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Roy I. Jones, Herman L. Davenport
Doris Williams, Bill Adams
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,
3 Congratulations to CCEBS Seniors
5 From to What
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
37 Mississippi: Chance or Change
43 An Invitation
Herman L. Davenport
A. Jackson Linebarger
Ingrid W hite
Jackie Bert y man
John E. Davis
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"""-^",,^^ „,,«,■•
''^::,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. ^.^^^ ^^^^
best Of luck m your fu-
. s- ^o rCEBS seniors,
Staff of the Drum.
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
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."
FROM TO WHAT
from the plastic God-head
i find myself escaping,
tiring of naked runs in
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-
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-
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
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-
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-
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
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
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
I know that sign was meant for someone
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)
On the right side
it is full of the
same thing mainly
honky tonk cafe
low down blues playing cafe
and a fish shop.
The foundation for every sort of disorder from murder
People come here (some) for one purpose, that is to
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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).
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
' ■ ■^t£_
(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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
But folks don't know that their basic, natural, human
rights are being denied, and are semi-satisfied to "suffer
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
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
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"
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.
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
"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-
"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
"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."
"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
"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
"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
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
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
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.
Noted Black Women:
-. / --;
(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
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
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
Things that speak
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
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.
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
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.
John E. Davis
The Cockroach On A Bike
Part III of a Three Part Epic Poem
by Emmanuel Asibong,
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 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?
On Seeing a Coconut Tree
of the coconut
along the beach
on an August afternoon
Burnt, bent, crude bark
browned upwards by the
lolling tongues of time,
the fairies will be here
to dance round you tonight
You are not
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.
within tyre tubes . . .
release, and then
rough city roads,
old familiar faces,
muddy lanes and bends.
past bodies . . .
bodies and faces
that were leonine
and so-ine . . .
then the nursing mothers
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
because there was
no serum . . .
small matter, this
six hours later
and nearly killed
a doctor . . .
We were all moved.
move, dirty air
inside tyre tubes
my gentle anger
with you, over
rough city roads.
/ 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
i haven 't even begun to understand
what that means.
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
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
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. . .
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
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
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'
Fire hydrants spewing water in the city's gutters/
Folks rappin' about a "DREAM"/
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
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
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-
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
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
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
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-
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
*New York Times, Nov. 15, 1971
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
We would like to thank.
Professor Melvin Smith of the Afro-American Stud-
ies Dept. for his contribution to this issue of the
Also we would like to thank for their articles,
Carol Thompson, a student at Smith College
Napoleon Jasper, a student at Amherst College
A. Jackson Linebarger
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!