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It has been wrong. BREAM That has gone through Negro history it has been this theme of freedom quality of America standing up and living up to the bright promise of the Declaration of Independence. Then too is the essential American dream there is no theme in life that is not of the amount of Mark in life because the Negro is a marker to years to complete the author said Benjamin and he was distinguished and historian of Negro history that is not the Oxford students of the public schools in a series of talks 8 7 on the Negro American. Yes. Here's where we get basically the new approach to human progress. We get Franklin D Roosevelt coming into Afghanistan 32 after Republicans and after we've been through a depression such as we've never been before. And you need a new philosophy in government the philosophy which we would call a philosophy which grows out of soft are the forgotten man. Of
course the negro agenda for this. So the whole impact of the New Deal policies we leave we cover for those great things which some of us remember all of these benefited the negro imaginable. And beginning in the 30s many negroes therefore abandoned their traditional political loyalty to the Republican Party and they go over to the duty of the last. Franklin D Roosevelt mark a great change in the thinking of the negroes because of his general approach to the tremendous problems that he faced when he took office on March 4th 1933 and March what we know today as the news with these phrases first of getting people hungry people for hours and then suggesting ways in which you could give people jobs and then suggesting measures of reform such as the Social Security Act and other great New
Deal legislation. Now this was a tremendous thing for persons who were at the bottom of the economic scale. And therefore since 1933 are the negroes responding to Roosevelt. And this is Eleanor Roosevelt too became a symbol to them of Roosevelt himself not pronouncedly pro Negro but the whole climate that he creates of happy demand for this down this was a tremendous asset to the negro. And you know say the negro himself. Doubt very fondly of a Franklin D Roosevelt Roosevelt had overcome great difficulties and paralysis in such a neat neat then Roosevelt had a tremendous common touch which is typical of a great president. Back negro named Sylvester once called up Franklin D Roosevelt he was in Grover Mississippi and he didn't want to lose his prose down and they asked him who was calling from Mississippi and he said Sylvester. And there was joy it was a call for something.
There's no president but they put him through to Franklin D Roosevelt said this was a very big thing this was and Franklin the Roosevelts at how loose or less composed of Vesta was either and so I said best to said we're who we rise. And he said How are you getting along. And he kept talking Mr. baster as though they were just person friends. The seminar Sylvestre RC do it at that. John looking about taking care and he did see that Roosevelt had this very human touch and he goes there for both personally and the economic policies of the New Deal. There's where you begin to see the negro changing I said this is a tremendous thing changing traditionally from a Republican to a Democrat. Now when we come down to World War 2 a recent book has come out on the employment of negro troops in where I want to inspire you that's the sleeve. It's called the employment of negro troops. It's one of the sixty six body
was brought out by the army concerning Iraq too. He's been very late getting this book out that's finally out and it shows the extent of the Negro in World War Two and I think we would be surprise even some of us who probably took part in the Negro in every sphere in every phase of the war fighting of course in segregated units. All of this is going to be a bone of contention it was not. Finally there's a breakthrough at the closing year of the war but the Negro is a participant in World War 2 we now have one of the classical studies out showing the full extent of the negro's involvement in Iraq to not only come down to new tactics in newsgroups but 940 down to the last. 10 years new tactics and new groups. First thing we would mention because it indicates it beats us up to the great Supreme Court decision and that is the frontal attack on segregation by the
NAACP. Now. In fighting segregation in our national life in 1935 made a policy decision and they said this the Supreme Court had decreed classy versus Ferguson. That you could have separate schools and separate facilities if they would eat more. The trouble is obviously is that the government never having the schools have any accommodations in the south so the NAACP came to the conclusion in 1935 that if you stress this whole matter. Probably. It would be so expensive to the south. That the South could not afford to have dual systems are equal now and therefore segregation would fall because it was too expensive. So maybe a flank attack. On segregation by calling attention to the fact that the South had separate facilities and accommodations but they were unequal
so that in 1935 they launched this attack calling the attention of the courts and in a first victory they won a big B in 1935 in the famous don't marry case in the state of Maryland. They did not have a law school to which negroes could go and mad and set up a separate law school for Negroes in the state of Maryland. The state made a negro name down and married to the law school. The NAACP was elated it looked as though this were the solution then it took further with that with the solution because in nineteen 38 the Supreme Court in a famous decision gains versus Missouri. The states which had separate systems should begin immediately to equalize offsets. So the NAACP therefore thought this is on the way. These places are going to have to provide equal facilities. And since they can't provide equal facilities
segregation is going to have to fall now to the consternation of the southern state. Actually began to try to equalize. They began to pour more money because they began to create me go back to school and therefore the NAACP found to its great dismay that instead of striking at segregation you were actually sprinkling segregation by building these Negro schools to such an extent that they would become of the language of the NAACP themselves they would become Tao's of segregation. With people who have a vested interest in segregation because they would be the dean and the presidents and this and the fact you say so that the NAACP decided therefore that beginning in 1945 that they would abandon the philosophy of an indirect attack on segregation and they would come out with the front of direct attack on
segregation as a denial of one's rights under the 14th Amendment. Nobody should be denied no state on the equal protection of the law. So that in 1945 peace the NAACP said this. If you have separate even if the equal are bad the fact that you separate them creates the psychic is within him. Try Martin and therefore you're doing damage to him psychologically by putting him apart even though you gave him an even actually a better facility. So that the NAACP works with the Sisters of the great lawyers great psychiatry is great psycho social psych so that in 1954 we get one of the most famous of all the stations by another station with three Sagna standing on the Supreme Court bench. We get a complete reversal of Plessy versus Ferguson and in 1954 the Supreme Court agreed by the segregation in the public school as a denial of one's rights
under the 14th Amendment and the next year they are these days to proceed with speech because this is a contradiction. But nevertheless we get it. So this is a tremendous breakthrough through the courts and the courts have been doing other things. So the one of the great things that the NAACP it was to make this attack through the courts and we get court decisions beginning in the form of which the greatest of them are is this school segregation case Brown versus the Board of Education in 1954 a tremendous decision completely reverse and of course Plessy versus Ferguson. Now this was a great victory but you win victories on paper and sometimes nothing much seems to happen particularly outside of that sphere so that there are limits to judicial remedies in American life. You may win a court battle.
