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tv   Tamara Payne The Dead Are Arising  CSPAN  December 26, 2020 1:15am-2:46am EST

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>> hello. welcome to the book fairer on - - the book fair author the dead are raising what she will with her father. congratulations on this long-awaited publication of the book your father worked on for nearly 30 years? >> yes. and we should point out that he did the research and the
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interviews while having a very demanding full-time job as he award-winning correspondent and later assistant managing editor at newsday. so he must not have gotten much sleep working on the job. but before we talk about the book if you don't mind, tell us about your dad. you have a sense of early life we know he was born in alabama moved with his family to hartford connecticut at 12 years old. obviously and graduated from the high school at age 16 and went on to the university of connecticut. by the way, what was his career goal when he entered college? what did he want to do after college? >> he was interested frankly
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he was challenge as an artist he had the opportunity to go on in our scholarship but he wanted a career he could make money at. but that was always a passion of his so he started as an engineer but didn't like it. it wasn't that he wasn't doing well in the study but those that would come on to become engineers in be very focused in their career and what they knew and nothing else. but he had voracious curiosity and interest so he cannot see himself on one track everythin everything, he studied newspapers. a lot of people he is readin reading, he was reading in high school and college but
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then went on to edit them and was the bos boss. >> also prize-winning columnist for the daily news new york? so one was reading really well in college and mary rose are much older man and had been there for a while and then murray went on to produce. >> and they became very good friends. very interesting to have these intellectual conversations talking about language and make friend of each other. because it so 18 century and
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they became friends in boston and in college and while barbary what is at newsday and they were good friends and dad appreciated the friendship. but also he saw he wasn't a good fit for that and went on to study history and english and that he wanted to be a writer but wanted to look at the options of what you can do careerwise and others to go into journalist to write off the bat and the chances of him to be hired was not likely so he went to the army about the profits would be there and it went to the army ranger schools and very athletic.
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but interested to just acquire information and learning new things. and to become an information officer and at the top of his class on that ended that on a whim. with general westmoreland he said he wanted to speechwriter at the top of the class and dad was the graduate. as a number one candidate. mason know i want the top guys so that's how dad worked with general westmoreland. he wrote his speeches and others where the troops were
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stationed. >> so that's where he developed his idea also of a path into journalism as a result of meeting some of the journalist with whom he had to work and we give tours? >> correct one in particular one who worked at the "washington post" was writing a series about the u.s. army in vietnam in 1967 and dad took him around the four and when to show him where the troops were jesse ended up writing a piece how the confederate flag was being flown in this piece appeared in the "washington post" and the president of the united states did not like that. he saw that and was considered a renegade u.s. army is the
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u.s. army. the flag has to represent the whole country but not simply that but that it was published in the "washington post". this is not a good look for the president of the united states. so he called him and shoot him at 3:00 o'clock in the morning and they had to take down the confederate flag. dad said what he learned from that experience was information getting out. of course people knew troops were flying the confederate flag that was in the inner circle but once it is part of the general knowledge, then he has to say okay wait. now you correct yourself so journalism has a power that
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reveals fax reported by a free press by the constitution which is determined to inform the public what is going on and he saw the power of that to give them information to make informed decisions and that was important to him and that's why he said i will see what i can do i think this is something i can work in still be interested in different things and make a change and he did. >> do you recall growing up, moment when you learned or became aware of your father's interest in malcolm x.? >> i don't recall when. [laughter] >> you mean as soon as you became aware of hearing?
