Full text of "Drum"
• »*:' "^'1
JP?" *, ■
"We wonted to conjure with Block Life to recreote It for ourselves. So that
the connection with you would be o bigger self."
Amirl Boroko, In Our Terribleness
The drumbeats ore many
From Southern Africa to the
Northeastern United States.
From the writers, the painters
and the educators to
the children themselves,
the recreating vessels of culture
Together they ore combined here
In a collage of Images,
representatives of the vorlousness
of a people.
Of all people. Within these pages you will find
the keynotes to a rhythm,
the subtle inflexions of Image and sound;
the songs we sing, the stories we tell,
the masks we wear, the memories we share
and above all, the stepping stones
to the future.
Hopefully somewhere along the way
we hove touched you,
that somewhere In the resplendent images
that grace these pages
you hove recognized yourself,
those that you love, and the
possibilities available to us all
OS we combine forces to moke the best
The Drum of the hlstory to come.
Volumes 16 & 17, Number I & II, May 1987
University of Massachusetts
New Africa House 1 1 5
Amherst, MA 01003
FRONT COVER: Robin Chandler
BACK COVER: Den Jones
Come along, then, and join us
on this broad and beautiful journey
through these pictures of ourselves.
EDITORIAL STAFF: Martha Grier-Deen, Ethan T. Morlott,
James Martin, Rudolph Miller Printed by Excelsior Printing Compony
Drum magazine has been, and remains, a cultural imperative. It is part of an ongoing univer-
sal struggle to promote, protect, and preserve the artistic and literary treasures of the African-
American and Third World communities. Symbolically, Drum is vibrant and pov/erful testimony to
the survival of one of our most vitoi and powerful institutions, the Block publication. Drum has done
more than just endured. It has matured to become one of the top collegiate magazines of art
and literature in the country. Drum has won Columbia University's Scholastic Press Association award
each time it has entered the competition.
Founded in 1969 by student Robin Chandler, the magazine has always managed to attract
the best and brightest students in the Five-College community. Also in that year, o group of African-
American students empowered themselves and took over New Africa House, formerly called Mills
House, a UMass dormitory. The students presented the administration with a list of grievances and
demanded that their protest be acknowledged by the university. They believed, and justifiably
so, that their cultural needs had been too long ignored on the UMqss campus.
The magazine's 1 7-year history, its vitality and quality ore what make it more relevant today
than ever. Unfortunately, the biggest problem facing the production of Drum is funding. This issue
of Drum was financed by Choncellor Duffey. Until two years ago, the magazine was funded by
the Registered Student Organization (RSO) groups, but they challenged the ideological base of
Drum every year and finally, this yeor, cut the magazine's budget.
The parallel between the conservatism on campus and the conservatism of the Reagan ad-
ministration is no coincidence. The struggle for representation by people of color is occurring on
oil levels: cultural, political, and social. This is evidenced by the recent racially-motivated incident
on the UMoss campus, and the nationwide incidents of racial unrest in Howard Beach, N.Y., For-
sythe County, GA. and Philadelphia, PA. It is well known that Ronald Reagan's economic, military,
foreign, and domestic policies ore less than egalitarian. A comparison of racially motivated events
reported in 1980, when Reagan first took office, to those reported in 1986 shows on increase
from 99 such incidences to 276. Is it any wonder that there is a resurgence of racism and discrimina-
tion when given such an atmosphere in which to foster and grow?
Presently these events are coming to the forefront of media attention. However, as anyone
in the "minority" community con tell you, this is not a sudden phenomenon. The struggles against
oppression and discrimination by people of color has been occurring for centuries. Whether or not
this fact is made known to the general public is of no consequence to its validity. The problems
of discrimination and violence against "minorities" are age-old and will not go away just because
they ore conveniently removed from public attention. We will continue to struggle even harder
because it is something we must do.
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 back after great struggle 17 years ago. We are learning how
to remember the correct rhythms and we've got it right now. We wont people to check us out
and let us know if they hear us, for we ore constantly in danger of losing our drum again.
PROFESSOR NELSON STEVENS
jA 1 Editorial w
^^Li 4 The Youngest Animal J^
^1^ translated by Loduvina Barros T?^
^1 8 Why Does the Tortoise Have A Short Nose? , )fr
translated by Loduvina Barros
by Jamaica Kincaid
13 The Rise and Fall of Black Political Culture
by William Strickland
17 Jammin' with the Grammy
by Mark D. Graham
21 Arthur Jackson Interview
by Sandra Walters
26 Imamu Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones)
by Ethan T. Marlatt
39 Malcolm- Jamal Warner
by Brauna Baum
40 Palmer Hayden
by Martha Grier-Deen
SI Jeffrey Banks
by Carlton Spence
60 U.S. Foreign Policy and South Africa
by Sharon Jackson
62 Lessons of Zimbabwe
by Arthur Serota
I 64 The Essence of Success
S. by Cathy Mahoney
I 71 Corkey Ford
I by Brauna Baum
"^ 74 Sly and Robbie: De Riddim Twins
3- by Brad Kaplan
I 77 In Memory of A Perfect Angel
« by Rudolph Miller
I 78 Rudy Jones Interview
y by Pancho Morris
1 82 Catholic Bishops' Report
a by James Martin
w 88 Robert Mugabe Speech
2 transcribed by Debra Mitchell
^ 90 A People United Can Never Be Defeated
^ by David Mahmoud
3 92 Frederick Hurst Interview
by Pancho Morris and Rudolf Miller
SPECIAL THANKS TO ROBERT SENGSTACKE FOR HIS PHOTOGRAPHIC CONTRIBUTIONS
E bem possivel que voces noo saibom que e
xistem poises chomodos Alto-Volto, Nepol, Tuni-
sio ou Republico Populor do Benin.
Mos noo fiquem tristes com isso: tern mui-
to gente gronde que tombem noo sobe.
O que e importonte e que voces fiquem so-
bendo que noqueies poises existem crion^os iguoi
zinhos o voces e que tombem gostom muito de ou-
vir estorios. E, se prestorem otengoo, voo ver
que OS estorios noo soo muito diferentes doque-
los que voces conhecem.
Tombem tem mococos sobidos, feros molvo-
dos, heroicos cogodores que cosom com iindos prin
As crion^Qs, de olhos redondos ou puxodi-
nhos, de cobelos louros ou pretos, mois escuros
ou mois cloros . . . soo os mesmos, em todos os
poises do mundo.
Voces noo ochom?
O ANIAAAL AAAIS JOVEM
Isto Qconteceu no tempo em que os Qnimols
gostovom de se reunir, poro conversor e discutir
Certo die eles se reunirom, poro designor
o Qnimoi mois jovem. O tio Gainde — o leoo, pre-
sidio Q sessQO.
Jo se sobio quol era o mois forte de to-
dos OS Qnimois: Gainde — o leoo, o rei do flores
to. Sobio-se quem era o mois velho: Mome Gneye
o elefonte. O mois desonesto e o menos inteligen
te: era Doukl, o hieno.
TO THE CHILDREN
It is possible that you don't know that countries
colled Upper-Volto, Nepal, Tunisia or Popular Republic
of Benin exist.
But don't be sod about this: There ore many adults
who also don't know. What is important is that you
know that children like you exist in those countries,
and that they like to hear stories. And if you pay
attention, you will see that the stories are not too
different from the ones you know. There ore wise
monkeys, evil wild animals, heroic hunters that hunt
with beautiful princesses, just like in your stories.
Children with neat or round eyes, with blond or
block hair, dork skinned or lighter . . . they ore all the
some in all the countries of the world.
Don't you think so?
Translated from Portuguese by
THE YOUNGEST ANIAAAL
This story happened during the time when Qnimais
liked to meet and talk and argue about their
One certain day they met to designate the
youngest animal. Uncle Gainde, the lion, defended
the session. He hod known which was the strongest of
all the animals: Gainde — the lion, the King of the
forest. He knew who was the oldest: Mome Gneye —
the elephant. And he knew who was the most
dishonest and least intelligent: Bouki — the hyena.
However, nobody knew who was the most
intelligent of all the animals.
Mas ninguem sobio quern era o mois inteli-
gente de todos os animois.
Todo mundo queria ser o mois inteligente.
Tio Goinde — o leoo disse:
— Se nos soubermos quern e o mois jovem en
tre nos, nos soberemos, oo mesmo tempo, quern e o
Entoo, OS que se considerovom os mois jo-
vens, levontorom o moo:
— Eu noscl no ono do gronde seco, disse q
corgo. Isto quer dizer que tenho tres onos.
— Eu teniio tres luos de noscido, ofirmou
o chocoi, Qjeitondo suos orelhos pontudos.
— E eu, disse o mococo, se co^ondo todo,
vejom so! Eu ocobei de noscer ogorinho mesmo.
Todos Qpioudirom, e o macaco jo estovo se
Qchondo o vencedor, quondo umo voz gritou do oito
de umo orvore:
— Atengoo! oten^oo que eu vou noscer. Abrom
QJQS poro me receber.
E Leuk, o coeiho, deixondo o golho do ors^o
re onde estovo ogorrodo, coiu no meio dos onimois
Todo mundo reconiieceu que Leuk, o coelho,
era de foto o mois jovem, umo vez que ele ocaboro
de noscer, em plena discussao.
Assim ele foi reconhecido, oo mesmo tempo,
como o mois inteligente.
Tio Goinde, o leoo, se levontou e se opro-
ximou de Leuk, o coelho.
— Eu te proclomo o mois inteligente entre
todos OS onimois, disse ele. Voce conseguiu nos^
provor que era o mois jovem. Pode ser que voce
noo sejQ verdodeiromente o mois jovem, mos o sua
inteligencio e superior o de todos os outros.
' ".■■ ■'i"VVv.'' " .•.;-.-..«v.'vi....," . • ;.-:v
Trodu^QO de ledo M. R. Santos.
The whole world wanted to be the most intelligent.
Uncle Goinde — the lion: "If we know who is the
youngest between us, we will also know who is the
Then, the ones considered to be the youngest,
raised their hands:
"I was born in the year of the great drought," said
the Doe, "this means I am three years old."
"I have three moons to be born on," the Jackal
affirmed, arranging her sharp ears.
"And I," said the Monkey, scratching all over, "check
this out! I was just born."
All applauded, and the Monkey was found to be
the winner, when a voice shouted from the top of the
"Attention! Attention! I am going to be born.
Open file to receive me."
And Leuk the Rabbit, leaving the branch of the tree
where he was, fell in between the amazed animals.
The whole world recognized that Leuk, the rabbit,
was In fact the youngest, because he hod just been
born during the discussion.
Consequently he was recognized as the most
Uncle Goinde — the Lion, stood up and approached
Leuk, the rabbit.
"I proclaim you to be most intelligent among the
animals," he said. "You obtained the proof that you
ore not only the youngest, but your intelligence is
superior to all the others."
Translated from Portuguese
by Loduvina Barros
PORQUE O CAGADO TEM
O NARIZ CURTO
Antigomente, o cogodo e o esquilo (Okere)
eram amigos e se visitovom sempre.
Urn belo dia, o cogodo levou seus protos de
borro poro vender no feiro e, enquonto estovo en-
tretido vendendo, ouviu gritos de brigo e viu que
se trotovo do seu omigo esquilo, lutondo contro
Asin (onimol porecido com o roto).
O cogodo, em vez de procuror sober direiti
nho do que se trotovo e procuror resolver o ques-
too, mol chegou 16 foi logo pegondo um pedo^o de
pou e come^ondo o boter em Asin, fozendo de conto
que estovo desoportondo o brigo.
Poro quern estovo oihondo, porecio que o c6
godo estovo tentondo seporor os dois brigoes mos,
no verdode, ele estovo botendo demois em Asin.
Por isso, Asin ficou muito zongodo e, dei-
xou o esquilo de lodo poro pegor o cogodo pelo no
riz, com os seus dentes ofiodos.
O cogodo gritovo e pedio socorro o todo o
mundo mos Asin noo o lorgovo. Penolizodos, os cu-
riosos que estovom 16, ossistindo obrigo, comego
rom Q pedir o Asin que tivesse piedode e lorgosse
o c6godo mos Asin noo querio sober de converso. Re
cusou-se, ote o fim, o lorgor o noriz do c6godo.
Desesperodo, o c6godo comegou o contor po-
ro todo o boirro:
Sao Asin e Oi^ere que estoo brigondo
Eu vim poro separo-los
Asin mordeu meu noriz
Me salve m das moos dele
Meus protos estoo no feiro
E eu preciso vende-los.
O c6godo ficou contondo por muito tempo. O
pessool do feiro io chegondo e pedindo o Asin que
perdoosse o c6godo e soltosse o noriz dele mos
Asin se recusou ote que o noriz do cdgodo portiu
em suo boco. Desde oquele dio, o noriz do cogodo
ficou curto, como ele esto ote hoje.
Esto estdrio nos ensinomos. Quondo virem
duos pessoos brigondo, noo seporem elos doquele
jeito. A pessoo que seporo pode se tornor o proxi
mo vitimo e levor muito poncodo.
Troduzido do iorubo por Luiz Sergio Dorboso.
WHY DOES TORTOISE
HAVE A SHORT NOSE
Once upon o time. Tortoise end Squirrel were
friends and they visited each other constantly.
On Q beautiful day, a Tortoise brought his cloy
plates to sell at the fair. While he was busy selling he
heard a shout of fighting and he sow that his friend
Squirrel was involved in it, fighting against Asin (on
animal that looks like a rot).
The Tortoise, instead of tr/ing to find out exactly
what was going on and resolve the matter, went
there with a piece of stick and started beating on Asin
pretending that he was separating the fight.
To the ones that were looking, it seemed like the
Tortoise was trying to separate the two fighters but, in
reality, he was beating on Asin too much.
So, Asin was very mad, and, he left the Squirrel
aside to go grab the Tortoise's nose with his sharp
teeth. The Tortoise yelled to everyone and asked for
help but the curious people there, assisting the fight
which started, asked Asin to hove mercy and leave
the Tortoise alone. But Asin did not core about what
they were saying. He refused to let go of the Tor-
toise's nose, until the end.
Desperately, the Tortoise started singing to the
It's Asin and Squirrel that are fighting
I came to separate them
Asin bit my nose
Please save me from his hand
My plates are at the fair
and I need to sell them.
The Tortoise kept singing for a long time. The peo-
ple at the fair went to ask Asin to forgive the Tortoise
and to release his nose, but Asin refused until the Tor-
toise's nose broke in his mouth. Since that day, the
Tortoise's nose has remained short.
We teach this story when two people ore fighting,
so that they ore not separated that way. The person
who separates them con become the next victim and
Translated from Portuguese
by Loduvino Borros
Max Roache and James Baldwin, Ministers of Culture
Thank you for marking the turbulence,
the good fury in the heart of the mountain
that constantly step-shadows weakness
and spikes the spirit to believe
there's a just tomorrow to rely on.
Thank you for narrating the rage
of the people in the ravine
who were pushed down the grieving slide
and whose only continuing loss
is their long credit of patience. And thank you for signalling the fire
you foresaw when the word
and the iron it designed so quickly
became skills of furnace response
when the heart of the mountoin burst
and the molten truth sloshed across America,
as the atavistic cancer burned itself out,
while the new decision sprang loose,
with all the will and courage of Cudjoe
and with all the sparkling resolve of revolt.
— by Andrew Salkey
by JomaicQ Kincoid
Wash the white clothes on Monday
and put them on the stone heop;
wash the color clothes on Tuesday and
put them on the clothesline to dry;
don't wolk bareheaded in the hot sun;
cook pumpkin fritters in very hot sweet
oil; soak your little cloths right after you
toke them off; when buying cotton to
moke yourself a nice blouse, be sure
that it doesn't have gum on it,
because that way it won't hold up
well after a wash; soak salt fish over-
night before you cook it; is it true that
you sing benno in Sunday school?;
always eat your food in such a way
that it won't turn someone else's
stomach; on Sundoys try to walk like
a lody ond not like the slut you ore so
bent on becoming; don't sing benno
in Sunday school; you mustn't speak to
whorf-rot boys, not even to give direc-
tions; don't eat fruits on the street —
flies will follow you; but I don't sing
benno on Sundays at oil ond never in
Sundoy school; this is how to sew on
a button; this is how to moke o
button-hole for the button you hove
just sewed on; this is how to hem a
dress when you see the hem coming
down and so to prevent yourself from
looking like the slut I know you ore so
bent on becoming; this is how you iron
your father's khoki shirt so that it
doesn't hove a crease; this is how you
iron your father's khaki pants so that
they don't hove a creose; this is how
you grow okra — far from the house,
becouse okro tree harbors red onts;
when you are growing dasheen,
moke sure it gets plenty of water or
else it mokes your throat itch when
you ore eating it; this is how you
sweep Q corner; this is how you sweep
a whole house; this is how you sweep
a yard; this is how you smile to some-
one you don't like too much; this is
how you smile to someone you don't
like at all; this is how you smile to
someone you like completely; this is
how you set a table for tea; this is how
you set a table for dinner; this is how
you set o table for dinner with an
important guest; this is how you set a
table for lunch; this is how you set a
table for breakfast; this is how to
behave in the presence of men who
don't know you very well, and this
way they won't recognize immediate-
ly the slut I hove worned you against
becoming; be sure to wash ever/ day,
even if it is with your own spit; don't
squat down to play marbles — you
ore not o boy, you know; don't pick
people's flowers — you might cotch
something; don't throw stones ot
blackbirds, because it might not be a
blackbird at oil; this is how to moke a
bread pudding; this is how to moke
doukono; this is how to moke pepper
pot; this is how to moke a good
medicine for a cold; this is how to
moke a good medicine to throw
away a child before it even becomes
a child; this is how to catch a fish; this
is how to throw bock o fish you don't
like, and thot way something bod
won't foil on you; this is how to bully
a man; this is how o mar> bullies you;
this is how to love o mon, and if this
doesn't work there ore other ways,
and if they don't work don't feel too
bod about giving up; this is how to spit
up in the air if you feel like it, and this
is how to move quick so that it doesn't
fall on you; this is how to moke ends
meet; always squeeze bread to make
sure it's fresh; but what if the boker
won't let me feel the bread?-, you
mean to soy that after oil you ore real-
ly going to be the kind of woman who
the baker won't let near the bread?
About the Author
Jamaica Kincoid was born in St. John's, Antigua, in the West Indies. She
is a stoff writer for The New Yorl'ier. ond her stories hove also appeared
in Rolling Stone and The Paris Review. In addition to At the Bottom of
the River (Vintage, 1 935) from which this story has been excerpted, she
hos written Annie John, a novel. Jamaica Kincoid lives in New York with
This story was chosen in dedication to women of color all over the world.
Although written several years ago, the issues raised in this article by Dill Strickland ore still with us. That is why Drum
is reprinting it as a contribution to the ongoing debate on the meaning of DIacli Identity In America.
THE RISE AND FALL OF BLACK POLITICAL
CULTURE: OR HOW BLACKS BECAME
By V/iiiiam Strickland
"One of the simplest ways to lose freedom is to stop fighting for It and stop respecting It. And
when it goes that way, something much worse happens, I think: when freedom goes that way
it completely vanishes and nobody cares. Chaos takes its place ..." (1)
At Q meeting some years ago, I was struck by the fact
that all of the participants who had, in one way or on-
other, been involved in the movement, tend to talk
OS though it — or some derivative — still existed. It was as if
we were prisoners of yesterdoy's history: captives of a post we
could not — or would not — relinquish. Apparently it was dif-
ficult to foce the fact that the movement which had meant so
much to us (ond others) hod, some ten years before, fluttered
to eorth like a bird pierced on the wing: shot down by the hostili-
ty of the nation, the opposition of the state, the ossossination
of its leaders and by its own failure to determine what "freedom"
would truly mean in our ambiguously hostile native lond.
If some of us clung so tenaciously to the past, it wos probobly
because the present is so much less our own, is so much more
a time of owkword unclority ond dim foreboding — o time of
monifest and ubiquitous crisis.
Yet the threat of sociol dissolution — as tangible as it is —
is still not the critical problem. The unease one feels is due as
much, I believe, to the feeling of not being in control of things
OS to the feeling that things ore out of control. That is the great
difference between the movement days and now. In the six-
ties. Block people were a people of vision and purpose: a peo-
ple on the move, firm in the conviction that we were o port
of history which we could moke if only we acted upon our own
Now that is oil changed. Now my generation seems to look
to the past for the meaning and sustenance so locking in the
present — and the younger generation seems to look to not
very much ot oil. Somehow the link between what we were
ond what we hove become hos been broken; leaving us
strangers to ourselves and our histor/. Thus it was in reaction
to o suffocating climote of racial ond political amnesia, that
some of us sought to retain our sensibilities by keeping olive
the flames of on older movement — time when we were more
certain of our country, our struggle and ourselves.
Another such movement-seeker after on earlier, more certain,
self is Jean Wheeler Smith. In o recent mogazine article entitled,
"Mississippi Remembered," Jean Smith took her reoders bock
with her to McComb, Mississippi to seek the answers to some
personal-political questions she had posed to herself.
'Why did we succeed? How did a core of workers, never
more than a thousand, manage to stop the whole coun-
try and make it listen to the demand for equal rights?" '^^
Perhops unwittingly, Jean Smith answered her own questions
when she described her movement years os having been
"wonderfully full of love and truth and a dazzling correctness
of action." Reflecting on the present, however, she acknowl-
edged o feeling of discontinuity with the post.
"But over the years since I left the South I had lost my
sense of those times. " ^^'
In one sense Jean Smith's personal 'lostness' mirrors the con-
dition of the race itself which has also lost its sense of what it
once hod been.
How did this identity-erosion occur? How did we go from o
time when people unashamedly characterized the Block strug-
gle OS one of "love" ond "truth" and o "dazzling correctness of
action" to the contemporary rejection of both love and truth
Perhaps the best place to begin such an enquiry is at the
beginning, and the beginning for the movement was some two
decodes ago when Mrs. Rosa Porks '"' sat down in the white
section of o Montgomery bus and sparked o movement which
inspired Block people throughout the nation and fired the im-
agination of the world. Out of Montgomery come the sit-ins and
the freedom rides and the student demonstrations and the
gratuitous Klon and police-killings; all signs that a movement
of unimogined force and power was coursing through the land.
Even White southern presidents like Lyndon Johnson spoke of
"the Block revolution""' and no one questioned that descrip-
tion — OS they might todoy.
What the president meant by "the Black revolution" was that
the clash between Blocks ond Whites in the South hod convulsed
the entire region and spilled over into the country at large.
The southern confrontation was formidable — and violent;
ond what Blocks used to oppose the night-riders and the hostile
courts ond the ombivolent government was, at bottom, only
the power of people. Hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands
of people from oil walks of life, from all ports of the country,
and from oil points on the politico! compass responded to the
movement's coll and put their bodies on the line to try and
realize the dream of freedom.
The Fragmentation of the Race
Then Q most curious thing happened. The movement's force
provoked o response thot was at once both unexpected
and undermining. Suddenly colleges and corporations be-
gan to scour the land for Blocks to whom they might give jobs
and scholarships. Hollywood discovered Block actors and Block
movies — ond Block dollors at the box office. The Greot White
Woy become Bubbling Brown Sugar and Block writing began
to sell like Aunt Jemima's poncokes. Blacks were in.
As o result, a movement whose strength hod been its non-
moteriolism, o movement fueled by the Block church and rooted
in southern folkways ond notional Black culture, was turned in-
to its opposite by America's concessions. It became, for some,
a vehicle for their own personal gain. Almost overnight there
were community health programs and Block studies programs
and church ogoinst injustice programs. And suddenly too, or so
it was projected by the medio, there were one, two, three
million new Block voters in the South, now duly registered (at
o smoll blood price) with no one to represent them. (6) In 1 966
there were less thon a hundred Block elected officiols in the
South, in 1975 there were a thousand.
So the movement wrung its mercenory tribute from White
America and moved in quickly to pick up on the loot. In the
scromble, the dream about freedom got trompled. Neorly
everyone wos dancing to the Isley Brothers' tune: "Do your thing,
do what you wont to do . . ."; pursuing his or her own individual
interest to the exclusion of all else. A centrifugal force was
created that tore asunder the movement's unity. The middle
class of the NAACP, the rural church of the SCLC, the urban Black
militonts of COP,E, the northern and southern radicals in SNCC
all of whom hod previously been in on uneasy but nevertheless
significant all-class ollionce, now set out on their own individual
We were a people no longer. We hod fragmented into o
strange new entity colled the Self. This meant, according to the
'hip' that it wos time to forget "the Block thing" ond "go for self."
Only Q few noticed that in the process we hod abdicated our
historic role, that we who hod been redefining Americo now
began to pursue it ond on its own terms. We even stopped talk-
ing obout freedom. Instead we put oil our energies into "get-
ting over." And we did. Didn't we? (In the meantime while the
movement was succumbing to these internol contradictions, it
was olso being subjected to increosing external pressures from
Much of the White reoction come in response to a new critical
consciousness which emerged among some movement peo-
ple who hod been bottling long ond stubbornly ogoinst the
hydra-headed nature of American racism. SNCC poet. Worth
Long, articulated the feelings of this element when he wrote:
"Folse-foced America, we hove found you out." (7)
What he meant, of course, was that the mainly police-
provoked urban rebellions, the countless unavenged murders
of southern Blacks, the repudiotion of the Mississippi Freedom
Democrotic Party by the Democratic Porty in Atlantic City, the
murder of Malcolm X, the holf-heorted support of the Justice
Department, ond the countless other contradictions which the
struggle exposed, prompted many freedom-fighters to conclude
that the only thing thot could turn America around wos not
morality but power. Hence the coll for Block power.
But Block power was not whot White America viewed as the
proper gool of "the civil rights movement." Increasingly White
America become tired of Block people and Block demands; tired
of pretending that it was truly interested in "freedom, justice
and equolity"; tired of pretending thot it really cored about its
Block citizen-brothers and sisters. And, hoving gotten tired of
us, it wished most heortily that we would go away — or ot leost
get back in our place. The rise of George Wolloce ond the even-
tual triumph of Richard Nixon were the political expressions of
that sentiment. Both rose to power on the promise thot they
would moke the White wish come true and restore Block peo-
ple to their proper ploce. In Nixon ond Wallace, White reaction
found its legitimizing champions who competed with one
another for the presidency of the United States.
Thus the movement collopsed under the combined weight
of Block desertions from within ond odministrotion-endorsed
assaults from without. And what emerged from the rubble which
hod once been o proud and confident and assertive and self-
determining people, was something strange ond new and in-
outhentic called "o minority."
The Devolution from "People" to "Minority"
It is interesting to note that even as the Black movement
wos in its death throes, it gove birth to two stronge progeny.
One wos the White backlash mentioned in port one. The
other was o proliferation of groups remarkably imitative of the
Block protest style but reluctont to odmit their debt to its leader-
A wild orroy of special interest groups sprang up. On the one
side were those groups like the women ond goys who attempt-
ed to gain recognition and reword by using Block tactics. On
the other were White reactionary groups like SPONGE in New
York (The Society to Prevent Negroes from Getting Everything)
whose purpose wos not to get anything specificolly for
themselves but to prevent Blocks from getting ony more.
Regardless then, whether the groups were imitoting or pro-
testing ogoinst Blocks, they owed their existence (ond most of
their strategy ond style) to the Block movement itself.
Then o most bizarre development occurred. The Block move-
ment which fathered these post- 1968 social formotions
somehow got equated with them. Blocks were lumped
together not only with non-White groups like Asion-Americons,
Puerto Ricons, Native Americons ond Chiconos, but also, throug'h
some marvelous sleight of hand, with women os well, '^omen
who make up a majority of the population suddenly become
"a disadvantaged minority" whose demands were Juxtaposed
against Black claims as equals. It wos what Molcolm used to
coll vintage "tricknology."
