Book Excerpt Of The Week- Part 3: “Amusing Ourselves To Death” By: Neil Postman

“…Americans are the best entertained and quite likely the least well-informed people in the Western world. I say this in the face of the popular conceit that television, as a window to the world, has made Americans exceedingly well informed. Much depends here, of course, on what is meant by being informed. I will pass over the now tiresome polls that tell us that, at any given moment, 70 percent of our citizens do not know who is the Secretary of State or the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Let us consider, instead, the case of Iran during the drama that was called the ‘Iranian Hostage Crisis.’ I don’t suppose there has been a story in years that received more continuous attention from television. We may assume, then, that Americans know most of what there is to know about this unhappy event. And now, I put these questions to you: Would it be an exaggeration to say that not one American in a hundred knows what language the Iranians speak? Or what the word ‘Ayatollah’ means or implies? Or knows any details of the tenets of Iranian religious beliefs? Or the main outlines of their political history? Or knows who the Shah was, and where he came from?

Nonetheless, everyone had an opinion about this event, for in America everyone is entitled to an opinion, and it is certainly useful to have a few when a pollster shows up. But these are opinions of a quite different order from eighteenth- or nineteenth-century opinions. It is probably more accurate to call them emotions rather than opinions, which would account for the fact that they change from week to week, as the pollsters tell us. What is happening here is that television is altering the meaning of ‘being informed’ by creating a species of information that might properly be called disinformation. I am using this word almost in the precise sense in which it is used by spies in the CIA or KGB. Disinformation does not mean false information. It means misleading information- misplaced, irrelevant, fragmented or superficial information- information that creates the illusion of knowing something but which in fact leads one away from knowing. In saying this, I do not mean to imply that television news deliberately aims to deprive Americans of a coherent, contextual understanding of the world. I mean to say that when news is packaged as entertainment, that is the inevitable result. And in saying that the television news show entertains but does not inform, I am saying something far more serious than that we are being deprived of authentic information. I am saying we are losing our sense of what it means to be well informed. Ignorance is always correctable. But what shall we do if we take ignorance to be knowledge?” -From, “Amusing Ourselves To Death: Public Discourse In The Age Of Show Business” By: Neil Postman

[SIDEBAR: I happen to think that the news is a lot more “deliberate” than the author expressed…A thought provoking book though.”]

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Book Excerpt Of The Week- Part 2: “Amusing Ourselves To Death” By: Neil Postman

“You may get a sense of what is meant by context-free information by asking yourself the following question: How often does it occur that information provided you on morning radio or television, or in the morning newspaper, causes you to alter your plans for the day, or to take some action you would not otherwise have taken, or provides insight into some problem you are required to solve? For most of us, news of the weather will sometimes have such consequences; for investors, news of the stock market; perhaps an occasional story about crime will do it, if by chance the crime occurred near where you live or involved someone you know. But most of our daily news is inert, consisting of information that gives us something to talk about but cannot lead to any meaningful action. The fact is the principal legacy of the telegraph: By generating an abundance of irrelevant information, it dramatically altered what may be called the ‘information-action ratio.’

In both oral and typographic cultures, information derives its importance from the possibilities of action. Of course, in any communication environment, input (what one is informed about) always exceeds output (the possibilities of action based on information). But the situation created by telegraphy, and then exacerbated by later technologies, made the relationship between information and action both abstract and remote. For the first time in human history, people were faced with the problem of information glut, which means that simultaneously they were faced with the problem of a diminished social and political potency.” -From, “Amusing Ourselves To Death: Public Discourse In The Age Of Show Business” By: Neil Postman

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Book Excerpt Of The Week- Part 1: “Amusing Ourselves To Death” By: Neil Postman

“To Understand the role that the printed word played in providing an earlier America with its assumptions about intelligence, truth and the nature of discourse, one must keep in view that the act of reading in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries had an entirely different quality to it than the act of reading does today. For one thing, as I have said, the printed word had a monopoly on both attention and intellect, there being no other means, besides the oral tradition, to have access to public knowledge. Public figures were known largely by their written words, for example, not by their looks or even their oratory. It is quite likely that most of the first fifteen presidents of the United States would not have been recognized had they passed the average citizen in the street. This would have been the case as well of the great lawyers, ministers and scientists of that era. To think about those men was to think about what they had written, to judge them by their public positions, their arguments, their knowledge as codified in the printed word. You may get some sense of how we are separated from this kind of consciousness by thinking about any of our recent presidents: or even preachers, lawyers and scientists who are or who have recently been public figures. Think of Richard Nixon or Jimmy Carter or Billy Graham, or even Albert Einstein, and what will come to your mind is an image, a picture of a face, most likely a face on a television screen (in Einstein’s case, a photograph of a face). Of words, almost nothing will come to mind. This is the difference between thinking in a word-centered culture and thinking in an image-centered culture.” -From, “Amusing Ourselves To Death: Public Discourse In The Age Of Show Business” By: Neil Postman

