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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  July 1, 2012 9:00am-11:00am EDT

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famine. he is a member of the communist party with journalists. it has unprecedented access to archives. he has a personal connection, his father was a victim of the famine. he looked through the records and retreats for public policy had led to this so-called natural disaster. the famine really could've been avoided or so much happened to a much lesser extent -- or policies were allowed -- that would've allowed people to migrate. it is a fascinating look at an known story. sarita varma, what book are you excited about the fsg is excited about when i. >> there're so many to choose. another book we have not touched ons robert sullivan's my american revolution. some fascinating mashup looking back at the american revolution and repaving in the new jersey and new york.
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>> he is kind of a quirky writer, isn't he? >> he is. he had many earlier topics. >> this is book tv on two and we have been talking with sarita varma. .. and many, many articles as a
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national and international level. i'm not going to give you a litany. i will tell you his website. find out for yourself. but i will say to you that he has been associated with a series of unbowed people, pushing the envelope, trying to get messages not only across the people who are opposition, but people on our side. to get bones, to get courage, to get the desire to move forward. and in that particular motif is malcolm x, who rises literally like a beacon. and any of you who were around new york in the '60s, you have your own stories. and when we started listening or
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caring about the marable book, which we thought we should bring forward beause in, just in terms of intellectual honesty, you don't ignore what someone is say, whether you like it or don't like it. you become knowledgeable about it and then you'd refuted. but then we were glad to hear that herb boyd and faces of other people had written a response. and with that i'm going to now introduce you to herb boyd with a response. [applause] >> do not speak to me of martyrdom. of man who died to be remembered on some parish day. i don't believe in dying, though
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i, too, will die. and like, and like the flowers, the violence, the castanets, they will echo me. yet, this man, this man, his genius. the one who has cheered his forward -- cheered us forward. fix lived with words, but it will no longer speak again. those words, the opening stanzas that sonia sanchez wrote back in
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1968 in a book called "for malcolm." dudley randall was the founder of broadside press, and, in detroit, michigan, my hometown. always like to say that detroit, muriel, is where my soul is in new york is where my spirit is. margaret burroughs, she died two years ago. she was a founder of the museum, one of the outstanding museums in this country. dudley died in the year 2000. and i always remember him as a mentor. his most famous poem was about booker t. washington and w.e.b.
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du bois. it seems to me, says booker t., i don't agree says deputy be. pretty much summarizes the kind of tension between those two individuals. but he was an outstanding poet, a ward warrior of the highest order. and the founder of broadside press and if you want to get more than there's a very fine documentary out there called black unicorn you can get, a very fine work. i say that poem because it's also a poem that we utilize at the beginning of "by any means necessary" because it sets a certain kind of tone for us i do believe, that the whole spirit of malcolm and what he represented during his short tenure, his 39 years is very brief, exceedingly brief.
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particularly when you get as old as i have anyway. [laughter] since i've been is a welcome some of my students think i knew frederick douglass. [laughter] first name basis coming in, abraham lincoln. [laughter] of course, lincoln never invited me to the white house. obama did. [laughter] but anyway, it sets a certain kind of tone for us. so we asked permission to use it again. so that's the opening poem in the book. and thereafter, muriel, you have just a flood of information coming about. and it's kind of critical conversation. you notice the title is "by any means necessary" but it also has a subtitle, malcolm x, real, not
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reinvented. of course, the impetus on it, reinvented, and many other contributors, 35 contributors in this book. and just to contextualize it a bit, it really goes back, actually goes back to 1968 when you start talking about how there's response is gathered by african-american public intellectuals and scholars and activists. william put a book out there called the confessions of nat turner, and it calls quite -- it cause quite an uproar in a similar fashion to what man has done here in this book, like intellectuals and thinkers. dr. john henry clark, my mentor, brought together a number of respondents. and the book was called 10 black writers respond to williams iran's confessions of nat turner.
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so in other words, some president had been established in terms of reacting to stuff out the. this was by no means the first time but it is her very collective, the first time that a solid collective of african-american writers, you know, muriel, to respond to particular book out there they consider to be absolutely demeaning, reprehensible, and particularly in terms of meditations on history is what he called. we call it messing with our history. as he did. even though at the time he was doing the book, you know, one of my heroes was in residence with him, temporarily, and he eventually, ultimately endorsed the book. but we will talk about that. particularly james baldwin. and so after that, two years ago pretty much about the same time a year we're going to right now,
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i think is pretty much moving into the spring of 2010, and henry louis gates, he wrote an op-ed piece in "the new york times," was called ending this slavery blame game. in which he said that almost 90%, you know, of the slaves trafficking across the atlantic oceans facilitated, you know about the african chiefs and other africans, which was an astonishing number for us. and i immediately wrote a response in terms of how he is shifting the blame around and pretty much taking the european traders from out from underneath ahead. trying to smash them all, nobody said no, no, no. the africans were complicit on this but we're always concerned to what extent they were complicit in terms of receiving, you know, the benefits of tha and, of course, the subsequently
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when you move into the dark days of the plantation and slavery in this country, we know full well who the beneficiaries were. but nontheless, you know, after th letter to the error i wrote to "the new york times," a number of people called me up, and so i began to talk to people like dr. ron daniels and others. it's always good to surround yourself with all these doctors. [laughter] we started a come session on how are we going to respond to that. in other words, set the record straight. the problem with that is that they were really nothing that had been written, so you had to commission pieces. and therein lies the rub. so it never really got off the ground. so skip got away clean on that one.
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although we had a number of conversation, a number of independent articles were dumb but not in a collective way. the book we plan to do similar to what we have done here. so those two things, those two instances, going back to 1968, and then with skip gates two years ago, gave us the kind of groundwork to move to this here one. w, this is not my book. this is our book. i say our, because i'm talking about those three men i just mentioned who are co-editors with me. in fact they threw out of an event that we had at the church will put together a conference there, a form. rodney collins who is the step nephew of malcolm x, malik el-shabazz, as well as ron daniels and myself.
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we were all a part of that particular band and. that's why raise the question about you can take the product of this in need a court to begin to settle some of the responses out there. it was like 75-100 reviews came out on manning marable's book. so we plowed through all of them and decided which of the best of these most represented, most reflected, excuse me, at the same time trying to be evenhanded about it all. and we chose 35 of these. i wanted to get a few more, but i couldn't get permission to use them. folks are somewhat reluctant to be part of it. even o of the riders after they decide to be a part of project want to backup because he he saw the title. figured it was slanted in a particularly. it was skewed in was skewed in a way that he couldn't live with.
