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tv   Book Discussion on Africana  CSPAN  October 27, 2013 6:00pm-7:16pm EDT

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it's in mexico and things are moving more and more into mexico city but also i am aware that i'm here in texas and i want to make it clear that when i write a book called "midnight in mexico" i'm not trying to scare the bejesus of the people into not going to mexico. ..
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please join us all in the book tent where we will be signing books and please join me in thanking the panelists. [applause] >> that concludes live coverage of the 2013 texas book festival from austin. thanks for joining us. if you would like to get scheduling and program updates from book tv, go to or collis andre utter at book tv is our trigger handle and also our facebook address, if you missed any of today's events, everything that you see today will air in its entirety
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tonight at midnight. you are watching book tv on c-span2. in october of 2006, henry louis gates described the creation of the africana the encyclopedia of the african and african-american experience which includes over 3,000 articles. you can watch this one hour and a ten minute program next on book tv. 2013 marks book tv's anniversary that debuted on september 12th, 1998. >> professor gates probably doesn't need an introduction to an audience of boston. but he's had an interesting history and i want to share a little bit of it with you. he is a summa cum laude the graduate of yale and received his m.a. and ph be from cambridge university.
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in 1981 he received the macarthur foundation genius grant to read and after teaching at yale, cornell and duke, he arrived in harvard at 1991. in 1998 he received a national humanities metal and in 1999 was elected the american academy of arts and letters. he is currently w. ev aa is professor of the humanities and chair of the department of african and african-american studies and director of the of w.e.b. du bois institute for african and african-american research. he's written a number of books on both history and literary criticism, one of which won the 1989 american book award ha what do they suspect that professor gates has appeared his picture and pornography have appeared in media around the world. but this month he appeared in something that i think will be
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unique in his long curriculum. this is the w.e.b. imus which is the monthly newsletter of the industry. and he has a full-page picture and description of tonight's lector so you are reaching many audiences. [applause] thank you what for that very kind introduction. my mind is blown from the fact of the line in this directory. [laughter] i am glad that i know about it and that i'm still alive. thank you so much for coming out this evening and for inviting me
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what. the reason i'm here and they asked me if i would come. i've been to the library a million times. i like to walk through here the but i have no idea. i mean i knew that terrie jacobs was buried there but until i got this marvelous brochure on african-american heritage trail at the cemetery, i frankly had no idea how many distinguished african-americans are buried there. harry did jacobs, his brother, george lewis, josephine st. pierre, peter baez, joshua loth bowens smith, william henry lewis, benjamin franklin roberts and as bill said, planas barnett morgan. for me from the time i was a little kid i grew up in the hills of west virginia on the potomac river basically it is a village that everybody that, gets mad when i call the village. i don't know the definition of a village is but it is a small
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town will and was an irish italian paper mill town and a handful of black people much of them related to me or my cousins in but for some reason at an early age -- i was born in 1950 -- i became with what we called native history. i could spot the word negro. it just was an affinity but i was raised to be a doctor by my mother mother. when i was with my mom i was premed and when i was with my dad, i was pretty small but i had a burning passion for african-american and african studies and i used to encounter names. it was very difficult. it was difficult even to encounter these things but what i did, there was a certain majesty and resonance to the
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name. i wanted to know of them will. i think the secular equivalent when you master the tradition of your people and to dedicate your life to passing that tradition of those traditions on and that was the calling that i believe that i had. i was premed up to the age of 25 then went off to the university of cambridge and even then, i was a graduate student i was taking premed courses on the side because i was so guilty about letting my mother down. my brother is five years older than i am and he is the chief of surgery at the hospital and he was the dean of the dental school for a year, very successful person he kind of satisfied the medical requirement and my mother, when we would go home for christmas holidays for thanksgiving or
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easter someone would call my brother and asked for dr. gates. they should just be professors. if someone says is dr. gates there my mother says which one do you want. [laughter] i say okay you can cut that out. but i finally told them when i was 25 that i wasn't going to be doctor and ibis terrified. when she's as we just want you to be happy and decided to the doctor anyway will. when i found out that she asked me to come and i found out all of these i had been walking through the cemetery today i had been here 15 years at harvard and first and lived in lexington and in cambridge and i walked past all these african americans and i didn't know what.
