tv Tamara Payne The Dead Are Arising CSPAN December 28, 2020 8:30pm-9:59pm EST
tonight is part of our 2020 year end review we focus on biographies. to merit pain her national book award winning biography "the dead are arising" and pulitzer prize-winning washington post reporter mary jordan and her book the art of her deal. later, edward fall in the life of a klansman that starts at 8:30 p.m. eastern. enjoy book tv this week and every weekend on c-span2. >> you are watching book tv on c-span2. every weekend with the latest nonfiction books and authors. booktv on c-span2 created by america's cable television company. today we are brought to you by these companies provide book tv to viewers as a public service. >> hello, i'm randall and welcome to the miami book fair with tomorrow pain, co-author with her father of "the dead are
arising", the life of the malcolm hello, tammy. >> hello. >> congratulations, by the way on this long-awaited publication of the book that your father were going for 30 years. >> yet, started. >> we should point out that he did the research in the interviews while holding a very demanding full-time job as an award-winning pulitzer prize-winning foreign correspondent and later assistant managing editor at newsday so while, he must have not gotten much sleep working on this book and doing the job and with your family as well, your brothers and your mom. but you know, before we talk about the book, tammy, if you don't mind just tell us a little bit about your dad. give us a sense of his early life, i know he was born in alabama and moved with his family from alabama to hartford,
connecticut when he was 12 years old and obviously a studious and very smart and graduated from high school in hartford at age 16 and went on to the university of connecticut. by the way, what was his career goals when he entered college while he was in college and what did he want to do after college? >> he was interested or frankly, he was talented as an artist. we had a scout went to college on an art scholarship but also wanted a career that he could make money at and his art was always a passion of his. art in all forms but he wasn't what he started as an engineer but didn't like it. he did not like it. it wasn't that he wasn't doing well in the studies but that he looked at the people who came in and they were very focused in their career and what they knew and nothing else.
then had a voracious curiosity and interest so he cannot see himself being one track like that. yes, he read everything and studied newspapers and a lot of the people that he was reading particularly like marie cam, he was reading in high school and college but then went on to be in their boss. >> of course, another prize-winning columnist for the daily news, was it? in new york. >> he was in new york. >> and so he was reading maria while he was a college and murray was a much older man and obviously had been at it for a while. then murray went on to work for newsday. >> went on to work for the newsday and they became friends even in very interesting. i think their interest so there was very intellectual conversations and talking about
language and make fun of each other in their writing because people made fun of murray camp with his writing style because they thought it was 18th century. [laughter] [inaudible conversations] but he was brilliant and dad and he became friends and boston columnist that he was an editor and would will added his columns while murray was at newsday. they were good friends and dad appreciated that friendship. but also i mean, in college he was or he thought about becoming an engineer and saw he wasn't a good fit for that. he went on to study history and english and he thought he wanted to be a writer to write the great american novel and when they graduate they would look at their options and what he could do careerwise and while other guys could go into journalism
right off the bat at that time he did not even need a college degree to be a journalist the chances of him being hired by newspapers was not likely so he went to the army because he felt he would see what his prospects would be there. in the army he went to army ranger school so he learned how to fire and was very athletic but also interested in just acquiring information and learning new things. he took a class of information becoming an information officer and was at the top of his class on that and just did that on a whim and what happened with that was in vietnam he said he wanted a speechwriter who was at the top of the class and dad was a graduate and when they felt that he was number one candidate they thought a mistake was made.