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then lst decide to stay. there were at least seven or eight of the people who share your position there. i want to have more women, two, 20. i wanted have more women but you're looking at the 100 or so reviews but if you go to haki madhubuti, he has one of the best websites out there. many of them are similar to what we have in the bucket. so i say that this is our book. and it's the contributors, for 35 contributors that we have there. and their impressions, critical conversations, how do you really feel about this book, and so one of the things we wanted to do was to make sure that the money that we raised would go back to the family. we had that in mind from the start. they would be no profit in it all for any of our contributors.
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although they got free books. many of them were stunned to get 10 books. that is rare that a publisher would give you 10 bucks. that's like, what is that, 350 books right there that you've given away. when you're struggling as a small publisher, that's considerable amount out of your budget. but nontheless, we feel this is something an endeavor that is absent the necessary, and we pushed ahead with it. we turned it around in nine months. and that in itself is pretty remarkable. to get a book turned around that fast. of coursefast. of course, it was published by third world publishing, and that's haki madhubuti's press pixel i have like the ends with him right from the beginning, you know, say hey. but he was really excited about the project, and he was amazed, too, they were able to turn it around that fast, get permission from all of the 35 reviews that were out that we wanted to use. and we pushed forward.
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and there is the product there. now i guess we should get to deconstructing, deconstructionists. because manning, and let me say this here from this top, in terms of my feelings about doctor manning marable, the late doctor manning marable who died april 1, just three days before the book came out the ousting in my review, i talk about the kind of tragic irony because there was a similar position that malcolm experience but he never had a chce to realize the fruits of this endeavor, or to challenge, you know, some of the people who had some considered about what he agency in the autobiography. and so, i mean, i was very much concerned about making sure that i was, read the book twice before i wrote the review. make sure that i was moving in
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as fair and as expeditiously as i could. so what you have here is a friend, like manning, i guess uniquely in a position where being a member of the nation of islam when malcolm was there and then being a member of the black radical congress went manning marable was there, i have a very unique, i don't think there's too many of us left who have a situation where we actually knew malcolm and then new meaning, probably new manning much better than not because i was with manning on many, many occasions as the communications director of the black radical congress. so it was that association and i just thought about that over the years. it's very, very rate of an opportunity to be so blessed and privileged position to share that kind of evolution, in terms of our struggle, to be n those
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front steps, the particular ramparts with two very important people. and i say that with all due respect for manning marable, because for me he was an outstanding scholar. you can see everything we've said about this book, and i think we have to be fair about that, but also look at the kind of accumulation of his work. in particular, how capitalism underdeveloped black america. i think it was an astonishing piece of work which kind of carries on what walter rodney has done, and done without he wanted to develop africa. saint patrick, that was a continuation of that particular kind of methodology. obviously, using an analysis, very concerned about both race and class. that was the thing we all struggled about back in the 1960s, tried to find some common ground the queen -- and how you bridge in terms of what
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the principal contradiction of their, is it necessary to see both of them in terms of having a holistic analysis about where we are, both politically, socially and economically. so with manning, and working with many over the years, and then when he came, i make and he bounced around. he was all over the place. i know he spent two years at one institution, then moved on to another one. and i got to see the similarities of their, that malcolm, he was like a real adventurer and moving all the time. if there's one thing i would like to focus on fanatically it would be his internationalism. i think that's one of the things that is often ignored. and we should give certain, special attention to spike lee, did the best he could with the film but i thought it was somewhat lax when it came to look at the last year an and a f of his life, which is probably
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the most productive period. it cries out for further discussion, and as spike told me, do your own movie. [laughter] it was not that he's, but maybe we can do a book. so anyway, you have that kind of conjunction of malcolm and naming them whose seven letters, malcolm, many, seven, seven. but they haven't number of other commonalities, too. i had a chance to share in all of the magnificence of their thoughts and ideas. so all that is to say that there's some very valuable things in the book, and i think what was said, i the best thing about manning's book is that we resume the discussion about the life and legacy, the legend of mountain x., el-hajj malik el-shabazz. what we've done is just continuation of that discussion and that dialogue.
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i'm sure that compares to three other books in the pipeline i hear, less has been working on a book quite a while so i look forward to seeing that. jerry ball and doctor todd burroughs. todd is one of our contributors in this book. they are working on their own response to manning's book that will be coming out by black classic press, palm coast, a very good friend of ours are look forward to seeing that. but i think at last when you get into the needy greedy, the most important thing is what the people have to say. so the you have to at some point, we hope, contribute to the discussion. of course, no investigation, no right to speak. you got to come to grips with this information and join the dialogue. i think it's important. two of the things, muriel, that jump out at me, is the issue
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about the autobiography itself. and he always had to go back to what you call the point of origin. you know, weird as any discussion begin? how is that graduated -- perpetuated? from one researcher to another. all they're doing is spreading the same kind of distortion and disinformation from another scholar without doing their homework. currently i'm working with greg you read, who for many years has been my friend andy to it, and we're working on a biography of alex haley. and in doing the research there, we are making a number of discoveries about the relationship between alex haley and malcolm x. three or four of the contributors in the book, they delved into that as well. and, of course, mannix position
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is that come is that alex was just not the right person for the project. in fact, you know, it's the whole, in terms of different ideological and philosophical positions, and he calls him a liberal republican, of course which i don't know where he gets that from. i tried to research about to find out where it is, this comes in. did somebody just say that at some point and then there but it is picked up and spread all over the place. but i'm not sure but i could not find it anywhere in doing all of my research, in looing into the life of alex haley. but, of course, it's just beginning. there so much more to plow through because of stacks and stacks, like 82 books of information from knoxville, tennessee, the university of tennessee that didn't have any chance to go through. but nontheless, you talk about this dismissal. and then hold deconstruction that he sets out to do. in fact, he says, naming says a
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real eye opening came for him when he understood that he had to deconstruct the autobiography. in order to kind of really launched his ow research process. he had to destroy that, tear it apart. see exactly, you know, with strengths and weaknesses were. so one of the things that i could do is think that okay, you can be struck the autobiography, and, of course, the autobiography is by no means a perfect book. i mean, there's a number of problems there. first of all if you talk about the relationship between someone who had been in the coast guard for 20 years, and to what extent he was in touch with kind of the vitality of the culture that malcolm x had. he missed so many of the nuances and subtleties of what the conversation was all about. the psychoanalytical probe of the relationship between the two
