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tv   Race Class Politics in Modern Atlanta  CSPAN  March 24, 2018 10:35am-12:06pm EDT

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university professor maurice hobson talks about his book, "the legend of the black meccam politics and class in the making in which hetlanta" looks at the history of atlant'' is black community from the 1970's to the 1990's. the atlanta history center hosted this event. >> good evening. i am the president of the atlanta history center and i wanted to welcome you tonight to this lecture featuring dr. maurice hobson. this is made possible i generous support -- by generous support. dr. hobson will be discussing "the legend of the black mecca in politics and class in the making of modern -- he uses oral
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histories to explore the history of black atlanta. thexplores particularly poor and destitute. it tells a intra-racial history of atlanta the details class tensions in the modern era of modern urban south. book explores how ideology and the institutional nature of the black mecca factored in atlanta becoming a world-class city. dr. hobson is a associate professor of african american studies. he has cultivated a new lens for analysis cultivated the new black south which examines how policies they came out of the civil rights movement transformed the american south. please join me in welcoming dr. maurice hobson. [applause] >> good evening.
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please permit me time to set up my computer. it is a pleasure to be here tonight. to thank the staff of the atlantic history center for this opportunity. im and high cotton being here at the history center -- i am in high cotton being here at the history center. i'll be presenting some words from my book. i want to share something with you about the title of the book. initially, when the book was impressed at the university of north carolina, there were conversations around changing the title. one of the things i told the editors -- i do not think that is fair because atlanta is a unique place. if you say the myth of the black , that would make
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it impossible for me to live in the city. as a result, i made it the legend because i'm a former college athlete and when i get back with my guys from college in terms of the football guys get together, even though we tell the truth about stories, if we embellish it just a little bit, it is a better story. one of the stories we talk about is my senior year of college we --yed the university of peyton manning was there and i was running around and i got out of bounds but the story i tell is i jumped over 20 volunteers and dove into the end zone. we know that is not true but it sounds better. one of the things we're going to discuss is that there is some truth to this. there is truth to every legend. at some point, it is embellished.
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history is a weapon. with a interdisciplinary approach, black history's focus on the major issues involved in these daddy of -- in the study of world black experience. both the objective and subjective issues. ,tudied and interpreted wisely it can help defend, inspire, protect, and unified. if history is ignored, forgotten, or misconstrued, a can impart be a miseducation of people that will have them going to the back door when they are permitted to go to the front. all of our studies, history is so very important, not only because it is a vital means to the solution of many of the problems but because it is at
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its heart and soul, a aspect of liberation. a major aspect in my development as a scholar activist is speech in public history. perhaps public history and services more of a spirit and historical scholarship as part of a larger scope that sees academic and nonacademic entities as components of the public at large. my interest as a scholar activist is guided by commitment to the preservation and dissemination of black heritage, history and culture in particular. as a servant of history, i strive to construct the context where the public has the
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opportunity to produce critical knowledges that enable them to become critical citizens. itrganize my service so provides the public with the opportunity to challenge, explore, and construct relationships between personal relationships, and public policy. in this, the world is our classroom and our classroom is the world. 17-year-old maurice hobson. friend's 1977t cutlass supreme. , grew up in selma, alabama home of the golden rights act of in 1994, a group from atlanta outcast dropped their first album and i would city, blastinghe outcast from the backseat
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because my friend's car had a a wreck player. to me, this was rebel music. is spoke to serious things i thought the music was exceptional and we will talk about that later. 1995, was the first time i was able to meet outcast. 5, 1995 marks the 30th celebration of the bloody sunday. a concert in selma and i had a opportunity to interact and i thought it was the coolest thing in the world. i went on to college that a label spoke and in similar fashion and discussed -- gave some interesting context about atlanta's be rise to olympic city.
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it may be become critical about how we understand the urban south -- it made me become critical about how we understand the urban south. the bbb doo-wop -- web dubois. in 1990, the international olympic committee selected atlanta, georgia as the host for the olympics. achievement signaled a moment for a southern city that only 25 years before had reeled from urban rebellions. they took to the streets to air grievances over poor living conditions. nearly two decades had passed since he had ascended to the mayor's office thanks to a coalition.