By such meons the country come to enjoy a most mon/elous
reprieve. It submerged the troublesome questions of rocism,
revolution, sociol chonge. Block power ond the like and moved
the question bock to the less troublesome ground of civil rights.
People were no longer fighting to change America but to por-
ticipote in it, to get their shore of the bounty. The system could
handle that with o great deal more opiomb.
Accordingly, the Block problem was reduced to scole.
Freedom was redefined as largesse ond, in the twinkling of on
eye. Blacks went from being the premier chollengers of the
society to its most abject also-rans. Initiotive passed entirely from
our hands. That is why affirmative oction is the upper boundory
of our current politics. We propose and the system disposes. We
have been reduced to o petitioner's and supplicant's politics
which is as different from old movement politics as is the night
from day. Whot I am suggesting is thot not only hove we per-
mitted the movement to waste away but we hove done
something for worse. We have lost hegemony over the inter-
pretation of our condition and America's. The minority question
is simply one exomple of the way we have foresworn our right
to define ourselves ond the nation.
The Rise of Ethnicity/The Decline of Blackness
\\ /hen White Americons grew weary of what was called,
\\ / more frankly, in the 19th centuiy "the infernol nigger
W question" (6) they demanded that attention be given
to those Americans who had been forgotten in the intemperate
preoccupation of government and press and foundations with
Black problems. This demand provided the justificotion for the
rise of the ethnic movement, the elevation of the hyphenated
White Americans to their "rightful place" in the sun. In oil this
rainbow of ethnicity, race as the basis of identity ond privilege
in America wos downplayed. The Block-White question which
had convulsed the country for two decades seemed to melt
owoy. Everybody now was the some. We were oil ethnics and
minorities together. Whites were no longer the adverser/ and
race was no longer the issue. Whites were now ethnics. It wos
o stupendous achievement, o triumph of illusionol politics.
Redefine the problem and presto it disappears.
But the Block movement and the minority and ethnic
movements ore not the some. For these White equality-seeking
movements pose no threat to White America while the Block
struggle — whether conscious of it or not — olwoys has. If, for
example, we ask ourselves what threot the women's, gay or
ethnic movements pose to the country, what answers they pro-
pose to the current American crises, whot vision of social chonge
they embody, or what solutions they stand for, it should be ob-
vious that their relation to the set of contradictions which
chorocterize contemporary American life is ephemerol ot best.
Theirs is the politics of improved participation in the system —
regardless of its contradictions. A politics supportive of the status
quo. One further example of the contradictions of the minority
In undergroduate school we studied a sociology text called
Racial and Cultural Minorities by Simpson and Yinger. (9) Thot
book, published in 1958, dealt with Blacks and Jews and
Itolions. (At that time we were oil minorities together.) Yet to-
day when one speaks of minorities one invariably means non-
Whites. That is the implicit cultural usage. White people as we
hove noted, are called ethnics. So even though Blacks ore the
largest nationality or racial group in the country, probably
numbering more than thirty million — given the two admitted
census undercounts of 1 960 and 1 970, yet we ore the minori-
ty! By contrast there ore only 7 million Jews in America ond about
1 4 million in the world. There ore more Black people thon Polish-
Americans or Italian- Americans or what hove you, more Block
people than the entire organized labor movement. Yet we are
the minority! Clearly then the term "minority" is not a neutral
designation. It is in fact a political and not o sociological con-
cept. It means that the most important thing about Block peo-
ple thot we — and Whites — should always keep before us is
that we ore outnumbered. The message then is clear: better
stoy in your place.
Now what oil this means is that though we may have stopped
fighting the system, it has not stopped fighting us. The struggle
goes on in a myriad ways ond, as I hope this discussion hos
shown, most especially at the level of political culture.
And this in a way brings us bock to Jean Smith. For it is ob-
vious thot no Black person in McComb, Mississippi or anywhere
else ever conceived of him/herself as a minority when he/she
determined to fight against oppression. The question wos irrelo-
vont. Indeed if you think about it, no Block people ond certain-
ly no Block masses anywhere refer to themselves as a minority.
It is a class term. The only Blacks who use the term ore Blocks
conversing with Whites who hove fallen into the habit of utiliz-
ing concepts which ore consonant with White perspectives. What
I am suggesting, therefore, is thot the conception of Blacks as
a "minority" whether it appears in social life as the notion of
racial minority or in politicol life os national minority, is on
historical and badly flawed analytical tool. For the conception
of majority-minority never stopped any serious people from
resisting oppression in Harlem or Hottiesburg, New Orleans or
Nyock, (10) We need to remember that while the movement
was 'moving' it forced the society to stop calling us "Negroes"
and coll us whot we began to coll ourselves: Block. Then ond
now semantics ond sociology reflected political reality, the reality
of altered social relations between Blocks and Whites. Minority
is o post-movement designation, a reflection of the inseparable
relationship between identity and struggle.
We might olso recoil that the Block so-called minority
stimuloted all the post-1 968 social movements currently on the
scene as well as the obdurate opposition of the state which,
through its COINTELPRO and Operotion Chaos programs, took
the movement quite seriously indeed. (11)
If we ore ever, therefore, to regain that atmosphere of "love"
and "truth" and "dozzling correctness of action" that Jean Smith
described, then we must analyze anew and struggle to onolyze
for ourselves. For we shall never be able to chonge America
by being like it — especiolly by default. Consequently the great
danger of the moment, I would argue, is the Americonizotion
of the race. To ovoid that pitfall we need, among other things,
to re-connect with the truth of our post. We need once ogoin
to hear Sister Margaret Walker reminding us about us in a poem
colled "We Hove Been Believers":
We have been believers, yielding for the world.
With our hands have we fed a people and out of
our strength have they wrung the necessities of
Our song has filled the twilight and our hope
has heralded the dawn.
Now we stand ready for the touch of one fiery
iron, for the cleansing breath of many molten
truths, that the eyes of the blind may see and
the ears of the deaf may hear and the tongues
of the people be filled with living fire." (12)
1 . James Baldwin, "Whot Price Freedom?" Freedomwoys, Vol. 4. No.
2, Spring, 1964.
2. Jeon Wheeler Smith, "Mississippi l^emembered," Essence, Vol. 8,
No. 6, Oct. 1977, pg. 82.
4. Martin Luther King, Jr., Jfride Toward Freedom. Bollontine, N.Y.,
1960, pg. 04,
5. President Johnson's Commencement Address, Howord University,
Woshington, D.C., June 4, 1965, quoted in Civil Rights and the
American Negro, Bloustein and Zongrondo, eds., Washington
Square, New York 1966, pg. 159.
6. Howard Zinn, 5NCC The New Abolitionists, Beacon, Boston, 1964,
7. Julius Lester, Looi-t Out Whitey, DIad': Power's Gonna Get Your Mama,
Dial, N.Y. 1968, pg. 137.
8. Forrest G. Wood, Diodi Score. Berkeley, 1968, pgs. 103-156.
9. Simpson and Yinger, Racial ond Cultural Minorities, Horper, N.Y.,
10. Nyock is o smoll upstate New York town which, despite its miniscule
Block population, had its own mini-urban rebellion in the sixties.
1 1 . Morton Holperin, et ol. The Lawless State: The Crime of the U.S. in-
telligence Agencies, Penguin, London, 1976.
12. Margaret Walker, For My People, New Haven, 1942, pg. 16.
Copyright, institute of the C/oc/< World, Atlanta, GA
Sky Where There's Power to Kill
Heilicopters fly common in our sky
over debates the news mokes about the dead.
Who to remember Nazis or Jews?
The descendants of the Mayo or the salaried C.I.A.-Misquito?
The paid-in-death Mokoh, Nooksok, Hoh, Skagit, Quinoult,
Chinook, Clatskonine, Tilomook, Siletz and Clatsop.
Slaves. The history of that and how it continues.
What about the firebombing of Tokyo, Big Boy and Little Boy
over Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
There ore too many dead to pick up.
There ore too many dead to remember.
T.V, soys the planet is too small nothing of who chooses the dead.
Does gender enter in to be killer or killed?
A city or the countryside or everything at once?
There ore all kinds of helicopters and many mokes of bombs.
The pilots practice in Philadelphia sometimes
but usually where terrorists hide not in ovens.
And good money is to be hod except they don't count the dead
by body count but by zones pacified.
Airplanes ore important flying over fallow ground
bringing in bounty from the invisible dead.
From the world's deepest mine in South Africa
where cold air is piped in so someone con wear diamonds
or the gold next door to where wise fishermen fish.
Xelo wonts us to know for them old age is a luxury or a miracle.
Jommin' with the Grammy
on interview with Jimmy Jam
of Qword-winning Flyte Tyme
by Mark D. Graham
Out of Minnesota, with Morris Day singing lead, Jesse Johnson on guitar, Monte Moir on l-^eyboards. Jellybean Johnson on drums,
Terry Lewis on bass and Jimmy Jam on keyboards — The Tyme exploded with a Minneapolis-style funk that would revolutionize
the music industry today. Touring with Prince, The Tyme gave to Black music whot Bruce Springsteen gave to Rock-n-P,oll. With such
strong tolent the group's individual struggle for diversity would lead to The Tyme's demise.
Independently, each member has continuolly maintained o strong hold of the music wove: Morris Day — "The Oak Tree" (kicking
off his world tour from UAAAS5 eorly spring '85); Jesse Johnson collaborating with Sly Stone on "Crazoy"; Monte Moir writing songs
for such artists as Janet Jackson ("Pleosure Principle" — Control LP), and his own production company,- and Jimmy Jom and Terry
Lewis — producing various artists, from Pop artist Janet Jackson to Latin Brass Jazz artist Herb Alpert.
Jimmy Jam (James Horris III) and Terry Lewis storted FLYTE TYME, in early '83, and since have gone to the top, as producers of the yeor.
two things we could do, either produce or go start
another bond — which we didn't wont to do. At that
point, about May '80, we became serious. From that
point on we were full-time producers.
Drum; After producing artists such as Alexander O'Neal, Cher-
relle. Force M.D.'s, Humon League, Janet Jackson ond
S.O.S. Bond; who else would you like to produce?
Jom: Who we'd like to produce ore the people who we're
working with now — Alexander ond Cherrelle. It's been
two years since Alexander did his album, portly becouse
his album was successful for such o long period of time,
but also because we'd gotten so swamped with other
projects. He could hove elected to go with some other
producers, ond it soys a lot to us thot he and Cherrelle
decided to bosicolly put their careers on hold until such
a time as we were reody to work out another album for
them. Alexander's album is about two weeks from be-
ing completed and we've gotten o stort on Cherrelle's
record. There oren't too many artists who we look at that
we really want to produce. We like to produce people
who hove a need to work with us.
When do you decide to produce o porticulor artist?
I guess it's just occording to how we feel at the time.
We're trying to stay creatively fresh. Producing Alex(ander)
and Cherrelle is kind of like being at home. After leoving
home we go out ond we do things like Janet's (Jackson)
album which was somewhat of a departure for us and
the Human Leogue was o big departure. We went from
the Human League to Herb Albert, ond then we come
home. After we do Alex(ander's) and Cherrelle's albums,
we'll be working on o sound trock mix, and we'll hove
a chance to work with a lot of different artists on that,
Robert Palmer, Michael McDonald, New Edition, Potty
Lobelle. That's o lot of fun and, once again, it's something
different. We may decide to work with a new group of
some kind, in fact, we just signed o new group from out
of Minneapolis that probably won't hove o product
(record) out until next year sometime, becouse they're
going through a grooming process right now. We just take
things OS they come and try to stay fresh creatively and
take o different opprooch with each artist, and hove o
lot of fun. We enjoy what we do.
Drum: Will the Tyme ever get bock together?
Jam; Right now, it looks like it will happen . . . everybody has
basically agreed in the group that they'd like to do it,
but we're dealing with different labels and different
managers ... so it just takes o little time to sort through
Drum; Is this just a one album deal or ore there future collabora-
tions in the planning?
Drum: Who is Flyte Tyme?
Jam: Me and Terry (Lewis) and Jellybean Johnson, he's one of
our staff producers/writers; o gentleman named Spencer
Bernard, who's also a producer/ writer, and o gentleman
named Randy Jenkins, who just signed on.
Is Monte Moir on active member of Flyte Tyme?
No, in fact Monte is storting his own production company.
He left us about a year and o half ago, right after he did
the song for Janet Jackson (the "Control" LP) "The Pleosure
Principle"; that was his lost project for us.
Drum: Whot prompted the development of Flyte Tyme Produc-
tions, OS on independent production company?
Initiolly, we started out just doing it for the fun of it. We
were ploying with The Time ... it was just something
extro to do. Not for the money, but for creotivity. Ob-
viously, if you're a writer, you're gonno write more songs
than o band's gonno need ... so we decided to ploy
some songs on other artists. Then after the second Time
tour, we got kicked-out of the group. So basically pro-
ducing was the natural thing to do. Actually, there were
Jam; Initially, it's o one album deal. We just wont to see what's
gonna happen. First of qII, we know we're gonno work
well together, but it's dependent on the public's reac-
tion to it. I'm very optimistic about it, and we've heord
nothing but positive things from people who've talked
about it happening. We'll get together for the one thing
and hopefully it will lead to more things. Everybody hos
pretty much established a successful coreer on their own,
outside of the group. I think it would be great especiolly
for a Block group, to be successful as a group, but then
also be successful as individuals ... it hasn't been done.
A Block group has never done it. There ore groups, ob-
viously, like Genesis that get back together and do their
album, then Phil Collins goes his way, and Mike Ruther-
ford goes his way . . . and they get back together and
do albums. I see no reason for a Block group not to do
that also, and I think we just happen to be in a position
to be the ones to do it. So, we'd really like to pull it off
and moke it look good. I'd like to see it become a very
positive role model for other Block groups.
Drum: What is "Secret"?
Jam: Well, basically it is o project. It's not really o bond, just
Q project we're working on. It became the "Secret" when
o bunch of labels started bidding on it and didn't know
what it was. It got to be a big joke, so we just called
it the "Secret," 'cause I think we're one of the few bonds
to be signed with no (demo) topes or . . . anything, not
even a name. It's a project and, even ot this point, we
have about seven tunes done. When the album comes
out we don't know who's gonno be on the cover, or
who's gonno be in it if we tour, we're keeping it very flex-
ible ... it will definitely be on all-star undertaking, so
to speak. We're gonna have a lot of fun with it.
Drum: Do you foresee any colloborations with Prince?
Jam: I don't know, stranger things have happened . . . but
we keep on open mind.
Drum: Are you interested in doing any jazz collaborations with
some contemporary greats, like Miles Davis?
Jam: Miles is somebody who is actually on the list, down the
line, to work with. He's indicated on interest in doing
something. It's something we're open to and we'll see
where we con work something out.
Drum: How did you feel about winning the Grammy for Pro-
ducers of the Year? Did you expect it at all?
Jam: I felt like justice hod been done. I felt we deserved to
win it ... So when we won it, we felt that justice hod
been done . . . that was our reaction, it wasn't really sur-
prise or any thing like that. In fact that was the comment
Terry mode as we were going on the stage and I said
That's right.' We hod a couple of things against us, one,
we're Block, two, we're not port of the "L.A. click" com-
munity of Grommy voters . . . there were a lot of ways
we could hove lost. What I'd like to know, is how much
we won by, wos it on overwhelming vote or did we just
barely squeak through. I guess we'll never know that.
Drum: How do you feel personally?
Jam: I think they gave it to us because we deserved it. I think
we did everything that a producer is supposed to do. I
mean, I think we fit all the requirements; in the amount
of product thot we did, the quality of the product, the
diversity of the product, the fact that it all did commer-
cially very well across a wide scope — pop. Block, dance.
The fact that our sound is probably the most imitated
sound out there — there are even records that we
haven't produced that sound like us anyway. So if that's
not the criteria for Producer of the Year ... I don't know
Drum: Out of the artists whom you hove produced, who was
the best to work with?
Jam: Everybody, for different reasons; technicolly. Potty Austin
wos the best. Patty Austin is on absolute professional
. . . she not only sings very fost, but she sings with a lot
of expression. She's absolutely the best. As for os having
energy and vitality, it would hove to be Janet . .
definitely. Fun to work with ... I would say Cherrelle,
probably. And osfor os a pure, row voice that just mokes
us look real good, it would hove to be Alexander O'Neal.
He makes us look good. He'll sing some stuff and I'll say,
"Yeah, that's fine," ond he'll just be great. So ... a lot
of people for different reasons, that's what mokes it so
fun. Each artist brings their own individual aura about
them into the studio and then that brings out o different
side of our creativity.
Where do you do most of your recording?
Minneapolis. We hove our own facility and we do all of
it here — everything since 'Saturday Love' which was the
first song ever recorded in our new facility. Everything
since then has been recorded up here; recorded and
Who in the music business do you admire?
Ah . . . here we go ... a lot of people, number one,
Clerence Avon, who is our mentor, advisor. Godfather
. . . whatever . . . best friend. I admire him for sticking
through the music business. When we first met Clarence,
he wos about to get out of the music business. We kind-
of talked him into getting bock into it . . . we told him
we were going to moke the music business fun for him.
And we've done that for him, I believe. He's fantastic.
As on artist Prince is by for the greatest . . . well I can't
soy greatest of all tipne, somebody told me I can't soy
that 'cause greotness is measured, I guess, after you've
been dead for twenty years ... so I can't soy thot, but
Prince is by for, the top of his field. No doubt about it,
he's on parallel with no-one. I admire him. I also admire
people like Larry Blockmon in Comeo, for moking it . . .
I mean they've been together for what? 1 or 1 1 years?
and they've just now mode it big on the pop chorts, but
they haven't changed their sound, they're still doing the
some thing. I love that, I think that's credibility. There's
lot of people but those three names come to mind.
What is the ratio of collaboration between the members
of Flyte Tyme Production?
There's really no set pattern, but normally I end up writing
more music and Terry ends up writing more lyrics. I con
come up with good concepts, but it's hard for me to put
them into words. I con explain a concept to Terry and
he con hove it down in ten minutes. He's fontostic at that.
It doesn't olwoys work like that but generally, maybe
60% of the time, it is that way.
Do you hove ony political views that you plan to express
through your music, through artists you'll produce or
through this Tyme colloborotion?
Well, one of the things that hoppens as a producer and
as a writer, is that you're writing things and other peo-
ple ore saying them for you. A lot of people hove dif-
ferent views on politics, it's hard for me or Terry to write
a song and give it to an artist to sing if he or she doesn't
believe o hundred percent in whot you're saying in the
song. They're not going to perform it right and you feel
bod because you don't want to force anything down
anybody's throat. I think there ore a lot of people out
there who con express that o lot better than either of
us could soy it. I think Prince's song, 'Sign of the Times,'
is o fantastic stotement. He does it o lot better than I
could do it. So I would prefer to leave that up to him.
Would you like to odd anything else to this interview?
1 olwoys like to soy thanks to the readers and the peo-
ple who support us, because without them, obviously we
wouldn't be in business. I'm glad that people care and
I hope that not only do people listen to our music and
enjoy us, but that we ore positive Block role models for
people out there.
Well, thank you for your time and we'll be listening to you.
MURRY DE PILLERS
DRUM GOES CANDID WITH ONE OF
UAAASS' FINEST: MR. ARTHUR JACKSON
by Sandra Walters
Mr. Arthur Jackson was born in Burlington, New Jersey. He is married witl^ two children ond resides in Springfield, Massachusetts.
He graduated fronn the State University of New York at Fredonio in 1971 with a B.A. in Political Science, in 1975 from the State
University of New York at Binghomton with on M.A. in Sociology. He is currently a Doctoral Candidate in Educational Administration
at UMoss, Amherst. He holds various important positions such as, the Director of Financial Aid Services at UMoss, Amherst, Vice Presi-
dent of Eastern Association of Student Financial Administrators (EASFAA), and President of the Hartford Alumni Chapter of Kappa
Alpha Psi Fraternity; and is o versatile and positive individuol in our community.
Drum: What was it like growing up in the 50's and 60's in New
Jackson: Well, I think it was o different time. Civil Rights hod just
become an issue and I remember going down South
to Houston, where it was my first time in o segregated
facility and I wasn't allowed to eat upstairs in
Woolworth's. That was interesting because I went to
on integrated high school, lived in o neighborhood
where there were Blacks, Whites, and Hispanics, so I
took it for granted that the rest of the world was like
that. I was able to learn to understond my identity as
a Block person and what the needs of the Black race
Drum: How did you feel about the segregation down south
and what wos its effect on you?
Jockson: It was a shock and a new experience hearing people
being called vulgar names and other innuendos. The
covert racism is more difficult because if someone calls
you a name, you con deal with that, but being always
put in the bock of the line or olwoys looked upon as
second priority is something else. To me the strength
of being Black comes from within, not really what peo-
ple tell you. What you hove to know, however, is what
you are and what the heritage of your people are.
Drum: What forces and /or people motivated you to continue
on to higher education ofter high school?
Jackson: My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Bisrupt. She was the first
Block teacher I ever hod, and she told me that she
thought I wasn't studying hard enough and that I hod
o purpose for beyond myself to achieve. She sold,
". . . not only ore you being judged on your own
endeavors, but you're race will be judged on how you
achieve. So if you do poorly, people will look ot you
and soy, 'Well, oil Block people will do poorly.' " So
she was kind of very tough on me, and now I under-
stond why she was tougher on the Block students than
she was on the White students. However, one day she
took us after doss and she said, "Never ossume being
Block means you hove to be the same. If you're go-
ing to be the same, you're going to be a lesser per-
son because you always hove to achieve more to be
the some, just because you're Black." I think as my first
mentor, she probably taught me more in the fifth
grade than many other people hove just by letting me
know that things weren't always going to be fair and
equal, but if you're a strong enough person and you
work hord enough you'll be able to succeed in what
you do. You hove to hove the perseverance to over-
come your hurdles etc. . . .
Drum: Do you think her talking to you pushed you into higher
education or wos it something you thought you olwoys
Jackson: I think she pushed me. I went through moods and
trends as everybody else did. I could hove gone one
Photo by Drouno Daum
way or another. Half of my neighborhood friends ore
lowyers, doctors, and university professors, and the
other half ore drug addicts, and in prison. I grew up
in o neighborhood where you could hove gone either
way. It was really your family and teachers who took
on interest in you, that reolly helped to decide whot
you were going to do.
Drum: Was the transition from high school to college hard and
did you think you were odequotely prepored?
Jackson: No, probably not. I think very few Black students ore
when they go into predominately White institutions.
I went to the State University of New York at Fredonio,
ond out of 4,000 students, there were only 25 Blacks
ond 2 hisponics. So we were very much o minority.
Because of that, one thing wos olwoys cost in your
mind — Self Doubt. It took me two years to get up
to the level where I felt competent about my writing,
communication, and moth skills. But what I hod to do
was some trial ond error, and work a little harder on
things I wasn't competent in. It took me o year to
understand my study skills as a science. There ore cer-
tain skills that you need to master as o science. Some
students know that because they've gotten that from
high school, on older brother and sister, whereby, a
large number of Block students ore first generation col-
lege students. In my instance, I was the first person
to go to college in my family.
There must hove been o lot of pressure on you becouse
everyone was looking for you to succeed.
Exactly. But that was also what kept me going when
situations got tough. I remember being in some hostile
situations at school and the easy way out would hove
been to quit. But I didn't.
What was your collegiate experience like?
Well, I would probably say the social environment was
both hostile and friendly at the same time. Most of the
students I interacted with were White. There were two
different groups: some who wanted to moke sure you
succeeded because they felt that this was one of the
purposes of the civil rights movement, and some who
wonted us to leave the university.
However, we were o very resilient people. I was
placed on social probation my freshman year after my
third day at the school because one of the resident
assistants felt I should hove hod my freshman beanie
on at 1 :30 a.m. After he proceeded to put his honds
on me, I indicated to him that placing his hands on
me was not in his best interest. So after we hod this
discussion, two things happened: I was put on social
probation, and, he knew not to put his hands on me.
After getting your B.A., did you go straight to graduate
school or did you first enter the working forces of
I hove always worked and gone to school at the some
time. I did my masters work at the Stote University of
New York at Binghomton and I also worked there as
the Assistant Director of Financial Aid at the some time.
It's token me o little longer though, but sometimes
that's the way you have to do it, because sometimes
you have to provide for your economic needs as well
OS your educational needs.
What motivated you to go to graduate school?
Well, I think there were two things: I felt I wasn't com-
plete in my educational process, and I felt there were
a lot of things I didn't know. Also, I think education
is a lifelong experience, and I need that long-term
I also knew that if I wanted to succeed and go to
another level of job responsibilities, I would need
another degree. Bock in the 50's and 60's. o high
school degree would be called the level of competen-
cy, right now a college degree is. You con't get o pro-
fessional job without a bachelor's degree.
A lot of the Block students blame not getting enough
financial old or not having enough money, for them
not being in college. What do you think about that?
That is one of the reasons, but I think the most impor-
tant reason that kids ore not going to college is the
level of their academic skills, mainly moth, computer
skills, English, and their study hobits. 1 think o lot of
students don't moke it in college because of their lock
of discipline in their study habits as well as the lock of
As a child growing up, what were your dreams and
: Well, I think my dreams and aspirations were always
to be a lawyer. When I went to undergraduate school,
I majored in Pre-Low/Politicol Science to get to that
porticulor point. When I got out of undergraduate
school, I realized 1 didn't hove the finances. I was
already supporting a family so I hod to work and go
to school. Unfortunately, I didn't work at a place where
there was o law school. 1 may eventually get my low
degree. 1 think thot was o goal because there is such
a need for Black professionols.
You're the President of the Hartford Alumni Chopter of
Kappa Alpha Psi. In what aspects do you think frater-
nities of todoy differ from the day when you were a
young fraternity brother?
Jackson: Fraternities of today differ in that there ore probably
lesser numbers going into fraternities. Fraternities to-
day need to become more adoptive to the outside
communities, working with more programs in the out-
side communities e.g. A. B.C. House etc. My philosophy
in being a Kappa is that I'm no better or worse than
any other Block person, whether they ore Greek or non-
Greek. Fraternities are o bond of brotherhood with
other fraternities and sororities everywhere. It helps to
keep people sane, give them o sense of pride, o sense
of discipline, o sense of achievement, and a sense of
community. Fraternities and sororities should be in-
clusive not exclusive. One thing I am concerned about
is the amount of hazing going on in both Block and
White fraternities and the conflicts and confrontations
I see. I remember when I started in a fraternity, there
was o high level of competition. Now the competition
has turned into confrontation, and that's not the way
it should be. When I went over, the strongest bond
we hod was with other Greeks, simply becouse we
all went through similar experiences.
Drum: Following your career, 1 see that you were Assistant
Director of Financial Aid in New York and Associate
Director of Finondol Aid at UMoss. How would you com-
pote both jobs to your present position as Director of
Financial Aid at UMoss, Amherst?
Jackson: The major difference is now I'm responsible for the
Fiscal Administration of Finonciol Aid Programs for the
whole campus which is about 48 million dollars. Thot
meons 1 have to spend more time on Fiscal Administra-
tion, on how to motivate staff, and delegation of
responsibilities for staff on other items. I hove to make
sure the finonciol accounts and other services for the
department run well. The unfortunate thing about this
is thot I have lost some of my student contact. I am
not able to go over to o student meeting at 7:00 or
8:00 at night because sometimes I'm still here work-
ing. Now I deal for more extensively with lobbying for
funds and developing scholarships. We developed o
scholarship last year, "The Talented Minority Scholar-
ship." This went to ten minority freshman students lost
year with o high school G.P.A. of 3.7 or higher. In sum-
mary, I'm responsible for personnel, financial oid funds,
and the economic welfare of the whole institution.