>> because yes, of course because he was black. >> yes, but he said no i want the top guy and that's who dad was and that's how he ended up been working with the general westmoreland. he wrote his speeches and manage the newspaper and following other orders where the troops were stationed in saigon. >> that is where he developed his idea also of a path into journalism as a result of meeting the journalists with whom he had to work and provide him with tours, is that right? >> correct. he provided tours and one in particular jesse lewis who walked to work to "the washington post" was writing a series about the u.s. army inside vietnam in 1977 and dad took him around the fort and they went to or he showed them where the troops were and showed them and he ended up losing --
writing this piece about how the confederate flag was being flown and disappeared in "the washington post" and the president of the united states did not like that. you know, he saw that and you know he was considered a renegade and this was the u.s. army is the u.s. army and not just the states that seceded but it is you have to be -- the flag has to represent the whole country but wasn't simply that but it was that it was published in "the washington post" two. this was not a good look for the president of the united states so he called a general westmoreland and shoot amount at their clock in the morning and they had to take down the confederate flag but what dad said he learned from that experience is that you know it was information getting out and that making the change wasn't, i
mean, of course people knew troops were flying the confederate flag and this wasn't news in the inner circle but once it became part of the general information and the general knowledge then he had to say okay, wait a minute, you start to correct yourself but what he learned from that experience was that journalists have power and he said the power of the faxed report reported by a prepress and reported by the constitution was determined to inform the public about what is going on. he saw the power of that and of giving people the information to make informed decisions and that was important to him and that's where he said okay, i want to see what i can do and there's something i can work in and still be interested in different things and make a change and he did. >> do you recall, as you are growing up a moment when you
learned or became aware of your father's interest and malcolm x? >> i don't recall when i -- i think it was always know not. [laughter] >> i came out of the womb and moved into his speeches. >> really? >> every weekend he played his speech well maybe not every weekend but we heard it often. it wasn't just once or twice a year. we heard it definitely a few times a month and sometimes in our black households sunday morning we will play gospel music, go to church, play gospel music and dad would pay the speeches. [laughter] >> i have to ask him what was he also played a speeches of martin luther king jr.? >> absolutely. he played both. look, dad never felt -- i mean,
he wasn't turn the other cheek person but as martin luther king had good ideas and the civil rights leaders definitely made movement that were important to our freedom as black people in this country so and dad understood that in respect of that but malcolm what he did was analyzed this condition of black experience in black people who are just experiencing oppression every day and giving it to us in a way that we embraced who we are, not skews who we are. >> that reminds me that while he was in college, i believe, he heard malcolm x speech i believe in bushnell hall in hartford. >> bushnell memorial hall, yet. >> to be ever talk about the impact of that first face-to-face, obviously he
already knew about malcolm x but to be in the same room with him -- >> i mean, if you go to, when you go see a speaker in your life you want to hear what they are saying face-to-face so it wasn't brand-new and you are familiar with that person and you want to see what it's like and if you have a question you want to ask it and that is what dad was doing. he went to there and said malcolm was doing his thing but this was an important speech in that malcolm was talking about, you know, freedom of black people but also how to refer to ourselves. he was flippant and malcolm would do this listen to the speech even when he was speaking he would flip between black and a negro negro was a term of the time and he would flip between it and at the time black was
considered very derogatory also being connected and dad said if i call my brother john i could still be running away from him so to hear that it was interesting and then what he said during that speech was that to the black people in the audience who are shifting and showing the discomfort with him using the term black and referring to them as black and said i see your own comfortable with that but in you except negro but what is negro but black in spanish. basically saying i can call you negro in another language if i can't call you black. >> and -- >> and matches clear the way for dad because it's kind of like how society is.
we don't live alone and we are not isolating but we will be impacted by what's happening around us and if everyone says i want to be this or be called that and you could fall into it. it may not even be important to you but if this is how we refer to ourselves, this is how we refer to ourselves and then you know that people when they explain why we don't like to be called black it's just a caller and not a designation in what some of the conversation going on and not all of it but that he was in that but then when he hears this malcolm says it cleared it up for him. you know, it was like an enlightenment moment for him and he said well, we are black but it allowed him because malcolm went on to talk about our experiences and then says this whole thing about you can be whatever you want to be but then says but what do we actually rise to any says i never see as
landowners or bosses or tenement farmers but as janitors and ics in the under position and, you know, what does that mean? we have to embrace who we are. but it was a clarity moment for dad. >> later in our conversation this is a tease for the audience to stick around, not to say that what we done so far is not interesting but there is a passage or section in the book where your dad reveals in detail a meeting that malcolm x had with the ku klux klan and the preparation for that meeting and how it came about. everyone will want to hear that because i had not well read
about malcolm and i know he never hit it but on the other hand it's not something i discussed all lots. to the book now. there was meticulous years, decades of research. do you have any idea how many interviews your dad did and how many family members of malcolm's close associates that he may have spoken to? >> probably about a hundred but hundreds of hours and that's why i describe it in that because the work of journalism is you talk to a person and get their story but then you go back because there are things they may say in that story and in that interview that makes you want to go look up things and may either change what they are sane or give or shed more light and you may have even more questions or they may refer to other people and then you will find those people and then they
say something and then go back to the other person and it clarifies things and you try to get more sides to the story so you can get as close to what the story really is. dad was a journalist to the core. certainly, in 1990 when he's doing this and he looked at stories as he wants to write a story or a book about what is new and that is he will not write a story about what everyone else knows and his view of what is already known. that did not interest dad. it did not motivate dad but what motivated him was to find out what was new but he was a journalist and journalists would kill our own meet and what that means is we go and find our own sources and do our interviews to find out the information. that information may already be in the book but it's different when you're talking to somebody
who was there and they can give you more color to the time of day that something might've happened where something happened and they may say it happened at five in the evening and i know this because the families were home from work, you know, you cannot necessarily get that in the book because it gives you more texturing and flavor of what is happening of that time in the story so what dad did had the opportunity to meet one of malcolm's brothers who was a very good friend walter evans in michigan and he interviewed him for like eight hours was fascinated by what he learned and -- >> i'm sorry to interrupt you but do know why walter evans suggested that your dad meet with malcolm's brother?
