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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  November 21, 2011 1:40am-2:00am EST

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that terrible up the issue of american slavery if it is just you will not look with favor on america that being a slave holding republic. abraham lincoln said very similar things. so the idea of a broad view wing america in a disfavored way because of the justice -- the injustices of america that has a long history and i talk about that in one of the chapters of my book i hope that you will be that. >> host: professor kennedy got his degree from yale an undergrad from princeton and was at oxford as a rhodes scholar and clerked with thurgood marshall currently a professor of law and the author of several books of all of your books, which has
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been our what has got a new the most attention and? >> certainly the wind is bigger -- nigger i get calls and emails every week about that book. the longest book is called interracial intimacy and is about the way in which the law has regulated interracial intimacy with adoption, marriage i probably have had the most fun writing that book but i have had fun debt rating all of them it is a great privilege to frankly make a living as a professional student and that is what i am. >> host: where did you grow up? >> guest: washington d.c.
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born in south carolina at my parents for refugees from the jim crow south so their children could have more opportunity. group in washington d.c. and attended a fabulous high-school, the most important schooling experience i have had the a school for all boys and from there went to princeton i have been very lucky. i have led a very privileged life. >> host: next call from professor kennedy comes from of the land. you are on book tv's. >> caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i have two questions. barack obama and other white father was black but nobody talks about his white man's. why is that?
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and barack obama was not the only president to have negro ancestry there were several others including jefferson and lincoln but nobody ever speaks about that. what about the president of the continental congress? he was a black man. could you speak to those issues? i would appreciate it. >> about barack obama ratio lineage, there has been some attention paid to that and a good many people who object to those like myself who called barack obama of black african american in some who say he should be called multiracial. his mother was white and his father was a black african and. i call barack obama according to what he says he wants to be called. he identifies himself as
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black and african-american in. so that is how i describe him. it is a very important thing for him to describe himself as black that is an important decision that he made a good many years ago. i think his history would be different if he called himself lotto or multiracial , i had he had done that he would have a different profile am probably would have been seen differently by black people am particular. with respect to the second question about racial identity of other people who have been president, the fact of the matter is the question of who is white and who is black is a question
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and it up then sign it how you define who is black or white. if you go back far enough may be all of humankind this effort can. said it began there then you could make the argument all americans are in some sense african-american it depends on how you want to define what you are saying obviously barack obama is the first person who view himself as black and that is the context i view him as the first black american. >> host: "the persistence of the color line" racial politics and the obama presidency" randall kennedy most recent book. winston-salem. >> caller: thank you for the program and i would like
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for him to speak kind the issue of president obama, a politician in nine as to martin luther king as a leader. >> guest: it is very important to recognize people occupied different phases and have different missions. margin mr. king, jr. was then head of a wonderful and am perked -- important political social movement. he was a civil rights leader and a leader of the struggle and he occupied a certain role and he has certain responsibilities and a burden to carry eight when you occupy that role.
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as a policy issue occupy a different role. you have to watch public opinion and if margin is 13, jr. was willing to go against you are the elected politician go over public opinion poll calculation is different winning and losing is defined differently when you talk about martin luther king, jr. and barack obama, these are men that occupy a completely different niche and you have to identify them differently 87 dr. kennedy will be joined by now irvin painter here at the campus of miami-dade.