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it made the cemetery even more special, and i hope one of the things we can do -- englander nd and fifer get just reminded me at the end of my talk -- i would hope that maybe we could collaborate in the institute at harvard and the cemetery so we could do a virtual tour of the african-american sites and maybe even contribute to that one. i think it would be a great thing for black history and a great thing for boston. [applause] but now i'm going to take you on a little light starting in 1909 with my hero w.e.b. du bois which is why i slandered, and morgan's name because you know i have the honor i don't deserve it i have the honor of being a professor of the humanities at harvard. the department is dumb enough to make it professor i am smart enough to accept because he was my hero. in 1909, w.e.b. de boies, the greatest african-american intellectual in the world woke
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up one day seemingly out of the blue and announced that he had a vision. he had a dream in his sleep. the anti-black racism and the editing of the comprehensive encyclopedia about the entire black world, the equivalent of the black encyclopedia britannica. he was a genius. he could have had the idea just on his own but it just so happened that we know the encyclopedia was published in 1907 and w.e.b. aa is salles the good press jewish people got because of the existence of the encyclopedia. i am convinced that that's why he thought of this idea. he was a stark but he didn't have any money. why did i say he was a star? he graduated in 18 eda from historic kleeb lack university. he grew up of course in great barrington west of the state, not exactly the center of african-american culture but he really wanted to go to harvard
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and they told him no. there was a strong number. the first man was richard graner in 1877 have only been a couple. so they said go to frisk and prove yourself. so he went to fiske and he was the star and graduated, the bachelor's degree in 1888 and applied to harvard again. they let him and as an advanced undergraduate as a junior and in 1890, he took the degree as we call it at harvard from 1891 were becoming the first to investors degree in any subject and he studied history. and 1890's to he went off to the university of berlin to do graduate work. why did he want to do that? he wanted to do that because they were busy inventing a new subject and that subject was called sociology and it didn't exist in the united states. he didn't want to be the father
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of african-american sociology. he wanted to be the father of american sociology so he went to berlin and said the first time he felt like a human being and not liking negro human being. even to limit of a german woman. it was in that nature that he had. it was funded by the fund that was under the direction of the former president rutherford b. hayes. he had to control them and begged them, argue with them and insult them, threaten them to fund them to get a ph.d. in berlin because they set this later found out for vocational and education for negros. they didn't think they could get a ph.d.. they said at the end of the civil war wide as a negro want to get a ph.d.? he should be like booker t. washington and dedicate his life to training and negros in the vocational arts and sciences. but wect de boies -- we have this correspondence by the greatest historian between.
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and finally they capitulated and gave fallujah and he went off to berlin. but to get a ph.d., needed to live there for three years to satisfy the residency requirement. and thus leader fine what intrigued him for a third year. so an enormous disappointment and a great bitterness to the return to cambridge and in 1895, became the first african-american to take a ph.d. in history or any subject from harvard. in 1896 he embarked on the first sociological study of a black neighborhood in the united states. he got a job at the university of pennsylvania as a lecturer to do a survey in the black community that it was so racist at that time ladies and gentlemen the wouldn't even put his name in the catalog. they wouldn't give any in office. they had to do all this research himself i think even measured the size they had in philadelphia. but in 1899 this early and study was published under the title philadelphia negro. the first sociological study of
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an african-american community. in 1900 he wrote a sentence that turned out to be for the 20th century and that sentence was this the problem of the 20th century would be the problem of the color line and that certainly turned out to be the case. in 1903 he probably said looker was hailed as a classic before the ink was dry and that was what became the bible for the intellectuals then and remains the bible for african-american intellectuals today. in 1905 he co-founded an organization called the niagara movement that set itself up to fight the more conservative accommodationist policies the great educator booker t. washington. and in 1909 that was called the niagara movement and in 1909 was called the naacp and we all know the naacp but he was the only executive. think of a black organization today giving it wasn't and that was the year that he had this
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dream, this vision and he could elaborate african americans from racism if only he could publish a compendium of scientific knowledge as he put it, scientific knowledge about the negro, the negro in africa or as it were the africa and african or the negro in the new world war. in 1910 he became the editor of the crisis magazine which was then and remains to this day the official naacp that in 1909 he had this idea and wrote to these great scholars around the world he wrote to sir harry johnston at oxford and some of his harvard professors he wrote to the great william james for whom he studied philosophy at emmerson hall in harvard. james of course is the father of american psychology the psychology like sociology didn't exist as a discipline at that time. he read the critique with george as he says in his autobiography in an upper room at harvard.
