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Full text of "Drum"

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Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

Boston Library Consortium IVIember Libraries 



http://www.archive.org/details/drum33univ 



STAFF 



Roy I. Jones, Herman L. Davenport 

Ernestine Jewell 

Imogine Lewis 

Doris Williams, Bill Adams 

DebbeHolford(Kysha) 

Alrundus Hart 

Robert Padgett 

Paul Barrows 



Co-Editors 

Secretary 

Treasurer 

Office Staff 

Art 

Photography 

Literary 

Layout 



Editor's Note: This page will see many new names next year (including a new Editor, refer to 
acknowledgements). We urge you all to support the staff by making your literary contributions, 
thus making their job easier. 



THE DRUM, Spring 1972 
To/. 3, Vo. 3 

Editorial, Circulation and Ad- 
vertising Offices located at 111 
Mills House, University of Massa- 
chusetts, Amherst, Mass. 01002. 

Printing: Gazette Printing Co., Inc. Northampton, 
Mass. 




CONTENTS 



3 Congratulations to CCEBS Seniors 

4 Editorial 

5 From to What 

6 Feature 

8 The Black Community 

13 "On Mississippi" 

15 The Sea and You 

16 The Laws of Consuinption 
18 Great Black Music 

20 Noted Black Women 

22 Things that Speak for Themselves 

30 Seize the Time 

31 To All Black Moles of Vision 

32 Cockroach on a Bike 

35 Busing for Quality Education 

36 Poetry 

37 Mississippi: Chance or Change 

43 An Invitation 

44 Acknowledgements 



Herman L. Davenport 

A. Jackson Linebarger 

Mel Smith 

Carol Thompson 

Ingrid W hite 

Armando Morales 

Cassandra Duarte 

Bill Hasson 

Xernona Clayton 

Leo Frame 

Jackie Bert y man 

John E. Davis 

Emmanuel Asibong 

Bill Adams 

Jeanais Brodie 

ISapoleon Jasper 

Roy L Jones 




congratulations to CCBBS Seniors 



Cass o( CCEBS ^'"•"'J/'H^ ,g„„s. all Wnds 
more than paid "'^'' «^"" % q, course 
of odds. Do you '•^"'^""'f .„„ „ ,he 

,„u ian,e,.l>er: "o-;^^ ^"^.Itesler grades, 

flrs. CCEBS welcome -""""S' °";.„„,. „s,, our lulors, 
our"siMn,"ourl, l"""-^",,^^ „,,«,■• 

'"rC." -^-elsleryearas 

''^::,per,^en,.0, course /o-e- 

memberll Vou rem n,^er ^^« ^_^.^^^ ,^^^ 

and many o.her ""^'f '".X'^olhing more Ihan our 
V,eren'.we? We ="-;•; ,^^„„„,, ;oys, sadnesses, 
common o«por.enoe^ rus. ^.^^^ ^^^^ 

''Cn"----rr'" 

best Of luck m your fu- 
ture endeavors. 

. s- ^o rCEBS seniors, 
Congratulations, CCtoo 

Staff of the Drum. 





Editorial 



If it is true that Black students are now going through college to go back to the 
Black community, then what is it that we are learning here that is so vital to us. 
Can it be the Americanization process of brainwashing that our folks back home 
need? Could it be the corrections of the fallacies that "our" history books taught 
us? Or could it be that the only thing the folks back home need, is the assurance 
that we did battle with the fallacies, that we fought the Americanization in order to 
get back home. 

What the people are looking for are not messiahs or martyrs, but warriors. 
The last Dude that came to save his people was crucified. Then came Malcolm 
and Martin and folks sat back and let these men fight the battles for them. But 
warriors don't fight for the people; they fight with them; and when warriors come 
back home, the folks have to fight for themselves, and the things that the people 
want come to be. What makes warriors different from messiahs or martyrs? 

Warriors are not above the community. They come from among the people 
and the things that they fight for, are those things that all the people fight for, i.e., 
community control of community actions and welfare. Warriors never leave the 
community. They are like craftsmen; a carpenter does not leave his wood to study 
four years away from it, and expect to come back and be a better carpenter. The 
warrior realizes, as does the carpenter, that in order to be better, one continues 
working with the wood as he defines his mathematics, to make his dimensions 
more precise; as he enlarges his history to relate his work to others in the past, as 
he increases his power of linguistics to help teach, that which he has learned, to 
fellow warriors. 

In other words, it is a growing belief that a student cannot talk of returning 
home without having studied and worked with people while in school. There 
cannot be any proof of theories without practical application. Students must get 
involved in the same things in which the people are involved. There must be the 
same pressure on the students that the Tenants Rights workers face. The student 
must feel the same fears that the voter r-egistration worker feels. He or she must 
experience frustrations and defeats as any other half-way house worker, or prison 
reformer would. Because, when the "warrior comes home" with his "education," 
he must be able to relate this learning to the people in such a way that they might 
convert it to working, dealing energy. 

To those of us who are optimistically saying that Black students come here to 
learn and then return home and teach, I say that we had better be about getting the 
tools for the carpenters, or the weapons for the warriors, so that when they go back 
home, they will be seasoned. If we do not start with ourselves, now, we will find 
more and more students coming to Amherst to "steal away" only to find that 
"There is no hiding place down here." 

HERMAN DAVENPORT 




FROM TO WHAT 

from the plastic God-head 
i find myself escaping, 
tiring of naked runs in 

fading woodlands, 
and the long-haired gnomes 
of love, peace, and happiness, 
white becomes repulsing, 
and the synthetic generation, 
successful in self-deception, 
plans for their revolution/ 
awaiting the day 
when they lawfully 
may fuck in the streets 
and drink maalox 
from an over-used needle. 



A. JACKSON LINEBARGER 



THE MAKING OF OUR UBERATION 



In black communities throughout the United States 
today a historical liberation struggle continues. It is a 
struggle that involves many people in daily routines, 
values, goals, and problem solving attempts which 
might be considered to be quite other than revolution- 
ary in the rhetorical sense, but which are based on the 
essentials of survival and accompanying perceptions of 
fulfillment. Sometimes, and in some persons, this means 
accommodation or submitting to the prevaihng or- 
ganized system, while "moving up" within it or in dupli- 
cation of it. Other times, and in other persons, protest, 
resistance, and rebellion are foremost attitudes and 
actions, accompanied by attempts to develop new de- 
signs, new institutions and systems. Of course some 
persons are apparently uncommitted to a posture, but 
in any case the prospect of change has not been aban- 
doned. 

The kind of change prospects to which black people 
will respond might depend upon whether or not parti- 
cular advocates can produce practical results. Present 
and past indications regarding social movements reveal 
that much of a movement's initial success depends upon 
its abihty to provide benefits, solve problems, and an- 
swer questions for its people— especially for the un- 
committed. It seems reasonable to assume that the 
overriding considerations for the black community, 
along with "what goals should we pursue," are what can 
group A or professor B, or student C do for us? What 
can they show us and what can they help us do for our- 
selves?" 

Meanwhile, back on the campuses of academia, black 
people are heavily engaged in doing the traditional 
academic thing and/or in erecting new conceptual 
models for social apphcation. This, too, is part of the 
historic struggle. 

However, here is where many of the hoped-for and 



expected answers or solutions remain unaccessable to 
the community outside. When values, goals, ideologies, 
conceptual models, etc. are accepted and put forward 
by individuals or groups, one of the most crucial ques- 
tions that remains to be answered is, "How and where 
do we begin the process of doing and being whatever 
we say we are about?" Surely concepts must be thor- 
oughly analyzed and clearly articulated, but such analy- 
sis and articulation must also immediately provide the 
workable answers or functional guides demanded by 
black people in the communities. 

When we elaborate upon the pohtical and cultural 
significance of the communications media, for exam- 
ple, too often the chapter on how to obtain and main- 
tain a radio station is omitted. When collective finance 
and cooperative housing ideas accepted by community 
groups as being desirable short range alternatives- 
possible steps toward Ujaama— they are frequently 
left without instruction about the steps needed for im- 
plementation. 

Furthermore since implementation is essential tasks 
in the process of constructing viable institutions which 
will provide for the spiritual and cultural, material and 
political needs of the people, we must develop compe- 
tence in it; we must become more adept at fulfilling 
our ideas, as well as at developing them. 

The abihty to conceive, when isolated from the 
practice— the act of application— is no more functional 
than steriUty: only the existence of potential in the 
former allows a distinction to be cited and we cannot 
afford to rest on our potentials in this case. 

Such questions today are especially crucial for those 
persons who have taken the path of liberation rather 
than accommodation, those who in increasing numbers 
are about the tasks of defining, designing and generat- 



A PREACHMENT 



ing alternate life systems and new power relationships. 
They are vital questions for those who are engaged in 
the nation-building requirements that are concerned 
with representative political process, collective leader- 
ship, and collective economics, rather than the indi- 
viduaUsm and plutocracy of an imperialistic profit sys- 
tem; and they are certainly and especially important 
for those who have developed a Pan-African and Third 
World perspective. 

Failure to provide some of the answers now, and not 
merely failure to take on the tasks, can seriously jeo- 
pardize the imminent emergence of a self-determined, 
progressive people, effectively eliminating the reali- 
zation of Uhuru,— not to mention Ujaama. Such failure 
among black scholars could relegate them to the posi- 
tion of being an impotent intellectual elite who will 
have had all credibility and confidence stolen from 
them by others who were willing and able to answer 
some of the questions and "solve" some of the practical 
problems of the black populace. The present threat of 
entrenched anti-intellectual and re-actionary attitudes 
among our people could then grow into reality. 

The obvious danger here is that the field remains 
wide-open to opportunists generally and to agents of 
accommodation and the colonial system specifically. 
As the saying goes, "if one won't, then the other will." 
The history of the federal War on Poverty, with its 
many agencies, guideUnes, dollars, and programs pro- 
vides ample evidence of the neutrahzation, and out- 
right co-optation of various elements of the liberation 
movement in recent years; and in one form or another 
this kind of colonial apparatus will probably continue. 
If such institutions go uncontested regarding the ability 
and availability to answer some of the basic (and often 
routine) how to do it questions then they will continue 
to gain the attention of people who are willing to move 



into action seeking practical direction, find no other 
available resource. 

Along with the analysis of our condition, redefini- 
tion of values, and the articulation of concepts, we, as 
students and teachers, must emphasize the examina- 
tion of structures and processes— both existing and 
envisioned— and make the information readily acces- 
sible to the black community at large. More immediately 
we must include at the earliest point in our process of 
nation building, academic activity that lends itself to 
the study and practice of implementation procedures. 
Our course designs research, participant— observer 
field work, lectures, and seminars can begin on the un- 
dergraduate and community levels, to bridge the gap 
between idea and action. 

The articles that appear in this issue of DRUM are 
expressions of some of the recent efforts by black peo- 
ple in the five college area to learn by doing, to serve as 
a change agent, while, at the same time sharpening the 
skills and understanding for future struggle. The ac- 
counts given by the authors in these articles reveal 
some of the need for our answering the how to do it 
questions, and that community field work projects can 
be a starting point. 

