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Full text of "Drum"

The Drum 

Volume 15, Number I & II 

University of Massachusetts 
Amherst, Mass. 01003 
1-413-545-0768 

New Africa House 
Room 115 



FRONT COVER: Water Spirits — James E. Tatum 
24" X 30" 

BACK COVER: Queen Candace — Murry DePillars 
EDITOR: Emily Guzman 



It is time to call the children 

Into the evening quiet of the living-room 

And teach them the lessons of their blood. 



Robert Hayden 



-^ 



One of the art forms they 
took from us when we 
came to this strange land 
was the drum. Here in 

Amherst we got our DRUM 
bacii after great struggle ^ 
1 7 years ago. We are 
learning how to remember 
the correct rhythms and ^ 
we've got it right now. 
Check us out and let us 
know if you hear us for 
we are constantly in 
danger of again losing 
our drum. 

Nelson Stevens .Jn 



i 



tirum 




11 



13 



14 



17 



18 

19 

20 

21 
29 

32 



53 



54 



55 



59 
60 



66 



67 



72 



75 



Minority Conference 

by Laura Yee 
James Baldwin 

by Oneida C. Fox 
Apartheid 

by Stephanie Sargeant 
Another Black Hero 

by Stephen Rutherford 
Believe It Or Not 

by Chris Allen 
Cuba 

by Oneida C. Fox 
Frank Silvera Writer's Workshop 

by Donna Henry 
John Thompson 

by John E. Phillips 
Profile on KC Jones 

by Dino Maye 
The Revelation (The Great Oak) 

by Will Nayle 
Pictorial Essay: Adger Cowans 
Rush Productions Run — D.M.C. 

by Jacquelyn Shephard 
Rush Productions 
Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde 

by Jacquelyn Shephard 
Olu Dara 

by Kurt Fedora 
The Images Television 
Portrays of Blacks 

Stephanie Sargeant 
Vibrations 

by Brad Kaplan 
So Stuck Up 

by Yolanda Stafford 
Avery Sharpe 

by Richard Little 
View from the Top 

by Sharon Mills 
Jim Boyd 

by Oneida C. Fox 
Dennis Johnson 

by Dino Maye 
Antonio Fargas 

by Donna Henry 



> 





4 



lAb^^^L. 



lAA 



MINORITY CONFERENCE 

By Laura Yee 



The lame excuse of newspaper 
editors for low numbers of minorities 
employed in the newsroom is that they're 
not experienced, they're not quaHfied, 
they can't be objective and what's more is 
that they can't speU. 

But the American Society of News- 
paper Editors (ASNE), on the brink of 
bringing more minorities in the news- 
room, has embarked on the road to 
change the exceptionally low minority 
representation in the newsroom. ASNE 
has commited itself to hire more minor- 
ities in the newsroom to equal their 
percentage in the U.S. population by the 
year 2000. 

The first of ASNE's eight confer- 
ences at colleges across the country 
commenced with a three-day northeast 
regional seminar at the University of 
Massachusetts at Amherst (Oct. 28-30). 
The conference titled, "Minorities in the 
Newsroom: Finding Minority Journalists 
for the 1900." gathered publishers, 
editors, administrators and reporters from 
several nationally known newspapers to 
define the goals in encouraging minority 
participation in journalism from the 
high school level to the professional 
level. 

Les Payne, nation editor of Newsday 
a national and international reporter 
for that paper made the keynote speech 
at the opening night dinner sponsored 
by the Springfield Newspapers. 

"Journalism is lagging far behind in 
other fields, in minority hiring and 
promotion," Payne said. "It is vital that 
these numbers be increased in order to 
save journalism." 

"Blacks and other minorities are the 
greatest influence on American Music. 
Many of the nation's greatest athletes 
are Black and many minorities are being 
elected into political leadership roles at 
an increasing rate. Yet there are no 
black reporters or editors on two-thirds 
of American Newspapers," Payne said. 

"As a result, journalism fulfills by 
large, the white American right to know, 



and neglects the rest of the population," 
Payne said. 

Payne, who won a puhtzer prize 
for his series "The Heroine Trial" in 
the eariy 1970's and who was nominated 
for his 1978 reports from the Black 
Soweto slums in South Africa, said 
"American journalism is "in very dire 
straits in terms of domestic reporting," 
and suffers from a "woeful act of ac- 
curate reporting from abroad." 

Of the more than 1 70 foreign corres- 
pondents fielded from the New York 
Times, The Los Angeles Times and The 
Wall Street Journal, none are black. 

"In the cityrooms across the coun- 
try, I have not seen much hipe for Min- 
orities in the newsroom . . .the sad 
point in fact is that not much is being 
done." 

Payne is critical of a target date set 
at the year 2000 for achieving minority 
representation in the newsroom. Payne 
believes that editors will not rush to 
begin integrating their cityrooms with so 
many years between now and the target 
date. 

Payne compared his experience as a 
Black reporter in the late 1960's. Some 
of the reporters in the cityroom were 
outraged at the thought of bringing 
black reporters into the newsroom who 
could not obviously do Journalism, 
who obviously could not spell, who 
obviously could not be taught to write. 

"These editors," he explained, "did 
not train us the way they trained white 
reporters. They did not give us assign- 
ments the way they gave them to white 
reporters and they did not promote us 
the way they promoted white reporters, 
and they do not to this very hour. And 
that is the reality of American journal- 
ism." 

Perspectives on goals in employment, 
recruiting and improving minority hiring 
in the newsroom were discussed in the 
second day of the conference. 

In response to "Goals for Minority 
Employment on Newspapers," James L. 



Medoff from Harvard University told a 
group of about 50 participants that the 
Boston Globe is keeping their commit- 
tment made to a group of Black minis- 
ters last year in hiring more minorities 
to the newspaper's staff. 

Although figures of Blacks compared 
to whites in the newsroom is "still 
way below the national level, things 
are getting better," Medoff said. In 
1979, only 59 out of 2,595 employees 
at the Globe were minorities compared 
to the 1983 figures of 127 out of 2,589, 
Medoff disclosed. 

On "Recruiting Minorities for Pro- 
fessional Education," Chester Davis, 
Professor of Afro-American Studies at 
UMass, said "ihe entering number of 
minorities in college are beginning to 
shrink because of fees and cost to edu- 
cate these young people are skyrocket- 
ing." 

"Money is drying up in various 
places, this hurts the poorest minorities 
that are the hardest hit," Davis said. 
"A lot has to happen on the university 
level. Pressure needs to be put on univer- 
sity admissions." 

The speakers on "How to Improve 
Minority Hiring in the Newsroom" 
all agreed networkingmust be established 
through the high schools and college 
graduates to open the doors for pot- 
entially quahfied minorities. 

Margy McCay, assistant personnel 
director at the Associated Press, said 
the "AP is beginning to increase the 
numbers of Blacks in the newsroom by 
offering internships to blacks and minor- 
ities." 

"Most people don't work for the 
AP right out of school. There is a two 
year minimum experience required," 
McCay explained. "We attend confer- 
ences, recruiting fairs and we work with 
the minority banks. It's not easy to do 
this and it takes rime, money and com- 
mitment." 

David Squires, a Newsday copy 

editor, commented that white staffers 

coniimied on page 78 




Based on JAMES BALDWIN'S 



Going to meet the man... 
Out of the Wilderness 



By Oneida C. Fox 



The rain mingled with her tears. Ruth walked in the 
storm of her mind. Her footsteps carried her--unknowingly-- 
to the place she had to face. Paul is gone--it has ended, she 
thought. 

The apartment was dark and the silence calmed the 
storm, as she entered. The apartment she shared with Paul. 
Something was missing-she knew-something was gone. 
Ruth undressed and lay on the bed. The storm reappeared 
mingled with the reality of her and Paul. She was conscious of 
herself, of her being. Her past encircled her: the boy in the 
barn, her brother, Arthur, Paul, Mr. Davis and then the storm. 

Ruth was free, because she did not know what to do. 
She did not have to do anything. She lay in the storm of 
reality awake, waiting; trying to understand-the change. 
Paul did not come home that morning. 



She woke up alone to face herself and her past. "You 
dirty", she heard. I'm black, she realized-I want to break 
free. The morning rose in darkness with the storm. 

Ruth woke up aware of the change. She knew, Paul 
was her crutch. She was glad he had not come home, she 
thought. He was with Cosmo--she told herself. He would 
be home soon. He never stayed out all night. Paul always told 
her the truth, he would explain. The guilt, the guilt! Why 
didn't he stay away? Why didn't he marry the gallery owner's 
daughter and set her free, she thought. The §uilt-would also 
be hers--if Paul came. Her eyes were closed and she went 
into another world. 

Paul entered the room and without saying a word. She 
knew he was about to tell his truth. Free, free, she told herself. 
Her father, my brother "You dirty." Paul asked her what was 



wrong. I don't love you-I need you. I want you to set me 
free. I don't want the guilt anymore. 

While Ruth lay dreaming, she told Paul of her guilt. She 
was doing what in reality she lacked the courage to do. She 
did not ask Paul where he had been, for she knew it no longer 
mattered. She was suddenly afraid of their guilt. 

Paul took her in his arms and told her that nothing 
mattered. He loved her and explained that last night he got 
very drunk. "I stayed at Cosmo's, I am sorry" -- she knew. 

"Ring, ring, ring." The phone woke her up, dreams, she 
thought. "Where are you ?" she said. Cosmo's he said. Paul 
wanted to tell Ruth--to prepare her-that the gallery owner's 
daughter was pretty. Not as pretty as Ruth, but . . .Cosmo told 
him, he had to break away. Cosmo said, he needed to be 
free-but what to do, he was thinking. Was this it, was he 
leaving, would she be free-after the storm, she thought. 

"I never lied to you," she heard. She knew. His truth was 
to prepare her, for his leaving. No promises, no lies, no regrets, 
she thought. "Funny face" Paul said, "I am going to stay with 
Cosmo, for a while-to work. The gallery owner's daughter 
was pretty. She said nothing. Paul asked "if it was o.k."-to 
prepare her. Paul was always preparing the road for himself. 
Ruth realized that this was Paul's way of saying good-by. 
Cosmo was to blame, but she was glad-she thouglit. "Yes," 
she heard herself say. The stomi she remembered. 
"Come out of the wilderness 
Come out of the wilderness 
How did you fell when . . ." 

Was last night a dream, she thought. Paul had hung up. 
She got out of bed and went to take a shower. She wanted to 
wash the dirt-her skin. "You dirty," she remembered. As the 
water splashed on her body, she remembered the storm. Was 
the storm in her mind, she was not sure. Mr. Davis-"it was 
nice for a man to be courtly with me," she thought. She turn- 
ed off the water and forgot the storm. 

What would she do-Mr. Davis; he never forgot he was 
black, he couldn't she thought. 

Ruth was aware, that she was free of Paul, but now she 
had to free herself. Last night and this morning were like 
dreams. Was she really awake-what would she do. She did not 
need Paul. She would soon be working for Mr. Davis. She 
knew she would survive without Paul. "Of course I like 
music," she thought. 

The storm in Ruth's mind would pass. She knew as all 
the other storms had passed. Then she would know she was 
out of the wilderness. She dressed and cried. She cried for 
herself and for Paul. They were each others salvation. Who 
would save them now. "Jesus saves," she remembered her 
days back home-before the barn. 

Paul would not be back, he had prepared her. Ruth was 
not sure she was glad. She loved Paul? Paul was her guOt; all 
the men she knew were a part of her guilt. She was her only 
salvation. Mr. Davis was-is a country boy, maybe she could 
settle-he is black, she remembered. Paul, did he like music? 
They would never settle down-Paul is white, her reality. 

Ruth knew she did not love Paul. She was still running. 
She ran away from home. Why? To be free, she realized. 
Paul was her guilt. She had changed, because of the city, she 
knew. Mr. Davis was right, she thought. "You dirty," she 
fought with her past. She knew, she did not do anything. 
Her brother was wrong-she wanted to be free. 

Ruth was beginning to see she was not dirty. Paul was 
gone. She no longer had guilt. She was free. The bond that 
tied her past and her present guUt was gone-Paul. Ruth was 
now for the first time in her life responsible to no one, but 
herself-she was alone. 

"I'm a country girl," she knew. "Aren't you a country 
boy?" "I am he said, but I didn't change my drinking habits 
when I came North." Ruth was aware or her skin. Her brother, 




she thought would never forgive her. But she left her family 
behind when she left home. She was now a country girl by 
birth only. Her family did not understand, she only wanted to 
be free. Freedom-she thought-is sad and lonely, but all hers. 
Ruth knew this, and she was no longer in the storm. 

"Come out of the wilderness 

Come out of the wilderness." 
The wilderness was in Ruth's mind. She carried it with her 
North, like a badge. Ruth walked out of the apartment and 
the storm of last night had ended-it wasn't just in my mind, 
she thought. The sun was fighting to come out from behind 
the clouds. The clouds made the morning gray. The people 
did not accompany her. She walked alone with the breeze at 
her back. 

"How did you feel when you came out 

of the wilderness." 

"Alone and free." 




Editorial i 



By Oneida C. Fox 



Dedicated to 

D. Anderson Hooker; 

Understanding 



She walks in the storm of her mind- 
never alone. Society placed chains on her, 
and she felt no need for humanity. 
She has come to see her stigma in unified 
terms. She reUes on existing, for to 
rely on a soul would mean to rely on 
too little. She believes there is no pur- 
pose, and has lost faith in the human 
race. She wears a label like a shadow. 
"Why can't they look at me, and just 
see flesh; why must the flesh be descrip- 
tive." She believes life is relative. She 
was told to give no reasons, because they 
are excuses people use to hide behind. 
But she wonders, "is that person hiding." 
History has taught her that the truth is 
what people agree on; facts are relative to 
the times and interpreter. She was told 
that her history shaped her character. 
But she is confused, because if her 
history, or her character is a lie then 
both. She is able to answer for the 
conundrum of life. But she is unable to 
answer when she wonders-"who am i?" 

The little i is trapped in a world made 
up of confusion. This world society, 
concentrating too hard on anything, 
thinks of nothing. While she concen- 
trates on nothing in order to think of 
something. 

The world situation is such that she 
can not avoid feehng overwhelmed. 
The i, faced with economic and mOitary 
instability in the Middle East, is unsure. 
She was aware of the three year drought 
in Ethiopia, but confused because sud- 
denly famine in Ethiopia is news. The i 
relived slavery, which was legal more than 
a hundred years ago in America. In 



South Africa, the term apartheid is 
explained as practical discrimination and 
segregation by those who enforce it. 
"Just a 20th century way to justify, 
injustice and oppression." She is told of 
the communist threat, which justifies 
the civil wars in South America. The i is 
leery of North America, the conscious 
society that watches the world. She is 
told that we are all Americans. The i. 
knows that the term American is applied 
by the region with power about the 
powerful. 

She can not avoid being educated in 
this society. It is precisely this education, 
which produces one dimensional futures. 
The i has learned that democracy means 
to fight for independence, and independ- 
ence leads to U.S. dependence. She is 
aware that the United States is a con- 
tradiction in terms. The i knows demo- 
cracy breeds disunity. She knows that 
history will produce the future, but 
what future can one with no .accurate 
history have. The i knows that history has 
shown that the educators are the winners. 

She was born on an island 90 miles 
off the coast of Florida and feels 
estranged. The i knows this can not be 
the only reason. She has been in the U.S. 
since 1971, and the answers lie outside 
of Cuba. The i believes it is fear. She is 
aware of her fear, but does not under- 
stand. The i knows that being aware 
alone will not produce changes. 

She is told to be happy, and can not 
conceive it. The i knows her concerns 
are too deep. She has seen people commit 
suicide. The i knows she feels helpless. 



So often, she feels alone in the world. 
The i believes she is too sensitive. She 
can not help encompassing aD problems. 
The i wishes she would not internalize 
life. She can not help being subjective 
about humans. The i understands the 
impossibility of objectivity, but beUeves 
she should not encompass everything. 
She knows her limitations, but can not 
help being concerned. The i sees no 
problem with concern. 

She knows not who she is because 
once she knows, her shadow can not 
be her excuse. The i is aware that she 
would deny her history in order to 
have a future. She is confused, because 
she wants to be an individual in a com- 
munity; not a community individual. 
She is fighting alone for the independence 
of society. The i knows she can not 
exist without them. Sometimes, she 
would like to disappear in her own 
world. The i hears her dream, but sees 
her fear. She is not afraid of fear, she is 
afraid of apathy. 

She runs from the thoughts of disap- 
pointment-always alone. She is bound 
to the chains of humanity. She must 
unify herself-she knows. She relys on 
life, for to rely on anything else would 
mean to rely on death. She knows that 
with death in mind she will have the 
choice of life. She knows her label 
speaks of pride. "It does not matter 
what they see, if I know who I am." 
She believes life should be an individual 
choice. She gives reasons, because she 
does not confuse them with excuses. 
History has taught her that the strong 



survive, and nothing is permanent. 
Her history has shaped her character 
and if a he, she will hold onto the 
thought of permanence. 

The i knows she has regained faith in 
the human race. She accepts her role as 
a member of the race, but would like to 
work with the element of time to eradi- 
cate injustice. The i knows the limita- 
tions of time. She would like to speed 
the process of time. The i knows she will 
not remain a faceless member of the 
conundrum. Life has taught her that she 
is foitunate. She understands, and will 
not continue to wonder but will ask- 
"who am I?" The httle I believes one 
he will answer. 

She would like to see changes. The i 
wants to know why celebrities with 
money are making the public contribute 
their meager earnings to starving people 
in Ethiopia, when there are starving 
people next door. She would like to 
understand why a president like Ronald 
Reagan, would give money to the African 
relief fund. The i is aware that it was the 
tax payers money. 

In 1983, the U.S. invaded Grenada. 
In 1984, the C.I.A. minied Nicaragua's 
harbors. While in the U.S. inflation 
soared, the unemployment rate reached 
a record high and aid to the elderly was 
slashed. In 1985, President Reagan 
decided to cut financial aid for students. 
She knows that U.S. imperiahsm has 
barged into every region of the world. 
The i knows it is justified as democracy. 
In this democracy, she would like to 
understand the threat of communism. 
The i knows that America in no way 
justifies communism. 

Although she left Cuba at the age of 
seven, she would not go back under 
communism. The i knows she is disap- 
pointed with democracy. She has lost 
faith in the judicial system. The i has 
witnessed injustice. She does not believe 
the constitution produces justice. The i 
knows justice is produced by people; 
the constitution is a means of protection. 

She is concerned about nuclear war, 
when the "melting pot" spends more 
than half of its budget on arms, which 
will melt the world. The i understands, 
and shares her concern. She can not 
accept the role of American companies 
in South Africa. The i knows it is cap- 
italism. She wants to know why people 
still have to fight for equal rights. The i 
sees it as democratic progress. She wishes 
it were progress. The i knows change 
takes time. She knows she must learn 
patience as well as endurance. 



She followed her shadow for protec- 
tion, because a label is a permanent 
excuse. The i is knowledgeable. She 
knows knowledge is useless if one must 
watch injustice, justified in relation to the 
times. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves 
in 1864, including his own, does that 
make him a hero, emancipator or hyp- 
ocrite. "What good does it do to know 
the right answers." 

The i is aware that men have given 
their lives in the name of justice. She 
knows that they died for freedom and the 
choice, the choice to be individuals. 
The i is confused when the issue be- 
comes unity, and not individualism. 
She knows that people should be aUowed 
the right to pursue what it is they want 
to. The i knows that if one starts qualify- 
ing liberty then one takes on the role of 
overseer. 



^'It does 

not matter 
what they 

see, 
if I know 



who I 



am. 



?> 



She is told by overseers to stay within 
her diameters. The i knows too much 
liberty produces fear, which turns into 
guilt. She wants to be with her friend, 
but is told that he is with her out of his 
guilt. The guilt of the sons of the over- 
seers. The i sees a problem when society 
believes that the way to end racism is by 
discriminating. 

She has heard of men killed as a 
human right. The i knows these men 
gave their lives for justice. She does not 
see the justice in dying. The i beheves 
their Hves were not given in vain. Martin 
Luther King, gave his life to the bet- 
terment of the human race. By peaceful 
means he tried to change the wrongs in 



this society. But he was rewarded in 
1968, with his death. She would like to 
understand the justice. The i is sure he 
understands her point. 

She observes the actions of people. 
The i knows she is critical of her race- 
the human race. She knows her fore- 
fathers suffered, but is not sure they 
would be proud today. The i beheves she 
justifies the pain by ignoring the reality. 
She knows no one is color blind. The i 
knows she would like humanity to be 
colorless. She suffers because she is 
misunderstood. The i knows she needs to 
speak up. She believes people should be 
treated as a result of their actions. The i 
refuses to justify racism. She beheves 
issues are conveniently racial. The i 
would like her to stop being a humani- 
tarian. She would like people to stop 
using color as an excuse, which justi- 
fies. The i knows that people use ex- 
cuses as reasons to hide behind. 

She looks back on four years of 
higher education in ignorance. The i 
knows she is learning. She questions the 
vahdity of her college education. She 
remembers, "what do you have-what do 
you take away?" She believes her answer 
is minimal. The i knows her situation is 
the apprehension of her age. She is 21- 
years-old, and believes she has lived 
147 years. The i knows that human 
beings are by nature animals. From the 
institution of education she would like to 
walk away learning. The i sees the pos- 
sibility. 




8 




APARTHEID 



by Stephanie Sargeant 



A rigid system of Apartheid developed around the eariy 
nineteenth century in South Africa. The notion of apartheid 
is based on the attitudes of the white supremacy against the 
minority living in South Africa, which are Black natives. 
Other forms of Apartheid include the separation of the differ- 
ent racial groups, and the policy of separate development 
between Blacks and Whites in every sphere of life. 

Apartheid was used in an earlier system known as Baaskap. 
Baaskap was the simple exercise of white domination practiced 
by the Dutch from the earliest days. This practice was carried 



on by many white settlers, and was written into the constitu- 
tion of the South African Republic that stated "there shall be 
no equality in state or church between whites and blacks." 
For the first two centuries, feelings of white supremacy 
were not introduced into the legal system, nevertheless, 
segregation was still praticed on an informal basis. The im- 
plementation of this policy is that Blacks were forced to live 
in certain areas allocated to them known as "Bantus." These 
were usually non-productive or barren lands. On the other 
hand whites received the best lands for farming, and also the 



best jobs. Although whites are the minority in South Africa, 
they hold all of the political power making it possible for them 
to pass legislation protecting their interest. The affects of these 
laws passed in the support of apartheid have demeaned and 
controlled the lives of the blacks living there. 