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>> come out of the room looking at the speeches. >> he would listen to speeches? >> every week and maybe not every but often it wasn't just once or twice a year i would say we definitely heard it a few times a month on the weekend. sometimes in our black household in the morning we play gospel music and go to church and play gospel music and then dad would play his speeches. [laughter] >> was he also playing speeches of mlk junior? >> absolutely. both. dad never felt, he wasn't a turn the other cheek person but mlk had good ideas and the civil rights leaders deafly made movements pointing to our freedoms is by people in this country and dad understood that and respected that the malcolm analyzed the condition of black speech for black
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people who are really just experience oppression every day. and giving it to us in a way that we embrace who we are. not excuse who we are. >> and that reminds me while he was in college, he heard malcolm x. speech. >> memorial hall? >> yes. >> did he ever talk about the impact of the first face to face? because nobody really knew about him. >> is like when you go see a speaker and say i want to hear what they are saying face to face. it wasn't brand-new so you want to see what it's like with that person so he was
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doing his thing but this is important because malcolm was talking about the freedom of black people but also how we refer to ourselves. and he was flipping he was flip between black and negro because that was the term of the time and at that time black was considered very derogatory. and dad said if i call my brother john black i would still be running away from him. [laughter] so to hear that was interesting and what he said
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during that speech was into the black people that were shifting and showing their discomfort as he use the term black, he says they see you are uncomfortable with that but what is negro? it is black in spanish so you're saying i can call you negro in another language but i can call you black in your language? and that just clear the way for dad. it's how society is. we don't live alone we are not an island in isolated so we will be impacted by what's happening around us and then to say i want to be this, and he falls into it. so this is how we refer to ourselves why we don't like to
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be called black is just a color and not the designation that was some of the conversation but he was in that but then he hears what malcolm says and it clears it up for him. like the enlightened moment for him and said we're all black because then malcolm went on to talk about our experiences and then he said this whole thing you can be whatever you want to be but then what do we rise to? and does he is as land owners as janitors in the under positions. what does that mean cracks we have to embrace who we are to do that. it was a clarity moment for
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dad. >> later and our conversatio conversation, this little piece for the audience to stick aroun around, but there is a passage or section in the book where your dad reveals in detail a meeting that malcolm x. had with the kkk. and the preparation for that meeting and how it came about everyone will want to hear that because i was not well read about malcolm that isn't something that was discussed a lot but now to the book. there were meticulous years and decades of research do you have any idea how many interviews your dad did or how many associates he may have
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spoken t to? >> probably about 100 and he spent hundreds of hours. because the work of journalism is you talk to a person and then you go back. there are things they may say in the interview that makes you want to go look up things and it changes what they are saying but then you have even more questions were then to refer to other people then you find those people and they say something and then you go back and you clarify and you try to get more sides to the story to get as close to what the story really is. dad was a journalist to the core certainly in 1990 when he is doing this he wants to
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write a book about what's new. he won't write a story about what everybody else knows and then his view, that did not motivate him were motivated him was to find out what was new. he is a journalist he say we kill our own meet and so that means we go and find our own sources and do our interviews to find out the information it may already be in the book but is different when you're talking to somebody who was actually there. and they can give you more color to the time of day where the book would just say something happened and then they say it happens at 5:00 p.m. i know this because the families were home from work. you don't get that in a book necessarily. they don't give you more
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texturing of like word is happening at that time. and then to meet with of malcolm's brothers a very good friend from michigan. he interviewed them for eight hours and he was fascinated by what he had learned. >> i'm sorry to interrupt you but do you know why walter evans suggested your dad meet with malcolm's brother? >> he knew dad was interested in malcolm and he was interested in talking. he put them together and that was not unusual. and dad interviewed with him.
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he found out the story and then he goes back home as he processes this and talks to another good friend of his as a journalism colleague but also malcolm's best friend and they said that's who you need to speak to so dad went back to michigan to speak and then he got more information. at the time i would say i was the english teacher in china and what he was talking about was the family life and when he learned about the family life and the younger age and the closer knit the family and eventually dad spoke with all
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the siblings, but he got a lot of information and then to know about his early life but second on the trajectory of finding out what else you could find out. >> yes. and what he realized he'd always been possessed one - - possessive fully formed and angry nobody looked at the world he lived in. he said i want to look at just who he was with his background and lineage he and so when you realize the list is important for all of our stories and who we all are. and then we can understand how family is important to all of
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us and to carry us through life and inform how we navigate life and the decisions we make good and bad. it comes from early relationship and family and immediate family or extended family and grandparents and teachers and extended family members. and they form the community which for what is considered normal to you and for me may not be considered normal to you but we're different generations or different sides of the railroad tracks or different parts of the country. but family definitely has a factor and dad understood that. >> tell us about malcolm's family he was a minister?
