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tv   [untitled]    February 26, 2012 2:00pm-2:30pm EST

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on in the world. there's a lot of freedoms being threatened. think about it. here we go. ♪ we who believe in freedom cannot rest ♪ ♪ we who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes ♪ >> now carol and i will sing theers ises, and when it's your turn, come in nice and strong. ready? >> whenever you are. ♪ until the killing of black men, black mother's sons ♪ ♪ is as important as the killings of a white man ♪ ♪ a white mother's son ♪ we who believe in freedom cannot fail ♪ ♪ no, no ♪ we who believe in freedom cannot rest ♪ ♪ you know that which touches me most is that i had the chance ♪ ♪ to work with people passing on to others ♪ ♪ that which was passed on to
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me ♪ ♪ to me young people come first ♪ ♪ they have the courage of where we failed ♪ ♪ and if i could put chance of light to carry us through again ♪ ♪ we who believe in freedom cannot rest ♪ ♪ say you like you know it now ♪ we who believe in freedom cannot rest ♪ ♪ struggling myself don't mean a whole lot ♪ ♪ i've come to realize that teaching others to stand and fight ♪ ♪ is the only way to survive ♪ a woman speaks in a voice and i must be heard ♪ ♪ at times i could be quite difficult ♪
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♪ won't bow to no man's word ♪ we who believe in freedom cannot rest ♪ ♪ no, no, no ♪ we who believe in freedom cannot rest ♪ ♪ one more time now ♪ we who believe in freedom cannot rest ♪ ♪ i believe ♪ i believe ♪ i believe ♪ we who believe in freedom cannot rest ♪ [ applause ] >> so the message of that song reinforces the readings that we did on women and the civil
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rights movement. this is obviously giving praise to a sort of a neglected figure, but who was really a central person for the civil rights movement. and, you know, it just shows the contribution that women made to the movement. particularly sncc. just a couple of questions to ponder. i don't necessarily want you to answer these questions now but you're certainly free to do so. how has the relationship between mass media and journalism and popular music changed since the 1960s, and how can studying the civil rights movement help us better understand the continuing significance of race in today's u.s. politics and society? those are a couple of questions to ponder. i hope you've been pondering them. and i just wanted to show you just a brief and incomplete selection of all of the music
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that was connected to the social movements of the 1960s, the counter culture, the civil rights movement, the student movement. these are all appeals to the conscience of the listener. as i said, it's an incomplete list. i've got some of them in bold face. those are -- those happen to be motown artists. i have a special interest in motown music. nevertheless, that gives you an idea of some of the songs we just heard. many of them songs one can still hear on the radio today. so that is pretty much all i have in the way of songs, and we do have a little over between 15 and 20 minutes and i wonder if you have any questions out of all of that vast array, way too much material that was in the
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presentation, but any questions you have about any of the particular artists or the challenges of trying to understand popular music or popular song in the immediate context of the moment of its creation and what's happening in terms of the events of the civil rights movement. yes, matt. >> in the very beginning of the presentation when you talked about ghana and king visiting ghana and the interpens movement. how much did the independent movement have like an effect on africa and the civil rights movement in the u.s.? >> well, there were definite connections at least in the minds of certainly african-americans who were struggling for freedom in the united states. if you look there is a study of the montgomery bus boycott by a historian named stuart burns, and he talks about how people involved in the montgomery
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movement were following the developments, the nationalist movement in the gold coast colony. that was the british colony before it became the independent country of ghana. so there was this awareness that africans and their nationalist movements were moving faster, that africans were about to gain their freedoms before african-americans could ride on a bus and take any seat they wanted or, you know, eat at an integrated lunch counter. and sncc made this connection as a way of criticizing the slow pace of change in the united states. they said that all of africa would be free before we could get a hamburger and a cup of coffee. and, of course, sncc in the end was much more about integrating the lunch counters in the south. they were for voting rights, you know, and for educational
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opportunity. they were for political independence. so people were making those connections and kwame had studied in the united states and met african-american civil rights activist and invited many of them to the independence ceremony in ghana. so there were these connections, and they do go back even before the civil rights movement. world war ii was a major moment of alliances between african-american civil rights organizations like the naacp and west and southern african nationalist movements. that's the story for another lecture. >> yes, meredith? >> was the charles mingus song, was that opposition to what was going on, or was it opposition to it? >> yeah, that was condemning the whole crisis in little rock. you realize that here are nine children just trying to go to
