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BLACK LITERARY EXPERIENCE
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THE DRUM, Fall, 1972
Vol 4, No. 1
Editorial, Circulation and Ad-
vertising Offices located at 111 New
Africa House, University of
Massachusetts, Amherst, Mass.
Printing: Gazette Printing Co., Inc., Northampton, Mass.
3 Dedication to Black Love
10 Message to the Black World
12 Finding Yourself
13 A man called TOM? ? An interview
18 Song for Angela
20 What went wrong?
21 Noted Black Women
22 Johannesburg: South Africa
24 a luv wish
27 Message to a Sister No. 1
28 Is This Black America ?
29 For Time is Infinite
32 On Analysis
34 Black Terror . . .Counterrevolutionary
Don L. Lee
Kwaku A nanse
*7<^ U4ue */ ^^UCfH ^
pUcUcated ta ^lacA »^^</^
t^ love o^ eac^ ot^e%, and
^ecfOHct t^^ ^ (<%vc ^
ffUUi^cKd/ Otie utdcwducU
w^ ^(«4 fo'%o'^ectect t^44. (4,
^^ U^ue U t^en€i<ne
dedicated in ^It^wC t^
^iuK ^ind to t^
ideaU ^ ^«t4
We're gonna move on up one by one
AIN'T GONNA STOP TILL THE WORK IS DONE
"Am I Black enough for you"
We're gonna move on up two by two
THIS OLD WORLD GONNA BE BRAND-NEW
"Am I Black enough for you"
Get in line
Start marching in time
Make up your mind— or we'll
Leave you behind
We're gonna move on up three by three
GONNA GET RID OF THIS POVERTY
"Am I Black enough for you"
We're gonna move on up four by four
WE AIN'T GONNA SUFFER NO MORE
"Am I Black enough for you"
Get in line
Start marching in time
Make up your mind— or we'll
Leave you behind
We're gonna move on up five by five
THIS DEAD WORLD IS GONNA COME ALIVE
"Am I Black enough for you"
We're gonna move on up six by six
WE'RE GONNA USE OUR MINDS INSTEAD OF OUR FISTS
"Am I Black enough for you"
Get in line
Start marching in time
Make up your mind— or we'll
Leave YOU behind
My people, this is a call — a call to you who are seriously concerned about the destiny of
At Southern University, two more of our precious people— Slain to satisfy the whim of
some trigger-happy inhuman.
When is this madness going to end? or better yet — where is the sickness of this deca-
dent society going to overtly expose itself next? Time and time again we see our people
slaughtered and our only response is TSK, TSK, THAT'S TOO BAD! When are we going to
realize that every life that is lost could be our own? Does UMass. have to become a Southern,
a Jackson State or a North Carolina A & T for us to begin to see some light???
We as a people must begin to take seriously our very existence no matter what level we're
on, no matter what we do. We must be cognizant of the position our lives are in at this point
and we must continuously seek answers to change this situation and to take Black lives out
of this jeopardy. A picture of our lack of seriousness or maybe consciousness can and is
clearly demonstrated daily here at UMass. The shucking and bullshitting must cease if we
are about readying ourselves to deal with a madman.
Think seriously my people — "We're gonna move on up one by one
Ain't gonna stop till the work is done" ! ! !
The lyrics are from a song sung by Billy Paul on his latest album ^60 Degrees of Billy Paul.
Louder but Softer
*Editor's Note: This article was reproduced by per-
mission of the author from 'We Walk the Way of the
New World,' Broadside Press, Detroit, Michigan.
Yesterday is not today. What was visible in the old
books is still there, that's why new ones are written.
Yesterday's light was bright and lived suspended with-
in its own energy. Today the only time we see it is by
travehng 35,000 feet above the earth at some ridiculous
speed; our children will not know the sun as we knew
it, but will appreciate it more.
We're talking about our children, a survival of a
people. A people can't possibly survive if they be-
come something else. The process of change, of re-
conditioning a people to be something other than
themselves started centuries ago: we used to be black-
men/women (or Africans); now we're known as ne-
groes. That movement toward becoming an adjective
was not accidental; but carefully planned and immacu-
lately executed to completely rape a people of their
culture. Whereas, most of us have become another
man's imagination, a reflection of another man's fan-
tasy, a nonentity, a filthy invention. So, in effect we'll
be talking about definition and change. When we say
definitions, we mean the present and the past with the
proper perspective. Understand that objectivity is a
myth, where "one makes judgments in terms of one's
culture and in keeping with the cultural values which
are a part of his personal and immediate heritage.
These cultural values depend for their duration upon
the survival of the classes which created them."
Change is to be that, an on-going process aimed at an
ultimate definition of our being. But when we talk
about change, we don't mean from Winston to Marl-
boro. Actually, we mean from negative to positive,
from the creative to the anti-cliche.
What is meant is that we'll have to move from imita-
tion to initiation; from number one to number first;
from the Tonight Show to our own Lenox Avenue
where brothers shadow box with wind because the
wind is the only element that will touch them.
Check it out, if u ain't scared to venture back.
Can you believe in yourself? It's not enough to say
I'm Somebody; we've always known that. The ques-
tion is who/what? Are you a dead raindrop, reborn in
a used coal mine now existing in an oblique closet of
your closed mind, only to re-emerge singing "I'm
black and I'm proud" while soft peddling before the
jew into the new self-cleaning ovens. After all, it takes
little or no work to be insignificant, but to leave our
print, our image on the world, you'll find that 24 hours
in a day is like seconds in a fast minute.
The reflection of that which was/is ours has been the
basis for the acceptance of that which is someone
else's. The most effective weapon used against us has
been the educational system. We now understand
that if white nationalism is our teacher, white nation-
alism will be our philosophy regardless of all its con-
tradictory and anti-black implications. The educa-
tional process is set up largely to preserve that which
is not that vyhich necessarily needs to be created, i.e.,
black nationalism or black consciousness. Thus we
find ourselves trying to determine which are the cor-
rect answers for future development. Some of the an-
swers will have to be a surprise, but at least we know a
surprise is coming.
In the late sixties we existed in a state of cultural
nihilism, and the destruction that came was mainly
against our own in our own. Destruction and mis-
direction became the overwhelming directives. Posi-
tive influences existed in the sixties and before, but
their accessibility was limited to the few. So we moved,
traveling speedily from one consciousness to another,
hoping that our actions would not betray our move-
ment. Blackness as we speak of it today is nothing
new; other writers at other times wrote about them-
selves and their people as we do now. The main differ-
ence, if there has to be one, is the audience which the
writers directed their voices toward. Black writers—
from the first and up into the sixties— have largely
(with few exceptions) followed the trend of being or
becoming "American writers," not negro writers but
writers who happened to be negro. All that is in the
process of being erased. We discovered a new psy-
chology. The sixties brought us the work of one
Frantz Fanon and his powerful The Wretched of the
Earth and other books: the Honorable Elijah Mu-
hammad, the prophet of the Nation of Islam, ulti-
mately produced the loudest and clearest voice for the
young blacks through Al Hajj Malik al Shabazz,
better known as Malcolm X, who in turn moved us
toward a national consciousness. He heavily influ-
enced a writer who proved to be a consistent bullet in
the side of white America— Imamu Amiri Baraka
What does it take to reach you, into you? What is
the stimulus that will force you to act; what moti-
vates you in yr inability to conceive of yrself as
something special! Will it take the death of a loved
one? Will the values you consider valuable have to
he destroyed? Is the knowledge of self so painful as
to demand that you not accept it and continue to
squalor in yr naivete?
Culture is the sustaining force of any nation. An
effective con game has been played on black people in
this country. We've been taught to be anti-black,
anti-self. No need in documenting that, for all one
has to do is walk in any black neighborhood and if
you possess only an ounce of perception, the exam-
ples will fly at you. We are the only people in a na-
tion of many people who have consistently let others
guide us. We've been so busy taking directions from
others that our ability to conceive of ourselves as di-
rection-givers has not had a chance to flourish. How-
ever, others— those that traditionally have led us—
recognized our revolutionary potential. Harold Cruse
puts it this way: "They understood it instinctively,
(the Negro's white radical allies) and revolutionary
theory had little to do with it. What ... the Negro's
allies feared most of all was that this sleeping, dream-
walking black giant might wake up and direct the
revolution all by himself, relegating his white allies to
a humiliating, second-class status. The Negro's allies
were not about to tell the Negro anything that might
place him on the path to greater power and indepen-
dence in the revolutionary movement than they them-
selves had. The rules of the power game meant that
unless the American Negro taught himself the pro-
found implications of his own revolutionary signifi-
cance in America, it would never be taught to him by
anyone else." We black people in America are not
culturally deprived, but "culturally different"; actu-
ally we're products of a dual culture, having the bene-
fits and evils of the dominant WASPS and our own
unique Afro- Americanism. Here we are about 30 mil-
lion voices (larger than some Nations) coming into a
new decade, still not fully cognizant of the ultimate
reality of our power, if only in sheer numbers.