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James Brown, Police Terrorism & Black Media Ownership

Jame Brown“Near year’s end, Brown played a show in Knoxville Tennessee. The scene afterward was utterly familiar: handshakes with local celebs, smiles and autographs for fans. An off-duty police officer working security brusquely told Brown to get out. It was time to close the hall.

The conversation with fans continued and the officer returned with more guards, again demanding that Brown leave. The singer responded, ‘That’s no way to tell a man to get out,’ but, soon, everybody did leave. Brown and two aides were standing in a parking lot when they were attacked by Knoxville police responding to a call from the guards. Two Brown employees were arrested for assaulting officers, and the singer was booked for disorderly conduct. When they returned to Augusta the next morning, they were bloodied and their clothing was ripped.

The next day, Brown told reporters his men were jumped from behind while he was counseling a group of young blacks to keep off drugs and stay in school. He announced he was filing a $1 million civil rights suit against the Knoxville police. The radio station he owned in Knoxville, WJBE, stopped playing music and went open mic on the event, airing calls from listeners who shared stories of their own interactions with local law enforcement. The pressure led to a march on city hall and then reforms in Knoxville police policies. The city dropped its charges against him; two years later, his suit was dismissed in U.S. District Court.” -From, “The One” By: RJ Smith

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Book Excerpt Of The Week: “The Power Broker: Robert Moses and The Fall of New York” By: Robert A. Caro

“Robert Moses was America’s greatest builder. He was the shaper of the greatest city in the New World.

But what did he build? What was the shape into which he pounded the city?

To build the highways, Moses threw out of their homes 250,000 persons- more people than lived in Albany or Chattanooga, or in Spokane, Tacoma, Duluth, Akron, Baton Rouge, Mobile, Nashville, or Sacramento. He tore out the hearts of a score of neighborhoods, communities the size of small cities themselves, communities that had been lively, friendly places to live, the vital parts of the city that made New York a home to its people.

By building his highways, Moses flooded the city with cars. By systematically starving the subways and the suburban commuter railroads, he swelled that flood to city-destroying dimensions. By making sure that the vast suburbs, rural and empty when he came to power, were filled on a sprawling, low-density development pattern relying primarily on roads instead of mass transportation, he insured that that flood would continue for generations if not centuries, that the New York metropolitan area would be- perhaps forever- an area in which transportation- getting from one place to another- would be an irritating, life-consuming concern for its 14,000,000 residents.

For highways, Moses dispossessed 250,000 persons. For his other projects- Lincoln Center, the United Nations, the Fordham, Pratt and Long Island University campuses, a dozen mammoth urban renewal projects- he dispossessed tens of thousands more; there are available no accurate figures on the total number of people evicted from their homes for all Robert Moses public works, but the figure is almost certainly close to half a million; the one detailed study by an outside agency shows that in a ten-year period, 1946 to 1956, the number was 320,000. More significant even than the number of the dispossessed were their characteristics: a disproportionate share of them were Black, Puerto Rican- and poor. He evicted tens of thousands of poor, nonwhite persons for urban renewal projects, and the housing he built to replace the housing he tore down was, to an overwhelming extent, not housing for the poor, but for the rich. The dispossessed, barred from many areas of the city by their color and their poverty, had no place to go but into the already overcrowded slums- or into ‘soft’ borderline areas that then became slums, so that his ‘slum clearance programs’ created new slums as fast as they were clearing the old.

When he built housing for poor people, he built housing bleak, sterile, cheap- expressive of patronizing condescension in every line. And he built it in locations that contributed to the ghettoization of the city, dividing up the city by color and income. And by skewing city expenditures toward revenue-producing services, he prevented the city from reaching out toward its poor and assimilating them, and teaching them how to live in such housing- and the very people for whom he built it reacted with rage and bitterness and ignorance, and defaced it.