Scholarship and activism in good effective combin- 
ation provides an energy, a resource in and of itself, 
which can be drawn up and extended by all who are 
engaged in the learning process. The task of creating 
the designs and launching upon such combinations is 
what we are now about, and this must speak to the same 
questions that the activities themselves will be devoted 
to— how do we do it and where do we begin. 

Melvin W. Smith 

W.E.B. DuBois Department 
of Afro-American Studies 



A BLACK COMMUNITY 



"The dark ghettos are social, political, educational and— above all— economic 
colonies. Their inhabitants are subject people, victims of greed, cruelty, insen- 
sitivity, guilt and fear of their masters." 

Dark Ghetto Dr. Kenneth Clark 



Within black communities, North and South, poH- 
tics is the tool presently being used to bring about a 
full consciousness of black oppression and lead 
blacks to the state of equality and liberation. Politics 
has been referred to as "the art of the possible" but 
for blacks politics has been proven the art of the im- 
possible. It will remain this way as long as political 
power is in the hands of whites who take the support 
of blacks without identifying with them and blacks 
remain protagonists from the outside against the 
whole political system. In view of this, one must con- 
template the possibility of blacks making a social 
revolution within a political framework that is de- 
signed to prevent radical social and economic change. 

On June 15, 1971 four students from the Five- 
College Black Community arrived at the Delta Minis- 
try office in Greenville, Mississippi, We were pre- 
pared to spend the summer observing and participat- 
ing in a community outside of our academic enclave 
in hopes of finding ways to involve ourselves in the 
development of the larger black community. After a 
summer in communities where the evils of America 
are completely undisguised and the people's lives are 
an unending fight for survival, I shed many illu- 
sions and replaced them with insights into the poten- 
tialities of Blacks that must become realities. Through- 
out the summer I worked with organizations and 
people within the community who are striving for 
unity, self-determination, collective work, responsi- 
bility and cooperative economics for the purpose of 
creating or restoring self pride and manifesting long 
denied rights within the Black community. From my 
experiences I will try to relate what is happening and 
what needs to be done for the liberation of our souls. 

I spent most of my time in Canton, Mississippi 
which is in Madison County, one of the counties in 
the central hill region of the state. In the hill region 
the delta planter has been substituted by the hillbilly 
"redneck," "peckerwood," or "peckerhead" and its 
rural isolation has been reduced by the growth of 
towns, the development of transportation, communi- 
cation and industry and the extension of education. 
Madison County is among the Mississippi counties 
with a black majority in population and registration 
figures (63% population and 72% registered voters). 



Like most southern counties, Madison is also under 
the southern "feudal" system in which a small num- 
ber of whites hold the political and economic power. 
And most important, a portion of it must be used to 
maintain the local officials who keep this system with 
varying degrees of force. Canton is one of Mississ- 
ippi's small urban industrial centers that is a supply 
center for the surrounding agricultural regions. This 
town has been adequately described by William 
"Smokey" Wood in the following essay written for 
an English Composition course. 

My home town 

Is Canton, Mississippi 

It is located in Central Miss., and is said to be 

one of the finest shopping centers. 

I think you know about this so called friendly town. 

Whenever I'm coming home 

and look at that sign that says "Welcome to 

Friendly Canton" 

I know that sign was meant for someone 

not me. 

I was glad when you asked us to write about 

our home town, 

because I want someone else to know of its evils. 

This town is so evil 

until you can see it in the white men's eyes. 

It is some men around here that know me 

personally that are clansmen, 

take for instance the Sheriff, 

we been knowing each other since I was 4 yrs. old 

going to his grocery store with a penny for bubble gum 

Would these men kill me if they got a chance? 

I wish I knew the answer. 

I will tell you about my people of the town: 

My people make the white man treat us like this. 

If any decent white man would ride down North Hic- 
kory Street on a Saturday Night 
one could see what I mean. 



I will attempt to describe what goes on 
down this rat hole: 
This place is called the "Hollow" 
because it is a narrow street. It (left side) 
contains a 



On the right side 
it is full of the 
same thing mainly 
cafes. 



sandwich shop 

cola stand 

honky tonk cafe 

barber shop 

low down blues playing cafe 

funeral shop 

and a fish shop. 

The foundation for every sort of disorder from murder 

to rape. 

People come here (some) for one purpose, that is to 

get drunk. 

Dressed in overalls, white shorts and red socks. 

Some women in after five dresses 

loud colors with high heels 

I won't forget the old men either 

sitting around on the streets eating sardines and 

crackers 

and spitting tobacco juice 

on the walking isle. 

The think I hate most is when I see 

cops herding Negroes into cars. 

One night when I was passing through 

going home, 

two women had gotten to fighting over some 

man with knives. 

One had gotten cut up in the face. 

Though it is full of whiskey, 

bootleggers, 

cutthroats, 

clansmen 

and what not. 

Canton is my home sweet home. 

I love it from my heart, 

I guess anyone would find faults with 

his or her home town. 

My mother was born here, 

so was I. 

There is a spot that I would like to be buried here. 

The place has changed a lot, 

there used to be trees all up and down the 

street that I live. 



Now there is nothing 

but dead roots. 

The trees are like the people, 

getting old and passing on 

like the silent river. 

I can remember when I was 4 years old, 

the people I knew were in their prime, 

now they are old and grey. 

It makes me want to cry by just thinking of them. 

Canton is a place full of flowers and flower trees, 

if I may say so. 

It smells as sweet as it looks 

in the spring. 

Even though this essay was written a few years 
ago, I would only make a few alterations to his de- 
scription. For example, the funeral home on North 
Hickory Street is a furniture/appliance shop and 
the office of the Madison County Union for Progress. 
Also the "Hollow" is patrolled by the only black 
policeman on the force. Now white cops are seldom 
involved in incidents in this area. But the other images 
and attitudes expressed are still very evident in 
Canton. 

Madison County is a priority county of the Miss- 
issippi Action for Community Education (MACE). 
MACE is developing broadly based membership or- 
ganizations in many delta and hill counties of Miss- 
issippi. These organizations deal with the county's 
problems of poverty and powerlessness. It trains 
local leaders in skills of community organization and 
program development. It also gives technical assist- 
ance to local organizations to help develop programs 
and secure necessary resources from within and with- 
out the community. Community leaders are worked 
with so they can restructure existing local movements 
so they will attract more support. MACE provides 
information on welfare rights. Medicare, Medicaid, 
elections, program development, food stamps and 
countless other organizations and programs. Since 
MACE is concerned with the people learning through 
experience it eventually assumes an advisory posi- 
tion after its initial training period. 

The Madison County Union for Progress (MCUP) 
is the county MACE organization. This organiza- 
tion has 826 or more members. These members are 
registered voters in the black community and they 
meet once a month to discuss the needs of the com- 
munity and the programs, etc. existing or needed that 
will meet these needs. The most frequently dealt with 
issues include blacks in the political process, schools, 
economic development and communication. The 
Madison County Union for Progress co-ordinates 
activities that are common among other Black organ- 



izations in the county. They include Star, Inc.; CEE; 
NAACP; National Council of Negro Women and the 
Loyalist Democrats. MCUP's key role in the county 
is to mobilize the resources (money, skilled people, 
materials, communication, transportation, etc.) neces- 
sary for completing a task. 

Since delaying tactics, intimidation, harassment, 
violence and economic repression are being used by 
the white power structure to resist change the Madi- 
son County Union for Progress concentrates its ef- 
forts on erasing ignorance and myths of political 
power and conquering the fear and apathy of black 
citizens. Ways are looked for to mobilize potential 
black power and dramatize the need for black parti- 
cipation in the political process. 

My summer included working on various projects 
geared toward political, and economic advancement 
in the Mississippi black community. It is deeply felt 
that the ballot and the dollar are the essential wea- 
pons in the battle for liberation. Therefore the summer 
was full of voter registration drives, voter education 
classes, political rallies, building two community 
owned and operated grocery stores and fund raising 
events. 

A. Economic Development 

The Madison County Union Development Com- 
pany was formed to facilitate economic development 
in Madison County. This is the borrowing company 
for the county's two corporate aims, the Madison 
County United Corporation in Canton and the Ebony 
Group, Inc. in Flora. These two corporations built and 
will run two grocery stores (they opened during 
September, 1971) in their prospective cities. Each 
group raised from $12,000 to $15,000 in pledges 
from community supporters and through the Madi- 
son County Union Development Company were able 
to secure Small Business Administration loans and 
other money from the federal government and pri- 
vate investors or contributors. The trained person- 
nel for the stores is coming from Star, Inc. which is 
an OEO funded continued education and manpower 
development program for the black community of 
Mississippi. Star, Inc. set up two training classes in 
cashiering, stock clerking and other capacities. These 
grocery stores are a major attempt to eep money 
flowing in the community. 

B. Social Development 

The Madison County Union for Progress along 
with other black organizations in the county set up 
the Madison County Committee of Public Assistance 
in July 1971. This committee was set up to give in- 
formation through workshops in the various dis- 
tricts to demonstrate the ability of self-help. Its first 
concern was educating the community on the Food 
Stamp Program so that there would be a demand to 
change the corrupt practices of the Food Stamp Office 



in the county; so that it would meet the guidelines set 

up by the Federal government. Eventually it will deal 

with welfare rights. Free Lunch Programs, school 

segregation, legal aid and create a Citizen's Advisory 

Committee. 

C. Political Development 

Being an election year politics was the key issue in 
the community. Excitement filled the county about 
the candidacy of Charles Evers for Governor and 20 
Black independents for county offices. Since blacks 
have been phased out of the political system in the 
past by all types of schemes to keep blacks from the 
polls the key effort was to mobilize black voter po- 
tential through personal contact, public speaking en- 
gagements and canvassing in rural and urban areas. 

Blacks were approached to run for offices in every 
law-making body and agency that is presently com- 
pletely in the hands of whites. As a result, upon my 
departure 20 were announced candidates and others 
were still seriously contemplating running for office. 

Voter registration drives were a key activity of the 
summer. By the July 2nd registration deadline all but 
an estimated 3,000 eligible voters had been registered. 
And by August, federal registrars had been sent to 
the county to reach that 3,000 in remote areas by the 
extended deadline of September 17, 1971. They were 
also to check the registrars' practices (which included 
delaying tactics and nastiness) and illegal annexation 
of polls. 

Numerous political rallies and fund raising events 
were held to inform the community of the present 
political system and the potential they can have once 
they begin to vote as a bloc. At one of the most suc- 
cessful rallies Julian Bond pleaded, "We are going to 
control our affairs. Whatever happens to us as Black 
people from now on is going to happen because we 
want it to. So I urge you who haven't registered to 
vote to leave this courthouse so you can determine 
what happens and who's going to serve this town." 

My experience at the polls during the August 3rd 
primary provided me with many insights into Miss- 
issippi politics. For example, I saw cases in which 
blacks were bought off by white candidates; faction- 
alism was obvious among many black leaders and 
different sectors of the black community and the white 
candidates are obvious racists whose rhetoric is just 
for the sake of winning in the game of politics. 