"Almost daily, small bands of Jewish arrivals tramp
up the gangplank of the Saint Lawrence, the hotel
ship acquired by the Danish Refugee Council to
house them temporarily . . . 'You must understand,'
a recently arrived 40-year-old female physician said.
'Our world has been shattered. My husband and I
. . . had almost forgotten that we were Jews; we
were simply Poles. But then someone denounced
us.' . . . The doctor and her husband— who is also a
physician— were . . . accused of hiding their 'Jewish-
—Newsweek, January 12, 1970
The theater was Poland, the former homeland of
more than three million Jews, reduced to 75,000 after
Hitler's Aryan society came into power, and today
Poland contains less than 15,000. The year 1970 and
issues are the same— race. We can continue to cloud
our direction with meaningless rhetoric and romantic
illusions, but when it comes down to the deathwalk,
no one will save a people but the people themselves.
Let's look at the Jewish and black situations here,
since Jews and blacks are among the largest 'minority'
How can less than six million American Jews be
more effective than Afro-Americans that outnumber
them almost five to one. The watchword is culture and
a steady "survival motion." The Jewish people have
a tradition of togetherness and peoplehood. They've
developed a nationalist consciousness that's inter-
woven with their religious reality. They've developed
the sophistication for survival. If a Jew hates you,
you'll never know it; if he plans to kill you, you know
even less: Sophistication. They recognized years ago
that Mission Impossible and James Bond are for real.
So, how does one compete with such impossible odds
without inviting suicide? Simple, yet difficult. You
become a nation within a nation. You create and sus-
tain your own identity. In effect, Jewish teachers
teach Jewish children, especially in the primary levels;
Jewish doctors administer aid to Jewish patients (and
others); the Jewish business world services the Jewish
community; and each sector continually draws on one
another to build that community. Rabbi Zev Segal,
head of the country's largest and most influential
Jewish Orthodox rabbinical group, estimated that
close to one hundred million dollars has been spent
annually in the last few years on Jewish educational
institutions; he also goes on to say that Jewish educa-
tion is necessary for the survival of Judaism. Also,
he and others rightly feel that they face "physical
danger" if they as a people cannot remain as a people.
Thus Rabbi Segal feels that Jewish schools are the
"core institutions for Jewish survival and identity."
Elsewhere I've said that if all you are exposed to is
Charlie Chan, you'll have a Charlie Chan mentality.
A better example is Tarzan. Remember Tarzan grew
out of one man's imagination, but because of prevail-
ing anti-black conditions, he immediately became a
nation's consciousness. What Tarzan did was not only
to turn us away from Africa, but from ourselves. And
that's where we are now, still unsure of ourselves,
walking after somebody's else's dreams, while the only
fighting being waged is within the race. The killing of
each other is not a test for manhood. But manhood
has not been defined. And our survival will ultimate-
ly be determined by the will or non-will of black men
—it will not be an over-night process and we see that
our most important asset is the next/and present gen-
eration of black college students.
Black student after winter vacation on his way to
school (University of America) a part of the Jet set.
I wouldn't have noticed him, but he was dressed
rather oddly, along with about a five inch natural he
had an Indian band around his forehead; with a
gold ear-ring in his left ear. A black tiki hung
around his neck partially hid under a red and green
scarf that loosely covered an orange dashiki that
housed a black turtle neck sweater. His tailor-
made white bell bottoms were accented by brown
buckled cowboy boots while a black slick-haired fur
coat rested on his right arm looking like it could bite.
Now, here we have a brother that didn't know what
he was, an international nigger— you name it, he'll
be a part of it. As I approached him, his first words
after "What's happnin, baby," were "do you smoke,
Time is not new; it must he on our side, we're still
here. Send young black brothers and sisters to col-
lege and they come home Greeks, talking about
they can't relate to the community anymore. So
here we have black Alpha Phi Alpha, Delta Sigma
Theta, etc., unable to speak Creek, with an obvious
non-knowledge of their own past (or present); only
after four years, to be graduated as some of the best
whist players since the Cincinatti Kid who didn't
finish high school.
Today's black college students fall into two cate-
gories: the serious and the unserious. By the unseri-
ous I mean the lesser but growing portion of black
students who attend today's universities with the atti-
tude that they are "students" and nothing else. Where-
as being a "student" implies superficial intellectuality
that borders on hipness— that is, being hip enough to
be able to quote all the current writers to impress
those who are impressed by that; very little study
(that's for squares, a brain anyhow); a lot of party-
ing (with the 3R's of reading, riting and rithmetic be-
ing replaced with ripple, reefers, and rappin'); and a
possession of the attitude that "I got mine, you get
yours" or "every man for himself," so there exists no
real commitment to themselves, or— to their people.
And lastly we have the student who will say that all
the courses are irrelevant— not realizing it's going to
take some of that irrelevance to put us in a position for
Finally, we have the serious student who is not only
committed to himself, but to his people. Students who
realize that they come to college as black men or wo-
men will come out as doctors, lawyers, teachers, his-
torians, writers, etc., who are black, and not doctors,
lawyers, teachers, historians, writers, etc., who hap-
pen to be black. No, you are blackmen and women
who are black first and products of your vocation
second— therefore understanding our priorities. These
are New World students who are in the process of de-
veloping the necessary group consciousness, nation-
alistic consciousness or black consciousness that is
absolutely necessary for real development.
You as black students will become the new heroes
for our children; will move to replace the pimps,
prostitutes and wineheads who are now viewed as
heroes because of no meaningful alternative. A part
of your responsibility will be to change a rather com-
plex and growing situation in our communities. Think
about it, be for real about realness; it's not for the
community to relate to you, you relate to that which
you left. The community is still there- unchanged.
You have changed; the question is how? Please, don't
space on us just because you think you're educated
now. Don't become the new pimps, educated pimps
existing as a creation of your own mind, unwilling to
share with anyone because you think it's too deep.
Try us, you may not be as deep as you think you are.
Stop romanticizing your existence, stop romanticizing
the revolution. Like Brother Malcolm said, "if you
really understood revolution, you wouldn't even use
the term," or as a sister put it— all revolutionaries she
knew were either dead or off quietly planning some-
where. Need I say more?
So we say, move into yr own self. Clean. If we were
as together as our music and dancing, we'd be a trip in
itself. Can you dig that, if we were as up tight as our
dancing and music, we wouldn't have a worry except
how to stay new and inventive. For an example, take
our music. It is commonly accepted that it is the only
cultural form that is uniquely American— that is, not
an off-shoot of European culture. But still, we don't
control our own contributions— the money makers
have not been the black musicians but the producers
and record companies. What is even worse is that our
music is being stolen each and every day and passed
off as another's creation— take Tom Jones and Janis
Joplin, two white performers who try to sing black.
They've not only become rich, while black musicians
starve in their own creation, but those two whites,
plus others— who are at best poor copies of what they
consider black— will after a short period of time be-
come the standard. It will get to the point where
when you speak of soul and black music, you will
find people automatically thinking of white imitators.
We now find ourselves in the seventies and cannot
possibly use the tactics of the sixties. We need inno-
vators and producers of positive change. The older
generation's resistance to change is natural; so how
do we change without alienating them? How can we
reduce if not completely eliminate all the negativism,
pettiness and cliquishness that exist and are so damag-
ing? How can we enlarge the narrow choice factor-
where in most cases our reality is controlled by Chris-
tianity, drugs, or alcohol? How can we create a com-
mon consciousness, based on a proven humanism—
as we stop trying to prove our humanism to those who
are unhuman? It's on us; nobody, nowhere will do it
We Walk the Way of the New World. It's new.
As indicated above, we are much louder, but softer, a
logical progression, still screaming like a super-sonic
wind tuned to a special frequency, but hip enough to
realize that even some of those brothers and sisters
tuned in will still not hear.
Blackman/an unfinished history
the old musicman beat into an alien image of nothingness
remember you and will not forget
the days, the nights, the weekends
the secret savings for the trip north
or up south. We entered the new cities—
they were not ready for us—
those on the great rivers, the lakes
they were clean then, somewhat pure
u cd even drink f r/them
& the fish lived there in abundance.
we came by backseat greyhound & special trains
up south came us
to become a part of the pot that was supposed to melt
it did and we burned
and we burned into something different & unknown
we acquired a new ethic a new morality a new history
and we lost
we lost much we lost that that was
we became americans the best the real
and blindly adopted america's heroes as our own
our minds wouldn't function
what was wrong?
it couldn't have been the air it was clean then.
from the clouds we look back
seat 16C in the bird with the golden wings.
we came & were different shades of darkness
& we brought our music & dance,
that which wasn't polluted
we took on the language, manners, mores, dress & religion
of the people with the unusual color.
into the 20th century we wandered rubber-stamped
a poor copy!
but the music was ours, the dance was ours, was ours.
