tv BookTV Visits Memphis TN CSPAN November 23, 2018 9:00pm-11:01pm EST
>> ♪ (music playing) >> memphis tennessee is one of the most important music cities in the united states. >> it's always been a black and white city. it was never a white city into which black people came. >> so the meredith march against fear is the great march of the civil rights era. it is also a beginning. it introduce the slowing on of black power. >> welcome to them ifs, founded in 1819 along the banks of the mississippi. this city of 650,000 plays a
role in the silver rights movement and the musical history provides a window into the culture of the country. over the next 90 minutes with our comcast cable partners we'll learn about the city's history through its local authors. we mean begin with adam goudsouzian who shares the story are the meredith march. >> so the meredith march against fear is the last great march of the civil rights era. it's the last time you see the civil rights organize come together into this endeavor, and create a great march that draws national attention and becomes a lobbying tool for political change. in that way it's the end of an era that we can trace with birmingham and the march on washington and other iconic events. it's also a beginning. it ignotice a controversy in the national media over that slogan
and becomes a tool of empowerment for african americans, these two simple words come to mean so much in terms of black consciousness, black beauty, black political organizes, it becomes the fabric of african american life. >> so "down to the crossroads: civil rights, black power and the meredity march against fear" is a story about the meredith march it started right here in them ifs, tennessee, with one man, james meredith and it's the story of what becomes a epic civil rights odyssey. it marches over mississippi over 3 weeks, detowers into mississippi delta, it's a story filled with african american people tales, registering to vote, defying symbols of white supremacy, staking claims to freedom, and it's tawls the story of political debilitate. the civil rights movement is at ati crossroads and martin luther king represents one tactic in
terms of the civil rights movement, the march is most famous for popularizing the slogan of black power, and black power in some ways is critical of the older tonants of the civil rights movement, particularly its at the same time it grows out of civil rights movement. and much of that story is the key to down to the crossroads. >> they don't want us to use black power, i have news for them. [cheering] what black power was supposed to do was the start bringing back people together on their slogan that everyone understood, but what in fact is done organized white people and their negro allies. >> by african americans have seen more political progress
than they've seen in any generation since reconstruction. the package of the civil rights acted, the package of the vote evoter rights act. upticks in terms of black voter registration. both in north and south, in ways unprecedented in american history and yet a period of profound frustration within african american communities where that part of that is signals through violent outbracket ferbrics that have occurred in a number of cities. watts district, it's a time of political frustration as what african americans see as the slow pace of the reform. just because laws have been passed it hasn't reshaped things for african americans. it's james meredith who starts the meredith march against fear is one of the most fascinating characters in modern african american history. he is born in central mississippi in a town called coz
yes co. his father is a independent black land owner who shields his children from the worse aspects of segregation. raises them to be proud and independent, and conservative in their values. meredith himself, spends time in the air force, he spends ten years in the air force, a military veteran. spends time in japan in the 1950 said, so that freeze him from the dictates of american jim crow. but he wants to come back to mississippi. he enrolls in school, at jackson state university, but it's his dream and ambition to attend the university of mississippi because he believables that's what going do allow him to progress the most. soha he applied to university of mississippi and after a back and forth court case, and naacp lawsuit he lands the right to attend. so james meredith becomes the first african american to attend the university of mississippi
but only after widespread violence on the campus, the deaths of two innocent people, the national guard being called out. of violent white supremacist response againstnt him. he graduates in 1963 as the most hated african american person in mississippi among whites. and something of a hero to many african americans. when he gins his meredith march against fear he has two stated ambitions. one is to encourage black mississippiens to register to vote. the voting rights act passed the previous year in 1964, and meredith believes this is when they can if get the most blacks to vote. mississippi had p the lowest vor registration in the country. it's -- he sees it as a walk against fear. he, james meredith can wawalk from memphis to jackson, 221 miles down highway 51, and
do it safely, it will show other americans they have less to fear. he has a third unstated man that he desires to run for mississippi political office. he believes he'll build awareness, and create uh-uhliances with black political officials. he sets out on sunday june 5, and marches to the state line in mississippi that day. they face harassment that day. particularly as they leave the city there are whites that buzzed them in care cars, and yelled things at them. on the second day, june 6, 1966, a monday, relatively unentful most of thehe day. comes to the town of hernando, there meredith is very intheuvd he gets a warm reaction that promise they're going to register to vote, and try to say
they support him, and meanwhile, across the court square, the town's white people are looking on very angrily and frustrated and disturbed by what they see as this african american mobilization. so meredith in a good mood marching south to fernando in the late afternoon. going town the gently dipping stretch of hill, hilly area, just south of hernando and there's a few reporters in cars around him. a few law enforcement officials, a few marching companningians, and a white man emerges from a gully. yells james meredith, i only want james meredith. and people start to scatter in different directions. he shoots, bang shoots him a second time, shoots him a third time. a meredith is sprawling on highway 51, covered in blood. >> i'm hit mountain leg and in the head.
>> meredith is very seriously wounded. an ambulance takes him the memphis, he dies as a result of these gunshots, which helps to create more of a media frenzy. what that ends up leaving to is all the major civil rights organizes desending upon had memphis determining to carry on his march. they say if he gets shot we have to follow-up and prove we're not going to succumb to this intimidation. that means whitney young, martin luther king, stokely car michael, are all coming to memphis and activists from around the country and press from around the country, and with them are people that want to participate in this. what began as one person's walk turns into a three-week civil rights extravaganza, activists, reporters, leaders, debating
political strategy. debating what the march is going to look like. as they hash out what the march is they tell the future of the civil rights history is going to be. we're at the civil rights museum, and the lorraine motel in the 1960s was the only nites establishment that an african american could stay in as a visitor in memphis at that time. boss of segregation. so the lorraine motel, since the 1930s, 1940s had every major black entertainer, political figure that came through memphis. in 1966 martin luther king's room, that time he stayed in room 307. became the center of the swirling political debate over what the march is going to look like. this was the night after james wasul shot. there was a meeting at the church in memphis, and all the leaders are crowded into king's room debating what's the future of this march, what's the future
of the civil rights march going to be. what does that mean for the civil rights movement? in the midst of these discussions in the motel, members of snick drive out roy wilkins of the naacp, the more establishment figures, the ones with alliances with the federal government, and good relationships with president lyndon johnson. and that kind of leaves martin luther king as the key moderating force of the march. and shapes what the march is going to be. in some ways frees stokely car michael to crews the march as a vehicle for introducing the notion of black power to the entire downtown. marchers hadad diverted from the original path of james meredith. he thought he would walk down highway 51, a straight path to jackson mississippi. they decided to detour into the mississippi delta, and the mississippi delta is the most fertile region in mississippi, it's an agriculture region, and
the region which is most notore i t for racial oppression but hs the highest black population. the reason was to get more african americans to register to vote and reach more african americans. in june 16, 1966 the second week of the march, halfway through the march they come to the town of greenwood, greenwood is a small city in the delta where snick had a long history. 1964, in freedom summer greenwood was the center of freedom summer, and sophie car michael was a key figure in greenwood at that time. so that was the sight site that lawas selected for introducing e slogan of black power. and there were advanced organizers within snick who showed up before the march andeds they were going to drop the slogan of black power, and
reporting back to leaders in snick. and king had to be back to chicago for automotive r another campaign, he wasn't on the march so that freed it to have a more identity rooted around car michael that day. the marchers condruigated broadstreet park. the heart of the black district. maybe a thousand people there. the rally is already in progress from the flatbed of a truck and a bull-horn starts speaking to the crowd and starts talking about his frustrations and about the international situation of vietnam, and the problems that african americans face not only in theio southed but in the nor, and about the need for black unity and political mobilization, and he says what we need now is black power. and when he says to the crowd what do we wouldn't? black power. the response back is thunderous. and the reasons for that in some way twofold. black power is expressing the frustrations of african americans but the aspirations.
