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This is the 13th in a series of programs entitled seeds of discontent. Presenting the program tonight as Harvard Smith Jr. assistant professor in the School of Social Work Wayne State University professors from MIT. On tonight's program seeds of discontent continues its examination of the problems feelings and attitudes of American Negroes who today constitute one of the largest discontented forces in American society. We are attempting to do this by establishing a dialogue with different negroes from various walks of life. So far in our programs on this general American problem you have heard the comments and expressions of feelings about the plight of the Negro from older Negro citizens who were employed in many common areas of economic activity. You have also heard the comments and concerns of negroes occupying leading positions in the field of entertainment. Our specific area of focus tonight will be the attitude feelings and
concerns of the negro from the ranks of what might be call the middle class. This particular classification is a rather vague one and is subject to great elasticity shades of meaning and negative connotations when applied to a negro. This is undoubtedly due to the fact that middle class ness and maintaining the status quo are often viewed as the same by many in society. Which of course then means that if you are middle class you are for maintaining things as they are which then includes all of the injustice and suffering which is the flip side of the status quo. And our use of the term middle class negro. We simply mean those negroes occupying status positions which are recognized as being within the ranks. What has been classified as the middle class in the society at large. We will leave it to them to say whether or not they are for maintaining the status quo. As participants on
tonight's program we have a negro car salesman a negro psychologist and a negro editor of a weekly newspaper. We invited them to talk with us regarding their own general backgrounds. Some of the problems that they have faced and to give us their impressions and feelings concerning the series of riots every billions that have occurred in American society in recent years. These are areas of concern should provide some preliminary insights into their feelings and attitudes about the problems of the negro and American society and how these problems can be saying heard and perhaps better understood. Before our discussion gets under way I should like to provide a little background information about our participants. Mr Orian warden is a psychologist and works at the University of Windsor. Mr. Looney has a car salesman for a leading automobile dealer in the city of Detroit. Mr. AJ Dunmore is an editor of the Michigan Chronicle. One of the largest negro
weeklies in the country. He has been in the newspaper business for many years and at one time was the editor of another negro Weekly called the Pittsburgh poor. We will open with general background comments by Mr. Warden followed by Mr Hazlitt. And lastly Mr. Dunmore name is already on the way. And then my psychologist were gunned down. At the University of Windsor. And that job over there is a coordinator of psychological services center. And I teach. Part time faculty at one university. Were you born and reared in this country America. Yes I'm from a little town in southeastern Arkansas. Mariana. And the family lived there until. I was eight years old. And we moved from there to southern Illinois.
And I turned around in a small town in Arkansas looking at the position that you occupy now. And certainly it seems to be. And they asked. Difference I would imagine and the. Many social styles the level of living. And I wonder if you. Could Tell us about any of the special problems if any in leaving the community of Arkansas and moving to where you are today in your present position. Well it certainly is true that the vast differences and the. Experiences and styles and. Behavior. On my part and. People that I now live and work with. As I remember. The early kinds of experiences that my family and my father
and other relatives talk about. Their experiences to be in Arkansas. Of course being. 8 years old when I lived a lot of the things are these kinds of remembrances for me you know things that they would talk about more than actual experiences. And she had been in the south. They've grown up a lot in the South you know. Negroes in the south lived in one part of town and. And that's pretty much the end of the world that I knew and until I last week I was. Going uptown or downtown it was cause it was the only experience I would have and that's why people like you left the south moving north and getting your your educational tree. And then later our becoming a psychologist with really special problems any barriers any any any thing of special
concern to you now as you look back at it. And. You know I can't say the kinds of dramatic and specific things that occurred in my life. And you know with this kind of a focus I when we moved to Illinois it was a small town and something on like Kairo. And this is a segregated community. And. So. I went through high school and I want to grow high school. And this experience was from a social and psychological point of view you know quite supportive I would say. Feelings about. I. Myself as a growing teenager and I kept this patient opportunities that. I had so there's a lot of emotional supports bills that I have as I look back on what happened later in my life to that period which is one that. Has a lot of strength for me and it.