But that is not here that have to be won in other areas and that is where we get from the time of World War to the newer agencies that we may speak of if we may want to use that phrase the newer protest agencies and we notice their front groups with a new tactic and a new philosophy. Now one of these of course was the Congress of Racial Equality which actually came into existence in 1942 started by James Farmer who was still there until a couple of years ago the leader of it is still a key figure. We get the Congress of Racial Equality Now their basic technique was protest by nonviolent demonstrations. They stressed nonviolence disciple of Gandhi such as Martin Luther King even if he was a clergyman so they stress of course this technique be set in and they're going to get behind the firsts have occurred in 90 century but in 1960 in Greensboro North Carolina where the four
students sat in the words and tried to get a cup of coffee color joined and core therefore was identified with a new technique a nonviolent dramatic technique of sitting in and of course the next year Coraline's the famous freedom riders in which these clergy and. People white and Negro are going to ride out in New Orleans on an integrated bus and we get the so-called Freedom Ride across there for brings a new technique a direct nonviolent way stressed of course it's nonviolent to arouse the conscience of America by direct action techniques based very largely on Gandhi's successful handling of this whole technique against the British Empire. So we need a group that is still prominent which is change his philosophy slightly obviously and that's the Congress of Racial Equality Now in the
50s and we now come down to our own period. We get an organization founded 100 predominately Baptist clergymen under the leadership of Martin Luther King. Now King had led a successful bus boycott in Montgomery Alabama where he'd been a clergyman and this tremendous effort there against the structure of the whole city if not the whole state that the successful bus boycott to become a national figure. He moved to Atlanta and then in 1946 he founded the S. S. L. C. The Southern mediumship Christian conference made up predominantly of clergy that are made up of others too in which they specify cross the road. Of are things which the NAACP express voter registration and housing in the south now also of course in the north. Operation of Operation Breadbasket opportunities for jobs that have never existed before
so that the Southern Christian Leadership Conference is still one of the viable one of the all important organizations largely of course based on the tremendous damage that Martin Luther King has managed to radiate all over the world. In 1960 we get the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. This is an offshoot from King's group. It's made up predominantly of young men. In fact in this movement if you're over 26 as Julian Bond said you've had it. I mean it's of the dominant young movement. And what is it don't trust anybody over 30 or something. But this movement here in the studio. This of course in the early days has it has the philosophy of nonviolence. It's on the cutting edge of the civil rights. Living in Mississippi going into rural areas people of great courage of course the years when you moved into these regions that many of the only groups had not moved
into at all. Now of course the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee last year or two went to great strength and now it's more of an attitude of a frame of mind our philosophy that it is a movement. But in the early 60s the student right maybe I was considered one of the most courageous and one of the most promising of the groups working on areas where Negroes and whites and never worked together before. Who have been listening to Professor Benjamin Quarles speaking on the negro America. The series of broadcast was produced for station WTT are by the Department of Education or broadcasting for the Detroit public schools. This program was distributed by the national educational radio network.
The negro American
The Negro in the Twentieth Century
Producing Organization
Detroit Public Schools
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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For series info, see Item 3536. This prog.: The Negro in the Twentieth Century
Race and Ethnicity
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Producing Organization: WDTR
Producing Organization: Detroit Public Schools
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-30-14 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:15:24
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Chicago: “The negro American; The Negro in the Twentieth Century,” 1968-12-02, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 25, 2024,
MLA: “The negro American; The Negro in the Twentieth Century.” 1968-12-02. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 25, 2024. <>.
APA: The negro American; The Negro in the Twentieth Century. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from