Economically, whites also dominate South Africa. About 
seventy percent of the national income goes to the white 
population and eight-seven percent of the land has been 
designated for the whites. The aim of these economic policies 
is to turn the Black population into a source of ready cheap 
labor for the white areas; as domestic servants, industrial 
workers in the mines and factories, or farm workers on white 
man's farms. 

To enforce these political, economical and social 
conditions, the South African white minority regime made 
very coercive laws and developed South Africa into perhaps 
the most ruthless Police state in the world. 

In recent years pressure from within and from outside has 
brought to begin about major changes in South Africa's 
racially segregated society and stratified economy, despite the 
determination of the ruling white minority to maintain a 
strict separation between themselves and the Blacks. The 
General Assembly has declared that the United Nations and 
the international community take special responsibility con- 
cerning the oppression of South African people. They hope to 
see South Africans receive help in their National Liberation 
Movement and their struggle against apartheid. 

A major contribution in the struggle against apartheid has 
come from Nelson Mandela and his wife Winnie Mandela. 
Nelson Mandela, leader of the African National Congress has 
been fighting against the present system in South Africa 
for two decades before his imprisonment in 1964 on charges 
of sabotage and preparing guerilla for warfare against South 
Africa. During this time he and his wife have been imprisoned, 
suffered injury and banishment for their struggle. The strug- 
gle for the liberation of South Africa and against the ruling 
class. Currently Nelson Mandela is serving a life sentence in 
prison for his struggle for peace. 

Another force in the struggle for peace is Bishop Desmond 
Tutu, General Secretary of the South African council of 
Churches. He was the 1984 recipient of the Nobel Peace 
Prize. He is known as the spiritual voice for blacks in South 
Africa, with a following of twelve million people. He is 
hoping to do away with apartheid in a non-violent manner if 
it can be acheived by peaceful means. Bishop Tutu believes 
the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize was a sign recognizing 
the struggle for peace in South Africa. He also believes this is 
the last chance for a peaceful change in South Africa and 
blood will be shed if nothing is done about it. He stated that 
blacks do not think they are introducing voilence in their 
struggle for peace, but they feel the violence is already there 
in the system itself. 

During the Carter administration when Andrew Young 
was the United Nations Ambassador; freedom seemed nearby. 
Also under Carter the United States supported measures 
favoring majority rule by Black Africans; including baning 
imports of Rhodesian chrome, the Clark Amendment; which 
forbade U.S. intervention in Angola and trade restrictions 
against South Africa. Under Reagan a reversal of what Andrew 
Young and Carter tried to accomplish was implemented the 
U.S. ease a Commerce Department ban on the sale of medical 
tools and supplies to the South African military. The changes 
under Reagan have encouraged officials in South Africa to 
resist granting Blacks equality. In violation of the international 
law, the South African government has refused to hold free 
elections and grant independence to Nambia, which was both 
ordered by the United Nations. As a result of not gaining 
their independence, groups organized and began fighting for 
independence. South Africa invaded Angola killing many 



women and children. The United Nations condemned South 
Africa's action and the United States was the only country 
that vetoed the United Nations security council condemnation 
of the invasion. Chester A. Crodker, Assistant Security of 
African affairs, stated that the western economic, strategic, 
moral and political interests were at stake and that these are 
the U.S. first priorities. In other words diamonds and gold 
are more important than South African lives. 

The apartheid system, with no discouragement by the 
U.S. has jailed many South Africans and made many crack- 
downs on Black unionist. In 1981 more than 400 South 
African labor union members were arrested. 

The only way to bring about justice and to put an end to 
the cruel treatment of Blacks in S.A. is for Black Americans 
to become more aware of what is happenning in S.A. and to 
speak out on these issues to bring about change. In the past 
year many Blacks and other Americans have demonstrated to 
bring about changes. The largest demonstration was in New 
York City with a tremendous turnout. This is great sign 
people in the U.S. have joined South Africans to help in their 
cause. 

12 ways to lobby against apartheid* 

1) Organize citizens to support legislation to stop deposit or 

or investment of public money or corporations 
that invest in South Africa. 

2) Urge churches and Universities to stop investing in corpora- 

tions and banks that invest or lend money to South 
Africa. 

3) Organize churches, unions, and community groups to 

withdraw deposits from banks that lend to South 
Africa. 

4) Protest the sale of Krugerands (South Africa gold coins) 

at banks and coin dealers. 

5) Send letters and telegrams or call your congressional 

Representative to influence voting in congress. Impor- 
tant South African issues now before congress include: 
The Gray Bill (HR 3597), legislation introduced 
by William Gray (D-PA) to bar all new U.S. 
corporate investment in South Africa. 

Urge your congressional representative to oppose 
Department of Commerde efforts to revise on 
loosen restrictions on military related exports to 
South Africa. 

6) Collect food and clothing for shipment to refugee camps 

in South Africa, Namibia, and neighboring countries. 

7) Join the Free Nelson Mandela campaign to gather 100,000 

signatures demanding release of the black South 
African leader who is serving a life sentence on Robben 
Island, the Alcatraz of South Africa. 

8) Write letters or call newspaper, television and radio editors 

protesting unaccurate or biased reports on South 
Africa. Praise the good ones. 

9) Protest South Africa government attempts to build cultural, 

sporting, entertainment and political view with U.S. 
Organize demonstration and pickets to protest such 
visits. 

10) Participate in teach~uns on South Africa in your com- 

munity, on campus in schools and churches. 

11) Work with unions & organize work boycotts of ships car- 

rying South African exports or imports. 

12) Organize events around commeorative dates of the South 

African resistance struggle, such events are currently 
being planned by antiapartheid groups take place 
from March 21 to April 4. 

^Sources: Washington Office on Africa. 



10 



ANOTHER BLACK HERO 



by Stephen Rutherford 



In a decade when we have seen a 
black man run for the presidential Demo- 
cratic ticket, we have also seen Guion 
S. Bluford Jr. accomplish his dream of 
being the first 'Black astronaut in space. 

As a child growing up in West 
Philadelphia, Guion Bluford Jr. was 
fascinated with airplanes and had dreams 
of flying one day. His dreams were more 
than the wUd fantasies of a bright kid 
who loved math and science. He went to 
Penn State University, where he earned 
a Bachelors's degree in aeronautical 
engineering and graduated from the 
Air Force ROTC Program in 1964, 

He went on to fly 144 combat 
missions in Vietnam between 1966 and 
1967 and earned a Masters and a Doctor- 
ate degree in aerospace engineering in 
1974 and 1978 from the Air Force 
Institute of Technology. Bluford was 
selected as an astronaut candidate in 
1978. 



Bluford said, he felt no pressure 
being the first Black American in space. 
"I don't feel any pressure on me," he 
said in a news conference at the NASA 
Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in 
Houston. "I'll go up and do my job as 
professionally as possible," he said. 

Bluford told Jet on March 5, 1984, 
"I look upon my position really as a 
historic position being the first Black to 
fly in space." He also notes that he was 
pleased to be a role model and a symbol 
of hope and inspiration to Black people. 
"I think that it is a very important role 
for me to play. I hope that other Blacks 
can look at me and say, he, had the 
opportunity and he was able to succeed 
in his particular profession, maybe I 
can do it in my particular profession." 

As a mission specialist on the shuttle 
Bluford wOl help deploy communication 
satellite and conduct experiments in 
which live human and animal cells wUl 



be separated in an attempt to make 
drugs that are not possible to produce 
on earth due to gravity. Bluford will 
also assist in the take off and landing 
of the shuttle. 

Lt. Col. Guion was recently 
promoted to Colonel, White House 
Officals announced in Washington D.C. 
This action came after Presidnet Reagan 
decided to revive a long-dormant policy 
to five astronauts who are military 
officers a one grade promotion, after 
their first space flight. 

Bluford will serve in an upcoming 
space flight. A NASA official said Bluford 
will be part of an eight person crew for 
Space Lab Dl mission set to launch in 
September 1985. 

Guion Bluford Jr. a role model and 
Black hero. 



Tomorrow 

by Yolanda Stafford 



Shadows 

by Yolanda Stafford 



Today I met the dream of my heart, 

described in detail from finish to start. 

I learned of my mourning 

took heed of my sorrow 

if God give me strenght 

my day is tomorrow 

I will succeed. 

Today we have seen the seed of our soul, 

the secret inside that maps out our goals. 

This give us our pride 

that we 'II not swallow 

if God gives us strength 

our day is tomorrow 

we will succeed. 



I lie awake eyes straining the darkness 

ears straing the silence 

A shadow? Footsteps? More silence? 

My imagination plays tricks? No! 

Footsteps I hear. Not in my mind. 

The shadow moves closer, closer, closer 

still 
My eyes strain. My ears are turned. 
My heart pounds, my pulse quickens. 
Shadows within arms reach, I SCREAM! 
No noise. My throat 's been slit. 
Blood I lose. Not my imagination. 
Those damn shadows. 



11 



You Are 

By Yolanda Stafford 

You are what J am not 
maybe not what you wish to be 
but I am what lam 
and you are not me 



Scars 

By Donna Henry 

/ still wear the scars 

of what once was beautiful 

But the smiles are gone 

and now the face wears 

the look of a weary traveller . 

Cuts slash across the 

once attractive visage 

And tears fill the once 

sparkling eyes . . . 

He has been transformed 

I still wear the scars. 



Goodbye My Family, 
Goodbye My Friends 

By Yolanda Stafford 

/ fly with the wind, where it might send 

me 
I do not know 

Goodbye my branch, goodbye my tree 
Down to the soil that did nourish me 
I must go 

Goodbye to the sun, goodbye to the sky 
that caressed my green softness so that I 
might brightly glow. 
Hello to the sea, hello to the land 
I peacefully, gracefully float to your hand 
so next year's leaves will grow. 



Confusing, 
these thoughts 

From Donna Henry 

Confusing, these thoughts 

Frustrating, our love 

Frightening, our devotion 

Misunderstood, our words 

Darkness, complete darkness 

Nothing is clear 

Deadly, a love so intense 

Stormy, our personality 

Confusion, utter confusion 

The world is spinning 

And if we loosen our grip 

We will be flung into a darkness worse 

than this. 



Dedicated to the class ofl 985 



Believe It 



Personal Jokes 



Or Not . . . 



by Chris Allen 



by Chris Allen 



The following are actual statements found on the insurance 
forms of drivers attempting to summarize the details of their 
accidents in the fewest possible words. 



1. 

2. 



4. 

5. 
6. 



10. 



11. 



12. 



13. 



14. 



15. 



16. 



17. 



Coming home I drove into the wrong house and collided 

with a tree I don't have. 

The other car collided with mine without giving warning 

of its intentions. 

A truck backed through my windshield into my wife's 

face. 

1 thought my window was down, but found it was up 

when I put my head through it. 

A pedestrian hit me and went under my car. 

The guy was all over the road; I had to swerve a number 

of times before I hit him. 

In my attempt to kill a fly, I drove into a telephone pole. 

I'd been shopping for plants all day and was on my way 

home. As I reached the intersection, a hedge sprang up, 

obscuring my vision and I did not see the other car. 

I had been driving for 40 years when I fell asleep at the 

wheel and had an accident. 

To avoid hitting the bumper of the car in front, I struck 

a pedestrian. 

My car was legally parked as it backed into the other 

vehicle. 

An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my car 

and vanished. 

I told the police that 1 was not injured, but on removing 

my hat, I found that I had a fractured skull. 

1 was sure the old fellow would never make it to the 

other side of the road when I struck him. 

The pedestrian had no idea which direction to run, 

so 1 ran over him. 

I saw a slow moving sad faced old gentleman as he 

bounced off the roof of my car. 

The telephone pole was approaching. I was attempting 

to swerve out of its way when it struck my front end. 



The following are sentences from actual letters recieved by the 
Welfare Department. 

1. I am forwarding my marriage certificate and 6 children. 
I have 7, but one died which was baptized on a half 
sheet of paper. 

2. I am writing the Welfare Department to say that my 
baby was born 2 years old. When do I get my money? 

3. Mrs. Jones has not had any clothes for a year and has 
been visited regularly by the clergy. 

4. I can't get sick pay. 1 have 6 children. Can you tell me 
why? 

5. I am glad to report that my husband who is missing is 
dead. 

6. This is my eighth child. What are you going to do 
about it? 

7. Please find out for certain if my husband is dead. The 
man I am now living with can't eat or do anything 
until he knows. 

8. 1 am very much annoyed to find you have branded my 
son illigitimate. That is a dirty lie as I was married a 
week before he was born. 

9. In answer to your letter. I have given birth to a boy 
weighing 10 pounds. Is this satisfactory? 

10. I am forwarding my marriage certificate and 3 children, 
one of which is a mistake as you can see. 

1 1 My husband got his project cut off 2 weeks ago and I 
haven't had any relief since. 

12. Unless I get my husband's money pretty soon, 1 will 
be forced to live an immortal life. 

13. You have changed my little boy to a little girl. Will 
this make any difference? 

14. 1 have no children yet as my husband is a truck driver 
and works day and night. 

15. In accordance with your instructions, I have given birth 
to twins in the enclosed envelope. 

16. 1 want my money back as quick as I can get it. I have 
been in bed with the doctor for 2 weeks and he doesn't 
do me any good. If things don't improve, 1 will have to 
send for another doctor. 



Black Capitalism 

by Richie Harrigan 

TJie thrill is gone 
and all the ass-shaking 

dirty blondes 
liave been removed from the 

magazine covers 
and replaced with silhouettes of 
beautiful black sisters 

Making Blackness a purchasable 

commodity. 
Yet we get none of the profit 
We remain the commodity. 

Black material on 

a white market and modem day 

Slavery with a smile. 

Shackles are now contracts 
and the master is called "mister" 
in an executive tone 
Brothers and Sisters "honest abe" 
was dishonest, and slavery; if for 
real and up to date - Only the names 
have been changed to protect the 
GUILTY!!!! 



Black Woman 

By Richie Harrigan 

There is a depth 
That's in your eyes 
One looks and sees 
You 're one who tries 
There is a softness 
Touch and sigh 
Comes from within you 
Though at times 
You seem to be so tough 
You have a beauty 
That's your own 
Warm, vulnerable 
Human, prone 
To your emotions 

You are our mother 
Sometimes you 're hurt 
But, like a tree 
Roots, deep in earth 
You still stand forth 



CUBA 



By Oneida C. Fox 



"I never saw anything so beautiful; full of trees, the 
river all fringed with them; beautiful and green, with 
flowers and fruit; many large birds and httle ones who 
sing sweetly ..." Christopher Columbus' diary for 
October 27, 1492. 

In 1492 Christopher Columbus refered to Cuba as a para- 
dise. His belief has been shared by many, who have visited 
the island after him. An island that struggled for 60 years 
from the oppression within their own goverrmient, and to be 
independent of the United States - - cannot be a paradise. 

People who visit Cuba return to America with a misconcep- 
tion of Cuban life. Fidel Castro aUows foreigners to see the 
view of Cuba he wants them to carry to their countries. In 
a Communist country, the people do not have the liberty to 
travel where the government does not allow. By the same 
token, Fidel Castro would not allow foreigners to see that 
aspect of Cuba either. 

Quite a few Black Americans believe that in Cuba racism is 
not as blatant as in the United States. The issue is not whether 
racism is blatant or latent. The issue should be whether or not 
racism exists. A system run by an elite few cannot abolish 500 
years of bondage. Communism purports to produce a class- 
free society. In theory the idea is plausible, but in reality it is 
an impossibility. In order to have a classless society, one would 
have to exterminate the existing society to begin new, and 
that is also not plausible. Fidel Castro says that all are eco- 
nomically equal in Cuba. In order for all to be economically 
equal, everyone must have equal access to the economy. In 
Cuba because of slavery and covert racial prejuices, white 
Cubans have a head start on Black Cubans. Fidel Castro took 
from the rich; but also from the poor, to give to the state. 
Consider if you will, who the state is, if not the ehte few 
running the country. People argue that Cubans have free 
health services and free access to education; the state has to in 
some way appease the people. 

The Cuban Revolution can be interpreted through econo- 
mics. War was waged in the name of Economics. Political 
aOies became political rivals due to economics; freedom of 
speech, freedom of the press, and the right to protest were 
abandoned for the economy. The history of Cuba can be 
summed up by economics. 

The following four paragraphs are an editorial introduction 
to an analysis of Cuba, its revolution and its politics; 

The American war of independence opened the United 



14 



States as the market for Cuban sugar and coffee. After the 
Haitian Revolt of 1791, Cuba was the best source of sugar 
and coffee. By 1886, the United States replaced Great Britian 
as Cuba's primary supplier and largest market until 1960. 

Sugar brought oppression, social imbalance and slavery. 
But made Cuba in the turn of the seventeenth century, per 
capita, the richest of countries in the world, which was main- 
tained for two centuries. Although Cuba and tiie United 
States depended on each other for agricultural products. The 
greatest relation between the two countries is proximity. 
Cuba being 90 miles off the Southern coast of Florida. 

During 1940-1944, Cuba was ruled by Batista Fulgencio, 
ex-Cuban dictator. Batista Fulgencio was a military leader who 
was placed in power by the military to serve them. Fulgencio 
was useful to the interest of Cuban Oligarchy ; to the American 
government, and to American investors. Fulgencio's dictator- 
ship fell apart, because he was not able to control the military. 
The people of Cuba turned against him because of the tactics 
used by the military, usually acting on their own accord. 
Fulgencio was bought; he was ruled by greed, and he used 
people, but was also used. 

When Fulgencio Batista was dictator, the people of Cuba 
became disatisfied with the governmental corruption. They 
wanted a change in leadership. In 1944, he lost the presidential 
election to Ramon Grau San Martin, dean of The Faculty of 
Medicine at Havana University. The Communist party which 
was gathering much support, did not want Martin as president. 
In 1948, Martin lost the presidency to Carlos Prio Socarras. 
Socarras tried to abolish "Hoy," a communist newspaper, and 
closed 1010, the communist radio station. The communist 
party was sure they now had the worse of two evils in power. 
During 1944-1952, the Cuban people were in agreement with 
the communist party. Grau and Socarras with their Laissez- 
Faire regime of Violence deceived the people of Cuba. 

By 1952, Batista Fulgencio was back in power. To please 
Washington (The U.S.), he broke diplomatic relation with the 
Kremlin (U.S.S.R) and banned the Cuban Communist party, 
although he aDowed the party to continue as an underground 
movement. By 1955, the Communist party, backed by the 
Soviet Union, as a political machine flourished. They were 
trusted and could be counted on to help the revolution. 
Althougli Castro's Revolution (as it is now refered to) was not 
connected with Communism per-se. Fidel Castro publicly 
said that the revolution was in no way connected with Com- 
munism. 

On January 1, 1959, Fidel Castro had ingeniously done 
away with the electoral process. He was now the undisputed 
commander-in- chief of Cuba. 

The revolution that overthrew Fulgencio Batista can be 
attributed to Cuba's hidden racial prejudices. During 
Fulgencio's dictatorship, he was denied entrance to an ex- 
clusive Social Club, because he is "mulatto", half black and 
half white. The revolution pretended that Black Cubans did 
not exist, by burying their contributions under the achieve- 
ments of white Cubans. Castro's police say, "There are no 
white or Black Cubans in Cuba." In Cuba the behef that 
racism does not exist is emphasized by using the United 
States as an example of blatant racial injustice. 

Racial prejudice is not a blatant in Cuba or in Latin 
America, as in the United States, because all are economically 
equal. Those economically able were freely admitted to 
schools and universities. But most Black Cubans are econom- 
ically disadvantaged and segregated; therefore, they cannot 



qualify for equality. There are few Black Cubans working in 
government offices, most work in "el camp" (fields.) There 
are few Black Cubans educated in per portion to the majority. 
Slavery left a distinct mark on Black Cubans (Black people 
in general) that would inevitabley always separate them from 
white (people) Cubans. 

Communism doesn't hold any freedom for latin or Amer- 
ican Black people. Communism states that they will abolish 
racism by producing a classless society. But in reality, com- 
munism expoits both rich and poor, (regardless of color) 
for the benefit of the state. 

On January 1, 1959, Cuba, under Fidel Castro's leader- 
ship became independent of the United States. Castro nation- 
alized all Cuban land, and property from United States inves- 
tors. He refused to accept any financial backing from the 
United States; Ergo, changed the 60-year tradition. He told 
the United States that Cuba wanted its independence. Later 
Cuba alligned with Russia, for economic stability. As a result 
to gain their independence from the United States, the people 
of Cuba had to give up theirs. 

By 1960, Castro was reforming Cuba. He eliminated govern- 
mental corruption, outlawed idleness, and prostitution. He 
made education and health services free for all citizens. By 
this time he had completely bought all American owned 
companies in Cuba. America retaliated with a complete 
trade embargo. Cuba was now officially a Communist domain- 
territory. 

To live in Cuba, one has to earn 200 "pesos" a month for 
neccesities. The figure is relevant if food can be found in 
markets and stores. Castro made it clear that in a classless 
society there is no need for much money, but everyone must 
work. Castro's regime dictates how much one can earn; how 
much a family can eat, and what a person can own. In other 
words, the state owns you and you own nothing. Cuban's 
who wanted a change in governmental abuse were now faced 
with the restrictions of communism. But it was now too late 
for them to do anything in protest - protesting was outlawed. 

Communist Cuba is considered the example of a Latin 
American Country that has succeeded in spite of aid from the 
United States. True, Cuba has prospered in areas that once 
were deteriorated; health, agriculture, and education. But by 
the same token, Cuba has lost it's independence and receives 
aid from the U.S.S.R. In order to gain anything politically, 
one must relinquish claim to others, which is what Cuba has 
done. Cubans broke their dependence with one nation, to 
become dependent on another. And the preceding is often 
ignored by Americans who are intent on seeing the United 
States as the oppressor. Americans are under the impression 
that, freedom of speech, liberty, the right to protest, and the 
right to be idle are trivial fallacies. I disagree, I would rather 
have the choice, even if the choice is limited than not have a 
choice at all. Democratic hberties are not ideological, if one 
compares the liberties of Cuban people to those of Americans. 
If one disagrees with anything, one can protest and be 
protected. Consider slavery and where Black Americans would 
be today if they did not have the right to protest/ challange the 
system. 

Cuba is economically and militarily independent of the 
United States, but economically and militarily dependent 
on Russia. Regardless of what political ideology one believes, 
one cannot say that Cuba ~ still dependent - is better 
economically or politically. Cuba now only responds to the 
other super power with a different political ideology. 