I have to leaning on I that part of my mind going to school up in central Illinois. I was the first time I ever had any experiences with with white people and close way by going to school with them and being in different competitive activities and this was the thing I guess I had my uppermost in my mind when I went away from this little town in southern Illinois was you know is my education as good. AS. As there is can I do the work as well as they can. And so this is something that almost like I had to prove that to myself that I could achieve and and compete. Given the kind of educational background that I had which I thought was pretty good it turned out apparently that it was pretty good because I did. I. Find myself able to compete and can be quite. Adequately unfavorably.
Mistranslate. I wonder if we could just get started by giving some general background information about yourself. Well I was born here in Detroit. I. Lived on the west side of town most of my life and the salesmen are married and have one child. Would you tell us in the years that you've lived in Detroit. Just a little bit about. Any of the personal things that have happened to you and the whole area. The problem of the American Negro I notice that you are a new car salesman. As I recall it's only been in recent years or maybe we were not aware of it that. The negroes were involved in this. True up until about 10 years ago it was
only half a dozen It was so not a modelled and then there are some dealerships today. That don't even imply negroes. I mean I think there is. One particular dealership I don't suppose I should mention a names now but there is one particular group of dealerships. Where Negroes buy. I'd say 50 percent of the well-to-do negroes and try to produce around Nobels have but one negro salesman. Are there any. Peculiar reasons you are aware of for this state of affairs. Well I had to put your hand. I was talking to a friend of my here a few months ago with an automobile salesman. And. He just says fine as long as he made a trip to each one of these dealerships throughout the city and the same excuse. I
mean the excuses that he get from each dealership was just about the same as if they didn't hit him home they had a lot of salesman they couldn't use the money would get in touch with him later about how this was over a course of about 6 or 7 months. And. I think you made a return trip to several ships and at the same story. How long. Have you been entrenched and the enemy. New car sales field. And. Were there any particular problems in your case getting involved in this line of work. You know now is the time that I went in which was about three years ago it was a. Fairly fast inroads into the sales as far as I'm of Bill's concern. And I really didn't have any problems getting into the sales field as far as I'm a bit concerned. I thought about it for a number of years but
some of the things that I've heard you know about that I didn't particularly want to get into it at the time but. Later on I talked to a good friend of my own that had been selling guys who'd been doing quite well and I thought of that just give it a try just see how things work out. And I haven't experienced any derogatory. Things in the sales field up to now but I do know that there's very little chance of investment it's fascinating procedure. I think man. In this particular area I wonder if you would just mention briefly any special problems which you feel you faced as an American Negro. Making a living and living in American society. Well I told you when you. Yes well I have run into problems
especially in the field there were certain areas of the service field that I was interested in. And the insurance field was one of them. And at the time that I was interested in getting into the insurance field there just weren't any openings outside of the small of the insurance companies. I went to one particular large one of the labs in the country. And. Have certain meth is. Testing you. And 90 percent of the. Tell us about the. They give you it's impossible to pass. I know one reason I was asked how much insurance I had in the time all I had was a G.I. which I had when we knew we couldn't go any further. This this was the end of it. But now
of course today things have changed I mean are you major in a major insurance companies employing negroes and I still think this is a still to me a token gesture as far as assurances. Are showing something is missing. Mr. Dunmore I wonder for the benefit of radio I could. Give us some background information about yourself. I know you have better newspaper men who are men for many years. I wonder how long now you got your start. And life you talk a little bit about the special problems that I know that have affected you. Are. Anything that ever happened to us as a human being just as American people. Well I am again. And those people work. In Philadelphia in 1937. I actually began writing from those paper. As a team. Cars for a high school while I was still in high school in
Philadelphia. Back in 1933. I later went away to a college which was. At that time totally negro. As prizes too but I was concerned Hampton Institute. I majored in social studies and English. This was during the height of the depths of the. Pressure however you want to look at it. And in 1937. I decided to go into newspaper work rather than to fill up school teaching. Because. It was available to me. I always fancy. That I wanted to enter some kind of. Profession that would help stimulate the thought processes of people. I've always wanted to be able to motivate people and doing the best that they could with their talents. And this more than anything else. Influenced me and to writing. And I and although