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of them, i think victor eugene will christian, he looks and sees the psychoanalytic dialectic that is going on that in effect what alex who was doing was analyzing and all alone. but, of course, he did later on have malcolm psychoanalyzed twice. and that's never brought up that much, but greg reed has all the documents and information that pertains to that, and we will be bringing that out in the book. both occasions, malcolm was even aware this was being done, that he was being psychoanalyzed. but he would leave little jottings behind on tissue paper or napkins and what have you, and then alex would gather up this material. and in doing so, pass it on to these psychiatrists and psychologists, so they could do certain kind of studies like sampling as well as the doodling, okay, what are these
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doodlings all about quick so they could get to the bottom of the. but he became very important for alex as he assembled the book and so. so beyond the autobiography, we have the kind of uproar that has come with the allegations, the assertions, the accusations of homosexuality, as well as the infidelities. those are the two things that resonate mostly out there for readers who, i mean, haven't had an opportunity to really get into the book but they've heard those things and they want to know exactly what's going on with that. one of the things, again, as we say if you have these particular kind of issues, you need to get to the bottom of them. where do they started? so with the origins of the home and can -- the whole homosexuality, when manning says
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what malcolm does is that he changes the name in and becomes rudy, becomes the individual. of course, you try to track that down, too, so, you know, that he is changing, that this rudy doesn't really exist. so at some point though when you of any kind of allegation out there, you have to substantiate, where's the evidence, you know? so your argument instances in which he has no evidence whatsoever. it's remarkable he was able to go along like that for so long without substantiating somebody. very, very critical issues. grounded in some kind of sense of reality. by the way, what happens is that you go back to the beginnings and discover that it should something that originated possibly with malcolm's shortage of, and this was malcolm's friend for many years after coming in, malcolm had gone
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through his period of bouncing from michigan to boston, roxbury. and begins to hang out with the malcolm shorty -- in the film sure he is played by spike lee. of course, shorty takes exception to his characterization in that book, of course he died in 1998. it's amazing that a lot of this could've probably been really solved if they had gone to malcolm, and again interviewed him about that situation. it's amazing that they valu so much that manning marable just took without like further investigation. that he had an opportunity. i mean, the guy was around since 1990. he wrote his autobiography. a few months before his death, the book came out with an introduction by cornell west. co-edited by paul, work with
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malcolm jarvis on the boat. nothing is ever said about william paul lennon, who is a man that supposedly malcolm was sprinkled outcome powdered on an bring into sexual climax. so that constitutes homosexuality, and i mean, it sounds like a masseuse to me if anything. sprinkle some talk about it and rub, hey, how does 60 into a? i guess the mere fact he had an orgasm or climax as result of that, then you, as a homosexual act. but anyway, shorty jarvis says nothing at all about this in his autobiography, neither of the two books he put out there. nothing was said about that. so where is it picked up? where does it come from? but if you look at manning's
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book, he traces it back to the book, the seventh child, and he gives the page notes and everything. he go to those page numbers and have nothing at all to do with any sexuality whatsoever. so you wonder well, it is the wrong page numbers. then you try another way to get another source other, and, of course, bruce perry's book has been absolutely coming in, the kind rumors they put out there, again, you talk about a book that is exceedingly flawed, because of course he tries to use psychoanalysis. i think he was practicing without a license. nonetheless, you know, he poses all these different things about it and gets dates wrong, and names from and what have you. but that's similar to a lot of the books out there where people have not paid close attention. proofreading these days is almost a finishing art. i may, even with manning's book,
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it was like some 50 errors their weak tactic. they were factual things. if you can't get a little simple things right, what happens when you get to the complex once? so it kind of throws you int some doubt about the worthiness of the project, particularly when you discover someone is talking about, not sure what year the naacp was founded. not sure that this is from the apollo theater to the hotel theresa. so those little things like that, little factual things that some of my friends have heard, let's not do with the fact, let's get to the interpretation. i say that's good because some of these facts are related to the interpretation. because if you can't get it straight, like even coming are doing a cycle -- psychoanalytical program and individual and you don't even know what year they were born. you screwed that up, you get those dates are wrong, women,
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you don't know this individual at all. you're trying to psychoanalyze them. so there's something to be said about getting the facts straight. and certainly in terms of the interpretive aspects what can be done the? if people, all people are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts. you have to go ahead and say let's deal with what the real facts are. and in this day and age where we live in reality television and the digital universe, social networking, things get a lite haywire outfit in terms of dissemination of information and absolute accuracy and clarity of things. so anyway, the on the homosexuality, of course manning dismisses the idea and so. the always wonder why he raised it in. can't substantiate it but i gues he feels a need to raise warts and all and talk about, and then dismiss it. it's not a total dismissal. i mean, he kind of cautions or
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conditions that i a particular year, 1952. indicating that even in other places you talk about possible sexual -- we can have a lot of possible some would have you. a lot of supposition, too much supposition of their when you're doing this kind of scholarly endeavor. kind of work on very important america hero for us. can't be speculating like that. you've got to have some evidence. similarly when you get to the infidelities, what's the source of these and facilities -- these infidelities you're talking about the the letter that writes to the elijah mohammad. and in the letter, he talks about the difficulties faced having with his neck and he goes on for three and half, four pages. and you can see that. you can see the entire letter if you go online and check out gary
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dimmick, vim i.t. this is the same guy, he runs this auction company and he had also schindler's and adolf hitler and a number of other letters out there supposed to be authentic. and rant all current difficulties and lawsuits and what have you. people talk about the forgery, forgery there. so here he ends up with this letter answer the question becomes how did he get the letter. it's a letter that was sent from malcolm to elijah and suddenly it is in his hands, he is auctioning it off for $100,000. so you're concerned like where did you, i mean, how did manning didn't rely on that. so he says he goes to the website, he sees a letter and he bases it on that, taking it at face value what is there. my concern would be in the age of the kind of pages of
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repression and distortions, particularly company intel pro, the concept of the another, you might want to examine the typescript and see exactly is that coming from his typewriter? but the key thing there is how does he end up with that letter? there's been some speculation about that, but it's a very critical point in terms of the authenticity of that particular letter, but that's the source of , how it is picked up and spread from one book to another, from one scholar to another. they just take it on face value because so-and-so said it, it must be all right. there's an exhibit they just took down the other day, in terms of malcolm x, and you see a number of things that have to be corrective. you have to carefully go through this and that it to make sure the captions on particular photos in the exhibit are absolutely accurate. so i took my student on the exhibit, point at all these
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mistakes and everything so forces the old instructed to go back and read carefully pick you kind of zoom to there and take it for granted people putting it together did a pretty good job. it just says that we have to be constantly, very patiently concerned about the scholarship out there. so beyond the infidelities m. the homosexuality, just throw those things out there, and also said unto them passionate suggests how the system to be done. i will throw the baby out with about four. there's a lot of viable information in manning marable's book. it's almost like a pot of stew, and if you put one of them angry and there, does that spoil the whole soup? you put too much onion in their, well, if you have too many in there, does it discredit the book? to toss the book of?