Drum: What ore your strengths and weaknesses os Director
of Finonciol Aid Services?
Jackson: That's usuolly the question I ask during interviews. But
my strengths ore my personnel administration, fiscal
management, and counselling. I hove tried to develop
good counselling skills to deal both with my staff and
students. My overall strength is my strong desire to suc-
ceed. 1 don't accept failure or mediocrity. I set ver/ high
expectotions for myself, and my staff. My weaknesses
ore that I'm a workaholic and I am task oriented. When
I take on a project, I don't stop until it's done.
Sometimes I work with tunnel vision. But, sometimes
this could be bod, because I tend to neglect other
things. My other weakness, which I'm starting to work
on, is becoming o better listener, ond less of o talker.
Drum: How did you feel obout the incident of October '86
— "The Southwest Race Riot," and do you think
enough is being done to ensure thot this doesn't oc-
Jackson: Well, when the Southwest Incident occurred, I wasn't
surprised, especially because I could see it happen-
ing for a couple of years. I think we're almost bock to
a 1 964 concept right now, certain things we've token
Continued on page 84
Profilin, q Rap/Poem
People be profilin.
For Leon Domos
People be profilin like
stink on shit,
like come/sweot for money,
like toe-jom doodoo smell ;
borbecue-wine stains '
on picnics in July,
people be profilin everyday
of their lives
dark, conservative suits,
their brains v/ropped in green mothballs,
like bigtime "Medio" intellectuals
behind their gold wire rimmed
expensive clear lens-shodes
People be profilin.
People be profilin everyday
of their lives
People be profilin.
People be profilin like
slick stylin pimps leonin bent
at forty-five degree angles
behind mink covered steerin wheels
of cold-gold lamed el dorados
with golden brown velvet roofs for tops
wide brimmed apple hots
pulled rokishly down
slashes their scowling mugs
(& the sun dont melt
the "ice" these frozen niggo
on their manicured fingers!)
People be profilin.
People be profilin everyday
of their lives
People be profilin.
People be profilin like
whores on midtown Monhatten streets corners,
like Wall Street executives in their sterile
People be profilin.
People be profilin like
sad medio stars who say;
"Oh no dear! dont take that
side of my face,
its bad for my public image!"
(& con you dig where that
whole thing is coming from?!)
People be profilin.
People be profilin like
when you stick a camera
into someone's face,
be they Kings, or Queens,
or the President of these United Snakes,
watch how they react to the camera!
(unless they be too old, or too tired,
or too dead for this daily crazy shit)
People be profilin.
People be profilin everyday
of their lives
People be profilin.
Quincy Troupe is Professor of American end Third World Literature at the College of Stoten Island (CUNY) and also teaches
in Columbia University's Graduate Writing Program. He has previously taught at UCLA, U5C, Ohio University, The Univer-
sity of Ghana, at Legon, Logos University, in Legos, Nigeria and California State College at Sacramento. He has pub-
lished 3 volumes of poetry. Embryo, 1972, Snake-Back Solos, 1979, (winner of the 1980 American Book Award for
Poetry) and Skulls Along the River, 1 984. He has edited 2 anthologies, Watrs Poets And Writers, 1 968 and Giant Talk:
An Anthology of Third World Writing. 1 975. He also co-outhored The Inside Story of TV's Roots, with David L. Wolper,
the Producer of that award winning, historic, television program. Presently, he is writing the definitive life story of legen-
dary music great. Miles Davis (with the full cooperation of Mr. Davis), scheduled for publication by Simon and Schuster
in 1 988. He is also completing a novel. The Footmans and has published essays, articles and feature writing in Essence,
The Village Voice, Musician, Encore, Newsday, The Soho News, The Amsterdam News, The Los Angeles Sentinel, The
Los Angeles Times, The Los Angeles Free Press and Spin mogozine. His poetry end fiction hove been published in over
100 magazines and literary journals, and his poetry has been transloted into several other languages. He lives with
his family in New York City.
Drum is honored to present selections of Mr. Troupe's poetry.
;■■•';. ,,:^;i •■'.■•^ .;■ ■■.;.';c„ ,■
;.V - -■c.::^'i-/>.:^
They took me out
To some lonesome place.
They sold, "Do you believe
In the great white race?"
I said, "Mister,
To tell you the truth,
I'd believe in anything
If you'd just turn me loose.'
The v/hite man said, "Boy,
Can it be
You're o-stondin' there
They hit me in the head
And knocked me dov/n.
And then they kicked me
On the ground. ^^^
A klonsmon said, "Nigger,
Look me in the face —
And tell me you believe in
The great white race."
One thing con be said of Imomu Amiri Daroka: he is never boring. Whether one agrees or disagrees with his views and methods,
none can deny his impact as o cultural, literory and political figure. Like a glistening reflection in a violent rushing streom, he is
ever-changing, ever-flowing and always there to mirror the world bock upon itself.
One feels immediately, in the rhythm of the name, the works, or the actual physical presence on energy unlike the ordinary.
A power, if you will, derived from the resplendent images of a culture and o man struggling to confirm an identity in the face of
on ever threatening, hostile world.
The list of works that attempt to channel the expression of that energy is impressive, to soy the least; Preface to a Twenty Volume
Suicide Note, o collection of early poems, plays such as The Baptism and The Toilet, The Slave and The Dutchman (awarded the
Obie Award for best American play of 1 963-64), and o ritual drama The Slave Ship, among others. In addition, Boroko has published
on edition of poems. The Dead Lecturer, and The System of Dante's Hell, o collection of semi-outobiographicol drama, poetry and
fiction. His books include Blues People, an exposition of Afro-Americon culture and its music and In Our Terriblenes, a poetic-
photographic work on Afro-American image making. He has also collaboroted on a collection of Afro-American poetry. Black Fire,
Photo By Robert Sengstocke
with Larry Neal, and Confirmations, o collection of Afro-American women's poetry with his wife Amino. I^ecently he has finished
work on The Autobiography of LeRoi Jones/ Amiri Doral^a.
Born Leroy Jones in 1904 in Newarls, N.J., where he still lives, Doroko has continued to reflect the political restlessness of a nation
increasingly disillusioned with the inherent inhumanity of copitolism. From Greenwich Village bohemionism in the late 50's and early
60's to Black Notionalism, Cultural Nationalism and Morxist-Leninist-Moo Tse Tung thought in the 70's end 60's, he hos been a con-
stant leader in the Afro-Americon communities' struggle for recognition and liberation.
With this in mind, DRUM Magazine travelled to Long Island and the State University of New York, at Stony Brook where he is
head of the department of Africono Studies. Although Mr. Boroko was late arriving ot the interview, after leading a rally of support
for Professor Earnest Dube who had recently been denied tenure for the upcoming academic year, he managed to use on hour
and Q half of his time to shore his views on politics, literature, and culture. For all of this, we sincerely thank him.
One lost thing. If you're familiar with the works and thoughts of this seminal thinker, writer, activist, then read on and enjoy.
If not, then settle bock and check him out. You owe it to us oil.
continued poge 33
Drum: It sounds like things ore getting pretty heavy around
Doroko: It's the most bizarre piece of gorboge you ever heard.
Four different university committees voted the guy
tenure (Dube), It was overruled by the president of the
university and then the choncellor said he can have
tenure anywhere but Stony Brook, any one in the state
Drum: What would that accomplish?
DorakQ: It wouldn't accomplish anything except they wont him
out of here because there's a lot of, I guess, supporters
of Israel, and why they dinged him in the first place is
that on one of his study questions he put that Zionism
is racism. So then o guy who is a visiting professor from
Israel sent letters to all Jewish professors raising the
more reactionary ones, saying the guy wos an anti-
Semite. So you know, typical bullshit. Setting you up
to use up your time, you know you have to use up your
time to fight it. This is the third year we've been in this
Drum; And he's been denied tenure for next year?
Dorako: Yeo. The decision come out about two weeks ago. This
thing's been going on for three years. So you know,
another senior class groduotes. There ore very few peo-
ple here who were here when it begon now. That's
the way they ploy that gome. Figure eventually that
attrition will get rid of you.
Drum: Specking of which, we've just finished Black History
Month, the shortest month of the year. I'm here to in-
terview you for a Black literary magazine that hos just
hod its funding cut by a predominantly White universi-
ty administration. Any thoughts on these relationships?
Boroko: Well, I think the cut of the literary magazine is related
to the generol attack on the people, specifically Black
people. I mean Reogon runs around saying "no
domestic spending," he wonts to spend oil our tax
money invading Grenada, threatening Nicorogua, in-
teivening in El Salvador, bombing Libya. He wonts to
spend our tax money horrossing the Third World. And
by doing that he's horrossing the Third World in the
United States because he uses up money we could be
using for productive kinds of purposes, for destructive
kinds of vendettas against humanity, you know, col-
ored humanity. Because in each case oil those people
are colored, they all ore Third World people. I mean
they sided with the fascists in Lebanon, they bombed
Libyo, all these ore Third World countries, you see.
So to me it's port of the fabric of that kind of assault
thot they attack the magazine. For instance, when he
just cut that aid to scholarships mainly for working class
youth, he sloshed that down to nothing, it's the some
kind of thing. It's an attack on, in this cose, African-
Americans, in the broader sense it's on attack on the
Third World because imperialism historically has
developed out of sucking the Third World, eating the
Third World. Using it as a source for row materials, as
its client stotes, os its place to build political hegemony,
economic dominance. That's what imperialism does.
It divides the world into o group of small, so-colled
civilized states, and the rest of the world becomes the
feeding trough. So ot Amherst what they do is they cut
the magazine. Why do Block students need o literary
magazine? You know, "we ain't literary." So that's how
it goes around and around in circles.
Drum: How long hove you been at S.U.N.Y. Stony Brook?
Dorako: I've been here seven yeors. It will be eight in the foil.
Drum: Do you feel particularly drown to the compuses?
Boroko: Well, octuolly I like Stony Brook becouse of the students.
There ore a lot of inner city students here, Block, Puer-
to Ricon. There ore a lot of West Indion students, o lot
of Jomoicons, Haitians, a lot of TrinidadionS', so that's
good. What's difficult for me of course is that 1 live 75
miles away. I live in Newark, N.J. so it tokes me two
hours to get here, and they won't give me a job in
Nework. There's all kinds of colleges in New Jersey, but
the powers that be figure that I should hove to drive
1 50 miles a day to go to work. It keeps me from mak-
ing o lot of trouble bock in Nework.
Drum: What do you see as the most effective medium of com-
munication for Block people in this country?
Boroko: Well, unfortunately, the grapevine is the most signifi-
cant becouse we don't have any under our control,
that's the problem. If I wanted to communicate with
Block people in large numbers I would use t.v. ond
music. Because at this point our problem is thot we
don't hove any institutions except the church. The in-
stitutions that we should hove access to because of our,
quote, "status as citizens," unquote, ot least when it
comes time to paying taxes and going to wor. Since
we don't hove ony access to the main streom institu-
tions and we don't hove ony that we control that leoves
us next to zero in terms of being oble to forward our
own couse, so to speak.
Drum: The accessibility factor?
Boroko: Yeo, because we hove to fight about accessibility to
the institutions. At the some time we hove to begin
to set in motion some olternotive ones. We can't just
wait for the walls of Jericho to come down.
Drum: It's the some thing as waiting three yeors on on issue
like this . . .
Boroko: Yea, I meon it's been going on ond on. Every year it
comes up again. What's interesting about this time
though is thot the chancellor of the whole SUNY system
was Block, Wharton, and he's the one who ruled
Drum: And I heard he then resigned?
Boroko: Yeo. He ruled against him on the 30th, he resigned on
the 31 St (Jon.) and then he got o job with the T.I. A. A.
(Teacher's Insurance ond Annuity Assoc.) He went from
on $89,500 o year job as chancellor, now he mokes
$500,000 o year as the heod of T,I.A.A. So you soy,
"wait a minute, I'd like to get a little roise like that."
So then you wont to know, "well, how'd you get thot
raise?" That would be the next question. That's o ques-
tion that we intend to osk because we're osking the
Block Congressional Coucus, os well as the Block and
Puerto Wcon state legislotive caucuses to come in and
hove hearings, and we wont them today. We wont
Morberger, we wont all those people to testify because
we wont to know what the hell's going on, because
they're hiding by saying Dube hosn't published enough.
See, there ore three criterio for tenure. One, is
teaching, obviously, which should be principle, we don't
think it is. But the principal criterio is teaching. Second-
ly, is service. Service to the university, sen/ice to the
students, service to the community. And third is
publishing . Now, despite the foct that indeed Dube hos
not published o book, four university committees found
him eligible for tenure. Because he is acknowledged,
even by Morberger, as a sensational teacher. The man
spent seven yeors in Robben Island Prison in South
Africa. His family helped found the Africon Nationol Con-
gress. He's one of the officers of leadership of the
A.N.C., see whot I'm saying? So in terms of scholorship,
to us he is repository of greot scholarship, whether
he publishes o book in America or South Africa. And first
of oil one should understand thot he's in exile, he's not
at home. I'm the choirmon of this deportment ond os
for as rm concerned he's o scholar.
Drum: Quite an asset . . .
Baroko: Absolutely, he's on asset, that's the point. They have
Joke Javits over there not becouse of his writing but
because he's a professional politician. But with Black
people, and porticulorly because the supporters of Israel
ore opposed to it; I say supporters of Israel because
there ore a lot of Jews, students, staff and teachers who
support Earnest Dube and who know that that whole
anti-Semite thing is really ... a stinking smokescreen.
So that's where we're at.
'There's one democratic
struggle and the sharpest is
always the Afro-American
struggle because the Blades
are on the bottom. "
Drum: What's the relationship between the Block writer and
the publishing industr/ in this countr/?
Boroko: Well, we hove only marginal access to publishing. I'm
not talking about some Blacks for whom it con be said,
OS when I started writing, "you know, I couldn't even
tell that you were Block." Which I didn't take os a com-
pliment at the time. Except for those few who ore really
absorbed in moinstream literary Americon efforts, most
Blocks ore never published except for in times of social
upsurge, sociol upheaval, and at that time there is more
demand for that writing by ever/body. What they do
is they get into profit taking so they will publish it then
just to take some profit. But when there is on economic
downturn, it's the same with the rest of society . . . and
with Block people particularly this is o boom-bust socie-
ty. When there's a war going on, or about to go on
and there's prosperity everybody works so we con get
o job. But, conversely, when there's peace ond the
whole economy shrinks, because it's a war based
economy, it shrinks creating an economic downturn and
recession. Blacks are first out on the street. Also, by the
way, racism intensifies in periods of economic downturn
when there's fewer jobs. Then they bring the sheets out
of the closet. They begin to get Blacks and Whites to
fight becouse it's easier for them to maintain their con-
trol, you see?
Drum: And it's easier to create on atmosphere of war . . .
Boroko: Oh yea, again. Whot they're doing right now is creating
on atmosphere of war.
Drum: How do you exploin the popularity of Black women
writers, porticulorly poets, in the post decade?
Doroka: Well I think, again, it's port of the whole struggle against
women's oppression. And I think it was bound to come
out because you'll find that historically each time there's
a democratic revolutionor/ upsurge, and that's essen-
tially what the Block Movement is, it's democrotic and
it's revolutionory. It's revolutionory because White
supremacy has olwoys been the social bosis of Americo.
There's one democratic struggle and the sharpest is
always the Afro-American struggle because the Blacks
ore on the bottom. This society is based on slavery and
the Blacks are on the bottm so that every time they
try to raise up, everything else in the society is shak-
ing. It's like if we were all standing on somebody's bock
and thot person tried to straighten their bock everything
else wobbles oround.
So the struggle against women's oppression is
another democratic struggle. In the Civil War for in-
stonce, let's soy the period just before the Civil War.
The whole abolitionist movement. Block and White,
thot movement gave rise and sharpened the whole
movement for women's rights. Because that's when the
first shorp shot for women's rights occurred. If you read
the slavery speeches you'll see thot that was olwoys
Frederick Douglass' position, trying to link those two
struggles, and where they were linked before the civil
war, after they got split because then Block men hod
the right to vote and White women didn't. So that
became weird and they said, "well look White people
should hove the right to vote before Blacks" and that
octuolly split the solidarity. But that always comes up
at any period of sharp democratic struggle. Whatever
aspect of that struggle takes the lead at any given time
it will always add fuel to the others.
Drum: What is to be "the next wave of Afro-American
literature, a genuine people's literature"?
Dorako: Well, I think that's happening right now. I mean I think
that we're in o period of tronsition. We were in kind
of o bockword period after the murders of the organiza-
tion leaders, murders like those of Malcolm X and Mar-
tin Luther King. The movement itself is generally kind
of splintered, and also there was an excessive amount
of polemicizing going on between o lot of the people
who hod moved to the left ond then began to get in-
to this kind of excessive polemicol relationship with each
other, like the newly converted or more correct. So
those things hod a real sharp effect and the arts
themselves take their impetus from the social struggle.
You'll find that when there is sociol struggle that the
arts themselves sharpen, there's on upsurge in the arts.
Pre-Civil War, the antislovery movement, the Horlem
Pvenoissonce and Gorvey and Du Dois and then
Longston Hughes, In the 60's with Malcolm and Mar-
tin, you have oil kinds of magazines.
Drum: Who ore some of the writers of today you feel deserve
Boroko: There's o lot of young writers out there now. I publish
a magazine called "Block Nation" and we publish a lot
of young people who I think ore deserving of greater
recognition. Sterling Plump is a guy. He's been published
around but now he's coming into his own. Very young
poets like Nio Domoli, Charlie Braxton o couple of peo-
ple I think are very good, Gregory Powell is another
The book thot my wife and I published called Confir-
motions, I think is o good cross section of young women
poets. People like lone Cortez Brendo Bey, my wife
Amino Boroko. These ore o lot of younger writers. And
then there ore younger men writers Louis Rivera is
good, Zizne Ngofuo is another writer, Sekou Sundioto
Tom Michelson. I'm just dropping names but these ore
young writers who ore out there that I know of that ore
doing very good work, who need to be looked ot. Then
there's older writers, people who hove been around
for awhile who desen/e more recognition ond deserve
to get published like Askia Tour^ down in Atlan-
ta is a very fine writer.
Drum: Do you see the dub poetry of the West Indies as being
a significant trend in the synthesis of music and voice,
OS well OS the growing communication among writers
Boroko: Oh absolutely, I mean Linton Johnson is o very close
friend of mine and I went over to London about 3 or
4 yeors ago when Mike Smith was murdered and spol<e
Qt Q memorioi there for him. OI-ju Anuro is another poet Drum:
I thinl<; from Trinidad, dub poet Mutoboruka from
Jamaica, they're good and Louise Dennett who's been Doroko
Ground for a long time. Edword Brothwoite from
Jamaica, these ore very, very strong writers.
There's been a growing kind of international solidorir/
you know; in London the book fair they hove there
every year drows a lot of writers and these international
venues like "One World Poetry" in Boulder, (Colo.) and
Amsterdam, a lot of them hove reod there. In Italy
when the communist party was in more control we
used to go over there every year. Christian democrats
apparently don't like Third World people. We haven't
been bock since they got bock in power.
Drum: Whot are some of the restraints on a writer in o Third
World country that a writer in America might not face?
Doraka: I'd say this, that in the Third World you're talking prob-
lem because most of the Third World is under neo-
colonial dictate and so they serve the metropol. They
serve the U.S.A., other imperialists, whoever it is. In the
cose of Mikey Smith he made criticisms of education one
night, the next night he is stoned to death. Literally five
guys got rocks and beat him to death in Jamaica, in
Kingston. Walter Rodney, onother leading Afro-
Caribbean scholar, was criticizing Durnham in Guyana, Drum:
they blew up his car. So you hove to remember on one
hand the United States is the largest of oil imperiolisms, Boroko:
the richest of oil imperialisms, so it con afford more
pretense at democracy. In their little surrogate neo-
colonies they don't allow that. You open your mouth
like you're going to soy something about democrocy,
they'll noil it shut. So it's very problemotic, it's a very
dangerous situation. Like in Kenyo for instance they
locked Ngugi Wo Thiong'o, one of the leading African
writers, up for two years, never charged with anything.
They locked up his library, his library is still locked up.
What's this brother's name, Nuruddin Foroh who is Drum:
Somalia's great writer, he criticized the government and
he's in exile. These neo-coloniol states they don't allow Dorako:
any democratic dissent.
Drum: What about the closer connection between artist ond
community in those countries?
Boroko : Thot's true, you're also under this intense kind of repres-
sion because of that.
Drum: Because of the threat of thot connection?
Boroko: Exactly. The United States, they hove so much money,
so much wealth that they con ploy that off.
Drum: In order to divert attention?
Boroko: Right, like I teach woy out here 75 miles away from
my home. Why? Because they don't wont me orgoniz-
ing where I live. But it's slick, they can do that. They
hove the money to do that. They don't hove that
money down there, they'd rother just kill you. Save
money, get the problem out of the woy. Drum:
Drum: Have you hod any desire to live obrood? Boroko:
Boroko: That's not my generation. No, I mean this is my home,
I don't see any reoson to go onywhere, except to
travel. When they start to try to make it fascist, which
they obviously are trying to do now, I think we gotta
be here to fight it. We've got o responsibility to be here.
It ain't like, "they're gonno moke the United States
fascist so let's split," no that ain't my view of it. My view
of it is that they ain't gonno do it, we ain't gonna let
them. . , . Nobody's going nowhere, they're going to Drum:
hove to fight for this just like they tried to drive Poul Boroko:
Robeson owoy that time and he said "hey, my peo-
ple hove built this country ond no fascist minded peo-
ple like you ore going to run me out of here." That's
pretty much my view.
How does the relationship between the blues and
literature differ from that of jazz?
: When you're talking about blues you're talking about
the kind of deep emotional understanding of the culture
itself. I mean people moke a mistake, for instance guys
like Martin Williams, Leonord Feather, guys I know, who
soy that Billie Holiday wasn't o blues singer because
she didn't sing 1 2-bor formal blues. The blues ore not
just a form. It's o particular consciousness, o particular
Jazz is on elaboration of that primal, or principal, form
or feeling let's say. That principal emotional, cultural
matrix if you will. Blues is the kind of nucleus of that in
its, soy, secular form as it comes out of spirituals ond
work songs, things like thot. Blues is the sort of kernel
of that cultural social matrix. Like Longston Hughes said,
hey "jozz is blues, child." It's really clear. The blues is
the feeling itself, so even though, for instance, 1 write
whot people coll "jozz poetry," it's jazz in terms of its
articulation and elaboration. It's kind of oformol innova-
tion but the feeling that always goes bock to for it to
be moving has to relote to blues, becouse if you forget
obout the blues then you're actually dismissing the
emotional core of the concerns.
Could you sort of see jazz as being o structurol form to
allow for the manifestation of that feeling?
Oh yes, sure, becouse jozz deals with the evolution of
the society. Jozz sets itself up as an internotionol ex-
pression from the gitry-up. Jozz is very ambitious in that
sense. That it knows that it must hove the blues. Like
they soy, "it don't mean o thing if it don't hove that
swing." The jazz player knows that. When you listen
to a Coltrone or o Miles Davis the blues is all in there.
Whereas jozz is, soy, a more advanced music because
it deals with questions thot blues don't deal with. But
the blues feeling is mointoined.
Speaking of form, in your own work what is your favorite
literary form to work in?
Poetry because it's the most immediate, the most
direct; drama because it's the most ambitious in terms
of putting people on the stoge and saying, "hey, you're
olive, this is reol life," Those ore why those forms ap-
peal to me. I reod a guy named George Thompson,
on English Marxist, he's got a beautiful book called
Poetry of Marxism. What he raises is that drama is the
principal form in times of social transformation. He uses
Shakespeare as o cose in point, soys you know Shake-
speare is the poet of the demise of feudalism and the
rise of capitalism, which he is, and the drama is rising
in those periods because it is the most ombitious. It reol-
ly wants to put new people ... it wonts a new ethic,
it wonts a new life in real life. It's not talking about it,
it presumes to be it.
It's expressing it in real terms . . .?
Exactly. So that's why in the 60's drama come natural-
ly to me OS on ottempt to express the real changes that
were going on in society. It's interesting because I didn't
set out to soy "1 am going to write ploys." My poetry
became more dramatic, 1 began to have characters in
the poems. It's not anything like I'm soying I'm going
to do this OS dialogue. All of o sudden there ore peo-
ple tolking in the poem, you soy "who the hell is this,
how'd you get in there?"
Whot was your fovorite work to write?
I don't know, writers olwoys soy the most recent one.
The most recent one I'm writing is something called
"Dumpy: A Bopero." I soid "bopero" because Anthony
Davis told me, in print, (I wrote o jozz opero o few years
ago colled "Money: A Jozz Opera"), that there's no such
thing OS o jazz opera, only opera. I didn't wont to of-
fend Anthony Davis, so the next thing I wrote I colled
a "bopero" so there couldn't be much disputing what
my intentions were. The most recent one was one of
my favorites because I wrote it with Max Roach. It's go-
ing to be done in September ot N.Y.U. I know I had
Q good time writing it. It's about Bumpy Johnson who
was the best linown of oil DIocK underground figures
in the twenties and thirties. He's the one who, after the
mafia hod Dutch Schultz killed — Dutch Schultz tried to
take over the Block numbers racket — comes to the
fore and organizes the Blacks to resist and take the ring
over. So it mokes a great musical because it goes
through the twenties, you've got Longston Hughes ond
Gaivey ond these great parties thot A'Leila Walker used
to give. I have a duet between Bessie Smith and
Caruso. They were both ot the parties so I just added
something. It mokes a great kind of chronicle. That right
now, is what I would hove to say is my favorite. Of all
the works I've written I'd soy that Blues People and The
Dutchman are the two that people keep talking obout,
ond maybe Slave Ship. So I guess the ones that ore the
favorites of people ore the favorites of mine.
Drum: "^os Slave Ship a deporture from some earlier dramatic
Boroko: Yea, I depended more on improvisation. And the
rhetoric, or speeches, were kept to a bare minimum.
The whole action was supposed to come out of the con-
text we created. It was an attempt to get down to
what I was coming to view as real. I begon to see real
theater os deeper than I'd been going. It hos to do with
releasing forces which you're not even sure whot the
noture of them is. In order to get down to the reel
drama you hove to get down to that.
A form of exorcism almost . . .
Yea, it really is, because to me theater is a very deep
thing man. I think it's the oldest . . . well song is prob-
ably older, poetry is older then song . . .
But they all blend together bock that far . . .
Absolutely. And it begins to deal with stuff that you can't
always predict. A lot of other kinds of weird stuff will
come out which is the only reason I think it's been
preserved all these years. They've gotten away from
theoter in the mainstream society.
Do you see it making o comeback?