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school, and they're being kept out of the school by angry white mobs and the national guard, the arkansas national guard deployed by governor faubus, and this was a major international crisis. it comes a few months after the independence of ghana. louie armstrong is also known for speaking out angrily during the little rock crisis. he faulted president -- not only faubus, but armstrong called faubus an uneducated plow boy, you know, in the press. this was reported, and he said it's getting so a colored man -- to give the usage that he gave back then -- hasn't got any country, a he said that the government can go to hell. this is a very strong statement from someone like louis armstrong, who was seen as a symbol of african-american
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contentment, shall we say. so mingus was speaking out very forcefully against faubus and other segregationists. he actually included eisenhower in his litany of condemnation. yes? >> i have a question about that. didn't eisenhower, like, send in troops to the protect the little rock nine? so like why is he saying that eisenhower is a segregationist as well? >> well, eisenhower was known for not supporting the brown decision. he was known for sympathizing with the south in terms of its resistance to desegregation. but in the end, the embarrassment -- the little rock crisis gained international headlines. the picture that you've seen of elizabeth eckford walking to school with people shouting abuse at her, that was broadcast all over the world. this was a time during the cold war where the united states was trying to present itself
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internationally as the leader of the free world. well, how can you be credible in claiming you're the leader of the free world when you're practicing jim crowe and where you have mobs trying to keep children from attending school? so eisenhower, in consultation with the state department, decided that this had to stop, so he sent in federal troops to do this. but eisenhower was not known as in support of segregation. he appointed chief justice earl warren to the supreme court. he was very angry warren ended up presiding over this unanimous decision, overturning plessy and overturning -- rendering school segregation unconstitutional. but ironically, it was during eisenhower's administration, a republican administration, that the first civil rights law was passed in many, many years since reconstruction. but eisenhower and the
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republican party -- well, i shouldn't say this totally. there were some pro-civil rights republicans back then, but certainly after the civil rights act was passed in 1964, the republican party became the party of opposition to civil rights. >> you talked a lot about how communism and black civil rights are kind of grouped together. i don't really see the connection between them and how they went about that. >> after world war ii, everybody thought that if we won the war, you know, and people thought african-american and civil rights activists, both black and white, thought of the war as a sort of double "v" campaign. victory overseas against fascism, and victory here against racism and jim crowe. and people just thought that if
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we won the war, then because the war had discredited racism as a national policy. the fight against hitler and fascism was a fight against racism. so racism was really sort of delegitimized during world war ii. what happened with the end of world war ii and then the onset of the cold war was it gave segregationists, it gave the white south a reason, a way of demonizing the civil rights movement, of demonizing the cause of desegregation by equating it with all of the things that they've hated and feared. communism, race mixing, you know, black music, all these things. it gave the white south sort of a new intellectual and political lease on life to justify maintaining the system of segregation because they were equating trying to -- they were equating massive resistance with
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the fight against communism. so they were finding common ground with the national security policy of the united states. you know, during the cold war, people, you know, would be susceptible to propaganda of showing dr. king at a meeting of organizers and labeling the meeting, this is a communist training school. people were very susceptible to this sort of thing. so the segregationist south, the white south, used cold war anti-communism to justify maintaining the system and to, as i said, demonize the civil rights movement and the naacp. you've seen from the timeline, there's a massive legislative and political attempt to discredit the naacp and to discredit the cause of desegregation.
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i hope that -- i mean, that's a really complicated question. we could talk more about it, but that's just, i guess, a start. allison? >> what was jimi hendrix trying to say with his "star spangled banner?" >> i was wondering that myself. what kind of political statement is hendrix making? i can sort of appreciate it on the artistic level. you know, he's sort of doing an on mat peaic version, you know, the bombs bursting in air, and he's doing all these sound effects and all, but what do you think? what kind of statement do you think he's making? anti-war? pro-war? patriotic? okay. emma and then steve -- jack, sorry. sorry about that.