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so it's a careful read, separating out fact from fiction. but sometimes it gets into action. there's a combination of fact and fiction. as alex haley did so remarkably well, and the medevac, too well, some plagiarism suits. be careful, the information take because manning had the same thing to manning had a number of folks working with them at columbia university. you round up your crew, and so when people turning stepping to you, you have to carefully check it out to make sure that you are not accepting without going and make sure first of all the facts are right, that this particular person asked the road it, and it is then pass on second, third generation and can't get back to the original, so that's what happened with alex a.
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you begin to take information from students without checking out. and they're giving him staff from other books. remember margaret walker did her best to try to get somebody on that deal with her book, but she did on jubilee. and a number of, i think, i compare the. i saw so many similarities there, similarly with herold's book, the african, and he sued and got way heavy six figures. really hurt alex haley's estate. sufficiently. so what happened is that, you know, looking at what has to be done as we go forward, we have other books that are coming, little things that have to be done, muriel. and we're working on the house will look at the for our papers down in an attic in detroit. which gets out to the whole front of the nation of islam. so we're going back to first principles again. can we take it back to the beginning and kind of sorted out
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and see how this particular thing evolves. and then finally with the word of reinvention, we felt that the word itself, the connotations that tend to infer, you know, not at all admirable, and suggests that malcolm was manipulative, that he was very deliberately doing these things for some kind of self-promotion, self gain. so that's what we were concerned with that particular word. we thought that political evolution, you know, transformation which, of course, pops up quite often in the book, you know, a little bit more neutral and softer in terms of his intentions. because he says early on that malcolm is wearing face masks. he wonders at what point does he take the mask off. he is kind of a trickster. but we understand that is a double-edged sword when you talk about a trickster.
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in our culture we have a number of businesses which, that form of trickster is him was his survival element. we got over it, particularly going to plantation period. we did have to wear the mask as paul said. and at last, i can say this. i don't know if want to have an exchange with me, question from if you want to raise before we go to the audience, if you want to raise some questions, that would be fine. >> i didn't have questions. i did have a cup hundre comment. i did have a comment to make with regard to conceptualizing a period in which malcolm lived and struggled, because it is hard to actually put it in 2012 context, actually. and so i just wanted to do something about that but i'm
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waiting until you're finished. thank you, sir. >> actually come you know, before i go to the audience, conclude with maybe the last stanza of sonia sanchez's poem which is she said do not speak to me about living, life is obscene and crowds of white on black. death is my polls. what might've been stopped for you, not for him and not for me. what could've been floods the womb until i drown. sonia sanchez. [applause]
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>> thank you. thank you very much, herb boyd. i wanted to acknowledge, a belated acknowledgment, but the city of new york, john lewis is here. and unfortunate could not stay but i want to put on the record that he had come. we hope that we see them again on the front pages about -- >> the comptroller was here? did he bring money? >> no. but we hope to see him around in the big leadership aspect of the city of munich the and i will leave it at that. [applause] yeah, thank him for coming out because it's kind of a tit-for-tat thing because he knows i'm a journalist with the amsterdam news. [laughter] hey, i'll give you some clay, you did? but it would be only fair
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though. okay, -- >> i just want to say something because you know, there weren't a lot of us out there in the '60s. coming, that's just a reality. and the other thing that i wanted to let you know is that those times were so dangerous, and you just don't get it. if you look at it in 2012 time, you listen, you know, you have to really look at a time when africa was bubbling and demanding and pushing, and you had a guy named patrice who is a postal worker was turning the congress upside down and was so powerful in that call that the head of the u.n. went over to see him, and they killed both of them. they killed both of them. they have never ever come up with how did this happen. well, because the people investing other people who did it. very simple.
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i mean, it doesn't take a genius to figure this one out, and you know? and i just want to say also that my opportunities observe malcolm. i was not a cohort of his but there were people i knew who were very close to him. and malcolm's aggression, which was not a mask, it was new growth, new movement, new incorporation of ideas. people who have before been on the outside now on the inside, and that is part of this synergizing of this new thing that was going to be something. i mean, it rlly was going to be something. of course, for the first time you had a black american crossing international lines, talking to people who had been never involved in this progression, who had resource, resources of their own.
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do you understand that? and you appreciate that. when we get chance to talk about gadhafi hopefully sometime soon, we will be looking at this again. because if you don't understand colonization, if you don't understand the way the system moves to contain itself, it will sacrifice everything, anything, you know. i just read book not too long ago called spymaster. you would be surprised at the kind of things these people do. i mean, that they are prepared to write about the i'm not talking of some secret. what they are prepared to do. if you get a document from somebody, i don't want to prolong this, but if you get a document from somebody, you better ask, even if the document looks authentic, you better ask them where it came from.
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they have people who create documents, that's their job. they are supposed to insert things in people's thought the are you falling what i'm saying? one of the things i love about the society we're putting together here, and i see you again, is because this may be the one place in all of north america with this kind of discussion action is carried on, and so that you leave with more than what you gain, you know. so i want to thank you, herb. and i know what you opened the floor for questions or comments to if you have a comment, don't make it as long as mine. please, the floor is open. yes, sir. >> more of a comment than a question. [inaudible] >> yes.
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[applause] >> i didn't know until you mentioned it that you are a member of nation of islam, and so was i. [inaudible] >> there's no real recording of that either. >> no, there's not. >> but khalil islam told me he was standing right there when it was said. that was johnson. he became khalil islam, and we lost him in 2000. >> some are still around. >> yes. [inaudible] what a story to moment it was.
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but there's so much can be said about malcolm and this book, but -- [inaudible] i have concerns about it, too. most of us who were around malcolm, nina, again i have an opinion. [inaudible] malcolm was such a remarkable person. [inaudible] one of the greatest men in the 20 century, of theast century. so we have to look at the transformation of malcolm x. i met him around 1958. [inaudible] in richmond, virginia. but i was so proud to have met him, to interact with them.
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so there's a lot we can say. i know other people have things to say. >> appreciated. thank you. [applause] >> while the microphone is moved, i just want you to know that in the '50s, malcolm, to get him on the radio you had to fiddle the dials, okay, on the far right side. sometimes it would come in but a lot of times itwas blocked, you know? and, the nation of islam was underground, kerry. straight up. i mean, people did not, people had to be careful because it was considered, they did know what to make of these people, you know. again, i'm recontextualizing for you so you understand that which are looking at now, you are seeing 40, 50, 60 years of change with regard to what is possible on the public scene.
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but the guts of it, you know, so that when malcolm was taking the stuff on, honey, malcolm was like a low rider, you know, ina very serious since. and i don't want to go on. microphone is in somebody's hand. >> good evening. thank you for writing the book. >> keep in mind that this is -- i'm just be edited. richard wright says that to be an editor, all you need is a pot of glue and a pair of scissors. but, of course, in the digital age, it moves faster. go ahead. >> anyway, what's important here, and when i pick up the book, because i had read manning's book, it's a historical replay of a polemic in african-american history.