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we will broadcast their talk in interaction on that is about 10 minutes we have a few minutes left with randall kennedy. please go ed. >> caller: i have just finished reading your book and it is very interesting i enjoyed it. my first question is during the election it seems he had to encounter not only african-americans but columnists tried to make a division because his father was african born and wanted to treat differently from african americans and i seem to be going through the same situation as well. my friends are african
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american can you speak upon that? also why did you decide to go to princeton 10 other than for wary resided? what is your reaction of zero the book of the occupy wall street move meant? only white americans seem to be suffering as well with financial aid and all of that. i would appreciate that and i also like your book i saw you last time i had to check out this book i am reading and again. >> host: thank you very much. >> guest: i appreciate you reading my book. first of all,, question number one, of black america
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is large and internally divided over various things. many people in black america are immigrants from africa or the caribbean and there are certain tensions between than native-born black americans and black people who are immigrants from other place is. sometimes to the attention becomes rather ugly and use the a little bit of that in a commentary about barack obama truly a black american that his father was a black african as opposed to a black american. i think has subsided somewhat as the caller indicated that was a topic of conversation at all across the united states they deal with the attention but on a question why i went to princeton university, because my older brother went there and it
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was recommended to me and my older brother suggested that i do. i am very happy i went there. it is wonderful. the third question on occupy wall street, very interesting. my sense of things is that to many black americans feel themselves to be in the grip of a dilemma. on the one hand many are feeling the real pinch of the continued economic difficulties. they feel it. at the same time a lot of them don't want to do anything to do with the president and a stand he
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cannot snap his fingers in everything changes in recognize he has influential political adversaries so even though black america dense are hurting, maybe 13 quietly as the president's policies they don't want to be very public in their protest because they think that may hurt the president. >> host: o'quinn you have the last word. >> caller: i and stand that thurgood marshall has no black law clerks for the first four or five years he was on the supreme court. the second question is the census so identify african-american, black, neg ro or colored. would you comment on the
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industry shin listing that on a census form? >> host: a first question is the stated thurgood marshall had no black clerics the first four or five years at. >> guest: that is true. i think it went beyond that it was probably longer than that. not purposely. no. thurgood marshall was quite a stickler as the boss an extremely exacting requirements for whom he hired as a law clerk. thurgood marshall had more black law clerks than any other justice. nonetheless he still had very few. for instance the year before i worked for him he had no black law clerks are when i
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was there. i was the only black law clerk at the supreme court when i was there. justice marshall, mr. civil-rights was quite elitist in his hiring policies. and it he had very few black law clerks that is a part of thurgood marshall's history that frank leave has not gotten much attention but that is true. on the question of the senses, there is a lot of different ways that people can identify themselves and i think that is proper. in my writings for instance, i use the term black and african american and afro-american is. i also use the term negro. some people think that is
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antiquated. i don't thurgood marshall use that term with a capital in in march to me 13 it used the term negro and debbie lee b. dubois use that term of it is good enough for them it is good enough for me. there is a wonderful organization the national association for the advancement of colored people, if colored was that bad of a term i suppose the naacp would make changes then. use the term colored i see nothing wrong with that term if you use it as a term of honor i see nothing wrong with it and i use all of those terms. >> host: that is the last word from our guest randall kennedy his most recent book "the persistence of the color line" racial politics and the obama presidency" . he will be joaquin 50 steps to chapman holla he will be joined by nell irvin painter
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wrote a book the history of white people they will be talking about their respective books and academic work you can watch that online live in just a minute or two but we will continue the call in here on booktv. recently as a new kid is out about immigrant high school kids in new york city. we will show you just a little bit of the presentation recovered earlier this year than she will join us here to take your calls. >> to discuss her new book and just to give a capsule summary a high school called the international high-school which specializes in the education of in a grit teen-agers and broke spent much time at the school chronicling a year in the life of its seniors.
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she will to a reading later but i wanted to ask a few introductory questions. the first of which is that you are an experienced journalist. you have written a lot about hollywood and films. this is a subject matter far afield from that. hot you come to the subjects? been a person who led me to the international school is in the audience. we went to colleges together he was working at the international refuge committee agency helping to resettle refugees across the country. and at the time his car friend was doing volunteer work at the bronx international high school i heard about the school and became very interested in the idea of i school where kids come from 70 countries
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and speak 70 languages. . . as its factual richness. it is tuning example of really good immersion reporting that barbara ehrenreich for adrian nicole plonk. you can tell everywhere that the debt so -- and the depth of time detail how much time was spent i colette dean, interviewing,how recruiting, thinking. so i naturally wonder how much y time did she spend? how many days it was cooland hou
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cliques how many students did you interview and how did you decide what was enough? i think that my desk decided what was enough because it was, basically, caving in with all of my notes. and i spent a lot of time at the school. i was there for an article that i wrote for frank wooden, editor at the city section of "the new york times", and i wrote an article about the prom at the international high school. so that was the first amount of time i spent there, a few months. and then i went back for the book and spent a year reporting, but then the following year i was still in touch with the kids, and then the following year i was still in touch with the kids and reporting until, you know, basically, it went to the prohibiter. so it was a -- printer. it was a lot of time, a lot of notes and my life was on hold, basically, until it was finished. >> at the international high school, something like 28 languages are spoken or were at least in the year you


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