He built parks and playgrounds with a lavish hand, but they were parks and playgrounds for the rich and the comfortable. Recreational facilities for the poor he doled out like a miser.

For decades, to advance his own purposes, he systematically defeated every attempt to create the master plan that might have enabled the city to develop on a rational, logical, unified pattern- defeated it until, when it was finally adopted, it was too late for it to do much good.” -From, “The Power Broker: Robert Moses and The Fall of New York” By: Robert A. Caro

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How Films Make Puppets Out Of Film Watchers

Puppet On A String“You will now start to notice how, over the sense, what the really great artists- the people who make us laugh and cry and wonder; the people who fill our world with color and dark stories that can fill us with fear and provoke us to action; the people who fill the world with music that moves us- have actually been doing is creating strong, clear rhythms that our breathing can join in on. They are geniuses at provoking us to breathe in partners that strongly influence our feelings, and so our per acceptation of the world, going back to the very first shamanic performers.

For example, watch a great film, but turn off the sound. Can you instantly see how you start to breathe along with the actors? That is the film’s route to your feelings, by having good actors who communicate in a way that allows the audience to join in on the feel. The actors are no longer actually having the feelings they created for you and captured on film- but you are! They are not creating the emotion right now- you are doing it for them! Their work is inspirational: They breathe, you copy, and the legacy is that which you feel.

Notice that as the film cuts from shot to shot, you are you are also breathing along with that rhythm- and this is creating tension and feeling in your body. This is the artistry of the film editor. He influences and persuades you with the rhythm of the cut, provoking you to think and feel with the film and the stars acting in it in a certain manner and with definite feelings often preplanned by the film’s director. As the radical psychiatrist, expert on the mass psychology of fascism and early architect of Gestalt therapy- which concentrates on the therapeutic experience of the present, Wilhelm Reich recognized and stated ‘Emotional and physical states can be altered by changing the breathing pattern.’

To experience this further, now turn up the sound and see how the music, the score of the film, with its own rhythm, conspires (as the word suggests, con, meaning ‘with,’ and spire, meaning ‘breath’) with all the other artistry in the film. The music binds together the rhythm of the actors and the rhythm of the picture with sound so that there is no doubt as to the feelings that are being promoted to the audience. You conspire along with it all as well, as you respond by having similar feelings within you. The film is not the feeling- it is simply the instruction manual for how you get to it. It is the map to the feeling. It is not the message; the message happens in you. Great filmmaking is nonverbal influence and persuasion at some of its very best.” -From, “Winning Body Language” By: Mark Bowden

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The Precursor To The “East Coast / West Coast Beef”

Black Panther Party LogoThe following book excerpt outlines tactics that were used to destroy the unity between Black activist groups in the 1960s and 1970s. These divide and conquer tactics seem very similar to tactics that were likely implemented in the 1990s among hip hop artists.

“SNCC IN DECLINE AFTER 8 YEARS IN LEAD
PACE-SETTER IN CIVIL RIGHTS DISPLACED BY PANTHERS
By: C. Gerald Fraser
The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, which emerged from the rural South eight years ago to become a pace-setter in the national Civil Rights movement, is in serious decline.

It has lost much of its power and influence to the in the morning slum-born Black Panthers as the rights movement has grown into the “black liberation struggle.” And it has also lost to the Panthers its leading apostle, Stokely Carmichael. These losses, and this transition, have not come about without anxiety and pain.

PISTOL INCIDENT RECALLED

Members of the Black Panthers walked into James Forman’s office at the committee on Fifth Avenue in late July, according to Federal authorities. One of them produced a pistol and put it into Mr. Forman’s mouth. He squeezed the trigger three times.
The gun went click, click, click. It was unloaded.

From The New York Times, Monday, October 7, 1968.

When I read that vicious lie, stating that a gun had been placed down my throat, I immediately called Eldridge Cleaver in San Francisco. Kathleen Cleaver, whom I know very well and who had once worked for SNCC, answered the phone. After we exchanged warm greetings, she handed the telephone to Eldridge. It was early in California, about nine o’clock in the morning, and near noon in New York. I asked him to get a copy of the newspaper and read the story.

