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tv   BOOK TV  CSPAN  November 20, 2016 6:38pm-8:01pm EST

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bit. that is a mystery just what the relationship between the two was his real father, his substitute father, was the neighbor who lived across the street from him, charlie burrly. who was a prizefighter. you can sigh a kid getting more b august really idolized charlie and charlie almost adopted august as his son. charlie's wife julia was august's mother's best friend. there were a lot of ties between the two. and august modeled himself after charlie. in addition to being an outsider which august was, he had what he called the warrior spirit. charlie is a boxer a warrior, a fighter, somebody who stands up, not necessarily who is aggressive and hostile but charlie wasn't that but charlie could take a punch.
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charlie taught him, you take a punch. you don't let it get you down, you get back up. charlie is the one in "fences." a garbage hauler who didn't get to play major league baseball. charlie is fighter who could have been a national champion but didn't get the fight, because joe lewis was enough. charlie never got the break he should have. >> i grew up here every morning, bust my smooch, put up with them crackers every day because i liked you. you are the biggest fool i ever saw. it is my job. it is my responsibility. you understand that? a man got to take care of his family. you live in my house. sleep your behind in my bed clothes. fill your belly with my food. because i like you? because you're my flesh and
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blood. >> august always had this idea that's what a warrior does. that is what his mother did. so charlie was a very important part august's development and just a neighbor across the street a few doors down from where he grew up. that is part of what we will call the warrior spirit. he didn't write any plays in pittsburgh. all his plays well-known -- he wrote some plays in pittsburgh but didn't go anywhere. the plays that made him famous when he left the city in st. paul, minnesota. which is ironic he championed the voices and experience in pittsburgh. he said it took moving out of the city to a place very different from black pittsburgh to really hear the voices. when you're surrounded by them, you're up too close. like your heartbeat not aware of it because it is so close to you
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he left pittsburgh when he was 32, 33, moved to st. paul, got home sick and started thinking back to these voices and people he had known. he then was able to just channel those in ways he hadn't done in pittsburgh. in pittsburgh the plays and poetry he wrote were abstract, obtuse, modernistic trend, very difficult to understand, opaque and they didn't capture the language of the people. he knew that language. he just felt he needed to elevate it to bring more honor and dignity to these people. but as neighborhoods go, it is a big neighborhood, especially the old and original and includes all lower stuff now gone from urban renewal. so it was a very large neighborhood. it was the city's oldest neighborhood. you can see it is right next to
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downtown. so, it was the first neighborhood that developed. so it was old and it was large. but it always had -- blacks always lived there. that makes a difference in terms of race relations. you never had this thing, oh, somebody is coming in to our space. okay. blacks were there from the very beginning. so what you had was a thickening of peoples. blacks were always here. immigrants were always here. it sort of thickened but you never had a real push in. as you can see in the area there were, now the jews lived south of center avenue. that was the heavily jewish part. the goldbergs were here and jewish families and blacks, the italianss lived down that way and italians and greeks and syrians down there. jews who lived down there and blacks who lived down there as well. so there was a lot of overlapping. and it was a remarkable
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neighborhood in terms of, you know, one of the things that people think by reading the history of cities like chicago or washington, these awful, very early race riots, before the king assassination. well, pittsburgh didn't have those. when you look at the history of american cities, i think as you look in most places they didn't have that. so we have this sense of, you know people will never be able to forget, fighting tooth and nail this place shows, no, not necessarily. things can be different but we focus on, it is like the dog that barks, if it is quiet and nothing happens historians don't look at it or newspapers don't look at it, or whatever. if there is riot outbreak, that gets the attention, if you only look at those, then you generalize from those. that's another thing that the pittsburgh story will tell, this is a neighborhood where people did get along, did get along
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together. by getting out and really seeing life and paying attention to it, august realized life is complex and that is what make his plays so interesting. they're not just simplistic, prop sort of things where you know the answer, you know the good guys, you know the bad guys, they're all runners on this side, people on that side people have really conflicting feelings and he was able to capture that because not only did he observe but he thought what he observed and he was very honest about it and when you are you get down to the human element and within black america there is variety. not all just one thing or the other, there are different opinions and he captures that and shows that in his plays. there are all sorts of arguments in august's plays where people are going back and forth in some topic because he realized, we're not simple people, simple minds, complex just like everybody else.