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malcolm had represented the liberationists nationalist tennessee. i would argue that conrad and brother man, or some of his latter views, collapsed into a social democratic accommodation. and within that polemic, it's always that engage. now, what may brother malcolm important is that at the time of his assassination, he had mobilized to the public space a nationalism that was revolutionary but also particularly succulent. because after garvey was attacked and, african-american nationalism became religious nationalism, and that was of course elijah mohammed. also, too, as we examine malcolm
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and what makes malcolm important, and it's not his charismatic symbolism, but i go back to the time when he was in prison, meaning that malcolm's articulation wasn't wasn't passionate wasn't what it was when he came out in 52. the reason why i raise this from a to z., as malcolm asked most of himself, he demanded the most from the world. and dust when he was purged out at the nation, after the kennedy assassination, he had been a member when he came out of prison in 52, so his political life, it was militant but it wasn't as radical. so he absorbed all that, talng with them, how he could
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synthesize all that and a years time, right, and thus as a religious person lead the catalyst of the radicalization of the african-american population. because everyone else had failed. although other less nation, so we have to see malcolm as a catalyst for the polemic is to go on in african-american history of accommodation, for liberation or self-determinati self-determination. and white men, from what i have read, had really understood was the revolutionary implications of nationalism, particularly coming from malcolm because it's always viewed as narrowminded. but to be so determined and somewhat selective fascist american society, that in itself
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is revolutionary. i might say here, because that's the essential contradiction but the principal contradiction of that period was purely operation and national liberation. that is central contribution was not to be exploited. but the principle, the contradiction that you see, and not come best represented that, and he was a catalyst for the recent creation of black nationals. >> solid. let me just add, let me put a tag on that. i would direct you to page 20. do you have the book inadequate i don't know if you have the book anyway, read page 20, that's the doctors and say. and he deals with that in a very thorough fashion. and showing how you move from
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nationalism to the kind of revolutionary nationalism that you were suggesting, as was the internationalism. and you're absolutely correct in terms of this, this speed. he was a quick study. malcolm was a quick study. my interviews with dr. john henrik clarke, doctor clarke said that knock him was the best student he ever had. they sat at his table and put together the principals, the organizing principles of the organization of afro-american community. [inaudible] >> but anyway, you point out the number of people he was coming in contact with and, including in now jerry a and tanzania, including nigeria.
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and it's amazing that he became like, he was like our portfolio, ambassador or president of black america. they were recognizing him on that same level in terms of how he was bringing the message there. but he had a larger message, too, in terms of what he was tried to do. within a religious context because he had moved firmly into orthodoxy. is moving into, he was a sunni muslim, and, of course, that would put him at odds with a lot of folks who were seen carrying baggage from understand exactly what the nation of islam was all about. i went in when i was like 20 years old, and one of the things weearned right away is when you're talking about here is that we are the lost found nation that we're in the the wilderness of north america, and a certain kind of precepts and has to be put into effect because we have been robbed, you
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know, of our ancestor, our culture and our history. and in terms of the theory, that also was rationalized and justified in terms of other people talk about they are the chosen people. we could make the same kind of assertion in terms of where we've come from as being the original person, and to hold crafting of these other folks to how the kind of come together. but you're right in terms of your commentary. [inaudible] >> masonic theory, rydquist and moving away from what is called orthodoxy. because we were never african people. we are a see a black man. we had to wear our hair short because out here -- we sought to go to after to toughen
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ourselves. so there was still a rejection of the african centered, or just to you or. right? and the class dynamics in this nation, which state they couldn't handle the gusty thousand people, like your growing business, you're buying less. and the best you can do to people, the white man is a double. you when i get graduate students from harvard or howard to run your business. so that led to some of the liberalization because they needed part of the educated class to help run those businesses. because originally if you came out of jail, they would put you somewhat in a stable situation, which was a good thing. but outside of, to take power away here, you need a program to and hat's what malcolm was
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doing. that's how we have to understand and look at malcolm. >> beautiful, thank you. >> i have a comment and i wanted, actually to comment and wanted to get the reaction from you. first comment is, i would like to thank you for your efforts. i know that you have insatiable appetite for information, and do so many things you could have been working on, so many things you want to work on. and the fact that you took time out to work on this book and develop reform all of us is greatly beneficial and appreciated, particularly the fact that the proceeds are going, not to yourself, but to actually help continue malcolm's legacy. which i think is very commendable. so personally i would like to thank you. [applause]
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>> the comment i want to get a reaction from you on is this. i had heard about the manning book, and i read it, and my personal feeling was that there were things that i questioned for a, maybe this isn't so, what have you. ..
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wasn't worse kazarian of people buying into teeth of obviously the book is the best selling. what you think the worst case scenario is the people walk away >> this is kind of counter intuitively. of these and just on the homosexual thing, if not come what had his dthers you know who would have been the writer? james spaulding.
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the thing about it, they cannot work if schedules on. can you imagine, the majesty and the lyricism and stuff like that cannot to a discount or discredit alex haley because he was a very fine craftsman, but in terms of the literary flair that altman couldn't write in and also the kind of understanding that they were brothers coming out of a common cauldron. one was kind of like -- i can talk about this and one of my books. i have a whole chapter on baldwin and malcolm. it was a political warrior and no one was the warrior poet. in both had these tendencies, this kind of understding of language. in the autobiography mouth and
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is having this discussion. and then that he could not keep up. trying to figure out etymology. i think -- i think again for your going, but i don't think he really understood what malcolm was trying to say. he is not on a bad act. self taught. he was concerned. he did not cut the education that he's talking to these heads of state. eight greed. the institution where he self, and grappled with it word from art fact all the way through the dictionary.
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he could have stayed out of the, what he called it the hells. back and they're planning on coal piles of everything, but he comes out of that particular background. he had an understanding. when they had to out, the crowning achievement, one day when i was lost is wood pulp and came up with. if you read seven chao he talks about his mother, we want james baldwin on this project, and he can't do it with the book the navy can do a screenplay. he did the screenplay, but going back and forth that never really got off the ground. to a great degrees beckley used
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a lot of that, the biopic that he did on it. the outcome had in mind the debates that went on, and they became solid friends over the years. it was amazing. a very good a say in the blow -- boat. he talks about the situation of fakes. this one when it you could play it down. if he were a homosexual that in and of itself, because if you're going to dismiss him on those grounds, what you going to do with james baldwin? of course the question is, is it true? it on masaru want to put a label on someone with the not apply. that is a basic concern. if it is real and he had used. there's only three people with really no, the person who did
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it, the person who was done to, and some eyewitness. he was never with malcolm on any of these incidents. never there. almost like here's an. >> i wanted to point out something before we go on. that is to say that when malcolm was doing his troubles, the kind of person who picked up every piece. did not drop in the thing. he picked it up and moved in on the next level. he was putting in his head, just convinced, putting in his head the potential of coming back this way to hook up the next level of organization. that's what made him even more dangers because the people who run, the people who are the
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powerful are always concerned about shifts in production, shearson's resources, shares in transport and shifts in profit. they go berserk. like some of the stuff you see on tv, that is light lunch. they've been doing that. and so i just want to kind of put that out there. he had the intelligence of the secretary of state or president. and trying to say that this man was operating on multiple levels . i want to just say one of stowe. he had a public persona and private persona. he used to talk about people and the sole rights movement like a dog. all this kind of stuff. we had a run in telephone conversations back-and-forth.