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the great historian of reconstruction directed the dissertation of the suppression of the slave trade and he wrote to all of these people and to president eliot himself with all these people wrote back ladies and gentlemen and said they would be pleased, the would-be honor to be on the board of editors and that one person, you might have guessed was president elliott at harvard who said he was much too busy turning basically this finishing school into a grand cosmopolitan center of international graduate learning. much too busy learning that to participate in a board of editors for an encyclopedia project but he wanted to give him to bits of advice. terse he said do not ignore the presence of the significance of the islamic religion and culture in sub-saharan africa. it took me years to realize that, ladies and gentlemen as embarrassed as i am to say that and that was present eliot in 1909 which is quite astonishing. i have respect for him as a considerable figure in education
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to i have to say went up when i discovered this letter in the archives of harvard university. but the second bit of information that he gave to him which as you will see in a few mets turned out to be prophetic with this. don't come he told him and more on this project unless you have the money. so, as i said he went on that year to find of the naacp in your letter he was heading the crisis and was too busy to edit this encyclopedia besides he didn't have any money so he put the idea on the shelf. cut to 1931. on the upper side of east new york if rich man will goes to bed one might minding his own business and he wakes up, gets so excited he rushes down to his office of the association that still exists as a philanthropy down in washington and he assembled his staff and said he had a dream. he had a vision and you know that vision was? the most efficacious way to fight anti-black racism would be the editing of the comprehensive
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encyclopedia about the entire black world. he called this encyclopedia the encyclopedia of the negro and on november 20 of, 1931 he held a meeting in the carnegie library on the campus of the university and he invited all of these great scholars of the race. but he didn't invite w.e.b. du bois and he didn't invite carter. you all know who carter woodson was even if you don't know. carter woodson was the second african-american to take a ph.d. from harvard. that's not what you know him. you know him because in 1926 he founded something called negro history week and in the 60's it became -- in the 50's became negro history month and it became black history month and in the 70's afro-american history month and in the east african american history month and in 20 years later it would be neo nubian history month. [laughter] we're the only people who would change our name every
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generation. i love jesse jackson. he's a friend of mine. this is a joke every time he gets in trouble he has a press conference and we change our name. i think somebody -- jim joost from harvard business school. some of the business harvard school should do a survey of how much it costs the african-americans to terrible that stationery and destroy the signs of a time we changed our name. the egyptians have been the egyptians for 5,000 years. the chinese people have been chinese for 5,000 years. this is one african-american who's going to go to his grief as an african-american. i am not changing my name never again. but he did invite carter woodson and he didn't invite w.e.b. du bois. now have the honor as i said of being a professor at harvard. but harold bloom is a friend that i admire and he has a saying his very theatrical and he teaches a great poetry class at yale he finds a way to
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interweave into one of his lectures each year the following sentence. they say we shouldn't speak ill. they say we shouldn't speak ill of the dead and they look at the students and say but if we don't, who will? one. they were the most arrogant on the face of the earth. he slept in a three piece suit. [laughter] what at times of intense intimacy he allowed his second wife to call him by his first name which was doctor. the kids today say who's your daddy and he said who is your doctor to be if he heard about this meeting and he went crazy he said how dare you have this meeting without me? i am the negro. he was mortified. he went on to say what's more come in useful the idea for me. i had this idea in 1909 and i
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called the encyclopedia effort -- encyclopedia africana. he had stationery announcing the project and enclosed in the letter and they said he was mortified. so he wrote du boise an apologist profusely and he begged him to forget him first and then begged him to come to the second meeting of the board of editors on the campus of harvard university which was convened and chinley first, 1932 again in the carnegie library university. and at that meeting, reluctantly at the last minute he allowed himself to be persuaded to attend. and at that meeting, surprise, surprise, he unanimously was elected editor of the encyclopedia of the project a capacity held with a great distinction between 1932 and 1946. after 1944, he had a lot more time to devote to the project because he was fired from his
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position at the magazine were. he always had enemies on the board will. they hated each other. he wrote an essay on the field and function of the college's. he said since it appeared to be receding. remember its 1934 the great depression and he had been trying to get a federal antione jindal passed in the congress with what he said since the gulf coast of the movement appeared to be receding perhaps it would be of the negro to develop scope because separate social and the educational institutions until the dream of integration could occur and that ran counter to the a theology of the naacp so they fired them in the wording after 1934 he threw himself into trying to get this project off
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the ground and the general the education board. nobody would give him any money for this trip listing editing an encyclopedia when people at soup kitchens and bread lines were to be needed to and $50,000 finally he went to his folks and he said you have to help me this encyclopedia of this counter intuitive will free them negro simulator to the and his folks said okay i will give you $125,000 but on a matching basis and as you know that means one. he raised the dollar and would give a dollar to $125,000 but what good is that we treated i will go to frederick who is the president of the carnegie corporation and i will do my best to persuade him to match my
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$125,000. he went to see him and finally he said i will match the $125,000. he said on may 17th, 1937 i'm having a meeting with my door of the carnegie corporation and they have to vote for my decision giving it he said promise me you won't tell him, he said i promised. as soon as he left his office he picked up the phone and he called dr. du boise. he said you can't tell a soul. so he promised. he said 3:00 on may 17th 1937 the board is going to meet at 4:00 one his critical you and he's going to tell you they matched my $125 a you have to be du boise said i will win. he said i promise that, too. as soon as he hung up to called