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and that is really part of why he such a compelling playwrite. >> we're at the carrie turns turf pennsylvania one ever many places booktv will be visiting. next we look at the impact of the furniture industry in pittsburgh. >> i've been a steelworker all my life. i come from a steel-making family. both my grandparents were steel workers. my father was a steelworker. my father's father and myself all worked for the same company, jones and laughlin steel, and pittsburgh was the natural capital of the steel-making in the world and, i began to wonder why, why that was, and so, in
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the process with my interests i started reading books about steel making and the steel industry and it was always lacking the reason, i know. it was known that pittsburgh was the steel capital but nothing ever said why and a lot of people attribute it to coal and yes, pittsburgh had a lot of coal. one day i realized what it was, it wasn't, it wasn't the coal, although that had a big part to play in it. it was, it was people. it was engineering. it was technology. it was the development of systems. so, it was a much more complicateed system. as a matter of fact, it was also utilization of materials. things that wouldn't be used in the past now were found to be
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very useful and very economical to the process. the title of the book is "city of steel: how pittsburgh became the world's steelmaking capital." they started scientific principles. one of the people that did that was man named andrew carnegie. a lot of the story became andrew carnegie. there were many steel-makers in pittsburgh. carnegie applied science and hiring chemists. people questioned how carnegie could afford to have a professor, a chemist in his plant and, carnegie thought of the others, how and why couldn't they afford it? and carnegie talked about the burning sun of chemical knowledge and so he started to
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understand things from a scientific point of view, engineering point of have view,e other people were going on seat of the pants operations. they relied on people's opinion and not on what it should be. the steel industry developed in this region because of history. pittsburgh was a wrought iron manufacturing region. wrought iron is, is a softer form of the material. it was made in small far hases, puddling furnaces they called them t was a small batch process. this required a lot of skill and that's where a lot of basing your analysis of what was betting on skill of people that you had working for you. around so, in the day you might be able to make 1500 pounds of
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wrought iron but wrought iron was, very soft. it was malleable, but made into useful products but it was too soft. still a lot of things being built required especially rail, required that to be harder material. that harder material turned out to be steel. so when they made rails out of wrought iron in the booming development of the united states and railroads, many rails would wear out in places and stations that had high curves, they would wear out only a matter of months and steel rails were harder. cast iron was too hard and, from the pounding of the low
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comotiveses especially in the wintertime. steel was the happy medium of carbon where this interview is being conducted is the carrie furnaces. this was the last major facility bought by carnegie before he sold out. he purchased this plant in 1898. and by 1901 he was out of the steel business. this is an ironmaking plant. you make iron from iron ore. it is not really a melting process although things do get melted. what it is are blast furnaces behind us, blast furnaces and stoves, you have to, what you do is smelt iron ore. iron ore is per rick oxide. it has oxygen in it. you have to remove the oxygen and way you do that chemically you reduce it. you use carbon from the carbon
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monoxide from the fuel which is coke and that reduces the oxygen in the ore and you're left with iron, pure iron. so that is the process. this is really a chemical factory and not just a melting factory and that is you how you make iron from ore. so this facility was used to feed the homestead works across the river, which, many people know from homestead strike in 1892. carnegie bought the homestead works and this carrie furnace was part of the homestead works eventually. it was also a bessemer steel plant t was built by one of his partners at one time, that they had an argument with and his name was andrew klomna. he had a vengeance for carnegie, the best semper fi steel company which became the homestead works was the tool of his vengance but the people that evened it --
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owned it with kloman were afraid it would fail and asked carnegie to buy them out which he did and that became the carnegie plant. what carnegie did in homestead he went into a very special kind of open hearth steel making. and that doesn't mean fundamental steelmaking. that means chemically basic steelmaking. that means the significance of that you could remove bad materials, contaminants from the scrap and the iron that you could remove phosphorus and you could remove sulfur. all the open hearth production was made from scrap and cold pick iron. and, the bessemer plants ad thompson and homestead produced a lot of scrap which had little or no utility but if you put it
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in a basic open hearth furnace you could use it. so all of this material that was considered scrap in other places and useless material was now could be utilized in the open heart at homestead works and not only that, is it could be utilized to make steel that had very high prices. and so, it was a win-win-win situation with carnegie. so this is one of the synergies that i found that worked out. he took, he took material that was useless almost, and made it into the most profitable products that you could make. the only thing he had to add was labor and fuel to do it. so that is part of the genius of carnegie. he could see these things and, he utilized good ideas he had as businessman, not as a technical businessman, people used his own
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system and company to try to do something like that because it took investment, took away pro profits. he was constantly he reinvesting money from the profits back into the company, to the consternation of his partners because they wanted money. carnegie, money wasn't important so much. carnegie had 50% of the company or more, and so 50% of a little is much, much better and more satisfactory to him than 5% of a little to the other partners. they wanted more money. carnegie had enough money. he wasn't extravagant liver. he didn't have, he didn't have huge homes at the time. he didn't, he lived in 1886 at least he lived in hotels with his mother and his plants were always the best. he was willing to invest the money to make his plants the best. and again, that brought more
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people in. that loved to work for somebody that was doing the best. carnegie actually instituted at jones insistence, carnegie instituted-hour work day in 1878. for 10 years he had to work 8-hour work days at his plants, edgar thompson. as this went on, as more steel was needed and america cast taking off as a industrial nation, because carnegie had efficient mills, his profits began to take an up swing. as a matter of fact, in the late 18 '90s he was starting from a little bit more than five million in profit as year to seven, to 10, to 20, to 40 million in actually last year of full, full year of operations.