& then it was hip— it was hip
to walk, talk & act a certain neighborhoodway,
we wore 24 hr sunglasses & called our woman baby,
we wished her something else,
& she became that wish.
she developed into what we wanted,
she not only reflected her, but reflected us,
was a mirror of our death-desires.
we failed to protect or respect her
& no one else would,
& we didn't understand, we didn't understand,
she be doing the things she don't do.
the sixties brought us black
at different levels, at different colors we searched
while some of us still pissed into the wind,
& turned our heads into a greater vision,
greatness becomes our new values— 00000000
like telling yr daughter she's beautiful
& meaning it. Vee. Boom Veeeee Boom
You going to do it jim ! BOOOOOOOOM
You goin ta jump around & startle the world blackman
goin ta space man, all u got ta do is think space thoughts.
You're slick jim, yes you is
slicker than a oil slick, yes you is
just been sliding in the wrong direction, click.
be a New World picture, click, click,
blackman click blackman click into tomorrow.
Spaced from the old thoughts into
the new. Zooomm. Zoooommmmm Zooommmmmmm.
design yr own neighborhoods. Zoom it can be.
teach yr own children. Zoom Zoom it can be,
build yr own loop. Zoom Zoom it can be,
feed yr own people. Zoom Zoom it can be.
Watch out world greatness is coming, click click,
protect yr own communities. Zoom Zoom it can be.
create man blackman. . . .
walk thru the
as if You are world itself, click.
be an extension of everything beautiful & powerful, click
YET black look like
you'd be named something
like. . . .earth, sun
Go head, universe
Zoooommmmmmmmmm click click,
Don L. Lee
message to the black world
theres a new world
n 2/ be/'n
theres a new world
n 2/ be/'n
theres a new world
n 2/ be/'n
u will dance
2/ new rhythms
as u once moved
where eyes followed
hips & admired
of your grace.
u will sing
& paint yrself new/
& let your notes be
of your children.
u will luv
& know the essence
of luv, its roots/
an experience n & complete with'n
& your family will be
u will be the new
of what is old/now &
u will be the true
black folks can move
u will be the new man
who has redefined
with'n the context of the new
a new man
& moves 2/ building
& we move 2/ your new
the way the night follows
we will be the sun/
vision w/ new light
the new way
only if we devote ourselves
to obtain'n that new
a now people
for the only
(^owuel^ iK <f<Mn^^ ^utd outride
A Man Called Tom??
We as Black folks, often tend to categorize those that have made it in a "white society" as "Tom"
and "nigger." This is not to say that we are always wrong, for a good many Black people who reach a
high level in this decadent society do so by forsaking their Black identity, but, this is to say that we are not
always right either. There are those Black people that reach the top and maintain their beliefs in BLACK-
NESS and Black people. They maintain a sense of Black community and assist those brothers and sisters
that have not made it in succeeding. One such Black person is Dr. Randolph Bromery, Chancellor at
UMass, Amherst. He fills the top administrative position in the University and he is a Black man.
Dr. Bromery's childhood was not unlike the childhood of any other Black youth. He learned early
what the crushing pain of racism and segregation was. He was born in Cumberland, Maryland on January
i8, 1926. Although he lived in a white neighborhood (the only Black family on the block) he was bused
miles away from his house to go to school. The school that Dr. Bromery attended as a youth was typical to
Black people; a prime example of white education upon Black people. His early education consisted of a
heavy emphasis on industrial arts, with the elimination of college preparation. He was allowed to pursue
those courses that would be necessary for him to go to college. Black people were not expected to go to col-
lege, nor were they expected to have any aspirations in that direction. When it was discovered that he had
such aspirations, he was rushed through high school so that the education that he received was even less ade-
quate than usual. But young Bromery was not to be defeated, he wanted to go to college. He took, through
correspondence courses, those subjects in which he was deficient and in effect re-educated himself with the
tools that he needed to be a success in school. It took Dr. Bromery twenty-two years to get his education
completed, from freshman undergraduate to doctorate.
His struggle to overcome the adversity of being born Black in this country was intense. In Dr. Brom-
ery's particular discipline, which was geophysics, he has risen to the top of his field. He worked with the
U.S. Geological survey for twenty years and traveled the world in quest of his knowledge. He is a full
professor, consultant to a number of committees dealing with geology, and as has been previously stated,
Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
A number of Blacks down Dr. Bromery, saying that he is working for the man and "kissing the white
man's ass." That he is on top and we are on the bottom and this is where his head is at. It is not well
known that before Dr. Bromery became Chancellor of UMass, he was one of the pioneers that helped to
establish and fund the main Black scholarship program on campus, CCEBS. It is partly through him that
Black people got here, and because of him that Black people could set some criterion for success.
The following is an interview and held with Dr. Bromery on October 17, 1972; the man was im-
pressive with his sincerity and ability to answer all the questions straight. Read this interview to find the
true nature of the man that people call "Tom."
Dr. Randolph W. Bromery
Dr. Bromery, this is an interview about yourself as a
man and your relationship in the founding of CCEBS.
To begin this interview, could you, as best you can,
describe your childhood environment.
ANSWER: "I guess the best way to describe my child-
hood environment would be to say that we had a very
close-knit family. I had my mother and father, and
three brothers and sisters. My grandfather and grand-
mother also lived in the same house. We were in an
"only" kind of position, for we were the only Black
family on the block. We lived in a strangely segre-
gated town because all the facilities of that town
were segregated and the housing was not. I went to
an all Black high school, the only one, and graduated
with a class of sixteen. You knew everybody in the
school, and went to the same school from kinder-
garten all the way up to twelfth grade. In fact, the
total Black population of the town was only eight or
nine hundred, so you almost knew everybody in the
town. In the context of today, busing was no prob-
lem because they bussed all the white students past
us to the white high school and the Blacks to the
Black school. There was even cross state bussing
from lower Pennsylvania and West Virginia to Mary-
land schools. In those days, they didn't have any
problem rationalizing busing."
"I went through high school, and in those days no
Black males were permitted to take any other major
but industrial arts. If you were the type of student
who insisted on getting an education, they shot you
through high school fairly fast. I graduated at six-
My parents didn't have the money to send us
through college, so I went to Detroit in order to find
finances. I took some correspondence courses
through Brigham Young University in Utah. I was
probably the only Black student they had, but they
didn't know this. It was in Detroit that I went into
the service. While in the service, I took additional
correspondence courses in those areas of study I was
deficient in. When I got out of the service, I went
back to work for a while and then went to the Univer-
sity of Michigan as an undergraduate, knowing that
I wanted to go into science, but not knowing what
area. One area that I thought I would never go into
was mathematics. At this point I would like to say
that there could never be a student as deficient in
mathematics as I was. It is important that CCEBS
students and all Black students in general never lose
sight of their goals. While at the University of Michi-
gan I came in contact with one of the authors of my
textbook, Clyde Love, and it was him that eventually
got me started in math, the science that I got my bach-
elors in, with a minor in physics."
QUESTION II: I notice on your curriculum summary
that you are a member of a number of minority com-
mittees in your discipline, which is geology. Do you
feel that these committees are a good thing or a bad
thing for Black people?
ANSWER: "If I understand what you're asking, I am
a member of a large number of groups that are inter-
ested in promoting Black involvement in the earth
sciences. I have been asked a number of times if I
feel that involvement in these are promoting the
white power structure. My answer to that is that the
Black community needs as many groups as possible
that can siphon Black talent so that it can be used in
the development of that community. However the
Black people in this country don't live in a vacuum,
we not only need Black talent that is going hack to the
community and to aid in the battle for liberation, but
we also need Black people that are going to go out
and integrate into the white community so that we
can aid in the decision making that effects all of us.
I see our role as going on both sides of the fence.
This is why I am very active in groups that are going
to diversify, and gear Black students into both of these
roles; to get Black talent into the earth sciences, be-
cause when you talk of these sciences, you are talk-
ing about the very foundation that this society is
free ourselves from that oppression. In contrast to
sitting around and just talking about the problem, we
should be involving ourselves in economic and politi-
cal strategies that are going to do something about
this problem. Another aspect to the Black experience
is that the Black community has been prey to all the
negative aspects of American society; the crime, the
dope; all the things that the Black community has had
to suffer with. An example of this would be the
movie "Super Fly." We are wrong by feeding this
type of character in society to our children so that our
youth might emulate in order to gain all of the mater-
ial benefits of this society— the cars, clothes, and
QUESTION IV: Dr. Bromery, do you feel that it is
by the emulation and glorification of these bad ele-
ments of the society that Black people are in effect
maintaining 'status quo' for the white man?