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>> i think that he's kind of making, like, an anti-war message because, i don't know, just the whole sound of it sounds kind of violent. yeah, he esplaging the "star spangled banner" but he's playing it in such a way that alludes to the violence and the chaos of remember and he even included part of "taps" in there. i remember hearing that and that even alludes to the war even more. >> okay. so anti-war. jack? >> i know jimi hendrix was definitely against the war because he was actually in the army. then he lied and said he was actually a homosexual in order to get discharged from the army, he was definitely not for the war. >> yeah. i'm glad that you mentioned that because he was an ex-serviceman because that was something that i had meant to say.
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yeah, i mean, it's kind of hard to see it as anything but being critical of the war. but the fact that he's playing "the star spangled banner" at this rock concert where no doubt many other anti-war views and songs are being performed. i just wonder, why would he play -- even though he's certainly altering, you know, experimenting with the tune, why would he play the national anthem? but bear in mind that in those days, if you played the national anthem in any -- if you didn't play it straight, if you used it sort of as a platform for political expression, you could get in big trouble. it would be interesting to see how that was received by the mainstream press. i know jose feliciano performed the national anthem at a world series game or something in the 1960s.
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he gave it a very sort of latino flavor. people were outraged. so how do to you that to the national anthem? you get a sense of how people's notions of national and cultural identity were hostile to any kind of notions of cultural, multi-culturalism or cultural differences. any other questions? we still have some time. oh, i'm sorry. >> that's okay. going back to the slide that had the notice about not playing black records, do you think that it was just the fact that they were african-american artists, or was it the fact that rock and roll was starting to come into play with artists like chuck berry and that was all very provocative when it came to music?
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>> yeah. i think it was certainly the fact that it was black artists, but i think what was really scaring the, i guess, the city fathers of the white south was that at these rock 'n' roll showers, bear in mind, you know, in the south, and you know this from having read ann moody, these public gatherings were supposed to be segregated. in the movies, the whites are in the mezzanine. the blacks are in the balcony. at these concerts, what they would do is they would run a tape down the middle of the auditorium, and whites are supposed to stay on one side, blacks on the other, or they would just be, you know, totally segrega segregated. white-only events, et cetera. so people really thought that black music, rock 'n' roll, was transgressing those social boundaries. that's one of the points i was trying to make. i think it was maybe in the text, but i don't know if i really gave full voice to it in the presentation.
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music, popular music, through the radio dissemmation and radio and television and to some extent in public performances, really transgressed the kinds of rigid racial and social boundaries that the segregationist south was so deeply committed to maintaining at all costs. so it wasn't just that it was black music. it was really in some ways a kind of unacknowledged campaign for the hearts and minds of white southern youth. i mean, if you think about youth who grew up in the south, who came of age during the civil rights movement and during this era of the music, i would gather that they have a very different way of looking, generally. i mean, you know, if we were to generalize, of looking at the issue of civil rights than say the generation older than them and perhaps even the generation younger.
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part of it had to do with being alive during this tremendous moment of political and social and cultural change. but part of it had to do with the saturation of all this music. the music just awakens in people a new image of african-americans. associating african-americans with one's own leisure, one's own recreation. and to some extent, i do think that the entertainers were sort of on the front lines of segregation, and you go back and you look at stories of people like nat king cole, who was assaulted while performing in birmingham at an all-white gathering. some klansmen objected to him singing a love song directed to some woman or something. he was physically assaulted during the performance.
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i mean, it's really -- you can sort of see how the image of african-americans as equals, as dignified and talented can really sort of challenge a lot of, you know, white supremacist assumptions. any other questions? well, it does appear that we are at the end of our time. you probably have classes you need to get to. so thank you all for taking part in this taping. i'd like to thank c-span for being here. i'd like to thank members of the c-span audience for hearing the presentation. thank you very much.
