
Happy Birthday 

Why has there never been a holiday 
That peace is celebrated 
All throughout the world 

The time is overdue 

For people like me and you 

You know the way to truth 

Is love and unity to all God's children 

It should be a great event 

A nd the whole day should be spent 

In full remembrance 

Of those who lived and died for the oneness of all people 

So let us all begin 
We know that love can win 
L et it out don Y hold it in 
Sing as loud as you can 


Happy Birthday to you 
Happy Birthday to you 
Hapy Birthday 

Happy Birthday to you 
Happy Birthday to you 
Happy Birthday 




K \" 


7- .^ 




*r .^ 



1 Professor Nelson Stevens -^ 

W.EB. DuBois Department of Afro-American Studies 



ications Studies '85 writer, trans- 
criber, typist 

• LORI BECKLO Marketing '83 
typing, distribution, typesetter 

ication Studies '84 Editor, fund 

hanical Engineering '85 transcrib- 
er, lay-out^ distribution 

4 SHARON DA VIES Political 
Science '83 typist, typesetter, 
proofreader lay-out 

Economics '85 typist, mailing list 
distribution, typesetter 

'85 Chief Editor, writer, lay-out, 
correspondance, interviewer 

• GRADY FULLER Sports Man- 
agement '84 writer, lay-out, dis- 

lege of Arts & Science lay-out, 
transcriber, distribution 

School of Management '85 lay- 
out transcriber, distribution 

7 PAMELA HEARD Liberal Arts/ 
Smith College '85 writer 

• SABINA HOBBS College of 
Arts & Science '85 mailing list, 
typist, typesetter 

ism Studies '84 Editor, distribu- 

9 CARLA JAMES Psychology 
Neuro- Science '84 interviewer, 

typesetter, writer, transcriber 

Degree with Independent Con- 
centration writer 

culture Resource Economics '86 
typist, mailing list, typesetter 

11 SYLVIA KINN Psychology '84 
interviewer, transcriber, writer, 

12 ROBERT LYNCH Bachelor of 
Fine Arts '85 artist lay-out 

or of Fine Arts '85 artist, writer, 
lay-out, fund raiser 

of Arts/Smith College '83 writer 

15 MICHAEL NAULS School of 
Management '84 mailing list dis- 

of Management '85 mailing list, 

17 SIDY NIANG Electrical 
Engineering '85 lay-out, distribu- 

munication Studies '83 Editor, 
writer, distribution 

19 KEVIN OUVEIRA College of 
Arts & Science '86 transcriber, 

ication Studies'85 transcriber, 

writer, typist 

• VONCILLEROSS Zoology '85 
writer, interviewer 

20 DARRYL RUFFEN Account- 
ing '84 Editor, fund raiser, dis- 
tribution, proofreader 

21 MITRA SAMIMI Commun- 
ication Studies '83 cartoonist, 

graphics, lay-out 

22 GLENN SILVA Legal Shidies 
'83 Treasurer, Business Manager, 

Marketing '85 typist, proofreader, 

of Arts & Science '86 lay-out 
typist distribution 

American Studies '84 President 
Editor, writer, lay-out graphics, 
typist typesetter 

2 6 JOYCE SUMPTER Legal Stud- 
ies '85 Secretary, correspondance 


27 WENDY SYLVIA Animal Sci- 
ence '85 lay-out typist proof- 

ology '85 mailing list typesetter 

munication Studies '85 photo- 
grapher, writer, distribution 

Sports Management '83 distribu- 

29 DUANE WILSON Marketing 
'83 Vice-President lay-out 





dennis o. callwood "^ photo credit 

graphic ■^ laurie spinelli 


A St ^