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you understand what i'm saying? and just sing, what was fed to the public was not necessarily what was actually going. and just trying to say that. i think this man had such a world view that it was frightening. all the pieces, all you needed to do was slide and the pieces. that is how we actually had leaders of integrity almost on every continent. everybody was listening. that was a very powerful m
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checkers until the second row third edition. strong just wondering if there was any hint of that kind of, you know, wish to get the book out. >> the kind of details, the personal and announce a what was happening between manning and his editor. he talks about it in the book a bit.
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you have to go back to see the proposal. you actually have to see the proposal. what you have to do and how he was able to command such a large advance because he prosed to do this and that. one of the things he did not or could not deliver was the three missing chapters. from what i know from rumor and innuendo, that was a part of the proposal and he was going to prison funds. those three missing chapters. when he went out to detroit, greg reid who bought those missing chapters back in 1991-2, he spent big bucks for that. he has been holding it to close to his best. when manning went out there, he
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only saw it for 15 months. for a hidden really get a chance . what he did see and comment on her youthful simon black. the three chapters, 22 million moslems and the negro. it would not amplify a lot of the thinking has moved out of the political straitjacket he was an. then he is grappling in the growing at such a rapid pace. herman ferguson said it very well, moving it almost like "speed. going 27 weeks of his last 50 weeks of his life he spends on
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either african or the middle east. that has a lot to do with the family situation. people your contacting and information, you're absolutely right. this kind of world view, international perspective. and he does make a point the middle east, islamic world, crowing internationalism, and make sure that the calls of the african american people have is taken to the united nations. charging them with genocide more less. here it is, you know, in terms of the bigger target, the fbi, cia, to say nothing, i'm walking
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dead man. in the same way you might say that many knew it was just about it for him. not having an opportunity to come back over and fine tune and, some of those inconsistencies. he talked rob and in the 600 page book. any of us who have written books , we know is a clue what you're right on page ten. developing misinformation and make sure you get in right, so you have to go back and read it. the way it was coming in, to not have a chance to do the kind of job he would havpreferred to thinking he was in the best scenario. a lot of those things would have
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been corrected. [inaudible question] cracks about -- >> malcolm was an internationalist. the illusion that all of that took place after the left. he was denouncing colonialism. he had great admiration for the movement in kenya. like no other muslim minister
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malcolm consorted with people on the outside, like the shadow cabinet. what i'm saying is that not and have that brought you. he was denouncing the vietnam war at least five years before dr. king got there. i'm just saying, we have to appreciate the process of grow. teniers and speeches the left of we don't need to end. >> to read the letter. , but there's so much that could be said about that. just a remarkable woman.
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not from laid the foundations. liberation theology. the nation of islam is still misunderstood by most people who've never been there. was it would like to talk about an hour days. he does not cut the credit he deserves. up there during the 1930's : the enemy out. he took a grown man and made him . whatever happened between them, he took a young man and made them one of the great men of the past. the lemon half an american now was also a student of mr. mohammed. the main one who trained target.
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internationalist. >> exactly. >> i'm sorry. >> i'm just saying, that speaks to the redemptive aspect of the nation of islam in terms of coming out of the dungeons of this country and being elevated to that status. thank you. [inaudible question] >> great-grandson. >> i am grateful that i am here. growing up right behind all view malcolm and a lot to me and my
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generation, but i was around just a kid for the big things. what i think is so important, and you say it, but i want to put another kind of balance on a , spiritually when that door opened we saw something else to emerge as human beings and that human struggle. the gift that he left with the gift that he so exemplified, and there are people out there, many more who have not risen today. that wisdom of interfaith religion and spirituality and that interconnectedness and heart-to-heart. in reference to what you say i
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think there's an old saying that describes a past. never forget that what you teach is teaching you. and just so grateful, i've bought the book as soon as it can mount. i read their views. i was opening that he would focus on those last -- that very last year so that we could understand the bridge and was being created across the world. when i discovered it was not that, it was not very interesting to me anymore. >> thank you. [inaudible question] >> i would like to think herb for the presentation and reboot.
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we're all facing really tough times, and we have the and regeneration. i wonder -- you have a national audience. if you could offer would they mind that to draw based on your understanding, what might be some things that they can draw from a. >> one of the things about -- i have a very good friend in detroit. probably out of all of the folks out there and he promptly the foremost expert. he has this year it will respect his name is paul v. one of the things that paul with stresses is that the best thing you can do is to let malcolm speak for self.
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the speeches, you have to really go back and be careful with the speeches as well. a lot of them have been edited. depending upon what company is putting together them may delete some stuff from a that rub set up fidelity or absolute meaning, but for young peopleut there, go ahead and really -- you can go on youtube these days and see all kind of stuff on the mob. it's amazing. just the of the day of looking at a couple of things i have not seen before. put up a piece of was, for many, many years, no one knew anything about. i would think that if you can go back and read the autobiography and listen to the speeches, we
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live in this age where their attention span is show up short. audiovisual orientation and background. and maybe the most hopeful thing you have books out there. the outcome is talking. toward the end of his life he did a lot of that with young people, the militant forms, bringing in people into a. when he went down to alabama. a lot of the and people turned out there. so there was an opportunity when he began to tamp down the attack
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on the big six and the other civil rights leaders. drawback in the open up. there was an instance of him reaching out where even going to march on washington, he was there. nonetheless, he told corona scott king, look, i have your back. so he began to reach out to the civil-rights movement, but at the same time he was not diminishing or losing sight on human rights because use of a
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conjunction, the connection. it's important that you see the evolution of these ideas. many people speculate. the possibility of the convergence and trajectory. can you imagine what that would bin? in terms of how devastating, in terms of the unification of the struggle in this country having those two big thinkers on the same page. >> of wood like to throw in a little bit as an old teacher to the national audience. i think in people need to look at buckles life as an example of how to transition from wherever they are two and a place. you start with where you are tahini to learn how to cut the tv off.