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winning the right to host the olympics, atlanta had scored a tremendous public relations victory. flashed the nickname, marketed by the atlantic convention bureau and different trade administration's to lay claim atlanta had outgrown its status, transcending the region and history, after a massive intervention or reinvention. it had arrived at the newest and most modern world-class international city. the fruits of this success were not and have never been shared equal. poor blacks had benefited little of the events from the previous two decades. atlanta's poor and working-class reaped few rewards from the re-creation of atlanta leading up to the olympics as black and white political and business elites perfected the new image for world consumption, they
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remain trapped by poverty and neglect, the divide the between the black elite and the black poor that has always driven atlanta's social fabric had become inseparable. pursued policies that benefited the elites to the exclusion of the vast majority of citizens of that had brought them to power. this examines these contradictions as they deepen over the course of the 20th century history. through archival research, oral interviews, and musical analysis, it will demonstrate blackected and appointed kingmakers capitalized on the electorate to rise to power only to diaper -- diver policies away from the rank-and-file. they had to play politics. it was necessary to do so. -- contradictions are small
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the contradictions of a small black elite represent a ongoing effect seen as a result of the centennial olympia. if you are alive and well and you pay attention to social media, i'm sure you have seen a onslaught of hashtags such as #wakanda. in recent days, i'm sure you will see a lot more the future, the conservative critics have attempted to discredit this film , "black panther" and cannot understand why black people are so moved by what whites perceive as a fiction is destination -- fictitious destination and his policies protected from racism. these critics miss the point and are ignorant to the fact that
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black communities in the americas are all contrived. communities forced upon our people at the hands of ,apitalism, where africans unknowing of the vastness of the different ethnic nations, forced to come together under oppression, combined all of these practices to create blackness. let's insert atlanta. atlanta's notoriety as the black mecca is based on three things -- black economics. black political empowerment in electoral politics. panther"he film "black has forced the black world to have conversations, the legend of the black mecca does so as well. dge in this that
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atlanta represents the highest achievements in this country for more than a country. cultivates counterpoint black narratives as the city rose, to closer to the present by tapping under narratives. this is w.e.b. dubois. upon coming to atlanta, he noticed the hustle and bustle of the city and this is what he he said they ever atlanta turned toward the future and that future held aloft, atlanta, gateway to the land of the sun, atlanta, the new legacies which means the
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measurement for success. the city crowned her hundred hills with factories and stretch waves to greet the busy mercury and the nation talked of her striving. he presents atlanta as a unique place for black coat, a spirited place, a opportunity coming out of the new south where black folk could be in charge. began to look closely and he compares atlanta to a greek goddess that would only marry a man they could beat her in a foot race. men would come to win her hand in marriage. she would defeat them and they would be put to death. and he wants to marry her so he goes to a old scribe and says, what can i do so i can win her hand in marriage? he says why don't you lay three golden apples along the course? i was suggest someone brought
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them together and they got to the starting line and they shot the gun. this is what he writes -- she fled like a saddle -- shadow paused. andhovered over the second flew over the river fell and hill. as she leaned over the third, his arms fell around her and looking on each other, the blaze of their love proclaimed the sanctuary of their love and they were cursed. he writes something that is incriminating. he says if atlanta need not be named for her, it ought to a big end because it has been distracted i agreed and -- by greed and not morality. i love this city, i happen to live in the city.
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one of the things i often talk about is it is ok to be critical of things you love. said, i want to set things straight before we move forward. i realize there are historians in the room so i have to talk history for a second. speaks to several different his story opera for use in terms of the history of black education, the civil rights movement, and the new african-american urban history, cultural resistance, and class formation and stratification. it embodies several theoretical economy,s, political neil liberalism and the culture of poverty. now that i've laid out that i'm not just appear talking, let's get to it. jess just up here talking, let's just up here
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talking, let's get to it. storiesme, we hear where atlanta is positioned as a civil rights battleground. was a partng, this of how we understood the american south. in americanngs history are based on two things. the first is the civil acts rate of 1964 which grants equal protection under the law coming out of birmingham, which grants citizenship. the second is the voting rights act of 1965, coming out of soma , which grants universal suffrage. those two pieces of legislation create a new movement called the black south which is something we have to pay attention to because it is that kind of
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movement which produces in atlanta a black mecca. i want to fast forward a little bit. this is a picture of maynard jackson, you can see it says, the king of the south. family forl to his giving me pictures for this manuscript. this is a picture of him on the day he becomes the first lack man of the city -- black man of the city. he was a fifth generation georgian. his grandfather was the founder of a baptist church. his maternal grandfather was the unofficial mayor. he was on the board of trustees and raise money for the college. interesting is he had
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six daughters and all of them get masters degrees and his own mother receives a phd in french from the university of toulouse. he came from a influential family but they are not rich. maynard jackson graduates from high school and enters morehouse college. sogoes to boston law school he ends up going to durham law school and it is there he meets bunny hayes who becomes bunny jackson. what you see here is the day he is elected. there is a interesting story. in 1968, maynard and bunny had a daughter why the name of brooke. they took her to north carolina to show off the baby to the mother. he comes back to tell them he is
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not interested in running for political office. robert kennedy is assassinated so he decides he is going to run for the u.s. senate. that is interesting. the family was one of the greatest southern oligarchs. he decided to do so without speaking -- without seeking the atlantaent of the voters league which had been founded by his grandfather. so, he crossed the butk political kingmakers in his senatorial race, he wins the city of atlanta but he loses greatly within the state. it becomes clear he can carry votes. to be9, without going black political kingmakers, he
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decides he's going to run for vice mayor and he is able to win. 1973,ets a course that in he runs against the first jewish mayor in the city and he wins and he becomes the first black mayor. he does all this without ever asking his wife and it dissolves their marriage. one of the things she will say about his -- about him is that his ministry was politics. she recognized there was something unique about him in this way. there are four things made or did that were useful. five things, i am sorry. he worked against crime. he brought levels down. .e expanded sparta he gave 35% of all city contractors -- before him, black contractors received about .1%.
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he expanded the hartfield airport. this becomes a major hub for the world and he creates the neighborhood planning units in city neighborhoods which allowed for black people to come for -- to come to the table when urban gentrification took place. there are things which made him questionable in the black community. the first was the firing of the sanitation workers which one of the things that becomes clear is that there was a difference between activism and governing. as mayor, there were some quagmires taking place and he felt the union was trying to use them as a pawn. thesecond was the belief of atlantaing of the merge.