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phloem what and like carnegie what some in the w.e.b. du bois was a black man with a ph.d. in harvard but unlike what some and a mike dr. du boise, logan at one point in his life was engaged to a beautiful black woman of virginia and her name was selwa latisha and she was my great aunt. it was never in print before i put it there. [laughter] the story goes all that du boise said is the in my office at 3 p.m. on may 17, 1937. will again show up right on time and he walked in and to his astonishment on the mahogany desk to his astonishment he had an ice bucket and in the ice bucket hot sat with chilling a dhaka that empty champagne and
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next to it was an old telephone and he said sit down. you see that clock even as i speak. it would be the voice of frederick informing us that the have maxed the generous donation and we will do the encyclopedia of the negro. remember ladies and gentlemen the 18th century was the great era of the encyclopedia. the encyclopedia britannica in the united kingdom, but we didn't have an encyclopedia and they didn't have enough cyclopedia until 1907. du boise turned to logan and said this is our 18th century we will be able to bring the enlightenment to our people into the world with knowledge about the african and the old world and the african new world of the city were all excited and they -- i done think the slat much five in his lifetime but they
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did what ever they did when he was happy which wasn't a lot of the time. [laughter] finally 4 o'clock comes. 4:10 camano phone call. 4:15, 4:20, 4:40, 4:45. finally at ten minutes until 5:00, he looked at the clock and he looked at logan and he looked at the ice bucket and the phone. he reached over and he grabbed a bottle of champagne by the neck and he yanked it out of the bucket and slanted against the bookcase behind his desk. the phone never rang. he had been lobbied against carter g. woodson. you see ladies and gentlemen in those days there was tension deutsch and the african-american intellectuals. [laughter]
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they are blessed to be free of those kind of tensions and anxiety. front-page of the baltimore newspaper still being published. september 26, 1936 headline carnegie what some accused du boise of stealing the encyclopedia from him. he had the idea in 1921 he he was mortified. he never responded publicly. he wrote many people and said no i had the idea in 1909 and they closed the pieces of the stationery that i mentioned earlier to prove it and in addition, the board of the naacp lobbied against him and he thought he was a medical man -- radical man all of his life and would be dangerous to edit the encyclopedia. in 1946, he gave up. he published the annotated bibliography called the preliminary volume to the encyclopedia in the negro project in the united states was
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quite valuable but was most valuable to me to the introduction which was called on the need for an encyclopedia of the negro which many years later became the bible for my dear friend and colleague as we try to fulfill the dream. in 1951 them mccarthy era famously du boise is arrested and accused of being a communist. he was acquitted. he was on the left but he wasn't a communist. he was and i war, anti-nuclear weapon and was monitored by the fbi of course. the passport was confiscated as for the passports of so many african-americans including paul robeson. in 1958 as the days of a class-action suit they took the passport back and what is the first thing he does when he gets it back. it was every country on the face of the earth. he went to east berlin. he went to east berlin and they
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gave them the honor areas as ecology which was what the company deprive them of any team 94 and they said was the happiest day of his life. he went to moscow where he gave him the lenin prize and china and hong out with joe until very recently his birthday was a national holiday in china and the longest personal greeting that his widow received. shortly thereafter the young president of the independent republic of with ghana who shared a platform in manchester at the pan-african congress in 1945. all of the young african freedom fighters. they all revered. he was the father of pan-africanism and
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anticolonialism and about 1960 he said with ever happened to that encyclopedia africana and he told him the same sad tale that i told you. they wrote back and said why don't you move to ghana? so 1961, ladies and gentlemen, at the age of 93, he did three things. he initially gramm joined the american communist party. they renounce their american citizenship and repatriated to the independent republic of ghana where he established the encyclopedia africana on december 50th 1962 they held the first and only meetings of the board of editors and they recounted the history of his idea just as i have done for you this evening. then he said unlike the first to incarnations of his encyclopedia project which were truly pan-african as i've said about the african and the old world and the african in the new world
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it's the third incarnation that will be an encyclopedia by africans for africans and about africans. du boise when he was being harassed by the foster state department was abandoned by the civil rights negro leadership. they thought he was a communist and very few people stood up for him that he was quite a movie about that. so in retribution they cut them out of the encyclopedia because of the people outed the encyclopedia putative was only going to be about africans. cut to 1963 what is the greatest thing happening in the world in august, 1963 is the march on washington. he goes through and write out a message to martin luther king. the next day in the speech to have a dream and will wilkins falling that hysteria with dr. king's remarks and then looked at the audience and said
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having written that message he had gone to sleep and he never woke up again. he died in his sleep. the encyclopedia africana went off to yale and i was one of 96 african-american men and women who went to yale in november of 1969. the affirmative action generation. why do i say that? because the class of '66 have african-american males. six african-american males. my class had 93. what was there a genetic blood in the race and all of a sudden there were 90 more black people who were intelligent enough to go to yale in 1969 than 1966? of course not. they had a quota on the number of african-americans who could matriculate. if you look at the class of '65 and the class of '64, yale even
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had a quota on the roman catholics until 1963, let alone jewish people. so, i would never have gotten in without affirmative action. why do i see that? because if you look of the biographies of those that graduated in 66, once coffin was the equivalent and one was a dentist and one was an undertaker. one was a numbers runner. that puts you in the black middle class at that time. they invented the numbers, ladies and gentlemen and less so successful that the mafia to get over and they need so much money that it was so successful the ultimate mafia the federal government to get over. making that up about the number south but my point is that only middle class black boys were allowed to make it through the filters of the race to go to a place like yale.