ANSWER: "Of course, white society would want us
to continue to hussle dope. There is someone, and he
is white, at the top who is making all the profits, in
fact if one were to categorize all the negative aspects
of the Black experience one would find that these ex-
periences are interfaced with the white society. If it is
totally Black, then one finds that these experiences are
positive. A good example I am aware of is in the bush
in Africa, there exists a very intricate and well develop-
ed culture contrary to the savagery that is taught
about these people. In short, I would say that before
we can deal with the white community, we, as Black
people, must do some cleaning up in our own back-
yard. Black people must get beyond the realm of in-
dividuality and we must start dealing on a future per-
spective. What we do today might not benefit us
personally, but our children might reap those bene-
fits. Also it might be said that if we deal in the arena
of the present, we must also deal with short range
programs that are also short lived."
QUESTION III: From a Black perspective, what is
your conception of the Black experience and what
does this Black experience mean to you?
ANSWER: "There are various facets to the Black ex-
perience. There is the cultural aspect, the arts, the
identity with heritage, these are very positive things.
When you talk about oppression, of the abuse Black
people have suffered in this country, then you are
talking of the negative aspects of that experience.
But even that negative type of Black experience should
teach us a lesson and provide us with the type of tools
necessary so that we might get ourselves together and
QUESTION V: Dr. Bromery, what was your role in
the formation of CCEBS.
ANSWER: "I arrived on campus in 1967 and at that
time I was about the 6th or 7th Black faculty member.
At that time there were professors Larry Johnson,
School of Business; Edwin Driver, Dept. of Sociolo-
ogy; WiUiam Darity, Public Health; Mr. Evard Os-
bourne. Computer Center; and Prof. James White,
School of Education. There were a few Black students,
about two or three dozen. To the best of my know-
ledge, Mr. Osbourne was the only Black staff with
the exception of a few workers in the dining com-
mons who were Black.
I would think that the concept of the development
of CCEBS was spawned in the minds of Profs. John-
son and Wilson. We talked it over that summer and
then went to the administration and asked how come
there were no Black students in the university. They
said, "Well, you find us qualified Black students and
we will let them in." So we went to the Black high
schools, and we found that because of the high
school programs. Black students were inadequately
equipped to take the SAT's. Well I personally
know that these scores have nothing to do with stu-
dents' ability to learn, because when I went to school
I had never even heard of an SAT. I also had a son
and daughter that did poorly in the SAT and both
graduated from the university. So we went about
setting up a program and getting it funded. We typed
up a proposal, and went to the Ford Foundation with
it. We also recruited our first 125 students. We de-
signed the program around tutorial, counseling, and
financial aid components. The main concept in the
foundation of CCEBS was not just a compensatory
program. We were not just interested in bringing
Black students to a predominantly white institution,
without being concerned with the environmental im-
pact. We had to be subjugated to the force of this im-
pact and we felt that these Black students would be
the beginnings of a viable Black educational com-
munity here in the valley. So in addition to bringing
Blackstudents here to the university, we went about
recruiting additional Black professors, additional
Black administrative people, and additional Black
people in all aspects of the academic community.
CCEBS was a much broader scope than just students
and I feel this is one of the major reasons that we are
where we are right now. The fact is that we did not
get stuck out there on a strictly compensatory level.
As far as the institution. Black people politically had
very little power. Black people constituted approxi-
mately 4% of the commonwealth and an even smaller
percentage here in the valley. So we had to organize
ourselves on a different level— the level of cohesion."
QUESTION VI: Dr. Bromery, what might be your
suggested directions and goals for Black students
here at the University?
ANSWER: Well, I think that the goals that we had
originally founded CCEBS on still hold true. We
must somehow get the Black student to realize that he
has a serious commitment to the Black community.
We must somehow convince the student that he
should take these skills that he has acquired at the
university and use them for the benefit of his brothers
and sisters. We need a feedback mechanism that can
deal with the upgrading of the Black community. We
need the people that are going to go back and estab-
lish community programs, and work with the youth
that are in school now, so that we can keep more stu-
dents in school. This is an especially difficult prob-
lem when you are talking about the Black male. My
personal agenda includes the diversification of our
talent. I say that although the accepted goals are good
such as law, medicine and education, we need Black
scientists, and Blacks in those professions which are
the basis of our economy. It is this segment of society
that plays an important part in acquiring the resources
necessary to establish an economic base upon which
a community can be built. We must get some of the
brothers and sisters to go into these fields. We do
need some lawyers, doctors, and some preachers, but
we also need geo-physicists, economists, engineers
and mathematicians. I think that Jesse Jackson put it
very well when he said, "If Black people want liber-
ation they had better be prepared to deal with it," and
you can't deal with it, if you don't have in your ranks,
those who make up the core of a society."
^s a closing statement Dr. Bromery said:
"Along with the political strategy that we are trying
to develop in the Black Community, I think that one
of the things we must recognize today is that, even
though we may disagree with some peoples' method
of doing things, if it is aiming toward the same goals,
we must learn to work with these people instead of
fighting amongst ourselves. We must stop the in-
ternal strife among Black people. Often, in order to
control, society places one element against another.
If we are to override this control, we must learn to
attack a problem as a mass rather than as a particle."
Dr. Rhody McCoy is the director of the CCEBS
program, the Committee for the Collegiate Education
of Black Students, at the University of Massachu-
setts. He is a man who is tough and demanding, but
not a man to demand more from his workers than he
would demand of himself. Dr. McCoy is well known
and respected throughout the Black community at the
University. This is an interview that was conducted
with Dr. McCoy on the subject of Dr. Bromery; his
views and his relationship:
Dr. McCoy, this is an interview about Dr. Bromery
and his relationship in the establishment of CCEBS.
First, could you give a little background material.
QUESTION I: What was and is your relationship
with Dr. Bromery?
ANSWER: "Well that is a rather difficult question to
answer. I suppose that, one it's through the faculty
and administrative positions that we hold here at
UMass. Two, through our mutual interest in the
Black community and three, our close association, a
very real and personal friendship has developed."
QUESTION II: What is your opinion of Dr. Brom-
ery as a man?
ANSWER: "That would take a lot of talk. But in an
attempt to summarize, from the perspective of edu-
cation, one of the things we have always talked about
is a man we could emulate, and in my opinion he is a
model in whose footsteps both, adults and children
could follow. There is much more to that; I think he
is an exceptionally bright individual and a great hu-
manitarian with a knack to look into the future. His
expertise and academic excellence gives him an in-
sight to plan for the future. He is a man with the in-
terest of young people in mind and if you can under-
stand how an institution like UMass functions; it is
an outstanding characteristic. You might say that
UMass is an institution that is for young people, but
you must understand the time consumption involved
in such a position, the fact that Dr. Bromery does
spend as much time as he does with youth demon-
strates these humanitarian characteristics I have talked
about. It makes him an outstanding leader and edu-
cator. I have a great deal of respect for Dr. Bromery.
In the pursuit of his own discipline, I think the re-
cords will show that he is one of the most widely
sought after men in his field. He is respected for his
confidence and here again he demonstrates that con-
cern for young people. I guess that he is just a great
guy and I don't think there is anything that I can say
against the man either personally or from an educa-
tional or an administrative perspective."
QUESTION III: What was Dr. Bromery's role, to the
best of your knowledge, in the foundation of CCEBS
and do you feel that he was effective?
ANSWER: "I'm glad you added the best of my know-
ledge part; to the best of my knowledge I understand
he was one of the first Black people from the Amherst
educational community to recognize the need for
more Blacks in the university, and judging from the
rather small Black community in Massachusetts, this
was indeed a 'herculean' task. One of the outstand-
ing things about him is his low profile. He doesn't
come out to ask for recognition for the good that he
does. His presence is always felt in CCEBS. One has
only to ask him a question and he immediately be-
comes a data bank of information pertaining to the
program. What I'm saying is that partly through his
efforts, CCEBS came into being, and Black students
at the university should know this and respect him
for it. If you look at it in a broader perspective, here
we have a man that has come from the Black com-
munity, managed and manipulated the system so that
he might rise to the top of his discipline. He then
worked with the administration of the university and
ultimately grasped the chancellorship of that univer-
sity. At the same time he has never lost sight of the
Black experience, as evidenced by his efforts to bring
CCEBS into reality."
QUESTION IV: Undoubtedly, Dr. McCoy, you have
a great deal of respect for Dr. Bromery, and for that
reason I would like to ask you a question from a dif-
ferent perspective. This would help in making this
analysis of him more complete. Do you feel that Dr.
Bromery was sincere in his efforts to bring CCEBS
into the existence?