we say frustrations black power deals with the frustrations of the very slow pace of federal reform. the fact life hasn't changed materially for african americans over the civil rights movement despite the guaranteed of citizenship that are slowly starting to emerge. it's a frustration perhaps with the tactic of non-violence. which is always asking african americans to be on a higher moral plain, to achieve basic equality. it's a frustration with white liberals for what they see as uncertain commitments to the civil rights movement. so that's the frustration part. the aspirational part to black power is the notion that black people should be able to take pride in black history and church, andck beauty. this is elements of black power as well. those have stayed with the fabric of black power been part of african american culture that
existed certainly before black power but has been magnified since. tedgess get very high. part of it is the internal dynamic among the marchers themselves. when martin martin luther king d sophie car michael are on the march they have good friendships, but they also have differences. they need both of them and they both recognize that but hay have to deal with the fabric of the march and what it's going to look like. part of the deal that king gets car michael and others to agree to by the third week of the march is that while people are going to chant black power, he said also urging the leaders to not use it in their ownpic speeches in that last week of the march to diffuse theit controversy that's already rising. thesp national media is displayg it as something threatening. the other element is external. by the last week of the march,
the strategy of white mississippi officials is starting to change. early on in the march they were -- bent over backwards to try to protect the marchers, to try to ensure that when they tried to register to vote that it was done so without too much resistance for local whys because they didn't want any more incidents. the strategy was let them do the march and pass through and go back to the way things were. by the third week the federal government doesn't want anything to do with the meredith march. unlike selma the earlier, which lyndon johnson used as a vehicle to help pass the voting rights act. more radical groups like snick and core are hostile towards johnson so he doesn't get political benefit from the march unless he's willing to have a federal presence on the march itself. they arrive in canton, minimums, it's one of the mast major stops before you hit jackson and the
marchers decide they want to camp on the ground of the black elementary school. and so after a big rally at the canton courthouse they march through the streets of cant b and arrive at the elementary school and there are no law enforcement officials there so they take to field and start to put up their tents. and the next thing that happens is that all of a sudden all these police cars roll up. car after car after car and police emerge. state police and they put on riot gear, and they shoot tear gas, they don't shoot it to spread people away, they shoot it to punish the marchers, into the crowd, in every direction, they are attacking people with tear gas canisters. it's a gruesome as scene as you can imagine in the history of the civil rights movement. as the smoke clears the police start beating people with sticks and kicking them. the federal government's response is nil. that heightened the tensions leading into the final rally into jackson. but on that last weekend 15,000
people participate in the march through the streets of jackson. rethe largest demonstration in e are streets of mississippi at that time. it ends with a m rally in state capitol in mississippi. james meredith who had been wound wounded in the beginning of the march returns at the end, he never did really die. and the march has an interesting and important legacy. over the course of those four weeks many people registered to vote. just as james meredith intended defied the culture of fear and intimidation. the march is filled with these stories of the h they arrive at a town, and black people are waiting there and watching, and on the other side of the street bare the town's white people ad the white's are convinced that their black people don't want anything to do with these outside agstates, and don't want to be part of the march, and again, and again, people get up,
dust off, and walk alongside martin luther king and all of the others, they want to be part of the civil rights movement. in so many of the towns that they come through they either reignite the civil right said movement in that town or start it. some of these towns the civil rights movement hasn't come to. it's an extraordinary story not just when you look at the top level but also the people on the ground so to speak. poor farmers and share croppers and teachers, and others who per capita in the participate in the march. they embrace both martin luther king's ideas and sophie car michael, black power. those are not exclusive on b the mground to mississippiens. i think one lesson the march can teach us for people who are interested in how do we make a better country and resist the more negative trends in our lives today, one lesson from the
civil rights movement and the march in particular is that people of different political orientations can work together. we don't all need to -- there's nta myth that during the civil rights movement everyone shared the same goals and ideas. quite the contrary. the civil rights movement is filled with people debating strategy, and ideas, coming at the movement from different r angles. successful social movement isn't about everyone believing in one common tactic. rather it's people who have differentide yawls, finding a way to burning together toward a larger common goal. i think that is something that has longses for us today. those of us engage in direct activism and others work in established channels.iv >> stacks record was a major recording label putting ow records such as isaac redding,
it's here that we spoke with author charles hughes to learn more about the music and the race lelingses during the 60s and 70s. >> memphis, tennessee is one of the most important music cities in the united states. and the history of the music here is in many ways a roadmap of what happened in popular music in the 20th century, and certainly this begins with jazz and blues, continues on through gospel music, through rock and roll in the 1950s, at sun studios and else , soul music here at stacks, and other places in the 60s and 70s, really important records and memphis itself gets associated very early on in the days of wc handy and the them ifs blues. and it's something defined this city for a long time, we have
just had an incalculable effect on the popular k4ru6r7 of the world. my book country soul is about this really, really pivotal moment in the 1960s and 70s when memphis along with muscle shoals, alabama, and national, tennessee, become three of the central places in the american recording industryin specificaly because of the two musical genres of country and soul music, and their are hybrids, the combinations and the overlaps between them. not only in that period did these three cities produce a wealth of classic recordings, huge hits, critically acclaimed legendary records but also heech city'sai sound, it's distinctive sound, the memphis sound, the shoals sound, became associated with musical quality and authenticity. one of the things that defined the music of memphis in this
period is not just the overlap between country and soul music but the working relationships between black musicians and white musicians. most famously the integrated bands at places like stacks, or in muscle shoals the way black and white mewiations are working together at the moment when civil rights and white backlash aare going on outside the studo door. i wanted to trace that relationship. how is it at this moment of such overlap, black and white music, and musicians, there is also the increasing separation of country music and soul music, as markers of political difference and even racial difference.ma ♪ (music playing) 1960s, and 70s were a pivotal complicated moment in racial politics in the united states. the civil rights movement, the black power movement, and the
white reaction to that movement were defining not just the racial politics and relationship between black and white in the united states, but also in a sense structuring the entire political landscape of the country. there was no more central question in the united states during that period than what the political, social, and culture, relationships were going to be between black and white. bechard nixon in a sense is very much elected in part of racial backlash. george wallace the segregation governor 60 alabama ends up running a national presidential campaign where he wins the democratic primary in a bunch of northern states. so thela entire nation is very much trying to reckon with this moment of black assertion, and black celebration of african american history and identity, while at the same time, hat is being greeted by significant resistance from not just people who are standing in the streets or trying to be violent against civil rights activists but many
of the most prominent white politicians in the country. the roll of music during this period of racial upheaval was absolutely central and was multi-faceted. on the onene hand music reflectd the conversations that were going on. it was central to the way that people were understanding the civil rights movement. it permeated civil rights struggles. it expressed the discontent that was felt by african americans about their second-class citizenship in the united states. it also came to reflect and express white resist toons that. so in a sense the music is a place that people could go to do try to think and feel through this really, really tumulltuous moment. ♪ (music playing) but on the other hand music was helping to shape that conversation. country music and soul music in