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you're watching american history tv. 48 hours of people and events that help document the american story. all weekend every weekend on c-span 3. hosted by our time warner cable partner, american history tv recently visited beaumont, texas, to explore the history and literary culture of a city where the oil industry in texas got its start. for more information on our tour of six south central cities this year, visit c-sp >> we're in courtroom number one which was the courtroom in which judge lamar cecil presided i think 1954 through '58. in this courtroom he made two decisions with respect to desegregation in beaumont. there had been the famous case
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brown versus the board of education which ordered the designificantgation of public schools, ruled that separate but equal was not constitutional. so based on that, there were people around the united states challenging the jim crow segregation system. like americans were barred from hotels and restaurants and cafes, libraries and golf courses. and in beaumont, texas, black golfers were barred from playing at the terrell park public golf course in beaumont, it was a municipal golf course. black americans, black beaumonters could work there. they could caddy there. they could play there when the course was closed, but because of their color, because of jim crowe's segregation, they were not permitted to play there when the course was open. there were six black golfers who put together a challenge to that
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segregation, booker face, joe griffin, bill narsis, johnny parker, johnny ware and earl white. those six black golfers wanted to challenge that segregation system at terrell park, and they joined with three black lawyers, two young lawyers from beaumont, theo johns and elmo willard who had just graduated from howard university in washington, and then a black lawyer from dallas, hugh simpson tate, who was the naacp lawyer for texas. and they put together a lawsuit against the city of beaumont. it was booker faison versus elmo beard versus the city of beaumont. that was in the summer of '55. and in order to set up the case, several of them went out to the golf shop at the terrell, offered to pay their money.
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they were refused, and so they got the case set up like that. and then after they set up the case, then johns and willard and tate filed the suit papers in beaumont, challenging the fact that they were not permitted to play the terrell because of their color. and the new judge, he had just been appointed recently, was lamar cecil. and so judge cecil had to handle this new case that was coming in. johns and willard and tate argued this case in the courtroom here. they brought the plaintiffs and the defendants together, and judge cecil presided at his bench. and they argued that the case of brown versus board of education did apply to the golf course, even though it was an education
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and school course. he ruled in favor of the black plaintiffs. he said that brown versus the board of education does apply to this golf course and he ordered the desegregation of the terrell golf course. that was one small step that was taken here in beaumont to begin the desegregation. booker faison and joe griffin and those other black gentlemen did get to enjoy the golf course, and many of them played here for many years. it was a good ending for the black golfers and a first step in the desegregation of facilities in beaumont. the next summer, the same three black lawyers went after a bigger prize. they went after the desegregation of lamar university here in beaumont, a state university four-year college. lamar university was by charter for white students only. though there were some black students applied for admission there. they were refused. and so the three black lawyers joined with three black
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plaintiffs, versy jackson, a 26-year-old woman who had graduated from high school and who had attended texas southern, and then a james anthony cormier, a black student who had just graduated from blessed sacrament high school here in beaumont. it was a fairly simple case for judge cecil and the lawyers, again brown versus the board of education, was about the public schools, but there had been other state colleges already desegregated in texas. so the precedents were there for judge cecil, and when it was all said and done, judge cecil ruled in favor of the black students just before registration began, and about 25 black students enrolled at lamar college that -- that fall and began classes.
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there was some trouble on the lamar campus. there were pickets. there were white people who protested this desegregation who were opposed to admission of black students to lamar college. there was a threat of violence against the mayor of beaumont, jimmy coconos, but the -- but with the help of the beaumont police department and the lamar administration, the desegregation did go forward, and it was accomplished without any serious violence. so as we know later in other parts of the american south, there were serious -- very serious problems and violence on some of the campuses, but at lamar university, it was accomplished and it was accomplished with these black lawyers and the white federal judge, judge lamar cecil. working the rule of law, a rule of law that presumes the equality of all persons.
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>> louisiana governor bobby jindal is scheduled to reveal his proposal for balancing the fiscal budget for year to date, a budget $900 million in the read. in shreveport now, it's mostly cloudy and 37 degrees at the airport. 38 at barksdale and 38 in mendon. you're listening to shreveport news radio 710. >> next weekend book tv and -- and then a look at the over 200,000 books of the john nobel smith collection housed at the lsu shreveport archives and then a walking tour of shreveport with neil johnson, and on american history tv on c-span 3, sunday at 5:00 p.m. eastern,


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