It was obvious, I told Cleaver that the federal government had decided to escalate the conflict between SNCC and the Panthers, if federal authorities were saying that a gun had been placed down my throat. Cleaver, Bobby Seale, David Hilliard, and many other Panthers knew that this was a lie and I knew it. That there had been serious differences between the Panthers and myself, and between the panthers and SNCC, some nearly involving gunplay, was a fact. But the Times story was a lie. I told Cleaver that I believed the article was written to create a fratricidal situation between our two organizations. I felt that some public denial was necessary, in order to eliminate the confusion that it would cause. Notwithstanding any differences between SNCC and the panthers, it was necessary- in the face of that article- to articulate a position that we would not be led into organizational fratricide by incorrect and vicious statements in The New York Times, I said. He agreed that we should keep “it” on that level.” -From, “The Making Of Black Revolutionaries” By: James Forman

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Book Excerpt Of The Week: “Kill The Messenger” By: Nick Schou

“[Gary] Webb spent more than a year uncovering the shady connection between the CIA and drug trafficking through the agency’s relationship with the Nicaraguan contras, a right-wing army that aimed to overthrow the leftist Sandinista government during the 1980s. The Sandinistas were Marxist rebels who came to power in 1979 after the collapse of decades of U.S.-backed dictatorship at the hands of the Somoza family. President Reagan called the contras ‘freedom fighters’ and compared them to America’s founding fathers. Even as Reagan uttered those words, the CIA was aware that the many of the contras’ supporters were deeply involved in cocaine smuggling, and were using the money to fund their army, or, as more often proved the case, to line their own pockets.

Many reporters has written about the CIA’s collusion with contra drug smugglers, but nobody had ever discovered where those drugs ended up once they reached American soil. ‘Dark Alliance [Gary Webb’s tome] provided the first dramatic answer to that mystery by profiling the relationship between a pair of contra sympathizers in California, Danilo Blandon and Norwin Menses, and ‘Freeway’ Ricky Ross, the most notorious crack dealer in the history of South Central’s crack trade.

‘Dark Alliance’ created history in another way: it was the first major news expose to be published simultaneously in print and on the internet. Ignored by the mainstream media at first, the story nonetheless spread like wildfire through cyberspace and talk radio. It sparked angry protests around the country by African-Americans who had long suspected the government had allowed drugs into their communities. Their anger was fueled by the fact that ‘Dark Alliance’ didn’t just show that the contras had supplied a major crack dealer with cocaine, or that the cash had been used to fund the CIA’s army in Central America- but also strongly implied that this activity had been critical to the nationwide explosion of crack cocaine that had taken place in America during the 1980s.

It was an explosive charge, although a careful reading of the story showed that Webb had never actually stated that the CIA had intentionally started the crack epidemic. In fact, Webb never believed the CIA conspired to addict anybody to drugs. Rather, he believed that the agency had known that the contras were dealing cocaine, and hadn’t lifted a finger to stop them. He was right, and the controversy over ‘Dark Alliance’- which many consider to be the biggest media scandal of the 1990s- would ultimately force the CIA to admit it has lied for years about what it knew and when it knew it.” -From, “Kill The Messenger: How The CIA’s Crack-Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb” By: Nick Schou

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The Corporate Mindset vs. The Entrepreneurial Mindset

“And that’s the absolute difference between corporate and entrepreneurial mindsets. A suit looks at reports. If reports say this is selling, it’s design more of this. The entrepreneur says, ‘I feel a change coming around the bend, we need to get out of this and start getting into that, That is the new trend.’ the corporate mindset won’t do that unless they take a survey of one hundred people. The entrepreneur says, ‘It doesn’t matter what they say they want because they don’t know they want it yet.’

A good management team is able to meld what the entrepreneurial mind says is coming next and what the corporate mind says is working now. One is gut and the other is report.” -From, “The Glitter Plan” By: Pamela Skaist-Levy & Gela Nash-Taylor.

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Book Excerpt Of The Week: “The Makings Of Black Revolutionaries” By: James Forman

The Making Of Black Revolutionaries“I stood alone on the veranda of the Villa Silla, looking out into the dark night. Around me grew the rich, tropical vegetation, and below the waves of the Atlantic Ocean lapped against the coast. The night was still.

I wonder if my ancestors had come from this land.

I wondered if they had been chained in the bowels of some slave ship docked on this coast.