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every black person here knows what i'm talking about. rosa parks had to look like rosa parks to be rosa parks. she studied the non-violent course in an institute at the college. i'm sure that her action was spontaneous, but it was conditioned spontaneous remark. as a young woman that i will never forget because my mother was a coleman. she did sit down spontaneously on a bus in montgomery but she had a child out of wedlock and she didn't look the part. perhaps she was too dark at that time because we were color struck. we couldn't be too dark. you're here couldn't be too kinky. it had to look a certain way to look like rosa parks and you had to be articulate. what happened when the woman spontaneously sat down. when they found out about her past they just said we are going to forget that you sat down on this bus and the next time you
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were tired call one of the scene we will give you a ride. it had to be orchestrated. likewise, those who went to yale in 1962 had graduated in the class of 1966. my father, my father is 93-years-old. my father, ladies and gentlemen, worked to jobs to put me and my brother through college. my father was a laborer in the paper mill. you go to work at 6:30 in the morning and he was basically a company town and a blow at 3:30 and we would get out of school and we would washup and have our evening meal at 4 o'clock and go to the second job as a janitor. then he would describe to offer of hitchcock my father makes red
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sox look like an undertaker. when my brother and i have a 90th birthday party for my father which has been very successful, what would you like? you've sacrificed so much. my dad died in 1987. you have sacrificed so much. what can we give you to say thank you. without the bt said all i want for my 90th birthday is that viagra commercial. [laughter] i didn't even want to think about that. [laughter] ladies and gentlemen, no matter how intelligent i may or may not be i wouldn't have had the background of 1962 to make it through the filters and the grace to be one of those boys that graduated in 1966. affirmative action as they said so eloquently was a class escalator for our generation to come and was. if you look of the students i
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teach at harvard today most of them are the children of people like me who were in the crossover of the affirmative action generation and field covered class as my mother would put it and then became members of the white middle class. my mom would say the use to have covered money and the same group of people to generations later or people like me in the working-class became members of the middle class. now affirmative action has become a class bridge through which we perpetuate the middle class, upper middle class. as for me whose benefits a much from affirmative action who in the american academy? let's be real has benefited more from affirmative action and i have? and for me to become a gate keeper matter how small the date it would be disingenuous to say i am not a gate keeper in the society and to become a gatekeeper to block other african-americans from gaining even through affirmative action
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with me to be a hypocrite as mr. justice clarence thomas and i am not that kind of person. [applause] so i went off to yale and through this merkel i remember when i saw the library i thought it was a cathedral at the sterling memorial library. the motto has very translucent. the housing -- the people who did that for so brave. i wrote my dissertation with a pencil because pens were not allowed and we didn't have computers of course and when i would look at that light coming through that marble i would think i'm just a poor colored boy from piedmont west virginia and i had a chance of a lifetime
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because of affirmative action. so, the duty to my mother and father and my people and to myself was to do as well as i could do and i did, thank god. i was always at home in the classroom my whole life sucked as an athlete. i was the scorekeeper. i wanted to be close to athletes and particularly the cheerleaders but the only way that i could do that was to be the statistician or to be the scorekeeper for the baseball team. but when i put cousins in the fifties wanted to be willie mays, it would beat pittsburgh and washington. and my father to the cullom wanted to grow up to be jackie robbins and my dad would be willie mays. and those were the heroes but other people fantasize about and i fantasized about being a brogue scholar. i don't know why today i wanted to go to harvard or yale or oxford or cambridge. i got a fellowship. i wanted to be marshall,
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fulbright, melanie mukasey could i didn't get any of those and i was the junior year phi beta kappa and out to be some commodity and i'm from west virginia. i figured they just had to give it to me if i walked in the room. there is only one of me. but i figured -- in the was humiliating and very stressful to me for a with these fellowships and i figured that i was being artificial, not true to myself and finally i decided i was down to the last fellowship and i decided to be myself because what more could i lose and to my astonishment they gave me that the bush said and i ran home back to college on the corner of the kawlija and elm street and i called my parents and my father picked up the phone and i said put mauney on the extension phone and she got on and said he will never believe it, i got a scholarship i'm going to the university of cambridge tunheim the first afro-american as we said then.