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-- atlanta child murders. there are a lot of folk discussing the murders but they have not grappled with a lot of the issues that are pertinent. mayor, --ond term as his second term as mayor marked the beginning of the darkest chapter in the city's history. tremendous crimes were being committed against atlanta's most vulnerable, the black youth. murdered.ere being surrounding the missing children were questions that remain that was how it played out in the public. this would prove to be a case tensionsial class
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boiled over within atlanta' is black communities. it demonstrates how popular sentiment toward jackson shifted from championing the cause of the working poor toward championing atlanta's commercial international branding. when you go into the papers, one of the things you noticed during this time is that every tuesday, jackson would be out of the city. carter'sok at jimmy papers, his name would show up in washington, d.c. it was believed he would go up and argue with president carter to lose federal funding to solve the murderers. -- solve be careful the murders. he had to be careful about how he moved. no's -- oneof the of the most notorious images of atlanta. this is taken from one of the
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banks that was presented as reward money. muhammad ali found this to be despicable that there was only $100,000 and gives $400,000 because he felt something needed to be done. publicly, we know that the atlanta child murders took place between 1979 and 1981 and there were 29 or 30 victims. suggests it takes place from 1975 to 1985 and there are more than 200 victims. if you have the opportunity to read the book you will see what i mean. by and large, the conversation around the murders was something that was particularly unique because atlanta city hall deemed a lot of these children as hustlers and runaways. when this was done, black atlanta bristled. with all the speculation on what happened to the victims of the
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atlanta child murders, a distillation of all the known , interviews with the mothers, police, and other community members about the victims, this compiles accurate data to demonstrate that most of these victims, in fact, were harmless children running errands or doing odd jobs. want to give you some examples. of -- yusuf, at the age of his death he was nine years old. he died at as fix the nation. his hustle was that he earned spending money. he was last seen on a tobacco run for an elderly neighbor. many of us that grew up in communities, that was one of the things were of the convenience
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store new your next-door neighbor like cigarettes, they would give you the cigarettes because they knew you were taking them back to the elder. the conditions upon his death was that he lived with his mother, brother, and sister in an apartment and was noted to be a math and science wizard enrolled in a school for gifted children. did he seem like a hustler or run away? another example. age 14 at his death. he was last seen on january 3, 1981. his body was found on february 5, 1981. his death was by sexy asian -- his death was by asphixiation. it was said he invested his christmas money. abductionty at his was he was seen selling air fresheners. andived with his parents
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four siblings and a modest two bedroom home in southwest atlanta. he was the youngest of five children. doesn't seem like he was a hustler? no. there is an element of hustle here. let's take clifford jones. at the time of his death he was 13. he was last seen in 1980. his body was found on august 21, 1980. his death was by strangulation. his hustle was that he earned spending money by scouring lots -- lots with friends for redeemable cans and bottles. he would hang out at a laundromat that was known to be a lie is on -- a liason for pedophiles. there was some type of abuse that would go on in this laundromat and he were -- he threatened to report the manager of the laundromat.
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the manager tells him that if you do not be quiet, i will joke you. a scout -- i will choke you. a scuffle ensues. a child witnesses all of this and tells his grandfather. the police show up at the laundromat and they see this body. the laundromat manager fails two polygraph tests, but they drop all charges. what this suggests to black atlanta is there was a conspiracy afoot. they were not interested in finding this particular killer. moving on, we will get back to that in a second. here is young, former u.s. ambassador, standing with jimmy carter. andrew young was a lieutenant for dr. king, a he served as a congressman, served as u.s. , stepped down while talking to the palestinian
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organization. in 1981 anded mayor 1985. might as mayor was that he had good interaction with the white business elite. urban renewal and gentrification became a major piece of his platform, and securing the 1988 democratic national convention and the olympics were part of his tenure as mayor. he had no plan for a working poor. many felt he had no respect for the cultural preservation of atlanta's black history. ist is interesting in this that as mayor young moved into his mayorship, ronald reagan had taken about 80% of federal
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dollars out of the city, which forced mayor young to use his u.n. contacts to get the rest of the world to invest in the city. what we begin to see our neoliberal politics that begin to play out. i want to play something for you guys. pay attention to what you see. >> the international olympic committee has awarded the 1996 olympic games to the city of atlanta. [applause]
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>> the announcement is in. atlanta, georgia, will be the site of the 1996 summer olympics. here in atlanta, you can see mayor jackson and mayor young just thrilled. september 18, 1990, was 95 years to the day that booker t. washington gave a speech at the atlanta compromise. it was 80 years short of the atlanta race riot. there's a lot going on at this particular time. theme for atlanta's olympic dream was spawned in 1975 when a player from the munich games set
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i believe atlanta can host the olympics. what happens is jackson is interested in this and he calls on his friend at coca-cola and austin brings together the most prominent businessmen in atlanta and they vote a resounding no. we do not want the olympics. what they saw was that the 1972 summer games in munich were marred by israeli athletes and coaches that were massacred by 1996 gamesimpending in montreal presented 30 years of debt where most of the sovereign nations in africa boycotted because they felt canada was complicit with south africa's apartheid. the 1980 games in moscow, there was a u.s. led boycott. terror and debt become the issues.