particular, becomes symbols of this change. people are thinking about soul music as the assertive and celebratory voice of politicized blackness. the soundtrack of the civil rights and black power movement and many musicians whether it's aretha franklin, or marvin gay are understanding themselves as having roles just not expressing the movement but speaking into the movement and calling out to activists to have this conversation. other side of course, you have a -- the rise of recordings and the belief that certain artists are kinds of music aren reflective of white resistance. white backlash. most obviously country music which is a little bit more complicated than sometimes gets most simply understood. ♪ (music playing) whether it's murl haggard okie from muscoagy, and the fighting side of me, or welfare cadillac,
or the broader use of country music by politicians like george wallace or richard nixon thereli is a feel that justice soul is representing part of a conversation of civil rights revolution that country music is becoming a voice of white backlash and of what nixon famously and effectively called the silentat majority. the other element to it which i explore in the book in some detail is that the musicians themselves are becoming symbols of these changes. whether it's the integrated bands as stacks or other studios. whether it's black at any time stars like charlie pride. people are thinking about the music as a potential symbol and memnumbering of what's going on and trying to think of it as a met for the for state of the south of united states. magazine and journalists are writhe extend articles about
what's going on in this building, trying to understand how in memphis, tennessee, in the 1960s when civil rights dromses areo going on right don the street, how is it that black and white musicians can be in the space working together producing this music that sounds so revolutionary. there are articles about aretha franklin that talk about her as a central figure, not just in the music of the moment, but in the political moment as well. country stars like murl haggard, are sometimes unfairly held up as being not just the voice of this resistance but also maybe figures within it. so the musicians themselves are trying to work through this moment where the music they're making and the way they are making it is thought of as absolutely apart of this broader culture struggle. the relationships between black and white musicians in this moment are complicated. we should not assume that just because black and white
musicians are working together, that that although means that everything was great. or that although means that this is a sign of racial progress. for one thing, black and white musicians had worked together before. and for another thing, there are examples of racial tensions or racial conflicts even in these remarkable places like stacks. where such great work is going on. racial clichth did occur in southern studios, they occurred relatively infrequently from at least what we know about them and have documented but they certainly did occur. sometimes they were momentary incidents, things that kind of just blew up in the moment. their examples of racial slurs being used against african american mulingsdzs, there is an infamous session in muscle shoals when aretha franklin comes to town to make her debut single with atlantic records,
which becomes i never loved a man like you. the single that helps define her as the queen of soul. that session is obviously successful in the end but falls apart in the moment because of a fight between franklin's husband andt manager ted white and a white horn player, and it's usdifficult to get to the sort f truth of what happened, but everybody who talks about this story and this kind ofrox monlike narrative of all of these conflicting versions everybody agrees that folks forgot how to do their job and it got racially ugly. you heard it may have gotten ugly in terms of comments of a sexual nature towards aretha. those things did happen because the story of these musicians is fundamentally the story of really, really talented professionals and that work mend they were playing on different kinds of sessions. they might play a country song and then move on to a soul session, and then a pop session, and finish the night with blues.
and sometimes particularly as the music became so connected to the movement, that might mean playing on a song with conservative politics and then liberal politics. or whatever. what the musicians talk about is that this was their job. right, and what they wanted to do was make music with the people who were really talented. and that allowed them the opportunity to cross racial lines. stacks studios if intentional it is a workplace. this is the place where a job got done. the musicians came to work. so, that offered an opportunity for this racial crossover. but it also i think reminds us that even though it's easy to assume that integrated music meant civil rights progress, that because black and white musicians are working together that that must mean this is a space that just symbolizes good things, it's actually much more
complicated. ♪ (music playing) >> in the early 1970s, the staple singers who are recording for stacks records and who are very much thought of as being the literal and figurative voice of the movement, they are signed to stacks records by label president al al, bell, they represent the politics and music that bell understood to remain central to how stacks had been successful. he signs staples singers who had performed on the same stage as tartin luther king, and he sends them ultimately to recording in muscle choalz, physical alabamae they make incredibly examples of deep gospel soul music. respect yourself, i'll take you
there. if you're ready, come go with me. this incredible run of legendary hits that continue justifiably to become an thems. with made of staples at the center of these incredible recordings. but the thing that's ironic is that the band on these records is all-white. this is the muscle shoals, rhythm section who had played behind everyone from wilson picket to aretha franklin. bell understood that even though he wanted to make these records that were almost intrinsically connected to the civil rights and black power tradition, he also wanted to work with a good rhythm section who happened to be a bunch of white guys from alabama. and those sessions indicate the possibilities of that crossover to the point where paul simon af the time had just gone solo and wanted to make his first solo umbrella, and called al belle, and said who are those two
musicians who are playing on the staples records. ♪ (music playing) and of course it's the muscle shoals rhythm section and they're all white guys. the addendum to the muscle shoals story is that through the the 1970s, muscle shoals works increasingly with white artist whose want a black sound. whether it's paul simon, the osmunds, rod stuart, any number of other folks. and muscle shoals actually bind of the the 70s is arguably more associated with white than black artses. something that black artists understood to be a problem. so even as these moments of crossover symbolize just how wonderfully how music can erase racial boundaries, they also unfortunately can teach us how
they're still reinforced. they are also examples of things that weren't necessarily momentary blow-ups. weren't necessarily things that happened that caused things to fall apart but erupted kind of a longer term discontent. and one of the examples of that that i talk about in the book is that book -- and the mg's become one of the most popular groups in the united states and become a symbol for the celebration that's going on at stacks. osthey are an integrated band, d the lineup we think of as the classic lineup is perfectly integrated. two black and two white members. the first was an american basis player, steinbering played with them for the first two years of their existence including on their first major hit, green onion. he helps define the memphis soul
sound he helps to find booker and the mg's career. he is ultimately replaced by a white musician an incredible basis player named duck done who becomes the most famous member of the group. stein berg was not has been happy about that and he chalked thought up in part of the fact he waste black. even though there were other reasons he was replaced that discontent that louie stein berg felt was among a larger belief of many musicians 2459 ultimately when given the opportunity, white folks were going to support other white folks. that's the thing you hear more black musicians talking about not having access to the same things not having scaks to the same things white singers did, white musicians did. the way in which studio shifted clientele to mostly black to white artists. those are the things ultimately
that we really can understand through this story. and that give it its full complexity and full richness. >> memphis is in the south for of the united states right next to the mississippi river. i think memphis is best known for music and food. the bleuz, were perfect here in memphis. rock and roll was invented here. and soul facilitate defines this city. memphis is roughly 65% african american. memphis is during the civil war is the heart of the confederacy, and was racist as any city in america. the slave trade was very active here. in part because of the proximity to the mississippi river, and the cotton industry was huge here and that was mostly driven by slave labor.