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his siblings? there were seven of them in malcolm's father's and then to talk about the nuclear family. >> the nuclear family his mother and his father earl came from georgia his mother came from grenada, they met in canada for the negro improvement association which is a marcus garvey event and they already attracted and brought into the group for members of that. they met at one of the meetings.
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and then to experience my life was there but then and then the northeast area because that is where he was in philadelphia. and then with groups in new york he would just travel and see two different places and but it was about black people have self-determination and being independent. >> it was more than back to africa. >> right. no matter what you do so embrace who you are that's what put them together and something we had on - - they had in common.
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then we had a higher education he had gone through grade school but they were so attracted just because it brought them together. but i bring up the education because she wrote letters to make secretarial stuff when they did get married by land and she was very much into the school work to make sure they were learning their lesson and speaking to them in french even. and then to understand she was involved with him at that level i would like to read a couple passages from the book where it shows that during those early days with the children. i and reading for those that have the book, congratulations.
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[laughter] >> it makes great holiday gifts. >> this is page 73. and ms. little conditioning her children the little black sambo published 1899 by british writer was a standard reader at pleasant grove when they were in lansing. the dark into the picketing slur but as it escalated but then not to overreact. we didn't like to be called a nigbor bit my mother always told us to handle those in a
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way to make them continue or let them think they are not hurting you she would give an example very - - if you throw a dart at the dartboard you get a feeling of satisfaction if not it's a different feeling if they throw darts at you but they don't hit the target then they will not get the satisfaction and eventually they will quit but usually that's the way it works. this psychological training for resistance to racial provocation was conditioned into the behavior of young malcolm and his sibling. so with respect to bring a growing number of whites in their neighborhood despite or because of the inherent switch is obvious and those who may
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or consulting you don't accept tha that. but you don't have to give them the delight to know that they have hate the target with you that's not the same thing as turning the other cheek. >> self-awareness. >> yes. and coming from a place of self-awareness and strength and pride accepted for who they are not excusing it. >> we have another question. >> we have another passage and this is also part on page 79. the children agreed even though the father was not is given to education as her mother the reverend was dead set to instill a work ethic
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and as a preacher organizer he possessed a sharp ear. in the case he likely had a penchant for young malcolm's gifts and otherwise. hinting at the relationship he had with malcolm here were taken with him on the trips for marcus garvey. was only me that the father would take to the meeting which he held quietly in different people's homes that special bond would be part of his imprinting even before he reached the first grade with the potency of leadership and as demonstrated by his father at the meetings. i remember seeing the big shiny photograph of marcus kirby being passed around and despite whatever was respected
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and malcolm recalls his father closing the house meetings with two dozen followers by chanting you can accomplish what you well. host: there seems to me to be a good place where we could go back for a minute before they go to east lansing they were in nebraska. and his father i guess in order for you and i and there is a moment when reverend earl little is not at home and the
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clan arrives outside the house where they were living in what had been an all-white neighborhood in fact there were not a lot of black folks there. but there were more black people in omaha than any other. >> but it was growing. what he will do looking for places for people to go that were not organize. his energy and know-how and the ability to talk with people and in particular black people to help with the marcus garvey philosophy. he was very good at that. omaha nebraska was the first to be opened.