15 



ICE 



By Oneida Fox 



As we walked hand in hand 

I felt the breeze divide us 

We were separated by the world 

We were together 

but could never be united 

His experiences placed him 
beyond my reach 
Too much happened to him 
For me to understand 
The damamge 

We talked 

And I felt his language 
His history produced 
a one dimensional future 
- His own 

I played a small role in his existence 
I was there but he never noticed to the 

degree 
I wanted to share his world 
But he would not give me the key 

I stole his thoughts 
From his expressions 
I looked in his eyes 
and say myself 
the fear of discovery 
made me withdraw 

What could his history be? 



We made no promise 
because we saw no future 

We shared no lies 

because he believed that hiding 

the truth was not a lie 

He asked no questions 
because the answers 
we could not bare 

Could my history have produced the 
dimensions 

Yes it mattered 
I needed a freind 
I wanted a lover 

But his dimensions would not span 

He offered no reasons 
because we know they were 
a haven of excuses 

I knew of his pain 

He lived on an island-his own 

But no human stands alone 

I was a thread to his existence 
my questions locked him further 
beyond my reach 



He unbalanced my thoughts 
and brought me frustration 
But I could not let go 
I was bound to confusion 

His attitude shifted 
He never acted 
He fust reacted 
He never gave fear 
He just accepted 

We believed we shared another time 

and space 
Were we united in time 

or 
did we just share space 

When we no longer walked 

or 
talked together 
I reached for him 
but I felt ice 

I would never reach him in 
this time and space 

we were together a short while 
But the memory of his presence 
would eternally be mine 

How could I forget the man 
who touched my soul 
And gave me no reasons 

Dedicated to David Hooker 



16 



Frank Silvera 

Writer's 

Workshop 



By Donna Henry 




Garland Lee Thompson, Founding Director of Frank Silvera Writer's 
Workshop. 



Have you ever wondered what stage Black theatre is now or 
does Black theatre really exists anymore? Well, you should 
become familiar with the Black Stage - the acting experience - 
and the places from where it eminates. 

One of these places is the Frank Silvera Writer's Work- 
shop, located on 317 West 125 St. between 8 Ave. and St. 
Nicolas Ave. This workshop has been in existance since 1973 
and although it is located in the midst of Black Harlem, it 
has earned its status as being one of the three Black leading 
Theatre organizations in New York. 

Named after the late Black actor, Frank Silvera, the work- 
shop has been affiliated with many famous playwrights such as 
the late Larry Neal, writer, poet and cutie who is know for 
co-authoring the book entitled "Black Fire" with Leroy 
Jones and Mary Baroka and Charles Fuller, author of the 
1982 Pulitzer Prize winner, "A Soldier's Play". 

Garland Thompson, founder of the workshop, is currently 
a playwright and has been in the theatre business for over 
twenty-five years. He started his career in Los Angles where he 
wrote and worked with Children's Productions. He then 
moved to New York with Charles Gardene and his production 
of "No Place To Be Somebody", at the Moresco Theatre. 

In a recent interview with Jacqui Singleton, a local play- 
wright and artistic director for the Calhoun Theatre, 
Thompson expressed his overall views on Black theatre. "The 
Black theatre started as a ghetto arts program in the mid-60's 
but still has not recieved the kind of recognition it deserves 
in the United States. Although Black theatre is fully recog- 
nized and accepted in Europe and Africa it does not fit into 
the mainstream theatre in this country." 

The workshops offer a series in different areas of play- 



writing. The Frank SOvera Writer's/Reading and Critique 
series offers a helping hand to playwrights in developing their 
skills. The Frank Silvera Writer's/Directors series of stage pro- 
ductions stresses the importance of the theatrical relationship 
between writers and directors. The Frank Silvera Writers' 
Workshop Artistic Technical Assistance Collective - ATAC - 
places emphasis on areas of designing, construction and 
service. 

"The strength of the workshop is the tremendous display of 
talent like: Charles Godone, Charles Fuller, Larry the loute 
Neal, Antonio Fargas and many others connected with the 
workshop. We focus not so much on producers, directors 
or actors, we focus on writers. We make sure they work. 
With the right combination of the best writers and the best 
directors one can't help but having positive results." 

The Frank Silvers's Workshop is a road for Black writers 
to travel in order to explore the real meaning of the Black 
experience. When asked if he felt that the Workshop had the 
grassroots support to be around another 13 years or more, 
"we have actors all over on the west coast, on the east coast, 
so if anything happens I know that they will all come back 
and help," he answered. 

As a closing remark, Thompson who will be leaving for 
Jamaica for the production of "Toussanint Angel - Warrior 
of Haite" by the time this article is read will be back in the 
United States complimented the man for whom the work- 
shop is named. "Frank Silvera is and was a wonderful and 
beautiful person and we are taking him back home to Jamaica, 
that's where he was born, you know, in 1940. He'll never 
die. I am his discipline and I intend to keep this workshop 
alive." 



17 



JOHN THOMPSON 



by John E. Phillips 



The 1984 NCAA Championship final 
featured the Hoyas of Georgetown vs 
the Houston Cougars. Georgetown 
cruised to an expected victory, and 
winning the title for the first time in 
the school's history. Where should the 
thanks begin? Start with the premier 
players of the game: Patrick Ewing, 
Michael Graham, Reggie Williams, and 
the rest of the Hoyas' team deserve a 
pat on the back for a job well done. 
Now, who is deserving of the real credit 
for bringing this powerhouse recognition 
to the school which has been previously 
known more for its academic richness 
than anything else? The person in mind 
is coach John Thompson. 

Standing 6' 10" and weighing 2501bs, 
Thompson appears as a rather intimidat- 
ing figure to most opposing coaches. 
Going into his 13th year of coaching at 
Georgetown, Thompson is finally beginn- 
ing to receive the type of credit that has 
escaped him in past years. With the win 
over Houston, Thompson's Hoyas solid- 
ified their right to being named the 
most dominant team in coUege basket- 
ball today. The Hoyas are on top, and 
rightfully so, as Thompson emphasizing 
speed, aggressiveness and determination, 



has put together an almost unbeatable 
combination. Despite the effectiveness, 
Thompson's coaching techniques are 
still occassionally challenged by others. 
Thompson is very protective of his 
players, rarely ever letting freshmen 
speak to the press. For he is more than 
willing to speak on behalf of the team. 
So what is it that attracts so many 
caliber ballplayers to Georgetown? Is it 
the winning tradition? (Since Thompson's 
arrival, Georgetown is 262 wins and 104 
losses 7 1.6%). Is it the fact that 44 of the 
46 players that have played four years 
for Thompson have left with degrees. 
Is it the frequent appearances in post- 
season tournaments? (10 times) Maybe 
it is what the athletes see in Thompson. 
His true concern for them as people 
rather that just ball players. Rather 
than chewing the dejected kid out for 
the mistake, Thompson embraced him 
telling him to keep his head up. 

Married with three children ages 
18, 15 and 9 (the oldest J. Thompson 
III a freshman playing at Princeton), 
Thompson, aged 43, prefers to keep 
his family life separate and as private as 
possible. Thompson was born and raised 
in the ghettos of Washington, D.C. He 
attended a Jesuit school and was an 



Ail-American leading his team to 56 
consecutive wins. From there, Thompson 
went on to star at Providence College 
where they won an NIT Championship 
and competed in the NCAA Tournament. 
Pro basketball was the next step as he 
entered the league under the Boston 
Celtics. He played behind the great 
Bill Russell, winning the championships 
before he retired and then returned to 
Washington, D.C. There, Thompson be- 
came a youth counselor and part-time 
coach at St. Anthony High School. 
In 1972, only six years after the first 
black basketball player had been ac- 
cepted there John Thompson became 
head coach at Georgetown. With patience 
and an effective style of teaching the 
game, Thompson worked his program 
piece by piece to what it is currently, 
a dominance. 

Basketball indeed paved a road of 
success for John Thompson and he has 
steadily risen to the top where he and 
the Hoyas plan to stay. Thompson is a 
credit to the game itself and any player 
fortunate to play for him is being re- 
warded with a huge advantage. Thompson 
started from scratch and with his own 
recipe has built a proud tradition for 
basketball at Georgetown University. 



18 




PROFILE ON KC JONES 

By Dino Maye 



K.C. Jones was born and raised in 
San Franciso, California. In his college 
days at the University of San Franciso, 
he was teamed with Bill Russell and 
produced one of the greatest college 
basketball teams in college history. 
During his four-year stay, his school 
won two NCAA championships, and he 
was also part of the school's second 
longest winning streak in NCAA basket- 
ball history with 56 straight. (U.C.L.A. 
holds the longest winning streak in 
college with 69 straight). He also made 
the 1956 U.S. Olympic team with Russell 
in which they won the gold medal. 

After his brillant college career, he 
joined the Boston Celtics in the N.B.A. 
and he also teamed up with Russell 
again, K.C. spent nine years in the 
N.B.A. as a play-making/defensive guard 
from (1958-1967). He was a major part 
in the Celtics great dynasty that won 
eight straight N.B.A. championships from 
1958-66. After his playing days, he 
became an assistant coach with the 
Los Angeles Lakers from (1964-72). In 



his last season with the Lakers the team 
acquired the longest winning streak in 
N.B.A. history 33 straight and they also 
won the N.B.A. championship. (It was 
K.C.'s ninth N.B.A. championship and 
ring). In 1972-1973, he spent one year 
as a head coach in the A.B.A. (American 
Basketball Association which is now 
defucnt) for the San Diego Conquis- 
tadors. (It was his first losing season in 
any basketball league. The next year he 
was the head coach of the Washington 
Bullets in the N.B.A. and he coached 
them for three years (1973-1976). In 
those three years he led the Bullets to an 
impressive record of 155 wins and 91 
losses. (At the time it was the fourth 
best record in NBA history). After a one 
year stint as being the head coach for 
Brandeis University, he was hired as 
the Celtics assistant coach. He was the 
assistant coach with the Celtics for five 
years (1978-82). In 1981 as the assistant 
coach the Celtics won the NBA champi- 
ionship for their franchises 14th NBA 



title, (K.C. won 8 of them as a player). 
After the 82-83 season the Celtics head 
coach Bill Fitch quit and joined the 
Houston Rockets, as their head coach. 
The new head coach who suceeded Bill 
Fitch was his assistant, K.C. Jones. In 
K.C.'s first years as the head coach, he 
built the Celtics into a solid contender 
for the NBA Championship. As a matter 
of fact the Celtics had one of the best 
records in NBA history (63-19) and they 
went to the NBA championship against 
the Los Angeles Lakers. The series 
went seven games and the Celtics event- 
ually won the seventh game 1 1 1-102 and 
it also marked the 15th NBA champion- 
ship for the Celtics franchise. It seemed 
that K.C. was in that background after 
that Celtics victory but he was quoted 
as saying "All the credit goes to the 
players" 

Some people feel that K.C. Jones is 
quietly unselfish, and also "a man with- 
out headlines." But what kind of coach is 
K.C. Jones? 



19 



The Revelation 
(The Great Oak) 



By Will Nayle 



First what can be said is in fact a 
revelation. We will use this definition; 
a revelation is something revealed; by the 
vehicle of sensation of the senses, in 
which upon the cinaramic scheme of our 
consciousness something of significance 
is witnessed. A message is a revelation 
in that it tells one of what should be 
known of something about to occur. 

Thus, a revelation was shown to me 
one night a few years ago. 

I was younger then although I am 
still young in age at present. Only re- 
cently did I realize the message of the 
revelation. 

"I saw a town, it was my town, 
Springfield, Mass. I was walking at night 
towards Winchester Square. I expected 
to see the usual landmarks." 

"The Western Auto Supply store, 
Windsor Court, a bar and lounge, Sha- 
bazz; a restuarant, the record shop, fire 
station and Royal Market etc" . . . 

"Lo and behold, I saw none of these 
landmarks as they were. What I did see 
astonished me." 

"I saw a desert covered with rough 
brown sand. The few buildings that 
were left standing, looked like tombs 
whose once lively eyes now stared vac- 
antly over the deserted landscape of 
the Square." 

"From afar, I saw a simmering as 
though there were a great sea about. 
However, upon closer inspection, I 
found it to be tons of broken glass 
like a ritual had been held and the con- 
tents of the bottles were a part of the 
worship." 

"As I gazed further, I could make 
out forms. They seemed to be of old 
men and women." 

"I walked towards one of these forms 



and upon the face of it, I saw the grey 
mask of despair and sadness. I did not 
detect a trace of hope, only of aban- 
donment." 

I asked, "How have you become like 
this?" 

Through parched lips, I heard a voice 
feeble yet dignified as though it took 
great effort to speak, and said: 

"I stood not on the path which 
walked those who travelled upon the 
road of progress." 

"The form then turned away from rue. 
And from it I heard a cry of pain and 
misery which pierced my ears. I moved 
towards it so, to touch the shoulder of 
this sorrowful sole, yet my hand went 
through it." 

"I was amazed then to him I said: 
"A phantom you are truly, a being of 
some other dimension of time and 
space." 

After sometime elapsed, I travelled 
across the barren soU, (that once was 
alive with a bar, restaurant, department 
store and a record shop). 

"I observed many men and women 
who stood upon what appeared to be 
a great black rock; like a sheet of lava 
from some great volcano which had 
cooled and formed a great expansion of 
land." 

"They stood in front of a store that 
sold spirits of a liquid sort." 

"I looked upon them and saw in their 
hands that they held what appeared to 
be a wrigghng green snake. The snake 
had eyes that were crimson red, a red so 
fierce in hue and dark in tone, it escaped 
adequate description." 

"The snake had wings and could fly. 
It appeared to be as the fabled * thunder 
bird when it took to the grey skies above 



the people." 

"Madness" I though, I cried like a 
great beast to the heavens. I did cry for 
my heart was in pain at the sight I did 
see around me." 

"Suddenly, I heard a great sound as 
though God, himself, walked upon the 
clouds above." 

"Then a bolt of lightning issued from 
the heavens, striking the center of the 
vast desert about me." 

"And behold a plant began to grow 
and grow, until alas, it became a tall 
and great oak tree." 

"It was a grand sight, firm were its 
roots and far reaching its branches. 
A majestic tree it was, as it stood in its 
regal posture in the midst of the Win- 
chester Square." 

I looked and upon its branches were 
small children who had the wings of 
angels. This made my heart glad. 

"I then turned around at some point 
and saw that green snakes were now a 
pile of green leaves." 

"Like papyrus, they had become and 
upon their surface were written great 
and beautiful things." 

"The people who were once dying 
began to stand erect and were made 
strong by the verses that were upon the 
green papyrus." 

"They walked hand and hand to the 
great oak and sung joyous songs with 
the angelic children." 

When I awoke from this vision, I was 
excited. I ran upon the Square, but 
saw no change. 

Yet, as I looked upon the Earth, I 
saw a small budding plant that suffered 
to grow . . .Lo and behold, it would be 
no other than a great oak upon its 



maturity! 



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On Beginnings 

by Adger Cowans 

What drew me to photography? 
What drew me to images?! My 
mother was the first person taking 
pictures that I can remember. 
That's when I was real Httle. She 
used to take us out and photograph 
the family. My mother was a real 
picture nut. We had volumes of 
picturesl When I was lonely, 
depressed, I'd look through those 
albums. They became my own 
private world. My Uncle Wilbur 
had one of the first color 
photographs I ever saw. It was pink 
and blue. I was very small. And my 
Aunt Elizabeth had one of the first 
Polaroids. "Hey, hey, look at this!" 



I remember I said, "Wow! A pic- 
ture right away!" I grew up on 
Polaroids. 

From my family I learned how to 
get along with other people. 
Respect and love from my most im- 
mediate brothers and sister and 
from my mother and father made 
me unafraid in the world. I never 
perceived the world as frightful. I 
remember I was always bumping 
into things because I was always 
looking. 

Courage. Heroics. 

My father was a hero because he 
walked to school in the snow with 
no shoes. Wrapped his feet. Then 
when his mother died, he quit 
school and raised the family, then 



had his own six kids. My mother 
was heroic because she stayed with 
my father! And raised us with love 
and tenderness in a special kind of 
way. 

They didn't know. / didn't 
know. I was becoming something I 
didn't know about. Art was a 
sphere outside of my life when I 
was growing up. I never thought 
about art or artists or being 
creative or anything like that. 

I learned the technology in col- 
lege. I wasn't looking to be 
something. I always had trouble 
with people asking me what I 
wanted to be. My mother wanted 
me to be an opera singer. 

Safe? What is safe? 



26 



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28 




Rush Productions 
RUN-D.M.C. 

By Jacquelyn Shephard 



Boasting is so central to rap music that even its most 
passionate fans can't sometimes help smiling as they listen to 
the latest claims by the newest groups. But there is one crew 
on the scene of whom it might be said that all their brag is 
fact: RUN-D.M.C. 

Which other crew has generated popular and critical 
aclaim in such equal measure? Their debut album, "Run- 
D.M.C.," was not only the first rap album ever to earn a 
gold record award from the R.I.A.A., it has since ended up 
on the 1984 Ten Best lists of both the New York Times' 
Robert Palmer and the Los Angeles Times' Robert Hilburn. 
It was also the only rap album represented in Rolling Stone's 
1984 Top 100. 

Likewise, which other crew can claim nearly as many 
rock fans as rap fans? They've appeared on "Essence," the 
television show produced by the black fashion magazine of 
the same name, and have starred in the only rap video ("Rock 
Box") ever to make it into regular rotation on MTV. They've 
been written up by Black Beat, Rock & Soul, Right On, and 
the Chicago Defender, and by Rolling Stone, Creem, the 
East Village Eye, and Star Hits. They headlined over eight 
other acts (including Kurtis Blow, Whodini, the Fat Boys, 
and Newcleus) during the nationally touring, 30-city Swatch 
Watch New York City Fresh Fest, and performed as the guests 
of legendary rocker Lou Reed at a concert that was videotaped 
and later boradcast as an MTV special. 

Apparently, it is just as they claim on the title song of 
their newly-released second album, "King of Rock": 'Now 



we crash through walls/Cut through floors/Bust through 
ceilings/And knock down doors. " And Heaven help the 
puny mortal-sucker emcee or average citizen-who attempts 
to keep them in a box. 

By 1977 12-year old Run was deejaying for Kurtis Blow, 
the King of Rap, who was (and still is) managed by Run's 
brother Russell. It wasn 't long before Run also began grabbing 
the mike on occasion. One of his earliest raps went like this: 
"DJ Run. son of a gun/ Always plays music and has big funj 
Not that old, but that's all right/Makes all other emcees 
bithe all night. " 

The crew graduated high school in 1982, and Russell 
Simmons agreed for the first time to seriously consider pro- 
ducing a record on them. "It's Like That/Sucker M.C.'s" 
was released by Profile Records in March of 1983. It was an 
immediate sensation, and was followed in December of that 
year with "Hard Times/Jam Master Jay," which was followed 
by the release of the album in May 1983, which was followed 
by "Rock Boxl30 Days" and, finally by "Hollis Crew." 

All in all, we think you'll agree that Run-D.M.C, with 
"King of Rock," have topped themselves-the hard way. 
Or, as the guys themselves explain in the title track; 
"It's not a trick or treat 
And it 's not an April Fool 
It 's all brand new 
Never ever old school " 

Enjoy. 



29 



RUN D.M.C. 

And 

Jam Master-Jay 

By Jacquelyn Shephard 



Drum: 



Drum: 
RUN: 

D.M.C. 



J.M.J: 



Who makes up the group RUN-D.M.C? 
Joseph Simmons who is better known as RUN. 
Darryl McDaniels who is D.M.C. 
and Jason Mizeue is The All Mighty Jam Master Jay. 

Where did this name originate and what does it mean? 

My name is RUN because I run my mouth for the 

group. 

My name is D.M.C. and those are the initials of my 

name "D" is for doing it all the time, "M" is for 

the Rhymes that are all mine, "C" is for cool, cool 

as can be, and I wear glasses so I can "C". 

I am known as the Mighty Master of Jams, so that's 

where I got the name JAM MASTER JAY. 



Drum: What is the relationship between RUN and D.M.C? 
RUN/D.M.C: We're home boys. 



Drum: 



J.M.J. 



RUN: 



D.M.C. 



Can each of you give a little back ground on 
yourselves? 

1 attended Andrew Jackson High School, I'm twenty 
years old, and I'm an aquarius. I went to Queens Col- 
lege for one year. 

I'm Joseph Simmons, I've been rapping since about 
1977. I used to rap with Kurtis Blow when I was 
about 12 years old. I rapped with him on weekends 
and during the summer because during school I 
couldn't go with him when he was touring. I have 
toured with the Commodores. After I finished high 
school, I got my own career together as RUN- 
D.M.C. I came up with the idea of "It's Like That" 
and I got stuck on what everything was like. I went 
to my smart friend D.M.C, who was attending St. 
John's University, and I asked him what was going 
on. He told me that war was going on across the sea 
and he came up with the idea "and That's the way 
it is". And our first single was "It's like that and 
that's the way it is" and this was how we became 
RUN-D.M.C. and the rest is history. 
I'm 20 years old. I've been in school all my life and 

2 years ago my partner RUN came to me and said 
that he wanted to make a record with me and I said 
"bet", and we're gonna rap to the world. 



Drum: 

RUN: 



Drum: 
RUN: 



Drum: 
All: 
Drum: 
RUN: 



Drum: 

RUN: 



Drum: 
RUN: 



Drum: 
RUN: 

Drum: 

RUN: 

Drum: 

RUN: 



What can you tell me about the history of rapping? 
It's been around for a long time. Way before people 
started doing it with microphones and turntables. 

What are the characteristics of a good rap? 
Creativity. I try to get a different sound everytime 
or something different to say. Creativity keeps us on 
top. 



Do you have any favorite recording artists, 

whom? 

RUN-D.M.C. 



if so 



Who inspired you and what events in your life 
prompted you to become rappers? 
My brother, he was managing Kurtis Blow at the 
time. Sometimes I used to wake up in the morning 
and there was Kurtis Blow lying on my couch. When 
he woke up, I'd ask him to rap. So he did and I was 
learning to rap and that's how I got into it. 

To whom do you credit your success? 

Myself, Kurtis Blow, my brother Russell Simmons 

and D.M.C. and Jam Master Jay. 

What effects has success had on your lives? 
None, I just drive more now. When walking down 
the street people recognize us, but they don't bother 
us. I'm like "Don't touch me and it's cool." 

What do you do in your spare time? 

Cool it and live our life, eating, and sleeping. 

Was there ever a point in time when you just said 

"the hell with it, I give up?" 

Never, because we never got to that point. 

Generally speaking, what kind of reaction do you get 
from the public? 