ANSWER: "Let me answer that two ways. The im-
plication of the question does not warrant discus-
sion, I think he has proven his sincerity beyond a
shadow of a doubt, and without his constant and
persistent efforts in our direction CCEBS would, 1.)
not exist and, 2.) would never have grown and ex-
panded. Unless I missread the question, I don't think
it is a matter for discussion. As recently as two days
ago. Dr. Bromery was still talking about the growth
and development of CCEBS."
The purpose of this interview was to give the readers of Drum a look at the type of man that Dr. Ran-
dolph W. Bromery is. He is a man that has not forgotten what he is or where his roots lie.
Black people must realize that we must gain the tools necessary so that a counter-society can be es-
tablished. We Black people must gain the tools necessary to establish economic bases, and educational
bases so that we might never again be made to bear the yoke of oppression. We must realize that those of
us that have made it cannot dwell in our own successes but rather we must reach back to the community
so that more Black people can be successful. There are those of us who say that these successes, success in
the eyes of society, are not relevant, but these successes are a reality which must be accepted and looked upon
as the method of Black survival in white America.
Dr. Bromery is one such Black person that has bought the reality of this concept and is working hard
to make it happen. There is a lesson to be learned from his struggle. One that can be accepted by all. If we
as Black people are to succeed, our struggle will be a long one. We must learn to pattern our discipline
after the style of a Dr. Bromery and never give up the pursuit of what we want to be. We must also learn
without losing sight of what we are. We, as Black students are going to have to take the weight for the
establishment of the Black community-society. A society in which we can perpetuate the ideals of Ebony
and surge forward to make the words "Nation Time" a reality.
"CANTO PARA ANGELA DAVIS"
Nada muere en el hombre mientras
no muera el hombre mismo.
Ortega y Gasset
De ti Angela Davis,
quedan las noehes arandas,
las columnas enflaquecidas
de este pajaro, amigo de los sapos.
En este pueblo siquico
no es oye otra eosa que tu canto,
y en Asia, Africa y America,
un violin inmenso
tege el dia de tus huesos,
la savia de tus suenos,
ese cadencioso vivir de tu sexo carcelario
tendido en la cuna del otono.
Toda esa presencia tuya
agnegada de tambores,
de rios frutales,
de mares secos
colgando de la lluvia,
tus oceanos sonolientos, y esos brazos,
y estos brazos como banderas raidas
que ban llegado a ti sin lamentaciones,
para alzar en ti
el testamento de los hijos sin tiempo.
"SONG FOR ANGELA DAVIS"
Nothing dies in man if the man
does not die himself.
Ortega y Gasset
From you Angela Davis,
remains the scratched nights,
the weakened columns of this sparrow
friends of the toads.
In this psychic country
not other thing is heard but your song,
and, in Asia, Africa and America,
An immense violin
weaves the days of your bones.
The sap of your dreams
that live motion of your carcelary sex,
stretched in the autumn cradle.
Your own presence
complete of drums,
of fruitful rivers,
of dry seas
suspended from the rain,
your sleepy oceans, and these arms,
and those arms like scraped flags,
arriving you without lamentations,
to arouse in you,
the testament of the sons without time.
What Vyfent Wroiig?
He came. y% 'J
With idealism. i
With hope ^
Cautious. i^^ 'A
Distrust. \ r
Hate. -. ..' ;
- .- ^-
• -^^jpn'-. '^ :
- '. .jC-
'S - -
'^^ V_ ^
. *rt • a;-- ..
.,**■- ■* * "- .
■ .-«- -v-
'■ ', ' '
- ■ rS V r-..
■ .:•-■■.-<■• .
', -V^-s^ .
=. -if- ■/. ^ ■
V ••_,- .
Sister Diana Ramos is the new modern dance instruaor for
the W.E.B. Dubois Department of Afro-American Studies.
She is an exhuberant personality and possesses some very
definite stands on the Black Struggle in White America. I
had the opportunity of interviewing this talented black artist
at work. The following is the outcome of an informal inter-
view with Sister Ramos:
Sister Diana was born and raised in Harlem. She began
dancing in junior and high school. She began dancing pro-
fessionally with a company in which she said, "I was the
'token nigger' ". Sister Diana then heard of a man named
lUio Pamare who had a Black Dance Company. She im-
mediately started to work with him and has been with him
for about ten years. It was not her intent to make dancing
her life, so she left Illio for a while. After a futile attempt at
commercial work, which she hated, she decided to return
to Illio and make dancing her career. Through Illio who
took a strong stand on racism. Miss Ramos discovered that
dance was her chance to become involved in the Struggle and
do her part, gaining experience teaching Black students in
churches and community centers.
Diana then went on to convey personal feelings about her
profession and her goals for communication to fellow sisters
and brothers through her art. She states, "I find my job very
satisfying because it gives me the chance to do what I want.
I have touched all aspects of my career; performing, choreo-
graphing, and now teaching. Teaching gives me the oppor-
tunity to introduce Black students to jazz as well as how to
deal with their own social-cultural dance." Diana pro-
foundly proclaimed, 'My main goal is to spread the dignity
of ourselves as a people. Too many young Blacks are still
dealing with the stereotype nigger role. (Blacks must get
involved with the politics of the situation, because we are still
controlled by the hierarchy and we are given very little con-
sideration as being a serious people)." This black woman
gave a beautiful illustration of what she meant by being con-
trolled by the hierarchy. I quote, "The Alvin Alley and Arthur
Mitchell Dance Companies are complete mutations of Euro-
pean art. These companies are successful because they worship
the language of the Europeans. These companies do not per-
form anything of African culture because the hierarchy be-
lieves it lacks form, therefore it is dismissed. Black and white
colleges do their utmost, saying they will provide the best cul-
tural dance instructors. So they employ someone from Alvin
Alley or Arthur Mitchell. Then they are surprised when
Blacks declare that we are not like that. "
Last year Diana and Illio Pamare were invited to partici-
pate and perform in the Pan African Program here at the
University of Massachusetts. Her new job fills her with ex-
citement as she strongly expresses, "It has been too long over
due for Black artists to come together not only to teach but to
delineate images and to build the machinery to give young
Blacks the kinds of tools to deal with the system and to con-
trol their culture."
Diana is personally involved with the images of Blacks in
America. Urban experience is what she knows and would
like to deal with through dance. She also came to the Uni-
versity because she realized that the further up the ladder
one is, the more difficult it is to function. Her objective is
to learn as much as possible about the politics of a structuring
organization that would have something to do with spreading
the word to all Black people. Black people must take political
control to make the hierarchy stop and take another look at
the situation. "If Blacks want to function as a people each
must go outside to get back in. "
Sister Diana added an important note at the end of the
interview. She recalled teaching at Spellman College in At-
lanta, Georgia. "The Black students did not think much of
themselves and were a very untogether group." She was asked
to leave the predominantly Black school; for her efforts to make
students realize and be proud of their culture and heritage.
Johannesburg: South Africa
Johannesburg: South Africa
A city of life, a city full of despair, a desolation of tfie human spirit, a waste land
which accommodates nature's beauty. How can beauty be married to such ugliness?
Crowd: The darkness of night and the lightness of the day have the answer.
Mzimkhulu: God! I^an at his utmost perversion. Look at the poor wretched souls, they
cheer fortune, yet He does not smile. He squirms and frowns — making malevolent
faces, in an endeavor to frighten them back to humanity.
Crowd: They grope in darkness. The pall of the night conceals directions.
Mzimkhulu: Yes, they are God. They chart the cartography of Heaven. They tell us
that on Judgment Day God shall reward the strong and punish the weak. Yes, they are
Crowd: The greenery of the landscape is contaminated by the gory blood they have
Mzimkhulu: Though there can be tranquility, let us not be deceived. The empire is being
threatened. I feel the ominous footsteps steadily approaching. Listen to the dog bay-
ing at the moon. Listen to the cock cackling before dawn breaks. Listen to chirping
birds, trumpeting elephants, whirring insects. Each is a courier of messages portend-
Crowd: The songs we play are a prelude to your liquidation.
Mzimkhulu: Poor souls — masked in Helena Rubenstein's cosmetics, chauffered to their
exclusive bridge clubs by obsequious black valets. Lo! look at that chic matron. Her
neck and wrists are ablaze with Amsterdam jewels. The body is draped with the latest
from Pierre Cardin. Her 5th Avenue shoes touch the ground with disdain.
Crowd: We still sing. We wrestle with picks and shovels every day, but we still sing.
Mzimkhulu: We burrow the bowels of the earth, looking for their precious metal, while
mine rocks fall on us, burying us alive.
Crowd: Other men live by the sweat of our brows.
Mzimkhulu: We are impatiently awaiting the dawn of the new day. We want to sing
songs whose lyrics extol the triumph of mankind instead of hastening his destruction.