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his profits were said to be $40 million, although that is questionable. it had to do with ego. it might have only been $30 million. but still that's a lot of profit. nobody was as profitable as he was. so they had to get him out of the business. they made an asset that was so valuable they had to buy him out because he was going to destroy the all the other steel companies in the united states because he could undersell all of them. they got him out of the business. when he sold the carnegie company to farm the basis of u.s. steel, they gave him $480 million. that is about 3 1/2 times the total profits that he made over all of the years that he was in business. after world war ii, pittsburgh region was beat to death by producing a lot of steel for the
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war effort and they tried to improve plants but they did it peace meal. so not, instead of going out and building something totally new, they would try to keep their workers working, and they would do this piecemeal. and, couldn't keep up with the industry. the plants were getting too old. they weren't the new efficient plants, the continuous casters and oxygen furnaces and thinks like that. in the '70s you could see the handwriting was on the wall. plants started closing, steel plants started closing. the story is about innovation, and story is about technology. this story is about the development of the science of steelmaking which is attributed primary to the carnegie steel
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company. it is not about the bad part of it. it is about the good part of it. it is about the science of it. it is about people thinking and excelling and doing well. yes, the bad has to come along with the good but that's not why carnegie succeeded, nor other companies. they succeeded because they were innovators. they succeeded because they could see how to take one and one and make seven. they saw ways to make things work better, as i said, with the scrap and in the open hearth, they saw ways to make fantastic improvements over stuff that were, well, insignificant. they used insignificant things to make significant progress and to change the way things were done. >> booktv in the beautiful city of pittsburgh. up next we're going to learn
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about the african-american contributions to political and social evolution in pittsburgh since world war ii. >> how did this old pittsburgh and this new pittsburgh play out for black people? and the book, race and renaissance is really an effort to say black people fared unevenly and they fared unequally in the process of developing the old industrial city and in many ways the emerging new city has not integrated african-americans on a equal footing, you know, with their predominant white counterparts. so the first blacks who came into the pittsburgh region in some ways, i mean in large numbers, some ways they were migrating from areas of enslavement in the south. and they were beginning to build communities. many of them were fugitives.
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some of them were already free. but they were in some ways setting up an initial community. but the real backgrounds for our story, for this race and renaissance, is the period between the civil war and the end of world war ii. and that in real way, the long haul of that story is that black people in pittsburgh in this ohio river valley, became part of a new industrial environment that really took off in the period after the civil war. and, this moment, after the civil war, pittsburgh was beginning to pick up steam as iron and steel center. when he said blacks fared unevenly, the behavior toward
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african-americans were a little mixed, but mainly hostile in many, many ways. first of all, industrialists, for the most part. there is in pittsburgh and elsewhere in the nation. . . they wanted to break the strike of white workers so black people were gradually introduced into the steel industry before the great migration took off. they came and mainly as replacements for white workers. it's interesting then that these
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employers could then see black people as capable of doing this industrial work when, in general, there was a negative attitude. you can tell there was a way in which some of these ideals of black workers. in a way, african-americans broke stride in part because it wasn't just the owners who discriminated against them. white workers, when they organize those labor unions and made those demands, they put clauses into their union that blocked african-american membership. so you've got the dual impact of employer and labor discrimination.