They love us. People look up to us. We try to pro- 
ject a good message to the young kids. We try to keep 
the older people laughing. 



Drum: To what age group is your music most influential? 



30 



RUN: To all ages. 

Drum: To what extent does your music relate to other races, 

is there any crossover? 
D.M.C.: We're universal. 

Drum: In which direction would you like to move next? 
RUN: We're just looking for a wider audience than what 
we have. 

Drum: Are you experimenting with any new concepts? 
RUN: Yes, we've made a new reggae record. We've made 

records with just drum and bass, records with drum, 

bass and guitar. 

Drum : What , if any criticism has your records been subjected 

to? 
RUN: I don't think any at all. 

Drum: In what ways to you consider yourselves unique from 
other rap groups such as Fresh 3MCs, Fat Boys, 
UTFO, Kurtis Blow? 

J.M.J. : We make our own music. 

RUN: A lot of rap groups in general use other music that 
was already made and then make it over. 

Drum: After doing "8 Million Stories" with Kurtis Blow, 
does the future hold anymore combining forces with 
other rappers? 

RUN: There's a chance of us teaming up with the Fat Boys. 

Drum: Groups such as Sugarhill and Sequence faded out 
rather quickly, what is your secret to staying on the 
top of the music charts? 

RUN: Definitely creativity. 

D.M.C.: Originality. 

Drum: What relationship is there between poetry and 

rapping? 
D.M.C.: Rap is poetry put to music. 

Drum: How do you apply the rap to the music and vice 
versa? 

RUN: A lot of the message records are made on an up tem- 
po track, like "Hardtimes" and "It's like that". 

D.M.C.: The general raps go over a funky beat. 

RUN: On the message records, we're rapping slower. It 
might be an up tempo record, but the faster the 
record, the slower we rap on it, because of the way 
we rap on a fast tempo record. 

Drum: Do you enjoy traveling and where do you intend to 

perform next? 
RUN: Yes we do enjoy traveling. We intend to go to 

England next, and then Africa. 

Drum: In your travels what are some of the countries or 

states that impressed you most? 
J.M.J. : Hawaii, Hollywood, San Francisco, Massachusetts 
RUN: Hawaii, Boston 

Drum: There has been campaigning against the dirty lyrics 
in the songs of many popular recording artists. Do 



you have any views about such groups and their 
music? 
RUN: We don't view any of those groups, we're not into it. 



Drum: 



RUN: 



J.M.J. 

RUN: 



Why did you switch d.j.s from Davey DMX to Jam 
Master Jay? 

I was just talking about Davey D. because of the 
group Orange Crush. Davey D. was the guitar for 
Kurtis Blow and also used to scratch for him. 
Davey D. was never part of RUN-D.M.C. 
I only spoke of him in "Sucker MCs" because Kur- 
tis Blow, Davey D. and myself were always down 
together. 



Drum: What is the most memorable moment of your career? 

RUN: When I first heard my record on WBCS. 

J.M.J. : When we went to Germany, I hated everything. 

D.M.C.: When making a video. 

Drum: Tell me about your first performance outside of New 
York? 

J.M.J.: Our first performance outside of New York as RUN- 
D.M.C. was in Greensboro, North Carolina. It was 
great. 

Drum: Were you nervous and scared? 
RUN & J.M.J. : We were just happy to go. 
D.M.C.: I was scared to ride on the airplane. 
RUN: I said the samething twice. 
D.M.C.: We didn't move that much. 

Drum: Can you tell me about your latest album "King of 

Rock"? 
RUN: It has been released and has already sold 400,000. 

Drum: What are your prospects for the future? 

J.M.J. : We're about to make a major motion picture with Dr. 
Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, Kurtis Blow, Whodini, Fat 
Boys, Grandmaster Melle Mel. The story line is sup- 
posed to be centered around us. 

RUN: The producer of the movie is Michael Shultz who 
made other movies such as "Car Wash," "Cooley 
High" and "Which Way is Up." 

D.M.C.: Commercials are also in our future. 

Drum: How do you think that rapping will fit in society 5 

years from now? 
RUN: Just like it fits now. It's getting bigger though. 
J.M.J. : 5 years from now there should be a best rapper of 

the year categories on the Grammys. 

Drum: Do you forsee a time when rapping will become 

obsolete? 
RUN: No, I doubt that. 

Drum: Are there anymore videos in your future? 

RUN: Yes, we've made a new "King of Rock" video. It 

has been released and should be on MTV soon. 
Drum: Your first video ' 'Rock Box' ' come out the way you 

planned? 
RUN: Exactly. 

Drum: Thank you very much for letting us interview you. 

31 



Rush Productions 
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 



By Jacquelyn Shephard 



Forget John Barrymore, Frederic March, and Spencer 
Tracy. Sure, they're all great actors and, sure, each took a 
noble whack at portraying the lust-twisted scientist immortal- 
ized in Robert Louis Stevenson's "Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde. " 
But Andre Harell and Alonzo Brown have been splitting that 
role between them ever since they were school-mates at New 
York's Charles Evans Huges High School in 1977 - and now, 
with the release of "Transfonnation" on Profile Records, 
they intend to cap their already highly successful career 
with a beat-heavy, modem-day retelling of the story of a good 
doctor gone bad. Or, as Harrell puts it, the Davy 
DMX-produced epic describes "the transformation from the 
uptown, professional, conservative Dr. Jeckyll to thee street 
deviant Mr. Hyde. " 

Actually, their new record is only a slightly exaggerated 
account of the loony transfonnation the two go through 
all the time in so-called real life. By day, they're suit and 
tie-wearing professionals. The 24-year old Harrell is an account 
executive at radio station WINS in New York, and the 23- 
year old Brown was formerly a stock analyst for the American 
Stock Exchange. By night, however, they became Dr. Jeckyll 
& Mr. Hyde, the funniest and hardest-working young 
men in rap. 

When Harrell and Brown first teamed up, of course, 
there was no rap on record. As Harrell tells it, though, "/ 
after going to parties to hear other rappers, and then compar- 
ing rhymes with each other, we felt we could do it ourselves. " 




They began by building up a strong local following at 
the influential Harlem World disco. Brown eventually came to 
the attention of Profile Records President Cory Robbins, 
who signed him up as sols vocalist Lonnie Love, the artist 
behind "Young Ladies. " It came out in the spring of 1981, 
Profile's second release, co-authored by Brown and Harrell. 
The two made their recorded debut as Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. 
Hyde in November of that same year with the release of 
"Genius Rap, " a very popular rap remake of the Tom Tom 
Club's "Genius of Love," of which some 150,000 copies 
were sold. This was followed by another 12-inch, "The Chal- 
lenge. " in October of 1 982. 



AN INTERVIEW WITH 
DR. JECKYLL AND MR. HYDJi 

By Jacquelyn Shephard 



(Please note that the interview was done in two parts. First 
Dr. Jeckyll and then Mr. Hyde and Scratch on Galaxy.) 

J * Dr. Jeckyll 

Drum: How did you come together as a group? 
DJ: In high school. When rap was first big in the streets, 
my partner and I thought that we could do it just as 
good as anyone else. So, we used to get in the hall- 
way at the end of each class and compare rhymes. 
After a while, we got so good that people used to 
gather around. People use to say you guys should 
really go out and set up an organization and do it, 
so we did! 

Drum: Are you interested in any other type of music be- 
- ^_ sides rap? 



DJ; Oh, sure 1 like everything, except opera. Sometimes 
when I'm trying to wind it down with sophisticated 
women, I play jazz. 

Drum: Do you have any favorite recording artists? 

DJ: I'm a fan of Luther Vandross, Patti Labelle, I like 
Marvin Gaye (God bless the dead) and I like How- 
ard Hawett. 

Drum: How did you and Mr. Hyde get that lucky break? 

DJ: Well when Alonzo and I were first rapping, we went 

to a club called Harlem World, which was a big disco 
for the matere (suit and tie). They weren't getting 
much money because of the location. They were on 
116th and Linx Avenue and that's like the battle- 
field of New York. So they decided to go for a 



32 



younger audience, an audience who wouldn't be 
afraid to come up there and they (the club) went hip 
hop. So my group being the best in the area, went 
there one summer night when they were having a 
contest, so we stayed there and were the hosts every 
night, and when the disco opened a record company, 
we went on records from there. That was back in 
1978. 

Drum: Is there any philosophy that you use when making 
a record? 

DJ: Yes, I like to have something with a beginning and 
an end. I don't like to go and see a Broadway play 
that's all musical and has no beginning nor end. 
I feel like I've missed something. If my record doesn't 
have a beginning or end, I like it to have short be- 
ginnings and ends. Short stories that might not follow 
suit throughout the story. 

Drum: How do your raps originate? 

DJ: We sit down and think up a theme and then we write 

the lyrics. 

Drum: Do you rely solely on your income from recording? 

DJ: No, I was formerly an accountant executive at 
WWRO, which is a Gospel radio station in New York. 
Then I became an accountant executive at the biggest 
station in the country WINS. Now I am the vice 
president of operations at Rush Productions, which is 
the management company that manages all of us. 
I'm in charge of merchandising the groups. I set up 
major commercial deals for the artists to endorse 
different products. 

Drum: Generally speaking, what kind of reaction do you 
get from the public? 

DJ: The pubUc seems to like us. They think that we're 
good for rapping because we appear very educated, 
we dress in suits and ties, which a lot of people think 
is a successful look. We're known as the Champagne 
of rap. The crowd seems to get into us, especially 
when we have a good appeal with the ladies. 

Drum: How successful has your music been in motivation 
the young people of today? 

DJ: If I could measure on a level of 1-10 I guess we'd 
be a 7. I think I will start to bring about a bigger 
impact because we're into movies, which we start 
filming in March, along with other rap groups. We'll 
be one of the principles. As we become more visual 
to our market we'U start to make an even better im- 
pact. It's all about being visual to the public, the 
more they see you and understand what you mean 
the bigger the impact will be. I think that impact 
will be positive. 

Drum: In which direction would you like to move next? 

DJ: Right now I'd like to establish myself as a major 

recording artist. I'm working on a new album, hope- 
fully it will be released in April (1985). I'm working 
basically on being a big R & B act. This will be 
our first album. 

Drum: Are you experimenting with any new concepts? 



DJ: 



Drum: 
DJ: 



Drum: 



DJ: 



Drum: 



DJ: 



Drum: 
DJ: 

Drum: 
DJ: 

Drum: 
DJ: 

Drum: 
DJ: 



Drum: 
DJ: 

Drum: 
DJ: 



Yes, I can't reveal them right now. I want to shock 
the world. 

In what ways are you unique from other rap groups? 
I think that we take a very business like attitude to 
the whole thing. We're strong black capitalists. 
We're grown men, and our attitudes come across 
that way. 

What relationship is there between poetry and rap- 
ping? 

Poetry and rap go hand in hand. Rap is street poetry, 
on a level of Langston Hughes. Rap came from the 
South Bronx basically. When people rap and create 
their rhymes it's a reflection of how they view 
society. 

How do you apply a rap to the music and vice- 
versa. 

Well basically I think of a theme and I want the 
music to fit the theme. Like my last record "fast 
Ufe" had a mischievous attitude like something is 
about to happen. The Guy was fast, but he was too 
fast and that wasn't good. The base line of the 
music sounded like somebody trying to be cool 
and slick. And I just try to match the sound with 
the concept. 

Do you enjoy taveUing and where do you intend 
to perform next? 

Yes, I enjoy traveling and we intend to go to Con- 
necticut next. 

Do you choose where you want to perform or does 
your manager? 

No, we get calls from all over the country. Accord- 
ing to our availability we accept what comes first, 
if the price is right. 

In your travels what are some of the states or coun- 
tries that impressed you most? 
Definitely Winnepeg, Canada. It was the cleanest 
most inter-racial place I've ever been. 

To what extent does your music relate to other 
races, is there any cross over? 

Yes, because rap is becoming the hip thing to whites 
and they're starting to get into it. I think that RUN- 
D.M.C. did a lot for that. Currently, I thing "Rox- 
anne" by the group UTFO did a lot also. It was 
put on a chart that goes out to the general market. 

There's been campaigning against dirty lyrics in the 

songs of many popular recording artists. Do you have 

any views about such groups and their music? 

I think basically that everybody has a high sexuality. 

When they want to hear it and you say "no" they 

want to hear it even more. You cannot command a 

pubHc to moralize. The radio waves are for the 

pubUc, only the pubUc can decide what they want. 

What is the most memorable experience of your 

life? 

I don't think that I have reached it yet. I thought it 



33 



was the first time I went to LA, I thought it was 
going to be it. I thought I was in Mecca, but it wasn't 
Mecca. It turned out to be my biggest disappoint- 
ment. Winnepeg was so impressive. 

Drum: Tell me about your first performance? 

DJ: Our first performance was whacked! It was in New 

York at a hotel and we were with another group 
that the president of the record company put us with, 
that was not as part of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde. 
They were called the Harlem World Crew. We were 
strong rappers and they were weak rappers. They 
just wanted these groups to make it to the top, 
because they worked so long with the company. 
So they put them on our back and rode and it was 
whacked!! 

Drum: Can you teU me a Uttle about your latest release? 

DJ: I think we're going to entitle it "How do you like 
me Now", Run of Run-D.M.C. gave us the idea for 
that. It's generally saying you knew us back then 
when we were this, how do you like me now? 

Drum: What are your prospects for the future? 

DJ: I hope millions are my future. I hope my life will 
be happy. I plan to make a lot of money not just 
first for myself, but basically for everyone involved 
with the company. I want to exploit the music 
business and the advertising business to the fullest 
and marry a real girl. She'll never have to work, 
just spend my money, that's her job. 

Drum: How do you think rapping will fit in society 5 years 

from now? 
DJ: Rapping is going to the general market. You'll start 

to hear it on every station. 

Drum: Have you made any type of videos or commercials? 

DJ: Well, I was filming a video, and the company I was 
with ran out of money. I've made about five dif- 
ferent commercials, a Texas Chainsaw Massacre 
commercial, and a Breaking 1 and 2 commercial. 

Drum: Since rapping has been in for a while, do you think 
that it's going to fizzle out in the future? 

DJ: No, I don't think it will. For every group that fades 
out, there is a new group that comes out. 

Drum: What do you do in your spare time? 
DJ: I go to Jack Lalane Health Spa. I'm on a physical 
fit kick. 

Mr. Hyde and Scratch On Galaxy 

Drum: Where did the name "Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde" 
and scratch on Galaxy originate? 

Scratch on Galaxy: My real name is George Lado. The name 
Scratch on Galaxy developed from Pumpkin and the 
Allstars, a record 1 did during the summer. Pumpkin 
wrote the record, so I just took the name from the 
record . 

Mr. Hyde: Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde came by when we were 
in high school. When we started our group we wanted 



a name that people would remember, so we were 
thinking about a couple of names. We didn't want to 
be like everybody else so we thought that Dr. Jeckyll 
and Mr. Hyde would represent evilness and a nasty 
kind of thing. 

Drum: Why is Andre Dr. JeckyO and you're Mr. Hyde? 

Hyde: It was nothing more than a flip of a coin. 

S.O.G.: Alonzo is the loose one, and Andre is the conser- 
vative one. 

Drum: Are you interested in any other types of music other 
than raps? 

Hyde: I Usten to all types of music. I listen to Wynton 
Marsalis, Luther Vandross, all types of Jazz. As a 
matter of fact I don't have any rap records in my 
house. 

S.O.G.: I listen to ballads, Lilo, and Luther Vandross. 

Drum: Who inspired you and what events in your lives 
prompted you to be rappers? 

Hyde: When we first started rapping there was a well known 
rapper named Love Bug Starsky. We used to see him 
at clubs in Harlem all the time and we said "Damm" 
if we could do that. So we started writing our own 
Unes, and Dr. Jeckyll and I just kept going. We met a 
few people, we elevated to a certain level, met a few 
more people and here we are. Superstars. 

Drum: How did you get that lucky break? 

Hyde: It wasn't a matter of a lucky break. It wasn't like 
we made a tape and sent it to profile and they found 
us. It was a lot of hard work, and a lot of talent. 

S.O.G.: Which is the total opposite of me. I was just pract- 
icing in my garage and a guy named Pumpkin came 
by and he was a producer of this record company. 
And he said "I've been hearing you everyday and you 
sound very good, let's go to the studio next week, 
and we'll do a record with Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, 
Fresh 3 MCs and others," I said "sure"! He gave 
me a little money and said if the record came off 
that I would be doing other things. So the record 
came off and was a big success and I met Dr. Jeckyll 
and Mr. Hyde and now we're together as a group. 

Drum: What effects has success had on your lives? 

Hyde: Well, I go to the movies a little more these days. 
There's a lot of positive things like money, recogni- 
tion which is nice and it just makes us want to do 
more. We're at a certain level now when people come 
up to us and say "hey I hear you, your records are 
great, you're a star"! But we don't really consider 
ourselves to be stars. We figure that we have a long 
way to go to get to where we really want to be, and 
that's what we're working on now. The more famous 
we get, the more we have to work to achieve a new 
act. 

Drum: How did you get the idea to dress in a business Uke 

manner? 
Hyde: Andre and I are businessmen. When we're not with 

Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde we have regular nine to 

five jobs. I work as a record company executive. 

At our jobs we have to wear suits anyway, so this is 



34 



the way we want to dress. 
S.O.G.: I don't dress like this all the time. I go to school at 
the New York Institute of Technology in downtown 
Manhattan, Junior Computer Science. 

Drum: Are there any past experiences reflected in your 
songs? 

Hyde: Yes, definitely. In the record "Fast Life" I was 
speaking of a friend who had died because he was 
living the fast hfe. He got caught up in a drug situa- 
tion and it resulted in his death. Part of the lyrics 
that we wrote were for him. And also, when we do 
"A.M.-P.M." and "Genius Rap" they're party records 
and it's the way that we feel sometimes. Life is 
always turning on the radio and hearing bad things, 
on t.v. you see bad things and also in newspapers. 
We want to spread a httle sunshine, and that's why 
we're saying "hey let's party everybody, let's have 
some fun." 



Drum: 

Hyde: 
S.O.G. 



Drum: 



Hyde: 



Generally speaking, what kind of reactions do you 

get from the pubUc? 

They love us. We get a very positive reaction. 

When you walk down the streets in Harlem, you 

have to sign autographs so we take that to be a 

positive reaction from the pubhc. 

To what extent does your music relate to other 

races, is there any crossover? 

Yes, We think so. We would Uke to think that our 

music reaches a whole lot of people. There is good 

and bad in everyone, and I think that our music 

has something to say for everyone. It's something 

that everyone can relate to. 

Have your records appeared on any European Music 
Charts? 

Yes, We've been posted in Holland, Denmark, Lon- 
don, Paris, and Germany. Tliis year we're going to 
Europe which should be very exciting. 

In which direction would you like to move next? 
Next we're going into motion pictures. The film is 
going to be shot in New York. We also have a new 
album coming out an a couple of videos. We're 
going to really be moving beginning at the end 
of February. 



Drum: Have you won any awards for your records? 
Hyde: Yes, Best Charismatic Duo in 1984, and an award 
for the Allstars. f 

Drum: In what ways are you different from other rap 
groups such as The Fat Boys, Fresh 3 MCs, Kurtis 
Blow and UTFO? 

S.O.G. : Well, suits and ties. 

Hyde: We're the classiest rap act in America. There's no- 
body else who comes on with three hundred dollar 
suits, fifty dollar ties and one hundred and seventy 
dollar shoes. But that's the way we want to be 
remembered. 



Drum: 



Hyde: 



Drum: 
Hyde: 



Hyde: Because they were fake. I want everyone to know 
right now that they were fake. Groups like Run- 
D.M.C. are death because their stuff is hard and their 
stuff is real. Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, Kurtis Blow, 
Fat Boys, and Whodini and some others will always 
be around because we were in it from the beginning. 
Whereas Sugarhill were picked right up off the 
street and were told to make a record. And that's 
exactly what they did. You 11 probably never hear 
from them again because they're not real rappers, 
they're fake. 

Drum: In your travels what are some of the countries or 

states that impressed you most? 
S.O.G.: California is number one. 
Hyde: We like New York the best, this is our home and we 

love it. 

Drum: What is the most memorable experience of your 
career? 

Hyde: It's going to happen on Monday, February 11th. 
We're going to sign our new contract which will 
last four years it includes plenty money! Also one of 
the greatest memories was of Harlem Week. We did 
a benefit there. We didn't get paid and there was no 
money involved. But the whole theme of it was 
Black Unity and that's what we're all about. 

S.O.G.: The best thing that happened to me was when I met 
Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde and also when I got a real 
job. 

Drum: How do you think rapping will fit into society five 

years from now? 
S.O.G.: I think that it's going to cross over eventually. It's 

going to be more pop. 



Drum : 
S.O.G. 

Hyde: 



Drum: Groups such as the SugarhEl Gang and Sequence 
a™H™|||have faded rather quickly. What is your secret to 



Do you forsee a time when rapping will become 

obsolete? 

No, I really don't. Because there's always new things 

coming out. You have hard beats with the rock, 

then you have the Fat Boys with their beat box. 

Everyone has something different and new. 

Besides you have little kids now that know the 

rhymes to songs, but can't say the National Anthem. 

In a way its sad and in a way it's good because that 

goes to show you that rap will always be here and 

that means that I will always have a job. 

Can you give us a little insight on your new album? 
It's beautiful. 

The album is going to be a mixture of reality and 
fantasy. We have a record called "Transformation" 
which is the story of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde. 
Dr. Jeckyll drinks the potion, glasses crash, he chang- 
es, then I come in rapping. We're also going to have a 
couple of cuts on Scratch on Galaxy. The album is 
going to be really nice, we have a slow tune on there, 
a ballad. I'm looking forward to this album. It is our 
first. There are also two cuts with Kurtis Blow, two 
cuts with Davy DMX, and the ballad is going to be 
produced with "James Mtume. 1^^ 

Drum: Thank you very much for letting us interview you. 



Drum: 
S.O.G. 
Hyde: 






35 





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A photograph is supposed to be a 
fairly accurate representation of 
what the eye sees. Yet we do an in- 
justice to our own perceptions if we 
are only concerned with the usual 
facts of life. In this exhibit, we see 
not only what is apparent in the 
splendid water studies by Adger 
Cowans, but also the subtle rela- 
tionships and nuances that give 
them such uniqueness. 