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you need to learn how to expand your opportunity to concentrate, focus, think, read everything. read about people who hate you. reedy singing know what they're saying. but the example of malcolm. here is a boy hand and streets getting caught up in some mess. at some point an epiphany happened and he decided that was not the way his life was going to go. all of us had people who knock on the door and say a are you there, are you ready? at some point you have to say,
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and ready to take the next set. you must learn how to read. no one will tell you what to believe, but you have to have a reservoir for information. and you will -- when you get there you will know you're there because it's not going to run over. you no longer keep it in. you start talking to somebody else. the people who say, though, don't want to be bothered, you learn how to say, they used to be my friend. and going to go find some new friends. i want to talk to someone who will talk back to me. [applause] yes, sir. >> yeah. for the national audience and as
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a look at the life of brother and commerce malcolm, one of the things we have to understand, malcolm was an organizer, example, when malcolm had the muslim surrounded the police precinct and it got to mike wills it was malcolm that in 1958 that began to articulate the view of the nation in relation to american racism. >> 1959. >> fifty-nine. excuse me. also, about one would go out and organize. it was not come who wrote -- now wrote, but organized his speech. welcome as a speaker did not always deal with white man as the devil.
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he was a polemicist challenging the limits of integration in the civil rights movement. i only said that, what end people must learn because we cannot offer them organization right now. we don't have the institutions for it, but what we can teach them is the ability to question and without that nothing will come to fruition in this country >> thank you. are there questions? yes, sir. he needs a micphone. >> it's truly a pleasure and honor to meet you. having said that among going to challenge you on something. within the back teeth of the black community, they feel the
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reason why we failed to have another malcolm x, so to speak, two simple reasons, the power of the almighty dollar and the specter of death. do you agree? >> let me say it like this here. from the standpoint of the commercial, enterprise, endeavors in this country, we know it is a bottom-line orientation. even when you talk about that book, love was invested. you have to get your money back. that's where the remote -- in motion comes in, advertising, reviews. yet to get the book exposed. that was just the other day, went on line and follow his
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instructions. his is, if you want to get more information about this project to me here are the links the you can go to. but if you go to those links you have to be a columbia student or staff to get in to give you access. you cannot say you are researcher, because they don't have the license to do that yet. it will be awhile before independent rearchers can get to that a information. the whole question of dollars and, something about and talked about, that was his thing in terms of how this country, the profit aspect, capitalism, imperialism and colonialism, all of those things played right into the bottom line, and that's what they have in mind all the
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time. that's why toward the end of his life you had been moving more and more in terms of his analysis that he was beginning to apply more and more of a class analysis. he had let go of that demonology stuff. he did not need that in the longer because that was part and parcel. constant evolution. going out and can begin to understand. how are you going to bring about change? even elektra processors, all these tools. growing to a point, full arsenal of attack, the race analysis, class analysis and the concern about gender he was trying to
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make sure, even when he start, right in that position. he brought a woman right in there. that may have disturbed some of the old school folks. the reversal of certain practices that applied to the religious concepts, the kind of theology that had been developed . the revolutionary process will begin to question the corporate has backed. that's what he was talking to, and the government began to recognize how dangerous he was
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becoming. when you have these major corporations out there and and resources in the connection you have to certain enterprises in this country, i imagine the kind of threat that would bring in terms of cutting into profits of these here transnational corporations. so certainly is part of it. >> thank you for your commitment tons and tech constantly lifting us up and challenging us to think. i appreciate the brothers comment. i wonder, because i was on the mountain next project is a graduate student. putting the autobiography online
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i was thinking about what you were saying about how you were hoping for something when you got to a certain part in the book you realized it was not about that. this has been a 10-year commitment. tauruses can be made in terms of what to focus on and what not to focus on. connected back, i wonder how much, was a rush to put to the dugout and how much is it -- and thinking about the mountain top as well, not that our leaders and heroes are above reproach, but to ruin their credibility. whether it be this new narrative about dr. king, these capitalist forces but to put these texts out and put these shows on prop.
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one, being very particular to martin and malcolm and what our leaders have been friends, how much -- and i am a conspiracy theorist, how much is deliberate? >> she asks the question. >> understanding where malcolm was, 39 years old, 1965. he's out there walking the tightrope, near his. he's getting phone calls. people are shadowing him. under surveillance. can you imagine the anxiety, the
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trepidation, just trying to organize his life with all of these particular a demon and fears two or three times, even at his house when he arrived there and sees the been standing in the darkness. you figure it all over. people feel that maybe, hunt and i get out of the situation. i trained them. and know exactly what they're capable of. add to that the complexity of those years, the international questions, the corporate enterprisers and even with the autobiography. doubleday packed up on that. we just lost barney, the founder of grove press. he put up all those of a controversial books that caused
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quite a stir. books that nobody else would touch. he put the mountain. struggling trying to get additional money in the end of his house was firebombed he had to go and stay up the street and then ian all of the money he need went right back to the nation. he did not on the house. eventually after the fire pondered the next day or so he is a victim. he went back and tried to pick up was salvageable. so right away, you and all of these different kinds of pressures on his life. amazing that he was a will to
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accolish as much as he did. many people felt that what he should have done since he made such solid connections, and on a couple of occasions, and of making at his home. he was offered those opportunities to stay in africa. but the greater issue for him was circumstances. he billed out of necessity. even if it meant in in his life was in danger. people speculate about dr. king having the same kind of inclinations, and tuition that something violent will happen,
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trying to spare of the people not to be caught in the crossfire. he talks about that in a very meaningful way. you'll is that there in the audubon ballroom in washington heights. he saw some of the stuff of bleeding into visible. his life was in imminent danger. he had a russian terms of putting his autobiography finished. the earlier about possibly recognizing that the clock was ticking. get this job done because i don't think i have long to be here. we can hear the death rattle and our lives.
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let me harriet and get this thing done. under see the finished product. he never did. he get a chance to look at some of the last chapters when they met at at the airport commander and after that, the final version, he did not get a chance to see it. we know that because we had an opportunity to see the annotated -- well, what's being done now, the regional manuscript calling through it in and taking it in showing the disparities between the published account and the one that they have in his possession, so you can see that the kind of crossing out, everything that is being suggested, none of those things were done. it's almost, i talked about
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another boat. bear working on that. we will be a revelation along with the three missing chapters. >> yes, sir. speaking to the mike. >> good evening. i wanted to ask two questions. toward the end of his live one of the most important things was reaching out and connecting with yen people. and so my question is, when it comes to reaching young people today and helping them to become critical, analytical, independent, african-minded thinkers what to use to just be done in that today's youth it is very, very different from the youth of the 60's and 70's and even up into the mid 80's.