The remainder of my time was spent in election 
workshops, in the Black Child Development Center 
and at the Evers for Governor Headquarters. At the 
Evers Headquarters I did menial office chores, parti- 
cipated in a volunteer's workshop that expounded 
on the role and tasks of volunteers and allowed me 
to travel to various counties to see how they are cop- 
ing with the problems (Fayette in Jefferson Co. and 
Philadelphia in Neshoba Co. to name a few). 



10 



From looking at the projects for social, economic 
and political development it is obvious that blacks in 
Mississippi are rejecting their subservient and inferior 
position and challenging the status quo. But after talk- 
ing to people I became most concerned about ways to 
preserve the southern black community's sense of 
creativity, movement, love and especially the role of 
the church (which is the meeting place of the masses 
and place of strict tithing that's the mighty fortress 
of Black advancement). Mississippi and other parts 
of the south must be saved from heading toward the 
repressive, exploitative, devious and subtle tactics 
and the depersonalized, computerized, dehumanized 
lifestyle of the North. Hopefully with the people's 
attitudes, the adaptability of southern institutions to 
survive, and the primitive state of their development 
it will be easier for us to determine its future structure. 

Mississippi has become a real part of my life. I find 
it constantly on my mind and in my heart. As a result 
of this summer I realize that I have only begun to 
contribute to an emerging lifestyle for blacks on this 
earth. Being a region completely unknown to me I 
had no idea of its beautiful landscape, distinctive and 
pleasant lifestyle full of generosity and neighborli- 
ness that coexists with the accepted segregated way 
of life, moral and economic persecution and the feel- 
ing of futility for trying to change so awesome and 
peculiar a social system. Most importantly I realize 
that (a) academic life and the social struggle must 
come closer; hopefully with the mergence of the in- 
tellectual conceptualizations and the working experi- 
ence each group will become conscious of their com- 
mon bond and role in the struggle, (b) only we can 
create communities where we as people can realize 
the full meaning of self and demand an open, equal 
relationship with others. This will happen only when 
we unite on all levels to destroy the stereotype plan- 
tation image of the south in American minds and (c) 
dormant communities must be revitalized by ener- 
getic and conscious black youths. 

Robert Moses, COFO program director and head 
of the SNCC Mississippi project said, "The tragedy 
here is the work of people who believed in an idea 
enough to kill for it. The problem of Mississippi is 
the problem of the nation and the world. A way has 
to be found to change this desire to kill." We as stu- 
dents can save our communities by returning with 
our knowledge and skills. Those in the community 
with the most resources today become the most vul- 
nerable to economic pressure from the white com- 
munity. Unfortunately, these people who comprise 
the black middle/professional class can't be counted 
on for anything except minimal undercover sup- 
port. They only become visible contributors and actors 
when the effort has materialized, become successful 
and appears to be a wise investment for them. 



The American corporate state is only interested in 
training, influencing, and controlling a new genera- 
tion of Afro-Americans and Africans so we will be- 
come part of the western world and enjoy its lifestyle. 
The federal government superficially appears to be an 
ally but it has proven to be a poor defender of our 
civil liberties. FBI agents, federal registrars and ob- 
servers are usually cold, unresponsive, hostile, un- 
enthusiastic, hold segregationist views and fail to 
enforce existing legislation. Also federal programs 
after stating very idealistic aims eventually lose 
financing or become woefully underfinanced, be- 
come snarled in administrative difficulties of deliver- 
ing the proclaimed services or commodities to the 
poor spread across the country once it's approved in 
Washington and leaves to go through the many 
layers of government. In short, each has underesti- 
mated the problems of dealing successfully with 
poverty. And we have overestimated the national 
commitment to getting the job done. From this it is 
evident that the system that is killing our creativity 
and keeping us in flux is being contained by those al- 
legedly dedicated to creating a better life. Therefore 
the task of life reconstruction is only up to us and will 
only become a reality when we define who we are, 
what we believe in and start acting accordingly. 

As you can see the days of bullshitting are over. 
We have to meet the challenges of the coming years 
and not turn our backs to the problems of our com- 
munities thinking they'll disappear. They haven't in 
400 years so why should they vanish now. In the 
south, blacks are obviously on the first rung of the 
political ladder— the entrance into the political sys- 
tem. But only through an endless concentrated effort 
will we eventually reach the stage of being recurrent- 
ly elected. From that stage we will obtain a consoli- 
dated power base that will ultimately allow the black 
community to control its behavioral and value sys- 
tems. This control will inevitably free us from dom- 
ination by the alien power. Thus allowing us to create 
a humanistic society that will let each of us become 
what we are capable of being. 

In conclusion, I'd like to appeal to you to go to the 
place of your roots so you can see that even though 
these people don't have money or materialism they 
do have a freedom. This freedom results from their 
knowledge of self, a lack of shame, and their being 
totally beautiful black human beings. I know you'll 
find a trust, hope, security, strength, confidence, 
love and respect that the northern experience has 
killed in most of us. Like Fannie Lou Hamer says 
"Here in Ruleville, Mississippi, in the heart of "crack- 
er country" a shouting distance from where Emmett 
Till's body was found, where Joetha Collier was shot 
I feel as safe and secure as I would in my mother's 
arms." Think about it. 

Carol Thompson 11 



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ON MISSISSIPP 



(During the past summer, four Black students from the Five-College area found the opportunity and need to spend their 
vacation In the Delta Area of Mississippi (Sunflower Holmes. Humphnes. and Boliva Counties). This was the preliminary period 
during which organizations and candidates would begin preparing for the consequential November 2nd elections. The major 
significance of "Election '71" lay In the fact that, for the first time since Reconstruction, every white candidate had a Black 
running-mate, and Black people were in a position to determine the outcome of the state-wide election.) 



It's easy and safer to believe that "anything below the 
Canadian border is the Deep South." and continue to live 
anywhere BUT the South, in a luxurious college-town, 
pretending to suffer as much pain as any Black person in the 
country. But the differences between Northern and Southern 
racism and discrimination are great: and most Northerners 
would prefer to remain in the North because the racism 
which exists there is more latent, and many people prefer to 
not SEE or individually and directly FEEL the problems and 
the pains and the reality of being Black and oppressed. 

In the South, the oppression is clear and felt by the 
overwhelming majority of The People. I, personally, prefer to 
know who my enemies are. and am particularly appreciative 
if they identify themselves to me. "Although southern racism 
IS generally beginning to become more discreet now. too. 
the peckerwoods of the South aren't as rehearsed in their 
discreetness as those in the North, who have been keeping 
their demonic thoughts so well hidden for so long that many 
of them have even convinced themselves that they are not in 
the least bit racist. 

Conditions in the Mississippi Delta are appalling, to say 
the very least. Living conditions, of course, are the first that 
strike one upon arrival, and these represent the remaining 
social, political, and economical deficiencies which exist 
within the counties. The People have absolutely no control 
of the way they are forced to live — and have little hope of 
ever achieving any. This hopelessness is caused by a history 
of futile attempts at striving toward freedorn Since the Civil 
Rights Movement and Voter Registration in the 60's. The 
People's apathy and lack of energy is surpassed only by their 
poverty. 

But It's not all apathy's fault. Because of a strong desire to 
live in peace or because of one or another kind of fear. 
Blacks in Mississippi are extremely hesitant to openly 
protest what they know in their hearts are gross evils Most 
non-conformists learn the advisability of keeping their 
mouths shut, or are silenced in one way or another, or find it 
expedient to leave the state. The number of serious and 
political Black workers in Mississippi is minute. The 
leadership which does exist lacks political education, and is 
generally inexperienced, especially in expressing their 
needs and interests through the political process. But then, 
whenever Black people have attempted to take the step into 
politics, they have been beaten back into submission, and/or 
any minute progression has been hindered, detained, stifled, 
or cut off completely. This being the case during "Election 
71." when the re-districting of most of the state was 
compelled, (without a court decree, no less.) it was 
necessary to re-register every Black citizen in the state, an 
extremely tedious and difficult task. Due to various, 
numerous, and legitimate fears on the part of the Black 
citizenry, the successes of the voter's registration project 
cannot be used as a measure of rising political awareness 
within the Black community. These fears and inhibitions 
stem from a vanety of past and present frightening, even 
terrorizing events which (have) occur(red) during election 
years. 



Initially, the deeply imbedded memories of the 60's: the 
bombings, the evictions, the harassment, the loss of jobs, 
the shootings, etc.. — all remain, in some cases 
unconsciously, in the minds of The People. 

Most Blacks in Mississippi are instinctively apprehensive 
of the word "registration." They connect it with going to the 
courthouse and answering lengthy and trickily worded 
forms Some ask if they have to pay any money, associating 
It with the poll tax 

Many of The People have been led to believe that they 
are simply too old to vote One beautiful little lady — a fly 82 
years old — spent our time attempting to convince us that 
she was too old to vote 

The courthouse, the ONLY place of registration, has 
extremely uncomfortable connotations for Black folks. All of 
these are reasons for the Black community to fear 
registration. 

Fifty-percent of the adults in Mississippi over the age of 
twenty-five have less than nine years of schooling. In 1960, 
the median for whites was eleven years: for Blacks, six. Fifty 
percent of them had less than 4 7 years. Most of the older 
Black citizens can't as much as write their names. It's 
embarrassing for them to ask the white registrar to write it 
for them. 

Politics have done nothing more than neglect the needs 
of Black Mississippians. and exploit their resources. They fail 
to see how/that politics might work more to their advantage 
with proper representation. Presently, every law-enforcing 
agency is in the hands of those whites who are faithful to the 
orthodoxy 

Especially in Mississippi, political power is one of the 
most powerful instruments of legitimate change. As the 
Black man gets the vote, he also gets representation. With 
representation, the power of the state must begin to look 
more to his interests. Political power constitutes the ability 
to create changes in every other aspect of life. It can create 
changes in the educational system, in housing conditions, 
employment, welfare, medical facilities. — most of the 
changes that need to occur are usually connected to the 
political process in some way A freedom ride, or a 
demonstration has short-term, usually symbolic goals, A 
Black man marching down the street with a sign, ordering 
the conviction of Joetha Collier's murderers, is protesting 
discnmination in ALL courthouses. It is time now to go after 
the long-range goals of political power through direct 
participation. 

Since "Election 7 1 " was almost a total failure in terms of 
the election of Black candidates, the political structure must 
be moved on in another way. The People don't seem to see 
the connection between their problems and the political 
system, and tend to be disinterested in any conversation 
suggesting their involvement in CHANGING this system. 
They have too many Immediate and personal problems to 
tend to — lack of food, clothing: illness: finding employment, 
etc. Politics seems to be a rather abstract means of alleviat- 
ing these direct needs. Mostly, they complain and denounce 
among themselves about their problems. 