jim crow, was terrible. here in the early 190o0s because memphis was one of the first city that allowed african americans to vote. they could vote in the early 1900s, but it didn't -- we were not a city of good abode. we were not a city of brotherly love.ot it was a racist culture. we struggled with that and still struggle with that to a large portion but in the 50s and 60s the civil rights movement took off here. and the leadership here was very strong, and integrated the city facilities. we are much more integrated city than we were. we have a long way to go. and let me give you an example of hard-time example. yofred davis was one of the firt african americans on the city k0u7b8 and he told me 25 years ago at a kiwanis club that if you add up all the business transacted in the city, and i'm not talking about just by city
government, i'm talking about us going to the grocery store, buying insurance, all the business transacted in the city, one% is transacted with african american-owned business. that was 25 years ago. i talked to him a year or two ago. it's still 1%, in a city that's 65% african american, it's not right. it's also not sustainable. no's not good for the future of the city so we have to change that number. and obviously one of the factors for that low number is racism. we're working on that one particular issue in memphis at city government, i'm talking about tract contracting with african american-owned businesses. we've made it a priority. when i took office 12% of our contracts went to minority and women-owned businesses. we've doubled that to 24% and got a lot of national recognize.
we have to do more of it. that's just one example educational achievement is much higher with white young people as opposed to black young folks. and poverty is much higher in the black community than white community, we do have a long way to go. i do think we've made tremendous strides in the city. and i'm very proud of that fact. i'm proud to be in memphis. but because i have such pride in the city i want us to do even better. >> we're overlooking the mississippi river in downtown memphis, where c-span is learning about the literary scene. next we talk about the hidden wehistory of memphis. >> we are in the -- hooks central library, and the collection that we have in the shelby county room was created
ine 1971, the public library system realized there really was not a place where memphis people could come and learn about the city and community to learn their history. so the library began collecting materials from individual donors, also from city government, building a collection which contained over 300 process manuscript clensions of letters, photographs, diaries, government reports and other items either on an individual, or historic photographs, historic maps, and what we try to do is to tell the story of memphis. the sphrl library is named for benjamin hook. dr. hooks was a local civil rights pioneer. he was the first african american appointed to the federal communications commission. he was the head of the national
naacp. and he was chosen because he was very important in building the new memphis. and after the civil rights movement when equality was a goal really for the first time, and so he's a perfect representation of what memphis is today in the 21st century. one of the more interesting items we have in the collection is this map from 1940. now at first glance, it looks like any other map from the time period. but, looking at it more closely, you see that it shows very specifically where memfens live. particularly african americans. so you get an idea of what parts of town were populated by african americans which can tell us a lot. being concentrated in specific parts of town meant that other parts of town, other businesses, schools, were cut off from you.
it meant that transportation may not exist there, there may be businesses that aren't located in those neighborhoods. and so we can get a better idea by looking at this map and how difficult it can be, could be for african americans to be concentrated in specific parts of town. the other thing that's interesting as well, yes there are heavy concentrations of african american in specific places. but you also see that there are african americans spread out through the the city. a lot of african americans are going to be domestics or what we would call yard men who work outside. and so they're living in close proximity to the white people that they work for. so i pulled this item it's a print from harper's weekly in the late 1860s. and it shows memphis it shows the memphis skyline which is so
different from the way it is today, and what i think is most interesting and significant it shows us how goods were being transported to and from memphis, and memphis being a important distribution center, for cotton, and other industries. but we see how crude it was in the 1860s, and yet, how innovative it was too because they were memphis sits on a very high bluff. and so in order to get to the river, you've got to have a way to do that. so we see this cut that was made and maintained so that goods could flow from the river to the city and vice versa. oso it just -- it's a powerful look at how the city operated because it's one thing to say well it's a transportation hub but how did that happen. and we see that also in this photograph, which is -- which
was taken in 1949. it's at the universal life insurance company headquarters, and you see a group of african americans secretaries and this is one of our favorite photographs because it shows us so much about the african american middle class which often gets ignored when we talk about our history that we tend to think of most african americans working on a farm or share croppers or laborers, and that's certainly true, but, there were professional african americans as well, as we said restricted because of segregation, discriminated against, and yet these women very strong, very powerful, standing there, very proudly, and it tells us much about the african american community in them ifs, and in memphis, and beyond that in the united states.. now next to this, we've got a
letter from another powerful strong african american woman. mrs. tsca brown. mrs. brown was the president of the city federation of colored women's clause. and an important aspect of memphis history is that african americans voted in large numbers in memphis. the state of tennessee granted african american's the right to vote even before the 14th amendment took effect. and the only impediment created after the fact was the poll tax. in many other southern states there were more restrictive measures to prevent african americans from voting, but in tennessee not as much so you have again, powerful strong african americans, who are determined to vote who registered their fellow african americans in large numbers, and
this is -- this letter from 1927, which is from mrs. brown to eh crom, who was the political boss of memphis, and in 1927, he is has a slate of candidates including a man named wattkens overton who is running for mayor. so mrs. brown writes and says she isor endorsing the overton ticket and planning to vote for him and the other sponsored candidates, and we also have his response, and he writes mrs. brown and said i know you're in a position to do a lot of good, make sure your members register to vote and make sure they pay their poll tax. remember this is 1927. throughout the united states most african americans cannot vote. certainly not in the south. but in memphis, you have a white
political boss who is corresponding with an african american woman, about voting. that is very unique in the south of that time period of jim crow segregation. one thing memphis is very well known is the 1968 san station strike and dr. martin luther king's murder on april 4, 1968. we have in our collection the papers of the police director from 1968. a map named frank haulman, and some of the more interesting items we have first, we have a hand bill from the organize which was called citizens on the move from equality. which was the umbrella organize of civil rights group, including the labor movement, the naacp, southern christian leadership conference to coordinate protests during the strike, and
the strike took place in february of 1968, because for a couple of reasons. one, the men worked under very unsafe working conditions. there were two african american workers robert walker and ethyl coal who were killed when a garbage truck malfunctioned. and the men were paid such a low wage that when those two men were killed, they simply had enough. and they decided they would strike for better wages, and for better working conditions. and it's quickly became not just a labor strike but a civil rights struggle as the local civil rights leadership joined jrces with the union and the striking workers, and so creating this organize i mentioned. in march of 1968, dr. king was