Oh yeah. Real theater, reel drama yeoh, real art, revo-
lutionary ort, yeoh. I think it's at the point right now that
we're in transition becouse people can't live without
ort. No matter what these fools try to do to it, make
poetry dull, moke dancing about onti-movement, music
about silence, it won't work. People get bored, they
moke up their own stuff. You stop this form, you stop
poetry and jazz and then rap comes up. Same thing
only Q more popular form than the form of the sixties
even though the sixties poetry, the jozz poetry, was
very, very widely disseminated. But the rap is even
more broadly disseminated even though you socrifice
the political penetration. But whot that is doing is set-
ting the stage for other things to happen. 1 did o poem
with Q rap group, high school boys, and it was great,
I mean the feeling. It was done before a whole lot of
students and they liked it, they really thought it was
onother kind of experience. That is to hove a poet, they
could soy "well this guy's o poet," and thot rap group,
the combination of it was really kind of on interesting
Drum: You've done some editorial collaboration, O/ocZ-f Fire
with Lony Neal and Confirmations with your wife Amjno,
what about the collaborative process in writing? You
mentioned the thing with Mox Roach . . .
Boroko: I like that, I like that a great deal, particularly with that
kind of combination. Mox obviously is a master. Music
expands, extends the words, see, it gives the words
another kind of impoct, onother kind of penetration.
That's why I like those kinds of collaborations. Now I'm
writing mostly ploys with music. I don't think I'll write
the other anymore becouse I think ploys ore supposed
to hove music.
Drum: Any way to get deeper connection and reach a broader
base . . .
Boroko : Absolutely, I think you're supposed to hove all of them
together. You're supposed to hove dance, poetry, you
' '/A fro -A m ericon ort has
olwoys tried to find o linl^
between soy yin ond yong,
in o sense between conn-
position ond improvisotion"
know, oil together. That's right, thot's the woy it's sup-
posed to be. That's originally what theater was, you
combined all the arts and that's why it was grond,
because you put oil the arts in o working context.
Drum: One encounters in the writings of people involved in
struggle on unusual clarity in trying to convey ideas to
the masses . . .
Baroko: Absolutely, that's what it is. "Whot the hell's going on?"
That's very true. You wont to find out what's going on,
what ore you saying, what ore we going to do? We're
in the need for hard focts. Material clarity. I think dur-
ing the sixties we come to thot feeling that we wanted
the ort to be identifiobly Afro-Americon. We didn't wont
to hove to footnote "this artist is Afro-American," we
wonted the work itself, just os much as soy Bessie Smith
or Sarah Voughon or Duke Ellington is on Afro-American
expression, not in terms of exclusivity but in the sense
of being ourselves in on identifioble woy.
Drum: Over the course of your coreer you've succeeded in
olienoting o foirly diverse group of people. Black, White,
writers ond critics and the like. Who do you turn to for
inspirotion and support?
Boroko: Well, the people. And I don't meon that in a clichS'
sense, but everywhere I go throughout the world it sur-
prises me, my wife is always telling me "you really don't
understand how many people you've reached." Every-
where I go people ore olwoys coming up to me, "yeo
brother Boroko I reod you when I was six, I read you
when I was ten." Despite the fact of my having a
tendency to pop off at people in times of stress, or
tending to enlarge the area of ottock, sometimes
needlessly, attacking people who could be allies, what
I remain impressed and humbled by octuolly is how
mony people who do support the kind of general lines
that I've token in my poems. It's been very humbling
because you think well, Jesus Christ, I don't know if I
deserve oil thot, all these people in oil those countries
saying they support you, they think what you're doing
is correct. What that does to you is give you kind of o
heavy burden of responsibility. You begin to feel, Jesus
Christ, it's not just my sorry ass I'm corrying oround.
there's a lot of responsibility in this. On the one hand
that mokes you stronger because you know that peo-
ple do trust you, ond they do say, "yes he con speak
for me, even though I've never met him, never been
closer than 3000 miles to him, he con speak for me."
It mokes you stronger because you knov/ when you soy
something thot you know somebody you're facing
won't like oil you hove to think is "hey, I know a lot
of people who support this position." When I talk bad
about Reagan I tell people "look, I come from o com-
munity where 96% of them voted against Reagon."
Block people voted 96% ogoinst Reogon the lost elec-
tion, I'm speaking for them. I know who I'm speaking
for, the Afro-American people soy "I reject Reagan,"
I reject him in their name. It's that that odds strength
and I draw my own strength from that. My family, my
kids and everything. I hove that feeling of support and
I try to justif/ it. We hod o great rally out there, about
300 kids, faculty, staff; Block and White and Asian.
Three or four hours of constant ottock on the administra-
tion, you see now thot's a school for those kids. If I hove
to argue that in a faculty meeting, which I hove to
tomorrow, I would argue that that's o school, that's part
of the education process. They're leorning things they
couldn't possibly learn in the classroom. And whether
we succeed or not we know we're correct ond what
we're doing is correct.
Drum: Going bock to Slave Ship ond the notion of unleashing
things we may not understand, one finds a lot of
fascination with symbols of flying in the ort of oppressed
Boroko: It's the some thing with freedom. Block people hove
always been fascinated with flying as a very specific
symbol antithetical to slavery. Whether they're talking
about "Swing Low Sweet Chariot," tolking about
chariots flying through the oir coming across the Jordan,
obviously the Atlantic Ocean. A lot of reference to fly-
ing even in, soy, Toni Morisson's Song of Solomon, we
see the whole symbolic language there is oround the
concept of flying. I think in Sula there is some kind of
reference there, one of the mythological characters
there was in fact someone who could fly. I think that's
obvious why they would wont to fly.
Drum: How does thot differ from western mythology, soy the
Greeks' Icarus for instance . . .
Boroko: I gave o talk lost night on thot in the English deport-
ment. That's one of the kind of culturally contrasting
symbolisms. You'll find that the contrast between soy,
the dionysion mode which is African, o complete emo-
tional outlet, whether it's Block church or Block art, it's
about that. As opposed to the opollonian kind of post-
Greek, European approach where it's restraint. Nietz-
sche goes so for os to soy life has to be kept separate
from art because you might get too excited, it might
stop you from being able to think. We look at them
OS two extremes, in that sense. I think that what the
African-American has olwoys been trying to evolve is
on art that comes out of the bosicolly dionysion, basic
African spirit possession, because the Block church has
always been about spirit possession. You know they
soy the spirit will not descend without song. So you got-
ta hove music to moke the spirit come down, and you
gotto get the spirit, you gotta actually get the frenzy,
you gotta get happy like they say, to actually hove par-
ticipated in that religious experience. I think America
has tended to give thot more of o rapprochement with
formalism in o way too. Well, for instance here they've
found that making the controst between soy composi-
tion and improvisation as two twains that will never
meet when in fact that's not true. All major jazz com-
positions, if they ore compositions, begin as composi-
tion but there's always space for improv.
Drum: And a lot of compositions ore actually the product of
improvisotion . . .
Boroko: Absolutely. The great improvisors were octuolly com-
posing OS they went, I meon they were composing on
their feet. But that whole complete alienation between
form and content is bizarre. You can't have that to have
serious expression. A lot of Afro-Americon art has always
tried to find a link between sayyin and yang, in a sense
between composition and improvisation. They've tried
to put both together because finally, face it, jozz is a
western product. When these people run around tolk-
ing about the culture of the west, tell them moke sure
you do it oil. Most of us Afro-Americons hove never been
anywhere but the west. When you talk about Duke and
people like that you tolk about western music but it
obviously is the product of a particular history and
heritoge going bock to Africo, but ot the some time
it is created by western people who live in the United
States of America.
Drum: One lost thing, and it has to do with the notion of
heroes. I noticed that Roy Dondridge, a third bosemon
in the Negro Leagues was recently inducted into the
Baseball Hall of Fame. Wos the existence of thot league
important to you?
Barako; My fother wos o great sports fan, he took me to see
the Nework Eagles, they were our team. World Cham-
pions the lost year of the Negro Leagues. That was
priceless, I'mjust sorry that none of that was recorded.
I sow all those people ploy. Jackie Robinson wasn't that
exceptional a ballplayer, he wos just o guy who had
gone to college ond so he could handle the kind of
quietest position they wanted. A guy like Larry Doby
couldn't have been the first becouse he hod a terrible
temper. I think sports is one way people use to get in
the world. Who ore the heroes? I don't know, with the
kids usually they're either musicians or athletes, but they
ore cultural figures. It's interesting thot when you think
obout it most kids' heroes ore culturol figures, cultural
workers. Some people, certoinly a small minority, must
Drum: When does the teacher or the bus driver become the
Boroko: I think that when people can perceive them as being
something heroic. I think in the sixties there was more
of that simply becouse of the whole social upsurge.
Then you sow the bus drivers ond so forth as port of
the struggle ond often in o spontaneous kind of way.
I think when we begin to take leading roles, roles that
we know that we should toke in the affairs of the worid
then we will become our own selves heroes. Right now
we're trying to get people from dismissing themselves
OS unimportant as the state has told them for so many
years, "you don't mean anything, you're nothing, in foct
you mean so little we could kill you and nobody will
even question it."
by Drauno Boum
Molcolm-JamQl Warner sits in his dress-
ing room Qt NBC studios in Broolslyn. On the
shelf behind him his "portable" radio is soft-
ly playing Janet Jackson. Like most
16-year-olds Malcolm listens to music
whenever he has on opportunity. In all
respects, Malcolm is a normal teenoger ex-
cept for the fact that on Thursday nights he
is watched by millions of people, as Theo
Huxtable, on the countr/'s most watched
television progrom, "THE COSBY SHOW." It
is his natural simplicity that mokes his
chorocter so realistic as Bill Cosby's only son.
But Malcolm can't be just a normoi kid.
Because of his public oppeoronce he is also
o role model for the millions of kids who
watch the show each week. "I auto-
matically hove a job as a role model. I
don't drink, or do drugs. I'm basically just
a clean-cut kid, but it gives me o good
feeling to hove the younger generation
look up to me."
In addition to being a role model
through the television show, Malcolm is
olso National Youth Chairman for the
Children's Miracle Network Telethon run by
the Osmond Foundation. This foundotion
sends Malcolm to children's hospitals
around the countr/. He is olso Youth Choir-
man for the Smoke-Free Generotion, which
is fairly new organization based in Min-
neapolis geared towards youth.
Born in Jersey City, NJ, Malcolm moved
with his mother to Colifornio in 1 975 where
she put him into on after-school theotre
workshop in Inglewood. An agent in at-
tendance admired his work and from there
his career snowballed. After a few years
on the Hollywood circuit, Malcolm tried out
for a role on "THE COSBY SHOW." "My
ogent and acting cooch colled me and left
numerous messages. Finally, I colled and
found out I hod an interview for "THE
COSBY SHOW." The casting directors stayed
1 72 hours post the regular audition time to
see me. I thought it was so cool of them."
Molcolm was called bock to meet with Mr.
Cosby and the producers. "When I went in-
to read, I read it very smort-oleclT/, and Mr.
Cosby osked me if I would really speak to
my father like that. I sold no." Luckily,
Malcolm received another chance to read
for Cosby. "I worked very hard with my act-
ing coach and read it in onother way when
I went bock in. Mr. Cosby osked if I hod
worked on it and when I told him yes, he
said 'I could tell, it was excellent.' "
Malcolm admires Cosby and his work.
"He has been around and successful for so
long." He also sighted Sidney Poitier ond
Louis Gosset, Jr. as influences.
While sitting ond talking to Molcolm in
his dressing room it is obvious to see a lot
of Theo in Malcolm and o lot of Malcolm
in Theo. "However, the world of television
isn't OS complicated as real life." Malcolm
scoffs at the criticism that his television life
is on unrealistic view of o Black family in
America. "I think that our story lines ore
good. We ore talking about o family. I
don't see o big difference between THE
COSBY SHOW or 'FATHER KNOWS BEST.' "
Malcolm pointed to a difference of opinion
Cosby hod with NBC about the "ABOLISH
APAPvTHEID" sign thot hongs in Theo's
bedroom. NBC told Cosby that if this sign
was to hong, there would hove to be
another point of view. "But with a Black
family, what other view of Aportheid con
In between seasons Malcolm uses the
time-off to challenge himself with new and
different roles. The year of 1 986 featured
Malcolm in on ABC After-school Special, "A
Desperate Exit." "It was one of the hardest
roles of my coreer so far," soys Molcolm.
"I hod to ploy a troubled kid and do it subt-
ly so my friends wouldn't think that some-
thing was wrong or that I was suicidal;
which I was."
During his long day of rehearsing,
Malcolm is also tutored for at least three
hours while the show is being filmed. On
the off-weeks, he attends o private school
in Manhattan. Malcolm has olso started to
take on interest in the production and
direction aspects of the show. "In the
future, I hope to be o director during one
of the episodes. Every chance I get, I toke
advantage of the first-hand experience of
being oble to observe the work that goes
on behind the scenes in the control room.
"Right now acting is my main priority, but
I would like to branch out into the field of
directing or do something geared towards
the music industry."
When Malcolm moves on from "THE COS-
BY SHOW" he intends to continue acting
OS well OS attend o university part-time.
"The colleges I hove been thinking about
ore Moorehouse, Duke, and Howard.
However, I think the University of Southern
California will be my first choice since it is
where the work is."
by Martha Grier-Deen
Peyton Cole Hedgemon' (Palmer
Hoyden) was born on January 15,1 890 in
Widewoter, Virginia. Although detailed in-
formotion regarding his early years in
Virginia is unovoiloble, one need only to
reflect upon the historical circumstances of
the South at the time (less than 30 years
after the Civil War), and look at the body
of Hoyden's work which reflects the richness
of Black Americon folk culture, in order to
get Q sense of whot his life os o young man
Hoyden's formol education began in the
public school system of Virginia and con-
tinued in both the United States and France
through the early 1 930's. While serving in
the United States Army he took a cor-
respondence course for drowing. After his
service in the army (1 91 9) he went to New
York City to study at the Cooper Union for
the Advancement of Science and Art under
Victor Perord. In 1925 he studied at the
Boothboy Art Colony in Moine under Aso
Randall; and in 1927 he went to France
and took private instruction under M.
Clivette Lefevre, who was on instructor at
L'Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. This trip was
sponsored by o wealthy white patron who
had given Hoyden $3,000 ofter Palmer
won the Harmon Foundation gold-medal
for a painting of the Portland waterfront.
His work was shown in various exhibi-
tions including o one-man show at the
Gallerie Bernheim Jeune (Paris, 1928,
1937) — o prestigious gallery of modern
art: group shows ot the Solon des Tuilleries
(Paris, 1930): the American Legion Exhibi-
tion (Poris, 1 931 ): the Hormon Foundation
(U.S., 1928-33); the Smithsonian Institute's
Notional Gallery of Art (1929); the
American Negro Exposition (1940); Atlan-
ta University (1946), and the Studio
Museum of Horlem (1968).^
Hoyden also porticipoted in the Work
Projects Administration Federal Arts Project
from 1934-40. (The WPA was o relief
organizotion created in order to increase
the purchasing power of unemployed peo-
ple by giving them jobs on a variety of
useful projects. In addition to the Federal
Arts Project there were also projects which
aided in the construction of buildings,
roods, bridges, etc.) Hoyden was just one
of the few Block artists who were port of
the WPA during its existence. Also includ-
ed were: Augusta Sovoge, William H.
Johnson, Jacob Lawrence, Eldzier Coctor
and Norman Lewis, to name a few.
Like many Block artists of the Harlem
Renoissonce Hoyden worked under the
ouspices of the Harmon Foundation. The
Foundation was created by White real-
estate mogul Williom Harmon so thot
Blacks could be assisted in their achieve-
ment of economic stability, particularly
through culturol methods (e.g. visual orts,
literature, etc.). Although it did succeed in
acting os a vehicle for o great number of
artists, it was also a source of much
criticism, both of the Foundation and the
artists producing work under it. Much of the
criticism was derived from the restroints
placed on artists in terms of the type of
work they created, the perpetuation of the
stereotypicol images of Blocks which were
quite popular among White society, and
the segregated exhibitions in which the
work of Block artists was shown. Palmer
was not immune from this criticism and, os
did other artists, eventually left the Foun-
dation. It is interesting to note thot he then
succeeded to produce his most critically ac-
claimed work, the John Henry series.
Although Polmer also did landscope
painting, much of his populor work is
characterized by distinct Afro-American
subject matter. His John Henry series, for
instance, is a set of twelve pointings de-
picting the life ond death of the populor
Block American folk hero.
The legend of John Henry is symbolic of
the movement of Blocks from manual (ag-
ricultural) to industrial labor and their com-
mitment to economic survival under these
changing conditions. John Henry, o steel-
driver, asks his boss to give him a nine-
pound hommer so that he may show thot
he con beat the newly acquired steam drill
in a driving contest. After on hour or so of
competition John Henry dies from sheer ex-
haustion "with a hammer in his hand," but
he died o strong man willing to use his
strength for work.
Other paintings depict the lives ond sur-
roundings of urban Blacks, and actually act
OS a chronicle of their doily existence. Paint-
ings such as Christmas (1 939-40) and 5u5-
way (1930) give us a glimpse of urbon life
at the time and it is clear that Hoyden got
much of his inspiration for these urban
scenes from Harlem.
In Christmas, a fother is shown dressed
in his work overalls, looking at his child in
his lop. He is obviously in quite humble sur-
roundings, with a clothes line hung with the
wash stretching from one wall in the apart-
ment to onother. One really gets a sense
of warmth from the piece, however, as
one looks at the Christmas tree with the
few presents under it. Humble surroundings
or not, the fother is loving ond enjoying his
son at this time when the birth of another
son is so widely celebrated.
Subway is a depiction of a typical ride
on a city underground. The central figure
is o young Block man who is surrounded
by other riders, Block and White, some
reading and some just looking into spoce
— OS one tends to do on o subwoy.
Hoyden's knock for copturing the moment
is so aptly executed in this painting that
one does get o sense of this moment
frozen in time.
Unfortunately, much of the criticism suf-
fusing Hoyden's ortistic career concerned
his use of the 'common' and stereotypical
image of Blocks. People objected to his use
of exoggeroted facial features (large lips,
brood nose, etc.), as well as the subject
matter portroyed. Mony thought that he
was 'poking fun' at the people he was
In order to understand ond oppreciote
Hoyden's use of these images and the con-
troversy surrounding his style and content,
it is necessary to examine two things. The
first being the time in which much of the
criticized work was creoted, and the sec-
ond being Polmer's commitment to, and
love for, the people and places to which
he belonged, and from which his work
grew out of.
During the Harlem Renaissance there
were certain foctions of the Block artistic
and 'intellectual' community which did not
odvocote the portroyol of the common
folk. They did not think that these por-
trayals were complimentary to the imoge
of the 'Negro, ' and that they perpetuated
the image that so many were trying to
break away from. The Harlem Renaissance
was o time when the culture of Block
Americans was being exposed and ex-
plored. It was o time for Blacks to show
themselves rother than for others to show
them. Many different ideologies were be-
ing developed. It was inevitable that o
clash of philosophies developed within the
Block community as to the monner in which
the artist, writer, politician, etc., should
'represent the roce.' It is a controversy that
continues to this doy.
It was also around this time that many
artists, both Black and White, were being
influenced by on ortistic movement called
the Ash Con School. The Ash Can School
flourished just before World War I. It wos
mode up of a group of artists, including
Thomas Hort Benton and Edward Hopper,
who were concerned with the depiction of
the everydoy urban (Americon) scene.
It seems rother obvious that on artist
(especially one that hod studied abroad)
creating during or after this popular ortistic
continued on page 47
THE DIG BEND TUNNEL"
movement of common folk depiction,
might produce worl-; reflecting this theme.
It seems equally as obvious that the ortist
would bring a unique enhancement to
his/her work os o reflection of his/her rich
and voried cultural heritage.
Hoyden wos of course affected by this
criticism, albeit as politicol as it was artistic.
One can see, for example, his gradual
moving owoy from the use of exaggerated
physical features as his work develops. He
even went so for as to chonge one piece.
The piece is The Janitor Who Paints and it
originally portrayed figures which were
minstrel-like in appearance, including a
mommy with a child on her knee. He
changed the piece to show a mother and
child (with normal fociol features) sitting for
the janitor/artist in a very serene and
Regardless of the debate over whether
or not Hoyden should hove portrayed
Blocks OS he did, one issue con not be
disputed. That issue being his love of life
— his love of Black life and Block people,
his love of nature, ond his sincere commit-
ment to their portroyol as seen through the
eyes of this one Block man from
'Peyton Cole Hedgemon is Palmer Hoyden's
originol name. As is recounted in Harlem
Renaissance An of Dlacli America ikbmms. Inc.,
New York), Polmer Hoyden wos the nome given
him by o commanding sergeant (WWI) who
could not pronounce his reol name.
Tor a full list of Hoyden exhibitions, see l-iariem
Renaissance Art of Blocl^ America.
'See same obove.
Unleashing the shackles
of time, bound
in spirit or mind.
there is no one
to forgive but ourselves
and no way to forget.
Soweto Soweto Soweto
so we too
perpetuate the past
moving swiftly from the
subtle to the specific attack;
a chronicle of suicide
being writ in
our own blood
like on unnecessary obituary
or tragic epitaph.
I Implore us to die
if we will not
the murder of millions.
It will not help
to smother the future
with unreal ideals,
with blankets of secrecy
or sheets of ignorance
cloaked in deceit.
This is Q coll
to arms, a coll
to our elder selves
for a reconciliation
of the spirit
exorcised from the flesh
in our dreams,
our restless sleep
clouded with doubt.
In power, through
and take it upon
ourselves to realize
the full potential
of our death.
Ethan T, Morlott
TALM WINE MEN"
'NAMELESS FACES" Series IV
Ui L J?Xo
'SOARING THROUGH THE HEAVENS"
By Carlton Spence
Jeffrey (Laurence) Banks was born on November 3, 1 953 in Washington, D.C. Growing up in a middle class household, his mother
was an equal opportunity employment officer for the General Services Administration and his father was a cartographer for the
United States Navy Oceanographic Division. Following high school, Jeffrey enrolled in Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. Conse-
quently, he was a design assistant with Ralph Lauren/Polo, the most prestigious American mensweor designer, from 1971-73.
After two years, he transferred to Parson's School of Design in New York where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1975.
While attending Parsons, Jeffrey was a design assistant with Colvin Klein Ltd. He remained with Klein until eorly 1976. Later that
year, he was a designer for a new clothing firm named Nik-Nik Clothing ond Sportswear until 1978. Soon after, Jeffrey added to
his accomplishments a collection of men's clothing under his own label Jeffrey Banks for Glanzrock.
Bonks holds numerous foshion awards including a Coty Award, sometimes colled the Oscar of the fashion industry, for men's fur
design; and a Coty nomination for mensweor, top prizes in the Sago Mink Competition. Also, in the Harvey's Bristol Cream Tribute
to Block Designers, Banks wos honored for Excellence in Mensweor Design in 1978-'79-'80.
Drum: At what point in your life did you realize that you wanted
to become o designer?
Banks: Really very early on, I mean when I wos about ten or
eleven I knew that I wanted to be a clothing designer.
I originally thought that I was going to do women's or
Qt least I thought that's what I would like the best. But
OS I grew older, I seemed to focus more on mensweor.
I thought that you could moke more of a statement in
mensweor than womensweor. It seemed like there were
lots of womensweor designers. I still love womensweor
and we do womensweor in Japan. But I thought thot
more of a statement could be mode in mensweor.
Drum; Why did you choose to design mensweor, and did
anyone influence thot decision?
Banks: 1 think it's basically just because I weor men's clothing.
I was always interested in designing the kind of clothes
that I couldn't find, that I never could find. The things thot
I wanted to weor that no one seemed to hove. I mean,
I don't think it stands to reason necessarily that men can't
design for women, because I think that there's also
something greot in thot too. In that, they tend to see
women in a different light thon women see themselves.
But some of the greatest designers for women ore
women, and some of the greotest designers for women
are men. So you know there is no hondfost rule. But it
just seemed that men's was much more restrictive in
terms of the types of things that men wear. And
therefore it wos more exciting to try to create a nitch for
oneself in mensweor.
Drum; Whot advice would you give to a young Block designer
on getting his/her career storted.
Banks; Well, the first thing is that I don't moke a distinction. I
never like to moke that distinction between a Block
designer or a White designer, because good design is
good design. In fact I reolly hate those kinds of distinc-
tions made. I mean, something that is beautiful is
beoutiful to everyone. If it's o beoutiful piece of sculpture,
it's beoutiful in India, it's beautiful in Greece, it's beautiful
in America. Good design is good design. Things that we
love, everyone loves around the world. If it's the shape
of Q peorl or the Mono Lisa, it's something that con be
appreciated by everyone. As a young designer, I think
the most important thing is to really learn os much as
you con about the business. Not just the design part.
Don't just be wrapped up in design. Today, foshion is
o business more than anything else. Young people love
to think of it OS on ort, as o high art, and sometimes it
approaches art. But basically it's a very commercial ven-
ture. It's the idea of moking something that people don't
need, and trying to get people to decide that they wont
to hove something new. Most people hove o coot
to keep them warm ond something to keep them cool.
But you wont to try to entice them into buying something
else. And it has got to be original, and inventive, and
different, and unique enough to make them wont to buy
something they don't already hove. But the more you
know about business, the business aspect of fashion: sell-
ing, buying, how much to own, how much not to own,
what colors sell, what colors do well, where you fit in
terms of the marketplace, the better designer I think you
Drum: After graduating from college, what other experience
helped you become a designer?
Bonks: Well, I worked in a clothing store in Washington, D.C.
called Britches of Georgetown, and that wos o big help
becouse you got thot interaction with the customer, you
got to see what people were looking for — what they'd
like to hove. As I sold before, leorning the different
ospects of the business. Once I got out of school and
I started working for designers, I got to learn about public
relations, working with mogozines, working with stores,
working with piece goods, people, and merchandisers.
The more you learn obout different ports of the business,
putting together o fashion show, putting together o press
kit, the more it influences what you do as a designer,
because you know more about it.
Drum; Why do you design updoted troditionol clothing, os op-
posed to trendy clothing?
Banks: Well, it's something thot I relate to. Every designer is dif-
ferent, and I just relate to clothes that last. I think clothes
ore expensive todoy, by the nature of nice piece goods
and quality workmonship. And classic clothes to me, are
something that I always loved. And even when I was
younger, I still hove clothes that I wore when I was in
high school, because I like the ideo of clothes that lost.
If you use beoutiful fabrics, ond you moke clothes in o
really good way, they should lost a lifetime, and they
shouldn't go out of fashion. Foshion is on of the moment
thing, style is a lasting thing, and that's what I'd like to
think of my clothes, o certain style. Nothing pleases me
more than to hear from someone whose wearing some-
thing I did four or five years ago and putting it together
with something new that they own. That's much more
exciting to me than someone going out and buying a
brand new whole outfit from head to toe.
Drum: Whot is the importonce of "name" designers on the
American mensweor scene?
Banks: I think it's important, only in thot, the designer is reolly
making a contribution, if the designer is actually design-
ing. Today, we're in on era where o lot of designers with
designer names ore not necessarily designers. They ore
just names thot hove been created with publicity ond
hype, but they are not people with o design back-
ground. These ore the people who ore popular right
now, but a year from now you may never hear of them
again. Real designers ore people going to worl^ every-
day and really designing, who are actually putting
together colors and shape and form, putting together
ideas, standing for something, having a certain integri-
ty about their product. And someone who you'll be able
to look back on a few years from now and soy, "Gee,
they created that or, they were known for that, or this
is what they do well." That goes for any kind of design. Drum:
Those are the kinds of people that one admired, the
ones who stick to their guns, and hove a certain look. Banks
Drum: Is there any designer who you admire and why?
Banks: Oh, there ore lots of designers that I admire. I mean
there ore lots of people who are great. I think Chanel
was terrific in the fact that she had a sense of sr/le that's
still very, very strong, and probably more populor today
than ever before and yet she's been dead fifteen years.