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and my dad said your the first negro to get a fellowship he said they are going to name at the watermelon fellowship from now on. [laughter] so with my watermelon fellowship i went off to the university and meant to africans who changed my life. they spent two years in solitary confinement and of the 27 months in prison in solitary confinement during the nigerian civil war. we all remember that horrible experience in the history of africa. when he got out, he immediately wrote a book criticizing the military government that in present of them called the man died so they tried to tell them oliver density fled and ended at the university of cambridge, just happenstance. he was an extraordinary fellow at the college and i was at claire college. and there were two other africans. one of them as a young african
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prince who was the king of the people in ghana which descended from the sky in the 17th century and he was this man's nephew and he was a genius he graduated from cambridge in philosophy with a double start for in a plus plus. we became best friends and stayed best friends. anyway, so he became my professor. i wanted to study african history i told myself on will do that and go back to bed school so 1973 they ushered me into the african world of literature and on the first monday in october of 1973 he took his father, joe,
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he was his best friend at one time and he put him in jail. they invited me to an indian restaurant. i'd never eaten indian food before. he's an african the club's tight food and i had never had one before. my generation you see leader did not get any during heated by drinking alcohol. we use more vaporous forms to be deleted by wine but we used it to fill water pipes with. and it had such colorful names as purple jesus and pink pussycat. but you would buy something called a cold duck. i had the worst hangover of my
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life. it was burgundy, cheap champagne so reinbeck at the restaurant, my mouth is on fire from this indian food and i am getting drunk by the minute drinking this line. the amount of more inappropriate to consume at a table with three bottles of wine slowly over the course of the evening as they always hear me say that. so there i was, ladies and gentlemen sitting at this table to the these agreed africans and finally, to save my position desperately i asked him if they had ever heard of w.e.b. du bois in the encyclopedia africana project. that might ladies and gentlemen we made a pledge the university of cambridge that we would get
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the encyclopedia that would be 25 years to raise the money. from english and literature and i got $50,000 from the national endowment of the humanities and i developed a perspective and i send it to charles that the encyclopedia britannica. charles read be remembered for the scandal unfortunately the second for the fact he was one of the truly great encyclopedists of the 21st century and inspired from nbc when the scandal broke that the encyclopedia britannica. if you to do encyclopedia. i was 29-years-old to do marketing service. six weeks later he called and said he had good news and bad
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news. but we would do the encyclopedia. that's great. the bad news, but possibly could be the bad news they said you have to raise $20 million for us to do it. i said i can do it. i raised $50,000 ladies and gentlemen, just enough money to have one meeting of the board of editors in new haven connecticut and just enough money to print my own stationery. [laughter] but obviously i can't raise $20 million today, let alone in 1979. so i took the idea on the shelf. a -- 1991 we came to harvard and by now to the chair of the department for african-american studies, first female to be hired in the history department at harvard. we hired her and she had some problems so we have to create a job for her husband, the honorable leon higginbotham who will be on the supreme court today in some of clarence
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thomas. pauses to consider that how history would have been changed by that. then we styled cornell west from princeton and put a big red bow around the dream team. so we turned to him and i said in 1995 we will never be hotter than we are now we have to go for the encyclopedia. so i tried all of these publishing's. i tried random house and they said that they were interested in doing it. by this time i had friends with quincy jones and he'd given me $62,000 to the prototype of the encyclopedia but i need a match. random house said you have to do it on the cd rom and i didn't even know what the cd rom was. the ceo of random house at headquarters, which at that time was at 20,150th street on the east side. he said you can't do it on
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cd-rom. why do you want to? he said well in 1990 and encyclopedia britannica company first edition i believe 1768, 1990 they need more profit than it had made since 1768. in 1991 the young computer geeks brought all of the rights for funk and wagner as feith funkiest encyclopedia of all. and cousin bill -- [laughter] you know, every year for black history month, black people come forward and say they have descended from thomas jefferson. ladies and gentlemen, they can have thomas jefferson because even as i speak i have the genealogist -- [laughter] right now trying to find the common and genealogical link between the william gates foundation and the henry louis gates foundation and when they find that i'm going to be the man. [laughter] [applause] they will say to you have an
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appointment and i will say i'm a family member. $10 million, no scandal. i will be all of your life. [laughter] so we had to do a prototype of the cd-rom. i left random house with $125,000 went across the street. and i swear this is true. i called him on one of those open phone booths and wanted to make sure that nobody at random house was around because of was on the street. we said we have to match the investment. he said that's great. there is only one problem. what? what is a cd rom and can we do one? i never heard of one. i was afraid that alberto was going to ask me a follow-up question and i wouldn't know what to do. so we hired the two computer geeks as they like to call themselves from the rhode island school of design and we have a prototype. i flew all of the executives from random house but from new
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york to the great president of harvard and the provost chancellor at ucla until last year he even came to the demonstration and he said go ahead and i did the demo trade was smoking among these and a gentleman after i got a standing ovation. we needed $2 million. we needed $2 million to do our encyclopedia. alberto said you have done well with our investment to the and we have flown out from bel air just the week before and he was delirious. he said that's the good news and my head popped up and i was thinking what is the bad news? in the last six months the bottom is falling out of the market for the cd rom record scores. he said if you can do it as a game -- [laughter] ladies and gentlemen you might
