Monday, January 21, 2008

The New Negro

This 1957 NBC television interview of Martin Luther King Jr. and J. Waties Waring, a former federal judge from South Carolina who played a key role in shaping Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark Supreme Court decision that ended legal segregation in the United States, is a good reminder of how far the United States has come in addressing the vestiges of slavery and racial inequality. You can view portions of the interview on YouTube here and here.

1 comment:

tobian said...

There's something ... i'm sorry to use the word but 'retarded' is what comes in mind ... there's something retarded about that discussion.

It's one thing when you read in a summary that 'they fought for desegregation of school, buses, ...', then it's something else when you see the details of discussions that went into the movement, such as what you posted.

I know Heffner is supposed to play the part of a journalist, but when time judges him, he comes across as an idiot. One can be impartial by understanding both sides, but if Heffner 'understood' the questions he was asking for anything other than nonsense, surely he must have held the same (mis)opinion.

I found Warnings comments the most interesting. At some point he said what defined the new Negro is his belief, "I want not any special privilege; I don't want any special handout; I don't want to be given anything, because the giving idea is all wrong. But I want a chance to become a full man and do my part, be it little or be it big, in the community of our country."

It's funny ... perhaps the statement was less true back then (it almost sounds like a plug Warning put to placate white people, telling them that black people basically want to be less of a 'burden'), but somewhat truer now.