my career has been spent more in the field of editing rather than writing. Per se. I've been fortunate enough to have trained a number of highly capable journalist. Someone pointed out to bigger things. I have worked with. And a number of outstanding people. From. My start in Philadelphia with a. Weekly a negro Weekly. I joined the staff of the Pittsburgh Korea and 1943. At the time it was the leading negro Journal. By the leading German Negro American. And I was fortunate enough to be involved in many campaigns which broke from fruition. The. Elimination of. The racial barrier in Organized Baseball. I was. The anchorman for a crew who traveled with Jackie Robinson. During his
early years into the entrance into Organized Baseball. I also played a role in the reporting and actually the setting up of stories that led to the elimination of the discrimination in the armed forces. I worked closely with. James Evans and the. Pentagon. He was a civilian aide to the secretary of defense and in fact he still holds that position. And I was in on the breaking up of. Lockport Air Base the all negro three hundred thirty second our. Squadron. Which. Was the all the Royal Air are. Commanded by Bill Davis who at that time was a lieutenant colonel as you know. He is now a lieutenant general. And a keen man and strategic and the Strategic Air Force. But down. These were some of the things that I was able to participate in. Through the handling of stories to the reporting of activity. And
through our reporting. And gathering to get their forces to protest those things which existed and try to. Encourage the powers that be into recognizing the need for the elimination of segregation in these areas. Se eco newspaperman work for. The negro Weekly. Were there any special problems Asian faces in getting the kind of material to get to the public to. Present. The kinds of facts in the places that you wanted to present them. I don't think I had too many problems as far as the painting the facts. They just came to me and they were so obvious. That it was. A little difficult for me to publish to let it happen that I came along at a time that the stories that I was publishing were effectively used. How did you know white. Dailies if you will by calling white.
The regular daily news big resent the time to be responding to. The negro weeklies in Mao's day to day he give much credence to their material as they are in general a reciprocal kind of exchange of information Art. Were there any special Krug terms of getting real facts into say daily newspapers in their newspapers resisted. What we considered facts and looked on the negro week as a sort of a stepchild or. How they began to invade the ranks of Negro newspapers as these victories began to be one and all times headlines which we ran where reprinted in the daily newspapers. But these crusades were never picked up seriously by the daily newspapers until the fact was accomplished. Witness a Jackie Robinson assistant. On the series of articles written by Wendell Smith in which he interviewed big league managers
on as to whether or not they would utilize they would use the pro ball players what they thought about a group of players. These outsiders were coming around that they repressed but they did pick it up with the vigor that the Pittsburgh Cory did and they looked at us as a sort of play. Ah well the educators really were agitators all that it could get some treatment and they did not try to agree. But what we were saying. You say was this. The military episodes were a concern but I don't think there was a consciousness of what was trying to be done if you can recall probably the break back. At Briggs stadium when the negroes of this community break out the great escape they get because they did not utilize the group of players and I don't think the daily papers pay too much attention to it. But the day. They young. Management did it ultimately they brought in first one negro News book player. Now it's almost a matter of fact the negro ballplayers were our and
Bob the professional football. I mean baseball. But these are initial attempts were almost ignored by the daily newspapers. However many who had bought themselves of these kind of crusades were ultimately picked up by the white press as when the smith was picked up by the sick I'll go through the tribunal to Magni was ultimately picked up by the Detroit News and the Bakley played a major role in the protests against discrimination they are big stake U.S. and these kind of things were done. The. Newspaper men who were brought to the attention. Where they were picked up. But I don't think the stories are such. Picked up by Israel I was struck by protest movements until the fact was accomplished. I see. The following comments by piece three men represent only parliamentary answers to the questions asked about the cause of recent riots rebellions during a gas three
years. Our country has been faced with a number of crisis in terms of racial relations. Some writers have described these Gracie's as riots. Some have described them as rebellions there does not seem to be total agreement on exactly what they are. But looking at these crises from your point of view as a psychologist and as an American negro as an American citizen. How what do you think are some of the basic causes for what seems to me to be happening. And that leads to the kind of explosive situations have we had in this country in the last three years because it has to do with. The conditions in which share. You know by people in this country live and to our last degree conditions in which all
nonwhite people in this country live all minorities that are cultural and racial minorities in this country and that means specifically with. Bad housing poor united by housing bad health care. That public facilities public services. Education jobs housing you know you name it. And up to a point. These things can be contained. But a point apparently was reached. Now in terms of a of an active Fearnot back in 60 and 61 what was going on in the south so the explosions in the cities are. A. Continuation of the same kind of thing people just starved. Well aware that life can be something other than what it is now. And. This is kind of a revolutionary idea in a sense. It's been going on around the world for.