She has a lasting way about her. In Paris, there are peo-
ple like Un Shiroushi who has a great style, and who has
always nurtured a certain sophisticated look. They're lots
of people and they oil hove their particular point of view,
which I think is great. It's not necessarily my point of view,
but they're good at what they do.
Drum: What ore the problems unique to the mensweor field
that you must cope with?
Banks: Well, competition, the fact that there ore lots of different
kinds of clothing out there. So you have to try to moke
your clothes unique, so that the consumer wants to buy
them, OS opposed to other kinds of clothes. Pricing is very
important today. I think the consumer is ver/ wise to price Drum:
increasing and they're very skeptical of buying expen-
sive merchandise. They are quality conscious. So that's Banks:
something that we have to do from our end. There ore
lots of problems. The problem of cheaper goods, and
trying to compete with fabrications and qualities that are
less expensive. And having customers say, "Well why
should I buy your corduroy pants, instead of Lee jeons
corduroy pants." So you have to have an answer to that.
The corduroy has to be better, the manufacturing has
to be better, the design has to be better, the color has
to be better, the fit has to be better. Those are all
problems. Also, shipping, getting merchandise to stores
on time is important when you're selling. There ore lots
Drum: What ore some of the personal characteristics that one Drum:
must have to be a successful designer?
Banks: Perseveronce, I think is probably number one. The fact
that you wont it and that you're willing to give up lots Banks:
of different things. Whether it being in your personal or
social life. You hove to work hard. It's not something that
comes easily. And once you attain a certain amount of
success, you have to work even harder to maintain that
success. It's not something that you can just sort of soy,
"O.K. I've arrived," and sit bock and stop working.
Drum: After completing your foil line of clothing for example,
what is the process of getting it to the marketplace?
Banks: Well, after we've finished designing it, then we begin
to merchandise it. And in merchandising we really decide Drum:
how many I may design. For example, six different
colors of one shirt. But we may be only able to afford
to sell three colors. We may be only able to afford to Banks:
buy enough fabric for three colors. Or we may decide
that even though I did six colors, that the shirt was reol-
ly great, and we wont to do it in ten colors. Because
we have the ability to sell that particular item. So the
next step is the merchandising, and the merchandising
doesn't happen totally at the end of the design process.
but usually hand in hand along with the design process.
After that, it's securing the manufacturing. Making sure
that we have the fobrics, and the buttons, and the trim,
and the patterns, that the fit is correct. Then, it's selling
it to the stores, and getting it to the stores on time so
that they're able to sell it. Then it's collecting the money
from the stores. And then it's planning at the some time
that you're selling and producing one collection, plann-
ing the next season's collection. So you're generolly work-
ing on two or three seasons at one time.
Do you consider the fashion show a key marketing device
for a designer?
I think it's o great marketing tool. I think with every com-
pany it's different. I think mensweor tends to be more
difficult, in terms of fashion show, because in fashion
shows, people tend to go to wont to be entertained.
Not necessarily to see what's new, or to really under-
stand the nuonces and subtleties of what you're doing
for a particular seoson. It's ver/ hard in mensweor after
the tenth or eleventh suit on o runway, they all start to
look alike. If the pattern or the fabric hos fourteen col-
ors in it, you can't tell that from o runway, you con only
tell that close up. Coupled with the fact that men tend
to be awkward. Even good professional models tend
to be awkward on runways. So it's very hard to have a
mensweor show really come off well. Women ore much
more flamboyant and it's much easier to do a women's
show. I like shows and I think shows ore great if they're
well done. But you have to have a lot to soy. Sometimes
it's best not to have a show unless you ore really show-
ing something new and innovative and different.
Some designers ore always wining and dining buyers.
Do you consider this kind of politicking profitable?
For some people it is, for certain kinds of clothes that they
design, like o Bill Bloss. It's very important that he
socialize with the kind of women that weor his clothes.
In my cose, I don't do a lot of it, and on Bill Bloss' level,
he does more of it with the octuol women who wear
his clothes. As apposed to the stares who buy the
clothes. I olwoys feel if the line is going well, it merits
being bought. And no amount of my taking out o buyer
is going to really affect how much they buy. I mean if
they like clothes, and the clothes are going to do well
for them, they'll buy the clothes. Whether I take them
to lunch or dinner or not. I don't do a particular amount
of entertaining. I just don't believe in it for my personolity.
Some of the big designers todoy hove nothing to do with
some of the products that bear their name, is this true
for you also?
No, I hove a real hands on experience working with the
things that beor my label. What I like to do best is design.
It would be very difficult for me to hove products come
out that I hod nothing to contribute to. I oversee
everything. I make everyone crazy, because I am so nit-
picl-ry in terms of buttons, and trim, and details, and how
things ore packed and shipped, and sent to the stores.
But that's very important to me, I enjoy doing it. Other
designers really don't. They ore willing to hove someone
else do it and produce it.
The Coty Award is sometimes called the Oscar of the
fashion industry. How did it feel to be awarded this
Oh, it was teriffic. I mean it was probobly one of the most
exciting, well definitely one of the most exciting, events
of my life. And to hove won it twice. The first time was
my first year in business for fur design. I was also
nominated for the mensweor oword that year which I
did not think that I would win, and I didn't. The second
time I won it, which was several years later, and even
more rewording. It wos ver/ exciting. And it is or at least
wos in terms of the foshion industry, like receiving on
Oscar. So it was o very exciting event for me.
Drum: Lostly, is there ony question that was not addressed in
the interview, or is there anything that you would like
to add, which you think is important?
Banks: I'd just like to stress, again, since this is going to be in
o college mogozine, that I think it's reolly important for
young people interested in design to learn as much as
they con. To go to school and to go to college. If you're
talented, no one is going to take that talent owoy from
you. So many kids think, well I don't need school, I'm
just going to go out and take five thousand dollars ond
invest it and open a compony. But those ore the peo-
ple who generally tend to foil after o while, even if they
hove greot ideas. Because they don't know enough
obout how to capitalize o company or how to keep a
company running. The more you con leorn about the
business aspect of it, whether you even have to go bock
to school and study business administration or study
management, the better designer you will be. It will
make you a better designer. And so many kids ore in
hurry todoy, to wont to be this instant, overnight suc-
cess. Well no one really is an instant overnight success.
1 mean it's usually years, and years, and years of hard
work. And you hove to be prepared to do that, ond
wont to do that. If you ore not willing to give your all,
moybe you would think about another field, moybe
fashion is the wrong field.
No matter how long the night, the day is sure to come. (Zaire)
The Legacy of Color!
Beyond the orgins of spacetime
The Great Father molded me from his essence,
and granted me a part of his soul.
I was sculptured from the colors of the rainbow,
and shone in radiance above all his other children.
The Great Father named me Color.
My children flourished in the Indus and Euphrates,
also along the Great River Nile.
I was loved and cherished by all of the Great Father's offsprings.
All except one: Pole.
He envied me and attempted to destroy me.
He persecuted my children along the Nile and the Indus Rivers.
Ultimately, behind the eye of the Great Father, He roped me.
He sowed my seed in foreign lands.
I now cry and lament to the Great Father to relieve the agony
of me and my children.
But The Great Father does not hearken, because he too is under
the spell of the opaque monster.
Victor S. Alexander
U.S. Foreign Policy and South Africa
South Africon politics hove been
dominated by the Afrii-ioaner Notionalist
Party since 1 948. The party has sharpened
the rociol ond political divisions of oport-
heid that divide the notions four million
Vi/hites ond twenty-two million Blocks, Col-
oreds, and Asians. The government hos in-
stitutionalized and constitutionally sanc-
tioned racial discrimination ond has
systematically denied South Africo's over-
whelming block mojority their fundomen-
tol rights. Non-v^hites are denied the right
to vote; to sit in Porlioment; to live where
they choose; to work where they wont to;
to marry whoever they wont tO; to attend
multi-rociol schools; and to purchose land
ond property. The government of South
Africa hos continually enforced apartheid
By Sharon Jackson
with only token measures of reform. World
pressure has hod almost no effect on South
Africo mostly because the United States
ond western Europe hove continued to
loon money; trade with; and keep their
companies in South Africa. Equality will not
be achieved unless the U.S. and western
Europe translate their rhetoric of equolity
into action that will moke equality o reali-
ty in South Africa.
The Reagon odministrotion is toking a
much more passive stance toword South
Africo thon did the Corter odministrotion.
The policy of the Reagon administration is
to stress "constructive engogement."' The
Pveogon odministrotion believes thot the
U.S. con best encouroge change through
quiet diplomocy, as opposed to direct in-
tervention through economic sanctions.
However, quiet diplomocy has also in-
creosed economic linkages and govern-
ment contocts between the U.S. and South
Economic linkoges (trode, business, etc.)
reached o peak of $2.3 billion in 1976, sur-
passing those linkages to South Africa by
the United Kingdom, Fronce, West Ger-
mony, or Conodo.^ In 1976 South Africa's
overseas bonk debt equoled $7.6 billion,
of which $2.2 billion^ were owed to U.S.
bonks or their foreign branches. The cost
of oil ond defense in South Africa quintu-
pled between 1973 ond 1976 to $2 bil-
lion." The U.S. credit directly supported the
South African Government in its attempt to
gain economic self-sufficiency and to for-
tify its security and defense related proj-
ects. United States bonks looned South
Africa $2.2 billion in 1976. South Africa's
oil ond defense costs alone totaled $2
billion in 1976. U.S. bonks loaned South
Africo enough money to give the U.S. at
least the potential for o significant amount
of leverage in determining the South
African governments humon rights policies.
United States companies in South Africa
ore in direct conflict with the purported pur-
pose of American foreign policy toward
South Africa. U.S. companies, openly sup-
port the status quo while ot the some time
the U.S. government works to bring obout
significant changes. Bonks ore not the on-
ly U.S. companies doing business with
South Africa. The Notional Council of
Churches^ estimated the thirteen lorgest
U.S. firms in South Africa, in order by the size
of their ossets, ore General Motors, Mobil
Oil, Exxon, Standard Oil of California, Ford
Motor Company, ITT, General Electric,
Chrysler, Firestone, Goodyear, 3-M (Min-
nesota Mining and Manufacturing), IBM
and Coterpillor. In addition to these thir-
teen companies there ore 243 other U.S.
companies doing some type of business
with South Africa. By low, these U.S. com-
panies are prevented from discriminating
in hiring and wage proctices on the basis
of race within the U.S.; however, in South
Africo they openly enforce oportheid. A
questionnaire to U.S. companies with
employees in South Africa by the subcom-
mittee of African Affairs of the Committee
on Foreign Relations of the U.S. Senate
demonstrated the existence of unequal
poy; woge levels; Block promotion; train-
ing; ond unions.
These U.S. companies admitted not
practicing o policy of equal pay for equol
work citing the inexperience of Block
workers ond the resistonce from White
unions OS mojor reosons. The major
obstacle with Black promotion is South
African low ond resistonce from White
workers ond customers. Only one-third of
the respondents hod training programs,
even though the South African government
gives tax incentives for training Blacks.
Block unions ore not illegal but they ore not
recognized or negotiated as Block unions.
These negotiations come only after
numerous strikes and threots which result-
ed only in token improvements.
U.S. economic interests in South Africa
may not be decisive in boiling South Africo
out of its economic woes, but there is no
question thot they hove been pivotol in
directly ossisting the South African govern-
ment during its economic difficulties. Col-
lectively though, U.S. corporotions
operating in South Africa hove mode no
significant impoct on either relaxing apart-
heid or on establishing company policies
which would offer o limited number of
labor rights. Rather, the effect of American
investment hos been to strengthen the
economic and militor/ self-sufficiency of
South Africa's oportheid regime, undermin-
ing the fundamental goals and objectives
of U.S. foreign policy.
The goals of the U.S. administration,
though, are not as clear as the problems
of the Blocks. The administration's policy of
"constructive engagement" wos probobly
adopted because of South Africo's strategic
significance. An administration spokesper-
son ond supporters hove cited three fac-
tors of South Africa's strategic importance:
The shipping lanes around Cope Horn; its
critical minerals needed in the west for
militor/ and industrial purposes, ond its
anti-communist ond "democratic" institu-
tions which make it a sofeguord ogoinst
communist expansion in the region.
Another reason for "constructive engage-
ment" by the administration is that by im-
proving our economic and politicol relo-
tions with South Africa, the U.S. will
enhance its influence to convince South
Africa to agree to on acceptable formula
for Nomibia's independence.
Unfortunately the administration, when
talking obout South Africa's strategic impor-
tance, seems to leave out the South
African government's disregard for protect-
ing human rights. Fortune by the govern-
ment has been documented in the coses
of Steve Biko and Neil Aggett. Violence
against Block strikers is o commonly used
toctic by the government to bring bock the
status quo. A group called the Detoinees
Parents Support Committee (DPSC) has
found thot Q voriety of forms of torture and
assault, both mental and physical, hove
been used by many members of the Se-
curity Police throughout the country. Cer-
tain practices by the police cannot be con-
sidered isolated incidents, but ore un-
doubtedly standard procedure sanctioned
by the police hierarchy. Exomples of tor-
ture include continuous interrogation;
forced standing; humiliation and intimida-
tion; physical assault; psychological assault;
electric shock; hooding; hanging by the
arms or legs for long periods; olternote im-
mersion of feet in hot and cold water; and
subjection to extreme levels of noise.
Detention without trial is not only legol
in South Africa but common. Banning is o
favorite form of punishment by the govern-
ment. Banning is a sentence which
prevents the person from meeting with
more than one person at a time; obtain-
ing ajob without a permit from the police;
attending educotionol institutions; enter-
ing factories; participting in trade union ac-
tivities; and entering any non-white oreos
or entering any building with a printing
press or any other reproduction facilities.
The Reogon administration is socrificing
the struggle for humon rights for economic
and military gains. More emphasis is need-
ed on preventing human rights violation in
South Africa. In 1975, the South African
government storted establishing so-called
independent homelands. The homelands
or Bontustans ore port of on effort to per-
manently disenfranchise Blacks and frog-
ment South Africa along racial lines. The
government hopes to moke South Africa
into a nearly all White state surrounded by
ten economically and politically depend-
ent Block states. The homelonds ore
another part of the government's continua-
tion of oportheid. The government con-
tinues to strengthen oportheid, with
violence towards striking workers, constitu-
tionally discriminating lows ond the
Constant pressure from the entire world
to end the White regime has not worked
because only military sanctions and not
economic sanctions hove been instituted
worldwide. Pressure olso comes on South
Africa's border with Zimbabwe, Mozam-
bique, and Angola. These three countries
hove communist oriented regimes in
power. This has led the Reogon ad-
ministration to believe that it is better to
hove the status quo government than o
Block communist government. Fears of
South Africa becoming communist ore un-
founded. The guerrilla armies which over-
threw White Rhodesia were thought to be
communist but were reolly democrotic
socialists. The U.S. should look to the long
term reality, ond that is thot a Block
tokeover is inevitable. The U.S. should
resume its previous policy of speaking out
publicly against serious human rights
obuses condoned by the government and
should condemn acts of South African cross-
border aggression. Since the current od-
ministrotion hos been in office, it has ex-
hibited only passive interest in human rights
violations in South Africa. This possiveness
colled "quiet diplomocy" is interpreted by
Block leoders as support for the White
regime. The U.S. has been attempting to
get South Africa to withdraw from Nomibio.
In its attempt to get South Africa to agree
to a Nomibion settlement the U.S. should
not abandon its effort to get the South
African government to change its apart-
heid policies. The U.S. administration hos
said that it has no leveroge to moke South
Africo change its racial policy.
However, the U.S. is South Africo's lorgest
lender through private bonks and its largest
trader. Strong pressure not only would
change South Africa's rodol policy but could
possibly topple the White regime. The U.S.
could exert some meaningful pressure on
South Africa by barring the export of goods,
services, and technology, and barring
American bonks from loaning money to
the government. These economic sanc-
tions will hove the most effect on chang-
ing human rights in South Africo and humon
rights, not U.S. corporations or U.S. strategic
positioning, should be the U.S. govern-
ment's moin concern.
THE LESSONS OF ZIMBABWE
by Arthur Seroto
[Ed. note — Because of the length of this
article, DRUM has reproduced
the first section only.]
This article, written for the Symposium on
Post-Apartheid South Africa, to be held at
the University of Pittsburgh on November
1 4 & 1 5, 1 986, is borne from experiences
living in Zimbabwe for three of the six post-
Independent years, starting in 1980,
through mid 1 986. Most of my work there
has focused on rural development in two
regions: the Tangwena region in the
Eastern Highlands, Manicalond Province,
on the Mozambique border, and Chiru-
monzu Communal Areas, in the drought-
stricken Midlands Province. In the
Tangwena region, I lived and worked at
Nyaforu Cooperative, on agricultural co-op
and school where, in the early eighties, I
fund-raised and administered reconstruc-
tion projects for the cooperative, for the
building of the secondary school, and
development of the region; later on, I
taught English and literature at Nyaforu
Secondary School, ond developed, fund-
ed and administered development proj-
ects in the region for area village families.
At Chirumonzu, I developed ond funded
local agricultural projects, and a massive
reforestation and water development proj-
ect at secondary schools, o primary school
and village krool which brought water,
reforestation, irrigation, gordens, crops and
orchards to thousands of people in a
drought-stricken region; in Bulowoyo, I
served the Youth Contact Centre, on alter-
native secondary school affiliated with the
Ministry of Education as a fund-raiser,
teacher and Management Board member
and in Harare, developed small projects for
urban dwellers in the townships. Most of
the time, I lived in villages in the rural areas
with friends ond fomilies I hove known
since 1980 and so, Zimbabwe has
become home to me with family ties as
strong as those in my native Brooklyn.
This article represents the ideas, percep-
tions and late-night fire-side kitchen tolk of
Zimbabwe's people as well as the discus-
sions and debates which take ploce at the
schoolhouse, inside the Parliament, within
the Ministries, ot the University and in the
many writings, studies, reports and articles
which appear doily in Zimbabwe's press
and journals. As Independence led to the
settling in of a new nation, as the heavy
rains which ushered in the new flog led to
drought, as reconciliation led to a multi-
racial society, OS educational opportunities
and social services were opened up to the
greater society, as internal security and ex-
ternal threats intensified, and os political
ideologies solidified, lessons hove
emerged and continue to develop, lessons
which moy aptly be instructive to post-
apartheid South Africa.
I After Robert Mugabe's londslide elec-
toral victory in February, 1980, Zim-
babwe's first Prime Minister appeared on
notional television, an electronic media
device which until Independence was
almost on exclusive medium for White
Rhodesion society. For ninety years,
Rhodesion culture was premised upon
White racial supremacy. As in South Africa,
the oll-White Rhodesion parliaments
enacted every low with racial supremacy
in mind: the land tenure acts, for instance,
relegated Blacks to living in "African" areas
only, or "reserves," suspiciously similar to
South Africa's bontustons; indeed. Blacks
existed only to serve the pleasure of
Whites, to serve as cheap labor on com-
mercial farms and in the mines, as servants
in the home and garden and as surplus
labor in the growing industrial sectors of
Horore and Bulowoyo. Otherwise, Blacks
were to stay out of sight on the reserves,
the Tribal Trust Lands, unseen and
For two decodes of notionalist move-
ment leoding to liberation. Whites were
fed heavy diets of onti-notionolist prop-
aganda and the Ian Smith and Bishop
'In the June, 1985 election, Zimbabwe's second
since Independence, the White voting roll
elected 1 5 of its 20 parliamentary sects for the
Conservative Alliance of Zimbabwe, Ian Smith's
party, including Smith himself (Under the Lon-
coster House agreement, 20 of Parliament's 1 00
seats would be reserved for whites until 1 987,
resulting in two voting rolls). However, fewer
than 1 % of whites eligible to vote nationwide
exercised the fronchise, turned off by a white
voting roll. A post-election survey revealed that
a majority of whites qualified to vote, i.e. be-
ing over the age of majorir/, opposed Smith and
the CAZ and would hove voted for the Inde-
pendent Zimbobwe Group (IZG) candidate.
Voter apothy and on aversion to o racial voting
roll led to o distorted election result among
whites, which roll also includes Asians and
Muzorewo regimes saved their most
vitriolic attacks for Mugabe, labelling him
"bloodthirsty," o "rabid Marxist" and "a
communist," suggesting constantly that the
nationalist movement itself was a com-
munist conspiracy orchestrated from the
outside by the Soviet Union ond "Red
Accordingly, many Whites pledged that
if the Mugabe-led "terrorists" ever came to
power, they would head "down South" to
moke Q new life, to escape the bloodbath
against Whites which would surely follow
and to avoid living under the tyranny of
Marxist rule. And surely they could under-
stand his anger once he come to power;
Mugabe hod languished for eleven years
in Smith's prisons; when his only child died
while he was in prison, Smith denied his
plea to attend the funeral; Mugabe hod
watched scores of his comrades go to the
gallows for their role as nationalists in the
struggle for freedom and tens of thousands
of comrades hod met brutal deoths ot the
hands of the Rhodesian security forces.
Surely, reprisals were at hand.
But when the Prime Minister-elect ad-
dressed his substantially White TV audience
in 1980, he spoke, not af Black power but
of reconciliation and "love between the
races" which had been so sorely missing
in Zimbabwe's national character. Mugabe
emphasized that racial supremacy was the
enemy of the people, not Whites or Blocks,
end that his government was coming to
power with the mandate of eliminating
racialism — and to build a multi-racial
society, based on mutual respect and
toleration for the variety of cultures which
existed in Zimbabwe. Above all, he
ossured his audience, the new govern-
ment would be committed both to pro-
tecting the rights of minorities (Whites) and
instilling new values through educotion
and activities so that White and Block
children could, once and for oil, throw off
the lies of supremacy ond live together in
hormony as fellow human beings in o
The Mugabe government has held up to
its pledge faithfully and meticulously. In-
heriting on infra-structure where almost the
entire cadre of civil servants were White;
where ownership and management posi-
tions in banking, financing, business and in-
dustry was White-held; where education
for the notion's scientists, engineers,
agriculturalists, technicians, artisans and
educotors hod been reserved for Whites,
the new government faced the potential
for sobotoge and hostility (both of which
did exist, of course) in proportions which
could hove crippled the growth of o new
nation. Instead, the policy of reconciliation,
motivated from the heart, nevertheless
also had the effect of allowing Whites to
realize that the ills of their abuse were not
necessarily related to power itself, but thot
racialism was a disease that need not be
repeated. As the initial exodus of Whites
narrowed to o trickle, as segregated
schools became integrated, as many all-
White institutions became more multi-rodol
and OS Whites began to toke o good, hard
look at themselves and their culture, much
of the racialism of White culture which
poured over from colonialism into the first
years of Independence began to dissipate
markedly. Today, six years after In-
dependence, the majority of White citizens
support Mugabe' in ways which hove
meaning: commercial farmers who remain
on important component of the economy
hove, through their Commercial Farmers
Union, provided measurably important
resources and training to subsistence
farmer organizations, and work closely
with the Ministry of Agriculture for the na-
tional purpose; White-owned business and
industry continue to make noticeable
strides in promoting larger numbers of
Blacks into decision making positions in
monogement and supervision; increasing
numbers of Whites openly defect from the
ranks of the Smith forces and align
themselves with groups and activities
which ore more identifiobly associated
with building on egalitarian society.
Thus, the notional policy of reconciliation
of the Mugobe government has forged a
new society without regard to race ond
has lent proof to Zimbabweans that
racialism is not a by-product of Shono and
Ndebele culture but a symptom of the
hideous disease of supremocy which was
the framework of "European" Rhodesian
culture. This process of building a multi-
rocial society, with its dramatic short-term
success ond o projected long-term poten-
tiol for even greoter blessings is o living
demonstrotion to the world that when on
oppressed people assumes the reins of
power, it con prove unilaterally that
supremacy is o cultural disease which can
be vanquished by extending the hand of
forgiveness and instituting structural
changes in education and other forums to
integrote people from different back-
grounds, races and cultures into the no-
The doctrine of racial supremacy was at
the heart of Rhodesia's ills and it was critical
for the new Zimbabwe to deal decisively
with racial supremacy — by forging a multi-
rociol society and breaking the cycle of
racialism through education, anti-dis-
crimination lows and other forums. Post-
oportheid South Africa will inherit a diverse
society. White ond Block, which hos been
injured by racial supremocy and con
benefit immensely from the lessons of Zim-
bobwe's notional policies of reconciliation
and its success in building o multi-racial
society. Both South Africans, and the rest
of the world — which will be watching
closely — con benefit from Zimbobwe's
outstanding example. The need to heal
wounds will be great, ond the Zimbabwe
The Essence of Success
By Cathy Mohoney
"Always do more than is expected of
you and you will be o success."
This motto appears on Terrie Willianns'
desk in her Times Square office ot Essence
Communications. She could eosily hove
penned that verse herself, since she hos
more than proven it true time ond time
Her recent promotion to Vice President
and Director of Corporate Communications
for Essence mokes Terrie the youngest vice
president ever appointed for the compony,
(she's o mere 32) and only the second
woman to be promoted to the executive
level. Terrie is on exercise in pride ond
perseverance, and her whirlwind ascent up
the ladder of success is a reflection of her
determination to be the best.
Walking into her office, which affords a
dynamic view of Manhattan, there seems
o sense of urgency, a get-it-done-yes-
terdoy sort of atmosphere. It is here that
Terrie oversees all public relations activity
of the company's four divisions; Essence
Magazine, Essence Television Productions,
Essence Direct Moil Marketing, and Essence
Intimate Apparel. Terrie sits behind a
crowded desk os she finishes up a phone
conversotion while handing memos to
assistants scurr/ing in and out of the room.
continued on page 66
ESSENCE OF SUCCESS
She is wearing on oversized blQci-; shirt and
pants set which is complimented by long
silver and onyx earrings. She has a worm,
welcoming smile that denotes a surprising-
ly down-to-earth person.
A routine day for Terrie at Essence could
mean just about anything. In the ever-
unpredictable field of moss communica-
tion, she knows she must be constantly
prepared to meet the challenge that may
spring up while she's not looking. By skim-
ming through six newspapers every morn-
ing, Terrie grabs hold of what's happening
around her and incorporates these ideas
into her daily thinking.
"If you're good at what you do, you stay
on top of trends and new developments
in your field," she soys as she looks for
things "of a timely nature, that pertain to
the company." This could mean anything
from Q breaking story to something in the
ad column of the New York Times that she
thinks Essence should be aware of.
If she's not tracking trends then she is at-
tending Q luncheon or o reception around
town, always making sure that Essence
maintains o strong presence in the com-
munity. Recently, Newsweek did a feature
on women's magazines, but failed to
"We have a guaranteed circulation of
800,000 which represents a monthly
readership of over 3 million. So, a letter
had to go out to Newsweek, something
hod to be done. We can't allow ignorance
to slip by us, we must show the importance
of our market."
Terrie is also the person who is foced
with speaking for Essence when trouble
hits. The Vanessa Williams controversy, for
example, come to o head just as the
magazine was ready to release a feature,
cover story on the former Miss America. "I
had to position a response to this situation,
an official policy hod to be drown."
But Terrie thrives on such challenges. She
enjoys devising inventive ways of pro-
moting Essence. Recently, she spearheod-
ed a fundraiser for the New York Urban
League in which she raised over $25,000
for the organization. The theme was "Mor-
di Gros night in New York."
"I just hod feeling it would be really
hot," she soys, excitedly. "We flew in a
bond from New Orleans for the occasion.