invited to come to memphis to give a speech, and he was so impressed by the unity of the movement in memphis, and we keen in mind in 1968, dr. king had been widely criticized as being irrelevant. that his philosophy of non-violence no longer worked, and the black power movement was gaining steam, and so, the civil rights movement across the united states had fractured. but he comd to memphis and seed a unified civil rights coalition, and he's so impressed he says i want to come back and lead a march. so they quickly organize a march for protest march for march 28, 1968, and this hand bill gives us -- tells people who are going to participate in the march what to do, where to gather, where to start, and so it just provides
the civil rights movements position on the march, what they were trying to accomplish, and how they were trying to organize the march. there were so many people who showed up for this march it quickly after dr. king arrived it turned violent. there werefo young people, black power militants called the invaders, and other students who were involved in breaking windows and that sort of thing, and dr. king was quickly sent to the rivermont hotel, the closest hotel, a upscale white hotel at the moment. not in lorraine where he would stay later. he was sent to the rivermont but the police department took him there because it was closest to where he was at the moment. on the next day he meets with a group of invaders, the white power militants and the police
department receive as report. received information from local fbi that charged herrington, charlz -- and kelvin leour tailor met with martin luther king at 3:05 p.m., in mr. king's room at the rivermont hotel for 30 minutes. king advised these things to keep things cool until he returns thursday night. cabbage told king they were not getting enough action and they wanted no more action. itit was martin l king who asked to speak with the invaders, they did not goo to him. this begz several questions. where did this information come from. it said local fbi. so was the local fbi bugging his room? that's possible. although when did they have the time to do that, because they didn't know beforehand that he was going to stay at the rivermont because that happened
quickly. it's also possible they had an informant, and probably more likely. so who was that informant? we don't know. but, it gives us a fascinating look not only in what was taking place in the room with dr. king, but also how that information is gathered. and in factoo there's another intelligence report that we have here from march the 27th, the day before the march. this says 12:10 p.m. this date detective red t, who was an african american police officer calls and stated while talking to people in the beal street area he had learned that the persons who have been seen around clay born temple, wearing the small black hats are supposed to be deacons from los angeles. in the watts area and they are supposed to be curata experts and experts with rifles. so, of course the police
department has to run with whatever information they have, and they gatherert gather as much information they can but this gives us an idea of the police department's response to the san station strike to dr. king and so on. so a collection like this, can provide more detail about our history and i hope that we hope, that people will understand that and want to learn about this, and we hope that memphis people who want to come and learn the history will come and use the primary sources and understand the complexity of our past. >> barbecue fans flocked the memphis to check the memphis
barg cue. with the help of comcast cable partners we continue our visit to memphis with music producer bill mitchell who will take us on a tower around town. >> memphis was a place of a lot of racial tension but a lot of racial harmony. the musicians in town like nobody cared about your race, so the musicians always worked together even from the earliest times. so there was a strong sense of brotherhood amongst mutionzs no matter what color you were. >> while in memphis we took a driving tower of the city, owner of royal decide v stud v studios. >> thank you for showing us around today. grammy award winner, lifelong residents of memphis. >> i've been here all my life,
and grew up i had a crazy childhood with the temptations at the house, and the doin'y brothers and al green, and the cool people. we go by the stacks museum, see the civil rights museum, lorraine hotel, and some cool memphis places. >> should we go? >> sure. >> we're going into the downtown now. >> this is a cool part of town that has been under development for the past ten years. so memphis is predominantly black. i think it's maybe 60 percent african american and you know i think we -- the race relations today are way cooler than it used to be. memphis is still we have a lot of night clubs, and restaurants
where you see black and white and you know all races, all classes. so we're driving on to beal street right now. beale street is known as the main thorough way of memphis. >> beale street they call it the home of the bleuz because this is where bb king, and bobby blewband and all of the bleuz greats came to hone their craft and to get their message out to the world. back in the day it was a whole neighborhood. it wasn't just this one street. there were several streets. so this is where elvis came to learn how to dance, and to do all the things that he did. it was a huge influence for bleuz and rock and roll. beale street today there's a lot of clubs, and restaurants, and
shops and there's still music being pumped out of here. you know 7 days a week. it's -- you know it's a vibrant entertainment district. it's one of the top tourist spots for tennessee. >> so we're outside the national civil rights museum, or as a lot of people knew it the lorraine motel. and what's noteworthy for what happened here for those who don't know?w? >> where the wreath is that's the site where dr. king was assassinated in 1968. this is an extraordinary museum. it's a huge piece of american history. >> how did people in memphis react to having something like that happen here? >> man, it was a terrible thing. people were rioting and looting the city got a lot of the famous
musicians and singers and stuff like william belle, and others to get on the radio and say hey guys, let's stop the rioting, and stop the destruction the. we're all hurt but now it's time to come together and figure out how wefi can heal. and fix these problems. >> the thing about memphis is that you know most of popular music that most influential american music came from memphis. blues, rock and roll, soul. this is what we call soulsival usa, because it's the area where soul music started and just -- in a 3-mile radius, you've got two legendary studies, aretha franklin birth home. the mg's grew up around the
corner. so we have stacks music academy, the soulsvillstarter school, the stacks museum. >> music was known for being an integrative workplace in the 1 11960s when there were integrated workplaces in the south. . . bell's rule, stacks became the second largest employer of african-americans in the country. next to jet magazine. >> give me some examples of maybe the music that was coming out during that civil rights era. >> otis redding was one of the huge successes out of that time period. booker t. and the mgs, the stuff my dad was doing, the willy mitchell combo, a lot of
groups that were completely integrated. that spirit kind of went on into the '70s. then there was a lot of stuff go . >> in the early seventies people were making songs about the war but then they, wrong - - along singing a song let's stay together and that started aa change. >> still here preaching the message of love so now we will go see the full tabernacle al
green was one of the first black to sell millions of albums and may be one of the last great singers t7 and recordingco pop music now as the bishope. ♪ . >> i think he struggled with his music but then he finally came to terms that there is nothing wrong singing about love. >> so this is graceland. >> this is elvis world on the right and then on the left is
graceland itself. people wanted to ban elvis when he first came out because but elvis was a real pioneer. >> we have been all over the city's the national civil rights museum what else you want people to know about memphis across the country or they have never been here or have never heard of it? . >> it has a vibe to it that people still come to experience. there is just a spirited
memphis that you feel different here than anywhere else. . >> up next we speak with an author about one of the most famous tourist attractions. . >> and going on with the african-american community and while the cotton carnival was taking place and all of this to celebrate cotton and from the mid- thirties you also had you also have the cotton makers fiesta and then the
cotton makers jubilee for the african-american community that is the issue over cotton how they come together. on a more personal level but the entire period growing up i knew beale street is where the jubilee or the carnival side of four parades. or the white parades were on main street. with the african-american parade would go on to beale street which was the main street of black america. so to focus on memphis now you have to keep in mind there has always been a black-and-white city. it was never a white city that black people came.