>> well, he knew that dad was interested in malcolm and he was interested in talking and he put them together and that was not unusual and so, you know, he was interested in talking and dad interviewed with him so he interviewed with him and found out the story and then goes back to home and processing this and talk to another good friend of his and journalism colleague gil who called show called -- >> and other brother. >> yes, and malcolm's best friend he said that's the brother you need to speak to so dad went back to michigan to meet with wilfrid and interviewed him for another eight hours and got more information. at the time i will say i was an english teacher in china and i
had come back to visit and he had done these interviews and he was processing it. he cannot stop talking about it. while he was talking about was that the family life, what he learned about the family life in the younger age and in the close-knit of the family and all the siblings and eventually dad spoke with all the siblings but he got a lot of information out of wilfrid and spoke with even all of them. >> it was a discovery of what he didn't know or had not known about malcolm's early life that set him on the trajectory of finding out what he could find out. >> yes, because what he realized that we talked about this was that malcolm has always been presented to us fully formed in anger. nobody looks at the world he lived in but he said i want to
look at not just who he was and his background in lineage even but i want to look at the world he was born into and so that's what -- it when you realize and this is important for all our stories and understand who we all are and we get to understand how family is important to all of us in forming us and impacting us and carrying us through life and helping us informs how we navigate life and decisions we make, good and bad. it comes from that early relationship and family whether your immediate family or even your extended family of grandparents and teachers and, you know, other extended family members. all of this form helps you form that community around you in which you form what is considered normal to you and then what's considered normal to me may not be considered normal to you and could be for
different reasons, different generation, different sides of the railroad track, different parts of the country or whatever it is. but family definitely has a factor on that and dad understood that. >> tell us about malcolm's family, his mother, father, his mother was a minister and his siblings eventually there were seven of them in malcolm's father's second family because we know there was another family earlier so tell us about malcolm's nuclear family. >> his nuclear family, i mean, first of all, earl and louise little, earl came from georgia and his mother louise came from grenada and they met in canada at a meeting for the universal negro association which is marcus garvey's movement.