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one of the strategies they employed, a very dangerous strategy in many ways because it meant that white workers were hostile and black people had to navigate that experience. the good thing for them overall, over the long haul is that they had a foothold in a major industry. for a while, companies would leave most of these workers after this drake but they did keep some that became a core of black workers that persisted until world war i and by the time the great migration hit, there was another era of recruiting black workers in the industry. those jobs were some of the most
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favored jobs and they paid more than other jobs. they created a foundation for building families and communities and in the wake of the great migration, these communities really blossomed and expanded. work in the steel industry helped to fuel churches, fraternal orders, civil rights and political organizations, social clubs, business infrastructure. it was really a critical piece of the economy of pittsburgh. it wasn't the only work black people did but it represented an emerging economy because before world war i and before blacks got jobs in the industrial sector, they were usually employed in household labor and more or less general labor jobs in all kinds of capacity on
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street construction projects and digging ditches and sanitation work, they did those kinds of jobs but this open the door for more employment. this is going to set up a scenario where black workers appreciate getting jobs in the economy but over the long haul they want to move up in that dissatisfaction that built up over the limitation that they confronted would set up fueling the rise of this movement, a black labor movement, black civil rights movement and so on. >> because a number of blacks have started to move into pittsburgh in larger numbers than they did in some other areas before world war i, by the time the great migration hit,
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the upsurge in the percentage and numbers of blacks coming in or not as great as it was for some other centers like detroit or cleveland in those other centers were receiving a major wave of the industrial sector. pittsburgh was on an upswing in the 20s but it was not as dramatic. over time they continued to come here even after world war i. the real challenge is a major one as i sort of laid out and talked about throughout this part of our discussion. the other one was housing. housing was a major issue for african-americans. pittsburgh, like other cities put barriers up against african-americans moving into predominantly white
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neighborhoods and they estimate in the 60s there was still some advertisements in newspapers that testified will rent for colors, and then others would say room for whites. there is a very strong line in expectation that this is a racially segregated housing area and if you want to find housing you better look for places that allow black people to rent or buy. the history became the central neighborhood for african-americans. initially, it was a multiethnic neighborhood with jewish people, other european ethnic groups occupying the turf, but over over time it became predominantly african-american, especially during the time after
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world war ii. unlike a lot of communities, pittsburgh really has several different african-american neighborhoods, but the neighborhood was restricted and usually segregated. segregation was never the hard absolute line that we sometimes make it appear. in fact, in in the literature and in some of the interview, black people would often say yes, black people were limited from moving into certain neighborhoods where white people could always move into african-american areas. as a result, also, there were lines of transition where the borders were blue blurred
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between the races and they were intermixed but i think for the most part they became identifiably black. one way to understand the sentiment and the orientation of afton americans in pittsburgh and much of the country after world war ii is to look at what was called this very important practice committee that, during world world war ii, african americans threaten this march on washington, told roosevelt that if you don't do something about discrimination we are going to march 50,000 strong strong on the nation's capital. roosevelt wanted to discourage the movement and said you can't march on the nation's capital and they said yes we can, and in the end, roosevelt backed off
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and issued executive order 8802 that established this committee that they would oversee the practices of these companies that have these huge government contracts and to encourage them on an equal basis. it's almost as if the modern black movement demolished jim crow and deindustrialization undermined and nearly demolished the black industrial worker class because during the late 20th century, the steel industry virtually disappeared, and along with it black workers. it was in greater and faster proportions than whites even though all workers suffered, blacks were ahead of the game in
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suffering. you could see it by 1990 for example, the poverty rate recorded for blacks in pittsburgh was 40%. at the same time, the poverty rate for white residents was 14%. the late 20th century and the aftermath of the steel collapse was a painful moment for black people and they were not gaining access to new jobs and the new pittsburgh and i think that gap continues, we still have that gap. >> i would say it had a profound impact on the way we understand pittsburgh today. one of the things you had to keep coming back to is that
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there has been an unevenness about the way black people have experienced the city. what that means is for many black people pittsburgh is a decent place to live in a try to make it so, but at other times, the obstacles are very clear so i think the current pittsburgh is still grappling with its unequal racial past and its inability to fully address or embrace that racism continues to affect the city. i would hope people would pay attention to inequality because
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working-class people are not going to be quiet about long-term at neglect and inequality. they will move on their own accord and in some cases, you may have to move in ways that disrupt the peace of the community because people have ignored the issues for so long. just take a page and say let's become cognizant of these history. these people deserve a seat at the table. they contribute to this community. we shouldn't wait until a crisis hits where people have reached a breaking point to address the issues. >> the duquesne incline was built in 1877. it was one of four inclines used to transport people to the top of what was once called cole hill. today it's known as mount washington's.
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it has become a tourist attraction with the observation deck. book tv visits to pittsburgh continues with a trip to the carnegie library. >> carnegie really had a love for learning, and through this wonderful institution felt this would be a way for the public to escape into another world. >> right now we are in the william r oliver's special collections room of the carnegie library of pittsburgh. we will come back here later to look at some of his material, but right now we are going to make our way down to the second floor to the reference services department to look at the reading room there. right now we are going to pass through our book stacks.
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we have an 11 story book stack at the rear of the building. we will move from there to the second floor. you will notice that the floors are all green glass panels. that is so light can pass through all of the floors and help illuminate them. >> we have to remember that when the book stacks were built at the turn of the 20th century, lighting was not as superior as it was today. everything they could do to make it easier for the people, the librarians to find the book and bring the books out to the public was an asset. that's why we have these green glass floors. the library was built in two parts. the museum was added at the
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second building. the original building was built in 1895 and dedicated to mr. carnegie at that time. that building was judged to be too small and he added additional money to expand and add specific art galleries and natural history galleries to the building and the 11 story book stacks and renovation to the interior, everything that was rededicated in april of 1907. we are going to move from the pennsylvania department down to the second floor to the reference area. that is our main reading room. this is our main reading room on the second floor. this was added during the 1907 renovation. all of the decoration here,
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including the decorative nets above all the doorways was done by elmer ellsworth who also supervise the decoration of the library of congress and the boston public library. the individual and all of the decorative are images from renaissance medallions and that was the theme for this particular hallway. all of the decoration on the marble staircase has been restored. this is all as it was when it was first rededicated in 1907. the colors come the building, everything was restored to make it look new again.