It really worked, we got people who never
worked together before, and things real-
Her position allows her visibility and the
chance to meet and speak with on in-
definite amount of people. She views each
day OS a new opportunity to mingle with
All of this comes on the upswing of on
important career decision that Terrie forced
herself to realize. After receiving her D.A.
from Brondeis and a Master of Science from
Columbia, Terrie entered the field of social
work. She counseled terminally ill patients
at the New York University Medical Center
for three years before she decided it was
time to get out.
"It was depressing, and very draining.
The other reality was that there is not a lot
of money to be mode in social work, and
I wont to moke as much money, legally,
in my life time as possible." She then pulled
up her roots and entered the communica-
tions field OS a Program Administrator for
the Block Filmmaker Foundation.
This time of odjustment was probably
the most difficult in her career, as she found
she hod to prove herself as a public rela-
"I didn't hove the benefit of a journalism
or communications degree, and there
were people who questioned my abilities.
Public Relations wasn't a specific concen-
tration at the time, but I knew that was
what I wonted."
She redoubled her efforts and pushed
forward. She joined Essence in 1982 as
Director of Public Relations.
Terrie attributes most of her success to,
"just doing what you say you're going to
do; following up. Almost every week
someone thonks me for returning a phone
coll, or getting something out to them,
they soy, 'thanks for doing what you said
you would.' I guess there ore a lot of peo-
ple out there who don't take the time."
Although she may hove given up social
work, she is still involved with career
counseling. She specifically meets with
young people who may hove on interest
in the fiel<j, ond assists them in getting
started. Though her time is very limited,
she finds room to help.
"What I want to do is help people. Lots
of people took the time to help me when
I started out, so I repay that by taking time
out of my life to similarly help others."
Terrie knows how hard it con be just to
get Q foot in the door in the communica-
tions field, but she is also aware of the dif-
ficulties that minorities — namely Blacks
and women — con be faced with.
"Race is o very real issue in this line of
work, and there are other obstacles as
Terrie has published a paper on exactly
how minorities con deal with this problem,
entitled, "How Women (ond other
minorities) Con Break into PR."
Here, she soys, "The proverbial brass ring
seems to be greased, and the doors to op-
portunity could use some." She recognizes
the fact that "sheer numbers (5%
minorities employed as professionals) in-
dicate quite large hurdle to be cleared
Nevertheless, Terrie is optimistic. "What-
ever it is that you want to do, you con find
way to do it — you hove to hove tunnel
vision — you hove to be cleor about the
things you wont to achieve. It takes
dogged determination to go after whot-
ever it is you want, and you con get it.
"Prepare yourself — set the stage for
people getting to know who you ore and
what you ore obout."
She cites examples that she draws in-
spiration from, Joon Rivers, for example.
Rivers auditioned six times before getting
spot on the Tonight Show. Her "Lote
Show" program now competes for the Car-
son audience. She also mentions David
Lettermon, who is "the hottest thing since
pockets," but hod been unsuccessful many
Hard though it may seem to believe,
Terrie does get some time to herself, dur-
ing which she lends her name to various
organizations and institutions, such as the
NOW Legal Defense & Education Fund,
and Women in Communications, Inc. Aside
from the PR business, she loves basketball,
hardly ever misses a Knicks home gome.
Occasionally, she'll fly to see some friends
in the NBA ploy around the country.
But did she have to sacrifice port of
herself for success?
"Oh, yes. My personal challenge right
now is to find a way to strike o bolance
— you've got to hove bolonce in your life.
1 was determined to be the best I could,
so I guess I spent on inordinate amount of
time on advancing my career."
Now she thinks she's ready to put a lit-
tle more time than she could hove before
into relationship (marriage is not in the
picture yet!) and she's wondering if she will
be able to manage both at once.
"I wont to be the first Block to run a ma-
jor public relations firm. It's always been in
my blood — that's what I'm destined to
do. I'm planting the seeds for a future."
' ' ^^^H
In 1978, fresh out of Nebraska, he was
directed to a prominent theatrical
manager's office in Hollywood, California.
"She threw me out of the office, literal-
ly. Told me to get out, that this is ridiculous,
and I had a lot of guts coming in here, and
so forth." Nine years later, Corkey Ford, o
determined young actor is featured in the
Oscar-nominated movie, "PLATOON," has
worked with Danny Koye in the television
show, "THE TWILIGHT ZONE" and with Burt
Lancaster in the Disney movie, "TOUGH
Although he landed a leading role in a
television movie within his first two weeks
in Hollywood, he soon found that being a
young, inexperienced, black actor wasn't
easy in "Tinseltown."
"I think there is a lot of racism in
Hollywood, on both sides, block as well as
white. We have to start working together
to moke good quality family films, with
both roces bringing out the emotional sides
in black characters without getting too
depressing or too ghetto. Hollywood has
to realize that there are blacks in upper
management positions, who hove fami-
lies, who have children, who love, and
who lose. I think in this respect Hollywood
isn't giving us another Sidney Poitier, and
I hop'e to take a personal challenge in
making [someone like him] happen
Corkey pointed to his recent role in "PLA-
TOON" in which he played Manny
Washington, one of Charlie Sheen's (his
character) dope-smoking buddies who
gets killed in one of the first battles. "Per-
sonally, I feel there were not enough
blacks portrayed in 'PLATOON,' only
because there was a higher ratio of blacks
in Vietnam. I think the black characters
were a little broader than they should have
"Manny Washington should have been
given more time. There was o personal
side to him that we filmed that no one
sow. He was everyone's friend. That's why
ever/one flipped out when he died. In that
respect I think the audience was denied
the chance to see a sensitive block man,
which is basically the problem with
Hollywood in a lot of ways. You never get
a chance to get to know the block
Corkey said he really enjoyed working
with the cost of "PLATOON" and spoke of
other actors he also found pleasant to work
with. "Danny Koye wos one of my favorite
people to work with. His experience, his
thirst for perfection in his craft and his will-
ingness to spend the time to moke it
perfect. If o scene didn't feel right he'd let
you know. Even if it took thirty times. That
30th time was always better than the
other times. I always loved Danny Koye
growing up. I got to know him personally
and he gave me some pointers obout my
acting and my career which helped in a lot
by Brauno Doum
of ways. He treated me like a grandson
on the set."
Sidney Poitier is another figure very much
admired by Corkey. "The night I saw 'LILIES
OF THE FIELDS,' 'GUESS WHO IS COMING TO
DINNER,' and 'THE DEFIANT ONES,' at a
Sidney Poitier film festival, I knew that act-
ing was what I wanted to do. Those ore
the type of emotions 1 want to bring out
Although Corkey keeps a busy schedule
working and studying his craft, he still finds
time in between jobs to work with an
organization dealing with teen-agers in
drug and alcohol abuse and teen suicide.
"It is so important to let these kids know
that somebody out there cores. I have
travelled throughout the country to speak
at high schools on behalf of the organiza-
tion. It is such a rewarding feeling to get
letters back from these kids thanking me
for talking to them on their level."
Corkey has o strong desire to help young
people and said thot when he was grow-
ing up he wanted to be a pediatrician.
Although he eventually opted for acting,
his family is still very supportive of him. In
fact, his mother just toured with him dur-
ing Q publicity campaign for "PLATOON."
Corkey feels that as long as you con keep
a job on the side, just to pay the bills, you
con be an actor.
"I hope people view my work os
something meaningful because each role
that I've done I've been pleased with.
Look at me as someone who is tr/ing to
make a statement as on actor, neither
black, nor white, but as an actor. View the
film "PLATOON" as a healing aspect,
especially for the block Vietnam veteran.
Hopefully somedoy, we'll come out with
a block version of "PLATOON" where we
will get a chance to see the humanistic side
of the block soldiers in Vietnam."
THE MINE (MIND)
I DIG YOUR MIND
BUT NEVER KNEW WHAT THAT MEANT
BEING RELATIVE TO SPACE AND TIME
BEING RELATIVE TO THE TREASURES
IN THE RECESSES
OF YOUR FEMININITY
DEEP IN THE CAVERNS
OF YOUR WOMAN ESS
WITH PICK AND SHOVEL m
I STAKE MY CLAIM
THE PICK OF UNDERSTANDING
AND THE SHOVEL OF PATIENCE
I BEGIN MY PROBE
DEEP INTO THE EARTH THAT IS
DEEP INTO THE EARTH TO MINE YOUR MIND
BEING RELATIVE TO SPACE AND TIME
AND THE REWARDS ARE THE mwt^
THE OTHERS WERE ONLY CONTENT
FOR . . . i
my neighbor is ploying Wogner
loud enough to woke the deod
ond He hos decided
thot my left breost contains
the secret of the universe
i con't decide
whether the ride
of the volkyries
is distrocting me
from his tongue on my nipple
or if the insistence
of his nibbling
is distrocting me
from the volkyries
ultimately of course
it doesn't matter
but there it is
just the some
what the fuck
kindo music is thot
he soys suddenly
sitting up from where he has
been burrowing around
trying to get closer
to the center of the eorth
loud OSS shit
volkyries i soy
you know those huge women
with the spears
and the brass bras
all motion ceases
the very thought
is more than he con bear
he squeezes his hands
around my waist
and burrows down ogoin
fuck it then he soys
white folks ore crozier
than i thought
— by Pearl Cleoge
In Jamaica reggae music is synonymous
with worm breezes and the rhythmic pull
of the ocean. It is a music thot has so influ-
enced its motherland that reggae festivals
are not only the largest gatherings of the
nation's people but also that countr/'s big-
gest tourist attraction. It is said that over
half of Jamaica's tourist influx in the past
six years con be directly, or indirectly,
credited to reggae music and its universal
draw. Reggae is not merely music but o
musical expression of Caribbean life.
It is a music geared to the human pulse.
Powered by a "one-drop" drum style and
pulsating effervescent boss patterns, it is
bottom heavy music. Lilting and beoutiful
at times, it can be dense and jarring at
others. At the core of reggae are the "Wd-
dim Twins," drummer Sly Dunbar and
bassist Robbie Shokespeare.
"In Jamaica they call it Heart Deot music
because the boss and drum is really the
foundation of reggae. The rest of the 'tings
is like . . . just to make it sound so much
more beautiful," says the soft spoken
Leod guitarists and singers are most
often the stars in popular music. Customari-
ly, rhythm sections ore anonymous. Sly
Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare are
anything but anonymous. They are
arguably the busiest, most flexible, and
most acclaimed rhythm section in both rock
Their work hos molded the shape of reg-
gae over the past decade, both in the
studio and in live performances. Their live
collaborations have been infrequent yet
stellar. They were the driving force behind
Peter Tosh's Word, Sound and Power band
of the late seventies. In the eighties they
fueled the searing live performances
around the globe of Black Uhuru. Their
work with Block Uhuru earned them a
Grammy award in 1984 for the album
It is their studio work that has earned
them the most recognition. Both Dunbar
and Shakespeare ore extremely modest
men. When asked how many albums they
hove worked on Dunbar closes his eyes in
deep thought and then seems to give up,
"Well over 500. So many I can't count. I
know I must have it listed somewhere. I
mean mon, when we go into the studio
in Jamaica sometimes we lay, like . . . ten
tracks in three hours. Yeah, we lay tracks
so fost you wouldn't believe it. Some days
we lay, like, (rubbing chin) . . . twenty five
. . . thirty . . ."
They have their own production com-
pany on the island called Toxi Productions
and have worked with nearly every reg-
gae artist in Jamaica save for Bob Morley
who hod his own full time band, the
Wallers. Gregory Isaacs, Jimmy Cliff,
Mutoboruka, Ziggy Morley, The Mighty
Diamonds, Yellowman, Culture, the list
goes on and on. These artists often write
Sly and Robbie: De Rid
by Brad Kaplan |
the lyrics and hove a general ideo of the
song's structure but it is left to the Riddim
Twins to mold the music into something
Their role is that of innovators. They hove
chonged the sound of the music so
dramatically over the years it is said that
whot Sly and Robbie ore playing today,
the rest of Jamaica will be ploying tomor-
row. One of reggoe's most demanded
musicians is guitarist Eorl "Chinno" Smith
whose collaborations over the years with
Sly and Robbie, omong countless others,
are well documented. Recently in the U.S.
on tour with the young and very talented
noturol heir to Bob Motley's crown, Ziggy
Morley, Chinno stated the significance of
Sly and Robbie simply, "They work a lot
and listen hord to mony, mony kinds of
music, new and old. They mon not afraid
to present themselves openly to new
sounds and moke use of them. They should
be commended and given praises for this,
for it is fresh and bountiful."
Yet, their influence has not been con-
fined strictly to the Jamaican music scene.
It was inevitable that the rest of the music
world would catch on to this phenomenon.
"Our first project outside of reggae was for
a French singer named Serge Ginsberg. Ah,
we produced that in Jomoica and it went
double plotinum in Paris. Then we worked
with Grace Jones. Then Joe Cocker 'Shef-
field Steele,' then Gwen Guthrie," recalls
For Grace Jones' "Warm Letherette,"
"Nightclubbing," and "Island Life" albums
they assembled on oll-stor team of island
musicians at Compass Point Studio in
Nassau that created the dance music of
the future. It was the first fusion of the
mainstream of mainland and island music.
They introduced heavy bass and lead
drums to new wave donee music, creating
dance grooves for the future. The single
"Pull Up To The Dumper" established Grace
Jones OS on international star and further
boosted the growing reputation of the Rid-
After this the response wos incredible.
Bob Dylan assembled a band comprised
of Sly and Robbie, Mark Knopfler (Dire
Straits), Mick Taylor (ex-Rolling Stone) and
others, to do his londmark "Infidels" album.
Sly and Robbie churned out the rhythm on
Dylans' subsequent "Empire Burlesque."
The Rolling Stones used their talents on
"Totoo You," and they provided the
groove on Mick Jogger's solo album. Sly
was called on to ploy drums on Herbie
Hancock's "Future Shock," as well os on
albums with Corly Simon and Joan
"All of them stand out for me," soys Rob-
bie, sincerely. "They didn't have to ask us,
but they did."
They create their own brand of music,
one unquestionably still rooted in reggae,
but with an international flovor thot is full
of bite and soul. Their album "Language
Barrier" is state of the ort international funk.
This is the logical result of the music they
helped create with Grace Jones and Her-
bie Hancock. Suffering discofunk grooves
with an internotionol bond of musicians in-
cluding Herbie Hancock, Bob Dylan, ex-Por-
lioment/Tolking Head Bernie Worrell,
Cuban percussionist Daniel Ponce, Wolly
Bodorou, and African sax powerhouse
Manu Dibongo, they ore once again
creoting the dance music of the future. The
song, "Boss and Trouble" earned them o
Grommy nomination for Best Single.
I asked Sly recently if he thought that,
despite the fact that their work outside of
Jomoica hos opened up some ears to the
diversity of reggae and its musicians, if this
work was originolly, and possibly continual-
ly, resented by some of his fellow musi-
cians. "No. They like that because it's good
for the music," he soys with a wink and o
smile. "I mean when we work with some-
one like Dob Dylan ... all it is is onother
step for reggoe. Because people are bub-
blin' finally. Someone might soy, 'Sly and
Robbie, oh . . . they're from Jamaica. Reg-
gae . . . hmm?'
Whenever they trovel they bring reggae
music to that port of the world and when
they return to Jomoica they hove
something new to bring to the music.
"Some tink it a bit odd but I don' listen
to reggae on my own too much. Becouse
I ploy reggae, that to me is enough. I listen
to a lot of . . . hmm, at this time Top 40
records like Genesis and Janet Jockson . See
what they're puttin' down.
"We're not quite through with the ideos
tried on Longuoge Barrier! We just did a
session with many of the some musicions
and mon, did we hit o groove!" he soys
with obvious delight. "Yeoh mon, we do
cover of the Ohio Ployers 'Fire.' It's bod
mon. You better believe it."
Currently the Riddim Twins ore spreoding
the reggae sounds across Europe with a
crock group of Jamaican musicians under
the nome "The Taxi Gong." With them ore
the oce horn section Ros Brass, and top
toast-master Yellowmon, roots singer Ini
Komoze, and new sensation Holfpint. They
will follow with o tour of the U.S. ond then
on to India, Africa, and Egypt.
"Whot we're trying to do is bring the
music to the world's people. People who
wouldn't get a chance to hear this type of
music. It's like o Motown Review with the
music supplied by Sly and Robbie. It's non-
stop music like a festivol. What we wont
to show is the diversity of reggae. So we
present four different styles of reggoe. Like
on this tour we use some singers from
Jomoico that not many know about ond
try to get them more out front, and let
people stop thinking only of Bob Marley
and Peter Tosh, ond Block Uhuru and Jim-
my Cliff. They ore not the only ones in
Jamaica that ore good ot reggae music,"
soys Dunbor quietly. "Ini Komoze is one of
the best songwriters in Jamaica today. I
meon he doesn't flood the market with o
lot of music but he does like eight songs
every year and we put his album out. I
think he's gonno be ver/ big."
To see the duo live is o treat. Dunbar
hunched over his drums, cop pulled low on
his head, creating dense polyrhythms . . .
leoding the music forward, chomping more
mileage out of a piece of gum than one
would think humonly possible. Shake-
speare prowling the stage, dreodlocks
flowing for down his bock, his bubbling
boss interlocking with Dunbar's relentless
rhythm to create the groove ond drive it
to its logical conclusion.
Asked OS to whot he credits the special
musical chemistry between he and Sly,
Robbie replies simply, "We respect each
other and love eoch other ond I give him
support when he needs it and he gives me
support when I need it. Mon, we don' hove
to worry about nothing."
^^■^'^^ ' ^:^-VJ'MVgi^^^;^jy?i^f<i^>:j^ ! ^Jlj4':?^tiy
In Memory Of A
by Rudolph Miller
Minnie Wperton was once proclaimed to
be "the perfect angel" by Stevie Wonder,
after fiis being so impressed by her
"melodious" five-octave voice. She was o
versatile entertainer who could sing opera
OS well OS jazz and pop, ond who often
wrote her own lyrics. She will olwoys be
remembered os a beautiful woman with
a very friendly and charming personality.
Minnie was the youngest of eight chil-
dren born to retired Chicago pullmon
porter Daniel Riperton ond wife Thelmo.
She has been described in childhood as be-
ing o "creative and ambitious youngster."
She was o student of modern donee at
oge three, and by the time she was five
was involved in ballet. When she was
eleven she hod already completed voice
and opera lessons.
Some of her childhood friends say that
she was destined to become a singer and
by the time she was o teenager she was,
without a doubt, pursuing that goal. Min-
nie often sang back-up at local recording
studios, OS well os at her high school and
in the choir at the Sixth Presbyterian Church.
It was at Hyde Pork High School that Min-
nie Riperton was "discovered" and signed
to a recording contract with the Jems. She
did a number of stints with various per-
formers during the late sixties. Shortly
thereof ter she recorded her first solo olbum
entitled "Come to My Garden."
For the next few yeors Minnie song
jingles for commercials and was back-up
vocalist to such stars os Roberto Flock,
Quincy Jones, and Freddie Hubbard. She
was described by Hubbard as being
"unique"; her voice hod o range that
nobody else seemed to find.
Minnie Riperton's career really took off
when she met Stevie Wonder. He was so
impressed by Minnie that he co-produced
her gold album "Perfect Angel" in 1974.
It was ofter the release of her third olbum
"Adventures in Paradise" that Minnie
discovered that she had breast cancer.
Minnie underwent o mastectomy and,
shortly after, unexpectedly announced on
the Johnny Carson Show that she hod
undergone breast surgery. She spoke ot
fund raisers ond to women's groups and
she olso mode television announcements.
In 1 977 she was presented the American
Concer Society's Courage Award by Presi-
dent Jimmy Carter and, in 1 978, she was
appointed to the post of Education Chair-
woman for the American Cancer Society,
the youngest woman and only Afro-Ameri-
can to assume that position.
By the summer of 1 978 Minnie Riperton
was recording what was to be her lost
olbum. Tests disclosed o tumor in her right
arm after she became ill in October. The
album was still incomplete when Minnie
was temporarily hospitalized, but she con-
tinued working on it until it was completed
in February. During June, Minnie was in con-
stant pain and confined to bed, yet she
continued to do interviews by phone. She
was told that she probably would not live
to celebrate her daughter's seventh birth-
day on July 27. She was token to Cedars
Sinoi Medical Center in Los Angeles on Ju-
The next evening Minnie was visited by
Stevie Wonder, who gave her o recording
of o song he hod written for her. The next
morning Coretto Scott King as well as Jose
Feliciono and Stevie Wonder stopped by
Minnie's room. A short time loter, at
10 a.m. Minnie Riperton died.
Although her life wos short, Minnie Riper-
ton left behind o great legacy of love that
will not be forgotten. When specking
about her career, as well as her goals and
aspirations in life Minnie often said; "Let it
be said that Minnie Riperton's glass was
always half full, never half empty."
Photo by Drouno Doum
An Interview with Rudy Jones
by Poncho Morris
Rudy Jones is the Asst. Undergraduate Director at the University of Massachusetts Admissions office. He was born in Jomoica and
graduated from St. Jago High School in Spanish Town, Jamaica in 1 969. Later that year, he come to the United States. After spend-
ing one semester ot Hunter College in New York City, he transferred to the Univ. of Moss, from where he graduated in 1974. He
studied Public Administration from Suffolk University. In 1 982, Mr. Jones returned to U Mass. to get his Master's degree in educotion.
He is currently in the process of writing o thesis for a doctoral degree in educotion.
Drum: You were once on undergraduate here at U. Moss. Do
you find thot a lot has changed in the environment
towards minorities since you were a student?
Jones: No, not much has changed. The times for minority
students hove changed, though. When I was here, there
was o lot more of o community feeling among the
students. Now there seems to be o great deal of divi-
sion. When I was a student, there were no Block frater-
nities on this campus. We were considered oil Block. Now,
what I notice occurring is the spreading of Black frater-
nities. As o result, o lot of students ore now Greek first
and then Black. This is a factor contributing to the divi-
sion on this compus. Of course, nationally, the Greeks
(fraternities) play a positive role. Many of them hove
been helping out with teenage pregnancies, for exam-
ple. What I see occurring in my opinion, on this campus
needs to be more positive.
The attitudes of administrators and faculty have not
chonged. If it has changed, it has changed for the worse.
Drum: Has Block enrollment decreased or increased since you
have been here?
Jones: When I first come to the University in 1982, as admis-
sions advisor, there were about 79 more block students
enrolled than in the previous year. Since '82, approx-
imately 3.5% of students entering doss are Block
students [Collegiate Education of Block and Minority].
Now the enrollment for the post couple of years exceeds
that amount by 200. Prior to '82, it seems as if no one
cored about Block student enrollment here. Since I hove
been here, it hos remained steady over the years. But,
given oil the negative publicity, I don't know what to
expect for '87.
Drum: Is the increase in Block enrollment due to o much stronger
ideology thot education is one of the most effective ways
to move up in society?
Jones: I wish this was the cose, but Black student enrollment
in universities throughout the notion is declining. There
ore many reasons for this ond one of them is thot many
Black youths ore opting to join the armed services. Many
people tend to view this as being negative, but I don't
see this as such. It's better to hove more Black students
joining the mllitory Instead of dropping out of school or
taking mediocre Jobs or spending years at a community
college without progressing, academically. I think the
military is a good idea. If one is in the military, one is
opt to learn a marketable skill, plus hove the opportuni-
ty of knowing the world. Then again, there ore many
other post-educational institutions, such os ITT. that Block
students are opting for insteod of four-year universities.
These technical institutions will give to them the skills thot
are very marketable and thus put them into an arena
in which they con survive and make good money. The
other circumstance affecting Block student enrollment is
the decreose in financial aid.
Many individuals give all sorts of weird reasons why
it has decreased. One such example is the notion that
Black students are dropping out at an alarming rote. I
think that's begging the question. It's really because they
don't wont to put the time, effort, energy and resources
that it would require to keep Black students in school.
The amount of minority students in high schools is actually
increasing. If colleges and universities are honest obout
this, these students could fill the gaps in the decreasing
Drum: You're working for the Challenge program . . .
Jones: Yes, Chollenge is a port of our overall enrollment pro-
grom. It's the kind of activity that you hove to do if you're
interested in increasing the enrollment of minorities. Many
students are not getting the oppropriote advice ond
counsel in high schools. Mony students ore not getting
the oppropriote advice and counsel in junior high schools.
If you ore interested in arresting the problem of advis-
ing, you hove to start in junior high. The Challenge pro-
gram addresses this problem oVid tries to motivate
students at this level and guarantees them entrance in-
to the University and scholarships. It is part of the overall
marketing enrollment plan of minority students.
Drum: Does Challenge only recruit students from urban schools?
Jones: Yes, now only for the urban schools. However, if we get
enough resources, we will expand into the suburbs. We
have visions of making it a state-wide program. Not on-
ly will it help to prepare students, but it will Increase the
visibility of the University and moke people more con-
vinced of the commitment that the University has, relotive
to recruiting minorities.
Drum: Is the Chollenge program related only to the Univ. of
Jones: Only, in terms of guaranteeing student admissions. Mony
of the students opt for other universities once they
graduate because many other institutions award more
lucrative scholarships. That's the key.
Drum: Could you please comment on the Hurst Report, regard-
ing the recent racial incident at U. Mass.?
Jones: The Hurst Report mentions some serious problems which
are not new. There ore many studies prior to the Hurst
Report which hove looked ot some of the problems
which predominantly White institutions foce, for exam-
ple, hiring Block faculty, promoting Block faculty and stoff,
and problems of insensitivity as It relates to minority in-
dividuals. I don't think U. Mass. is less sofe than any other
predominantly White institution. The problems need to
be resolved. The problems need to be discussed ond
should not be shoved under the table and that is what
has been happening. So with the Hurst Report, hopeful-
ly, the administration will move to address them. Let me
odd one thing. The Hurst Report looked at the White in-
stitution OS it relates to Blacks. One of the problems of
retention, as It relates to Black students, is the lack of
involvement on the part of Black faculty to mentor Black
students. I think if Black faculty got more involved In the
mentoring process, the retention rate of Black students
would increase and the "less safe" environment would
be remediated. The problem lies in how the University
relates to Black students. Many individuals, because of
their racism, do not know how to deal with Block folks.
Theyjust think that Black students don't belong here; and
that this is South Africo and this is a White community and
Block students should move to the Bontustans. Amherst
becomes on alien environment.
Drum: Commissioner Hurst discussed the relotionship between
counselors and students at CCEBMS as being too high.
What is your thought on this?
Jones: Well, that might be the case. A cose con certoinly be
mode thot CCEBMS is not the primary organ for retaining
Block students. CCEBMS does not teoch courses. The seg-
ment of the University that teaches courses is the seg-
ment that is responsible for retaining Block students.
CCEBMS has o role to ploy but the weight of retaining
Block students should not be put on CCEBMS' shoulders.
CCEBMS is here to provide ocodemic odvice, counseling,
tutoring, etc., but not teaching. If one does not teach
courses, one's ability to retoin is diminished. If CCEBMS
hod offered courses they would hove more of on impact
in motivoting students. For example, if you ore in o
chemistry classroom and someone is looking at you as
if you don't belong, this may destroy your motivotion.
Prior to 1970, most Black students graduoted from
predominontly Black schools. Since 1970, this has re-
versed, with most Blacks groduoting from predominant-
ly White institutions. One important fact worth noting is
thot most Block scientists ond technicians graduate from
predominantly Block institutions. This tells one o lot about
Black students on predominantly White campuses.
Drum: Several students on campus, both Black and White, cloim
the Hurst Report was blown out of proportion and further-
more, it will discourage other minority students from op-
plying. Could you please comment on this?