they were already attracted and brought into the group. they were members of that. they met at one of their meetings in montréal and you know, earl would go there and lived in philadelphia and was working around and when he wanted to change serious he would go up north montréal and experienced life up there. he was going to different meetings all across that northeast area because, you know, marcus had groups in new york and would just travel and see these different places and that was the group he was a part of. he met louise in montréal and they met and they already had this in common and that's a strong thing to have in common. what marcus garvey's movement was about black people having self-determination, building up the communities and being
independent. >> and it was more than back to africa. >> right, it was about the kind of life you make for yourself here in america but by being proud of who you are and embracing who you are and so that is what drew them together because this was something they had in common. louise had a higher education then earl. earl had gone through grade school but there was still attracted because the thing brought them together but i bring up the education louise had because she wrote letters and did secretarial stuff in the meetings that earl would run when they did get married finally and they were a family but also in dealing with her children she was very much into the school work and making sure they were learning their lessons and she would sing to them in french even. i just feel it's important to understand that. she gave them, she was involved
with them at that level also and earl was involved at a different level as far as building up that strong work ethic. i would like to read a passage from the book where it showed that. those early days of the children. >> sure. >> reading from the anger is lost and for those of you who have this book congratulations. [laughter] >> makes a great holiday gift. >> but this is page 73. this is about louise little conditioning her children. the story of a little published in 1899 by british writer helen bannerman was a standard children's reader at pleasant grove and this was when they were in lansing. the illustrations of the dark indian child caught snickering among whites but the pic in any slur along with the bandying about the term and word repulsed
children who were told to disparage such a putdown of the black race. as it escalated it was her mother that conditioned malcolm in the siblings not to overreact to the racial slur. we do not like being cold a n-word but my mother said you could handle racial slurs in a way where you can make them continue or you can let them think they are not hurting you. she would give an example. if you're throwing darts at a dartboard there's a satisfaction get when you hit the target. when you miss it you get another feeling. well, she said it is the same white with white people. when they are throwing darts at you by things they say and do what they don't hit the target than they won't get that satisfaction. eventually they will quit. usually that is the way it works with the psychological training for resistance to racial provocation was conditioned into
the behavior of young malcolm and his siblings and their behavior earned grudging respect among growing number of whites in the neighborhood despite and in some cases because of their adherence to garvey's own. that was their mother conditioning on in household about, you know, how to deal with your classmates when they are insulting you and she's not saying turn the other cheek, by the way. she saying basically you are, don't accept that but you don't have to give them the delight in knowing they've hit their target with it. that's not the same as turning the other cheek. the other thing and you're coming from -- she's providing a place of self-awareness and strength. and pride. accepting of who they are not excusing.
>> do you have another passage? >> yet, this is more on earl little, this is also part of the page 79, all the children agreed that even though their father was not as given to education as their mother reverend lytle was dead set on fulfilling a work ethic and that is a preacher organizer he possessed a sharp steer for goodness and in this latter case he likely had of pension for malcolm's gift to express himself verbally and otherwise hitting at the relationship that he had with his son malcolm, earl that is. earl would take young malcolm with him proselytizing trips for marcus garvey and was only me that our father would take to the un naïve meetings which he held quietly in different people's homes malcolm noted in the autobiography. the special fraternal blonde
with the entering essence of malcolm's childhood imprinting and even before he reached the first grade he was impressed with the potency of leadership as demonstrated by his father at the un ia meetings. i remember seeing the big shiny photograph of marcus garvey that was passed around hand to hand, malcolm wrote, despite his imprisonment and deportation reverend little was highly respected as a regional un ia resident and malcolm recalls his father closing the house meetings with two dozen or so followers by chanting up you mighty race, you can accomplish what you will. >> this seems to me to also be a good place where we could go back for a moment before they got to east lansing and they were in nebraska, correct?
and his father was i guess you would call him a -- not a recruiter for un ia. >> organizer. >> organizer, yeah. there is this moment and this night when reverend earl little is not at home and the clan arrives outside the house where they were living and they were living in what has been an all-white neighborhood and a matter fact there weren't a lot of holes black folks but there were more black people in omaha then in any other area of the plane states but that did not necessarily mean a whole bunch of folks. >> no, but it was growing and what he would do is he would look for places where the family to go where they were not organized and his energy and his energy and know-how and abilities to talk with people
scale so that was another attention. >> at the end of world war i, when there's issues with veterans coming back after fighting for the freedoms of all americans in world war i the coming back and they knew that they fought for these rights but yet when they come home they are not going to be able to move freely in the country and they want to change that and were energized to do that and this was in 1925 that i am reading about so still the same area and same time period but this is what the environment is that happened in omaha there was a huge incident where this
lynching before the little family moved to omaha nebraska but there were still remnants from that incident and the attitudes and it is portrayed in this opening scene. on the gravel road to the small pane window she hurried to the front door as they rode up to their home on the outskirts of omaha nebraska. louise said her husband wasn't at home and the horsemen studied in the front yard and declared there was the night of the ku klux klan. get out of here now, one of the
strangers shouted. precise and her accent she said her family doesn't cause trouble or bother the neighbors neighboy minded their own business. the excitement died down and against the light there was the site that at least momentarily might have given the vigilantes pause. at more than 5 feet, 8 inches and she was pregnant, she was big expecting any time, she was pregnant with malcolm. you better get out of town, said the man explaining they didn't tolerate troublemakers. they got shot by the housing and made all kinds of threats
cheaply against the man of the house. the unfolding drama of the household i didn't know what to make of it. my mother was angry so naturally i was angry, tomac. verbally, she never used any profanity but still several waived gun barrels towards the door and as another went forward shaking his torch my mother kept arguing and the clan leaders got mad. he knocked out the front window. the baby brother started crying in the back room. as wilford recalled in the incident years later through lasting strengths on the matter
which she stood her ground for the white strangers on horseback however, contrary to the initial impression, wilford was concluding later that it held greatly that his father was indeed not at home. because the clansmen would have taken him out of the house, probably all of them out of the house. >> certainly him. >> what was it that he had been doing that angered the clan? >> he was organizing black people. even in georgia his father said you are bringing too much attention because of your pride.