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here we are in the main reading room on the second floor, this is the full home of the reference service department. we have reference material circulating here. all of that comes from this particular room. at one particular time, the very beautiful vaulted ceilings were skylights, but they were painted over in world war i and world war ii and so the covering was never removed. they no longer function in that way, but they still have been restored and repainted. the mural were all cleaned and sealed. the lamps on all of the reading tables are replicas of the original lamps that we had in the early 20th century on all
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of the reading tables. we try to keep the atmosphere here as true to the original as we possibly can. mr. carnegie was extremely interested in the early creation of all of his libraries because all of those communities were very close to his heart, and when we go up to the oliver room , they will be able to show you where he was interested in every part of the library's construction. after a certain amount of time, so many communities were asking for libraries that he created to make sure the funding was available to create keep creating public libraries across america. >> today selected andrew carnegie related materials. it would be correspondence, photographs, some brochures
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pertaining to carnegie and his involvement with the library from the beginning until he passed away. this shows his thoughtfulness in developing not only this library but his grand idea of libraries throughout the world. in the colonel anderson collection, which is up here, we are going to see some books that carnegie looked at when he was a young boy that may have influenced him later on. the idea that these holdings would be wonderful for the city of pittsburgh as well as for people coming from all over the world. i have selected today, a number of of items you can see on display on the table, that traces carnegie library from the beginnings to its opening in 1907.
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if you look at the four photographs that are here, you can see this area which is a pretty big complex shows that it was a field and there's a hill and it's pretty undeveloped as well as outlook from the building you can see there were trolley tracks because the trolley would go past and stopped right in front of the building. those tracks remain for many years after the building was open, but it's hard to believe when you look at this complex how extensive it is that it basically was golly and he'll and cobblestone street. carnegie wanted it to be in the oakland area of pittsburgh, and this area fit perfect with his vision of having a large complex. >> he envisioned this area as an
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educational area of the city which is very true today because both the university of pittsburgh and carnegie mellon university border the library. there's also, not far from here, several other colleges so this area has developed with his vision as an educational area in the city of pittsburgh. i pulled from the medication that was sent out to the public of the original library building in 1895. i pulled some correspondence. his letters are fabulous on many accounts. one, they give detailed information on what's going on
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in the building of the building, but as you can see on a number of these, carnegie just did not hand a piece of paper over to his secretary to type. then he would sign the letter when it was finished. he would go in "after words", cross things out, do post-it notes, anything that needed to be added in, he just did. it's a wonderful chance to see his own handwriting. they're really pretty interesting as well. when the library initially opened in 1895, he knew immediately that it needed to be larger as has been mentioned earlier and so he decided he wanted to have a largest base.
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at the time he did not like the two towers that were outside of the building, as you can see in our photograph, there are these two towers at the front, which i personally like but carnegie himself didn't and he had the means to remove them. one of the most interesting letters describes his dislike of those two towers, and if i can just quote briefly a sentence or two from the letter, he said to the famous architects at the time, they are not proper judges about the towers because they are their own work. i should like the opinion of other architects. with the towers as i see them, the building would look like a mule with long years, and that's become one of the famous lines here about the towers that they are a mule with long ears. he also wanted a list of famous
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individuals to run the outside of the building. it was supposed to be the four building blocks of culture, literature, science and art. before carnegie approved of the name, it got leaked to the press because the original list of omitted robert burns and sir walter scott, to very famous scotsman and he wasn't so happy with that. he wrote a letter criticizing some of the names that were on there, approving others others and eventually it was all worked out for the names that were on the outside of building. again it's one of these
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interesting correspondence that you can see how he thought about who should be represented and who shouldn't be represented on the outside of his building. the library is blessed with two historical collections that deal not only with carnegie himself, but represent his interest when he was a young boy. when he was a young boy, he would visit every saturday, the home personal library of the colonel anderson who lived in the city, the north side of pittsburgh, and he would be exposed to books in all topics, all genres. that library, in its day, was
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well over several thousand volumes. currently what is left of that collection, which is about 400 books is housed in special collections. we also have a wonderful collection that was given to the library by mrs. carnegie. the collection was the library of a woman named margaret barclay wilson. she wrote in the books that she used fall under two categories, books and pamphlets and journals that carnegie had wrote things in himself, his own personal writing, but also material books and journals or magazines that he appeared in and there may be some description about it. this collection is very