there was always the population to figure out how they coexist. so if you step into history you can see what it was like who was on beale street who had the businesses and white people did come to beale street even when it was the black capital or the black main t street they came for shopping even though there were two races shopping at the same time. no big deal. about the 18 twenties that's when they can vote and then in the early part of the book to talk about the earliest development organization where
beale street was south memphis created and developed to start out those areas closest to the railroad that were related to travel where cotton would be loaded onto the riverboat. and those riverboat workers in thele earliest. could find somewhere to stay. the merchandising area or to dock and load cars or whatever
but then further down we would have residential housing. huge houses on beale street or in that area. so now those different distinct areas. what changes and then to move further east further south or north to create residential housing with the whole area of the city is expanding for that merchandising where they could locate their offices and by the 1930s and forties you could have the stores on the
first level but above them the offices of professionals, usually black professionals with those red light district for a long time but they just were not places that nice girls hung out. and then to have the café. with the cottone makers jubilee but that is as close as we got to beale street. it was a pretty wild area in
1967. with the major sanitation strike a lot of the organizing of black workers was taking place at the temple and that was the beale street area and people were in and out as part of the demonstration. that memphis as a whole and then to be centered along main street and bealere street that they have other parts of the city. that is a lot of the traffic phobia.n and only to focus on going downtown to beale street to do their shopping.
businesses closing that is something even today to go through this period ofne decline in with those urban renewal projects and then to look at some point like a combat zone. literally shoveled under. with the new entertainment area. people are not necessarily coming back. but they are along beale street with this great entertainment district but
after that they be developed to beale street as the entertainment district. so we know that these are part of the entertainment district so they are still thinking that beale street is a way to attract people back to the area. and then it's just an entertainment district. and to be community life and in a lot of ways bourbon street and the french quarter
in new orleans that you could walk into some historic places with that appreciation of what that one part of new orleans life and history. it's important that you are still able toe do this because a lot of that is not there anymor anymore. even if you do that through the images in the book. >> 1878 there was a yellow fever epidemic 60 percent evacuated of their population here on the banks of the river to commemorate the lives of those who stayed to help the 17600 sick and bury the dead here we spoke with author to
learn more about racial integration in the united states. >> what is the motivation what we actually mean when we say racial integration? and some people already think we have done that we use to have a system of legal segregation in this country called jim a crow and that fell with don versus the board of education and it was then initiated in the sixties with the housing act of 68 this legislation was the end of legal segregation in the united states and people assumed it was the beginning of legal integration but in those activist and's academic circles we never really
integrated we got rid of legal segregation but it was day facto and very much still with usf you have been here for a few days if you drive through the city it is obvious when you are in the black part of town or white part of town parts of the city are more segregated but if you look at a census map you see a strip of white through the middle and north and south is heavily black and that demographic is present in most of the united states with high rates of segregation according to every measure but it is not legally imposed it is day facto so with all of those conversations what integration really means how we pursue that or if we should but in the book i try to think what it means for black americans
specifically. in the past people really did not distinguish between desegregation from integration that is the bare minimum definition that you take the laws off the books that require the separation of black people from the white people at the very least that is the first step of desegregation than a slightly more robust definition is to say it's more than just getting rid of the laws it would be sillyly to say a school that was 100 percent white to be integrated or desegregated just because there's no longer lee no longer prohibited we actually need to have black-and-white people sharing the same spaces going to the same schools living in the sameor neighborhoods pushing recreation t genuinely interacting with each other
that is a more robust understanding some members of the black community will tell you it is assimilation that it forces them to abandon their cherished black spaces black communityy spots where they have control of that space to tell their own stories or be themselves be a part of shared values and shared history and integration forces them to abandon those things and remake themselves that is respectable by hegemonic white values and it isn't necessarily a desirable project or a model of justice so in the book i try to take that criticism very seriously to say does that mean we have
to abandon integration as the idea or is the way to rethinkat that to combine the idea of racial mixing black and white people sharing spaces we have that genuine transformation of powerar on the part of white people to relinquish their superior citizenship and genuinely share power with black people. it's not just mixture but sharing power and an internalo transformation so they truly recognize the equal citizenship. if you think of the regime of jim crow segregation obviously thatat was legal that particular spaces are reserved for white or black people but also psychological essentially
required thatot they did interact black people were constantly expected to show their deference white people needed signs of their own racial superiority so they would take pleasure in those signs and they became enraged if there were signs of insubordination from their perspective. my claim is that psychic dynamic doesn't necessarily go away with desegregation so you could have a classroom full of black and white students where they expected black students to act deferential or say anything that makes them uncomfortable et cetera.