I wondered if they have been taken from here to be stood on the selling block in some town of the Americas and with auctioned off like animals.

I wonder how many of them had died in the long, brutal passage across that ocean out there.

I wondered what their names had been, how they looked, whether they had revolted against enslavement- or perhaps killed themselves rather than accept a life in chains.
The entire panorama of slavery swept before me as I stood on that balcony above the ocean. The long years of monstrous slavery, the hope of freedom, the Ku Klux Klan, the Mississippi Convention of 1890 which began the legal “reenslavement” of black people, the migration to Northern cities from the South, the Brown decision of 1954 that ordered desegregation of the schools, Montgomery, Raleigh, the sit-in movement, the Freedom Rides, McComb, and Atlantic City- all filled my mind in the same moment. A thousand names and dates and images swirled through my head, blending together in a single horrendous truth. They were all part of a historical process, the life of a people separated from their homeland.

This was Mother Africa can. We belonged here. This was our home. In the United States, we were strangers in a foreign land. We were separated from our people. We belonged here in Mother Africa, helping to build the continent of our brothers and sisters.
And then I thought of the millions of black people in the United States who could never get to Africa, whose lives were locked in the daily grind of racist poverty. We had to stay there and struggling inside the United States. We had to make a revolution to end the racism, the poverty, the crushing of our dignity.

But the choice came hard.

We were in Conakry, Guinea-10 of SNCC’s officers and staff Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer. The trip will been proposed by Harry Belafonte when he came to Greenwood, Mississippi, and he also was in Guinea now with his family and members of a dance troupe that he had organized. His proposal had led to much discussion, for there were many people who want today join this first trip by SNCC to Africa. It had finally been decided that the following veteran workers would go: John Lewis, Bob Moses and his wife Dona, Julian Bond, Ruby Doris Robinson, Donald Harris, William Hansen, Prathia Hall, Matthew Jones (representing the “Freedom Singers”), and I. We had arrived at the beginning of September, 1964, planning to stay about 3 weeks.

As guests of the government, we were extended every courtesy. Comfortable living quarters and two cars were put at our disposal. But these physical conveniences did not explain the sense of well-being that filled all of us. The real reason was that we had come from several years of intense struggle to this place where there were no sheriffs to dread, no Klan breathing down your neck, no climate of constant repression. We had come from years of living as blacks in an e-mail white world to this land of black people with black socialist rulers. We could relax at last. In the group we often talked about the tremendous pleasure of just being able to go to sleep at night without listening to every noise outside, worrying about bombings or armed attacks.

The pleasure of Mrs. Hamerin this trip was a pleasure for all the rest of us to see. She had traveled outside her home state very little and was exceptionally thrilled by everything in Guinea. President Sekou Toure sometimes came by the house where we stayed, and Mrs. Hamer always said, “imagine the president coming to see us, when in the United States we couldn’t even go to see the president.” Today, Mrs. Hamer still talks about the psychological importance of black people from the United States visiting black countries where blacks run the government, industry, everything.

We felt particularly glad to be visiting Guinea, whose people and leaders deserve great respect. This small nation had seed to be a French colony under the most difficult circumstances. In 1958 the government headed by President de Gaulle of France conducted a referendum asking each French colony (they are now called departments of France) if it want today remain under French rules- or not. This was no generous gesture by the so-called mother country, but an action forced on France by the Algerian War and the possibility of more Algerias. Only Guinea voted against remaining under France, and thus it became the second independent African nation. But when the French colonialists left, they took everything with them- even ripping out telephones in some cases. The Guineans had to start from scratch in every area of national life- and they survived.

Since that time, guinea had declared itself a socialist country but nonaligned internationally. Our group saw these principles in action. We attended the opening of a new stadium on Guinea’s Independence Day, October 2- a stadium built with the help of the Soviet Union. We visited the Patrice Lumumba printing plant, built with the help of the German Democratic Republic. And a match factory opened while we were there, built by the Chinese. We read Guinea’s newspaper and were struck by the fact that African news, of a political nature, dominated its pages- not news about France or any other foreign country, and not accidents, scandals, murder. We learned about Guinea’s one-party system and how it was organized, and did not regret the system of the United States with its fraudulent pretense of difference between the two parties. We saw a people working 18 hours a day to build their nation and keep it afloat. Socialism made radiateth great sense for Africa, with its indigenous communal traditions and values that side, if one can eat, then none should starve.