Artists have always been 
fascinated with the effects of water. 
I think of Turner and of those 
Chinese classical masters who 
found a source of artistic energy in 
concord with the rhythms of great 
waters. In seeking this same 
unison. Cowans has focused his in- 
spiration for some surprising crea- 
tions. I see color, for example, in 
his black and white images. I see. 



what is for me, a torso of a swim- 
mer. In another work, it appears 
that honey bees have produced a 
cone. Yet I'm completely aware 
these studies are taken of an ever- 
changing aquatic world. Also, I'm 
just as sure that the artist was 
primarily concerned with abstract 
counter points of light and shade; 
and, certainly, the photographs 
can be appreciated in that respect. 
When I first saw these water im- 
ages of Adger's, it occurred to me 
that an artist might be inspired by 
certain phenomena that may be ar- 
tistically meaningless to everyone 
else. In haystacks, Monet found 
something to illuminate his obser- 
vations of the play of light and col- 
or during varying hours of the day. 
So too, in water, still water, run- 
ning water, even frozen water, 




46 




Cowans invites us to see a universe 
in microcosm. Undoubtedly there 
are obvious reasons why Adger 
chose to depict these singular con- 
vergences of water; it is possible 
also that other less conscious 
necessities directed him to this most 
important of the four great 
elements. Is it not water that sup- 



ports all life? Indeed, in many 
cultures it is symbolically equated 
with the renewal of life. It is really 
difficult to ascertain with certainty 
the meanings artists ascribe to their 
works. So often the artist's inter- 
pretation is not logically tied to his 
or her work. Whatever affinities 
directed our poet-photographer to 



immerse himself in the waters of 
life and art, as with all good artists, 
he has dealt convincingly with 
these mysteries of creation. 

The success of these photographs 

need not be explained, rather they 

are a cause for celebration. After 

all, the power of art is irresistible. 

— Romare Bearden 

47 




DANCING ANGEL 



48 




AFRO-DIASPORA HOMAGE TO FESTAC '77 



©rsiiiyKi""!! 



52 



OLU 
DARA 

By Kurt Fedora 



Although he is known as a jazz 
musician and unpretentiously refers to 
himself as such, Olu Dara insists that his 
music be accessible. When performing 
with his group, The Natchezsippi Band, 
Olu utilizes a universal vehicle of com- 
munication . . .dance. "I feel no matter 
what kind of music that you are going to 
play, no matter what tempo or type it 
is, it's got to have an element of dance. 
I found that the greatest music I have 
experienced up close with my own 
eyes has had the dance element in it." 

Olu Dara, his name given to him by 
a Yoruba priest, grew up in Natchez, 
Mississippi. This small town with its 
easy going Southern ambiance was the 
perfect environment, as far as Olu is 
concerned, to grow up in. To this day, 
Olu cites Natchez as the single most 
prominent influence in his music. "I 
listened to stuff on the radio and stuff 
at church, some trumpet players, and my 
family." Clearly emphasizing family, he 
continues, "I made my own music 
mth my sisters and brothers in the 
house. We sang and played. Just living in 
my hometown and being surrounded by 
people like my grandmother and my 
father who were musically happening 
all the time." 

It became apparent by the age of 
eight that this child was born with a 
great deal of natural talent. By his twelfth 
birthday Olu had picked up the cornet 
(a brass instrument closely related to the 
trumpet) and was playing legitimate 
gigs with adult musicians. "I didn't 
have time to anticipate it, I was per- 
forming already before I knew it. In 
elementary school I used to always try 
and find a way to make people laugh. 
I was the one emceeing or doing the 
'Ed Sullivan act'." Then he adds with 
robust humor, "That was my job!" 

Entering as a pre-med major and 
later switching to music, Olu opted up to 
leave Tennessee State University to 
join the Navy. Traveling abroad in the 
Navy was a fulfiUing enlightenment and 
afforded him a knowing demeanor, as 
only travel can. With nothing short of 




inspired awe, he spoke of his trip to 
Africa: "I went to a bhnd school and I 
got my mind blown away. We played 
some music for them, you know, and as 
we were packing up to leave they said 
'Look, before you leave, as a gift to you, 
the kids are going to sing some of their 
compositions . . .' Man your'e talking 
about music from heaven." Olu makes 
evident his love for children and, when in 
need of musical inspiration, he looks to 
them rather than his peers. "Kids aren't 
afraid to innovate." 

After completing a four year term 
in the service, Olu found himself in 
New York City. Here, among the malay 
and immensity of a half crazed city, 
music became Olu's livelihood. When 
asked how his career started he modestly 
replys: "Well, just by accident probably, 
or just by playing. But I hadn't intended 
on making it a profession after I got out 
of the Navy. I was an avid listener. I 
was always out at concerts and in the 
clubs. Eventually I ran into guys I knew 



way back in college or in the Navy, so 
I started professionally in New York." 
Laughing he adds. "As an older man I 

would have to say." 

Now in his mid-forties Olu Dara is 
a sought after session man and performer. 
Performing with the likes of Henry 
Threadgill and The Art Ensemble of 
Chicago and recording with people like 
David Murray and Nona Hendiyx, among 
others, he has established himself in 
both the avant-garde and jazz scenes. 
"I've played with many fine jazz musi- 
cians. I play with many bands who are 
termed avant-garde bands. I play with 
bands who came from avante-garde circles 
and different scenes and they just happen 
to like me. They were sup"pose to be 
avante-garde but I inficted blues into it. 
I put a little rhythm here and a httle 
rhythm there." 

Olu, who hasn't recorded with either 
of his two working groups. The Nat- 
chezsippi Band or The Okra Orchestra, 
explained "I'm playing regional music. 



continued on page 78 



53 



The Images Television 
Portrays of Blacks 



By Stephanie Sargeant 



Black images on television since the very beginning have 
been portrayed in a negative fashion. Blacks in the past, and 
in the present have been degraded and dehumanized in the 
roles that they have been given by the white producers. The 
1950's brought the beginning of "Buelah," the first 'Black 
"oriented television show. "Buelah" always came to the rescue 
of her white employers and became America's favorite black 
maid. "Amos 'n' Andy" premiered in 1951, dealing with 
two black hustlers in a sterotypical manner. Both "Amos 
'n' Andy" and "Bealah" were withdrawn from television 
1953, because of protest from the NAACP and pressure 
groups, who believed that the shows were degrading parodies 
of black life. 

Decades later the degrading, and dehumanization can 
still be seen on television today. Blacks are associated with 
such roles as comedians, criminals, butlers and maids. Tele- 
vision portrays the Black family as being poor, and always 
struggling to make it. A typical example of this can be seen in 
the seventies television show "Good Times". "Good Times" 
is a sitcom portraying a poor Black family struggling to make it 
and to survive in an urban ghetto. The famOy, through 
laughter, tries to ease the pain of its economical situation. 

Most television sitcoms depict Black women as obese, and 
husbandless. The women usually have to take on the respon- 
sibilities of raising a family on their own. This has been the 
case on such shows as "What's Happening" and "That's 
My Mama." These stereotypical images of Blacks are not only 
accepted by the white auidence as being true, but have re- 
inforced prejudiced attitudes toward the Black community, 
white people usually believe these shows are exact replicas 
of how Blacks live. 

"The Jeffersons," first aired in 1975, did away with some 
of these sterotypes. Unlike most Black television shows in 
the past, this family has proved through hard work and 
determination that a Black family can make it. Even though 



George Jefferson received 'a piece of the pie,' he never forgot 
where he came from. Although stereotypical in its own way 
"The Jeffersons" has presented some positive images about 
Blacks. Florence, the maid, does not typify the Black maid 
that has been seen on television for many years. Black maids 
usually were catering to their white employers, obese and 
illiterate which Florence definitely is not. 

Blacks have found it difficult to find television shows 
which cast them in serious roles. Blacks have also been un- 
successful in finding roles which place them in decision making 
positions. Black actors, who portray well-to-do characters, find 
it hard to stay on the air. For example, "Paris" and "Larazus 
Syndrome," which presented Blacks in positive roles, were 
cancelled before the end of their initial seasons. 

What is the reason for these short lived shows? Could it be 
that the American public is not ready to accept Blacks being 
portrayed in a positive image? Probably, the question now is, 
"When will the American public take the Black population 
seriously instead of associating them with buffoonery. But 
there still may be hope 

"The Cosby Show," number one prime time show for 
eight consecutive weeks, has proven to be a turning point for 
Blacks on television. This show reflects positive images of a 
black family making it in the business world. Cosby's character 
is not only the father of five children but is a respected 
obstetrician. This character shys away from the sterotype 
that black men are unemployed and cannot provide for their 
families. His wife is portrayed as a beautiful and caring 
mother, and an intelligent lawyer. This shatters the image 
that black women are obese with menial jobs and are husband- 
less. This show may prove to be a step in the right direction 
by giving Blacks the opportunity to challenge the negative 
stereotypes that have been a part of the television industry 
from its very beginning. 



54 



VIBRATIONS 



By Brad Kaplan 



Muffled, yet obviously loud. I can always feel the vibra- 
tions on the auditorium's concrete floor; like an oncoming 
train, yet forever in the distance. When alone; which was 
rare, and at peace, the sounds and sensations would over- 
come me, as mesmerising as a hypnotist's medallion. To sway 
came naturally — a dance for the extremely relaxed. These 
sounds and sensations join to create a soothing music all their 
own. A blanket of familiarity which momentarily provides 
shelter from the uncertainty. 

"Yo Luther, my man." It is John. As strong and stable 
a man as his name implies. "C'mon man, the beast is a 
wailin'!" 

"The beast?" What an odd term, I think to myself. 

Stairs loom in front of me out of sheer darkness. They 
remind me of a scene from years gone by. The musty smell 
its't nearly as strong but the hands on my shoulder feel the 
same. In the past, the hands had been those of my father. 
His grip steady and powerful as he led me through the old 
cherry grove to the new shack in the woods. These shacks 
seemed to change on a regular basis, along with the seasons. 
In a time when crosses were burned and ghosts were visible 
in the fields, the families would gather there and leave 
together in a hushed, murmur padded silence. Sometimes 
it seemed a bit amusing, yet I was young — much too young 
to understand. 

"Hey, my man Luther. What you gon' done? You havin' 
a lir trouble with yo' step?" 

In the semi-darkness, John's figure at my side is reassur- 
ing. Often the stairs were a difficult climb, though they rarely 
numbered more than four or five. 

"Oh, shit my man! You ain't on the nod again are you?" 

"No, no." I shake my head so vigorously my black suede 
hat abruptly lurches forward and, rebounding off my 
shoulder, finds its resting place on the third step. 

"Just the old legs again, John." I hear myself say, as much 
to reassure myself as him — knowing well my cover is blown. 
Yet, as anyone who has had the monkey on their back 
understands, it is far easier to deny the problem at hand than 
to confront it head on. Underneath the favorably mellow, 
heady stupor that comes with opiate use is the gnawing 
paranoia which can rear its head at any given moment. 

To be on "the edge" seems to be where I find myself 
recently, if the past four or five years can be called recent. 
It is at times like this that the memories burst through my 
subconscious and flood my whole being. They are forever 
inside me, on the back burner — simmering, simmering 
. . . burning. One day I feel they may boil over and I will 
either be free from them or die. 

"I'd say you was daydreamin' but its too late at night 
Luther." 

John — forever urging and plying — yet I've never been 
mad at him all the years we've been together . . . many long 
years on the road. From rags to riches, or from picking cot- 
ton to wearing its finest, as we used to say in . . . Lord it's 



a haze! So long, long ago. Back when we was just a- 
daydreamin'. 

"Brother, at this point I don't care if you daydreamin', 
on the nod, or wondering whether yo socks match. Man, 
we don't want to be hangin' here all night." 

It seems funny how John is so nervous. He moves about 
so much that he seems to be teetering on the stair. If I reached 
out and touched his chest — oh so softly — I feel he would 
lose his balance and crumble to the floor. I laugh to myself 
at the thought of big strong John lying helpless in a heap 
at my feet. 

The nausea hits me like a heavyweight's punch in the pit 
of my stomach and rolls upward through my chest, to my 
throat, burning my nose like a white hot fire. My eyes ex- 
plode in a blinding flash. My ears ring, not so much from 
noise as from the unbearable pressure that seems to expand 
my head to unearthly proportions. I feel the bile rise in my 
throat — burning and tearing as it batfles gravity and myself, 
seeking to expel its energy out my clamped mouth. 

I choke it down as I had years ago upon finding my father 
suspended in the air as if by magic. Soaring. Spinning slowly 
to and fro just out of reach from my straining arms. The 
ghosts sat perched on their horses nearby — silently 
observing. 

When they disappeared in a cloud of suffocating dust, I 
had laid on the earth under my father as he slowly spun this 
way and that in the light of the fires and a half moon. The 
fire's glow alternately was cast on his face as he turned — 
animating his features and blessing them with life. His 
downcast head would in one instance smile reassuringly at 
me on the earth, and in the next seem to grimace in the ever- 
changing display of light and shadow. It was there that the 
townfolk had found us in the thin pink light of dawn. As 
they cut my father down from the old cherry tree I lay wretch- 
ing into the dirt until I feared my stomach itself would mix 
with the earth. "Baby, you don't learn the blues, you got 
to live 'em first." 

"C'mon Luther, one more step and you're there my man. " 

The final step is a large one and I feel I would not make 
it without John's support. My palm is wet with perspiration, 
yet its grip is strong on the rail. Warm damp flesh on cold 
metal makes for an interesting combination. For some reason 
it seems to energize me as I mount the final step without 
John's help. Shafts of light beckon me forward — blues, reds, 
violets; some resting on the backdrop as others swirl der- 
vishly to and fro. The strong scents of smoke and human 
sweat intermingle in a dense, heady aroma that I find pleasant- 
ly familiar. 

Someone hands me a cold glass of water as I come up under 
hot white lights. It feels as good as it tastes as it washes down 
my throat, carrying with it any remains of bile that rest in 
its path. A deep shade of red swathes over me as the band 
hits a sensuous stride. The familiar bump and grind of the 
finest blues. And yes, the beast is a-wailin'. 

The wailing beast, as John so calls the screaming crowd, 
is on its feet voicing its support for this old blues musician. 
Around the last bend possibly, but not over the hill yet. The 
vibrating sound and sensafion of thousands of hands com- 
ing together and feet stomping the floor is reassuring in its 
familiarity. Safe in my performer's role I feel fine, at ease, 
and in thorough control of the moment. The memories are 
back on the rear burner; simmering, yet secure in my 
subconscious. 



ANGELOU 



By Oneida C. Fox 



Once riding in old Baltimore, 
Head-filled, heart-filled with glee, 
I saw a Baltimorean 
keep looking at me. 

Now I was eight and very small, 
And he was no whit bigger. 
And so I smiled, but he poked out 
His tongue, and called me "Nigger." 

I saw the whole of Baltimore 
From May until December; 
Of all the things that happened there 
That's all that I remember. 



The above poem "Incident," by Countee Cullen, 19th 
century black poet, was used to illustrate that Black American 
literature can be used as a mirror in society. 

Maya Angelou, in her lecture at the University of Massachu- 
setts, on February 25, 1985, said Black American literature's 
importance is ignored because people are "erroneously mis- 
informed" of its value to the human race. She said Black 
American literature is a part of the world's foundation. 

"I will use it (Black American literature) because it is so 
rich, so beautiful and so seldom cherished and almost never 
taught. I suggest that this literature can be credited with the 
survival of an entire people or two," she said. 

Cullen was writing about an 8-year-old boy who was in 
Baltimore for seven months. The boy only remembered that 
one incident, being "called outside of his name," she said. 

"We look at the poem and see that Countee Cullen ex- 
tracted from a very strange situation, the essence of that 
situation. What happens when we choose to remember one 
thing and one thing only-what happens?" Angelou said. 

Angelou, poet, singer, song/play writer, dancer and choreo- 
grapher defines literature as transcending all barriors. 
Literature is the essence of mankind. It bares no color; it 
relates an experience, the experience of life and living, she 
said, 

"A literature so real that it will not indulge a distance of 
continents, oceans, centuries, race, slavery, hate; oppression- 
it indulges no distance. It says I speak through the Black ex- 



perience, that's what I know. I am talking about the human 
condition, what it is like to be a human being, what makes us 
weep, how we can fall and feel and rise and how our souls 
can look back and wonder at how we (the Black race) got 
over-that is the literature," Angelou said. 

The poem was used by Angelou to illustrate how one 
secluded incident can change a person's perspective. She said 
that Cullen in documenting the experience mirrored the 
actions and destructive consequences of a sad society. 

Angelou, who was invited to speak as part of Black History 
Month, said that the history of Black America is painful to 
recount, but out of this pain came a literature that "heralds 
survival." 

"When the great and important pieces of legislation in this 
country have been written and signed, for the most part my 
people have been illiterate. When big pieces of what Thomas 
Wolfe calls 'this everlasting earth' have been divided up and 
handed up to the miglity and the few. For the most part, my 
people couldn't intrude or claim to own the chains they 
wore or the awkward names that had been so recently given. 
But look what they gave me and the world, a literature, which 
heralds survival-survival. And the thriving, which is for every- 
one's use . . .Full of splendor and a generosity of spirit," 
she said. 

Angelou, fluent in English, Spanish, Gemian and French, 
asked the younger generation to always be present in their 
lives, to strive for a level of knowledge outside of the required 
academics. She stressed the need for students to receive more 



56 



than a degree from institutions of learning. 

"There is a world of difference between being trained and 
being educated. It would behoove you so that when you 
leave this institution you will have a lot to go on. It would 
behoove you to take advantage of the library," Angelou said. 

Angelou asked the students in the audience to question 
the validity of what a college education will give them. 

"The big issue was not to enter this city of higher learning. 
It may not really be a problem to remain here or to leave 
this place with some success and possibly some glory. But 
once you have been here what do you take away? What do 
you have?" she said. 

Angelou could not speak for six years due to a psycho- 
logical problem, said to make up for her "condition," she 
read and memorized all literature. 

"You ought to read to know who you are-to understand," 
she said. 

Angelou was raised in Stamps, Arkansas, by her grand- 
mother. She said that when she got her voice back at the age 
of 12, she was going to render the Shakespearean Porsia speech 
in church, but her grandmother said no. Angelou said that her 
grandmother would not allow her because there where plenty 
of Black American writers she could use instead. 

"But years later when I physically and psychologically 
left the condition, which is Stamps, Arkansas . . .1 found 
myself and still find myself Whenever I like stepping back and 
getting a handfulof Shakespeare-whenever I like. 1 know it 
was written to encourage a species to continue. I will use 
Shakespeare any time I like," Angelou said. 

She said literature is the inspiration given to man in order 
to transcend. 

"To encourage that next generation to survive and to do 
better than that, to thrive and to do better than that to thrive 
with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some 
style. So I use a lot of things under my umbrella called 
literature," Angelou said. 

Angelou, to show the value of Black American literature; 
quoted such 19th century poets as Georgia Douglas Johnson, 
James Weldon Johnson, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Horton George 
Moses, Anne Spencer and Francis Harper. She brought the 
past to mind, not just by the poetry of these people but by 
the history of America. 

"Do you realize ... the first Africans were brought to this 
country in 1614 . . . . but I just remind you that was one year 
before the Mayflower docked. We (Black people) have gone 
through experiences so bizzare . . . How do the people survive? 
I suggest through the literature. And all of it is written, com- 
posed, painted, danced for all of us all the time," she said. 

Angelou said, the older generation can give the younger a 
better understanding of life. She said, "Especially as you are 
young, especially as you are being molded by life, by your 
own experiences, by the things to which you are exposed- 
as you are being formed. 1 encourage you to put it all inside. 
AH knowledge is spendable currency depending upon the 
market." 

According to Angelou, love is another factor that can be 
credited with the survival of man. 

"By love I don't mean sentimentality. I mean that cond- 
ition in the human spirit so profound that it encourages us 
to develop courage and then to trust that courage to build 
bridges and to trust those bridges in attempts to reach other 
human beings-that's what I mean by love," she said. 

The first step in loving another starts with loving oneself, 



she said. 

"I think it is dangerous for a person to believe he or she is 
loved by a person or persons, who don't love themselves," 
Angelou said. 

During a press conference after her lecture, Angelou 
said the human race is going nowhere when it allows its 
greed and ignorance to stand in the way of peace, growth and 
love. 

When asked about the future of the Civil Rights Movement, 
Angelou, who in 1960 was one of the voices of the movement, 
said, "The movement has reached a dangerous low" because 
the leaders of today are not as an issue-motivated as those of 
the past. The movement has turned into a political struggle 
within group members, and not against the government, 
she said. 

"We have allowed ourselves to be fractured into groups 
concerned with trivial rights. We live in fear that we are going 
to be violated. We should be able to live without that fear," 
she said. 

The only way to achieve change for a race is by first 
achieving individual change, Angelou said. The younger 
generation has to become aware of what is going on around 
it. she said. The future of this world is in their hands, and 
they should be prepared, Angelou said. 

"Take some time out for yourself; therefore, you are 
engaged and engaging and you are doing something not just 
for yourself or your family or your race, but for the entire 
species. For our chore is to make this country more than 
what James Baldwin called 'the yet to be United States'," 
she said. 

Angelou, at no time allowed the audience to just listen. 
She not only demanded your physical presence; but she made 
you demand of yourself, your mental presence. 

"I suggest every person in this room has asked . . .am I 
worth it, am I, me, Maya . . .worth it. Am I worth asking of 
myself, the best I can give myself . . .is my life of such im- 
portance, that I should give up a little socializing to get to my 
books. Am 1 worth it?" she said. 

The following poem by Warren Cooney, 19th century 
black poet, raises the question of self worth, in the face of 
reality. The poem was read by Angelou, to inspire self- 
reflection. She wanted to point out that one must look much 
deeper for encouragement, because the answers are not always 
in front of ones eyes. 

She does not know her beauty 

She thinks her brown body has no glory. 

If she could dance naked on the palm trees. 

And see her image in the river 

She would know, but there are no palm trees 

On the street, and dish water gives back 

No images. 

The poem is titled "No Images" and according to Angelou, 
"Cooney used his exquisite energy to extract from a condi- 
tion, the essence of that condition." 

"Let us so live that we will not regret years of useless 
virtues and inertia. And in dying we can all say my conscious 
life and energy have been dedicated to the most noble causes 
in the world. The liberation of the human spirit beginning 
with my own," she said. 

The poem is short, but tells the entire story, Angelou said. 
"Ask yourself are you worth it? I suggest you are," she said. 



57 







My Confidant 


Past Deceptions 


By Donna Henry 


By Donna Henry 


Oh the comfort. 


/ would have liked to be his friend 


The inexpressible comfort of feeling 


Once, a long time ago. 


safe with a person. 