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you have any feedback on what we could do to reach these in people in regards to their ability to think for themselves? thank you. >> i think what you're dng is part of the process. they're trying to get your education together. in trying to process information and be in a position where you can teach. you have a responsibility and obligation to go ahead and do the job in terms of reaching the young people. there are three ways to acquire it, enlightenment, education, and consciousness. its starts in the family. after the family is the school system, the educational process. after that it is your peer group , what you can pick up. so as the family is missing the
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educational system is falling apart. the intervention, absolutely necessary for people with some consciousness, you have to jump in and take that role as mentor. a lot of us have a few hours that we can give from time to time, storytelling with young people. the earlier the better. get them early and began to give them your own proper indoctrination, give them the kind of survival skills and education that they need coming from your background. his autobiography to a great degree is a cautionary tale. here is what i did.
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no, this is not the way you do it. the one thing i wish it had in mind was an opportunity to get more education. this the only regret the at. and so despite that he went on and recognized that deficiency and work on it. young people need that kind of guidance more so than ever because there's so many a a kind of distraction. they got access to of this technology and it is amazing what's calling on. how do we get involved and make sure they're doing the right kind of social networking. you have to be there and look over their shoulders and help them out. you have that obligation as a
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parent, as an elder, as one who has been through that. you know exactly what is needed. you don't have to listen to nobody. you know what to do. by the way, he's one of my students. i have one of my students here from city college back there. he knows he's going to get that a now. >> are there any further questions oromments? i beg your pardon? [inaudible question]
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>> where there were no other not come ax's out there. where can we find them? in raleigh have thousands, if not million but you don't even know about. one of the things about his life to take into consideration,ut more young black men in prison today and in college. the point is, that is delivered. also recognize, some of my most brilliant young people are those who were behind bars. my brother, each generation creates thish. time and circumstance.
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the young people of the day have just as much if not more. the conditions that they face today are very similar to the conditions that my generation, 72 years old, gangs now. cribs and plods. back in the fifties, we have gangs in, too. just as mean as the once you have now. it did not have the weapons. chicago had some of the meanest inkster's that a still a round. from generation to generation. crack cocaine in the fifties we had her on. the same generation also gave is
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not the max. dr. king in spite of will to representative begins. the rise to the occasion. i saw a million, 2 million, that told me something. we concentrate on the-0 lot rather than the positive. there are a lot of positive, 4-looking and black men and women out there now the max was a product of this time. the point is have faith in these
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can people live here now. support them, but cannot and understand that there is a lot of genius. >> one quick thing. i think we're getting ready to wrap. if you go online and you pose a question, something you want to know about and follow-up question until you exhaust with is of there you will see some percentage of that intimation. you begin to make some accumulation of information. there is -- there are a lot of black, very positive black curricular online. you only have to look, their is a guy in california who has
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learned how to take math and make it, it's likely to be fun. i mean, all kinds of stuff out there. you have to do is searching. that is one of the things, it's not going to come to you. you have to go to it. you have to up be the aggressor around information. i used to tell students, you can't have a teacher or you can't predicate your education on a teacher is going to like you because chances are a lot of them are not calling to lacking. a lot of people are not going to like him. are you going to move on? when you go to class are you prepared or are you saying, don't want to be bothered. i can tell you students i have seen the books verses the loans without. it's one thing if the school does not have it, with the library does. you can put your money together
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and not have 100 phellogen issues and go get a book. the ten of you can shed the book we used to have school after school. that how we spent our evenings we were not bright. and not a bright kid. what do you want out of life? can you see the week in the eye or is everything you do always kind, me, mike my mind ? you have to begin to read educators off. as part of what our saying about the quest.
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the computer, on my "i used to have to go thrgh, reading in the middle of the demonstration. to these things are very important. what do you hear on the subways, buses. who is sleeping with whom and this low level conversation. you have to take yourself seriously. we have more sophistication going on. we have to step out to the plate that's it. i want to think herb for coming. thank you. [applause]
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>> you are watching book tv on c-span2. forty-eight hours of nonfiction authors and books every weekend. >> you're watching book tv on c-span2. and we are on location in new york city at the annual book publishing industry convention. midtown manhattan. we want to introduce you to a new author whose book is coming out. his name is kevin pollak. he has written a novel called "the yellow birds." give us a little bit of your background. >> i grew up in virginia. i signed up for the army at 17. >> what here? >> 1997, before my senior year in a school. i got back.
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i've always been a huge reader. i got back from overseas and realized i had a story to tell. as to the writing a book. about a year or two after. [applause] >> how long were you in the army? >> eight years total. >> to view feel fulfilled? >> there was a lot that i liked about it. a lot of really good people. i appreciated the discipline and let a lot about myself. >> because in three and four. >> 20045. >> when you got back and left the army will was a life like? >> well, one of the things that is difficult about coming back is the lack of order and direction. as difficult as it can be in the
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military and especially overseas , you know what is expected of the right there in front of him. when you go home there's so much free time. you are bombarded with options and possibilities in stimuli, especially coming back in the desert. everything was sort of overwhelming. the readjustment is challenging. >> what did you find most challenging? >> not knowing what i was supposed to do next. the newest calling to get out of the military after i got back. i did not know what the next step was going to be. figuring that out was tough. >> you started writing a novel. >> current. >> how did you submit it? how did you get it to someone
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who could publish it? >> will, i started working on it while i was an undergraduate at virginia -- virginia college university. i had taken some creative writing class is. many writing poetry at that time . in to the pad graduate school and the university of texas. showed it to professors. that's how i got it into the hands of my aged. >> is this based on your experience? >> well, i say it is a work of imagination that would not have happened without the experiences i had. the circumstances that occur in the book is not what happened to me while i was overseas, but the emotional tone of the book is something a wanted to get out there and communicate to people
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who may be felt like it did not understand that experience. one of those preconceptions kamal was it like? and it's hard to know how to answer that question. that was what i was trying to do. what is it like? >> he talked about the emotional core. >> well, confusion is probably -- you have a job to do. you understand it. you may not understand all the precautions and the way it affects you with people around you are particularly your family home. for instance, the hardship that my mother in toward, i don't think i understood that until i have some time to mature and got a little older and had conversations with her.
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not just with a slight and your overseas, but the effect it could have on the family. >> with the title come from? >> it actually comes from the traditional army marching cadence. yellowbird. >> wide you decide to make this a novel and now done in effect based book? >> i think a lot of people really capably talked about what has been a big picture view, but i felt like there was an opportunity to tell an individual story, a picture into one person consciousness, what
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that was like coming home. i felt like there was an opportunity for the story to be told on some smaller scale. [inaudible] >> i don't know. it was never diagnosed. it was tough coming back. all say that. it was a bigger towns and a top and was going to be. i expected that things will be different. but you do have noises that will allow me if you know that people have had it much wars. their people out there who are struggling with that. maybe this can raise some awareness about what people are going through. >> now, you are still a student at the university of texas.

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