Jones: 77ie Hurst Report will not damage the University. The
University damages itself. Hurst has nothing to do with
racism at U. Moss. All Hurst did was document the racism.
Why would this hurt the University? It's not the Hurst
Report. It's the University's action that may cause
Drum: Do you believe the cuts mode by the Reogon odministro-
tion in financial aid will result in still fewer Blacks apply-
ing to post-high school institutions?
Jones: The formula for allocoting finonciol aid has to .change.
This increased debt for minority students is ridiculous. A
minority student from a poor family, becouse of Reagan's
cuts, will groduote with over $8,000 in debts. The en-
tire loan burden caused by the cuts hos to be eliminated.
A countr/ thot spends billions on a York Tank that doesn't
even work ought to provide free financial old to the in-
Drum: Thank you, Mr. Jones for your time and expertise.
nr cmttwdnvcmtim^ muftvcthc mams
mean ^cthftf andsisttrf
■ C-v ;;f^,./-'
ifjot ifjcu defend ctitfyc
"The problem of the twentieth cen
tury is the problem of the color-line,
— the relation of the darker to the
lighter races of men in Asia and
Africa, in America and the islands of
W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk
Let him speak who has seen with his eyes. (Zaire)
I do not for a moment doubt that my Negro descent
and narrow group culture hove in many coses predisposed
me to interpret my facts too favorably for my race; but
there is little danger of long misleading here, for the
champions of white folk ore legion. The Negro has long
been the clown of history; the football of anthropology;
and the slave of industry. I am trying to show here why
these attitudes con no longer be maintained. I realize
that the truth of history lies not in the mouth of partisans
but rather in the calm Science that sits between. Her cause
I seek to serve, and wherever I foil, I am at least paying
Truth the respect of earnest effort. ^
W. E. BURGHARDT DuBoiS.
Atlanta University, May, 1939
Block Folk Then ond Now, 1939 p. ix
Catholic Bishops' Report and Poverty
by James Martin
"Poverty is not on isoloted problem ex-
isting solely among o small number of
anonymous people" — Catholic Bishops'
report — Economic Justice for All, 1986.
Certainly not. And I don't wont to blonne
the media but there is o general attitude
that they hove fallen prey to. Television
focuses on the rich; Dynasty, Dallas, The
Colby's, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,
even The Cosby Show. Escapist entertain-
ment. That's all fine and good, but . . . they
point a picture. A Norman Rockwell vision
of Americo — kids playing baseball and
elderly couples at the pork enjoying a free
concert in their lawn choirs. "Anyone con
be president," they soy. "Why, look at me.
Wosn't o nobody, but I worked hard oil my
life to get where I om ond I con honestly
soy that I'm pretty comfortable.
"Yes, it's a wonderful world when
anybody con pull themselves up by their
bootstraps and become a success. I surely
do believe in the Americon Dream." But
it's not thot easy. There ore 33 million peo-
ple in America living below the poverty
level and hundreds of millions more
And this whole business about success
is just port of the fallacy that is called the
American Dreom. If you don't succeed then
you ore on outcast. "Didn't moke nothing
of himself 'cause he didn't work hard
enough," they'll soy. And after that . . .
they don't exist.
It would be easy for me to sit here, suck
on imported beer, and just turn my head
and complain about those 'weasels' tak-
ing my money so they can live on welfare
indefinitely. But I can't turn my head. Star-
vation. Poverty. An ugly aberration of the
dream. And others are forced to gaze on
the sight. And they ore repulsed, including
the leaders of the Cotholic church.
"As pastors we hove seen first-hand the
faces of poverty in our midst. Homeless
people room city streets in tattered
clothing and sleep in doorways or on sub-
way grates at night . . . Thousands stand
in line at soup kitchens because they hove
no other way of feeding themselves.
Millions of children ore so poorly nourished
that their physicol and mentol develop-
ment ore seriously harmed."
That is why they released a report;
Economic Justice for All . Millions of people
worldwide follow the teachings of the
Catholic church. This is o chonce to force
their eyes on the ugly spectacle of pover-
ty. And, while it is a religious report rooted
in Catholic doctrine, it treats the subject of
poverty worldwide with on equal amount
of modern, secular wisdom. A report writ-
ten in the U.S. for Americans, it also focuses
on the horrid suffering worldwide.
"Unless conscious steps ore token toward
protecting human dignity ond fostering
humon solidoriry in (Third World) relation-
ships, we can look forward to increased
conflict and inequity, threatening the
fragile economies of these relatively poor
nations for more than our own relatively
Yes. The world is in a shambles when
people can't even eat ond, occording to
the bishops, the problem is this: bosic
"Basic justice demands the establish-
ment of minimum levels of participation on
the life of the human community for all per-
sons. The ultimate injustice is for a person
or group to be octively treated or passive-
ly abandoned os if they were non-
members of the human race. To treat peo-
ple this way is effectively to soy that they
simply do not count as human beings.
"Basic justice also demonds that people
be assured o minimum level of participa-
tion in the economy. It is wrong for o per-
son or group to be unfairly excluded or
unable to participate or not contribute to
the economy. For example, people who
ore both able and willing to work, but can-
not get Q job, are deprived of the par-
ticipation that is so vital to human develop-
ment. For it is through employment that
most individuals and families meet their
material needs, exercise their talents and
hove on opportunity to contribute to the
A popular notion in America is that the
welfare rolls ore loaded with "money-
grubbing" schemers out to slime a few
more dollars out of the "hard-working
American's" pocket. This is just o mass
defense mechanism against the guilt
created by the knowledge that many
Americans hove too much money ond
many hove much too little.
"The great wealth of the United States
con eosily blind us to the poverty that ex-
ists in this nation and the destitution of hun-
dreds of millions of people in other ports
of the world."
These ore sobering words for the
overage Joe sitting in front of the tube curs-
ing the ods for organizations designed to
help the poor and starving people in the
world. He thinks they ore on isolated lot
that need about as much help as any other
offlicted group. Little does he know that
poverty surrounds him on oil fronts,
America, Europe and the Third World.
"About one in ever/ seven people in our
nation ore poor by the government's of-
ficial definition. Of particular concern is the
fact that poverty hos increased dromoticol-
ly during the lost decode. Since 1973 the
poverty rote has increased by nearly a
third. One in every four American children
under the age of 6, ond one in every two
Block children under 6, ore poor.
"There are now more poor children in the
United States than at ony time since 1 965.
The problem is particularly severe among
female-headed families, where more than
half of oil children are poor. Two-thirds of
Black children and nearly three-quarters of
Hispanic children in such families ore poor.
Among minority families headed by
women the poverty rote is over 50
"The rotes of poverty in our notion ore
highest omong those who hove borne the
brunt of racial prejudice and discrimination.
Blocks ore about three times more likely
to be poor than Whites . . . one of every
three Blocks ond Native Americans and
more than one of every four Hisponics ore
I think we get the idea. Everything is not
rosy in America ... or the world. These ore
the poor. People living off trash, handouts
ond whatever else they con get their
hands on. A struggle next door and thou-
sands of miles away. But we ore oil
humons. Humons, And it doesn't matter
how for away one may be. Humanity is
one breed. We must look after each other.
The bishops soy thot it is not enough for the
poor people to be given on opportunity
to achieve the minimum level of human
existonce. It is the duty of onyone that con
help to do so, especially America.
"This is a duty of the whole of society and
it creates porticulor obligations for those
with greater resources. This duty colls into
question extreme inequalities of income
and consumption when so many lock basic
Including certain rights. "First among
these ore the rights to life, food, clothing,
shelter, rest, medicol core and education.
These ore indispensable to the protection
of human dignity."
Great. And who wouldn't agree with
that? It's o simple stotement. However
often the simple things in life get over-
looked. But the basics need to be stressed.
Like ony sports team practicing. The first
twenty minutes will invariably be devoted
to the fundamentals, the basic ospects of
the gome that must continuolly be stressed
in order to maintain that sharpness that
And how do we fulfill our duty? The
bishops soy that we could start by spend-
ing o lot less money on o defense budget
designing things to erase the species, and
use that money to help preserve the
species insteod. Schools need to be re-
structured. "They often serve the privileged
exceedingly well, while the children of the
poor ore effectively abandoned as second-
class citizens." And employment must be
"All work has o three-fold moral
significonce. First, it is a principol way that
people exercise the distinctive humon
capacity for self-expression and self-
realization. Second, it is the ordinary way
for human beings to fulfill their moteriol
needs. Finally, work enables people to
contribute to the well-being of the larger
connmunity. The acceptance of present
unemployment rotes would hove been un-
thinkable twenty years ago. It should be
regorded as intolerable today."
American solutions for Americon prob-
lems. But the problem is global: "We ore
dismayed that the United States, once the
pioneer in foreign aid, is olmost lost among
the seventeen industrialized notions in the
Organization for Economic Cooperation
and Development (OCED) in percentage
of the Gross Notional devoted to old."
Indeed. What else can the U.S. do? "A
world with nearly half a billion (reod; 500
million) hungry people is not one in which
food security has been achieved. The
development of U.S. agriculture has
moved the United States into a dominont
position in the international food system.
The best way to meet the responsibilities
this dominance entails is to design and im-
plement U.S. food and agriculture policy
that contributes to increased food securi-
ty, that is, access by everyone to an ade-
quate diet . , . The chronic hunger of those
who live literally from day to day is one
symptom of the underlying problem of
poverty, relieving and preventing hunger
is port of a lorger coordinated strategy to
attack poverty itself. People must be
enabled either to grow or to buy the food
they need without depending on an in-
definite dole; there is no substitute for long-
term agricultural and food system develop-
ment in the nations now caught in the grip
of hunger and stopyotion."
But, "the United States cannot be the
sole saviour of the developing world, nor
ore Third World countries entirely innocent
with respect to their own failure or totally
helpless to achieve their own destinies . . .
Progress toward development will surely
require them to take some tough remedial
measures os well . . . The peivosive U.S.
presence in many ports of our inter-de-
pendent world, however, also creates a
responsibility for us to increase the use of
U.S. economic power — not just aid — in
the service of human dignity and human
rights, both political and economic."
Something which becomes increasingly
obvious in the report is that we ore o na-
tion of apathetic, spoiled humans con-
stontly striving for more. The focus of atten-
tion is so narrow that we cannot see the
suffering. We ore on a path to what Pope
Paul VI called "the most evident form of
morol underdevelopment," — namely
"For over 200 years the United States has
been engaged in o bold experiment in
democracy. Those who live in this land to-
day ore the beneficiaries of this great ven-
ture. Justice for oil remains on aspiration;
o fair shore in the general welfare is denied
"If our country is to guide its international
economic relationships by policies that
serve human dignity and justice, we must
expend our understanding of the moral
responsibility of citizens to serve the com-
mon good of the entire planet. Coopera-
tion is not limited to the local, regional or
notional level. The cause of democracy is
closely tied to the cause of economic
Well said. I hope the followers of the
Catholic faith will begin to live up to this
challenge. The challenge to realize that
poverty is nothing to be ashamed of and
that it's our responsibility to help, and that
the fontosy-lond of television is exactly that
— a fontasy-lond. But because of the
secular reasoning in the report I also hope
that people not of the Catholic faith begin
to live up to the challenge.
"We call for a new national commitment
to full employment. We soy it is a social
and morol scandal that one of every seven
Americans is poor, and v/e call far con-
certed efforts to eradicate poverty. Thie
fulfillment of the basic needs of the poor
is of the highest priority. We urge that all
economic policies be evaluated in light of
their impact on the life stability of the fami-
ly. We support measures to halt the loss of
family farms and to resist the growing con-
centration in the ownership of agricultural
resources . . . the U.S. con do far more to
relieve the plight of poor nations and assist
in their development. "
Rain through Sunlight
Drutolizing profit, cindery as burnt cane:
the look of the bitter, brittle end of empire,
gosping for lost breath, gasping failure.
Grasp the necks of their island-mainland homes,
send in the killer marines and their machines:
brute profit shunts the bulk of its panic that way.
Technical hearts and tightly-wired lives:
all that empire leaves of itself behind,
after the long, slow, spiky run on our spines.
But we hove pulled the alien stitching loose.
We stand and stretch up to our dreams.
We wish for rain and it pours through sunlight.
— by Andrew Solky
JACKSON cont'd from page 22
for granted in civil rights ore storting to regress. Sonne
of tine things that hoppened in the 1 960's we will see
In the 1 980's. Some hove said "Ever/thing thot occurs,
will occur again in twenty years" and I think that's true.
Given the World Series and all the enthusiasm that
comes with it was occeptoble, but the most unfor-
tunate thing about that was it became a Blodi/White
issue, and the amount of animosity and hostility that
went into that. I think people should hove a right to
present opposing viewpoints on issues as long as it
doesn't impinge on the civil liberties of another per-
son. I think there needs to be more education done
on racial Issues. This con be done in terms of new stu-
dent orientation, and letting students know that
physical, emotional, or other types of horrassment,
whether they be racial, sexual, or cultural, will not be
tolerated on this campus. Anyone who seeks to in-
fringe on the dvil rights of another human being should
not be continued as o member of this university. This
needs to be said loud and clear. Educators soy the
university is a mirror of the outside society. I take that
one step further. I think the university has to be better
than the outside society, because the progress that is
being mode on campuses will be duplicated in the out-
One camel does not moke fun of the other corners hump. (Guinea)
Mutual affection gives each his shore. (Ivory Coast)
Talking with one another is loving one another. (Kenya)
It is only the vy^oter that is split; the calabash is not
When a woman is hungry, she soys, "Roost something for the
children that they may eat." (Ashonti)
Children ore the reward of life. (Zaire)
If you con walk, you con dance. If you con talk, you can
■V'.; r-'-.^- '■.'-■-, ■.'., ■■
Boomerang; A Blatantly Political Poem
eye use to write poems about burning
down tine motinerfucking country for crazy
horse, geronimo & molcoim
X use too write about stabbing white folks
in their air conditioned eyeballs
with ice picks, cracking their balls
with sledgehammer blows
now poems leap from the snake tip of my tongue
bluesing language twisted tighter than braided hope
hanging like a limp, noosed rope down the bock
of some coal miner's squaw
her polluted brown cotfish river eyes
swollen shut with taboos, she thought she heard
the sun in o voice that looked like bessie smith's
severed arm on that mississippi bock
rood, screaming like o dead man's son
forced too wotch his old man eat his own pleading
heart, thumping for his lost supper & sometimes
& wonder if it's worth the bother
of it all, these poems holding
language percolating with rage underneath
a gentle metaphor of a spring day
on the verge of tornado
soft OS balm before the tearing
storm hits quicker than the flick
of a bot's wing nicking the eye
eye use to write poems about killing
fools like ronold reagon, who grins off
30 million dollars sucked down the block hole
of cio's space, while cosey tokes a lobotomy slosh
for "the gipper," dumb motherfuckers
everywhere tying bombs to their tongues
lighting fuses of staged events that try to lie
of peace, the presidential "gipper," a metaphor
of all thot's wrong with the brouhaha
mouthpieces in omerica now
on wall street, in frying speeches
cannibalizing the airwaves from slimy churches
building up their bonk accounts on bones ^^
of jesus Christ & it is a metaphor boomeronging
arching, curving bock with medusa meese
heads nicked off & bleeding
shit of cowboys sluicing through space
6- silence is the word that leads bock ^^
too gore & vampire "freedom fighters" ^^
childrens arms dangling from their mouths ..
wearing tiny skulls for eyes
eye use to write poems about burning
down the motherfucking country for crazy horse
geronimo & molcoim king
X marks the spot where we signed fil^BHI
away our lives for a sock of cotton full of woe
or a record book contract on somebody dead
now eye sit here writing poems about the calm
soft beauty welling in my son's holy innocence
thinking of the time when this rage will strike him
knowing all the while it will come much to soon
& nothing, nothing, will hove been undone ^^— -_
Poem For My Father;
for Quincy Troupe Sr.
father, it was on honor to be there, in the dugout
with you, the glory of great black men swinging their lives
05 bats at tiny white rocketing bolls
burning in at unbelievable speeds, riding up & in & out
o curve falling off the table, moving owoy screwing its stitched
magic into chittlin circuit oir, its comma seams spinning
towards breok down, dipping, like o hipster
bebopping a knee-dip stride in the charlie porker forties
wrist curling behind a "slick" block back
like a swans neck, cupping
an invisible boll of dreams —
father, & you there like an ofricon obeoh man sculpted
out of wood, from o tree of no name no place origin
thick roots branching down into cherokee & someplace else lost
way bock in ofrico, the sop running dry
crossing from north Carolina into georgio in grandmother mory's womb
your mother in the violence of that red soil, ink blotter
gone now into the blood grove of omericon blues sponging
rococo truth dead & long gone as dinosaurs
the ogent-oronged landscape of former names
absent of polysyllables, dry husk consononts there
now, in their place, flat as polluted rivers
6 that guitar string smile snaking across some virulent
omericon red neck's face, scorching, like atomic
heat mushrooming over nogosoki & hiroshimo
those fever blistered shadows of it all
inked into sizzling concrete
but you there father, a yordbird solo riffin on
bat & boll glory, breaking down the fabricated myths
of white major league legends, of who was better
than who, beating them in their own crop
gome, with killer bats as bud powell swung his silence into beauty
of Q josh gibson home run skittering across the piano keys
of the bleachers, shattering oil legends up in the lights
stereo-types running the risky edge of amazement
awe, the miraculous truth sluicing through
steeped in the blues, confluencing, like the point
at the cross between o fastball disguised as o curve
sliding owoy in o wicked sly grin posed as on oss scratching
uncle torn, like satchel poige delivering his hesitation
pitch, then coming back with a hard high fast one
seen as on aspirin & quicker than o professional hit-
man, the deodliness of it oil, the strike
like that of the brown bomber's, or sugar
ray robinson's lightning, cobra strike
& you there father, catching rhythms of chono pozo
bolls, drumming into your catcher's mitt
fast OS "cool papa ' bell jumping into bed
before the lights went out
of the old negro baseball league, o promise
Q harbinger of shock waves, soon to come
Kill Ull iZt^^^C^^£^y^K<^ mm III!
"JUNFTEENTH CELEBRATION 84 IN BOSTON"
O C ii
If you ore building a house and o noil breaks, do you stop
building, or do you change the noil? (Kwdnda Burundi)
. •<. i f
"The white race is the cancer of human history; it is the white
race and it alone — its ideologies and inventions — which
eradicates autonomous civilizations wherever it spreads,,
which has upset the ecologlcol balance of the planet, which
now threatens the very existence of life itself."
Susan Sontog in N.Y. Times Book Review
August 27, 1967
Prime Minister of Zimbabwe
transcribed by Debro Mitchell
The following piece is a transcript of o speech given by Prime Minister Robert Mugabe at the University of Massochusetts/Amherst
on October 1 , 1986. Mugabe is the first Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia, and was awarded on honorary Doctor
of Lows degree by the University. The speech is from that occasion.
Mr. Chancellor Joseph Duffey, the president of the university;
distinguished regents and members of the board of trustees;
members of the faculty and staff; distinguished guests; students;
ladies and gentlemen. I feel overwhelmed, exceedingly over-
whelmed by this great gesture, the honor you hove conferred
on me todoy.
Honors are of various kinds and they may hove various ef-
fects on their recipients. This porticulor one has gone not only
to my head, but more than that, to the deepest chambers of
my heart. May I take this opportunity, before I go into the little
ideas I wont to put across, to express to you the profundity of
my gratitude and the graditude of the people of Zimbabwe
for this great honor you hove done them through me. I assure
you that the gesture has marked on my heart on indelible mark
of friendship and solidarity with the University of Massachusetts.
That friendship will lost forever. Thank you.
Mr. Chancellor; lodies and gentlemen, your invitation to me
to join you on this great day, and your decision to confer upon
me an honorar/ doctor of lows, constitute on eloquent testimony
of the desire of both this great University and this famed
Commonwealth of Massachusetts to extend o worm hand of
friendship ocross the seas to the people of Zimbabwe and in-
deed of Southern Africo as a whole. Today you're not only honor-
ing Robert Mugabe, on honor I accept with deep humility, you're
also, if I may be permitted to hove recourse to your expressive
vernacular, sending a powerful signal to all ports of the world.
Sending o powerful signal to our port of the world and its various
peoples thot you associote yourselves with, those of us who've
troubled to create a better life for all those whom a cruel history
had relegated to inferior positions and circumstances in society.
I must tell you at the outset how proud I am to be associated
in this rather more than symbolic manner with your great Univer-
sity. This is indeed a unique institution of higher leorning even
in this vast continental republic and its many colleges and univer-
sities. Not only does this University, as I have learned, cater to
the needs for the students drown statewide, nationally and
world wide in o multiplicity of vital disciplines, it has also pro-
vided a forum for the articulation and exploration of progressive
currents of thought directed to the improvement of the lot of
the oppressed, the downtrodden and the socially marginalized.
It is thus not surprising that the library of the University of
Massachusetts at Amherst was found to be a most fitting
repository for the collected papers of the late progressive and
world famous Afro-American scholar Dr. Du Bois. It is also very
fitting that you hove here a thriving department of Afro-
American studies whose multi-disciplinor/ investigation and ex-
position of the African and Afro-American experience constitute
vital aspects of the University's mission and ochievements. Dr.
Du Bois was both a scholar ond a fighter for justice. He taught
that the essence of all phenomena, including social problems,
could only be discovered through research and things token in
study. Through numerous such studies and publicotions he ex-
posed the nature and roots of slavery, colonialism ond rocism
among other historical ond sociological phenomeno. But he was
not content to do this. He also felt compelled to organize, od-
vocote and ogitote and yes, fight and fight tirelessly together
with, and even because of, the oppressed. In him, theory and
practice, scholarship and social activism, sociological analysis,
and political struggle ore reodily combined.
Mr. Chancellor, and distinguished members of the Amherst
academic community, we live in on era of vast problems —
which coll, not only for responsible and sustained scholorship
but olso, for the kind of principled political activism that should
yield relevant solutions to such problems.
Today we in Southern Africa, and I dare soy all of us who value
the freedom ond dignity of man, face o major task: namely that
of ossisting to dislodge the hoteful system of opartheld. The
system of apartheid now practiced with such vicious cruelty by
the White minority regime in South Africo. Apartheid whose hor-
rors and crimes I'm sure you're all very familiar with, seeks to
preserve an edifice of minority rule and minority privileges
through the exploitation end barbaric subjugation of the vast
masses of the people of South Africa. To preserve its hated rule
and to sustain the minorities privileged status and lopsided en-
joyment of the wealth of the countr/, the apartheid regime has
not hesitated to kill hundreds of Black South Africans in cold
blood. To retain its illegal colonial grip over Namibia and to in-
vade oil its neighbors either directly or through proxies or both.
This is a regime which should not be treated as a normal
member of the international community. This is a regime, which
precisely because it flouts all norms of decency ond civilized
conduct in its treatment of population it misgoverns and in its
relotions with its neighbors, should long ago hove attracted both
the opproprium and active opposition of oil mankind, you can-
not engage constructively in it with it at oil. And of course, if
constructive engagement is to yield any result, then it must set
out to destroy that which is inhuman. When the students of this
University saw that their library was invaded by on enemy of
humanity — filth and dirt, yes, collectively they decided to under-
take constructive engagement. Constructive engagement
transformed the appearance, the environment of the library and
it meant scrubbing and removing dirt. So let constructive
engagement do a scrubbing process as well. There ore those
who believe apparently that apartheid con be killed by friend-
ly persuasion and gentle kindliness. We do not agree in Southern
Africa, and in a progressive world. We do not agree for the sim-
ple reason that persuasion and kindness, whether on the port
of outsiders or on the part of the African majority, have after
many decades failed to achieve the desired results in South
Africa. The lesson that on oppressive and estranged leader does
not succumb to mere pleas ond entreaties is not o twentieth
century discovery. Just over 200 years ago Crispus Attucks, the
escaped former slave, and Black and White revolutionor/ com-
rades who were caught up in the historic Boston Mossocre in
1 770, set an early example by directly confronting British power
and authority rather than begging for the mere improvement
of conditions. And the stop/ was the some with those other brave
sons and daughters of Massachusetts, this is the historic cradle
of American independence, from the Boston Tea Party until your
peoples' final victory at Yorktown in 178'!. These men and
women like many, many others, before and since, shared the
view expressed so eloquently by Frederick Douglass, that great
nineteenth-century Afro-American abolitionist when he sold, and
here I quote from Lerone Bennett Jr's Before The Mayflower: A
History Of DIack America, "If there is no struggle, there is no pro-
gress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depricate
agitation, ore men who wont crops without plowing out the
grout. They wont roin without thunder and lightning. They want
the ocean without the ov^ul roar of its many waters. This strug-
gle may be a morol one or o physical one and it may be both
moral and physical but it must be o struggle. Power concedes
nothing without o demand, it never did and it never will. Men
may not get all they pay for in this world, but they must cer-
tainly pay for oil they get."
In respect of South Africa we ore not calling for foreign armies
of invasion. We hove only called for the imposition of economic
and other sanctions, so that democracy is achieved in that
unhappy land. We believe all mankind has a duty and on in-
terest in such a democratic evolution in both South Africa and
Namibia. As Dr. Du Bois put in his book Thie World and Africa,
and here I quote again: "Democracy is not o privilege, it is op-
portunity just OS for OS any port of o notion or of the world is
excluded from a shore in democratic power and self expres-
sion, just so for as the world will always be in danger of war
and collapse. If this nation, the United States nation that is, could
not exist half-slaved and half-free then the world in which this
nation ploys o larger and larger port also cannot be half-slaved
and half-free, but must recognize world democracy."
It is gratifying that this university alongside other similar in-
stitutions and certain State governments in this country has token
steps to dis-invest in South Africa. This gesture of friendship and
solidarity is highly appreciated by the people of Southern Africa.
I believe that your laudable initiative should be strengthened
and followed up with further support for the people of South
Africa in all forms. Moral, material, financial, and political, so
that they may know that they are not alone in the fight against
apartheid. In doing so you should be war/ of the incidious pro-
paganda from Pretoria aimed at creating the illusion that mean-
ingful change is taking place when this is not the case. The only
genuine agents are the oppressed masses under the leader-
ship of their liberation movements. Pretoria's propaganda must
not distract you from supporting the struggle against apartheid
until the masses in that country are free to participate fully in
determining their own future in a free democratic, united and
non-rociol society. May I take this opportunity to assure our good
friend Ms. Mandela thot Zimbabwe will never, never, never give
The struggle against apartheid, it is our struggle. The strug-
gle of Africa, and we being a neighboring territory to South
Africa, must ensure thot the environment in which we live is con-
ducive to Q smooth sleep. We don't hove that peaceful sleep
because apartheid is in the hobit of crushing the border, invading
us and destroying our instollotions in the country, but more than
that it's on African struggle, still more it's o struggle for humani-
ty as any struggle for human rights. Because it's a universal strug-
gle, and enjoins all progressive communities in the international
order. To join forces with the people of South Africa in fighting
the evil system until that evil system is overthrown.
I thank you Mr. Chancellor ond others who also spoke, poy-
ing tribute to me in person and to the people of Zimbabwe
in general. When we fought our struggle, yes we used violent
means because the enemy was using violent means. There was
no other way whereby we could overthrow the enemy, but as
we said during the war we were using the gun in order to create
peace and once the objective of peace hod been created, hod
been attained, then we appealed, to our people to turn their
swords into plowshares.
And so we hove sold to all our esquired enemies including
Ion Smith, you're free to live in the country provided you
recognize the tenets of the new political order. Let us be one.