A new day when the oppressor unchains himself from the fetters of blindness. A new
day when the oppressed constant cry for retribution is replaced by the mellifluous
sounds of eternal bliss.
Crowd: Alas, such a day will never be, for men have lost their reason.
Mzimkhulu: Let us pay homage to
Fate — He who hath wrought such misery.
Time — He who hath exhausted our patience.
Place — Whose fruits are a joy to none.
Religion — the origin of greed.
Father l\AcKenzie — the great pacifist who left me with a bible on my lap and occupied a
50-story edifice on my land.
I.B.f\/l. — The shape of things to come.
(a luv wish)
& the world turned upside down!
the moon set at six that eve
& the sun rose
cats started chase'n dogs
the sky turned red
& clouds started land'n
& the world turned upside down!
skinny faggot across the road
got a real girl
little colored boys (sport'n
white pussies) became black men
(& put 'em down)
& prostitutes stopped let'n
their knooky get tooky
& began sell'n it for luv
& the world turned upside down!
george Wallace was castrated & they
got his balls on display in the
museum of natural shit along with
some on-the-second color photos of
mayor lindsay lay'n shotup on the
streets of harlem while take'n
1 of his 'courageous' walks
& the world turned upside down!
roy wilkins was seen stroll'n
down 125th street clad in a dashiki
leslie uggams done sold her wigs
& got a for real natural
& theres a rumor that the supremes
are come'n home . . . again
& the world turned upside down!
Jesse jacksons push became woosh
(warriors on the offense struggle'n for humanity)
isaac hayes tripped over his chains
& replaced them w/ a machete & a gun
junkies shotup w/ dignity, purpose & direction
& hixon died of an o.d. of black revolt.
& the world turned upside down!
bulletin fm the black house:
THE WORLD IS TEMPORARILY IN SUSPENSION!
revised spring 1972
Message to a sister No. 1
I watch you
and thus know you
but only as a
rose feels the sun.
A life-giver once told me
of a shimmering
of a day's duration-kissing
the green cheeks of new born grass-washing
the down of an awkward eagle,
and like the wise dog the
of our bodies
over our quickly
pulsations rapidly outstretch
their long curving arms —
the vivid arc
of my being.
I am one
a part of the life force
caresses and admonishes me —
IS THIS BLACK AMERICA ?
Black babies crying cause they ain't got no food
Black welfare mothers raising hell down the welfare office
Stolen and rented cars screeching down the street
Black Junkies getting their Saturday night high's
Black tenants raising hell about no heat and the high rent
White cops patrolling the area
Black drunks running to the liquor store before it closes
Black pimps "living easy" on their "unemployed" whores
Is this really Black America???
FOR TIME IS INFINITE
From bitter, first-hand experience, many of us feel that we know what it is all about. No one needs to tell
us of the abjea poverty of Roxbury. No one needs to tell us of the discrimination in New Bedford. No one
needs to tell us of the daily struggles for full citizenship in Springfield. No one needs to tell us what we are go-
ing through. We KNOW, for such feeling is our life. As if we wrote the book, or sang the mournful eulogy,
we know full well.
However, there is more to us as minority people than that. If we are to attain a firm grip of our existence,
we must realize the political, economic, and psychological facets of our lives as well as the social. If we are to
have an integrated view of our position in the greater society, there must be a long-term coordination of past,
present, and future concerns. On the one hand, we must realize, and admit, the initial disadvantage of our
heritage, for thus is the world into which we are born. Yet, on the other, we must also realize that our destiny
is what we make it to be. It is the growth and advancement of that destiny that we are all about. To this end,
we must develop and utilize our powers.
We have only begun to realize the potentialities and capabilities of our powers. In doing so, there is
much to be done. More struggling, more learning, more confrontations, more work. The perpetuation of our
culture demands as much from us. The fruits of past struggles must bear more fruit, if we are to further
minority needs and interests, on this campus and elsewhere. We must consolidate the gains we have achieved,
and, from there, lay the foundations for future endeavors. This task demands a resolute determination, a defin-
ition of what we are doing, a belief in our cause, as approval of our actions . . . from each of us.
At what points in our lives do we awaken to the harsh realities of the world? At what time do we lay aside
childhood fantasies.'' At what time do we devote ourselves to the serious study of human nature.'' At what time
do we cease to surrender to negativism and begin to affect meaningful change.'
Many people on this campus have begun to question the status quo. They see the inconsistencies, contra-
dictions, and double standards, not only of this campus but of society in general. They want no part of it; and
justifiably so. They have comprehended the apathy and frustrations so widely prevalent in minority cultures.
They are addressmg themselves to the ensuing struggles of discerning the stark realities of minority life, of
looking deeper for latent, consequential results in decision-making. Rather than complain about "what's
coming down," many have realized the potential power in pooling understanding, capabilities, and resources, in
uniting individual spheres of activities and interests ... all in a sincere effort to make their campus, and, in
turn, society, more responsible to minority people.
If one dislikes the types of music or movies that are brought to this campus, he can do either of two things
(or, worse yet, not even notice). One, he can bitch and complain. Or, two, he can lay aside his apathy (apathy,
let no one fool you, comes in all colors) and do something about it.
If one reads the Daily Collegian or walks through the Campus Center Concourse and notices that there is
no relevancy there for minority peoples, he should stop, think, and then act. Too much time has been lost to in-
activity, for whatever purposes. One should not be afraid to act upon his convictions. It will not be easy to
affect change. It never has nor will it ever be. But the point is that /'/ can be done.
Many people on this campus have undoubtedly pondered these questions. Everywhere about us we are
beginning to see the concrete products of our actions. No more rhetoric. No more shucking and jiving. We
have gone one step farther, to actual involvement.
Now, for the first time, there is minority input and feedback into campus activities. Minority participa-
tion in RSO activities speaks for itself in regard to this new mentality. Area and dormitory governments are
now addressing themselves to the needs of minority peoples. Student Senate involvement is a tribute to the new
consciousness of minority peoples. Without a doubt, ours is what we make it to be.
It would be safe to assume that without the Collegiate Committee for the Education of Black Students
(CCEBS), none of the recent awakenings about this campus would ever have happened, for CCEBS is the
nurturer of all these actions. Without CCEBS to initially bring minority peoples to this campus, misunder-
standing, ignorance, and myths would still be perpetuated. Without CCEBS as a supportive basis, we would
not have the security and strength derived from each other's presence. It is only because of the initial faith of
CCEBS that our dreams are now realities.
For many of us here at UMass, CCEBS has been the opportunity to put a lot of things together. Without
the genuine concern of brothers and sisters, involved with CCEBS some of them far removed from UMass by
now, it is impossible to tell where we would be or, even more importantly, what we would be. CCEBS has been
the chance to come together as a people, as a community, with determination and purpose. The organization
of our community has been the chance to explore and define our identities. It has been the chance to politicize
our efforts. Our catalyst has brought us together from many different points, into a united, solidified force.
To realize the importance of CCEBS, one has- only to compare this campus before the initiation of CCEBS
and after its initiation, in regard to the understanding achieved. No longer are minority peoples a mystery; we
are real and desire the same things as other people. No longer are minority peoples systematically excluded
from the inner chambers of decision-making; we have demonstrated our talents and skills. No longer are mi-
nority peoples skeptical about voicing their needs; the recent organization and coordination of minority inter-
ests are characteristic of our accessibility to power.
Now, more so than ever, we have alternatives. Suffice it to say that CCEBS has given us a new awareness
of the real world, of interaction and politics. From the confrontations for a cultural center, from the demands
for a black studies department, for the initiation of Ahora, from the arrival of ABC, COP, Continuing Educa-
tion, etc., from the demands for more minority staff, faculty, and administrators, from the beginning of Black
Mass Communications, from the organization of the Third World Alliance, from the start of Harambee. . . it is
blatantly obvious what can be done. Who would ever have thought that the liberal, if not token, efforts of
UMass administration in the fall of '68 would turn out to be a spawning ground for the advancement of
Now that we have some idea of what we are about, we cannot forget or take for granted what we have thus
far achieved. Too often we become complacent with the present and fail to see the importance of securing the
past or outlining future concerns. It would be naive of us to think that our progress is forever lasting just be-
cause we have it for the moment. If we do not safeguard our progress, if we are not alert to complacency,
apathy, or indifference, if we are not concerned with long-term planning, we will shortly be back where we
started. If we do not protect and defend what we have, it will shortly be taken away.
Let us not be fooled. We know the ways of the men, finally, finally allowing us only what we have worked
for, knowing full well that in due time he will have the opportunity to reclaim his tokenism, for vigilance is apt
to be short-lived. We must not allow him (and the others) to catch us with our guards down. Only with a
united, uniform, contemporary, consistent program will we be assured of lasting social progress.