>> he was very outspoken. >> he wasn't going to stand down, and that was hard for him. that was why when the families moved out of the south because they wanted to protect their children that had this trait, my family being one of them, my grandmother they took my father and his brothers out of georgia, i mean, out of alabama and moved up north because they knew that they would not survive. they were too smart and just as inquisitive as somebody telling you get out of the way if you are told to and they wouldn't accept that. they would say why do i have to do that. >> for the generations that may not know this in parts of the
south through your father's childhood and maybe in the early part of my childhood in certain small towns if a white person was on the sidewalk, you were expected to get off of the sidewalk. and if you didn't, it could cause trouble. anything from harassment to arrests. there were towns known as sundown towns if you've seen the movie the green book which was written by the driver, doctor shirley. and you would adhere to that rule to get you in trouble. but back to your dad's book, you mentioned the reverend was a follower of a marxist garvey it
had a ship line for a minute that was supposed to be one of the ways to raise money to carry people somewhere. >> the clan was in marcus garvey's and let's also understand marcus garvey came from jamaica. he wasn't an american citizen. he was from jamaica and he came here and brought his organization here. he still had a charter in jamaica. but his whole belief was that the clan was the shadow government of the united states and so he didn't see a way for the americans to even negotiate. his view was let's go back.
the other argument on this stuff, part of it is and bracing people in the diaspora and understanding that's why it's important and you have to understand that. there are not blacks only from the united states or africa. there are other places. and that comes up, tomac. >> and the parallel of garvey looking for the piece of land by peoplepeople's own space where s no encroachment or repression you can draw the line from that to elijah mohammed's effort to establish a piece of land in the
u.s. and the later iteration we haven't even gotten so far into the book yet but let me ask about this. tell us how the immediate impact on the outcome itself and the family. >> he was working in lansing and slipped and fell and was running back to get his coat and he fell on the tracks where a streetcar ran over him. somebody saw this and there were
other witnesses who saw it and the police were called and they knew that he wasn't going to survive this. he was determined to get his family, let them know, call and talk to my wife, tell my wife what happened. and again it's important when we say family is always kind of there, they are not far away. so, will fred, who is 12-years-old, he's there when they get the knock on the door and his mother had to identify. he didn't go with her to identify the body. he stays home with the other children because they are much younger but he is there when she comes back and is there listening to the police tell her what happened when they came on the scene and i will leave that for people to read in the book because it's very telling, but
the other thing is it is his account of what happened. he was 12-years-old. malcolm was sleeping at the time, 6-years-old. and so, like i said, he had a close relationship with his father and now that his father was gone, this is tragic to all of them for different reasons. now he really has to step up and be the man of the house at 12 and after. now they are trying to make ends meet to make the payments for the form that they were on and also what is tragic about this is just before that, they were on land and evicted but what
they found is that the deed to the land wasn't to be sold. >> the results of the american apartheid. >> and again we talk about this being anti-black just trying to own land. and we are not asking for handouts. the neighbors moved to get him evicted and then they burn the house down. this happened not long after he's killed and dies in the accident but the other thing is his belief is that because again
remember they were just evicted and there was already tension. some people said we got him even though they didn't and it wasn't that. malcolm heard that and it was a huge jump for him to accept that. >> that is basically what is at the hands of the ku klux klan or whatever chapter variation of that that was in the town. >> moving along he grows up and his mother is struggling to take care of children with the help of her older children and at some point it becomes too much for her and she is ordered into the state mental hospital in kalamazoo. another, for the family.
