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Frederick Douglass born about 1817 died 1895. He wrote I suppose myself to have been born in 1817 masses allowed no questions concerning their ages to be put to them by their slaves. They regarded all such questions as evidence of an impudent curiosity. You are doing with a Negro has been their greatest misfortune. The negro should have been let alone in Africa let alone by the pirates and robbers who offered him for sale in our Christian slave markets let alone by the courts and the politicians and the legislature and the slave drivers. Let him alone. Booker T Washington born about 1858. and slavery died about 1950.He was the first Negro to
have dinner at the White House. That is without serving it. In 1901, I dined at the White House with President Theodore Roosevelt and sometime after I met a poor white servant, "Say," said the white man, "you know, you are the greatest man in the country." I began to protest and said that in my opinion the president was the greatest man in the country. "Huh," said the white man, "Roosevelt." I used to believe that Roosevelt was a great man until he ate dinner with you." William Edward Braveheart DuBois, born in Massachusetts 1868 died in Ghana 1963 at the age of 95. He said he was a defendant of Negroes, Dutchman and Frenchmen, and thank God, no Anglo-Saxon. It is a peculiar sensation. This double consciousness, the sense of always looking at oneself through the
eyes of others, of measuring one's soul by the take of a world that looks on in amused contempt or pity. Marcus Garvey. Jamaican. Born 1887. Died 1940. In 1923 at the height of his career his organization, the Universal Negro Improvement Association, had four million members. It is the duty of the virtual Somali pure of the white and black races to vigorously oppose the vile efforts of the misogynationist of the white race and their associates, the hybrids of the Negro race. I believe in a pure black race. [singing Free At Last]
Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, William E.B. DuBois, Marcus Garvey four men whose life and work seem to have been excluded almost totally from the history of our country. Sometimes they stare us faintly at a half remembered dream, snatches of a song of the dead almost as if they've never lived or loved or rejected or died for the American dream. [background singing] Yet, in the years from the time the negro was set free, up to and including World War II these four men and others even more obscure wrote not only the history the Negro people but in a large sense the history of our country. [singing] Freedom.
1865, the year the war ended. Early that year General Robert E. Lee had said it is not only expedient but necessary that the Confederate army should use negro slaves as soldiers. Of course Mr. Lincoln in the Union Army had already beat him to it. Two years earlier the president had signed Emancipation Proclamation freeing all the slaves in the Confederacy. Frederick Douglass, a former slave and now a leading abolitionist, was in Boston at the time. [Bells] You can't imagine how it was. We were all waiting and listening as if for a bolt from the sky. A bolt that would rim the shadows of four millions of slaves. 8, 9 10 o'clock came and went and still no word. At last when the suspense was becoming an agony, a man exclaimed "It's coming, it's coming, it's on the ?inaudable?.
The effective of that announcement was startling beyound description. And it was wild and it was grand. [singing] Seven year old Booker T. Washington was a slave in Virginia. How is it with you when you heard the news? Oh well, for us, it was different. We were still slaves. My mother leaned over and kissed her children with tears running down her cheeks. And for some minutes there was great rejoicing and thanksgiving and some wild scenes of ecstasy. But by the time we returned to the cabins our feelings had changed. The great responsibility of being free, of having charge of ourselves and our children, seemed to take possessions. It was a question of home, living, the rearing of children
education, citizenship. Some of the slaves were 70 or 80 years old. Their best days were gone they had no strength in which to earn a living in a strange place and among strangers. But negroes had their freedom and the vote. Suddenly overnight there was Blanche Kelso Bruce, senator from Mississippi. Robert H Wood, mayor of Natchez and many others. Negroes passed laws abolishing imprisonment for them. Authorizing universal male suffrage and free public education. Negroes and whites were eating together, going to school together, riding together on the same on the same street car. A northern reporter James S Pike went into the South Carolina House of Representatives. "Secretary is black, the clerk is black, the dogkeepers are black. The chairman of Ways and Means is black." [laughing]