We, as minority peoples of this campus, must never lose sight of our goal: a UMass, indeed a society, in
which every person shares in all aspects of life. We have come a long way toward this goal but there is farther to
go. This distance in our struggle that remains is the measure of the great unfinished task of our society.
Ours is the task of education, seeking an understanding of what we all are all about. Ours is the task of
rectifying misunderstandings, of destroying myths, of opening channels of honest communication. Ours is the
task of correcting mistakes, in such a way that they will never be committed again.
Ours is the discovery of ourselves, of our potentials. Ours is the joy of common cause of the unity of bro-
therhood. Ours is the task of the world, to take care of business.
All that has been said about the University can be easily generalized to the 'outside' world. If anything,
our struggles in the outside world will be even more difficult and allusive. So let us begin now for what inevi-
tably must come to pass.
the blackman aint just a male
he aint just an X & a Y.
he a J +1 that keeps give 'n
u^. . .
& u wonder where u went wrong.
he a yellow headlight
when things get foggy
he a dictionary when u
cant spell "black"
he a needle & thread
when things need mend'n
& he a religion
when u need a lifestyle
he a fried chicken leg
when u got a taste for someth 'n good
he a deep thought
when u conceptualize' n
he a thesaurus
when the word/luv/doesnt describe your feeVns/well enough
& he a Pharoah
when your mind needs blowing
he a dash of ginger
when u need a little spice n your life
he a hot sun
when u feel like melt'n (n hm)
he a revolutionary
cause things need change 'n
& he a peacemaker
when he be 'n he is get 'n the best of u.
he a i+i that keeps give 'n
U3. . .
& u know that 3/ he is the
andre mc laughlin
152 West Street
Amherst. Massachusetts 01002
February 9. 1972
Brother Gylan Kain:
"Fervor is the weapon of choice of the impotent."— Brother Frantz Fanon.
It would be indecent of me if I didn't write to you immediately, as a Brother in the struggle; as a committed, dedicated Brother; for that is
what you have always represented to me. I have a great deal of respect for your creative genius, and even though we have only met on a few
occasions when I have been involved in inviting you to Howard University, I have been in spiritual communion with you and your family as a
Brother dedicated to the nationalist struggle and to our people's education and liberation.
I also wish to send my special and warmest love to Sister Susan Batson. with whom I share the principles of Umoja as enunciated by
President Nyerere and the Arusha Declaration. The efforts to translate these principles into the realities of our daily lives, and the examples
which we must provide for our young Brothers and Sisters, remain the challenge of the present and future. It is in the effort of working
towards these revolutionary possibilities that we transform our lives and begin to produce the New Black Men and Women of the 21st century,
whose sensibilities will be informed by new images, new guidelines, and new forms. It is in this spirit that I want you to convey to the beautiful
Sister my deepest love and respect, for I was happy that she was prepared to engage in the discussion.
Now we should get down, and I hope that spirits remain with us positively, even though 1 will be criticizing the play. I feel deeply this
responsibility to you. and Susan, and all Black people. I am accountable to you and I want to say at the outset, without being presumptuous,
that the real play (or theatre), which took place after the play, was very educational to me. It was the heightening of the tragedy and drama of
our lives, and more importantly, an extension of the impotence that we have to deal with as we function in this nation state.
Maybe I ought to begin by posing some rhetorical questions. Did the play do justice to the cultural nationalists, the revolutionary nationalists,
to George Jackson, Jonathan Jackson, Malcolm X, the Brothers who were murdered at Attica, to .Angela Davis, to Huey P. Newton, to Fred
Hampton, to Marc Clark, to the topographical Center in Chicago, to the Black Panther Party, to Ralph Featherstone, to Rap Brown, to the
Nation of Islam, to the League of Revolutionary Workers, to the Harlem Six (or four), to the P-Stone Rangers, to Martin Luther King, etc''
In short, did the play do justice to Black people; to African people'' It is necessary to deal with these rhetorical questions for the play comes at
a critical time in our history, and draws imperceptibly from that history. It comes after We Righteous Homers, We Own the Night, etc.. and
many "so called " popular revolutionary films. Sweetback, and others, the play. Black Terror, has been considered the most advanced Black
revolutionary thing done in the past decade. I challenge this, because I consider the play counter-revolutionary, counter-productive, since it
provides false and negative images to, for, and of Black people.
We must be conscious of the present trial of the Harlem Six. of Angela's trial, of Rap Brown's impending trial, of the shoot-out in Louisiana, of
the shooting of two cops on the lower East Side, and the Chief of Detectives issuing a statement that he has received a note from a Black
Liberation Group. We must insert the play in its time, in its social context, and then deal with the objective social realities that expand out of
the messages provided to the viewer, the listener, those in the audience. Art is communication and as ?uch it is a vehicle for education,
political education. The medium of the theatre provides a message of social reality especially when it is a play entitled Black Terror, written
by a Black man, about Black people, and directed by a brilliant Brother and performed by Black actors. Art informs the sensibilities of those
trapped in the continuum of its explosion. This is theatre, didactic theatre.
What were the messages that went out to different folks in the audience— Different strokes to different folks'' W'ho was being educated in the
audience'' Blacks or Whites'' To whom was the play addressed '' Was the play an illusion and did the reality exist in our brief encounter
after the performance'' I am confident that the play did not provide political clarity to Black people, but rather left some depressed and
disgusted, some mad and frustrated, and others to relapse in their petit-bourgeois mediocrity and acquiescence, behind what Keusi and
Radcliffe were running down. We were paralyzed in a circle of impotency and we couldn't move beyond the actors and the script. We were not
liberated by the play, but rather, we were enslaved by it, and driven further back in our oppression, even though there were some beautiful
Black lines by Keusi.
I speak of impotency because the play (or author) concentrated on fervor when the essence of the experience was impotency or power-
lessness. We were de-balled. We were left impotent. We were made into eunuchs. Let us look at the characters of the play. viz. (a) Antar was
paralyzed mentally and physically. The defect in his leg was an extension of the defect in his mind, and he never had the capacity of lead. He
was not persuasive and he gave us no images or even impression that he earned the respect or sympathy of his followers. He was immersed in
contradictory statements and judgements about the capacity of his own men. He never controlled men with clarity, but rather appeased them
by sustaining their weaknesses— re, Ahmed, Geronimo, and Keusi. whom he punished with no effect or rationale. He was an impotent leader
physically, mentally, and spiritually, (b) Ahmed was impotent even in his ability to execute his wish. He didn't have the capacity to act, or
even the guts to kill Keusi. He was more concerned with what he was going to do. or what had to be done, that what he was doing. He did not
have the capacity to transform the world, for he was locked into the logic of his rhetoric and the ego-mania of his authority and position. The
Brother was tripping nowhere. He was the flipside of the coin of the paralyzed Antar. He was fronting revolutionary fervor. He chose this
weapon because he was impotent, powerless, and didn't have the capacity to love. The Brother was an empty robot, and never moved beyond
that. He was a typical Black man; actually, he was a form on stage, (c) Geronimo was a coward and feared death. Geronimo was impotent
and did not have the capacity to act and. more importantly, to control events. He was heat without light. I say this not only as a result of what
Keusi had to say about Geronimo. but the latter's own admission that he couldn't stand pain and he feared death when he was first wounded.
However, he was an interesting prototype and he did have some soul ; but he was a superficial revolutionary Black man. I hope that he was not
meant to depict Brother Geronimo of the Black Panther Party, who was caught underground and is now in California prisons, (d) M'Bahlia
was not a Black woman. She was devoid of all the beauty and strength of the Black woman— Angela Davis. Kathleen Cleaver. Betty Shabbaz,
Sonia Sanchez, Amina Baraka, Barbara Ann Teer, Nina Simone, Penny Jackson, Miriam Makeba. She is atypical of the Black woman —
revolutionary or non-revolutionary; and she is no doubt the most destructive character portrayed, in terms of images. She is not only negative
but atypical, and Sisters can't get any vibrations from her, because she is not a soulful woman, the theatrics aside. Susan worked very hard
with the part and I respect her for it; but M'Bahlia was powerless and destructive symbolically. Her acts were shot through with con-
tradictions. She was perhaps one of the most tragic counter-revolutionary figures in the play. While listening to her, I reflected on this male-
"Gods are always men, while women are
bearers of truth.
As men, gods are infallible,
But women will always remain believers in truth (or
Thus far, I have been talking about content, political content, and not performances. I better say at this point that the performances of Antar,
Ahmed, and Geronimo were weak. Geronimo over-acted in order to cover his shallowness and his first speech was inaudible in parts. Ahmed
and Antat were not persuasive. They limped along, and they never developed their respective roles in a convincing manner. Your
performance was good, even though the part was inconclusive. Susan (M'Bahlia) struggled with the contradictions of her part and tried to
give it dramatic texture, but there was a feeling of being "uptight " and being locked into something that was too staged. She didn't hang loose.