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gather that i am a pretty up person that i said batting back in the cheers i could smell it, i could touch it and it walked out of the room and flew back to laguardia from logan. i said i assume it's probably never going to happen and lasted about two weeks. i then pounded the pavement and i keep a box 25 letters. i was rejected by every major publisher in the united states from cambridge and harvard and yale and random house, macmillan, you name it. they loved the idea and then i would -- they would say how much does this cost and i say to million dollars. they said raise some money. finally, i through a hail mary pass to cause some bill in washington and to my astonishment, he caught a. krin gabbard the one you'll --
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credit barthalamuel said what does it consist of? they want to count the number of african-americans on pcs. so i said okay. we got beverley and flew back from seattle to boston and i thought what can i do? the next day i went to harvard square to recall all of my friends who were computer literate and i said this is bill gates e-mail we don't you write to him and say i am glad i have a computer. and to them i'm joking. i'm not joking. [laughter] but i didn't hear anything from microsoft. finally, peggy cooper an african-american woman who founded the duke ellington school of the arts called me and one day said a mutual friend wanted to start a publishing company called percy's books and he created and in print. he wanted a large scale
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reference work and she told me that and i called him and from 26 times ladies and gentlemen i need the pitch to the encyclopedia africana. he had a suite at the carlyle hotel, keen size bed and a crimson cover. i will never forget. for the 26 the time i made my pitch from the computer and the only thing i could do was make a cd rom because the whole thing was why year before me. the easier to use version. after that 45 minute presentation, they said this is great. how much do you need? $2 million pity if he stuck out his hand and said you have a deal. i said don't mess with me. he said you have a deal. they didn't get back to me that if they do i'm committed to bid on cd-rom. they said you will get a million dollars from microsoft and they will do it on a cd-rom. they wanted to do it in the same
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format. recall what the mothershed next am i flow back to harvard square we went out and opened a bottle of champagne. woke up with a hangover and i thought this is a great. going to edit this encyclopedia and my secretary joann and grandmother, my secretary for over ten years said microsoft is on the way and i started to say -- i knew they were calling me to be polite. it was craig barthalamuel and he said we finished our marketing survey, yes, yes and he said i have great news. we are going to do the encyclopedia and call it africana. 24 hours later ladies and gentlemen, we have our $2 million there was only one caveat. the insisted that we did it and deliver the encyclopedia in 18 months.
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they said can you do it? i said i can do it. we hired 45 people in staff at harvard square right on france's avenue, right next to the school. we wrote to about 450 scholars and anthony did, too. some in africa and china and israel and i don't care where they were. they were an expert on the experience and we wrote to them and 18 months later, ladies and gentlemen, november 1998 we shifted not 2 million words as the contract specified, but to point to 5 million words and on january 19th, 1999 dedicated in honor of nelson mandela and in memory of william edward burkhart, the encyclopedia africana was born. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> now two things i'm going to show since 1999, we have been through the cd-rom revolution and then of course the internet revolution and i want to show you how much we try to keep pace with that technological revolution. i will show you the last edition of the encyclopedia on cd-rom that is consistent of 10 million words. ♪
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♪ >> off and we debated whether to use every voice to sing and the great johnson but we thought this is the truly pan-african national anthem. if you come on to the homepage of the cd-rom that is when you get and if you click on the articles, it just comes out anywhere it's an article on the blues. over appear on the window if i type in a name. this is an honor of my dad. this is an article on will mayes. if i click here -- [inaudible]
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is an amazing, ladies and gentlemen? i show my father that and she set out did you do that? where is the videotape? many people think that both ingalls is the greatest dancer. so much of the black expressive culture is nonverbal. how do you teach a nonverbal medium? if i go to the article on boesh ingalls robinson at the encyclopedia article that you see on the left and again we have historical footage you can bring it into your living room or steady or classroom. ♪
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♪ malkoff if we sell all sorts of fantastic archival footage. we have thousands of audio clips and video clips, but we found a speech that booker t. washington record it. booker t. washington's famous 1895 atlanta speech. this is the place of booker t. washington. ..
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[videotape] >> go back to the article on garvey it's an audio clip. this is marcus garvey's voice. [videotape] [inaudible]
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[inaudible] >> marcus garvey and marcus garvey's most directed legitimate descendent of course was the great malcolm x. this is my favorite malcolm x's speech called what's your name? [videotape] [inaudible]
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[inaudible] >> malcolm x ladies and gentlemen. it's just so stirring and i want to show you one more idiot and i will show you a couple of features and then i will show you what we recently did. i told you that wally shankar was my advisor in 1973 and a 1968 he became the first african to win the nobel prize in literature. my wife and i were his guests and this is stockholm december 10. [videotape]
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[applause] >> while he was the chairman of the board of editors of the encyclopedia and then i and i would editors in chief. we digitize 170 books so you can buy up with this thing which costs about 40 bucks at the library. it's fully searchable. type in the word darwin and it will take you right to the page. we have lacked history that goes from lussier, and -- from ethiopia and it goes to the present. if we go back to the feature in a second edition with quincy jones we get a black history timeline that goes from 1870 -- ♪ we even have a feature -- look at this.