Things have changed now 


Having neither to weigh thoughts, nor 


Times are different 


measure words - but 


And the door is closed 


pouring them all right out - 


No correspondence been made 


Just as they are -- 


between us two 


Chaff and grain together - 


Because all chances were broken 


Certain that a faithful hand 


when the guy 


will take and shift them - 


built a wall between us 


Keep what is worth keeping 


Denying and offending thefriendship 


And with a breath of kindness - 


which he had never sincerely offered. 


Blow the rest away. 




True Paradise 


Flames of Passion 


By Donna Henry 


By Donna Henry 


/ crawled in bed with you 


It burns, 


observing keenly your sharp grey eyes 


That heat which drives the soul 


peering at my dark brown body. 


If you slip 


I froze in fear. 


You could die in the flames. 


You felt the chill. 


Slowly screaming 


Will you love me tomorrow 


As they lap at your body 


as you will tonight? . . . 


You float to the surface of 


maybe . . . 


the water. 


I saw the animal in your eyes 


charred and blackened 


I couldn't move. 


Tonight, 


Withdrawing my body, 


We had to prove it 


You sensed my fear . . . 


Tonight! 


Held me in your arms 




Reaching true paradise 




As we made love 




in our minds. 




58 





So Stuck Up 



By Yolanda Stafford 



"Here she comes, walkin' down the street like she's 
the only person on earth." 

"Can't nobody touch her with a ten foot pole." 

Stacey was by far the prettiest and most sophisticated 
female in the neighborhood. She pranced around in the 
highest style. Always dressed like a queen. Always looked 
the best she could. 

Nobody liked her - or at least everybody thought they 
didn't like her. Few people really knew her. Too many were 
too jealous to want to know her. I was one of the few. She 
came to be one of my best friends and I knew her well. 

"Look at her with her nose all turned up. She's so 
conceited." 

Lisa was one of the many who swore they hated Stacey. 
She lived on the other end of the street. She, with her high 
yellow tone and brownish-blonde hair, would always cut 
those slanted grey eyes at Stacey. She would run around 
telling everybody how conceited Stacey was and lie about 
things she saw Stacey doing. 

"I saw her downtown today with this tall ugly dude. 
She was hangin' all over him like a leach. Then I saw her 
an hour later with another dude hangin' on her. That girl 
probably got every disease known to the world." 

Lisa was saying these things and people were beheving her. 
Rumor had gotten all over the neighborhood and a quarter 
of the city thought that Stacey was a whore. 

Stacey has always been a shy and introverted person. She 
constantly worried about what people thought about her so 
this did no wonders for her self- esteem. She always felt some- 
body was staring at her. Most of the time someone was staring, 
but she thought the worst of everything. 

On a breezy fall day a few years ago all her dread seemed 
to be coming true and there was nothing I could do to help. 
The girls in the neighborhood had conspired against her. 
The guys were out to get her. She was afraid to leave the 



house. Why were these people doing this to her? She never 
bothered anyone. I had persuaded her to walk to the store 
with me. I have yet to finish apologizing for this. 

Lisa had brainwashed all the girls into believing that 
Stacey was after each and every one of their boyfriends. 
The girls who had no boyfriends operated out of pure hatred. 

The air that day was so thin it made my head feel as" 
though I had dropped it into a gas tank. The fumes of fall 
filled my nostrils and my senses were running on 'E'. Through 
all this thickness I felt in my light-head a choking tension 
squeezzing until my brain screamed. 

There was something wrong and I couldn't figure out 
what it was. The sensation of fear is so strong. That's what 
it was, fear. I had reahzed that we were being followed and so 
had Stacey. We began to speed up, I wanted to run but I 
didn't want to unnerve her. She would surely think the world 
hated her now. 

She slowed down. She had realized our position too. 
What is she going to do? She slowed her pace. I felt obliged to 
stay with her. Momentarily the group had caught up with 
her. Stacey didn't seem to be afraid at all. What was she going 
to do? She turned around and there she came face to face 
with Lisa. Not that. 

Lisa proceeded to wildly through out degrading remarks 
and well planned lies, she threatened and thrashed. She gest- 
ured and veered - then she slapped Stacey, Oh my God, 
what is she going to do? 

"You stuck up conceited bitch, what you gonna do?" 

Stacey promptly grasped Lisa by her throat and whisp- 
ered, "absolutely nothing," Then she smiled, let Lisa go, 
and she and I quietly walked away. 

I remembered this incident so well because I am one of 
the few who knew that Stacey was never conceited. She was 
just afraid. 



59 




THE YOUNG 
LION 

AVERY 
SHARPE 

By Richard Little 



Drum: 
Avery : 



Drum: 
Avery: 

Drum: 

■^?^1! Avery: 

Photo: Chris HarJin ^ 

Drum: 



60 



Drum: Avery, I have known you for a couple of years, v/ell 
a lot of years as matter of fact, probably knew you 
when you first started playing music. As far as 
junior high, which was in the late 60's to early 
70's. When did you become interested in music as 
a major part of your life? 

Avery: Most of my musical background comes from my 
mother. I started playing the piano when I was 
eight years old. My mother was a piano player in the 
Church of God in Christ. She had several choirs, she 
used to play with. I can remember as a kid going to 
a lot of funerals because I was a baby at the time. 
She played for funerals, weddings, everything, re- 
vials, you name it-I was there. So she started me off 
on the piano since I was eight. 
So like most musicians, you probably started out in 
church. 

Yes, many Black musicians have a very strong part of 
their culture in the Church. I started playing bass 
in the church then I moved on to other things such 
as sacred materials. 
How long have you been playing? 
I have been playing since the eleventh grade. My 
crucial days were in my sophomore/junior years 
in college. 

How long have you been playing professional? 
Well, when you say professional, this is where I've 
been making my living for the last 5 years now. 
What are some of the groups that you have played 
with? Professional groups that you may have made 
your living in the last five years. 

Avery: Well the first person who actually took me to Europe 
was Archie Shepp and his drummer Art heard me 
play. Then Archie took over a big band and Art 
Boikie sat in with Archie's group and I guess he 
was really knocked out by my plans. He said that he 
was getting ready to change over his band he def- 
inately wanted me to be his bass player and I didn't 
think too much of it at the time and a few months 

continued on page 62 



91 X ,,99 




went by and I got a call as a matter of fact I was 

back over here with Archie again and I got a call from Drum: 

Art saying he wanted me to join his band. I was in 

Europe at the time but they were in the States but Avery: 

they called me and then I went on to play with 

Art for a couple of months then McCoy Turner was 

interested in me so I played for McCoy for about 

two years and I've played with a lot of different 

freelancers. I've played with the Cab Colloway's 

band; I've done some work with Jeffrey Huder and 

the young lions in Jazz, which was Bob McFanen, 

Wynton Marsalis, Chico Freeman, John Blake, there 

were 17 of us. 

Drum: When did that take place? 

Avery: That was recorded in June of 82. And I've been 
involved with several other projects, with my own 
group as well as playing with other people. For the 
last seven months I've been doing a trio with McCoy 
Tiner, and Louis Hayes on the drums. 

Drum: When you started playing did you have idols? Who Drum: 

were the big influences on you as far as your music 
career? Did you have anyone who you wanted to be Avery: 
like or thought was good? 

Avery: Yeah, well like I said, my first influence was my 
mother of course because she was a piano player and 
I dug that, but when I started getting into high 
school, you know, you wanna be hip . . .as much as I 
was born to be hip (laughing) I thought it was nice to 
play bass. It seemed to come pretty easy. I know a 
lot of people have trouble hearing bass and I didn't 
seem to fall naturally for it, and then I started list- 
ening to, you know just when we were coming up 
whatever was happening, and the first bass line I 
learned was Kool and the Gang. When I got to col- 
lege I started listening to other types of music "Jazz" 
a little bit more experimental type of music. It was Drum: 

fun because I went from like listening to funk to 
Kool and the Gang to John Coulton. So I just start Avery: 

listening to more music and started really hearing 
the different sounds and I started looking into cats 
like Ron Cartler, Reggis Wortman, Paul Chambers, 
Ray Brown, Richard Davis you know Jimmy Gear- 
son. When I was at the University of Mass it was a 
really unique period and I don't feel that it has been 
duplicated since then. I was there ten/eleven years 
ago, Archie Shepp was relatively new to the campus. 
Max Roach, Reggie Wortman, Horace Byran and 
Fred TUlis and so on. You had these type of people 
right there on campus, and its very difficult to get 
people of that caliber together in N.Y. City. I feel 
that it was a very fortunate period for me, and there 
a lot of musicians who also experienced the same 
thing then. At the time I was playing electric bass 
and I heard . . .playing upright bass and I was like 
really knocked out by the way this cat had such Drum: 
command of the instrument. 

Drum: Were you a music major at UMass? Avery: 

Avery: No, I wasn't. Everybody thinks I was a music major 
as a matter of fact, I have an economics degree and 
later on I went back and finished one year of music, 
which I haven't completed. 

Drum : Are you still working on that? 

Avery: Not really, but I hope to get back into it. Right now, 



Drum: 

Avery: 



I am concentrating on my career. 
When you go on the road like when you went to 
Europe does that interfere with your home life? 
People ask me that all the time. Nothing is easy in 
life. No matter what you do once you realize that 
there is nothing easy then everything becomes 
easier. I have a very strong sense of family which is 
somewhat contradictory. When I'm gone, however, I 
feel that things happen for a reason and I feel that I 
am going in a positive direction. So therefore it is a 
strain and it isn't a strain. I am able to hold my fam- 
ily intact because I am very serious about whatever I 
do. If I play bass I'm very serious about it, if I'm 
going to raise a family I'm very serious about it. 
So all my time and energy is spent there. When 
I'm home with my family, even when I am gone I am 
still there. They hear from me everyday sometimes 
two/three times during the day. There's not a day 
when they're not in contact with me. 
Does your wife get a chance to travel with you 
when you're on the road? 

Yes, sometimes it depends on the schedule. I'm 
very optimistic about things, I feel that you can't 
have your cake and eat it. This is supposed to be the 
land of the free, home of the brave, they taught us 
since a kid that you can have anything that you want. 
Most people think in terms of finance, I don't always 
think in terms of finance. I mean, I have to think in 
terms of finances, but because I have to keep myself 
and my family; I feel that economics is a very im- 
portant factor of it. But I feel that an individual 
should do what he/she wants, to do in life, and feel 
secure and satisfied. I feel that playing music serves 
the purpose and it's one way that I communicate to 
the world. 

Is there a normal time that you always go on your 
tours? 

It's different, it's pot luck. There is no set way to 
do it. You talk to twenty-five hundred people who 
are in this business and you get twenty-five hundred 
different roles. It is bad in one sense if you are an 
individual that can stand that type of pressure it will 
make you edge on more or you are suppressed into 
the pressure. 

When you say pressure you mean pressure as in the 
air or on the road or what? 

All over, pressure I mean your family time to play 
music that that's all you deal with. I mean I have to 
deal with the same things as everybody has to deal 
with, people are people. In the music industry you 
have good folk and you have bad folk. So it's de- 
finitely different when you're dealing with artists. 
You know basically people are people and everybody 
has similar experiences in life. 

Do you have any future goals in mind, albums or 
tours coming up? 

That's one of my main things in terms of what I 
consider success. Success is always trying to go to 
the next level, be it economic. That's what I measure 
my success on. I am always working on differnt pro- 
jects. I have this party that I did down by the East- 
field Mall. I use to work with school kids. I am 
always trying to work out record deals plus I'm 



62 



writing and rearranging. 

Drum : Eastfield Mall in Springfield. Is that an ongoing thing? 

Avery: Well, we just completed our second year. It started 
off in 83, which was good and 84 was also good and 
also we see funding for 85 so the program will be 
happening again. 

Avery: It's called Arts in the Marketplace ; Jazz in the Mar- 
ketplace and the title I gave it was Jazz Unlimited. 
This year it will be in the summer. 

Drum: What type of inspirations would you give to young 
people in general, who are considering music? Maybe 
they are playing in a church choir right now. 

Avery: First of all they should know their instrument and 
feel secure about themselves as players and one 
way to do that is to know your insturments. Also to 
have a realistic view of what music is. I think one of 
the problems with the kind of music I play sometimes 
is that I am on the ground which is considered 
jazz because there is not a lot of media play for 
jazz, it's not as readily accessible to the media as say 
popular music. I think sometimes people get a dis- 
torted or not a very true picture of what is happening 
in the music industry. They think of one side of 
it: The Michael Jackson side that is hip, but they 
have to remember that cat works hard too at what he 
does and if you want to be an artist you have to be 
very serious. It will take a lot of hard work and 
energy, your own talent, knowing your own resources 
and to just try to take things as fast as you can. 

Drum: You made a point earlier that I want to go back on. 
You said after the music you play you feel like on the 
ground for Jazz. How do people in the States view 
Jazz as opposed to people in Europe? 

Avery: It's taken for granted. It's like if I have apple trees 
in my backyard it's no big deal for me to go 20 
miles down the street and see another apple tree so 
I think that is the attitude Americans take. I think 
people outside of America recognize that more 
readily. Europeans don't want to hear classical music, 
which is their background. When they hear live new 
music they love it. The roots of Jazz go back to 
Africa, which musicians pass on through the spirit. 
I learned to play music, I mean, I got some of the 
teaching from school but my actual playing comes 
from people like McCry, Art Boikie, which cannot 
be taught. You have to do that. 

Drum: School kind of teaches you the basis, and then you 
provide your own style from there? 

Avery: You still have to get the Vibes. The Vibes was set up 
here in America that's why when they want to hear 
Jazz they got to hear Americans play because it was 
born here. We have the vibes. You want to hear 
Itlian music you don't have to carry it from Japan 
to play it, if you want to hear Jazz you come to 
America. 
Drum: What would you consider to be the most difficult 
transition for a young professional like yourself in 
the music industry? 
Avery: I guess that transition was one. More so there are 
definitely other factors that I have taken into 
consideration at the time when I made that 'brake 
free' as they say. I had a wife two kids, mortgage 
payments so I was "a middle class indivual." 



Drum: Do you feel locked in? I know you had a nine to five 
at one point during that time. How did you break out 
of that syndrome into the music industry? 

Avery: Well. I wasn't getting any sleep, I worked three and a 
half to four years; I finally accomplished a lot. I had 
a family, I was working for an insurance company 
and I was taking classes between that plus, playing 
and practicing on my own. So I was averaging three 
to four hours sleep per niglat. But I don't know how 
I survived that. I couldn't see myself doing that in 
20/30 years. Sometimes an individual may have to 
do things they may not want to do, but like I said, 
I'm just optimistic and I just work it out. 

Drum: When you left that 9 to 5 insurance company and 
said well I'm an artist, I'm going to play music did 
you feel a certain amount of risk was involved, 
especially with the family? 

Avery: It was definitely a tug-of-war because the industry 
I'm in is not secure. I know cats that have been work- 
ing 20/30 years at a job and then boom the pink 
slips go up; get cast out of a job. There's nothing 
secure in life but this industry is very insecure more 
insecure than people think. How many times have 
you seen cats on TV who you think 'have made it' 
and there is a certain amount of insecurity that 
they have. That's the nature of this business unless 
you're somebody like Frank Sinatra who's been 
in the business for something like 40 years. You are 
not going nowhere. 

Drum: Have you experienced any difficulties, I know you 
are a young musician playing Jazz and most Jazz 
musicians are older. Have you experienced any 
difficulties from the older musicians or by the public? 
Do they accept you? 

Avery: I think the older musicians definitely have to accept 
me, because we are only going to be here for a 
certain amount of time you can't be young for- 
ever so there is a certain amount of acceptance. 
If it hadn't been for them I wouldn't be playing the 
music that I am playing, and if it wasn't for me the 
old cats wouldn't survive. I have a huge respect for 
older cats, like I said you don't get to be old by 
being no fool, and you don't last in this business a 
long time without being a fool either. So my hat is 
off to cats who have made it through this business 
20/30 years. But at the same time they must allow 
young blood, and I think they have and you know 
myself I'm not super young there are cats coming up 
under me. It makes me feel good when I see other 
cats trying to play. So I am speaking to older men, 
I spoke to McCry, I am the youngest cat in the group 
those cats are old enough to be daddier so they 
talk, and tell me they are proud of me because it 
makes them feel good to see a young cat come up 
trying to play the music. O.K. Rick I thank you 
very much for the interview. 

Drum: Thanks for taking the time out of your day. I know it 
is kind of busy and taking the time to answer a few 
questions for Drum Magazine. In fact I will be putting 
you on the mailing list and send you a couple of 
copies when they come out. 

Avery: I used to read Drum Magazine when I was at UMASS. 

Drum: Very good magazine. 

63 




64 



View From The Top 

By Sharon Mills 



Entering Manhattan from Queens on 
the 59th Street Bridge, otherwise known 
as the Queens Borough Bridge, you are 
able to view across the river many sky 
scrapers that make up the beauty of 
New York city. There is one building that 
stands out to be the most unique and 
intriguing. This building is the Equal 
Opportunity Building which is located 
at 500, East 62 Street. When first visit- 
ing this buOding one is struck by the 
symbols of equality that are displayed in 
the buildings interior. The National 
Urban League, which is housed in the 
Equal Opportunity Building, strives to 
achieve equality. On the sixteenth floor 
of this building you will find the Presi- 
dent and Chief Executive of the National 
Urban League, John E. Jacob. Mr. Jacob 
a native of Houston, Texas and graduate 
of Howard University, has been President 
of the National Urban League since 
January 1, 1982. Although Jacob is 
small in frame, he is very strong in mind. 

When asked how he became affiliated 
with the Urban League, he responded 
by saying, "it was not a predesigned plan. 
One of my former classmates knew of 
a job at the Washington Urban League 
and recommended that I look into it." 
In 1965, Jacob was hired as the Director 
of Education and Youth Incentives. 
About his motivation through his twenty 
year involvement with the Urban League, 
Jacob has been said, "rarely does an 
individual get the opportunity to get paid 
for doing something they like doing." 

Mr. Jacob is guided by the motto, 
"everybody deserves a chance to make 
it on their own." This motto encourages 
the Urban League to continue to close 
the gap between white and black societies 
in the 1980's. The Urban League is an 
organization, which daily confronts issues 
concerning the Black community. The 
league has set out to combat critical 
issues among^ Black teenagers; poverty 
confronting single female headed house 
holds; education of Black children; 
crime in Black communities; and voter 
registration. 

According to Jacob, the Urban 
League is able to set high goals because of 
this strength that Jacob feels is the 
"great staff." Jacob said, "the Urban 
League is the only organization of its 
kind that has a full time staff, both 



professional and non-professional, in 
some 113 cities around the country." 
It is beacuse of the weU trained and 
committed staff plus the Urban League's 
approximately forty thousand volunteers, 
who are equally well trained and com- 
mitted, that the Urban League is able to 
carry out its goals. 

When compared to other minority 
service organizations (PUSH, NAACP, 
SCLC), Jacob feels that the Urban 
League is different in that "it is one of 
the few organizations that has a direct 
service component as well as an advocacy 
component." The Urban League's direct 
service provides jobs, training, and runs 
community street academies (these acad- 
emies serve the function of providing 
education for the young people). 

Although the National Headquarters 
is located in New York City, it remains 
in touch with its 113 local affiliates 
throughout the country. The affilliates 
attract many different types of members. 
There are, for example, student members, 
those of the working class, upper class, 
corporations, businesses and community 
groups. Jacob said that the affiliations 
are designed to be inclusive of all of the 
sectors of the community. Each affil- 
iate builds its own basic program around 
the needs of that particular community. 
For example in Washington, D.C. there 
is a program in the elementry schools 
to try to raise the performance level on 
National Standardized Tests. In Phoenix, 
Arizona, the Urban League is involved in 
providing housing for senior citizens." 

Although the Urban League's af- 
filates have their own unique concerns 
in their community, the Urban League 
nationally has one major concern, equal- 
ity for all, which is reflected at the 
National Urban League's Annual Con- 
ference. This event is what Jacob expres- 
sed as being "the largest meeting on 
race relations in the nation. It is our 
opportunity to say to the nation what the 
conditions are regarding race relations at 
that point in time. We select cities that 
wiU allow us to make that statement 
in a visible way and wiU serve as a place 
where media wDl congregate to hear what 
has to be heard and report out what has 
to be said." When the Urban League 
gives their conference business to a 
particular hotel, "we expect that hotel to 



be an equal opportunity employer and we 
expect that hotel to have Blacks inte- 
grated throughout the workforce, not just 
at the lowest levels." 

Attending and contributing to the 
program at the annual conference are 
many well known and prominent speak- 
ers such as Jesse Jackson who spoke at 
the conference in August of 1984. When 
asked Jacob's opinion concerning Jesse 
Jackson's campaign, he responded by 
saying, "the campaign has a profound 
impact on this nation and particularly 
Black people . . .Jesse's whole impact on 
this nation and particularly Black people 
. . . Jesse's whole effort did indeed force 
America generally to face some new 
realities. One reality was that, Black 
people were not just interested in Civil 
Rights but Black people had a compre- 
hensive interest in what was happening 
in the world. Secondly, Jesse's campaign 
did indeed communicate to white 
America that no longer was the high 
office of the President reserved solely 
for white males." Jacob was optimistic in 
his statement, "we are likely to see a 
Black, elected President within the not 
to distant future." 

Jacob feels that the next four years 
under the Reagan Administration are 
going to be tough years for Black 
Americans as well as White Americans. 
Although Jacob has many concerns 
about the difficulties our country will 
face. He also is concerned about Black 
people, who are starving in South Africa 
and Ethiopia. The National Urban League 
has been involved in raising money and 
sending food to these countries, but he 
hopes that our government will get more 
involved. "Our government should not be 
concerned with what type of govern- 
ments rule these countries, but our 
major concern should be hunger and try- 
ing to save human lives." 

The National Urban League has been 
acitve for 75 years in order to promote 
equal opportunity for all throughout 
this country and with the great strength 
of Jacob; and Urban League staff, our 
communities look forward to a future 
where all Americans can truly say they 
are equal. 



66 



A VIEW OF 

BOSTON 

BROADCAST 

NEWS: 

JIM BOYD 

By Oneida C. Fox 



Jim Boyd, a member of the Channel 5 family since it 
first went on the air in 1972, is WCVB-TV's "EyeOpener" 
and "Midday" news anchor. 

Throughout his career at Channel 5, Boyd has served as 
a general assignment reporter, and was the station's weekend 
anchor from 1976 to March, 1984, when he moved to week- 
days. 