>> it is still traumatic. all this time the father dies in 1931, she is coming in like early 39 and she also just had a baby. robert little was another person so it was just a lot for her to take care of. even while she's in the institution, again there were neighborhood families that it seemed she was friendly with during this time losing sight of who she can trust and not to trust and because people are asking her how is she going to make it or if they do help and then you are not sure why they are helping. it is a very intense time. she never even had a chance to
mourn her husband's loss, her husband's death because she had to take care of her family. even though she has these children, some of them are older it's still hard and so this was also true in the depression. >> we have 16 minutes left and we haven't even gotten malcolm through his troubled teen years which by the way he didn't mention in the autobiography and he may be exaggerating some of his achievements in school because your dad's research found he had said he was very smart and made good grades in the autobiography but you know, we all have our own memories of what we did we just have to like
skip ahead. his oldest sister from his father's first marriage for whatever reason gathered the entire family together and at some point he's with her in boston, correct? >> before he moved to live with her in boston, how the families work, she's in boston and then will fred actually goes to boston and gets a job there because she can't get, you can't keep a job in lansing because they are not hiring him and it isn't because they are not capable, but they are not hiring him and we can say it's grace or the money he was making wasn't enough. but he got a job you could work at a hotel and in boston. he was able to make more money and sending more money home, so she had stayed there during that time. malcolm stayed in touch with them after their father died. that is when she really meets
them and malcolm gains an interest in her but basically he bags to moving with her. he's in a reformatory in mason and then he is doing really well there but they start to go particularly when the schoolteacher tells him that he can't be a lawyer and he feels his dreams are being shot down. but he moves to boston and is able to transfer the title over to her in boston. she also was able to help him get a job on the railroad. >> i have to interrupt you because believe it or not we only have ten minutes left. we haven't even gotten into the nation of islam which apparently
happened because his older siblings family again had become members of the nation of islam which was a step for them had they grown up under their father's interest in garvey is. so, malcolm gets in general and now he's in jail. everybody has this perception that he was some big time ex- felon but he was only in prison for two years maybe. >> he was 20 when he went in. a. >> doing the readings and the studies and -- >> from his hustling and getting in trouble and even seeing he is
getting a harsher sentence than he would have he and his friend are getting these long sentences and so he is starting to transform. he tells this moment of being angry and then he is learning and the family is still visiting him in jail and it's hard for him because they don't like to see him that way but then they keep coming and at the same time while he's going through this, will fred finds the nation of islam in detroit and because he's looking for something to be involved in --
>> when he gets out of prison, he is in the nation, was there a moment that there was damage, did your fathers research determined that there was a possibility of backsliding into the criminal life or did that time in prison and his membership in the nation set him on a true course to pass? >> i want to make sure that it's clear that this is our research. in doing the work on this i do know this information and i was working on these interviews and working with him on this and yes did we find he was going to
backslide, not so much into being criminal but he wanted something and the family was part of this community with the nation of islam and it was a good fit for the family and it was clear that it was a good fit for the family. getting malcolm into it they had to do a little convincing but he got into it and the thing is they didn't have that then it was possible he would have backslid but it took care of that energy and time for the commitment and focus for his intellect and physical imagery. >> how long was it after getting out of prison as a nation of islam did he become noticed by elijah mohammed as someone who
could do recruiting and help build the nation? >> he knew about him already because the family particularly well fred was rising up pretty quickly. he had already met with elijah mohammed the before malcolm came into the book. he said this is something we can work with but we can't work with it if this is how we are speaking about these or if this is how the literature reads, so he was about correcting the language in helping to reform. that's how it felt it was a good fit for the family and they helped out with their literature and teaching and they got it immediately involved in that. give me an example of the reformatting and revising.