so for me to truly overcome jim crow segregation you need not only to dismantle that law but that structure that whites assume their own superiority and expect black swell act of their own civic superiority. so that is a genuine acceptance of white people of the equal citizenship of black people. now a lot of people say we do that. that was the civil rights movement will be got with the civil rights act and voting rights act of 65 and if you interview people clearly racial attitudes have changed most white people will say they believe in racial equality and fairness black people should have access to the ballot and attend schools with white people and have a
fair shot at employment et cetera. my claim is there is a deeper level a that is not the case and a really recent example is the outrage amongst a lot of white people of the protest of the national anthem the nfl games those protest are so offensive to white people not because they really think that people are protesting the and the more the flag or the disrespected veterans but insubordination and there is a long history of whites wanting black athletes to perform a gratefulness that they have this opportunity to participate at this level in
professional sports so all lives matter it all indicates despite those explicit claims that many white people are still outraged by their displays of black demand for genuine inequalities. >> so power manifests itself the power that comes with political power so who literally has the ability to determine the content of policies and laws and administrative procedures? historically and to the present political power has largely been held by white men there is a massive wealths gap, racial gap, it can be
traced to historical patterns of discrimination with housing and lending whereby the aftermath of the great depression the fha finally made it available for middle-class americans to purchase homes to underwriting the rules the federal m government used that they should be insured were racist made it difficult for black people to access wealth of home ownership and made it easier for whites. some in the book i talk about reparations which is the unpopular policy proposal many say no just economic uplifting for everybody but there is a case to be made for black reparations specifically but i
would not tie it to slavery which is how that is talked about in discourse but the more recent history of housing and lending discrimination if you really trace the economic impactc impact. i think you can make a convincing claim that black communities were deprived of resources and material wealth because of explicit federal government programs that can find them to spaces that we call ghettos today drained of resources with no access to opportunity. on that basis you could argue governments through tax dollars should have programs that infuse wealth back into those communities and this is the question why it's called impossible dream with a ?-question-mark?
i don't want to say no because who knows what is possible. if it is, sure. i assume under feudalism people could imagine there would ever be a different economic system and in 1820 people never imagined abolition and we would never have slavery. in that sense i think it's possible but conditions on the ground that have to exist for this to be viable in s my life i don't see those conditions existing. i hope i'm wrong of course, but i think donald trump ran on explicit white racial resentment and has high levels of support from white people across the board white people of all different incomes there was talk after he was elected
of the white working class but he is supported by all classes and that is indicative of the internal transformation that doesn't exist of course, there are individual white people that are exceptions in the basis for coalition politics the right community for black lives matter and those are important g but in general there is insufficient support for those policies and programs we would need to advance that racial integration. part of the reason is important to maintain these utopian ideals because otherwise we are resigning ourselves to the world that we have right now if that is on just the means we are accepting the continuation of
that in justice but to be realistic to create new visions of the world but it is a tiny first step in the uncertain process. >> peabody was built 1869 at the corner of main and monroe the current hotel was constructed one block away in 1923 after the city demolished the original building that peabody is known today for the ducks that live on the roof to make a daily elevator ride down to the lobby cap next we speak with authors who explores the origin of the boy scouts of america.
>> the boy scouts of america like to describe themselves as a movement as much as an organization and they were concerned with what was it like to be a teenager and adolescent boy to grow up without the not transitioning to adulthood working with child labor laws and schooling with different efforts to get kids off the street but there wasn't as much interacting with the public had you live to be an adult? so the boy scouts have a bridge program to adapt back to our modern and urbanizing industrializing society.
back from 1910 it is the adaptation of british boy scouting which was the original program 19 oh seven. then transplanted to different countries around the world including the united states some might wonder why the local downtown ymca is a good place to film about the boy scouts of america the first troop ine memphis was sponsored and started by the downtown ymca here in memphis the building opened in 19 oh 91910 day sponsor the first known boy scout troop in memphis for go with the notion of institutional sponsors before there was even a local counsel that would take another five or six years the ymca was the main partner the first couple years eventually as it spread to other institutions they had
councils and offices in local areas a they ran their own show but ymca continues to sponsor for decades. >> the voice out one - - scouts were concerned about adolescence before it was a 13 -year-old working version probably working a full-time job and then when they got to the point in the twenties adding middle school and high school and people we're going to them not just the rare exception that was requiring children to go to school they were removing them from that adult community of the work world to pull children out of those fears with programs like the boy scouts in the girl scouts wanted to reintroduce that bridge into adulthood for
urban and suburban kids of those corporate places they were not concerned with rural farm boys particularly because they thought they were working on their family's farm they had grown up under their father's tutelage so they didn't feel there was a problem there so regularly troop meetings held here at the ymca or church or chamber of commerce or these places that would sponsor the boy scout troops and they ran their ownps troops so this is what our boys or our schools we are doing this for the broader community like the rotary club or chamber of commerce would manage these troops and then they would do
camping in the summer that was extended to teach these boys civic patriotism, community engagement the scouts were everywhere if there was a big event the scouts would be there learning to contributecobu back to the community learning to serve the public these 12 and 13 -year-olds were running the first aid booth guiding and chaperoning the president quite literally and away that i don't think is quite as pervasive today but they were there right in the thick of things they were remarkable to reach out to a diverse crowd of town and urban and suburban youth especially in the twenties times of the kkk the clan was as worried about
jewish and african-american so that was one end of the spectrum those that wanted to kick out minorities or preventing them from having access but the boy scouts are actively recruited with immigrant groups the catholic scouts and the mormons they had their own independent scout organization initially met with labor union leaders to work out a compromise meeting the socialist party of america candidate that scouting is okay with us which is remarkable than the captains of industry like the rockefellers or the vanderbilts that were all sponsors it was a wide religious economic outreach of
membership the time was remarkably inclusive so the first memphis boy scout president was a white to banker and prominent man t around town who donated the first camp at the local counsel but he became the vice president of the national council boy scouts of america and him with another professional and joined by the first paid african-american professional national staff person who later came to work here in memphis but a big reason in the mid- twenties african-american scouts even
though they were excluded they convince the national council for a million-dollar grant in today's terms tot encourage atlanta and new not just new orleans jacksonville, florida to start african-american troops and that was a major shift in the mid- twenties where that really reached into society that had the least opportunity and they were teaching in the mid- twenties african-american boys to stand up to be goodnd citizens how to vote in the 19 twenties this is ahead of its time america not allow what we now call cubs seven and eight and nine
andd ten they specifically excluded those because they didn't want it to be childish but adolescent or teenage boys and the transition to adult manhood but it means modern manhood with these urban towns they were very much concerned turning teenage boys into proper and responsible cynically involved young men that that was their targeted framework but the most dramatic change in the thirties when the cubs come online to create new handbooks for them it was a major change and by the time you get to the fifties the number of cubs equal scouts now it is larger
so currently the boy scouts are in a transition and with those transgender scouts and with that inclusiveness with religion and immigration and race not so much transgender and homosexuality but they have moved themselves back to the center ground so depending on the troop sponsor or that membership or leadership and