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and louise is pregnant with malcolm. so it was the guy will be back part. >> i will have that one of the other dynamics at play all over the country to build business and buy property but somehow white people took that as being a threat. >> so at the end of world war i there are issues that jobs
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but after world war i there coming back in a new they far for these rights yet they can have move freely. they wanted to change that and and this was in 1925 where is still the same time. this is both the environment is. there is a rental that happened in omaha. but then the family moved to omaha nebraska. but the thing is there are still remnants but then i will read on - - with a little bit
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from. but then hanging to the window his mother went to the press but then rode up to the frame it with the evening breeze and then to declare it was the night of the kkk. so now a young housewife set her family didn't cause trouble so what about the neighbors to mind their own business? that excitement of course has died down and she faulted at
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least momentarily may have given the white vigilantes the thick hair flowing to her waist but then with the average man of her day at more than 5-foot 8 inches in pregnant, she was big. she was pregnant with malcolm. get on out of town to explain that it was troublemakers is shot by the trigger housing and against a man of the house and the unfolding drama i didn't know what to make it wilson recalled my mother was angry so i'm angry mother is challenging him and never used any profanity but still several of the men were
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towards the door and my mother kept arguing to take the better his rifle and started to cry in the back room and then to rip mrs. little nerd had body language that the children in platte on - - impact when they stood their ground that evening with strangers on horseback the contrary to the initial impression that it helped greatly that his father was indeed not at home. >> because they word have taken him out of the house , probably all of them out of the house.
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>> certainly him and mentioned him as an example. >> isn't that what reverend had been doing? >> he was organizing black people that he offended. and that's because of your pride. to be very outspoken and proud. he wouldn't stand down and that was hard so this is why they wanted to protect their children in my family being one of them and take them out
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of georgia. but then to move up north they are too smart and to be inquisitive not just to accept how to get out of the way of that's what you are told to do it may say why? why do i have to do that quick. >> for those younger generations of people and in parts of the south and in the early part of my childhood in certain small towns if a white person was on the sidewalk you expect them to get off the sidewalk and if you didn't they could cause trouble anything from harassment to
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the rest and there were towns known as son downtown if you see the movie the green book of doctor shirley if you are black you should not be there after sundown. without horrific rule. so you mentioned reverend a little rose a follower of the marcus garvey association the black star line to be one of the ways to raise money and the time. and the marcus garvey
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experience and that they came from jamaica and not an american citizens and then to still have a charter in jamaica that the klan was the shadow government so he didn't see a way for them to negotiate and say we go back to the continent of africa. but part of this is embracing other people in the diaspora and understanding and why it's important and also being from
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grenada my blacks just in the united states are from africa and then the parallel garvey looking for a black people zone piece of land and their space where there is no encroachment. and then to the elisha mohammed and to establish a piece of land in the us. and for black people with the republic of new africa. and then to expire so tell us
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how malcolm's father died. >> he is working and outside that evening he was running back and had forgotten his coat and then he fell on the tracks where a streetcar went over him in lansing. there were other witnesses who saw it. and he knew he wouldn't survive this. and to let them know. and then family is not far
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away. so will fred who was 12 years old when they get the knock on the door and then to identify and then when they come back and listening to say what happened and i will leave that for people to read but that is will fred's account and malcolm was sleeping at the time. the like i have already read
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but this is tragic for all the different reasons. and now to step up to be man of the house at 12 and after. when he was making some money and also was tragic about this news just before that because the white neighbors had an issue with black neighbors what they found is the deed to the land stated should not be given to the black people. >> and with american apartheid. with that entire black we are
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not asking for handouts to do this and this is how that story is. even when infected and the word burn the house down and run them off the land so this happened not long before rural is killed. but malcolm's belief is that again, remember they were just affected already tension with white neighbors and black families and to say yes we got that nigger even though wasn't. that wasn't a huge jump to accept that with his father's
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death as opposed to being an accident. >> that is with the kkk or whatever chapter variation of that. >> so i am moving along. he goes up in east lansing his mother is struggling with the help of her older children and at some point it becomes too much and she is ordered into the state mental hospital. >> that is another trauma for the family. >> it is so traumatic the father dies in 1931 and she also just had a baby. and with another person so it was a lot for her to take care of and to make and's meet and
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the neighborhood families and doing this time talking about how she's going to make and this is what people do you going to make ends meet? i guess you're not going to make it then you're not sure why they are helping. and never even had a chance to mourn her husband. and then to take care of the family. is some of them are older it is so hard.
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