>> they were handing out flyers and they were poorly written. he said you are not going to attract a lot of people with this. it isn't even in proper english. that's the correct dramatics. he wasn't teaching it so much because he felt it was fine but it's how you speak to people. i mean, you've seen that. so malcolm said okay, i am in and he went into a full throttle 100%. >> just for the sake of clarity, the principal philosophy, the nation of islam was shall we say
this like the white people were devils. >> and believe it or not malcolm had a hard time with that and that is one of the things they had to work with them. but it's because of the way that they were being treated. no smoking, drinking, alcohol, gambling, no fornication outside of marriage. people who were comin were comiy might backslide but then they try to get to the right mind they can commit to it and we have stories about that in the book. but malcolm -- >> he was a strict
disciplinarian with the underpinnings of discipline. >> and strong work ethic. not everybody else had that. he also is intellectual because of his reading and writing and arguing and debating in jail. but he has done all that so he's interested in attracting people with a higher education. malcolm was comfortable dealing with more educated people and the people in blue-collar they felt threatened by that and also much like how people would talk about when his father was killed, folks would start
gossiping about what his intentions were. for example, he moved in with a couple in michigan because he couldn't stay with his brother they said sure, we will take them in. so they took them in and he had a house and the husband, they were, they would recruit people and like the college students, more educated people, other
people felt threatened and he would have meetings kind of introducing people to what the teachings were. >> this began traveling throughout the east coast and live thliving leader all over t. >> this is malcolm's recruiting his ability to attract people into the nation just by his speaking ability and debate he wanted to attract them, he didn't want them to be totally turned off when it comes to the
temple. he wanted to kind of use them in a little bit so he would talk to them in a separate meeting. others and this is in detroit as he was trying to take over but that created tension and he was like all i'm trying to do is increase the membership. he said this is what we are doing. and he's attracting more people. he said okay. that's great but then the other members still felt threatened by that and he realized this wasn't necessarily a good fit for malcolm to be in this place. so, he had to sit them down and calm them down and said listen, i'm going to send you to the east and then he said take your temple over there we have several places already set up. reorganize them so he started in
boston. >> i'm sorry, we are out of time now. i have to push you on this a little bit. get me to the moment where that is in 1961 malcolm is actually visiting atlanta while he's having this speech at the temple, a telegram comes from a local chapter of the kkk. the members pass it to the minister he shows the telegram, they look over and listen.
the telegram came and we don't have the original telegram, but let's see what we have in common. let's set up a meeting. >> so they wanted to meet with the nation of islam in atlanta. >> they basically wanted to explore what we have in common. to fast-forward, this is stuff we want to do in the south, this is my position which is basically i want to build up and see if we can get land to help us with that because again it is granted in the south and if they are not going to help us acquire land maybe they can help leave us some.
so he isn't happy about this because he sees that it is an opportunity to have an argument and a confrontation. he never once did have an alliance but he wants to impact the meeting not just begging. he wants them to be a part of it. so they go back and meet with the kkk at jeremiah's home and basically the member says look, you are not into this integration. and it's important to set up what was going on you have martin luther king fighting desegregation and the nation of islam wants separation. they don't want to be a part,
they don't want to be integrated or deal with the kkk. we want to be separate and have our own state and our own law and leave everybody alone. so, that is the positioning. what happens when they want to find out what they can do, they have a common enemy and that comes up in the meeting. there's other things that come up and i think it's important to kind of read the book and the details of this, but it's again i understand what the positions are of all of these people and that is not as simple in black-and-white after this
absolutely brilliant and a great debater. but the other thing that was fascinating about him is how he attracted media and used the media to deliver a message a lot of black people didn't want to hear. tell us how he figured that out and what impact that had on his standing. he could look at something and see where it was going pretty quickly because of everything he had already read. he was watching television grow much like today we see how the internet has grown over the last 20 years. i would like to see that paralleled comparison because people say what if he had the
internalized this false sense that had been beaten into them not even worthy of owning land. this gets inside your head. he was working on that and that's why rise up and embrace where you are and you can be what you can. he is dealing with that and that is a harder thing for us to deal with and that's what he was focusing on. he wants them to see somebody fight back in the media. >> with mlk the perception is that they were loggerheads about everything. but what was, can you give us a
little hint about the philosophies that were not necessarily. >> they both understood both sides of the coin were important he sees the importance of the law changing and he talks about them using the vote in the block to use their power. >> at that point he had left because of the group. it's harder to do that when we are in a society but then there's all these other mixed messages and this is why you
have to read the book. there are instances where they are attacked and beat up by the police and killed in la later on it's taken out against us, black people and do so at that point, we did and started, they did. so you should be able to defend yourself. and both of the cases they were like you cannot respond. there was another case in louisiana where the mosque was attacked so he tells them point
blank you cannot instruct the brothers to take advantage or fight back he feels restricted and restrained. how are we going to make these changes to respond and stand up. it had been the sense of force that would be ready and trained for those that learn how to do things. >> let's not think that they were not.