those are all words you could use to describe it. it changed greatly over the eight years they knew one another. they are bonded together in the public mind as they were killed with such a short period of time in 1968 within a few weeks of one another and linked in the public mind sentimentally but their relationship was much more complicated than that. it started out very badly and grew over the years and one of the challenges of this book to describe the same and that put a bug on martin luther king's telephone ended up eulogizing him then night he was killed and that was the most famous how do you get from one point
to the other he was horrified when kennedy was named attorney general that yet ready to endorse him for the presidency so that is hard because this relationship was behind the scenes it is no accident there are group shots but nothing of the two of them sitting and talking to one another i didn't want to advertise the relationship with them it had never been written about before to have conversations with kennedy's oldest daughter who said you have no book they didn't have
a relationship. but i wrote 110,000 words on their relationship and that's about the most consequential white man and a black man in the four-year period of the history of the civil rights and number one in each of their respective communities there had to be a relationship and i found it. >> do you feel that legacy has sanitized the civil rights movement and with that civil rights march in washington there were great concerns. >> it has been sanitized to a considerable degree they were not happy with john and robert
kennedy and they found the administration was moving very slowly on civil rights and they were very frustrated with it. and there were many different fronts that they moved very very slowly. only at the very end they started to move and kennedy was responsible for that. he was his brothers better angel and when kennedy gave the famous speech after the birmingham protest that is what i would remember when i was 11 years old i watched it again and it brings tears to your eyes to see kennedy get on television calling for the enactment of the civil rights bill and that john kennedy
made that speech and that was part of kennedy's power that's why arguably kennedy was more important in the history than john kennedy. i went to the memorial service on the 50th anniversary the family held the ceremony at arlington i don't think there is another figure in america that could have attracted a crowd like that 5000 people commemorated robert kennedy not even john kennedy could have emerging arguably is the better older brother. >> so talk about that surreptitious meeting that
where robert kennedy asked him to bring other members of the civil rights movement and to be shocked how they spoke to him. >> that's an interesting story. and to be complicated he hated to be called a liberal or squishy soft sentimental and blacks were not entitled to special treatment growing up were civil rights had never been discussed and yet was very curious what black america was speaking so he met with james baldwin to exchange ideas with the black intellectuals and baldwin
arranged for several to meet at the apartment in manhattan and lorraine was ther there, harry belafonte, various other members of the black intelligentsia. they all started to dump on robert kennedy. he thought they would praise him what the kennedy administration was doing and triggered by those remarks from jerome smith who was a freedom writer in new york getting treatment and was invited he said you're talking about all the great things you are doing for us while people are beaten in the south including me and you are not doing anything to protect us instantly everybody got on his
side to dump on kennedy and he was shocked. he never expected any of this and afterwards was very bitter and made very personal ad hominem comments about those who were at the meeting why do i even care? they are not speaking to the black community they are married to whites as if that would disqualify in making homophobic comments about james baldwin but he was complicated. to process and a few weeks after that to introduce civil rights legislation and to be open-minded and fighting his own instincts.
>> so that new biography to be a political and civil rights work and your book as well why do you think it has taken this long to write about the relationship between the kennedys and the civil rights movement? . >> good question may be sentimentality. there was a gray idealization of the kennedys afterwards and this is why kennedy was so popular in the black community. not because they instinctively loved him. they didn't. king was horrified when kennedy was made attorney general he was associated with the joe mccarthy and was thought of as antiunion and also i did not realize that
white liberals loathed mccarthy for one reason but blacks loathed him for another for him anti- communism was an additional dimension because many black leaders were communist or leftist like belafonte, robeson and w e-b-letter devoid they were very weary of the kennedys. so the great affection for john kennedy and affection for the kennedys so that gave them a pass on civil rights and
they overlooked their foot dragging to the actual period of the kennedy administration because the record is very frustrating. >> k rfk was an ambassador. >> do you think he was an ambassador? . >> know because ruston had to be behind the scenes also rfk was behind the scenes? . >> but ruston had to be hidden. he was incredibly effective but only from the shadows who verbalize on to him and he was vulnerability for the civil rights movement and they had to squirrel him away so
kennedy was working behind the scenes but he never had to be afraid of appearing publicly he just didn't want to be visible with martin luther king so there isn't a single good picture of them together and that's not an accident and that continued even after the assassination in the speech he gave in indianapolis eulogize is the night that he died as an aberration. so that last speech before the campaign was suspended did not even mentioning king by name
>> that then you work very hard there's always a story to tell. lifted the veil to understand what they are alike in what they are about. . >> there was a call to arms and they went and we went because as we were hit by the troops and there were airstrikes and mortar rounds and sniper fire often they would run away and we had to run away after them.
. >> one of the reasons they are influential is because they could be used to give america a noble identity or noble cause so the pilgrims came for god and because they all came for those reasons this is what america stands for ever since. . >> working-class folks who managed without a lot of money or degrees and connections to provide us with the home of stability, consistenc stability, consistency, love, gs
and what they remind me and should remind everybody it does take a lot of stuff to raise good kids. [applause] you don't have to be titled to do the job of good parenting and my parents did that my father worked the same job until the day he died and my father was the oldest of five my mother was the middle child of seven and my father was the rock for so many. not just us but brothers and sisters, he was a giver and i say in the book he believes that time is a gift that you give others in that person everybody would gather around his recliner and bring the girlfriends so he could check them out and ask for advice he
visited everybody and often times dragged me along with him on a saturday sitting on a plastic so far. [laughter] at some lady's house with a cup of seven up and visit and visit but he was a storyteller. he was courageous he also had ms that was only part of his story that i didn't realize he struggled so mightily with because he would not complain or seek professional help for his disease which was a frustration for all of us but he would get up and go to work and earn a salary. he invested everything he had in us so i learned to be a
storyteller and listener and a giver from watching him and then there was my mom i describe her in the book that zen neutrality with her ability to parent i think we were seven or eight when she gave us alarm clocks and said he will wake yourselves up because she said i am raising adults not babies she taught us how to think for ourselves at an early age and what i share with people that i share in the book to say about my parents they valued our voices from an early age. we were not quieted we could ask questions they encouraged our curiosity and told us the truth and the context so if
there was the crazy uncle or the funny cousin they would explain the history so we could understand where they landed so because of the two of them as my brother said on the video we were successful because of these two hard-working good value folks and i wish my dad could be here to see all of this. >> how proud would he be of you? [cheers and applause] . >> so before michelle your boyfriend - - your brother that you even shared a bedroom with. >> he was my protector and i joke on some show this week i have been on a lot i was on
robin roberts. he is the favorite that's okay she will not admit it but he knows it and i know it. [laughter] what do i have to do? i am the first lady. i live in the white house. [laughter] i'm taking her to china she meets the pope and at thanksgiving when is chris coming? [laughter] i don't know. i don't care. [laughter] but i adore him to he and my father treated me as an equal and that is so important that it's father to understand about girls having a strong girl isn't just a strong
mother but men who love them and respect them. [cheers and applause] weather boxing error running bases. and this is not for girls. so having men in my life loving me from the start but then the whole community of men my grandfathers and my uncles and one of them who is here one of my favorite uncles is here and he knows who he is. [laughter] i grew up with men who looked out for me. out for me. . . . .