13 



The town of Inverness in Sunflower County is an 
example. In February, 1971, a tornado completely wiped 
out Inverness. The Red Cross replaced smashed houses 
with new trailers. Three or four white dudes OWN Inverness: 
and they say that, come March 72, all Black folks must be 
gone from the town They will be "granted $2500, $500 of 
which they must re-pay the government. They can either 
purchase the trailers and take them elsewhere, or they can 
take the money and split — use it as a down-payment on a 
home, some land. Meanwhile, the plumbing needs repair, 
the sewerage is fertilizing the dust of their yards, the wind is 
toppling the trailers. The People are being harrassed by the 
Black police officer, who orders them about and off the 
street whenever he so desires, and life is generally a daily 
drag 

But folks don't know that their basic, natural, human 
rights are being denied, and are semi-satisfied to "suffer 
peacefully " 

The difference is, there is no question in The People's 
minds as to who the "villain" really is In other parts of the 
country, Black people have been granted, some of them, at 
least, certain benefits and endowments. Enough of us, in 
fact, to confuse the issue of white racism, exploitation, and 
discrimination, the most popular comment being, "There's 
some GOOD white folks, and there's some BAD white folks, 
just as there are some GOOD Negroes and some BAD 
Negroes." 

In Mississippi I found that the great maiority of The 
People are completely aware of the white man's charade, 
and even his Toms (of which he has created an abundance) 
despise him for forcing them to lower themselves to such a 
demeaning, self-effacing level of clientship 

The People, too — most of them — maintain a status of 
Tomship, simply because they have been forced to mistrust 
one another so relentlessly A kind of "hopeful" trust is then 
directed toward white folks, who, due to their extraneous 
relationship with The People, appear to be the most 
responsible and capable of relieving them of their fulsome 
conditions 

It IS now a matter of educating them as to specifics — who 
or which group is personally responsible for particular 
deficiencies within the Black community — and of organizing 
them to move on very specific issues — convincing them that 
they are indeed capable of procuring change A 
comprehensible form of political education is basic and 
essential in this organization A foundation on which self- 
confidence can be built is primary. This confidence is 
presently in abeyance. 

A grave problem is that a great deal of pessimism exists 
within the communities. The People really don't expect any 
significant changes or improvements, and lose interest very 
quickly. Any small obstacle serves as a diversion, and any 
other inconveniences may serve to end all participation and 
activity all together. They don't seem accustomed to 
successfully achieving a particular goal. Things are done 
hurriedly, and. therefore, shakily. Rather than spend time 
carefully and seriously, plans for activities are zipped 
through and are usually a waste. The same is true during 
meetings — a board is elected hurriedly and without 
consideration of who has the time and capacity to work 
advantageously in a particular position. 

The Sisters who directed the organization in Sunflower 
County were both sincere and committed. Their problem, in 
the long run, was a lack of confidence and of direct 
resources. Being trainees of a larger community 
organization meant that they had acquired certain know- 
how and experience, but to place them in charge of an entire 



county IS asking a high-school student to do a college-man's 
|ob Without any kind of supervision or instruction, the 
Sisters hadn't the initiative to organize an entire county. The 
prospect, alone, had frightened them from broaching the 
problems which confront their communities. Given some 
ordinance and direction, these Sisters, and others with 
similar decrements who work for and with their community, 
could be major influences on the progress within their 
respective communities. As things stand now, a lot of paid 
energy is being wantonly, yet guiltily, wasted in sleep, in 
local pubs, or in aimless rides throughout the community. 

You will love Black Mississippians — you will be forced to. 
You will be, immediately and without question, welcomed 
into the community, and treated as a member of everyone's 
family The warmth, affection, and obvious humanism of our 
people there is unavoidable — you will be subjected to it at 
all times. You will be welcomed into people's homes, and be 
given whatever you need, even when, (most of the time) you 
probably need it less than the donor. The People are 
excruciatingly poor, financially, and have only one another 
for support and comfort. The sense of community which 
exists will overwhelm you almost immediately. To find that 
there are still human beings in this world will over-power 
you — mainly because you've never met and lived with an 
entire community of them and don't have any conception of 
what human beings really are. You will be forced to want to 
do everything within your capability to work and struggle 
with and for the living conditions that these people deserve 
more than anyone else, and you and they will become one. 

I am justified in using the terms "us" and "them" here, 
because there IS a great difference between "us" and 
"them" Only in this case, it is the "them" who are the 
superior, to me, so I don't use the terms as they are 
generally used by outside workers and organizers, who 
maintain a paternalistic, condescending attitude towards the 
communities with whom they are involved 

It's crucial that we all go down there and work. The 
conditions which existed in Mississippi during the period of 
slavery continue to manipulate the Black people in the state. 
The plantations are still there, and the dependency of Blacks 
on the plantation owner is, in many cases, as strong as ever. 
Black folks are trying so hard to be Black, and proud, but it's 
being made so difficult for them by the conditions under 
which they are forced to exist. They really seem to THINK 
Black, but everything else makes it so hard to BE it. 

No one is addressed with the terms "Brother," or 
"Sister," but one is treated more like one than blood 
brothers and sisters in the North. Here, most of us do things 
for each other deliberately, because "this is the way we 
SHOULD treat one another" — this is the way a GOOD 
Brother or Sister should be In Mississippi, any act of 
kindness is natural — done because people naturally help 
one another out whenever possible, without giving it a 
second (or even first) thought 

Our skills, combined with the unity and willingness of our 
Brothers and Sisters in the South can bring about wonders 
in the state. These changes will, undoubtedly, be slow in the 
coming if we, or other people from other parts of the country 
refuse to involve themselves The People in Mississippi, 
having lived in these conditions for generations, fail to see 
how miserable, deplorable their condition really is — out- 
siders see It immediately, and are astounded. 

"One of our mam purposes it to unify our Brothers 
and Sisters in the North with our Brothers and 
Sisters in the South" 

Ingrid White 



14 



The Sea and You 

to a woman that I don't know 

We two in this human silence 
For to tinge life's canvas. . . . 

There is something I want to say before our farewell: 

As legend would have it, in the beginning all waters were fresh, even those 
of the sea which sleep peacefully, billowing its head on all the beaches of the 
world. This lasted on for years, even ages. . . . and never a gale. The breeze 
was light and well mannered. Despite its bright blue color, and despite the fact 
that it sings, caresses, and gets away like any boy, everyone knows that the sea 
is old, very old indeed. It was one of the first things made for God, and it is only 
natural that its towering whitecaps and dark depths should have played a lead- 
ing role and witnessed man's great adventure. 

Countless stories have been written about the history of this romantic and 
turbulent oldster that keeps a thousand memories of all horizons. But no one, 
except dark a far distant man has ever told the story of the heart of the sea. For 
the sea does have a heart, an embittered heart like that of a lonely man coritem- 
plating the vastness of a life without end. One bright summer day a young 
woman went down to one of the sea's golden beaches. She was beautiful, and 
one could well imagine that night had given its color to her, black and lustrous 
hair. But whence did those honeyed and dreamy eyes originate? One could easily 
guess that her body, under the woven vines that clothed it, was beautiful. She 
walked lazily, as though she was dark-skinned, and her sensuous lips were 
parted as though in thirst. The breeze stood stock-still and looked at her. She 
reached the beach and entered the fresh and slumbering water. When she had 
gone in far enough she stripped. She frolicked for a long time with the warm 
water that caressed her skin. She then put on her vine clothing and departed. 

Everyone began to talk then. . . the trees, the air, and all the rest asked: You 
that have seen her and held her in your arms, tell us, o sea, what she is really 
like. The sea did not reply. The woman returned once again and the whole beach 
again asked anxiously: What is she like naked? The sea never answered. The 
sea had fallen in love with her. Until the day when the girl came along with a 
stranger, who kissed her until her lips ached. . . . They then departed, both 
man and girl. But before leaving they drew a love sign on the sand with their 
hands. Then, everything changed. The sea began to brood and became as salt 
as it is today. Then love signs the lovers had drawn on the sand. The sea con- 
tinued thus hour after hour, twisting, groaning and crying out like a beast in 
pain. The first storm was born thus. It still groans and drags its aching and 
lacerated body along the sands of its beach. 

At times it becomes weary and falls asleep. But it awakens in an irritable, 
jealous and embittered mood every time a pair of lovers sits on the shore, and it 
recedes in pained anguish when it sees them drawing love signs in the sand. 
Later, when they leave, it stretches out its long arms and erases the sign vindic- 
tively. This is why names and words written on sand are erased, because the sea, 
though very old in years, does not forget, and its heart, torn by its great secret, 
shakes in anguish and wrath every time a young girl in love calls back the 
memory of the girl it once cradled in its arms. 

Armando Morales 
lAHora! Member 



15 



THE LAWS OF 



Way out in the middle of the Carribbean Sea, there 
is a very small island. As one approaches it the abun- 
dance and variety of vegetation is overwhelming. 
Birds, flowers, animals and everything that a man 
could think of to place in his paradise is here. The 
closest that one could get to picturing this scene 
would be to imagine the Garden of Eden as it was. Al- 
though beautifully intriguing, one could detect a 
sense of strangeness about the island. 

If you were to come to this island at a certain time 
of the morning or a certain time in the evening no one 
could be found. In fact it was amazing the way people 
would disappear at certain times of the day. Judging 
from their appearance the only people who stayed 
around were the social outcasts and the deviants. Be- 
ing a curious person and this being my first time on 
the island, I asked the first person I saw where every- 
body had gone. The young man flushed with em- 
barrassment, gave me a disgusting look and ran 
away. So I ran up to a man who was sitting on the 
grass with a sandwich in his hand. As I approached 
him he put the sandwich behind him. "Where's every- 
body going?", I asked. "That's a silly question," he 
growled. "Where the hell do you think they are going, 
to fuck? You know where they're going." 
"No I don't, I'm new around here and a lot of what I 
see going on is very strange to me." 
"Where are you from?" 

"I'm from a land a long ways from here, to tell you the 
name of it really isn't necessary, but as I asked be- 
fore, where's everybody going?" 
"They are going to do just what I'm doing now." 
"I don't understand— but you're not doing anything 
but eat"— Before I finished he placed his hand over 



my mouth and suspiciously looked around us as 
though someone were policing our conversation. 
"The law's concerning consumption are very strict 
around here, one is not allowed to talk in public 
about it." 
"Why not?" 

"Because it is dirty and indecent. If a person were to 
be caught by a cop eating in public he could be jailed 
for 5 years." 

"But how can that be?", I asked. "I was under the 
impression that this culture was an extremely free 
one. In fact as I walked over here I stepped over 
several bodies, all of them fucking to their heart's con- 
tent." 

"And what's wrong with that, how else does one 
satisfy his drives?" 

"Well," I asked, "isn't eating a drive?" 
"Yes, but it's still dirty unless it's done at the proper 
time, in the proper place and at the right age." 
"What is the proper time, place, and age?" 
"Well, a person can eat from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m., from 12 
noon to 2 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and of 
course be in the privacy of your own eating room. 
Children should not be allowed to eat with adults. 
Males are not allowed to eat with females until they're 
married. And even then only at the designated times 
and places, if they're respectable people. Around here 
it's not too cool to eat with people who have brown 
eyes either." 
"Why not," I asked. 

"Because they're greedy people, all they do is sit 
around and eat all the time. They're disgusting. 
Haven't you noticed how fat they are." 
"No, I've only been around here a few days." 



16 



CONSUMPTION 



"Well, I guess some of the brown-eyed people are 

respectable, but they are the ones who've been around 

blue-eyed people most of their lives. " 

"Well," I said, "you aren't very thin and when I came 

over here you were eating a sandwich." 

"Yeah, well ever since the time I got arrested and was 

sent to jail I've had a bad record. Decent people won't 

even talk to me and the only job I can get is the worst 

thing out." 