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important for somebody who is doing research on carnegie. when you look at it at first glance, it may look like it's a hodgepodge of things like why is there a biography of mark twain here or something on the roosevelt policy, but he is mentioned in those and so it helps to get the wide angle view of the man. i think by looking at some of the materials we've selected here, he really had a love for learning, and through this wonderful institution felt this would be a way for the public to escape into another world, whether they are doing research for enjoyment, and he felt very indebted to colonel anderson with his library and i think he
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felt that giving this library to the city of pittsburgh he was doing the same thing that colonel anderson did to him. >> we are standing in elliott overlook park with a view of the west and pittsburgh behind me. as we toured the city, we will take a look at the nonfiction literary scene. next we are going to see about the differing perspectives that black-and-white have about the criminal justice system. >> would you please stand and face the jury? >> superior court of california, county of los angeles in the matter of people versus the state of california with a jury find the defendant not guilty of the crime of murder. >> we start paying attention to
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a lot of high profile cases, particularly in the 1990s. you couldn't help but be struck several years after that, actually before that by the o.j. simpson verdict. the predominantly minority jury acquitted simpson on two counts of homicide. the coverage that night, no matter where you look, and of course no matter where you look, the coverage was almost identical. looking at people in stores, watching watching them come out on television, on street corners and you found these expressions that are absolutely horrified because there was quite a bit of evidence incriminating him. these went against the faces of african-americans who were
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ecstatic, primarily in most cases because they thought justice had finally been served. every single survey that came out looking at the opinions of americans on the o.j. simpson case all pointed to exactly the same preclusion that african-americans had become extremely cynical about the ability of the criminal justice system to do its job right in a nondiscriminatory way. when the two look at the criminal justice system, they are are releasing two different things. basically, whites are very sanguine. they believe it does its job and it treats everybody the same and for the most part they don't have very much to complain about. when you talk to most african-americans.
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they believe they do not people fairly. what part of the criminal justice system whether it's racial profiling, stopping motorists or interrogations or arrest, if it's a jury verdict or incarceration, that at stage along this process, the argument is that african-americans are treated far more harshly and putatively and the system of justice is just broken. it's just absolutely broken. >> we also talk about racial fairness in the sense that the criminal justice system, in particular is unfair towards african-americans and the entire race. one of the ways we look at this is that we asked people to explain something for us, and what we asked him to explain is
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why is it that blacks are so much more often arrested and incarcerated than our whites. that's an indisputable fact. typically, we ask people questions that will give you one of two types of responses. they will either make what we refer to as external attributions, in other words the reason this happens is because something in the environment or they will give you internal which is the reason is because there's something different about the personality or characteristics or dispositions of people that make some turn out differently. when we asked people, how do you explain the fact that african-americans are so much more in incarcerated, we asked why and they consistently give you internal investigations. they get arrested more because they don't respect authority.
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when you asked the african-american certain questions, how do you explain incarceration rates, they will focus on external explanations. the reason why we are incarcerated, we are invested so much more often has to do with the fact that the criminal justice system itself is very, very heavily biased. so, we found perceptions at the personal level, the racial level, but also in a very, very general sense, what we call systemic unfairness. if you asked people very broad questions, questions like you asked people to agree or disagree, the justice in this country treats people fairly and equally, white say yes it does, african americans overwhelmingly no it doesn't.
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the courts can usually be trusted to give everybody a fair trial. again these are differences. again i'm talking about differences in 50 or 60% where the vast majority will say yes they do give out the same treatment to everybody and african-american say no it absolutely does not. those are some of the areas in which we find these enormous differences between blacks and whites. >> when people look at the criminal justice system today, especially with this rash of police shootings of minorities, especially afghan americans, when people look at the inequity and the criminal justice system, of course those don't happen at the level of the policymaker. it's the people in congress, the president, peoples in the governor's office who make the decisions about what are the laws and are they fair to everybody, or it's the police officers who make the decisions
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in many cases. so, it would make perfect sense to interview elites or police officers. that would be an outstanding research opportunity. we focus on citizens, average citizens not because they make the policies but because they have incredible influence over people who make the policies. weathered citizens choices are reasonable or logical, whether they are informed, unfortunately we found a lot of evidence that is not the case. what we found is, i'm generalizing to a certain extent, but what we found a large extent is that when people think about crime they think about race, and when people think about race they think about crime.
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we spent a lot of time talking to people about racial stereotypes. do you see, both african-americans and white, do you see african-americans as being lazy. do you see them as being violent or it resisting authority. it's astonishing to see how many people say yes to those types of questions. people are willing to admit that yes they have negative stereotypes of various stereotypes. a lot of people don't admit to it that they actually feel this way. there are close relationships between how whites perceive african-americans and how negative stereotypes are and are views of the criminal justice.