What were our differences yesterday hove now been settled
by the fact, by the reality, of independence. That reality has
turned those who were enemies and those who were ollies in-
to a notion. We could not ovoid each other anymore. I say it
in March 1980, and because we could not avoid each other
we hod to work together, and in order to work together we
hod to be reconciled to each other. And so that is the policy
we hove tried to pursue but, obviously, we hove hod our own
set of problems, our own shore of difficulties. The persuasion
and the course of action has always been to create o society
in which all, whatever the color of their skin, whatever their
religion, whatever their ethnic offinioties and whatever their
political affiliations, con soy Zimbabwe is my home, your home
and the home of all of us. That is the togetherness we ore work-
ing for and that is the togetherness we will wont to see the peo-
ple of South Africa create. But before that is ochieved we hove
to help those who ore struggling against the force of apartheid
to win the struggle, and once again I applaud you for what you
ore doing in your own small way as Massachusetts' commitment
to assist the people of South Africa.
Let me end, Mr. Chancellor, by saying once again thanks to
you, thanks to the regents, to the trustees, faculty, students,
the State of Massachusetts for this great honor which you hove
bestowed on me and my country. I bring you the fervent
greetings of the Zimbabwion people upon whom as I said
earlier, through me you have decided to confer this great honor
today. I shall cherish it for oil time and the people of Zimbabwe
shall always cherish it as a bond of friendship and solidarity be-
tween you and them. Thank You. Totenda Si abolo.
A PEOPLE UNITED
Written 6 Photographed
By Dovid Mohmoud
When spider webs unite they con tie up q lion. (Ethiopia)
On October 27, 1986 o tragic event
shook the entire campus of the University
of Massachusetts at Amherst. Yancey
Robinson (pictured below) v^/as involved in
a brutal beating, during v^hich he received
Q substantial omount of damage to his
neck, ribs, and knee.
The incident occurred minutes after the
final gome of the Boston Red Sox-New
York Mets World Series. Through eyewitness
occounts, this misfortunote incident oc-
curred as follows:
It was in the Southwest Residential Area
where hundreds of people gathered at a
well-known hangout called the "pyra-
mids." One could sense the animosity
beginning to rise between the two groups;
Mets fans cheering in delight of their vic-
tory and Red Sox fons showing their
displeasure by destroying property and
causing on uproar. A fight broke out
between o group of Red Sox fans and a
minority group, (consisting of Mets fans). It
was said by on eyewitness that o Red Sox
fan went up to one of the minorities and
osked him, "Are you a Mets fan or a Red
Sox fan?" The reply was "Mets." That mo-
ment the Block man was struck in the face
and the fighting began; Whites against
Blacks. It was said, soon there were too
many Whites, and the minority group fled.
Sometime later (10-15 minutes) Yancey
Robinson, was coming bock from his study
session, and hod seen a smashed window
at Crompton (on all women's dorm in the
Southwest area). Inquisitive os to whot
was going on, Yancey proceeded toward
the crowd to investigate. Upon reaching
the crowd he picked up o golf club that
hod been apparently disgorded by some-
one. While looking at the smashed win-
dow he was approached by a police of-
ficer. Obviously it looked as though he hod
done the damage. Yancey's first instinct,
when the police officer grabbed him was
to run, it was then when he was spotted
and mistakenly identified as one of the
members of the minority group. Yancey
got about 50 yards before he had fallen
and was overwhelmed by o large White
group, which proceeded to beat him
unmercifully. This was being observed by
police for nearly a minute before action
was token to save his life.
A large protest followed uniting Third
World people as well as Whites. The pic-
tures attest to the size of the march. This
morch was very productive in that
Chancellor Joseph Duffey finally came out
at the end of the march to talk to the peo-
ple at the New Africa House (a building
which houses Third World organizations as
well OS the Afro-Am. Studies Dept.). Ques-
tions were asked, but not answered to the
satisfaction of the people. Duffey soon left,
leaving many questions unanswered.
Needless to soy, this wos not oppreciated
by the people of the Third World communi-
ty. The message did get across though. For
the weekend of Holloween there wos not
one incident in Southwest (to our
knowledge). This was very surprising, for
history has shown that Halloween's landing
on a weekend proves to be one of the
worst weekends at the University of Massa-
chusetts, in regards to security matters.
This was o very unfortunate incident, one
which hopefully will not occur again. I hope
that through this article there will be o
message sent to ever/one, showing that
times hove not changed. Minorities hove
to get together and stay together to show
their strength. Let's end racism and live in
Profile on Commissioner
Poncho Morris ond Rudoph Miller
Dr. Frederick Hurst attended undergraduate school at Howard University in Washington D.C., and graduated in 1968, the year
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. After graduation, he had an offer to wori-i in the trust department of Bridge National
boni^ in Washington D.C., where he would be able to ottend low school through o program they offered. Instead, he came to
Springfield, Massachusetts where he worked in a government poverty program and taught for a couple of years. In between his
busy schedule he was also able to leod o few successful civil rights marches. After attending graduate school at the University of
Mossachusetts for a few semesters in pursuit of a doctorate in education. Hurst left for Chicago where he worked as on admissions
director for a small college. After the college folded, due to bankruptcy, he decided to pursue his idea of attending low school.
Dr. Hurst attended DePouw University Low School and, after he graduated, come bock to Massachusetts and worked as a public
defender for two years. He was appointed, one year later, to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination as Commis-
sioner, by Governor Michael Dukakis. As Commissioner, he is responsible for running the office, as well as carrying out investigations
into coses involving discrimination charges. Commissioner Hurst was recently reappointed to a second term.
On October 27, 1 986, after the final gome of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Mets, on incident
involving Block students and White students occurred in the Southwest Residential Area on the University of Massachusetts campus.
This incident was characterized by some students as o brawl and by others as a racial incident. Several doys after the incident.
Commissioner Hurst was called in to investigote what occurred on that cold October night.
Drum: Do you find that most of the coses you handle occcur due
Hurst: A good number of the coses we handle don't deal with
racism. Most of the coses we deal with occur due to sex-
ism, ethnocentrism, hondicoppism and ageism. When
you said racism, I realized thot I hove to be very careful.
As I hove said, the cases we deal with involve discrimina-
tion, which sometimes is a manifestation of rocism, either
direct or indirect. Indirect racism is usually due to o per-
son's desire to moke money. For instance, o reoltor will
not sell Q house to o Block person because the person
who listed with him/her wonts to sell it to a White per-
son. The realtor is motivated by money, while the other
person is motivated by racism. In either cose, it is
Drum: Do you know the process by which you were chosen to
become the independent investigator?
Hurst: I don't know the process by which they selected me. I
received a call from Chancellor Duffey, with whom I hove
hod minimal exposure to in the post. He asked me if I
wos interested and first suggested the possibility of a
three person panel, and said he would get bock to me.
He got bock to me ond told me he hod decided to only
go with me. I told him that I would do it. I don't know
whot motivated him to coll me, except for the fact that
he knew I am the Commissioner for the Massachusetts
Commission Against Discrimination. Therefore, I hove on
investigative background in the oreo.
Drum: After you were contacted to become the independent
investigator, several faculty members voiced their con-
cern as to whether you would be copoble of being un-
biased and impartiol in carrying out the investigation. Did
you hove any knowledge of this? If so, did this affect you
in ony woy?
Hurst: No, but I am sensitive enough to know that some peo-
ple might feel that way. As a Block person, I hove enough
sense to realize that some White people would feel that
I would be biased. If I was White, some Block people
would feel that I would be biased. Therefore, the only
thing I could rely on was my professionol experience of
being objective, and so I was not worried about those
concerns. I wos convinced in the beginning that in the
final onalysis, what fell out would be so clearly objective
that any doubts would be dispelled. This is essentiolly
what happened. I am certain that there are still noy-
soyers ond doubters, but there will always be. The point
of the investigation was to come up with on objective
investigation that's corroborated by facts. Generally, my
experience has been thot when you tell it like you see
it, if there's a doubt or two, in general, the reception of
the end product will be good.
Drum: You stated in your report that you "were not mode to
feel like o man on on important mission during the first
port of your investigation." Could you please elaborate
on what you meant by that statement?
Hurst: It's not really fair for you to ask me what I meont by that
statement. I hove refused to elaborate on this for other
people who asked me to because I felt it's so important
that the report speaks for itself. I am going to moke one
exception and try to give you a sense of whot I meant
without going into o lot of detail.
When you walk into an office you know how you are
being received. You form a gut, spontaneous impression
on your reception. This is what onybody does. We oil form
first impressions. You con ask your psychology professors
this. They will confirm it. It's a gut, spontaneous reaction,
and then you look for o basis for determining if it's a valid
reaction or not. My first reaction when I approached the
office was that there was not a real sense of urgency
about the incident. I then tested this against what hap-
pened later — missed and concelled meetings; along
with periods of time when meetings were not scheduled;
ond when I hod people who I should hove met with not
being contacted — I got a generol sense that folks did
not see my mission as on important one. I did not get
the feeling that people were deliberately running blocks
on me becouse I kept my ears open for thot possibility.
I did not get the feeling that there was a deliberate ef-
fort to derail the investigation in progress. Not being able
to draw these conclusions, I simply come to the conclu-
sion thot folks must not hove seen the investigation as
on important one. The fact that I did not hove that much
exposure to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs or his
staff, outside of the one Block assistant, gave me a sense
thot maybe they didn't feel it was important. The fact
that the secretaries weren't that responsive whenever I
walked into the room gave me the feeling that they
didn't seem to core whether I met my objective or not.
All this combined for me to draw the simple conclu-
sion that the folks didn't receive me os o man on on im-
portant mission. It seems like o simple statement but it
was due to a number of inputs that I received when I
was there. I don't know if it's a fair statement, but it's
the impression I picked up. I could hove soid it in o more
negotive way, and this is particularly why I hesitated to
comment on it. I don't want to blame any one person.
Maybe the secretaries weren't given o sense of the im-
portance of the mission and maybe the special assistant
to the Vice Chancellor didn't hove the power to get me
through to the people that I hod to get through to. I don't
know. I don't wont to drow improper conclusions or point
improper fingers, but the sum total of these things let me
draw the conclusion that I did. From what I could gather,
they seemed to oil be well meaning people.
Drum: The Director of Public Safety in the Februory 18 issue of
the Collegian stated that his "deportment might have
handled the Southwest Areo brawl better only if there
hod been o crystal boll to worn the incident was going
to become violent." Could you please respond to this
Hurst: He is crazy. It was obsolutely predictable. That is the most
inexcusable port of the whole incident. It wos absolute-
ly predictoble ond most probobly preventoble because
of the incidents thot hod occurred ofter the other gomes,
and because of the foct that even his own people re-
quested manpower, which he denied.
In fact, even if the prior six gomes hod not occurred
and the extra monpower hod not been requested,
whenever you get a mixture of people as in the South-
west Residential Area, and you know that a large, emo-
tional offoir is going to take ploce, then you know that
there's a possibility of violence. You hove to increase your
security if you know that you hove o mixture of Blacks
and Whites. Where the Blacks were as outnumbered, os
was the cose, then it's predictable that the violence might
become racial. This means that not only do you need
protection in generol, but that you hove to especially
focus on the protection of the minorities. If he thinks that
he needed o crystol boll to predict this then maybe you
need o new director.
Drum: [Former] Director Gerold O'Neil also stated thot he would
have been criticized if he hod ordered o massive police
presence in the oreo. Therefore, he would hove been
damned if he hod ordered on enormous police presence,
ond now he is domned because he didn't. What is your
opinion on this statement?
Hurst: If one isolates the problem to on issue of more or less
cops, then one con draw simple conclusions. The issue
is not one of more or less cops. If the situation hod been
predicted earlier, then the crowd would hove been
prevented from rising to the number it rose to, and the
incident would hove been eclipsed before it happened.
This process could have been deolt with through the proc-
ess of both police and civilian authorities, hod they hod
o gome plan in place. I don't mean o gome plon that
simply soys increase the police force. There ore many
other Qpprooches to the motter that could hove been
For instance, (thot night) there could hove been o
group of resident directors out in force, identif/ing peo-
ple they were responsible for, ond making certain thot
those people know they ore present to identify and
punish anyone who does foolish things. There could have
been some very highly ploced people in the odministro-
tion on campus, odvocoting that rule breakers will be
swiftly punished. I can't imogine why they weren't on
Drum: Do you see the incident ot the University of Mossochusetts
OS on isolated incident or os port of recent, notionwide
attacks against Blocks.
Hurst: I see this os one in o string of racial incidents that hove
been occurring across the country. I do see those incidents
OS port of Q notional pattern that has resulted from on
increase of rociol intoleronce.
I believe this rociol intolerance emanated from the top.
The top being Ronald Rieogon's policies as they ore be-
ing interpreted by the people below him. The lower you
get on the totem pole, the more primitive the interpreta-
tion becomes. For example, where you have President
Reogon saying everybody must hove on equal chance
at jobs and Ed Meese interpreting this to mean Affirmative
Action is illegal: then you find the guy ot the bottom of
the pole saying he is unemployed because of "niggers"
who ore getting on unfair opportunity. This interpretation
then interprets itself further into a White robe and on at-
tock. It could also interpret itself as o spontaneous ex-
pression of racial intolerance like that which occurred at
the U. Moss, campus, whereby emotions over a gome
ore real high and therefore having no outlet it suddenly
interprets itself as racial animosity.
I do think it's port of o national pattern. I do think we
also have to be very, very coreful not to let it go unspoken
about. We must speak out.
Drum; Is the Southwest racial incident report the most difficult
report you hove ever written?
Hurst: I agonized over this report like I have ogonized over none
before. It's truly the hardest report I hove ever written,
and I write decisions all the time.
Drum: We would like to thank you for taking time out from your
busy schedule to answer our questions. It was truly an
inspiration to talk with you.
Hurst: Thank you. I enjoyed tolking with you both.
Special thanks to Rick Townes.
On April 2nd, five months after the rocial incident at the University of Massachusetts, Chancellor Joseph Duffy issued a memoran-
dum outlining 16 steps the University is preporing to implement in response to the incident. Whot follows is o verbatim transcript
of that assessment as shown to the members of the Faculty Senate.
1. Criminal Prosecution: Immediatelyafterreceipt of the Hurst
Report, I asked District Attorney Ryan to conduct a criminal in-
vestigation of the October 27 incident in the hope that those
responsible for the violation of others' rights could be brought
to justice. Through the intensive efforts of the DA's investigotors
ond our repeoted urging of witnesses to come forward, enough
evidence was gathered to allow the District Attorney to seek
criminal complaints against six individuols. When the District At-
torney's office mokes that evidence available to us, those in-
dividuols will be subject to the University's disciplinary process.
2. Security: In keeping with my commitment to take a hard
and objective look at our possible shortcomings and flaws, we
retained the services of Saul Chafin, former director of our Public
Safety division, to conduct o detailed review of our Public Safe-
ty office. Consistent with that review, significant changes ore
being mode. The current director has requested and been
gronted an administrative reassignment to serve as Director of
Security Planning in the Office of Space Management. Can-
didates for the vQcont Director of Public Safety position have
been identified and a search committee will be formed as soon
OS possible. A new reporting and communication plan that en-
compasses all relevant areas on campus including Public Safe-
ty, Health Services and Housing Services, has been developed
and is now being implemented.
3. Public Relations: The Office of Public Information has
developed and implemented a policy for communicating racial
incidents which is consistent with the recommendations mode
by Commissioner Hurst. The policy specifies who should speak
for the press and how racial incidents should be communicated.
4. Education Programs: Many of our efforts to dote have fo-
cused on the design and development of programs that will
heighten the campus community's awareness of racial issues and
concerns. Within the Student Affoirs division, the Vice Chancellor
and the Executive Director of Housing ore working to expand
the already extensive programming in the Residence Halls. In
Academic Affairs, the Executive Vice Chancellor and the
Associate Provost have been working closely with the General
Education Council to find ways of heightening awareness
through curriculor change. Proposals will be forthcoming for con-
sideration by the Faculty Senate. The General Education Coun-
cil of the Faculty Senate is developing a proposol to require every
freshman to take o course on cultural diversity, and to create
new courses that are directly relevant to racism in this country.
On Tuesday, April 21 , we will observe a day of speciol con-
cern for issues of racial awareness and community. On the after-
noon of that day, we ore planning o workshop for senior od-
ministrators which will address the question of institutional
responsibilities for racial and cultural sensitivity. On the evening
of that some day (April 21 ) student meetings and discussions
will be called on each floor of every residence hall to discuss
these questions. I am pleased to announce, as well, that the
Reverend Jesse Jackson hos occepted my invitation to speak
on compus at noon on that day (April 21). Reverend Jackson
will be the highlight of a day devoted to the exominotion of
our obligations as o pluralistic community.
On their own initiative a number of students and student
organizations hove responded with plans and programs to im-
prove the campus climate. Through the combined efforts of
many segments of the campus community, we expect the cur-
rent level of activity to continue through this semester and
throughout the next academic year. Our commitment to this
task is illustrated by our special request to the Legislature for
S600,000. If this money is allocated it will be used to recruit
more minority students and to fund new courses on community
and racial issues. For faculty members who wont to change their
courses to call greater attention to rociol concerns, the Provost
has promised release time, technical assistance, resource
materials and other means of support.
5. Minority Support Programs: The special request for
$600,000 olso includes proposals to bolster programs such as
those offered by the Committee for the Collegiate Education
of Block and Other Minority Students (CCEDMS) and the Bilingual
Collegiate Program (BCP). I have met with the Board of Direc-
tors of CCEBMS and many other groups to discuss woys in which
our progroms and services con be improved. Former Chancellor
Bromery is coordinating a review of the administrative and finan-
cial support for these important progroms.
6. Student Concerns: The issues raised by Concerned Members
of the Block/Minority Community and the Third World Caucus
have been addressed in the lost few months.
• The criminal investigation has been conducted and the
results hove been mode public.
• The Department of Public Safety has received training in
crowd control and minimum force techniques.
• The feasibility ond effectiveness of foot patrols and increased
lighting is under study by our consultant Soul Chafin. In the
meantime we will experiment with the use of foot patrols
in the Southwest area over the weekends.
• Our commitment to increase minority representation at
every level and to involve minorities in the search and selec-
tion process is o strong one. We will offer ten more minori-
ty graduate fellowships and increase the size of the Special
opportunity Fund to allow for the recruitment of additional
black faculty. Black faculty members now represent 3% of
the totol. Our goal is to hove the highest proportion of block
faculty of all mojor universities in the Northeast. That goal
con be reached through the addition of about 15 black
faculty members. Efforts to recruit minority students hove
been intensified through additional scholarships,
phonothons, direct mail, special campus visits, the exten-
sion of application and financial aid deadlines and many
other efforts. Our number of block undergraduate oppliconts
has declined in the lost several years while the nationol
decline has been precipitous. Block graduate students hove
increased by 17% over the lost five yeors despite a national
decline of about 36 percent. To continue that growth we
will establish o $60,000 fund for minority graduate
fellowships. We have been selected by the National Science
Foundation to receive an Incentives for Excellence Scholar-
ship Prize. This prize, according to the N.S.F., "recognizes
the efforts of your faculty to identify outstanding minority
students in science, engineering or mathematics." These ef-
forts will be greatly enhanced through the addition of Zoido
Geraldo, the new head of Affirmative Action. Associate Vice
Chancellor Geraldo, who assumed her new duties yester-
day, has been empowered by this administration and the
Board of Trustees to moke sweeping changes in our affirm-
ative action policies.
• Review of the General Education program was mentioned
• Chancellor Jenifer and the Board of Regents have pledged
to oddress minority concerns at the state level and to work
with other public universities ond colleges to find creative
solutions to these long-standing problems. In addition, we
have scheduled meetings with our district legislators to keep
• I have expressed on numerous occosions my commitment
to racial concerns and my determination to bring about
positive change. I will continue to do so at every oppor-
tunity. In addition, I pledge the administration to not just
one campus-wide forum, such as the one planned for April
21, but to several forums in the year ahead so that the
critical issues before us con receive the attention they
7. Alcohol Policy; A new alcohol policy which places further
restrictions on those who serve and dispense alcohol, was im-
plemented this year. In addition, the Residence Halls have
mode educational programs mandatory for all students who
hove been found to hove misused or abused alcohol. Repeat
offenders will be expelled from the Residence Halls. The Univer-
sity's Health Center has developed some creative approaches
to the problem, including training for local bartenders and pro-
grams for package stores. Much more, however, must be done.
To the fullest possible and practical extent, this campus will en-
force state lows regarding the legol drinking age, making
greater use of University discipline as well as the legal system.
Students seeking campus housing next year and their parents
will be advised of campus regulations concerning the use of
alcohol and of our plans to enforce these regulations. We need
the active support of the student body, especially Student
Government; the assistance of package stores and other ven-
dors of alcohol; and the cooperation of the courts if we hope
to moke real progress in this area.
8. Disciplinar/ Procedures; Lost foil, a code of conduct which
defines horassment and states clearly the punishments for that
behavior was incorporated into the policies that comprise
Undergraduate Rights and Responsibilities. Along with these
changes, the first major revisions in more than 20 years, we hove
reaffirmed a vigorous enforcement policy. In addition, all cases
of discrimination will continue to be reported to the affirmative
action office for further action when necessary. We will reprint
the brochure "Against Rociol Harassment," which defines racial
harassment and the attendant penalties, and redistribute it
throughout the campus within the next month.
9. Residence Directors; Twenty percent of our Residence Direc-
tors, 10 percent of our Residence Assistonts staff and 28 per-
cent of our Assistant Residence Directors ore block. We are com-
mitted to increasing those numbers and making sure that
minorities stoff members ore present throughout the residence
1 0. Freshmen; At the beginning of this ocademic year, 49 per-
cent of our freshmen were living on the east side of campus
while 51 percent were living in Southwest. Obviously, no
redistribution is necessary but we will continue to explore the
dynamics of life within the Residence Halls in the hope of im-
proving the quality of life. Included in our plans are greater em-
phasis on faculty involvement in residential life through residen-
tial college courses, symposia, seminars, and workshops.
1 1 . Football Players; District Attorney Ryan has mode it clear
that those football players who were present ot the brawl were
acting as individuals, not as cohorts or members of the team.
Complaints are being sought against only two. If the court or
our disciplinory procedures finds on individual guilty of criminal
behavior, that individual should be held responsible not the foot-
boll teom. If we assume insensitivity resides only within certain
organizations or aspects of the campus, our solutions will prove
to be short-lived and ineffective. Our athletic department should
continue to moke sure every student athlete understands the
special responsibilities of being a role model and, therefore, why
they should aspire to the highest ethical conduct. Neither I nor
the commission favor the funding of the Civility Commission with
the proceeds from athletic events because we feel such a system
implies that athletics should bear a disproportionate burden for
the maintenance of civility on campus.
12. Civility Commission; I agree with Commissioner Hurst's
assessment thot the suggestions of the Civility Commission
should receive a thorough and timely response from the ap-
propriate administrative units. Within the month, the Commis-
sion will begin holding weekly public meetings to solicit specific
proposals for putting the university's ideols into practice. I urge
oil interested persons or groups to develop proposals for these
13. Minority Issues; I hove received a letter from concerned
representatives of the Hispanic community expressing support
for the Hurst Report and asking for an equal commitment to all
aspects of the minority population. Wherever and whenever
possible and oppropriote, the aforementioned actions will be
extended to encompass and accommodate the entire minori-
ty population. Our special request for $600,000, for instance,
includes proposals to improve the quality of life for all minorities
1 4. Authority; Former Chancellor Bromery hos been appointed
OS o special counsel to assist me. Executive Vice Chancellor
O'Brien and Vice Chancellor Modson. His appointment has hod
on imrhediote and beneficial effect as witnessed by the signifi-
cant progress that has been mode in the lost few months. He
has offered to continue in his current capacity to moke recom-
mendations to ensure the permanence of the actions that we
have token. The Vice Chancellorfor Student Affairs is in the proc-
ess of restructuring the office of the Dean of Students to improve
communicotion and clorif/ lines of responsibility.
15. Other Recommendations; Our response over the lost
several months shows that meritorious ideas and plans hove
been and will continue to be translated into action.
1 6. Periodic Review: In addition to the reviews conducted at
the departmental level, I recommend that we establish October
27 OS the date for on annual, university-wide review. A specific
proposal for how that review should be conducted is being
RACIST LANGUAGE AWARENESS QUIZ
by Poncho Morris
Within our pluralistic society many people of different ethnic and cultural bocligrounds ore often in contoct with each other. Accord-
ing to Irving Lewis Allen, outhor of The Language of Ethnic Conflict, for the ethnic majority, name-colling justifies inequolity and
discriminotion. Thot is, ethnic slurs "ore o device that help produce and maintain social class and privilege."' But what about minorities
using racial slurs against each other?
It is always saddening to hear o block person calling onother block person o "nigger." I was recently speaking with a fellow
block student who whispered to me that another block student was a "fake nigger." I questioned this woman as to what "fake
nigger" was and she replied thot o "fake nigger" is o block person who acts white.
Hove blacks internalized oppression? How con we as blacks struggling ogoinst oppression, be token seriously when we decry
the use of raciol slurs against us, but at the some time use them against ourselves?
I decided to research the origins of the word "nigger," along with other racial slurs. My findings were astonishing. I would like
to shore some of my findings with the following Racist Longuoge Awareness Quiz.
'Allen, Irvin Lewis, The Language of Ethnic Conflict. New York: Colum-
bia University Press, 1980 p. 15
1 . Aye-rob is a deliberate mispronunciation of Arab
ond it is offensive.
2. A cosual "cotton pickin'
in one s conver-
sation is offensive to blacks.
3. The 'white' in white trash mokes o cleor dis-
tinction between types of poor people and has
o connection with the saying, "I'm poor, but at
least I'm not block."
4. Language is a deliberate form of the 'divide and
conquer' tactic used by the oppressors of o society.
5. Terms such as blacksheep, blockmorket, black-
list, blue collar, white lie, white magic, white
collor, etc. ore not racist terms.
6. Terms such as blackmail ond block comedy oil
hove synonyms which one could use instead of
the color terms.
7. Since mulatto hos gained acceptability in the
medio, it is not racist.
8. The phrase "Chinese fire drill" is commonly used
to describe an actual Chinese fire drill,
9. The term 'squaw' for Eskimo women is not op-
propriote; the favored term is 'Esquaw.'
10. An N.F.L. team uses a rocist term for the title of
1 1 . To coll Q black student, "boy" is no longer
12. The number of racist terms directed at blacks
greatly exceeds that of any other minority group.
13. The word "nigger" used to be banned from use
on television and in the movies, but o few years
ogo the ban was lifted.
1 4. It has been argued that the wide-spreod increase
in the use of the word "nigger" by the media is
part of a much lorger scheme designed to denig-
rate Afro-Americons and keep them the focus of
15. Historical documentation shows that it was the T F
word "nigger" that was used by Klansmen to
sound the charge to slaughter newly freed Block
16. Members of the younger block generation have T F
occepted the term "nigger" as a natural port of
the American scene that "we must live with."
Still worse, others hove come to accept the epi-
thet and oil of its degrading meonings as repre-
sentotive of themselves and other blacks.
Information for these questions was token from:
Allen, Irving Lewis, The Language of Ethnic Conflict, New York: Co-
lumbio University Press. 1983
Allen, 5. "Racial Slurs," Crisis. May 1985 Vol. 92, p. 37-41
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IN MEMORY OF TWO THOUSAND, TWO HUNDRED SLAIN BLACK SOUTH AFRICANS
Carl Owens, Detroit, Ml