"What's that?" I asked. 

"Washing the grease and slop off dishes that people 

ate from. I've given up in this place, so I might as well 

eat when and where I please, 'cause people just sum 

me up as a food maniac anyway." 

"How did it happen?" 

"Well, it was quite a few years ago, I was going out 

with this brown-eyed chick. She wasn't like the rest 

of them. She had been educated in the best schools 

and had the finest of eating habits. In fact," he smiled, 

"you could say that sheiwas a real prude. She was even 

more polished in eating than most blue-eyed people." 

"Well, what happened?" 

"One afternoon we had been fucking all day and 

running around a lot and we got hungry. At the time 

we were near this pornography joint, (they're called 

restaurants if you want to get fancy). So we went in. 

I'll never forget it. She ordered a hamburger with lots 

of catchup and I ordered a submarine sandwich, I 

guess I was really hungry and I made a pig of myself, 

getting that big sandwich." 

"Well we weren't caught then, but three months later, 

her mother realized that she had gained a pound. It 

was a terrible scene, especially since I had blue eyes 

and she had brown ones. Her mother made her leave 



home until she had lost the pound, but they had me 
arrested for being a glutton in the presence of a young 
lady. I've been labelled a deviant ever since." 
"Does everyone feel this way about food?" 
"No, the younger people are changing their attitude 
toward food and eye color. They take diet pills and 
eat with who they want, where they want and at any 
time that they want." 
"What about the children," I asked. 
"Oh yeah, the laws against the children are a bit stiff. 
The children should not be expected to restrict them- 
selves when it comes to eating. The half-way houses 
are full of little boys who have been caught watering 
at the mouth, in the presence of food." 
"That is outrageous"! I cried. "Those laws should 
definitely be changed." 

"How do you feel toward the young people and 
brown-eyed people trying to make changes in the 
present laws? You have been a victim of them." 
"I feel that they are being a little extreme, but I do 
think that The Laws of Consumption are too strict. 
To give you an example of what I mean by extreme, 
the other day, you want to know what I read in the 
newspaper?" 
"No what?" I asked. 

"I read that males and females are eating together in 
the larger universities. I suppose, in a few years 
they'll be treating eating as freely as we treat fucking 
now. That will be some day." 

"You know," I said, "that's about the most ridicu- 
lous story that I've ever heard of. I could understand 
it if your attitudes toward sex and race were like this, 
but to have these attitudes toward food and eye color 
is ridiculous!!! I am taking the first boat out of this 
primitive place." 

Cassandra Duarte 



17 



GREAT BLACK MUSIC 



We have fo be able to get down with Black Music on all levels. Just as we are constantly being divided 
politically, socially, academically, and otherwise, we can be divided musically. Whether some of us know it or 
not we listen to music and especially Black Music in political terms whether we are politically active or not. Much 
of our day to day language is derived from the words of our music and black musicians capture and express the 
feelings of black people in their music. Therefore, there is a connection between the feeling and the expression of 
black people as it relates to Black Music. 

When we are isolated from our music and have to accept substitute music over the airwaves of those that are 
oppressing us, we tend to compromise in our commitment to black music. We lose perspective on our souls and 
develop new yardsticks for black music. This does not happen by accident, it is by design. If this were not the 
case, you would be hearing a better representation of black music over the air wherever there are black people. 
We must develop the ability to avoid compromise. 

The next thing we must be able to do is add a socialist perspective to black music. (Socialism — o social system in 
which the producers possess both the political power and the means of producing and distributing goods). We 
live in a capitalist system. (Capitalism — an economic system characterized by freedom of the market with 
increasing concentration of private and corporate ownership of production and distribution means, 
proportionate to increasing accumulation and reinvestment of profits.) Black people are producers. (Produce — fo 
create by mental or physical effort.) But we do not control what we produce. So, os producers being denied 
occess in the so-called free market in such a way that we can reinvest some of the dividends from the profits, we 
must begin to move toward political power so that production and distribution is in our own hands. 

Another important point about Black Music is how we view it in terms of classes and how we can be trapped 
into pimping it unconsciously. We must avoid separating ourselves from other black musicians simply because 
our stations in life may be different. Our enemy is the same. We must be able to deal with the distinctions and 
the contradictions of class. Most of us are familiar with the brothers who used to be in the hallways in High 
School trying to sound like the Temps or Smokey. Where are they now? Where are you now? Where is the 
enemy? And many probably remember the time when someone asked you who John Coltrane or Pharoah 
Sanders was five years ago and you said you didn't know. Or the fact that people latched on to Lee Morgan and 
Otis Redding's music only after their deaths. Now it's hip and fashionable to know. But who controls music? I 
say we must connect up now. To Muddy Waters to Sun Ro fo Slim Gilliam to Big Mama Thornton to War to the 
Stylistics. Even Charlie Pride (Black country and western singer.) We must be familiar with all of our Black 
Artists. 

That is not to say we cannot be critical when a particular musician makes counter-productive statements. But 
rather we must analyze and understand what conditions forced him to rpake those statements, and what we 
can do to bring him or her back to consciousness. Much of our music speaks of resistance and if you are not 
resisting what the oppressor is doing to you it may be very difficult to understand. In many ways individual 
comfort dulls your resistive senses. Also the oppressor will cool you out with his own brand of narcosis so you will 
be unable to hear your own music when and wherever it is being played. 

A final comment I would like to make is our being able to keep Black Music in its proper political and historical 
context. And also making sure that the use of our language as it relates to the music is consistent with the life 
style and behavior of those that are using it. Nostalgia can be dangerous when progressive behavior is needed 
to change the conditions of black people. Songs and melodies of the past that have no relevance for our present 
situation must be seen in their proper perspective. We can get hung up on tunes out of the past that make us 
yearn for unresolvable situations. The oppressor has tunes that he calls standards and he plays them over and 
over again and his people dig them because of the position they are coming from. Sometimes they make us dig 
them. Sometimes we dig them in our isolation. There is music from our heritage that has eternal strength in its 
content and context. There are others that are significant only for a particular time. We must be able to identify 
both types. 



18 




Black language and Black Music as they exist here in America have been the most innovative vehicle for 
communication between people. Some use the mediums because it is indigenous to them, others defect from 
their own forms of communication because they recognize its restrictions, lack of creativity and beauty. So what 
we have is the oppressor using language and trying to play music of black people without doing anything to 
change the black man's state of oppression. We are able to see daily how both of these two forms of 
communication have had all of the seriousness taken out of them. 

There used to be a time when we could talk to another and not be understood by the oppressor, but now our 
own language and music is in vogue without us receiving just due for producing it. 

So, / soy fo all in closing, struggle with Black Artists on whatever level they are and you are on and check out 
yourself in isolation. 

BILL HASSON 



19 



Noted Black Women: 
Xernona Clayton 




-. / --; 



....-A- 



>\ -i"-."^ 



\i^^ 






20 



Introduction: 

(The Drum went to Atlanta and was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to interview a well known T.V. per- 
sonality, sister Xernona Clayton. Barring a tight schedule we still managed to get a general overview and some 
aspects of Atlanta's political and social life. The rap took place over an exciting lunch |at Paschals Restaurant on 
Hunter street.) 



Sister Xernona Clayton is currently operating her own tele- 
vision program on channel five m Atlanta, Georgia. Sister 
Clayton is the first Black personality to have her own show 
and has been currently running for four and one half years. 
Before becoming involved in television, she worked in the 
Mayor's office where she was involved in community affairs, 
specifically, the Model Cities Program. 

As far as Black/white affairs are concerned (in Atlanta)- 
sister Xernona feels that at best she acts as a mediator in most 
black white situations in general, and in situations dealing 
with mass communications particularly. She was instrumental 
in getting the first Black reporter on Atlanta's white owned 
and operated newspaper. The Atlanta Constitution. She feels 
Black people need to focus on all metropolitan newspapers 
because they represent a source of wealth as yet to be exploited. 
According to sister Xernona, Atlanta is the only city in the 
country having three Black newspapers which ascribes to 
Black people on a metropolitan scale. Two of these papers are 
weekly issues, and the other is a daily paper. The Atlanta 
Daily World was the first Black newspaper to operate in At- 
lanta. "Atlanta is unique because of the many important 
areas that Black people now occupy, such as traffic, camera- 
men, radio and television technicians. " Channel five in At- 
lanta has also been accepted by the Black Coalition of Sta- 
tions. This station has participated in a special program de- 
signed by CBS to train interested Black students in the areas 
of radio and television; the program also promises jobs to the 
students in the program upon completion of training. 

Currently, the only colleges progressing to some extent in the 
field of communications are Moorehouse and Clark. Moore- 
house has a weekly publication that focuses on community bul- 
letins. The sisters at Spelman College also have a weekly publi- 
cation but it focuses only on the affairs at Spelman. A broad- 
casting station (WAUC) is now being implemented on these 
campuses. This project was started by its current administra- 
tor. Earl Jones. Earl Jones is a former television man of much 
respect to the Black community of Atlanta. The purpose of this 
station is to focus on not only what's happening in the Atlanta 
University complex, but also the entire Black community. Pre- 
sently, Michael Cromson, a brother from New York City, has 
started a mass communications department at Clark College. 
This brother was one of the producers of such programs as. Tell 
it like it is and Black Journal. The local television stations are 
supporting this program by allowing some of the students in 
journalism to use their facilities for training techniques. Prior 
to the beginning of this department, the closest place for a stu- 



dent interested in journalism and mass communications was 
Florida State College. The only other information that the 
students received along these lines were through brief semin- 
ars and workshops offered by visiting professionals. 

Sister Xernona, has a deep regard for young people, com- 
mitting herself to an organization called (AWRT) American 
Women Radio and Television. This organization has cur- 
rently completed an eight-week series of workshops, designed 
to inform interested people in the greater Atlanta area about 
broadcasting and journalism. 

Sister Clayton participated in two organizational meetings 
concerning productions initiated by Tony Brown, i.e.. Black 
Producer and B.E.S.T. Quite frankly she felt disappointed 
when the meetings concluded, stating "the whole venture was 
unsuccessful and no follow-up was being planned. " 

Mrs. Clayton was pessimistic about the possibilities of a 
Black Atlanta T.V. station by stating "Black enterprises have 
no money to invest, and the few that have this capital are 
reluctant to invest in this f eld. " 

Politically, she feels that Atlanta is very much together. 
There is a definite protest group that actively involves itself 
in such areas as welfare rights. There is a strong and positive 
Black leadership stemming from the days of Martin Luther 
King. "The Black community has many leaders that the white 
power structure will listen to and act upon." She gave the 
example of Julian Bond because of his political and organi- 
zational activities in Atlanta. "At one time he might be seen 
leading a march of the Tenants Rights organization, and at 
another time he might be seen on the campuses talking with 
students about any problems that they might have. " 

"The lack of a working relationship between the Atlanta 
University Center and the Black community is detrimental." 
The complex is set off to the side and left alone to function 
within its own capacities, without any participation by the 
Black community. "This situation has got to end immediately 
because administrators, staff and faculty have a lot to offer 
to the community in areas of lectures, films, seminars and rap 
sessions. " 

On the other hand, she views the upcoming mayoral race 
will witness the coming together of the total Black community 
in electing Maynard Johnson, a Black candidate. Brother 
Maynard would be the first Black mayor of Atlanta with 
strong support from the majority of Black voters. (The Black 
vote makes up more than 50% of the total voting community 
in Atlanta.) 