Boyd came to WCVB from public television. He was a 
pubhc affairs producer for National Educational Television 
(NET) in New York City for three years. From 1967 to 1968, 
he produced and wrote "Say Brother," a weekly, live hour- 
long minority affairs program produced at WGBH-TV, Boston. 
Prior to then, he was NET's publicity writer and production 
assistant from 1961 to 1967. In this capacity, he traveled 
abroad extensively, helping to produce interview programs 
with such international figures as former Egyptian President 
Gamel Abdul Nassar, German Chancellor WDly Brandt, and 
South Vietnam's President Nguyen Van Thieu. 

The New York City native attended Long Island Univer- 
sity in New York and Farleigh Dickinson University in New 
Jersey. Boyd, who is active in numerous Boston-area charities, 
chaired the 1984 fund raising committee for the YMCA in 
Roxbury,MA. 

Boyd resides in Cambridge, MA. 



The field of journalism is changing, not only as a result of 
legalities, but also due to changes in moral attitudes. In the 
past minorities were considered both by the public and those 
in the field as incapable of doing the job. Minorities were 
considered a risk, but this has changed. 

"At one point the attitude was . . .if you are a minority, 
if you are a woman I'm not going to hire you. I'm not going 
to watch you. I don't want to see you. I don't want you to 
write anything for me. You are incapable of doing it . . . 
Those attitudes have changed. They have changed within my 
lifetime and within my career," said Jim Boyd, anchor person 
for WNEV-TV Channel 5, Boston. 

In a telephone interview conducted by DRUM Magazine 
on March 29, 1985, Boyd discussed his views on the role of 
journalists, the field of broadcast journalism and the public. 
He said, that the role of the journalist involves more than 
fairness. Although journalists do not have to know all the 




details of a story, they do have to adhere to certain ethics. 
"Presenring all sides of the story at least finding out all 
sides of the story goes beyond just being fair. It's not only 
a matter of saying, well if the story involves some accusations 
about someone. You (the journalist) have to get that other 
person's side of the story," he said. 

Boyd said that discriminatory attitudes have changed 
because he is accepted as a new anchor person. "The attitude 
has obviously changed to a point where someone like myself 
can be accepted as a reporter out covering a story, and can be 
accepted as a visible employee of an organization like Channel 
5," he said. 

The role of the journalist it not only to be curious, 
but to find out the truth, Boyd said. "Finding the truth, 
that is what I think we are all about as journalists. You get to 
the truth, you get to the facts and that gets you the informa- 



67 




^Sfk^ 









^>^M 






tion of stories," he said. 

The public places a great deal of reliability on journaUsts, 
to be their source to privOeged information. Journalists should 
report the truth, which he defined as "accuracy, as 
information that is as honest as the reporter sees it; unbiased 
and a result of the information that you come across." 

Boyd, who for the 90 minute Eye-Opener news cast 
writes five to ten minutes, and for the 30 minute mid-day 
news cast writes about half a minute, said that in journalism 
one could write in a more artistic form, but television news 
has to deal with the constraints of time. Most viewers are also 
restricted by the element of time, he said. Generally news 
stories are one minute and 45 seconds and the viewer hears 
it only once, Boyd said. Therefore, you have to present it 
with clarity, brevity and force, he said. 

According to Boyd, "you can do television essays, you 
can write beautiful prose, you can do very complicated visuals. 
The problem with it is that people are not necessarily sitting 
glued to a television set at news time, and doing absolutely 
nothing else." 

When asked about the content of television news, he 
said that it is necessary for it to be simple because of the 
audience it reaches and the nature of the business. Boyd 
said that television news is unlike newspapers or radio, because 
the information cannot be digested at leisure. 

You (people) read a newspaper story, you don't under- 
stand it, you can read it a second time. If you get halfway 
through it and something interrupts you, you can go back 
and read it again. You can't do that with television. The 
messages that you bring across have to be presented in a 
simphstic and powerable form," he said. 

On October 11, 1984 General Westmoreland fUed a legal 
suit against the Central Broadcast System (CBS) for a docu- 
drama that he claimed misrepresented him. The docudrama 
implied that Westmoreland incorrectly regulated figures of the 
extent of the North Vietnamese BuUd-up, during the Vietnam 
War. As a result he sabotaged the Military Tet-offensive and 
millions died. On February 18, 1985, the General Westmore- 
land vs CBS legal suit was settled out of court when CBS 
explained-not apologized-for the docudrama. 

"I think that the Westmoreland trial simply says that us 
(journaUsts) we are now being looked at as carefully as we 
look at other people, and we should be Hey! you (the field 
of journalism) don't have a blank check to say anything you 
want to say about anybody without adhearing to certain 
standards, and some ethics," Boyd said. 

According to Boyd, the Westmoreland vs CBS legal suit 
brought to light "grey areas" in the field of journalism. He 
said, that journalists, as well as the pubUc, have to question the 
information being reported, and how it is being reported. 
Boyd added that journalists have to pay closer attention to 
the research end of the field. 

"Maybe what you (as a journalist) need to do is . . .to 
find out all the little nuances of any story you are involved. 
Get as much information as you can before drawing your 
own conclusions, and putting the story together," he said. 

Boyd, who as a young man played basketball and baseball 
recreationally, said "1 also used to write just a means of 
expression opinions that I did not spend a lot of time writing." 

He explained that "at a given point" in his life, he was 
seeking employment, not a career exactly. "The more 1 
found out not only about that organizaton, but the television 
industry. I know what I wanted to do in it," he said. 



Boyd who began his broadcast career working in the 
mailroom for National Education Television in New York 
City, said he did not choose broadcast media over print, it 
was a question of opportunity. 

When asked by DRUM, how much control he has over 
what he tells the public, he gave the "fuzzy" response of a 
fair amount. In journahsm the ethical question he values 
the most is honesty. If a journalist cannot be honest, he 
should not report, he said. 

According to Boyd, the city of Boston deserves the 
racist reputation that it has. But he further, said that it is 
morally and personally a problem, but not professionally. 

"First of all there can be biasis that have to be recog- 
nized . . .but I tend to think that you (journalist) have to be 
able to do your job honestly, able to recognize those, and if 
you can't over come them. I think you should not be reporting 
on stories or on particular stories," Boyd said. 

When Jesse Jackson was running for the office of the 
President, 1984 election, Coleman reported a statement made 
by Jackson about Jewish people. According to Boyd, the 
reporting was treated fairly by the media, and deserved to be 
reported. But he was puzzled, because there was a lapse of 
time between when the statement was made, and when it was 
reported. 

"Anything that person says is fair game. I think once you 
become that kind of public figure you've given up any claim 
to privacy. And the only way you can have that privacy is you 
have to be very, very guarded with it. You have to make sure 
that what you want to be private is said in private, and only 
in private," Boyd said. 

Boyd, who keeps abreast of what is going on in the world 
through other media sources, said the pubhc needs to know 
what is going on aO over the world regardless of whether 
they want to hear it or not. 

"It is difficult to see, but I think that most of what goes 
on in the world has some affect on everybody, that lives in 
it. And I think that the purpose and value of finding things 
out, that is in some cases learning what is going on in and 
around the world is invaluable to you (the public). There 
are lots of things that have to be reported that people would 
prefer not to hear," he said. 

The best way for an aspiring journalist to get started, 
Boyd said. "WeO there is no such thing as a best way," he 
said. Boyd said that one has to make the opportunities. 
He added, college students should take the advantage of the 
resources in the field of their interest. 

In general, "I think it is a matter of sharpening all of the 
skills you feel are going to be necessary at whatever level 
you are . . .you have to prepare yourself, it is extremely com- 
petitive," he said. 

When asked what changes he would like to see in the 
Field of Journalism, Boyd said that he wanted to see more 
emphasis on local news. "More local news, more community 
news and particularly as it pertains to minority com- 
munities," he said. 

Boyd who became a journalist out of a basic curiosity 
and a love of writing, said he would advise future journalists 
to be serious, dedicated and responsible. "It is a very serious 
business, you have to be dedicated to it, not only your own 
career, but also there is a great amount of responsibility that 
goes along with the public trust. I think you have to be very, 
very serious about that in your own pursuit, as well as in the 
job you hold," he said. 



69 



In you I am the first fool 

to point fingers for 

men unfit to live 

in hard lands 

who stole 

fire from the east 

turned it 

to death 

against a thousand peoples. 

In you I am the giver 

of gold enough 

to tear children 

from wombs 

nail them to the 

hard wood 

of history. 

In you I have rubbed by skin raw 

and exposed 

a dead self. 



I spoke the name Den Mark and damned 

myself again, 

a thousand peoples, 

to untold years. 

I gave a thief a combination to a 

continent, 

saw him through 

life and death 

mid shame, 

would scrape my skin as raw 

as his 

story would have it 

and forget 

my own. 

In you I am dead 

inside, 

before I ever 

live. 



In you I murdered a Prince, 

one Harlem ballroom 

moment years 

ago, crossed 

the color line, 

ran one legged 

from myself 

and a thousand others 

acting too late 

to overcome 

what we have 

done to Nat, 

Mark, 

Martin, 

Malcolm, 

at your hand, 

Malcolm. 



By Mark Lawrence McPhail 



On the twenty first day 

of the second month 

of the three hundred 

and forty sixth year 

at your hand, 

a Prince, 

the ship 

of our return. 

In you I have 

no life, 

no soul, 

nor shame 

Fori am dead 
In you 
Ashe 
was. 



Now through iron 

you watch the sun 

cast 

black stripes back, 

see on 

the outside 

the whiteness of light. 



I through old eyes 
strain to recognize 
his story, 
your story, 
ourstory? 



70 





CAPITAL CRIME 




By Mark Lawrence McPhail 




lama terrorist 


I have stolen 




with 


these 




these little 


visions 




black 


of Washington 




lines. 


because 




waiting to strike 


I fear 




at the 


they might 




heart 


be whitewashed 




of this city. 


by morning. 




With words 


I have loaded 




on walls 


these 




streets 


little black lines 




journals 


with 




I am charged with 


white-hot 




revealing 


truths. 




stolen 


images 




visions 


of white-hot 




of a 


lies. 




stolen 






city, 


America Needs Patriots 




country. 






continent. 


Not Traitors 




I have been 


I am gidlty of knowing 




convicted 


the difference 




of carrying 


between the two 




a loaded 






marker 


and of having had 




on the 


the audacity 




subway 


to spell 




on the 


it out 




street 






on my 


ForProut 




world 






without a trial. 




71 



Interview 
with: 



Dennis 
JOHNSON 

By Dino Maye 




Drum: Recently in the news and all over the U.S. there has 
been talk about your little brother Joey Alias "Rocket- 
man", we would like to know if he has decided where 
he plans to go to college? What is your evaluation 
of him? 

D.J.: He still has not decided where he wants to go to 
college, but I feel that Joey is a very good player. 
He is underrated and he has a lot of patience with his 
game. I don't get to see him play that much, but when 
I do go to his games, he seems to gain more confi- 
dence. I help him with his game when I have time, 
but his game is almost complete. 

Drum: How was it growing up in a large family? 

D.J.: In my family my parents gave me everything that 
I wanted. We are very very tight, there was always 
enough food on the table and of course love, which 



we had support for one another. 
Drum: What sports did you play in high school? 

D.J.: In high school I played baseball, basketball and ran 
track. 

Drum: Were you on scholarship as a freshman at Pepperdine 
or did you walk on? 

D.J.: First, I went to junior college at Harbor Wilmington 
College for two years before I enrolled at Pepperdine. 
Where I received a scholarship in my junior year of 
college. 

Drum: In college were you ever on any U.S. Basketball teams, 
for example Pan-Am games or World University games? 

D.J.: I was never considered for any Pan— Am games because 
the Big Ten and the ACC were the better known 
conferences in the NCAA Division 1. Bobby Knight, 



72 




73 



Drum 



D.J. 



Indiana Big Ten coach, had a lot of his players on 

those teams. D-J-: 

Drum: While growing up, did you admire anyone? Drum 

D.J.: I admired my parents because they showed leader- D.J.: 
ship. They provided food, clothes, money and they 
survived with a lot of children growing up in a house 
and they gave me a lot of inspiration. The athlete I Drum 

admired was Walt Frazier, N.Y. Nicks. He had the D.J.: 

closest all around game in the NBA. 

Drum: What transitions did you make in your game from Drum 

college ball to pro ball? D.J.: 

D.J.: The transition was hard because I had to gain ten 

more pounds, and get on the weights to increase my Drum 

strenght, also adjusting to the schedules. In college D.J.: 

there were twenty-eight or twenty-nine games. In the 

pros there are eighty-two games. In my rookie year in 

the pros after thirty-five games I was dead tired. In Drum 

college you would go to five or six classes during the 

day and then you would have practice. In the pros D.J.: 

you usually have practice during the morning from 

ten to noon and after practice then you have to meet 

people and conduct clinics. Drum 

Have there been any similarities between Lenny 

Wilkens of the Seattle Supersonics, John MacLeod of 

the Phoenix Suns, and your present coach K.C. Jones D-J.: 

of the Boston Celtics, as in coaching method or 

attitudes? 

AO three coaches are different but they all have the Drum 

same goal, they all want to win. Individually, Lenny is 

a very aggressive coach and he gets across to his players D.J.: 

what he wants done. John MacLeod is very demanding, 

he wants excellence. K.C. is the very silent strong 

type but when he opens his mouth he gets his point Drum 

across. 

Drum: How do you compare the atmosphere of the three D.J.: 

teams you've played on? 

D.J.: I was in three very good situations with all three 
teams. In Phoenix I had an excellent time because 
every year when I was there we reached the playoffs. 
In Seattle we won a championship and we went to 
the playoffs each year. In Boston last year in my 
first year we won the championship, so I feel that I 
have been very fortunate to end up on winning teams. 
Did it bother you as a solid guard player being traded 
so much? 

No, it doesn't bother me anymore, at first it did. 
The reason I got traded was because well maybe I 
wasn't the player the coach wanted, maybe he was 
looking for something else. The best trade was when I 
left Phoenix for Boston. 

You've been bad mouthed throughout the league at 
times as having a bad attitude, was it justified because 
we haven't seen it lately? 

I can't say I have a bad attitude because the coaches 
have a certain system it's called 'you go by what I 
say' and if you don't obey then you are labeled as a Drum 

hard player to the coach. A coach doesn't have to 
holler or curse at me to get my attention. I get upset D.J.: 

when I come out of a game because I like to produce. 
There's a little old saying 'little sticks and stones may 
break my bones but words don't ever hurt'. That's 
the way I feel. Drum 

Drum: Who has been the toughest opponent to score against 



Drum 
D.J.: 

Drum 
D.J.: 



Drum 
D.J.: 



Drum 
D.J.: 



Drum 
D.J.: 



you and who is the toughest to stop? 
As long as I work hard that's what counts. 
What is your role on the Celtics? 
Sometimes I'm a scorer, and sometimes I'm on defense 
but it's always getting the ball to the big men. That's 
how we win. 

What does Celtic pride mean to you? 
Celtic pride is no different than any other pride 
winning the bottom line. 
Do you feel you are being utilized best? 
Sometimes I do so many things, most of the times I 
feel that I am utilized well. 

As a player, what are your strenghts and weaknesses? 
I think my game is almost well rounded after nine 
years. If it was three or four years ago I know I would 
feel different. But now I feel that my game is solid. 
Do you feel that players who are making high salaries 
in the NBA are justifiable? 

Sure, most people would say it's not but it's like a 
free market, don't forget we're providing some kind of 
entertainment. 

When the season comes to a close there will be talks 
about your new contract, how are you going to ne- 
gotiate your contract? 

The only thing I can say is that if they, Celtics, come 
around with the right amount of money I will still 
be with the team. 

How did it feel to win your second NBA Champion- 
ship? 

It feels much better than the first and not too many 
players make it there. But this is what I strive for and 
I feel deep down that I can't be called a loser. 
What does the future hold for Black coaches in the 
NBA since you have played with four of them? 
There are not many in the NBA, I can't say it's pol- 
itical. I know for sure there are some qualified Black 
coaches, but I'm not sure if the public can deal with it. 
Nobody knew if K.C. Jones was going to get the job 
because he was third choice. I feel that there are many 
Black coaches out there who can coach in the NBA. 
What has been your biggest moment of your career? 
I got drafted because I left college a year early. I was 
the twenty-ninth pick in the second round in 1976. 
Nobody believed in me except Seattle Supersonics. 
How would you like to finish your career? 
I would like to finish my career healthy, being able to 
walk without help, no operations. Just like I came in, 
healthy. I'll be very satisfied. 
What would you like to do after basketball? 
I would like to do investments, but it takes time to 
think about leisure. I'll be pursuing jobs from my 
college degree in Retarded Recreation. Basketball 
gives you a lot of exposure to meet a lot of people, 
but I don't want to msh my retirement. Of course 
I'm going to spend more time with my family. 
Is there anything that you would like to add to this 
interview? 

Yes, I wish players would speak up louder for less 
games and I wish that I could spend more time with 
my family. I only have three months with my family 
because I'm always on the run. 

Thank you very much for taking time from your 
busy schedule for this interview. 



74 




ANTONIO FARGAS: 

The man and his work 



by Donna Henry 



You may remember him from Starsky and Hutch as 
"Huggy Bear" but Antonio Fargas is temporarily off the 
tubes and has returned, for a while at least, to where he 
originally started - on stage. His is an ordinary guy who has a 
lot of advice for young people. Luckily with the help of 
Arthur Grossman, one of Fargas's closet friends. Drums' 
Donna Henry was able to talk at length with him, at the 
Frank Silvera's workshop where he offered a unique look at 
his career - past, present and future. 

The meeting place was at the Frank Silvera's Writers' 



Workshop located on West 125th St. between 8th Ave. and 
St. Nicholas Ave. It is not one of the sophisticated buildings, 
but entering through the doors one can't help feel the ser- 
iousness, the sweat and the overflow of talent that exists 
there. 

Climbing up the stairs to the third door, Mr. Fargas was 
standing at a table conversing with a lady. He was wearing a 
pair of weD-fitted blue jeans, a pull-over sweater with an 
oxford shirt and tie, and a pair of black shoes. He is approx- 

75 



imately 5ft' 9 in.", dark complexion and clean shaven. His 
hair is low cut, very neat and he wears a pair of dark shades 
that hides his dark brown eyes. He has white teeth and that, 
along with his straight nose, gives him a very attractive look. 

I entered the building at 12:32 p.m. He immediately 
knew who I was but better yet he knew the reason for my 
visit. Nevertheless, I did the proper thing and introduced 
myself to him. He shook my hand and asked me to wait in 
the next room, which was a small auditorium. 

Though the auditorium is small and unimpressive, it is 
big enough to hold a stage and about twenty to forty chairs. 
An old piano was located on the left side of the room. "This 
stage is mighty small for such a big actor as Mr. Antonio 
Fargas " I thought. Just then, my thoughts were interrupted 
when Fargas came over to tell me that he was going to get 
a bit to eat. I nodded my head and smiled as if I were giving 
him my approval. After he left, I focused my attention on 
the four individuals who were seated in the front row, next 
to the small stage. 

Minutes later, Fargas returned with a small box of deep- 
fried fish sticks. He looked around as if to find a suitable 
place to hold the interview. "You'll" need quietness for this 
interview, I assume," he murmurred. Just then, a man made a 
suggestion. Fargas seem to agree because we followed the 
young man to the back of the auditorium. We entered a 
room with two chairs, a desk, two separate racks with cos- 
tumes hung on them and a small bed. .We sat in the chairs and 
the interview began. 

"At what point in your life," I asked, "Did you decide to 
become an actor?" "Well," Fargas replied, "Almost before 
I could decide about it, the story goes that when I was an 
infant, my mother said, that when I cried it sounded like I 
was singing. So she always thought that I should be in show 
business." Fargas said that his career didn't take shape until 
he was thirteen years old. "When I was thirteen," Fargas 
recalled." "There was an ad in the Amsterdam News where 
they were looking for people for the cast of a film called"The 
Cool World," directed by Shirley Clark. This film was a 
semi-documentary about gangs, so they wanted a natural 
look." 

His mother saw the ad and urged him to try out. Al- 
though he did not really like the idea, Fargas went and 
auditioned. 

Fargas said, "when I talk to young people, I always 
tell them that it was because I could read well that, I was 
able to interpret the script without any prior training and let 
my natural abilities flow." He said, that he got a small role in 
the film and that "sort of wetted his appetite." 

When he made his decision to become an actor, there 
were very few Blacks in the motion picture industry. Fargas 
said that he challenged the "status quo" of that period - the 
early 1960's ~ because he was crazy and in love with what 
he was doing. He said that if he had thought about the stat- 
istics, it would have been discouraging to tell young people 
of the opportunities in stage and screen. Fargas said that 
one really has to love doing what he's doing and to do it - 
not just for the glory or for awards but just because you 
really love doing it. "Sometimes," fargas continued dream- 
ingly, "I think that I would even pay to be able to act. That's 
how much I care about it. Especially back then I was very 
carefree about it and just in love with doing something that 
I thought was very exciting and special to me, and a chance 
to really express myself." 



The opportunity to act, he said, was his chance to express 
himself. The odds were against him, because he is black but 
that was not of much importance to him. He added, "Looking 
back to the 1960's it was a very exciting period because 
Blacks were just starting to reappear in off-Broadway scenes 
and it was the beginning of actors such as Robert Hooks, 
Douglas Turner Ward, Adloph Ceasar and Lou Gosset Jr. 
He said that although his first job was in film, he was thinking 
more about plays since the status of Black theater began to 
"get off the ground" in New York. 

Being in the business for almost twenty-five years and 
having appeared in numerous stage and screen dramas, I 
asked him how he prepares himself for his character por- 
trayals. Grinningly he answered, that he tries to get as far 
from them as possible and tries to make himself a mirror of 
life. "By knowing oneself," Fargas explained, "one creates 
that mirror and brings in the picture vivid enough that if one 
has the craft and the techniques he can fine tune his perfor- 
mance to the character that he is trying to mirror." Fargas 
added, "I think actors have to go out and see some of these 
things that they are trying to portray and to be an observer 
of life and without having to experience all the things that 
one plays but one has to be open - read newspapers and 
watch people. He emphasized that the best actors are usually 
the most intelligent or the ones that are sensitive enough to 
be open to not close out any possibility for creating. "I 
just think awareness is the most iinportant aspect in prepar- 
ing for a character portrayal." 

When asked his opinion of whether the changes in the 
industry are increasing or decreasing for Blacks, Fargas said, 
"there are more Black actors and actresses on stage and tele- 
vision now than there ever were. Although the growth shows 
a positive sign, he pointed out the negative aspects by saying 
that the frustration is greater because many people are not 
getting enough to satisfy their creative needs. However, 
" I can't help but be encouraged by the advance of cable and 
satellite and the many possibilities of channels on televisions 
that are going to need products and are going to have spot 
markets produce for different cable networks around the 
country." "Upserge of employment for blacks in the theater 
and on stage because of that factor, but it is still yet to come, 
it is still in formulation!" 