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what we are talking about is cold war politics playing out through the olympics. , this gentleman here, peter guber off -- peter uberoff says he will make los angeles the olympic city. in 1970 eight, los angeles was the only city to bid for the 1984 olympic games. was time ton compete for it, but there was a people, so los angeles becomes the only city. angeles olympic organization was created, a committee of more than 150 members that brainstormed ideas and solve problems that occurred. his method to crowd the los angeles chamber of commerce to sponsor the games -- it changed how cities presented bids for the olympics. credited with the
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creation of the olympic sponsor program, thus the los angeles games were the first privately funded olympics, closing out the games with $250 million in surplus money. atlanta is paying attention to this. in 1987, thiss, gentleman on the right approaches mayor young and says i think atlanta can host the olympics. the lord told me that this is god's work. thought that he was talking over young's head. what he did not know was that andrew young had long had an affinity for the olympics. him to father had taken the theater in new lines -- in new orleans to see jesse owens beat the nazis. his father also served as a dentist for boxers training for the olympics.
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young had grown up understanding the lipids and what was going on. what happens in this is young then makes a statement that says we can help atlanta's children if we do so. his wife had served as the chairwoman for the international year of the child. what happens with this is when this becomes a part of the olympic movement, and we see the oncoming of the democratic national convention in 1988, the city of atlanta creates the georgia amateur athletic atlanta playsere hosts to 40 amateur athletic competitions. groupe the hospitality called the crazy atlanta nine, and once the olympic movement is presented to atlanta's citizens, the olympic you seen -- dealing fake meth she was seen at being at -- the olympic machine was seen as being at full throttle.
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all of africa, the caribbean, south america and asia voted for atlanta to win the bid in the final vote because they were paying a marsh to how they -- they were paying homage to how they felt young had been treated at the united nations. jackson is then forced to become mayor again. i'm not clear on this. i do not have documentation to prove this. i'm not sure if he was pushed to be mayor because he knew politics or because he wanted to be mayor again. conversation, if you read the book you will see the conversation where michael lomax jumps out there and jackson runs for his third term, he runs unopposed, basically. williams comes in at the last minute, he felt that democracy was useless if there is only one candidate. when jackson gets back in
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office, he pushes his affirmative action plan. he realizes if he does not do this, black people will lose out on the olympics. he uses policies to make sure that black contractors receive the money. you also have the direction of the atlantic -- of the atlanta ing, thend the olympic ran business leaders to an invisible line around the city, we will talk about that in a minute. you also see the atlanta visitors bureau that gave about $160 million to olympic housing under the auspices they may give it to the poor and homeless. it may become an opportunity for low income housing. we see the creation of the atlanta project by jimmy carter. some of this meant well, but it did not show up on the ground. what becomes particular in this is that much of the black community saw the olympics as
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being a tool to take that downtown atlanta for development. saw as thef them motives of the white business elite dictated black political power, creating what they felt were black topic governments. tothe decades leading up 1990, you and 70,000 people displaced as a result of this. tot we also see is from 1974 1984, 74% of the federal funding was cut. we are 30 years into a 40 year gentrification period and we are talking about the line. i'm going to show you something. see, i'mare about to going to let the word speak for themselves. you're about to see the founder of the national domestic workers union.
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anyone who knows anything about dorothy bowden, she was one of those women you did not talk back to. when presidents and mayors would see her coming, she would duck. she championed her national domestic workers union. she was an advocate for nine months school years for children , and advocate for housing. she is going to be asked a question about a bond referendum and i'm just going to let her talk. some of the issues that you are fighting against? >> i'm fighting issues like imposing on people. i knew the referendum wasn't going anywhere. >> what you think is bad about the bond referendum? this is part of the money
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going to the olympics. you knew when you got the olympics you would not finance -- the city was not in the conditioned to accept it. [indiscernible] thanking god, he better go back and search again. been in this thing since we have been coming this way. you've not seen the trouble yet. they are always plotting how to get money. is it going to take that much money to fix those bridges but it is not kind to take but a week to do it. that is business.
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it should not take that much money. you had money before the fixes. you knew what was there. everybody who comes to the city and not pay a tax on anything and move out somewhere. bring the buses in here. you will ride the poor man to death to pay this. me?you kidding you have to be sick -- you have to be thick. [indiscernible] nobody is going to take that stuff laying down. i was praying to god to make me better. i am much better. i'm going to roll up my sleeves.
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you're going to make the community what you wanted to be, we are not going to have any input? prof. hobson: i won't follow her. you heard her message. i want you to think about that analysis and i'm going to stick a pin in that and move in a different direction. i want to bring a point. in 1990, atlanta was deemed as the top city for crime in the united states. it had a total of 16,000 violent murders, 69531 and 906200 robberies aggravated assaults. over a 25 european tarot, from 1980 to 2005, -- over a 25 year
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2005, 1990m 1980 to was the high. this is when atlanta wins the olympics. in 1976, jackson founds a pr firm. the first black woman pr firm in atlanta. one day she gets a call from donald byrd. he says there is a group of musicians down in atlanta, i want you to give them a record crowd -- a record contract. do not know how to get a record contract but she knew who to call and she called clarence from capitol records. , one of you put them in the studio? she says i do not have any money to do so. clarence wires or $200. they are in the studio. clarence likes them and he signs them.
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what happens here is bonnie used used aical row -- bunny political relationship animated a professional relationship. this is the creation of the sos band, the soul and funk group that comes out of atlanta. it right, all, do kinds of hits that come out of this. this, larryof blackmon from new york city ny and says if you can do that for those country boys, i'm sure you can do something for me. cameo comes to the city and this creates atlanta as a funk sound. what is also taking place at this time is maynard jackson establishes the bureau of cultural affairs that supports the art, particularly art for atlanta. he gives grants to local artists that are interested in
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expressive art. what comes from this is jimmy carter and maynard jackson work together to give tax incentives on anyone interested in the entertainment industry. is provides a particular kind of mechanism in atlanta that produces organized noise. now we are back to where we started. organized noise is a production group that is based in atlanta and is comprised primarily of patrick brown and raymond murray. grammyoduced several artists, tlc, outcast, been on the music scene for 25 years. we are going to let them talk to you all for a second. this is an interview i conducted with them in 2015 as a part of the office of cultural affairs.