21 



Things that speak 




22 



for themselves 




23 




24 




■^fthB^jggj^ 



25 




26 




27 




28 




29 



Seize the Time — College Students 
Power to Black People 



During the fall semester of 1971, I was enrolled in a fieldwork course in the Department of Afro-American 
Studies and served as a participant-observer with the Springfield Tenants' Rights Organization. 

During the Spring of 1970 a group of tenants — at the suggestion of local community organizers — decided 
to organize themselves into a group to combat the slumlord and the inhumane living conditions which they were 
subjected to. The tenants met in their apartments and went to work on their problems with the technical 
assistance of community organizers. Without money or salaries, these'tenants decided to go on a rent strike. The 
people involved worked hard and devoted a lot of time to participating in negotiation sessions, in picketing the 
landlord's home in the suburbs, and in attending educational orientation sessions. 

This tenants group became a member of the National Tenants' Rights Organization making them part of a 
national movement of militant people dedicated to ending poor housing conditions for low-income people. As a 
member organization they received the benefits of being in touch with other tenants organizations around the 
country with whom they could share strategies and information on new housing legislation. The activities of this 
core group proved to be most successful so there was a general desire to expand the group into one that would 
benefit more people. 

Under a grant by Model Cities a staff was hired during the fall of 1971 to help carry out the wishes of the 
Tenants Rights Organization which were to organize tenants for a stronger voice in determining housing pattern 
and conditions, to organize tenants moving into new housing projects in the Model Cities area, to improve 
budgeting and housekeeping practices of the tenants, and to establish a grievance committee in housing matters 
made up of landlords, tenants and city government personnel. 

The possibilities of a strong tenants organization are numerous— they could get repairs on existing housing, 
have a voice in the terms of leases and general management of housing developments, have a part in the planning 
for new housing in the city, perhaps help design a better court system which would be more sensitive to tenants 
needs, or demand more housing inspectors to be hired by the city. There happens to be organizations in other 
cities, such as Boston, where these very things are being worked on. 

Some of the jobs or duties where I helped and where other students could be of real help are first in 
researching. The type of information needed such as how many houses a particular slum lord owns in the Black 
community can be obtained by students spending several hours in the tax assessors office, looking the facts up. 

Students can also be useful in the door to door talking to Black residents trying to interest them in becoming 
active in such an organization in order to help themselves, I did a little of this also, but the task is a large one and 
many people willing to spend time on projects such as these are needed. 

Too often, students feel that they should seclude themselves on the college campus and postpone their 
helping the community until they have obtained their degrees. This is a terrible waste of knowledge which can be 
utilized, during the few spare hours per week which all students have. Most of the time the practice of postponing 
the commitment to the Black community dwindles into a task never to be performed: a cop-out. 

A successful tenants rights organization or any such "people's organization", if worked on, can effect 
drastic changes in the living conditions and other aspects of black life in our communities. Think of it! if some 
brother and sisters had a better apartment to come home to, they just might not hang out on the block and get 
hung up in drugs. 

Community organization is not just limited to housing; drastic changes can be made in other aspects as well. 
A cooperative food store can supply the Black community with food at lower prices; a community run school can 
supply the children with a more valuable, relevant education. 

College campuses are a gold mine of manpower for research and organization. Seize the time, help bring 
power to Black people. ' '" 

Sister Jackie Berryman 



30 



to all black moles of/vision. . 



... we sit with spoke faces & nothing ever gets said, consequently the same amount gets done, as we 
gag and choke on one another's memories. 

A mythology is as important as a philosophy to a nation; it produces its national consciousness and 
its ideology. Our ideology cannot stand the test of time, for it is also another thing we do not have. Time 
is life, it is our lifeblood, for there can be no life without it, thus our ideology must encompass visions, 
conceptualizations, and most important — a directive. This directive must be based on a political referent 
that clearly depicts the realities that we as a people must face (faces spoke). 

The realization of our political and economic realities ultimately must lead to the creation of a new 
man; a man of vision, unstifled by the decadence of "demon-cracy. " The university is our city, our 
universe in microcosm at the time spent here. This is one of the stifling things about it. . . a contrast 
model in miniscule can only lead to micro-visions and produce frantic, visionary moles. 

— From the hollow skulls of ist World 
creatures of europe, exhausted on ameri-cunt, 
for their subsequent reappearance as the demon makers, 

the makers of demons, and "demon-cracy." "Never 

could have children only little gadgets" — 'beep-beep, bleep 
. . . Groovy, bleep-bleep beep.' 

As they continue to rainshit on the righteous, the spiritual people, and death is a mild form of es- 
capism with or w/out drugs. While the tragedy of black misery remains to be seen in the number of 
brothers and sisters who think how you look is all it is. 
DOWN, 

Down 

down 

downdown here below, talking from the 
belly of the earth, & civilizations have always turned to astrology in the Last Days. 

That is why a meaningful political referent and its resultant ideology are crucial. For history clearly 
teaches us that those with stronger moral convictions will be those who prevail in any protracted struggle. 
We must struggle to emerge as rulers, but we must do so cleanly, with direction and conviction. For 
then and only then will justice emerge in the aftermath. 

Black Power is no longer the phrase of the hour, and we must begin to use those spoke faces 

to our advantage. Even visionary moles live underground, but that does not prevent them from seeing the 
surface — and be/yond. 

Vision can only be created when we stop fucking each other's 
noses, and have completely severed pharoah's shackles: 
Wait & the Chains may rust/as ashes/ as dust, as 
blood upon history's pages. Cuz we still where 
our parents were at 25 years ago, only we 
look prettier. 

Deception is in his tricks, and occultism m its many tacit forms, — : from make-up and zodiac ear- 
rings, to incense which does not reach either the outer ear of a nation of oppressed people, or the Cosmos. 
Black is Beautiful only helps those who don't want freedom, but will be content to see 3 "colored" com- 
mercials a night, and black models showing their indifferent behinds (shoulders attached). 

. . . they Sat, faces spoke, and shattered on the floor. The pieces only remaining to be swept up and 
rearranged, or can this not indeed be the beginnings. 

END. 



John E. Davis 



31 



The Cockroach On A Bike 



Part III of a Three Part Epic Poem 

by Emmanuel Asibong, 

English Dept. 



Jack, the Giant-Killer 

Ask in the super dragon 

in his fine academic gown 

and bid him distribute 

foreign f rench letters 

(not in this barrell chute) 

full of live lice 

and squeaking, stinking mice, 

I am Jack, the giant-killer. 

His Daughter's Perception 
He bought his one-year-old daughter 
a very fanciful potty 
taught her how to stand 
and then how to sit. . . . 
whether she decides to make water 
or just a boo 

she knows where to go for her loo 
And now just after a week 
his daughter has made it a habit 
of getting up after a boo 
of staring hard at her boo 
of closing her eyes after a boo 
of saying, naw, naw, naw, naw, naw! 



Daringly Attired to Die 

Daringly attired to die 

up from my mother's womb; 

twenty-five years and after, 

with beads of lead and chrome 

about my blubber saturated neck; 

and then to awake 

from the raging sea. . . . 

What concentration, 

what millstone of ideas? 

The gecko on the wall 

dances after the baby moth 

darkly and invisible, 

though we see his blue pulsating veins: 

and the spider 

weaves its web 

in his way; 

Who are these, amongst 

whom I find myself? 

how becoming his world 

under whose weal we waul? 



32 



On Seeing a Coconut Tree 
Heliotropic bent 
of the coconut 
along the beach 
on an August afternoon 
Burnt, bent, crude bark 
browned upwards by the 
insignificant 
lolling tongues of time, 
the fairies will be here 
to dance round you tonight 
You are not 
the maypole, 

but like your long probing stem 
my heavy heart searches after 
the warmth of the coming year. 
Once this tired old heart 
ceases pumping out 
fresh stinking flowers 
clearly emblematical of the past 
look out for my rejuvenated smile 
strongly emblematical of the perhaps. 

Dirty Air 
Fetid air 

within tyre tubes . . . 
release, and then 
relaxation, 
automobile, 
skidding on 
rough city roads, 
amongst faces 
old familiar faces, 
on narrow 
muddy lanes and bends. 



past faces 

past bodies . . . 

bodies and faces 

that were leonine 

feline, acquiline, 

canine, elephantine 

and so-ine . . . 

then the nursing mothers 

(pardon) 

nurses, looking like 

nursing mothers . . . 

within the hospital 

walls where I lived. 

When a green snake 

bit and killed 

an Hausa youth 

nothing was done. 

Even the mother, 

asked the doctors 

to forget 

because there was 

no serum . . . 

small matter, this 

and yet 

six hours later 

an unidentifiable 

species bit 

and nearly killed 

a doctor . . . 

We were all moved. 

move, dirty air 

inside tyre tubes 

my gentle anger 

with you, over 

rough city roads. 



33 




/ am only a child in this wilderness 
please help me when i falter. . 



I am the child of the earth and the heavens 
who has strayed too far from home. . . 



My parents are the Universe 

and 
i haven 't even begun to understand 

what that means. 



Jeanais Brodie 
'7-r 



34 



BUSING 

FOR 

QUALITY EDUCATION? 



As we get closer to the next school year in Sept- 
ember there seems to be an increasing degree of frus- 
tration, ambiv, mce and obfuscation over an issue 
that at face value doesn't appear to be that difficult 
to deal with. That issue is busing. Yes, to be more 
refined— busing to achieve racial integration. This 
single issue, agitated and blown out of proportion 
by one southern politician in particular and various 
interest groups in general, is now of major concern 
to many. 

It all began in 1954 in the Brown v. Board of Ed- 
ucation ruling; in that decision the court judged 
that separate black schools by their very nature 
were inherently unequal. States were obliged to move 
forward with "all deliberate speed" in desegregating 
their school systems. In 1964, in the civil rights 
act of that same year a tremendous amount of lit- 
igation at the district court level attempted to make 
that which was written on paper become a reality. 
The results of this act were minimal in the South. 
As a resident and high school student during that 
period I can recall just how speedily the school sys- 
tem in Birmingham, Alabama tackled that task. They 
took their time. 

The method that the Birmingham Board of Ed- 
ucation used was as pathological as it was racist. 
In 1964 each school in the school system got a few 
token black representatives. Usually this meant that 
in that year less than one half of one percent of each 
school in the white Birmingham school system was 
black. Parents were required to have their chil- 
dren screened and dossiers were compiled on each 
perspective black student to see if he was acceptable. 
Acceptable, can you dig that! For a black child to 
get an integrated education he would be placed in 
a psychologically strained situation. If a black attend- 
ed an all black school then he would suffer the con- 
sequences of being a part of one which was plaqued 
by financial and social problems. Integration moved 
slowly under these token methods, but a shot in 
the arm was just around the corner. 