In a hundred ways guinea represented to us the antithesis of everything to which we had been exposed in the United States.

The trip was not as fruitful as it might have been in terms of political discussions, nor were we able to travel in the countryside as much as weld have liked. For one thing, our group was too large for good talks- I realized on this trip that three is the maximum number of people for a delegation that seeks to hold serious, intensive discussion. Also, as I recall, the General Council of Guinea was meeting then and many officials were tide up. But most importantly, a series of Cultural Competitions was in progress- nightly performances of Guinean dance, theater, music which kept many people in the capital busy. The fact that President Sekou Toure attended every performance himself from 8:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. indicated the political importance attached to these events. They represented a new society being built and the important role of youth in that process.

The culture competitions formed a major step in the decolonization process. In a conversion with Diallo Alpha, director general of the Ministry of Information and Tourism, we learned just what the process meant for Guineans. Diallo told us that when he attended school, under French rule, students were taught that they were descendants of the Gauls- that their ancestors had blue eyes. When he later went off to school in Paris, he learned the names of all the rivers and towns of France- but knew very little about the geography of Guinea. The Guineans had to win back their identity. Diallo also told us about a day when President Toure came to Guinea’s state-owned radio station. He called the staff together and said that music foreign to Africa could not go on Radio Guinea from that moment on. And it did not.

Our group spent its time resting, reading socialist literature (for the first time in most cases), talking among ourselves, attending the Cultural Competitions and occasionally meeting with officials. We had several talks with President Toure, a man with many important political ideas. He has given much attention to the internal development of Guinea’s political party, the PDG (Democratic Party of Guinea), and in particular to how to develop political consciousness among the people.

I was impressed by his emphasis on leadership and organization, especially his statement that careful attention must be given to the selection of ladders because the people judge an organization by them. Later, in SNCC, I would push for open discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of various candidates for office- particularly the chairman. But this would be resisted strongly and SNCC would continue in several important cases to choose its officers more on the basis of personality than on careful examination of good and bad qualities.

The concept of criticism and self-criticism was not new to me as an idea. I had always believed in analysis of an organization’s actions, including analysis of one’s own mistakes. Only in this way are mistakes not repeated, conflicts resolved, and steady growth possible. But the trip to Guinea advanced my ideas about this process. Sekou Toure emphasized the need for people to examine the good and bad aspects of not only the party’s section ladders but officials all the way to the top. The president, he maintained, must be criticized by the base and the base must have the strength to do it. I felt the truth of this have acutely, for I was aware of conflicts in SNCC which had been submerged for various reasons- and they included disagreement about my own role.
On one occasion we asked President Toure if he wished to say anything about our struggle in the United States. In that talk, he emphasized the need for political consciousness, good organization, and the correct analysis of our problems as black people in the United States. “It is fundamental that you see the problem as exploitation,” he said. “While you should speak to black people first of all, it is the entire community that must be liberated.” Later in SNCC, and throughout my experiences in the black struggle, I would recall these remarks of Sekou Toure. Ruby Doris Robinson and I would fight vigorously for an understanding of economic exploitation- not merely race- as part of the problems that black people faced. Unfortunately this concept would never be debated in an orderly fashion in the discussion about direction that would later come in SNCC.

I kept a long diary of our visit to Guinea, which formed the basis of a report I would later present to say SNCC staff meeting. The trip for me was a culmination of my life in several ways. Africa as a black continent, as our homeland, had always been on my mind. I had also dreamed for years of helping to build an organization to achieve pop power in the United States and then to relate it with one or more African countries for common revolutionary purposes. My African studies and the energy expended on learning French, which I did to be able to communicate better with Africans, were now being justified. All sorts of plans and activities whose purpose had once been abstract in a certain sense, were taking on concrete reality. My political and historical convictions about the importance of Africa to black people in the United States had become a living experience.

My mind was full of ideas and enthusiasm for formalizing and expanding this first link between SNCC, a base of black resistance in the United States, and the African struggle for total independence. It was imperative, I felt, that SNCC create an African bureau- something we should have done immediately after this trip but did not. Our trip was one of the first organized, group visits to Africa by members of a civil rights organization and, therefore, rather widely reported in the African press. We could extend our relations in Africa with more of such trips, I felt.” -From, “The Makings Of Black Revolutionaries” By: James Forman

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