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the dynamics of it was sleepy browns father is jimmy brown -- that was a 70's funk band. he grew up on the side of the stage. most of the time we saw music performed, it was live music. the sos band, cameo, different shows he would be in. what he thought about music was making it live. was such aray murray as-hop scholar as far hip-hop before hip-hop was popular in atlanta, georgia. all the history of it. i feel like organized noise's sound is based on that, our love
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of hip-hop and our thirst for live music. together we end up coming up with our sound, which just so happen to be outcasts first album. prof. hobson: early i spoke to you about the black new south which is the political movement that comes out of atlanta and manifests itself in atlanta. and we have a conversation around the dirty south. just as the black power movement was a political movement and the black arts mute -- the black arts movement became its arm, the idea that the dirty south is the expressive arm of the new south. critique the olympicfication of atlanta. i want to do a breakdown on some of these artists. outkast were the first artists
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to make international claim based on southern aesthetics. we are talking based on southern aesthetics. met in high school in georgia. these point and the swat border. their label mates also hailed from southwest atlanta and through it started a group of willie who worked with galloway.and thomas the development of the dirty south rap music opened black atlanta to a social commentary from a generation of rap artists who lived in the underbelly, trampled over by atlanta's pursuit of a global commercial center. dirty south rap music provided a new and different lens for
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inter-race and class tensions that attended to the rise of the outkanew south, between , the two groups critiqued the city's politicians on a number of issues. to, when i play some of this, i'm going to treat this as if it is like me interacting with my moms church. there are words in this but it is not extra. i'm saying this because this is being taped. i'm going to work around that, what i want you to pay attention to what is being said. you will see the lyrics on the screen and hopefully you can follow. ♪
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>> to the far left you can see the georgia dome, which is still flying the confederate battle flag. [indiscernible] [laughter] i was trying to posit before then. -- i was trying to pause it before then. you know the plane flying in his flying from the south side of the city.
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you know that because of the points they give you. says home of the atlanta hawks, the braves, and the fount -- and the falcons, if you look to the left you will see the georgia dome. if you spend some time in the book you will see the conversation around confederate memory show up over and over again. a lot of the conversation around the modern black mecca is the same boosterism as the gone with the wind old south. atlanta has been called the new motown of the south grade if you look to your right, you will see decatur and below college park. we are talking about the militarization of the police. it presents a different kind of understanding. ♪
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prof. hobson: in this verse, the suites referred to as the first project completed on time and under budget as result of atlanta winning the olympic bid. this jail, located at peach to house theilt homeless and poor during the games. the music also hints about the corruption during the federal investigation of bribery during the olympic bid.
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during the 1993 mayoral runoff investigation called for an investigation of concession services that were suspected of giving millions in shares to city officials in return for lower rent and favorable legislation. the investigation led to the indictment of seven people, including airport businessman harold echols who pleaded guilty to having bribed two city council members. the investigation tarnished the reputation of atlanta's affirmative action program, which was the model for the nation. the lyrics also focused on policing and prison than on the corruption. however, in his state of the union address in 1994, president bill clinton proposed a heartisan bill which subsequently signed, mandating life sentences without parole for any convicted of a serious
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violent felony after two previous convictions on similar charges. the governor of georgia, through the olympic process, zell miller national press for the two strikes and you're out. this included provisions for life without parole for felons, no exceptions for violent crimes, adult punishment 14's who committed crimes, and lower -- the law had put thousands of criminals in jail. , it set the course for 28 states to pass three strikes legislation. the severity of the punishment was left to the discretion of the prosecutors. the punishment for petty criminal recidivists could result in life sentences.