In the interim between 1964 and 1967 black people 
were using the phrase "freedom of choice", that is 
they wanted to have the choice of attending a pre- 
dominately white institution. Black neighborhood 
schools were dilapidated and at that time the city 
of Birmingham refused to upgrade them. The fac- 
ilities were poor in every respect. Black demands 
were simply this. Either the city Board correct the 
inadequate black schools or blacks would attend 
white neighborhood schools. The inadequate condi- 
tions in black schools were not corrected. 

Clearly, in order for integration to ideally take place 
black kids should be transported to predominately 
white schools and white kids should be transported 
to predominately black schools. This will cause a mic- 
rocosm which will reflect the percentage of whites 
and blacks in the larger community. White commun- 



ities and governing bodies on the local levels in the 
South rejected this and designed a racist alternative. 
At present in many southern cities black students 
go out of their communities to attend white schools 
in white neighborhoods to achieve so-called quality 
education. Few white students are bused out of 
their neighborhoods into black neighborhood schools. 

In one problem area, Atlanta, Georgia, a paradox 
exists. Atlanta's population is over one million 
people and an increasing percentage of Atlanta's 
white population move to the suburbs every year. 
The logical extension of this observation is that 
whites will create school systems in their immediate 
communities. The people who run the government 
in Atlanta live in those suburbs. Much of the money 
needed to rebuild inner city black schools will be 
channeled out into the suburbs. Quality education 
will be channeled in the same direction as the money 
flow. The paradox crystalizes if busing is used to 
transport black students to quality suburban schools. 
Busing would help to defeat the creation of good 
inner city schools in the black community. 

This is evident for two reasons which are inex- 
tricably bound to each other. First, busing in At- 
lanta would primarily transport black students into 
the suburbs. This would cause the residents there 
to become closely involved in the city Board of Ed- 
ucation in particular and in city politics. In short, 
whites in suburbia would have a voting power that 
does not exist at present, a voting power that they 
should not have since they do not reside in the city. 
The black majority of 53% would be diluted far 
below its present plurality. The new white major- 
ity would be more concerned with upgrading schools 
in their community rather than doing the same for 
black inner city schools. 

Atlanta's black citizens predict a black mayor 
by 1973, but is this possible if busing aids in reduc- 
ing the black majority that exists there now? Con- 
trolling the flow of funds is the key to quality ed- 
ucation. The election of a black mayor in Atlanta 
should insure quality education for black students 
without transporting them out of their neighbor- 
hoods into the suburbs. 

This article neither encourages busing nor condemns 
it; it merely attempts to show by two examples the 
problems that may occur in metro-cities in which 
Afro-Americans are in great numbers. In conclusion 
it must be realized that busing is only a means to an 
end— quality education. Busing ceases to be an issue 
when blacks can achieve quality education without 
going out of their communities to attend suburban 
schools. Therefore, perhaps separate schools need 
not necessarily be unequal as the Supreme Court 
said in 1954 but in the near future be equal or better 
for educating Afro- Americans. 

Oscar W. Adams, III 



35 



Fire hydrants spewing water in tiie city's gutters/ 
Ctiildren laughing, shouting, crying, groaning, 
as they run thru the piss, the beer, the whiskey, 
the blood and the vomit stench/ 
giving them a contact HIGH, worsening their pain 

and clouding their joy. ./ 
But making them even more aware of politicians in 
their fine big cars, with their cool clothes and 

women. . . 
(SOMEHOW they remind you of the hustlers m the streets, 

the pimps and number runners) 
politicians saying, "ELECT US 

BRIBE US. . . 
NOJOBTOOBIG!" 
Dope kills/ support your local politician. . . 
Fire hydrants spewing water in the city's gutters/ 
Things just get dirtier. . ./ 
Folks rappin' about a "DREAM"/ 
i2-year-olds, forgotten, junkies are dying in alleys 

from O.D.'s/ 
babies half born being snatched from their mama's 

pussy with lead poisoning/ 
Hippies and Yippies and other white middle class 

young marching tor peace, since they can no longer 
buy a deferment/ 
20-year-old vets of the Nam advertising for wives: 
"... ain't got no arms or legs 
and penis was lost in action; 
the heart will love, though the 
body can't. 
Got plenty of money. . . WILL MARRY!" 
Folks rappin' about a "DREAM"/ 
And how great "it would be," they ain't realized 
yet that the "DREAMER" is dead/ 
A bullet pierced thru him and thus thru his "DREAM"/ 
The "DREAMER" didn't make it . . . 

. . and the "dream' 
Struggles/ 

Fire hydrants spewing water in the city's gutters/ 
Folks rappin' about a "DREAM"/ 



Jeanais Brodie 

'71 



36 



Mississippi: Chance or Change 



On October 23, twenty students from the Five- 
College area left the Valley for the Mississippi delta 
to lend their assistance in the political campaign 
there. Specifically, these students sought to raise the 
level of voter participation in the old Confederate 
state, to close the gap which divided the number of 
registered voters and the actual voters of the area. 

While the project would prove a learning experi- 
ence for the students, it was also designed to provide 
some basic service to the community. It is projects of 
this nature that enable the student to reaffirm his 
sense of identity while fulfilling a commitment to the 
community at large. (It is felt that Black students in 
white schools seem to experience an extreme identity 
crisis and a sense of uselessness because they are 
restricted from aiding in the struggle for Black Liber- 
ation and community development.) 

The students drove the approximately 1500 miles 
to Mississippi in five rented cars and one van; all 
vehicles were provided through the courtesy of the 
schools involved. The U. Mass. vehicles were rented 
directly through the Black studies department; the 
van was provided through the courtesy of Smith 
College and its Black studies department. The remain- 
ing vehicles were provided through the courtesy of 
Amherst College. 

The drive proved to be an experience in itself. There 
were students from three schools who had not met 
prior to the final planning stages of the project. All 
being from diverse backgrounds had two basic things 
in common. 1) They felt that their academic needs 
were not fulfilled by their current curriculum, 2) a 
need to simultaneously fulfill their academic require- 
ment and fulfill their commitment to the development 
of the Black Community. The trip was long and 
sacrifices had to be made. The two days on the road 
were generally without conflict and incidents con- 
trary to the mission. Provisions were made for an 
overnight stay at Guilford College, Greensboro, N.C. 
Our thanks and appreciations to the Black students 
at Guilford, who were as determined as we were that 
our mission be accomplished. After two days on the 
road, and adjustments to the individual personalities 



were made, we arrived, as a group, in Greenville, 
Miss, at 1:30 a.m., October 26. 

We were met by Mr. Owen Brooks, director of the 
Delta Ministry who had made provisions for 12 peo- 
ple to spend the night in Greenville before being 
assigned to different counties the next morning. The 
eight remaining students decided to travel the addi- 
tional 70 miles to Marks, Mississippi, where they 
would work as a group. The 12 students who re- 
mained were divided into groups of three and dis- 
persed into four counties— Madison, Holmes, Hum- 
phries, and Washington. Reviewing our financial 
situation with Fred Williams, Director of MACE (Mis- 
sissippi Action for Community Education), we dis- 
covered that our funds were sufficiently low; there- 
fore, MACE agreed to pick up the tab for housing. 
Again the group expresses its thanks to Mr. Williams 
for making our attempts fruitful. 

After a day or two of adjustment, orientation and 
specific role identification with established local or- 
ganizations and local procedures, most people were 
hard at work to fulfill some community oriented goal. 
Most students worked through, or in conjunction 
with, some local civil rights organization. The stu- 
dents in Washington County were directly affiliated 
with the Delta Ministry (Greenville, Miss.). Students 
in other counties worked with MACE, MFDP, VEP, 
the Voters' League and the Quitman County Improve- 
ment Association. Whatever the organization, the 
specific details of students' activities were the same. 
Students prepared posters, newsletters and flyers. 
Students assisted in planning and instructing voter 
education rallies, classes and other activities related 
to voter education. 

Many students were selected to speak in churches 
and other community meetings to explain the im- 
portance of voter participation and the need for 
Black people to take command of their new role in the 
Southern United States. (Much of this "new role" is 
said to be incorporated in the Civil Rights Act of 1965 
and the Voting Rights Act of 1967. Many Black 
voters are newly enfranchised through those acts and 
do not fully understand the importance of engaging 



37 



in a process that for 30, 40 and 50 years has been 
taboo for them.) Many of the top political leaders in 
the country were present at one time or another during 
the two weeks we were in Mississippi. Most students 
were directly engaged in planning, preparing and 
hosting these national leaders while in the state. This 
activity continued thru November 2, and many stu- 
dents were thoroughly exhausted upon our return. 

Some days would include: breakfast at nine or ten 
and then preparing or distributing some type of in- 
formation throughout the community. There would 
be some type of rally that would last until nine or 
ten p.m. and then preparations for the next day. Of 
course on election day most students were poll- 
watchers or acting in some service position attending 
the polling places. Then of course there was the door 
to door canvassing and urging potential voters to be- 
come statistics. 

There were many minor incidents, but only two 
cases of abuses resulting in arrest. Two students. 
Glen Hardin (Amherst) and Sidney Davis (UM) were 
arrested, both on the same charges: "Interfering with 
the election." Glen was accused of being a foreigner 
and later arrested for the above stated charges. Sid- 
ney was imprisoned overnight and fined $200. This 
incident was the cause of the group's detainment an 
extra day in Mississippi. 

There were many claims that the election was not 
conducted properly. Alleged abuses ranged from 
simple cheating by mis-counting to illegal procedures 
in assistance to illiterate voters and incapicitated per- 
sons. There were cases of verbal coercion, illegal dis- 
qualification and outright violent attacks upon some 
black voters. Most abuses and discrepancies were 
documented by students, lawyers and Federal elec- 
tion officials. There were rumors of contesting the 
election but there will be rumors. 

One fact that amazed students was that all higher 
authorities in the State of Mississippi are white. An 
appeal by blacks to the white Sheriff, the white elec- 
tions commissions or even the white state and Federal 
officials proves that: a) Blacks can appeal, or b) there 
needs to be a substantive number of Black people 



represented on three committees, from the local level 
and throughout society. If not. Black people will re- 
main in a state of semi-slavery; in that they must 
bow to the whims of the white, no matter what they 
are, because he (the white man) forms the committees 
that make the rules. 

As students most of the participants felt that the 
project was successful. Our action was not oriented 
towards any specific candidate. An examination of 
election returns shows that there was a record turn- 
out. Our victory being inherent in the turn-out. It is 
believed that most of the students would have to 
blush in acknowledgement of the fact that (maybe) 
they did contribute something, and that while stu- 
dents gained plenty, the indigenous people shared in 
our gains. 

While most students were not working specifically 
for any one particular candidate and our actions were 
not campaign oriented, one could not help but be con- 
cerned with the elections and their outcome. The sit- 
uation was gloomy before the elections and probably 
much more so afterwards. Even though there was 
much talk of a moral victory, my concern is: how 
long can Black people be content to settle for moral 
victories? There is corruption, abuses, malpractices 
and outright mockery of the democratic process in 
the state of Mississippi. People are living in what 
will become the hot-bed of injustice and discontent 
thus setting the stage for something other than the 
result desired by those in power. If the existing mal- 
practices are continued, while the people are given 
increments of freedom, the state will become ripe for 
revolution. According to Eric Hoffer in The True 
Believer when the downtrodden masses are relieved 
from their destitute condition and have something to 
look forward to then they will rebel. "After a century 
of racial terror and repression, the closed society of 
white Mississippi is making slow, often grudging, 
but real concessions to black demands for change."* 

Following are statistics, strategy, election results 
and future alternatives which will help one to obtain 

""Washington Post, Mon., June 28, 1971 



39 



a clearer view of exactly what lies ahead for Mississ- 
ippians and Americans. 