Decades and the old arrangements. Of power and people who are powerless. Are no longer tenable. And so we have that's why I feel the same thing happening here in this country. The power arrangements are now under. Attack in a sense. I wonder if you would just give us any impressions that you have about. These recent rebellions of Ryan from the point of view of causation. From the point of view of why it occurred. Are just your general impressions of what this is all about. Well I. Do believe these riots that have come about. Last summer a. Couple years ago NYS was a result of frustrations on Nichols part I mean a sort of hopelessness he feels he seems that he's. Backed into a corner you know and
you can back the. Most DAs person are evil animal into a car and if he sees no way out. He's going to fight. He's bound to die and I think this is the only case. Lee felt the disarray just no help to you. America has just let them down for 400 years and let the. Key problems that they have. He never got to be so good as a Negro newspaper. You certainly have been in touch with the negro mi community for a number of years. From the point of view of analyzing the events. And reporting events. And looking at the why's of it I wonder if you would share with us your thoughts. Your impressions of what has happened the last three years. What
are some of the causes. What are some of the reasons issues. Well one of the fundamental reasons is that the American White still does not want to regard the American black as a human being. Now that's probably oversimplifying it. And. Being. A little bit too fracked. But I just finished our reading a book called eyewitness to American history. And its various 1837. David Walker. Told a group of whites and Boston. That all you have to do is treat the black man like a man. Treat us like a man. And then we can be your friends. You see and I thought that this was somehow Propofol. But even today. The white man wants to deal with the negro he with the big power. He wants to be looking for but he doesn't really. Understand the meaning of the crop. He can. Share for himself this attitude that because
a man's skin. Is black. While. Even the tit. That. He's got to be an inferior baby. Now I do not believe that the white man consciously wants to accept that the black man has an equal. And the love that he tries to be towering tries to be understanding. You see he doesn't understand why the word tards. Is 8. Where did incense thinking negro the thinking black May he doesn't understand the struggle for dignity. Here I want to talk about you people see are two people satisfied with what you have. AC. And sort of understanding that this is an American problem that negro will grow up to be American still when they are accepted. As Americans and not consider it on the basis of the fact that genes and they grow first an American second and to the white man recognizes. That the whole act of a car can be eliminated.
I think that we will get to the group of the situation and talk this matter of colorism them into the factory. That because. They Negro is identifiable. That this identification is yours to put him into a completely different classification. You see. He's got to accept a man because he's a man. We will continue discussions with Mr. Dunham or Mr. has slipped and missed the warden on the riots and other subjects on next week's program. In closing I should like to add that much has been said and written about the middle class American Negro and the role that he has played in the current level of discontent. He has been called an Uncle Tom a stooge and many other uncomplimentary names. He has been accused of being insensitive to the needs of the Negro in American society. It has been said that once the middle class negro finds his niche he tends to forget about the problems of those left behind in the ghetto. Although our examination
Seeds of discontent
Episode Number
Episode 13 of 26
Producing Organization
Wayne State University
WDET (Radio station : Detroit, Mich.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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For series info, see Item 3313 and 3314. This prog.: Political and social attitudes of the Negro professional man.
Social Issues
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Producing Organization: Wayne State University
Producing Organization: WDET (Radio station : Detroit, Mich.)
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-15-13 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:30:03
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Chicago: “Seeds of discontent; Episode 13 of 26,” 1968-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 29, 2022,
MLA: “Seeds of discontent; Episode 13 of 26.” 1968-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 29, 2022. <>.
APA: Seeds of discontent; Episode 13 of 26. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from