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this caused the prison population to increase by 800% over the past quarter of a century, and the effect on state even greater. federal prosecutors who had run on a platform of being tough on crime made careers from the legislation that they could charge criminals with the three strikes law and send them to prison if they did not plead guilty. basically what we are talking about here is the prison industrial complex. atlanta demonized and criminalized. let's do one more. ♪
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direct conversation around the atlanta child murders and the prosecution of wayne williams. with of the williams guilty verdict, the atlanta police disbanded the task force, because of a negative outburst from the black communities. they contested the verdict. many remained convinced the murderers had not been solved. camille belle, the mother of yusuf bell, explained the judge was part of a prosecution. there was a conflict of interest. lowery stated, i don't think you will find anyone at atlanta's black community who believes wayne williams committed those murders alone. we feel there should be some continuing cooperative effort with the federal agencies. reverend joseph boone openly attacked closing of the books on the two murders and exclaimed that many people on the black area of the city were afraid a
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a killer was on the loose. there was a growing suspicion among those prayed upon by the serial killers that the jury had found the wrong man guilty or that there was not enough evidence to convict wayne williams of all the crimes. great unease remained in atlanta's black communities. was seen in the fact that atlanta lacked faith in the conviction of wayne williams, it gave way to the need to find answers and opened conspiracy theories. in particular, the mother of the missing and murdered children, wondering why someone would kill their children. an interview conducted with one of the mothers of the victims resulted in an outburst, starting that they knew wayne williams was not the killer. this is one of the actual mothers. the mother referred to as murder victim mother number one stated she had been informed that the murderer was from it prominent family in georgia, if not one of
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the richest families in georgia and they were not white people. there was an idea of the klan was killing those children. that is not a far-fetched idea. what she states is wayne williams didn't kill those children. the klan didn't kill those children. this has to do with interferon. it was used to cure cancer. it cured cancer for so-called caucasians. 30 years ago, black males were not dying every 35 minutes. or every time you look around of cancer. the most potent form of interferon is found in a black male that it never had a full ejaculation. murdered victim mother number one explained that she had seen marks on the bodies of six of the children that indicated a medical procedure. that's something else. these were echoed by dick
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gregory, who had proclaimed the same story for decades, blaming the atlanta-based center for disease control for the murders. the mother credits this information to a trip that she and gregory made together at the behest of islam leader, louis farrakhan. the nation of islam had long believed american racists had devised an evil plot to kill blacks. louis farrakhan felt compelled to take matters into his own hands. murdered victim number number one and gregory made the trip to chicago and met with louis farrakhan, where he hired a health care professional from the mayo clinic. according to the murder victim number one, it was here that both her and gregory were given this information. many saw this and see this as a conspiracy. however, the widespread belief of a cover-up made the atlantic -- may the atlanta child murder susceptible all forms of conspiracy that were believed and articulated. at the beginning of this presentation, i stated to you
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that history is based on facts, and what people think about this facts. in conclusion, history is a weapon. within interdisciplinary work -- within interdisciplinary , black history is focused on the major history is involved in the study of the world and the subjective issues of how black people think about their experience. studied and interpreted wisely, , inspire,p defend protect, and unified. if history is ignored, forgotten, or mistreated, it can be part of the people who have been going to the back door without being told to do so. of all of our studies, history is so very important. not only because it is a vital means to the cognition of and a solution to many of the problems that beset us, but because it is the heart and soul of liberation itself. what i am saying to you all is i
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started this presentations by showing a 17-year-old music that i thought was unique. what i did not understand that that point in time is that the universe allowed me to understand how i would make a contribution for my life's work as a history professor. i hope this presentation has been enlightening. i hope it has been useful. i thank you for your time. [applause] >> is this on? thank you, dr. hobson. we can take about five questions. if you guys want to line up. please make sure they are questions and not stories so we have time. afterward, i know it is really fun to try to catch him before he gets to the signing table, he is going to be at the signing table to sign books and it is a great book, so if anyone wants to come lineup for a question, he will take about five.
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>> good evening. i wanted to ask, i notice you gave a little bit of background for the children who were missing and murdered. do you have a little bit on wayne williams? prof. hobson: actually, i have quite a bit on wayne williams. i spent quite a bit of time in doing work with him. one of the things, as a scholar that i have to be careful with, is when you deal with at risk populations, you have to be careful about what you present with them. >> maybe i can be more specific. you mentioned that some of those children were good students, that they had clean hustle,
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taking out trash or whatever for the neighbors. did wayne have that kind of a background? prof. hobson: wayne williams grew up in a middle-class background. he was considered to be a genius. as a teenager, he had a radio station in his home. his mother and father were both well-educated. he was actually brilliant. from everything i know about him, i think his parents had him -- they were advanced ages when they had him. they put a lot of energy into him. he attended georgia state university. he decides that is not for him, and he does a lot of work in the entertainment industry. very smart person. wanted to be the next berry gordy and was looking to sign the next jackson five. one of the things he did that made him questionable is that he didn't always address things accurately.
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that called for him to be called into question. when you talk to attorneys about him, it is stated that if wayne williams had not taken the stand, he would have walked. he -- his character was being challenged. he exploded on the stands. that is what ended him getting convicted. >> thank you. prof. hobson: no problem. >> thanks for coming tonight. i look forward to reading your book. i am interested in the analysis you did around the olympics. a lot of talk around some of the corruption when russia won the sochi games and some of the abuses and brazil, and now we are here with the winter olympics. those of us who were here in 1990 remember when the head of the ioc made the announcement.
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i was wondering if in the book you talk about more of some of the lavish trips he had alleged to have granted some of the people and officials here in atlanta? prof. hobson: yes, i do. this is a great question. one of the things i have been fortunate to do in my career is i am a political historian. but i am an olympic historian as well. i have been able to travel to 30 international olympics cities and do studies on how cities are franchised. depending on where you are, it manifests itself differently. in the united states, race becomes the touchstone. in australia, race becomes the touchstone. te beijing it is a cas system. in rio, it was class, there were aspects of race, but there are 118 racial categorizations in
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south america. i am very familiar with brazil. i am very familiar with several trips. one of the trips i remember and write about most eloquently was in atlanta around st. patrick's day. there was this patrick's parade. there were several trips to the city that would be mentioned. they would have violins and butlers and play "georgia on my mind." a lot of that raised suspicion of corruption in terms of atlanta paying for the olympics. at the end of the day, one of the things that was uttered is that atlanta's greatest attribute is that it could host one heck of a party. i want to say this quickly. just last night, i finished a piece for atlanta magazine. 50 years since dr. king. interview, it is said that in order for atlanta to win the the bid for the olympic games, they
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had to invoke dr. king. basically, when they were in tokyo, governor joe harris was the first to speak. then billy payne spoke to the delegation. then maynard jackson's job was to speak. one of the interesting things about maynard jackson is he sometimes toyed between being a preacher and a lawyer. his grandfather was his idol who knew how to talk. he would talk about sitting down in the storm. andrew young's job was to bring it home. and they had organ music, and the black churches call the whoop. when they bring it closed and everybody comes to jesus. basically what the world saw was dr. king's dream. when atlanta wins the bid for the olympic games, it was dr. king's legacy that presents atlanta as a city that had transcended the racial history of the american south. >> thank you for the lecture. really enjoyed it.