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the reason for that being is if icf can americans as violence or whatever, sure they end up in the penitentiary, but that's the way they should be, they need to be in the penitentiary more often. so it colors the way we see the system, our very perceptions of the fairness of the system. even though we were motivated to write this, we are seeing more incidents than we did back then. very high profile instances
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being killed by police officers just as we saw in the case of rodney king, we are seeing differences between whites and black, white, not always, but, but whites have a stronger tendency not to side with the police officer excuse what they did as being rational reasonable response, but to but to attribute to the victim dishonorable characteristics, to focus on that he might not have a gun in his hand but he just robbed a convenience store. african-americans, you see this especially with the development of the black lives matter movement, african americans are not as sanguine about what's going on, nor should they should
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they be but they are tremendously concerned that they're being investigated and prosecuted the right way. that the behavior of police officers is at the level we would like to see it, still there is a tremendous amount of cynicism, despair and anger on the part of minority communities there are some signs of hope. one of the areas, if you looked at laws which themselves could be considered to be racial and discriminatory, the hundred to one provision where people are given the same prison terms for 100 grams of powder cocaine as for 1 gram of crack cocaine.
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the punishment is 100 times harsher. under president obama and under the attorney general's office led by eric holder, they tried to equalize those and what they did several years ago was changed from 100 - 1 over 2818 - 2818 - 1. they are trying to move in the right direction. the other thing is this is one of those issues that uniting democrats and republicans because a lot of the reforms we need to see our budget driven. budgets, particularly at at the state level become worse and it is far too expensive to incarcerate so many people. what you are finding, even in
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the most conservative states like texas, the legislators are coming to the realization that we can afford to do this thing anymore. they're starting to experiment with early release programs. there's studying education programs and other programs for nonviolent offenders. it may not be for the reason we would like but it is. [inaudible] at least legislators are beginning to address those issues because they don't have any other choice. i think what we would like people to come away with is an understanding, especially among whites, but when they see a black lives lives matter movement, this doesn't mean that white lives don't matter. that has nothing to do with the black lives matter movement. rather, it's an attempt to try to deal with this climate of
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racial discrimination in the justice system, and the only way they know what to do are the only thing they can think of which is to call attention to it over and over again. whether that's falling on deaf ears, i don't know. i guess time will tell sooner or later what's going to happen. i think what people need to realize is that just because whites to see the criminal justice system as balanced or equal does not make it so. it does not make it a reality. >> city books is one of the oldest bookstores. it was established in 1987 as a new book and antique store. i'm a small neighborhood bookstore, although i'm also a destination bookstore. i think all are that way. we are unique and cute and people want to put us on their lap and cut us. we are alive and real. it's theoretical that a
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pittsburgh or someone in the suburbs of pittsburgh could take a three-day book weekend and hit all the different used in independent bookstores within the city and never see them all because they've all taken on a personality of their owners. within pittsburgh, many independent bookstores that we have, i think city books fill that niche. >> book tvs exploration of the literary life continues. up next, the story of the political and professional evolution of african-american journalists from the city and their fight for racial justice in the 20th century. >> segregation is persisting and as discrimination and inequality are persisting, and as the economy and economic hardship begin to worsen with the great depression, you are seeing commercial black journalists
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begin to report the news with this sentiment attached to the story. what i look at in my book is this time. from basically world war i to the 1970s. what i'm trying to examine is the political and professional evolution of black journalism in that time. i'm trying to gauge how black journalists and their writing, the coverage of news event changes over time. i get to that point by sort of examining how the outside forces are leading journalists, pressuring journalists to cover the news in different ways. the forces are the black press which emergent world world war i and include people like
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socialists, philip randolph, hubert harris his known as the father of black radicalism. they want them to have a broader audience. they are pressuring commercial black newspapers to begin to cover the news from their perspective. you start to see that newswriting becomes more progressive and at the same time you are seeing the universities are becoming more aggressive and progressive. this is all part of the movement
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that is very aspirational. it is saying america is racist and america is bankrupt here in the 1930s, how do we move ahead. it's really the search for a true alternative to the american way. a true alternative to a two-party system and a political economy rooted in white supremacy. we start to see up to and into world war ii. you have this moment where the alternative black press is really a strong influence. it almost completely disappears because it folds into the commercial press. this last until the end of world war ii. at this point, the national newspapers have hit their circulation peak. they are circulating two or 3 million readers a week and selling two or 3 million
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newspapers a week when there are 13 african-american in the nation. readership is showing that nearly half of african-americans are reading the newspaper. they have an enormous influence. they have broadened the parameters of what's acceptable in black political discourse. i guess a couple of examples might explain this. really what i see as the birth of true modern black newspaper is in the 1935, 19365, 1936. this is the moment when the pittsburgh courier will surpass them in circulation and emerge as being the second national newspaper to arrive on the scene