The tensions and weaknesses were there, and at times I felt as though it was a white thing from the Women's Liberation movement.
Certain natural rhythms and vibrations were missing even though she tried to communicate with her body the extent of her predicament, (e)
Keusi was the most interesting and challenging part, and Brother, you handled it beautifully. You held the play together with natural rhythms-
like Nathan George in No Place to Be Somebody; but I would be interested to see it with your understudy. For example, I saw No Place to Be
Somebody with and without Nathan, and without him it fell apart. Keusi is perhaps the most impotent figure in the play, because he is
essentially a follower and not a leader. He followed the U. S. Army, he followed this group, and he was prepared to split and follow someone
else if they were not shucking and jiving. Keusi had the capacity to act and to think, but not to lead or organize the people around him. He
understood certain things clearly, but he was paralyzed by his understanding and his clarity outside of the range of the single act. He was not
and inspirational revolutionary leader, and even though he talked about life, he had no shape or content for that life Keusi was the flip side of
the same coin as Radcliffe who had the ability to act, i.e., to make that speech v. to execute the police chief. But Keusi did not iiave the
capacity to persuade, and he felt himself to be powerless in face of the odds. He spoke directly to white folks and petit-bourgeois Black folks
just like Radcliffe. He educated them and paralyzed us. I am confident that white folks dug on Keusi as the new Jesus Christ Superstar. It
reminds me of Angela Davis v. Shirley Chisolm, and George Jackson v. Ron Dellums. Sometimes I felt that Keusi was a new kind of Tom,
whose rhetorical arguments against revolutionary suicide lead us back to the plantation — from Nat Turner to George Jackson or Elliot
Barclay (L.D. at Attica). Keusi calls for reason and analysis, quite rightly so, but he doesn't lead us anywhere. He doesn't provide vision or
political clarity, but only impotence or powerlessness.
There is no connection between the African ritual in the beginning and the rest of the play. Actually, the ritual extends the superficial
Hollywood version of the relationship of African or American Indian ritualistic practice to struggle and war. I felt that it was a commercial
prostitution. It didn't add any spiritual dimensions to the play.
Now, as we move from illusion to reality, I would like to deal with the theatre, the Black theatre, that took place after the play. So that instead
of a play within a play, we had a play outside of a play. The latter play was also an extension of the problem of impotence. Let me lay out the
events in sequence, subject to corrections, and then try to analyze them. 1. At the end of the performance, I boldly or dramatically called for
all the Black people in the Theatre ( 8 % of the audience was Black ) to stay on and challenge the actors and actresses because some heavy shit
had been put out there, and we had better get an explanation from these Brothers and Sisters what this play was all about. This was a
deliberate statement; it represented the way I felt at the time; it was obvious by the tone of my voice that I was angry at what I had just seen;
I was aware that my request would be seen as a source of controversy and a direct attack on the 92 7c white audience and the white benefactors
who supported the play at the Public Theatre. Normally after a play, the audience usually slides on out, except if someone knows or wants to
talk to a particular performer. Therefore, my request was inviting problems and I was aware of it. 2. After my statement, an older Brother
who was sitting in front of me, vocally rejected my request that only Black people stay behind after white folks left, for he felt that whites had
a right to stay, if they so desired and that I was out of order to make that demand on the actors. 3. I told him that the actors didn't have to
come out, but I would sit there until there was some clarity, and if they came, it would tell me something, and if they didn't show, that would
also tell me something. 4. At this point, some white folks, sensing that the sluice gates were opened, insisted that they should stay to
participate in the dialogue. 5. I informed them that I was not there to educate white folks for they had already received their education from
the play, and that I merely wanted to talk with some Brothers and Sisters. (Parenthetically, white folks received an education on the
impotence and powerlessness of the Black struggle, for niggers taught them a lot about our social reality). 6. Susan Batson then came over to
talk with me, together with Gylan Kain stating that they would honor my request. It was a beautiful Black act and I was digging it. 7. Several
brothers and sisters remained and we sat down. 8. One old white man told me that white folks needed to stay because they needed the
education more than Blacks— can you did that shit! 1 1 They wanted to peep the conversation. 9. I informed him that I wasn't there to teach
white folks, and that all the white folks who stayed on were like pimps, pimping on a Black agenda and prostituting our survival and creative
forces. 10. Sister Susan explained that we don't print the money, or mint it, or own the Public Theatre, so, like, we have to deal with that as we
are sitting there and move on. 11. I told her that I could relate to that. I would dig if the white pimps left, but if they didn't, then all the Black
people present should make them invisible in their minds and we would only communicate with each other. 12. There was a silence behind this,
white folks still stayed and there was an air of uncertainty. 13. Glyan suggested that we proceed. 14. My opening statement was that the play
was counter-revolutionary, providing negative images for Black people, and that Keusi was the opposite side of the same coin as Radcliffe. I
wanted an explanation of the play as it informed the sensibilities of Black people. What were they trying to get af 15. Gylan began to explain
the contradictions and inconsistencies in the play and essentially referred to the educational benefits of negative examples. He saw these
things as being useful to Black people for they would then be able to deal with the changes that we went through in the sixties. 16. At this point
a white boy asked a question and a Brother was also asking a question. I intervened before Gylan could reply to tell the white boy to shut his
M.F. mouth and that he couldn't participate in the dialogue; he is a pimp and we have ruled him out of our universe. 17. The Black stage
manager, a young brother, then jumped in and insisted that he was not going to allow that in the theatre. "White folks could speak if they
wanted or else there will be no dialogue. 18. I then said that his statement was cool with me, but I wasn't prepared to remain there in any
conversation with white folks. I took my coat and began to leave. Gylan continued his explanation briefly to my earlier statement, and I
decided that I would write you later. Brother. So here it is. Deal with it and answer me, cause we gots to help each other. 19. Sister Susan
asked me who I was and where I worked. I told her, "U. of Mass, Amherst." and she wanted to know if I don't receive my paycheck from
white folks there, and talk with white folks there. 20. I told her the Black students brought me to Amherst; I work in the Black Studies
Department; and the Black community at Amherst is my primary and sole responsibility. 21. The curtain came down for me as I walked off
the stage, but I am certain that the drama with the integrated cast took off in a new direction under the umbrella of peace, love and harmony.
"Vou see. Brother, it was easier to deal with the play (illusion) that with the real theatre— the drama and tragedy of our lives as it relates to
impotence and powerlessness. The white folks knew that we would have had a serious conversation if they had left, and they ain't about
allowing niggers to get themselves together. They peeped their seriousness of my intent, and they were not prepared to let Black folks sit
down and discuss their rhythms, forms, images or even madness. They are the ones who buy our work and put it out there and codify it. They
clearly understand what would sell when, where, and how. They understand who are the consumers and the performers.
Notice how the deal went down— the first Brother who critiziced me was like Radcliffe; the Brother stage-manager was like Keusi who
recognized the objective reality of the superior forces (economic, political, and cultural) or like Nathan George, who directed Black Terror,
and I was like Keusi who split. We are the oppressed, the colonized, victims of impotence and powerlessness.
I have talked at length of the night's experience. I want you to share this letter with Sister Susan and discuss it with her. I will also discuss this
matter with Larry Neal and Paul Carter Harrison, for I feel very strongly about what I have written. I hope that Susan and yourself will reply
to this letter, so that through our exchange, there will come some conceptual and ideological clarity undergirded by the value system about
which you spoke. I would also like to read the play, so that I could examine more closely my first impulses or reactions.
Please give all those Brothers and Sisters who stayed on, mv deepest respects and warmest love. You must continue to create dangerously for
our people need new forms, new images, and a new vision. We must create a new man; and the little Brother who was sitting on his mother's
lap next to me must be able to draw spiritually from the vibrations of creative rhythms when he sees Black Terror, even if he doesn't
understand what's going on. He must leave the theatre feeling something so that he would at least be in cosmic harmony with his mother and
father who brought him there.
My regards to your home and our mutual friends. The present is a time for struggle; the future is ours.
Unity in work,
"i^/oo/ P /
A CKNO WLEDGEMENTS
The DRUM Staff would like to make public our thanks and
appreciation to DON L. LEE who visited this campus with a
most inspiring message and for his important contribution
to this issue.
Andre McLaughlin for poetry that has
risen from the depths of her
Nelson Stevens for his unique and
Kwaku Ananse (Frank McCoy),
and Karen Emory, a high school student from Boston.
In addition, SPECIAL THANKS go to Diana Ramos, Dr.
Rhody McCoy, and to Dr. Randolph Bromery for the use of
their interviews; and to Dr. Nathan Rutstein of the school
of education for his continued confidence and academic