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i am a native georgian and came to atlanta in 1976 to go to clark college. i am familiar with the history from that point forward. the question is, with all the history of atlanta, the rich history as a "black mecca" what do you see as the future of this black mecca? prof. hobson: this is a million-dollar question. i get this six ways to sunday. i get this question daily. you know, this is a unique place. this is liberated territory. a very conservative red state. historically, marginalized groups have often had to rely on federal policy to protect
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marginalized people, to right the wrongs in states that often have been noncooperative with the federal government. however, most recently, we are in uncharted waters. it is now time for marginalized people, and i mean this in the broadest sense, women, latinos, the lgbt communicable -- community, poor white people, whoever, to weaponize state policies, to protect us from what is going on in the white house. there is some serious issues here in the city. we just had the largest cheating scandal in the history of the united states. it is going to fail a lot of black children and it brings up conversation around the prison pipeline -- the school to prison pipeline. mercedes-benz just put its international headquarters north of the city, you have porsche that put its headquarters south of the city, you have amazon that has been talked about, all these different things going on. we have to pay attention to what this is.
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between 1990 and 2000, the city of atlanta grew by 22,000 people. 85% white. the suburbs grew by 2.1 million. 85% black. we begin to see the displacement of poor people who move into clayton county and we just saw toxic mayoralt elections in the history of the city where race was a major component. atlanta is known as the most inclusive city in the united states, but that would not let us be honest about what that was. future of our city rests on politicians that put people first. we have to look at policies that are inclusive. i'm not saying we should give everything away. but we have to at least look at mental health, we have to look at schools, we have to look at the things that put back into the community to make sure the next generation will actually
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have a world to live in. so, i'm interested to see what will happen with that. i have talked to politicians on all levels about this because many of them asked me the same question. technically, the debate in the field of history that states that history either repeats itself more people repeat history. we haven't figured out what that is. if you want to chart the future, you must understand the past. or as my father would say, if you want to bend the rules, you first must know the rules. i hope i answered that as best as i could. >> when is your book coming out? [laughter] prof. hobson: this is sal, sal has been a good friend. >> i'm so glad it is out. congratulations. prof. hobson: thank you. >> in your answer to the last question, kind of sets the stage for what i want to ask you about.
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it is a conflict between ad hoc policy and strategic planning. prof. hobson: yes. >> my criticism is we have had political leaders who have sought to do good through ad hoc programs, without the strategic planning behind it. prof. hobson: this is something unique. i am critical of politics and politicians. those that have -- that i have had the opportunity to talk to, eyes say i have to be critical of you, i admire this about ambassador young, he says i did what i did, so you have to write what you write we laugh about it. [laughter] prof. hobson: i don't envy politicians. there is a reason i am a professor. i say that because you take someone like mayor jackson, i think he was the kind of politician that saw beyond the curve. he understood what was going on. there is real admiration there.
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but if you take him as vice mayor in 1971 when he marches with the sanitation workers and then in 1977 when he fires them, it's an example that there is a difference between activism and governing. there are a lot of things that take place within this. i recently spoke with ambassador young. he thanked me for this book because he says you complicate this narrative. you show how difficult it was to do some things. with the conversation around what is going to take place, we really do have to think about how we are going to raise a new group of politicians that can embrace a new world, a new technology world, that can come up with solutions. as historians, we see the problems. we have to move to coming up with solutions.
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issues of water, issues of public housing, issues of poverty, issues of urban gentrification which needs to take place, but in the process of that, you have to keep in mind that these cities are supposed to keep up with the times. i hope i answered that question. >> hello. quick question. atlanta public schools desegregate. i'm a product of atlanta public schools from 1975 to 1988. the difference being now, here is my question. when i was growing up, i was part of a program where i was out of atlanta to attend middle school. withthe program dissolved atlanta public schools, kids were forced to go back to their community schools.
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the kids i grew up with that -- out ofto go to the town, they no longer have that. old, i still have all of my white friends. it felt like a utopia. the kids that are growing up now in the new atlanta are not having the same level of dialogue. what do you think can be done to improve the relationships between children who, unless they cross i-20, they don't have interaction regularly with people that don't look like them? prof. hobson: thank you for your question. this is a big question. i want to share something with you guys briefly. when i was in the seventh grade, a race war broke out in my hometown of selma, alabama and , it re-segregated schools. i did not go to school with white children from the seventh to the 12th grade. the first time i sat in a classroom with a white student was when i went to college. one of the things that came from that is all of the friends i had up until the seventh grade, i have not seen them since 1990. what i am saying to you is it
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really presented some things to where it showed us -- it took away my childhood. wendy, as you asked in that question, i begin to think about mays high school and how they opened up the kind of programs for black students to go, the iv programs in several different things. the georgia state university had the center for urban education and they are working to do that work. we have allowed for the school systems, we have allowed for charter schools and the privatization of educators. we have allowed for this to take place and we put the onus of what is going to develop our children to private corporations when at the center of our school systems, we should be responsible.