in the harlem instance he was able to get them out there and there's no way. we are outnumbered but on the other hand in california they went to the mosque uninvited and ended up with a death of one of their brothers and they can't defend on that although they are ready to. they have to follow the leaders orders and they said no. >> on the precinct that was the one time they made a threatened
but actual use of force. >> that was the johnson affair. >> can you tell us about the family we can't not mention how important betty was in his life. she was important in raising the children as a partner and was a force in her own right as far as in a lot of these affairs in the nation of islam she was very supportive of the action but after the split it was horrible
they were now enemies and were fervently giving them threats as somebody in the family a lot of times he wasn't at home, he was absent and because he was traveling from all the different temples, but what this book is about is his work and what he was doing during that time. but yes she was there and is important. >> what exactly was it that prompted him to leave the nation of islam and was this before or after he became interested in the so-called mainstream islam
and not just in addition to the nation of islam? >> it was growing. i would say that it probably started with these when he wanted to start a certain way and they kept calling him back but certainly starting with the planned meeting and then it goes from there. in the beginning because he was very enthusiastic and strong and people were threatened by him and family members feel threatened and they felt he was going to try to take over the nation and get into their inheritance so there were these threats going on. he couldn't always protect him from that.
but you can't do that by totally isolating yourself so these ideas are separate and he's growing and elijah mohammed is holding him back. >> did he go before or after the split? >> after. >> but he had also traveled for business prior to this but on his own he had slid and at that point he was working on developing what he had decided he would split and not hold back
to what they want to do, he has come up with the idea and is also working with the support of the civil rights leaders taking the fight from civil rights to human rights. >> and also developing a pan- african movement. >> malcolm talks about going or being from africa. he was very critical about that. there were other things he was critical about that he was saying at that point not just because people saw it that wasn't the only thing i won't even say that it was the final straw but it was the other thing that at this point it was uncomfortable because of what he wanted to do as far as fighting and coming up with the idea of
taking our fight to the united nations and making it international, that is pretty huge and they are not supporting that. >> so you are saying that the research showed the revelation of the relationships with some of the women angered members of the nation but wasn't the whole reason he separated himself. >> he was upset by that but also by other things because at that time he was also angering other members of the family. he was being allowed free rein and allowed to travel around and
speak the way he was speaking and they felt he was getting too powerful and they felt threatened by that so they were causing issues for him and malcolm was kind of ignoring that also and that was problematic for him so there were a lot of things happening but more importantly it's these ideas. he had a different idea how to fight this fight that was different than what elijah mohammed wanted to do and he wasn't willing to go that far. >> was his family united with him or hanging back with with the philosophy? >> they were in it not for the
those people some of whom i have seen and commented with who still have the belief that malcolm stood for anger and violence and not an exemplar of the kind of philosophy that we want to see practiced in america sometimes thinking about what they've heard about malcolm that needs to understand the context of his life. malcolm at the end of his life through traveling and the things he was experiencing and how he had outgrown the nation of islam, he was expanding. and again he wanted to connect
more directly and he was doing that. he was making headway doing that. and because he was being successful in doing that that was a threat. he would never want to say, he never encouraged violence. he said that directly and exactly that. in this book we have the opportunity to the survey at the end of his life while he was traveling by the islamic center of geneva and in it they asked him about his views. the asking questions and one of the questions they ask is why he still talks about racism because he is a muslim now and has
embraced islam. i will just read these two questions basically. is it true it is held as a main base under the banner of liberation in the united states and how could a man if elected in this outlook the ecological quality of all races striking at the very root endless are the tests to this affect that have always mangled peacefully in the homeland. this is the kind of question a lot of people are asking. like was he still on this or not and did he just in brace internationally in all races and his answer is this.
as a black american i do feel my first responsibility is to my 22 million fellow black americans who suffered from the same indignities because of their color as i did. i don't believe my own personal problems were solved for all 22 million of us. much to my dismay to ignore the problem they've concentrated more efforts to convert white americans than black americans so yes he embraced islam but was also critical of the human behaviors of people in this group especially.