Mr. Fargas, an active member of the Negro Ensemble 
Company once known to many as the Group Theatre 
Workshop, expressed his views of his experience. He said 
that before his involvement with the Negro Ensemble Com- 
pany and prior to his first experience in "The Cool World", 
he had never studied acting. He went on to say that it was 
sort of a fantasy to be able to go to a theater and watch 
himself perform in "The Cool World." 

"When Robert Hooks started the Group Theater Work- 
shop", Fargas said, "It was just another seed planted in that 
exciting time. Also there was much raw talent in New York 
and the people were excited about these things that were 
happening in the the theater." On a whole, he emphasized 
the positive influences that the theater had over him and how 
his career was nurtured by professionals and role models 
such as Robert Hooks and Barbara Anne Tiee who were readi- 
ily involved with the program. 

Fargas is grateful for the success that NEC helped him 
achieve. Fargas comphmented the organization by saying it's 
most significant contribution to World of Theater is lon- 
gevity". He said in comparing the Negro Ensemble Company 



76 



and other theaters (both black and white) that came and went 
the NEC is still in existence which is something that blacks 
can look up to with pride. Also the fact that it is called the 
Negro Ensemble Company makes it a special role admitted 
that the company has now reached the professional level 
where it might not be as grass-roots as it was before. However, 
he said, "It is definitely one of the few theaters that gets 
good endowments and is well organized amongst the cor- 
porate sponsors of the theater and that important." 

Encouraged by the vast improvement in the portrayal of 
blacks, Fargas said that it has taken a long time but now 
Blacks are definitely being portrayed better. Fargas said, 
"We are getting more into the average guy situation when we 
do appear. In the 60's and 70's, the 70's primarily, we had 
"the black exploitation" film period where we were portrayed 
as pimps and drug addicts primarily. Now through the "back- 
lash" of watchdog groups like the NAACP and other groups 
that are looking out for the black the industry seems to be 
saying "Well, if you don't want to see that then you'U have 
to produce it yourself or show us what you do want." The 
industry positive images is likely to be what they feel is 
commercial enough to make money with in terms of the 
roles of blacks and minorities. "I beg to differ, I think good 
acting will come through no matter what form it takes. We are 
definately intergrated through this whole society," he said. 
Proudly he said that he is encouraged by the fact that the 
entertainment field today, the most popular artists are black. 
"On fibn . . . comedy . . . Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor, 
on television we have BiU Cosby's The Cosby Show. In music 
we have Prince and Michael Jackson and so forth, so it is a 
very good time for us in terms of our potential showing and 
that has to have a spill over effect for the people who are 
on the way up the ladder of success." he said. 

Fargas who prefers the stage to the other mediums, 
described his role as Huggy Bear in Starsky and Hutch as 
being a commercial vehicle. He admits the character itself had 
a negative overtones for Blacks but in reality there are real 
Huggy Bears. "I would not want to portray something that 
wasn't really out there in the world and thats the most im- 
portant thing for me to know that there are real characters 
who exist and bring them as vividly as I can to my portrayal." 
He went on to describe his role in Brooke Shield's first success- 
ful fihn. Pretty Baby, as being very special to him. This was 
because he was representing Jelly RoU Martin, a famous 
Jaxzz performer. It gave him the opportunity to work with 
a famous french director named Luis Maune. He also regarded 
it as one of his most rewarding projects. 

For liis role in PBS' special Denmark Vesey, Fargas 
said "Well thank goodness for PBS. One of the places where 
we can have quality stories about black life in the past and 
present. Denmark Vesey was special because he was a special 
human being, who overcame odds and did something about 
his condition in the time of slavery in terms of leading a 
major rebellion, to leave this country and to go back to Africa. 
Fargas stated that the character he played was an actual 
character by the name of GuUa Jack, who was a "Sancho 
Poncha," witch doctor figure for Denmark Vessey. I always 
love characters that have a lot of spice and are "way out", 
right up any alley for Denmark Vesey. 

At age 19 Fargas appeared on Broadway with James 
Earl Jones in "The Great White Hope," where he auditioned 
and got the part of an 80 year old man. He played the role 
of Cethio the JuJu man, another mystical character. When 



asked about the pressure he received from critics and the 
media, Fargas responded, "I wasn't into the ramifications of 
what I did, so I didn't even think about critics. However I 
did receive some wonderful notices for my work in "The 
Great White Hope" both on broadway and in Washington at 
the arena stage. Also just to be able to watch James Earl 
Jones and Jane Alexander work in that play everynight was a 
great teaching experience for me. Again, consistence again 
power again a command of the craft that James Earl Jones 
and his leading had when was very inspiring for me. He de- 
scribed his experiences of working with them as being great 
and touching. He complimented the works of such famous 
performers as Sidney Portier, Harry Belfonte, Bill Cosby, and 
Lou Gosset Jr. saying that "they have inspired his career by 
allowing him not just to fantasize or dream but to know that 
challenges can be overcome and that they're role models that 
say that hard work and determination pays off." 

After a year and a half playing the strict disciplinarian 
farther, Les Baxter, on ABC's most watched day-time drama, 
"All My Children." I asked him how it felt to portray a 
black middle-class image as opposed to a stereo-typical lower- 
class image. He proudly answered with a gleem in his eyes, 
"Well it felt great, one because I never played that type of 
character; two because it was the most popular daytime soap 
and three, because it was an upward bound Black who cared 
about his family, even to his own detriment. But he had a 
passion for making it and for seeing the best for his daughter. 
It made him a bit close-minded but at the same time it was 
a positive/negative and I felt really good about it. Fargas 
who is now residing in Rhode Island with his wife and 
children spoke of how his family, his children in particular 
cope with his career. Well, they are young and at the same 
time they do get feed backs. They see people come up to me 
and ask for autographs and tliey wonder why because they 
see me as a fairly normal person-their dad. However, they do 
ask me whether or not I know people like Michael Jackson, 
because I'm in the business where I can meet some of these 
people. And it does still have an impact on me because I am 
a big fan of a lot of people and I stUl get goose-bumps when I 
meet people that I've admired for years." 

Fargas emphasized his need to widened his horizon by 
teaching and directing. "Seeing that I'm in Rhode Island and 
I'm not under the pressure of being in Hollywood anymore, 
I am now getting more involved in the artistic community 
and hopefully I will be teaching some classes. I would love to 
share my strengths and experiences with young people who 
want to know about the business." 

When asked to give advice to young people who show 
interested in the acting field, Fargas stressed that one should 
get as much schooling as possible, then get a second profes- 
sion to go along with their desire. He said, that the job is 
somewhat unpredictable, in that, one can easily be out of a 
job for an indefinite period of time, if one does not have 
something else to fall back one. 

Finally, I asked him if there was any tiling he wanted to 
add. Fargas smiled indulgently and said, "I'm still amazed 
that people want to ask my opinion. I think being a celebrity 
is not to be taken lightly and it is like truth you have a re- 
sponsibility once you know the truth. The truth is that I am 
known because of what I do. I don't think it's anymore 
special than the pizza maker or the brick layer. But when 
you touch a lot of people, a lot of people touch you, and 
I love people. And I just enjoy the experience." 



77 



OLU DARA continued 



In my opinion, many of the record 
companies that know about me are not 
interested in that type of music. Most of 
them, I feel, think that the music is to 
ethnic. I'm quite sure of that. I've been 
here long enough to know that if I was 
playing avante-garde, bebop or any- 
thing close to what I've been playing 
with other groups, I would have recorded 
many years ago." 

Aside from being an accomplished 
cornetist, Dara is a dancer, singer, com- 
edian and actor. One may expect him 
to incorporate any or all of these ele- 
ments into a performance extravaganza 
(with Natchez at heart, of course). 
When asked if there had ever been a time 



he performed and it was so fantastic 
that it stood over and above the rest 
of his endeavors as an entertainer, he 
unsurprisingly answered, "yes, the last 
time." 

Many present day musicians are 
obsessed with soaring over the audiences 
head and impressing colleagues with 
technical perfection, which Dara des- 
cribes as "the intelligentsia". Olu ad- 
dresses the topic of musical virtousity 
as being something in the pursuit of 
technical perfection . . .namely the whole 
thing. "When I go out I want to find a 
band that's going to do something! 
Give me something I know about. Give 
me what you know I went through as a 



kid, you know. I had to be a child at one 
time. Give me that, don't give me what 
you learned at the conservatory." 

What's his advice for the aspiring 
musician? "Keep the child-like vitality in 
your heart." Non-musicians are welcome 
to adhere to this as well. "Just remember 
do things that you would do as a kid 
and you'll never lose." He also added 
another exceedingly important point 
the significance of which sometimes 
isn't stressed enough, "Honesty! You 
have to be honest when you're dealing 
with music. Music is very important. 
It's spiritual, so you can't be messing 
with it." 



MINORITY CONFERENCE continued 



should understand the historical aspect of 
hiring minorities. 

"In 1968, the Kerner Commission, 
which investigated the causes of the 
68 riots, gave a mandate to the press 
that they should not aOow these pro- 
blems (of rioting Blacks) to go unno- 
ticed," he said. 

"It's the responsibility of all the 
staff to know why a Black has been 
hired when their qualified friends have 
been turned down for the job," he 
explains. "Ten years after that in 1978, 
the percentage of minority staff on 
newspapers, had only risen to two per- 
cent." 

Vicki Ogden, an assistant managing 
editor for the Middlesex News agreed, 
noting that new Black staff must also be 
aware of the context in which they 
were hired and the prejudice that might 
be present. 

"We too, think that one of the 
ways to improve minority hiring in the 
newsroom is to try to get them young 
and train them." Irving Kravsow, assoc- 
iate editor at the Hartford Courant said. 

Addie Rimm, a Black recruiter for 
the Wall Street Journal, questioned 
whether newspapers were using their 
own minority staff to help in the re- 
cruitment process. 

"I think we should utilize the re- 
source that's already there," she said. 

But Carl Moses, a Newsday reporter, 
said the question is a "double edged 
sword." In many cases. Blacks are 
brought in (then left alone) holding the 



bag in making judgements that may 
be subjective." 

Kravsow's ideas consisted of "we 
think we should go into the high school 
or junior high schools. We could set up 
newsroom clerks to offer them to min- 
orities perhaps at minimum wage, which 
would give them experience and perhaps 
have them come back to us." 

In the last day of the conference, 
the "Hiring, Keeping and Promotion of 
Minorities" focused on the past exper- 
ience of upward and mobile reporters. 

Karen Thomas, a former UMass 
student now employed at the Springfield 
Daily News, and Tara Transom, a reporter 
from the News, both said they encount- 
ered racism in the newsroom. 

"I had to deal with being a woman 
and being Black," Transom said. After 
six months, they realized that I wasn't 
going to leave. I don't think kids should 
be discouraged from starting at the top 
although at a smaDer newspaper, you 
get to do more," she said. 

Thomas said, "I realized that I had 
to speak up if I wanted to let my peers 
know that I was competent. Self initia- 
tion is probably the key to success," 
she said. 

Ron Hutson, an assistant city editor 
of The Globe said, "I think the editors 
and top management need to treat 
minorities as individuals. When minorities 
come into the newsroom, they need to 
see a minority in the leadership role so 
they can relate and say, I can be a city 
editor someday too. Tell minorities 



what you expect and they will perform." 

Thomas Winship, who was president 
of ASNE three years ago and editor of 
The Globe gave the closing remark at a 
luncheon. 

"The mass head of every news- 
paper across the country is downright 
racist and cavalier." Winship admitted as 
he gave some staggering statistics of 
minorities in the newsroom. 

Sixty-one percent of newspapers 
have no minorities on the newsroom 
payroll (and) minorities into the news- 
room are not coming in fast enough, he 
said. "Out of the 93 dailies in New 
England, there are only 88 that have 
minorities in the newsroom. Thrity- 
four of those 88 are employed by The 
Globe." 

Winship said the figures at his news- 
paper are "embarrassingly low." 

"We have a pretty dismal record. 
We can do better and there is a way. 
The publishers of newspapers must get 
involved." 

Winship said, "get publishers to 
cough up the severe funds to get rid 
of our color blindness. There can be no 
great leap forward if it doesn't go through 
the publisher's office," he said. 

The conference which ended with a 
job fair for minority students was spon- 
sored by ASNE, the UMass journalism 
department in coordination with the 
W.E.B. Dubois Afro-American Studies 
department. 



78 



speak the Truth to the People 



MARI EVANS 



Speak the truth to the people 

Talk sense to the people 

Free them with reason 

Free them with honesty 

Free the people with Love and Courage and Care for their Being 

Spare them the fantasy 

Fantasy enslaves 

A slave is enslaved 

Can be enslaved by unwisdom 

Can be enslaved by black unwisdom 

Can be re-enslaved while in flight from the enemy 

Can be enslaved by his brother whom he loves 

His brother whom he trusts 

His brother with the loud voice 

And the unwisdom 

Speak the truth to the people 

It is not necessary to green the heart 

Only to identify the enemy 

It is not necessary to blow the mind 

Only to free the mind 

To identify the enemy is to free the mind 

A free mind has no need to scream 

A free mind is ready for other things 



To BUILD black schools 

To BUILD black children 

To BUILD black minds 

To BUILD black love 

To BUILD black impregnability 

To BUILD a strong black nation 

To BUILD. 



Speak the truth to the people. 
Spare them the opium of devil-hate. 
TTiey need no trips on honky-chants. 
Move them instead to a BLACK ONENESS. 
A black strength which will defend its own 
Needing no cacophony of screams for activation. 
A black strength which attacks the laws 
exposes the lies disassembles the structure 
and ravages the very foundation of evil. 

Speak the truth to the people 

To identify the enemy is to free the mind 

Free the mind of the people 

Speak to the mind of the people 

Speak Truth. 



I Am A Black Woman 

I am a black woman 

the music of my song 

some sweet arpeggio of tears 

is written in a minor key 

and I 

can be heard humming in the night 

Can be heard 

humming 
in the night 



I saw my mate leap screaming to the sea 

and I/with these hands/cupped the lifebreath 

from my issue in the canebrake 

I lost Nat's swinging body in a rain of tears 

and heard my son scream all the way from Anzio 

for Peace he never knew. ... I 

learned Da Nang and Pork Chop Hill 

in anguish 

Now my nostrils know the gas 

and these trigger tire/d fingers 

seek the softness in my warrior's beard 



am a black woman 
tall as a cypress 
strong 

beyond all definition still 
defying place 
and time 
and circumstance 
assailed 
impervious 
indestructible 



Where Have You Gone 

Where have you gone 

with your confident 

walk with 

your crooked smile 

why did you leave 

me 

when you took your 

laughter 

and departed 

are you aware that 
with you 
went the sun 
all light 

and what few stars 
there were? 



Look 

on me and be 
renewed 



where have you gone 
with your confident 
walk your 
erooked smile the 
rent'money 
in one pocket and 
my heart 
in another . . . 



Mari Evans 



Big Fine Woman From Ruleville 

{For Fannie Lou Hamer) 

How to weave your web of medicinal flesh into words 

cut the sutures to your circumcised name 

make your deformed leg a symbol of resistance 

Big fine woman from Ruleville 

great time keeper 

and dangerous worker 

I use this hour in my life 

to eat from your spirit 

dance from mouth to mouth with your holler 

hold fingers together in remembrance of your sacrifices 

And I have chosen to wear your riverstone eyes splashed 

with Mississippi blood 

and your sharecropper shoes braided with your powerful stomp 

and now in your riot-stick neck smeared in charcoal burns 

and in your sick and tired of being sick and tired look 

and in your bones that exhausted the god of whiteness in Sun 

Flower county 
I will push forward your precious gift of revolutionary courage 
Thanks to the southern knife with terracotta teeth 
magnificent ancestor 
warrior friend 
most beautiful sister 
I kiss the mud of this moment 



JAYNE CORTEZ 



I Wanna Make Freedom 

i want the chains 

i want the blood 

i want the bones at the bottom of the sea 

i want the tribal languages 

i want the cut tongues 

i want the chopped off limbs 

i want the dead babies 

i want the broken backs 

i want the runaways 

i want the lynched 

i want the cotton pickers 

i want the hog maws & chitterlins 

i want the pork chop bones 

i want the chicken feathers 

i want the yams & the watermelon 

i want the sermons 

i want the field hollers & the shouts 

i want the work songs 

i want the blues 
"^ i want the rebellions 

i want the prisons 

i want the drums 

i want the banjos 
I i want the dances 

i want the songs 

i want the knives & the razor blades 

i want the corn whiskey & the gin 

i want the craps & the numbers 
; i want the big hats & the zoot suits 

i want Bessie Smith's hair & Billie's flower 

i want Pres's pork pie hat & Charlie Parker's sound 

i want James P. Johnson & Thelonius Monk 

i want Albert Ayler 

i want The World Saxophone Quartet 

i want the Painters 

I want the Poets 

i want all the liberation organizations 

i want all the conferences & conventions called about freedom 

i want to collect them 

i want to put them in chronological order 

i want to organize them 

i want to assault the United States of American 

& Super-power contention 

so i can stand with the rest of the Third World 

against Imperialism 



AMINA BARAKA 



Primer for Blacks 



Blackness 

is a title, 

is a preoccupation, 

is a commitment Blacks 

are to comprehend — 

and in which you are 

to perceive your glory. 

The conscious shout 
of all that is white is 
"It's Great to be white." 
The conscious shout 
of the slack in Black is 
"It's Great to be white." 
Thus all that is white 
has white strength and yours. 

The word Black 
has geographic power, 
pulls everybody in: 
Blacks here — 
Blacks there — 
Blacks wherever they may be. 
And remember, you Blacks, what they told you- 
remember your Education: 
"one Drop — one Drop 
maketh a brand new Black." 
Oh mighty Drop. 

. And because they have given us kindly 

so many more of our people 

Blackness 

stretches over the land. 



Blaclcness — 

the Black of it, 

the rust-red of it, 

the milk and cream of it, 

the tan and yellow-tan of it, 

the deep-brown middle-brown high-brown of it, 

the "olive" and ochre of it — 

Blackness 

marches on. 

The huge, the pungent object of our prime out-ride 

is to Comprehend, 

to salute and to Love the fact that we are Black, 

which is our "ultimate Reality," 

which is the lone ground 

from which our meaningful metamorphosis, 

from which our prosperous staccato, 

group or individual, can rise. 

Self-shriveled Blacks. 

Begin with gaunt and marvelous concession: 

YOU are our costume and our fundamental bone. 

All of you — 
you COLORED ones, 
you NEGRO ones, 
those of you who proudly cry 
"I'm half INDian"— 
those of you who proudly screech 
"I'VE got the blood of George WASHington in 
MY veins—" 

ALL of you — 

you proper Blacks, 
you half-Blacks, 
you wish-I-weren't Blacks, 
Niggeroes and Niggerenes. 

You. 



Gwendolyn Brooks 



Amina Baraka 



i come from the womb of Africa 

to praise my black diamond 

to shine my black gold 

to fight my peoples enemies 

to stand on my ancestors shoulders 

to dance in the hurricane of revolution 

Soweto, Soweto, Soweto, 
i come with my hammer & sickle 
i come with bullets for my gun 
to fire on my enemies 
to stab the savages that sucked my breast 
to kill the beast that raped my belly 
i come painted red in my peoples blood 
to dance on the wind of the storm 
to help sing freedom songs 

Soweto, Soweto, Soweto, 
i come to carve monuments 

in the image of my people 
i come to help hold the flag of freedom 
i come to bring my tears to wash your wounds 
i come to avenge slavery 
i come to claim my blood ties 
i come to help free my people 

Soweto, Soweto, Soweto, 
i come to hide in your clouds 
so i can be in the thunder 
i come to work black magic , 
i come to burn out the eyes of imperialism 
i come to chop off its head 
i come to carry out my duty 
i come to stand with my people 

Soweto, Soweto, Soweto 



HaUi 



black sugar-cane Lady 

Papa Doc want your daddy 

he bled your children 

chased them from home 

bathed in their blood 

sucked their breath 

made them eat dirt 

drank their brain 

plucked their hair to make mahogany gifts 

Voodoo Woman 

Papa Doc wa'nt your daddy 

& Baby Doc ain't your son 

he steals your spirit 

to blind your idols 

turns your roots into catholic gods 

puts poison in your medicine ' 

sticks knives in your dances 

to cut your throats 

dark coffee, copper girl 

Creole tongue > 

Toussaint's child ' 

Africa's independent baby 

unearth your seeds 

spit in Duvalier's mouth ! 

dissect his body 

scatter his bones \ 

plow-up your tears 

fertilize your weapons 

call on on your War Gods 

& take your High Ground 

to Freedom 



Minority 



I am the downtrodden 

I am the poor and deprived 

that got star bilhng for a decade 

I am the snarl of Afro hair and mulatto mouth, 
a frantic dancer of defiance in my 
sun-raped wrappings reminiscent of some 
racial home denied me by the 
cataracts of time 

I am the mind that is a 
terrible thing to waste, the blacker berry 
with the sweeter juice, the Matriarch of 
impromptu families and the automatic suspect 
for light-fingered crimes 

mine is not a People of the Book/taxed 
but acknowledged; our distinctiveness is 
not yet a dignity; our Holocaust is lowercase 

I am dream blown and anchored by anger, 
a switchblade of frustration, a 
time bomb of hunger and pain; 
I am reason ravaged and bone cold 

I feel life glide through me like a sinister lynx 

angling for deep shadows and I know 

I am endangered but I am not only prey; 

I recall cat rhythms and the sleek expanding muscle slide 

of limbs night-hunting their existence 

hatred is my curved compassion 
I am tender 
I am proud 



Judy Dothard Simmons 



enough 



i ask no more than 
you're willing to give 
or if the need isn't 
in you, it doesn't matter. 
i can't stop your moving 
without cutting short 
what's left of my life 
(an hourglass grown fat 
with sand at the bottom), 
we are tugboats, hosting 
a ghost whose pleasure 
is our command (one pilot 
to a vehicle, no passengers 
in the rear), please, 
please, understand clearly: 
we are not keepers; 
no need for zoos, 
get off your knees and 
don t apologize, 
no wrong has been done, 
you are outside of me. 
that is, we are outside 
each other, that is, 
we are passing vessels 
in a go slow, that is, 
time stepped in, slowed 
us down just long enough 
to touch and that is 
enough. 



Esther Louise