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if we want better schools, public schools, we must demand for better public schools. as i think about this, atlanta is still a segregated city. historically, the invisible racial line was ponce. everything north of ponce was white, everything south of ponce is black. but now it is i-20. we have to do a better job in bringing together programs that will allow for diverse students. it is not just black and white. it is the city, it is extremely diverse. maynard jackson high school has taken a stab at that. they have tried very well to do things that have good programs going. i do a lot of work with the fulton county march. i do a lot of work with clayton, atlanta public schools, full and county schools, in terms of
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social studies curriculum and how we can do things in terms of diversity. it is going to take our public universities and our scholars to go in and create new curriculums to engage our youth, i'm not going to say d racialized -- deracialize their minds but hopefully do some things to open their minds. i hope i answered that question. [applause] >> i would rather be a producer than a politician, especially after seeing the stress and the things that a politician has to balance. it is kind of a set up for my question. being that, as you have touched on, atlanta being a liberal city -- thenservative state
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cross around my dad's chest as he entered into his first mayorship, being expected to walk on water as my mom says in the documentary, right out of the gate. it is almost like, ok, put you on the bottom of the ocean and laden you with 100 pound weight until, ok, swim up. it's like, we have to deal with these constructions. just the fabric of the legislation in georgia, if we want to really deal with things in the city. it is like a bubble within a bubble.
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you see where i am going. even with the workers, sanitation workers, and in the missing and murdered children, my dad, with the sanitation workers, he was trying to find funds so that they wanted a raise. they said we will quit if we do not get this raise. my dad was like, you better go to work. it was like a back-and-forth kind of thing. they eventually came back to work. that is just a great example of how you kind of had to walk along the fence and try not to fall either way. as you said, he was always trying to get funds for the missing murders.
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anyway, to get to my question. you think can be done to georgiae chains of the legislation to start implementing things the city is striving for? one of the things i learned why move to georgia the second time is that the last -- the rest of the state does not like atlanta. they feel like atlanta is a city state. it is one of those things, in 2012, there was a referendum on the books to be voted on about transportation. the state voted it out. the city of atlanta was all for it. the state didn't want all the resources going to atlanta. this is the thing about where we are. i am a realist.
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there will always be suffering in the world. one of the things i can say about the state of georgia that is different than my home state of alabama, the state i grew up in, is that georgia has bent to economic pressure to try to do the best thing. in the 1990's, with the confederate battle flag that flew atop the city, and maynard jackson takes the flag down in the city because he understood that progressive olympians around the world and black athletes were not going to come to a city and play in stadiums that had a flag that was the flag of white supremacy. he understood that. and there is, you can also be a
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south hader, but then there is also gov. nathan deal who has done good work to try to bring convicted felons back into society. the strike down of the georgia religious freedom bill, which targeted in the lgbtq community. what he understood was that if we do this, this is going to cost us. the issue that mr. jackson is laying out is that we must understand what politicians are elected to do. they are elected to represent the entities in which they embody. the president of the united states is supposed to support the constitution of the united states. same thing with the state of georgia and the city of atlanta. people force, galvanized
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and force politicians to work at the behest of the people. most recently president carter made a statement about, politics now moving to being, a set of oligarchs, that run things. we have to take this back. there is power in people. i hope i answered your question. [applause] >> thank you so much. [applause] will drop tonight we the golden apple. books are 25% off. by the book and get it signed -- buy the book and get it signed. thank you so much for coming tonight.
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1968, america on in turmoil, the presidential election again with eight presidential candidates. by the end, the sitting president vowed out, robert kennedy was assassinated, television coverage was dominated by violent clashes by protesters at the democratic convention and richard nixon won a victory. joining us, at buchanan, who served under nixon and reagan and author of, the greatest comeback, how richard nixon rose from defeat to create the new majority. and the codirector of the oral history program at the university of virginia joins. watch sunday at 8:30 a.m. eastern on c-span's washington journal and on american history tv on c-span3. america, we on real
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look back 50 years to the 1968 presidential election, president lyndon johnson surprised the nation, with his decision not to run for reelection. richard nixon campaigned for the republican nomination. here is a preview. >> america's future under challenge at home, with our hopes and the world's hopes, for peace and balance everyday, i do not believe, that i should devote an hour or day of my time to any personal partisan costs, or any duties other than the awesome duties of this office, the presidency of your country. seek,ingly, i shall not
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and i will not accept the nomination of my party for another term as your president. let men everywhere know however, that a strong and a confident and a vigilant american, stand ready tonight to seek an honorable peace, and stands ready tonight to defend an honored cause, whatever the price, whatever the burden, whatever the sacrifice, that duty may require. thank you for listening. good night and god bless all of you. ♪
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>> watch more on the 1968 presidential campaign, on railamerica, sunday at 4 p.m. eastern here on "american history tv" only on c-span3. c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. today, we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington dc and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. >> next, on the presidency, author kevin hayes on george washington's love of reading and how it influenced his thinking on everything from military
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matters to gardening and religion. washington was considered to be unrefined because he lacked a formal education. mr. hayes argues that this view was incorrect and washington engaged in a lifelong journey of self education and improvement. this hour-long event took place at george washington's mount vernon estate. >> i'm going to introduce dr. kevin hayes. he is an emeritus professor in the department of history at the university of central oklahoma. aside from teaching, he has also authored many books including "the road to monticello," among others. throughout his career, he has been awarded numerous fellowships from prestigious organizations including from the virginia historical society and the library company of philadelphia.

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