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the racist tradition as part of our past too. ♪ ♪ >> that's cold but we need to study that. and it goes all the way up -- sorry. it goes all the way up to hip-hop but i want to stop in 1959. the clip of 1960 we can go backwards in time. here is john coltrane. just on this and we see an image of miles davis and john coltrane april 1958 ladies and gentlemen.
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[videotape] ♪ ♪ john coltrane and miles davis ladies and gentlemen. we have other civil rights chronology in "africana" and and lectures by maya angelou and kofi annan quincy cornel west general colin powell. we have historic sites in africa video footage from my pbs african series and we have the african map. every african nation you on botswana and botswana lights up. go to a ready reference.
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go to botswana on safari. you get the ready reference summary that tells you everything you want to know about botswana. on the flag and you there and expand and you get the national anthem of every national african nation. ♪ one of the things you learn when you do this is the brilliant of the -- that did not extend to the creation of national anthems. [laughter] we have an interactive map that shows the slave trade using the scholar david else's' trade database and it maps a 12.5 million africans shipped from africa to the new world between teen 19 and 1967. only 500,000 of those came to united states. how did else's and just colleagues find them? they kept great shipping records said david else's had the brilliance to bring those people
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together under the auspices of the dubois institute. we know where they africans came from and where they landed in the new world. which ports they came through and then finally i will in this section and the final one will be brief. i asked you to remind me about virtual tours and we sent a photographer with 360-degree camera in brazil to black paris to gory island to senegal to harlem havana egypt zimbabwe and the serengeti plane. i'm going to end this section by taking a uptown to harlem and if i hold my mouse down this is how virtual tour works. isn't that great? >> can go to 25 or so tourists upstream going to take you to the famous apollo theater. let's see who's playing there today. duke ellington billie holliday. let's check out aretha franklin. ♪
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♪ ♪ respect ladies and gentlemen. it was for respect that a young african-american harvard graduate in 1909 woke up one day and announced he had a vision and that dream was the most efficacious way to fight anti-black racism by editing a comprehensive encyclopedia. in anthony abiah and wally and i with the help of microsoft and frank pearl are pleased that we were able to fulfill eb-2 for' dream. thank you very much. [applause]
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[applause] [applause] >> thank you. thank you very much. now just in two minutes my friends at austin press would kill me -- cd-roms are going out of business -- they're like eight tracks. everything has been put on the internet. a year ago oxford university press bought the rights to "africana" from microsoft and only a couple of months ago created this fantastic web site called the african-american studies center and i am lucky they asked me to be the editor-in-chief. includes a project that evelyn higginbotham and i are doing
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right now which includes 4000 biographies of african-americans from pot and metrics servant who told him about traditional african methods of inoculation for smallpox all the way up to colin powell and condoleezza rice. it will be on this web site on the internet now. we expect to finish that next year. they bought the rights to the encyclopedia of african-american history which will go from 1619 to the present and that's about paul finkelman darlene hines lack women in america. all the rights to the encyclopedia "africana" and will soon be putting the media up and african-american literature. all of these reference works including the black sections of visionary dance in the autobiography and encyclopedia food and drink in america and
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dictionary of jazz and dictionary of music and native american loss. 1100 images, 200 primary documents and thousands and thousands of pages, millions and millions of words. we won't ever again -- you don't have to buy a cd from and you don't have have to have a cd-rom drive. you can go right to this internet at this web site www.oxford a fully searchable. we have brought every major black reference work cross-indexed into this web site. do you know what that means ladies and gentlemen? are people's history in africa america and black america will never be lost again. never be lost again and when i go to my grave wherever it each i want on my tombstone coeditor of the encyclopedia "africana"
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project. thank you very much. [applause] >> welcome to the montana state capitol. this building was built in 1899 and completed in 1902 but montana became a state in 1889 and it took us 10 years to get our ducks in a row before construction could actually began and then we added two wings on either side of the
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building in 1912. in 1999 delving underwent a huge restoration project to replicate its grandeur from that 1902 period so what you see today is what it would have looked like 500 years ago. >> among the discoveries of gold in the west it really was one of the major discoveries and some 18 or $19 million in 1860s currency was taking out of this place. it is obvious this was a town where there was a lot of money. they say there were more millionaires per-capita and helena than any other place by the 1890s but that is never been proven. it's a legend but it is a place where you can see the wealth that was poured into the community in the 1880s and 1890s and the nickname was
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city of the rockies because of that. ♪ ♪ >> spend next weekend exploring montana state capitol is booktv and american history tv look at the history and literary life of helena on c-span2 and c-span3. next on booktv from the 13th annual national book festival on the national mall in washington d.c. and interview and viewer phonecalls with pulitzer prize winning investigative reporter matt apuzzo who discusses his looks up five inside the nypd's secret spying unit and bin laden's final plot against america. this is about 20 minutes.


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