Before the elections of November 2, 1971, Black 
people in Mississippi composed 37% of the total 
population of 2.2 million. There were 95 elected offi- 
cials in the poorest state in the nation. Black voters 
outnumber whites in 17 of Mississippi's 82 counties. 
There were more than 300,000 Black voters as com- 
pared to over 700,000 whites. These are the kinds of 
statistics that threw Mississippi into the national 
press in 1971. To add even more publicity, on June 
12, 1971, "Charles Evers opened his campaign for 
Governor on the eighth anniversary of the murder 
of his Brother Medgar."* Evers began to campaign 
as an independent, the first Black to seek the Gov- 
ernorship since the days of Reconstruction. It was 
also noted in that same article that "three shooting 
deaths of blacks in the last few weeks, including the 
slaying of a black girl in Drew, Miss, just hours after 
her high school graduation, were not directly related 
to the Evers' campaign or the voter registration drive, 
but they serve to remind both races of the ever-con- 
stant threat of violence that hangs over the state. 
"There is a sense of danger slowly building up,' said 
Rev. William Morrissey, a Roman Catholic priest 
who has helped organize some student volunteers." 

There was much talk about the new era in southern 
politics, "Mississippi's moment of transition." 
Charles Evers entered the race for Governor against 
two moderates (Mississippi style). One (Lt. Gover- 
nor Charles Sullivan), was called the "Machine's" 
man and was supported by the upper-class and big 
business. The other (Bill Waller) was a District At- 
torney who had made two unsuccessful attempts to 
prosecute the accused murderer (Byron De La Beck- 
with) of Charles Evers' younger brother, Medgar 
Evers, who was Chairman of the Mississippi Chapter 
of the NAACP. Sullivan, the favorite, Waller, and 
several outspoken racist segregationists were candi- 
dates in the Democratic primary. In the primary, Sul- 
livan led in 57 of the 82 counties; Waller led in only 

»New York Times, June 13, 1971 



11. The remaining votes were split by the racists. The 
two leaders were pitted against each other in a run-off 
on August 24, 1971. 

Although Waller and Sullivan both adopted moder- 
ate stances on racial matters. Waller apparently landed 
the votes that went to two segregationist candidates 
who lost in the August 3 primary. Waller, a Jackson 
attorney, swept 62 counties in the run-off. With 
2,503 of the 2,405 voting units reporting, Waller had 
389,003 votes to 327,764 for Sullivan. This was sup- 
posed to be an upset victory according to the Wednes- 
day, Aug. 25, 1971, edition of the Washington Even- 
ing Star. Waller told some 500 cheering supporters 
from a flatbed truck in front of his downtown Jack- 
son campaign headquarters shortly after he was de- 
clared the winner, "There's going to be a new day— 
the state government has just returned to the people." 

These are the circumstances that set the stage for 
all the publicity, gossip, frustration and disappoint- 
ment that evolved from the Mississippi elections in 
November of 1971. Now that the elections are past a 
review of the publicity reports have hints of the (pos- 
sible) Evers campaign strategy. These reports appear 
to further reveal, it seems, the true meaning of the 
Evers Campaign. One newspaper was quoted as 
saying: "The Democratic nomination traditionally 
has been tantamount to election in Mississippi and 
Waller is considered a heavy favorite over indepen- 
dent Charles Evers, the mayor of Fayette, Miss., in 
November."* "Mr. Evers stood on the sundrenched 
steps of the Newton County Courthouse today and 
told a crowd of 300 supporters that it was time for 
memers of both races to work together for common 
goals. Addressing himself to about 50 whites who 
stood across the street in the shade of several canopied 
store fronts, he said: Don't go around no more spit- 
ting tobacco and cursing us. Let us join hands and 
go forward together.' This statement was wildly ap- 
plauded by the Blacks but greeted in silence in the 
shadows across the street."** But even with those 
100,000 previously unregistered Blacks, it still would 

*The Columbia (S.C.) Record, Aug. 25, 1971 
**The Times, Sun., June 13, 1971 



40 



be far from enough to help him defeat the Hkely win- 
ner of the Democratic primary, Lt. Gov. WiUiam 
SuUivan (Who did not win). 

Even if all eligible blacks registered, they would 
only make up approximately 39 per cent of the Miss- 
issippi electorate and although Evers spoke confi- 
dently of expecting white support, he doesn't predict 
more than 25,000 white votes for himself. That would 
hardly be enough to defeat Sullivan. 

To win this election said George Taylor, "Evers 
would need 51 per cent of the vote and that is impos- 
sible." The following quotes seem more accurate in 
summing up the real campaign strategy. "The impact 
of strong federal action between now and the fall 
election would be felt most in such places as Talla- 
hatchie County, where the presence of federal regis- 
trars could help blacks pick up additional registrants 
and have a fighting chance for countywide office. 
Indeed, although it doesn't show up very often in 
Evers' campaign literature, that is the underlying ob- 
jective of his campaigning for governor. More than 
230 blacks will run for local office across the state 
this fall. On their own, those candidates are not ex- 
pected to be able to pull enough blacks to the polls to 
win in counties such as Tallahatchie. But the Evers 
Campaign helps them raise funds and fight the fear 
of local blacks to come out to the polls. Evers then, is 
a symbol of strength for blacks here. He also sym- 
bolizes for blacks the success they can expect from 
using the system."* "As matters now stand, Evers has 
no chance for election. Black voters will probably 
number no more than 25 per cent of the electorate 
and there will be no Republican candidate for gover- 
nor."** 

One should be able to discern from these pre-elec- 
tion statements that Charles Evers, in fact, never had 
a real chance of winning. Of course, during the cam- 
paign, the Evers camp had to elaborate and expand 
even the wildest possibility of winning, which they 
seemed to have done with a great amount of success. 

It was my belief, and I was later informed, that 

*Washington Post, Aug. 15, 1971 
**Washington Post, June 28, 1971 



Evers would serve mainly as a drawing card. That is, 
he is a national figure who could gather support, 
finances, and resources. He could bring Black people 
out of the woods, hills, and plantations to vote. Tele- 
vision, radio, and newspapers could broadcast him 
into the backest of the back woods, and the people 
would come out to vote for him. Once they were out 
where they would be reached, they would be informed 
of the local candidates, and the local candidates would 
achieve sweeping gains and successes. 

What seemed a well-organized and executed plan 
proved to be a disappointment and further frustra- 
tion to many Blacks— not only in Mississippi but 
around the country, as is evidenced by a later news- 
paper account of the election: "A number of black 
Mississippians are saying that violence, harassment, 
intimidation, and theft caused 244 of 284 black 
candidates to lose in their attempts to win elective 
offices in this month's general elections. A number 
of whites contend, however, that many thousands 
of "silent" black voters preferred white leadership 
and rejected black militancy and the very idea of non- 
whites in non-traditional roles. There is evidence 
here that each of these reasons contributed to the 
lopsided final figures in a number of predominantly 
black areas where black candidates lost."* 

There have been many claims ranging from injus- 
tice and violence to negligence, but the result will 
stand, to be evaluated again and again. Whatever the 
results, there was a record turnout in the Mississippi 
election of November 2, 1971. The total results have 
not been presented at this time, but it can safely be 
said that more black people participated in the 1971 
Mississippi elections than any year in the past. 
While the student volunteers can only claim a small 
proportion of the success, the important thing is 
that the students from the Valley were alongside the 
Brothers and Sisters from many other institutions 
and from the local communities working on vital and 
immediate problems. Such activity is the core of the 
meaningful education that should be pursued by 
Black students. 

*New York Times, Nov. 15, 1971 



41 



42 




^HnckJC, 



An Invitation 

The potential of the Drum cannot exceed the potential of Its 
students. Therefore, It Is Innperatlve that everyone be allowed to 
contribute to Its advancement, so that we may have a true Black Literary 
Experience. One cannot stress enough the Importance of projecting our 
thoughts, our ideas, our proposals, our culture m wntlng. 

The Drum symbolizes one of many organizational opportunities 
open for Third World Peoples on this campus, organizations formed 
specifically with our needs in mind. Maybe it Is too presumptuous to think 
the organizations now existing are broad enough In Ideology and concept 
to encompass the intellectual concerns of the more than seven-hundred 
minonty undergrads. However, even that hypothesis can only be carried 
to a point, for it does not explain why the various organizations 
(particularly the Drum) has not gotten more Input. Do you not feel the 
Drum is worth It? I cannot believe that! It cannot be because the Drum 
does not deal with your Interests. The magazine does not support 
individuals nor does it push any particular position. Its purpose is to 
reflect the Black Experience In all its phases, in all its realities, thus no 
person of color is cut off from exercising this right. We do not always have 
to agree with each other, but there is room for constructive criticism 
provided It is constructive and further clarifies a position. It is my belief 
that each and every one of us has something of value to communicate 
and it Is of vital importance to all of us that whatever it is, in whatever way 
you wish, it should be communicated. 

In a previous editorial, I stated that Black students suffered from a 
"trance of luxury." Do we have too many resources at our disposal, 
including (financial) to even realize what we can do with It? If so, we have 
not yet internalized the meaning of "self-help. " What can you do? You can 
make your presence known by channeling some of your energies into 
your own Third World Organizations, i.e.. Drum, Black Mass 
Communications, Harambee, Steering Committee, Cultural Center, etc. 

Consider this an invitation /br You!! The Drum Is searching for 
writers, photographers, artists and reliable dependable people ready to 
take care of business. We need each other to maintain the top quality 
magazine the Drum has proved to be. 

Your True Brother, 

Roy I. Jones 
Editor. The Drum 



43 



mm. 



Acknowledgements 



We would like to thank. 

Professor Melvin Smith of the Afro-American Stud- 
ies Dept. for his contribution to this issue of the 
Drum. 

Also we would like to thank for their articles, 
Bill Hasson, 
Ingrid White, 
Jackie Berryman, 
Cassandra Duarte, 
Armando Morales, 

Carol Thompson, a student at Smith College 
Napoleon Jasper, a student at Amherst College 

For Poetry: 

A. Jackson Linebarger 

Emmanuel Asibong 

John E. Davis 

Jeanais Brodie, a student at Hampshire College 

We would also like to offer special thanks to: 

Xernona Clayton for use of her interview. Nat Rut- 
stein for his continuing support of the Drum. A spe- 
cial thanks for all of you who have contributed to the 
publication of the Drum throughout the year. Lastly, 
but not leastly, we introduce officially the new 
Editor-in-Chief, Brother Billy Roberts. We are con- 
fident Bro. Billy will be a worthy replacement for 
this year's Editors. 

Please feel free to lend your support to Bro. Billy in 
any way which may be useful. Thank you! 



44