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what they are both doing is, they are covering the build up to the italian invasion of ethiopia. daily newspapers are also covering this event but it's like here's some news that has to be covered whereas with the black newspapers, this becomes a big deal. it is the central event in their coverage and people are intensely interested. they're complaining that western democracy should stand up against this fascist italy, but they're not going to. what's happening is you see the defender and the courier where there are feeding upon this moment to say, to look at world affairs, it's an approach that
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says the african-american experience is part of a broader experience and what happens in ethiopia has importance to african-americans in the united states. most of whom have never been to africa and will never go to africa, but they're going to say this should matter because what it displays is white supremacy works here in america in some way and it works in ethiopia by this invasion by italy and both are in a sense united by this capitalistic society that encourages racial exploitation. they will bounce the exploitation, to the top of its competitors because it's actually going to send a reporter to ethiopia, and this is sort of an amazing thing given the limited resources that
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are available. to make that sort of correspondence, they send over a west indian who has migrated to the united states and is a historian who really is a key figure that african-americans are connected with other people around the world because he has a cartoon feature that appears in the courier regularly from the 1930s - 1960s and well after his dad he continues to run. it's advocating a black centric point of view of history that is not available anywhere else, for the most part in america. he's going to carry this perspective with him when he
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goes and covers the war in ethiopia. you are not reading this type of news anywhere else. you are going to also see these newspapers, because of the relentless pressure they assert on the wrongness of segregation, and because of their increasing popularity during this time, a sizable readership where they are informing 6 million people every week that the federal government during wartime often try to censor these newspapers and realize that they can't do it. the newspapers are too many and too powerful. they realize that the heavy handed attempts don't really work and it leads to a degree of
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toleration and gradually acceptance amongst federal authorities who would really prefer to see these newspapers entirely shut down. this is going to start to come undone during the anti- communism movement, almost before world war ii is even over. by this point, the commercial newspaper publishers, some of them supported it but many of them were reluctant. they were participants in the two-party political system. they make their money and their profits by being capitalistic enterprises. to protect these businesses, they begin to move away from the radical politics. they begin to urge the newsroom of the more radical voices and this is the time you will see frank marshall davis who is working for the amp, associated negro press with claude burnett,
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it's he's going to go to hawaii and simply not come back. harrington who works for the pittsburgh courier might be under investigation by the government and so he goes to europe and doesn't come back. his column in the chicago defender will disappear. langston hughes will be called before congress to testify about whether or not he was a communist in sympathizer. the sense of progressiveness is marginalized in these newspapers this occurs right at the exact moment that the civil rights movement is beginning to take off. you sort of see, now these newspapers have a number of completing pressures on them. suddenly, daily newspapers, white newspapers are interested in race stories that they've never paid much attention to before.
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i've got them, you've got johnny johnson and the magazine presenting a more uplifting and color for of black life. these magazines like his are rising and they're posing a challenge to these newspapers. you've got new competitors, you've got a reduced sense of progressiveness, and this is happening at a time when these newspapers start to fall behind. their circulations are declining , and as it occurs their influence begins to diminish. one of the things i felt when i started looking and studying african-american history, i had the sense that black radical politics weren't as fringed as they are often pretrade to be in popular discourse, whether it's in the media or commentary that
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when a progressive viewpoint is expressed that there is a long history and a reason for that. one of the ways historians have long studied the movement is traditional framing was that the movement begins with brown versus board of education in 1954 and ends in 1968 with the assassination of martin luther king. to me, that is really a misleading characterization of the movement because what it does is lobs off the black power movement and says and then something happened and it moved in a different direction that is somehow alien from what has occurred before. and think if you understand the relationship between the commercial and alternative black press which are never as defined as we see in white press, and
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the fact that they had a close working relationship and many of the progressive viewpoints of black radical are being discussed and debated and reviewed. the black power movement is simply an extension. it's an extension of a long heritage of radical politics that says that the american system is flawed and needs to be corrected. >> cspan where history unfolds daily. in 1979 cspan was created as a service for american cable companies and is brought to you
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today by your cable or satellite provider. here is a look of some authors recently featured on book tvs "after words" on our author interview program. he discussed his research on immigration and the u.s. economy the cofounder argued how income inequality has contributed to economic growth. popper professor explained the way society has been affected by advertising. in the coming weeks, gary young on his investigation of gun violence in america. coming up harvard business school professor explores the motivation of white-collar criminals. they talk about the career.
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>> there was a school based in new york which was focused on the economy which hadn't existed the creation of data, the best quality data was not taking the data for granted and then building a mathematical connection. >> "after words" airs on book tv every saturday at 10:00 p.m. and sunday at nine pm eastern. you can watch all previous "after words" programs on our website, up next, they talk about brian regan, a cia analyst who, in 2000, was caught trying to sell
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military and intelligence secrets to libya. he used his dyslexia to create a complicated code that was difficult for the fbi to decipher. >> thank you all so much for coming out. i think what we will do is talk for the first 20 or 25 minutes and then i will be available for questions pertaining to the book :


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