Robert Small was a negro representative from South Carolina. He was worshipped by his constituents. "You know that Small is a genius." "Ah...Small's Ain't so hot. He ain't God." "Yeah, that's true Let's give him time. He's a young man yet." DuBois called it the mystic years. There was the promise that the dream would be fulfilled. But it is also recorded there were other promises. "The child is already born who will behold the last negro in the State of Mississippi." General Carl Schurz went south to make a special investigation for the administration. "Senators, a reign of terror prevails in many parts of the South. Some planters hold back their former slaves by brute force. Armed bands of white men
patrol the country roads to force back the negroes wondering about. The bodies of murdered Negroes have been found on and near the highways. Gruesome reports of colored men and women whose ears had been cut off. Skulls had been broken by blows, whose bodies had been slashed by knives or lacerated with scourges." "Does any sane man believe that the negro is capable of comprehending the Ten Commandments. The miraculous conception and birth of our Savior. Every effort to inculcate these great truths but tends to bestialize his nature and by obfuscating his little brain, unfits him for the duties assigned him as ?inaudable? and a carrier of water. The effort makes him a demon of wild, fanatical destruction and consigns him into the shot of the white knight and so he was consigned to the
north as well as the South grew tired of the eternal nigger. "We must win the white man's government or convert the land into a negro man cemetery." By 1874 it seemed that both these dreams would come true hundreds of negroes who started out for the voting booth wound up in the cemetery. By 1877 it was a white man's government again. President Hayes appointed Frederick Douglass marshal of the District of Columbia and he wrote "I have no protection at home, no resting place abroad. I'm an outcast from the society of my childhood and an outlaw in the land of my birth. I am a stranger with thee, a sojourner as all my fathers were." [harmonica music] "Step aside there boy. Look out there now. You can't go in there. You ain't looking for trouble, are you son. smile and say yes sir, And, sing boy. Sing and dance. Dance Frederick Douglas 72
[inaudible] Counsel generals of the Republic of Haiti. Dance, Booker T. Washington, 33 years old. Founder of Tuskegee Institute and advisors of Presidents. Dance, boy. Dance. Dance" But the end of the 19th century Jim Crow was a part of the marrow of America. Negro and white could no longer eat together could no longer sleep together. "Whenever the Constitution comes between me and the white women and the birch of the white women of the South I say to hell with the Constitution." So freedom was denied both Negroes and whites. White nurses were forbidden to treat Negro males. White teachers couldn't teach Negro students. South Carolina forbade white and black workers to look out of the same window. Florida required Negro and white textbooks to be segregated in warehouses. New Orleans segregated white and black prostitutes.
Atlanta provided Jim Crow Bibles for white and black witnesses. W.E.B. DuBois who was a defendant of aristocrats, a graduate of Fisk and Harvard University in 1904 organized the Niagara Movement which was later absorbed into the NAACP. He described the adventures of a negro in the 20th century. "It was one o'clock and I was hungry. I walked into a restaurant, seated myself and reached for the bill of fare." "Sir, "do you wish to force yourself on those who do not want you?" "No, I wish to eat." "Are you aware, sir, that this is social equality?" "It's nothing of the sort. It is hunger. And I ate. The day's work being done. I sought the theater. I beg your pardon "Do you enjoy
"Well, you're not wanted." "Oh, no." "Well, you're not wanted here. I [inaudible]you're mistaken." "I certainly want the music. And I should like to think the music wants me to listen to it." "This is social equality." "Oh, no, it's the second movement of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. After the theatre. I sought the hotel where I sent my luggage" "What do you want?" "Rest." "That's a white hotel." "Such a color scheme demands a great deal of cleaning but I'm sure I don't object." "We object we don't keep niggers, we don't want social equality." "Neither do I. I want a bed. I left. Walking, I met a traveller who crossed to the other side of the road where it was muddy. I asked his reasons." Niggers are dirty." "So is mud. Moreover I'm not as dirty as you that is not yet." "But, you're a nigger, ain't ya?" "My grandfather was so called."
"Well, then." "Do you live in the south?" "Yeah. And, starve there." But it seems to me that you and the negroes might get together and vote out starvation." "We don't let them vote. Niggers is too ignorant to vote." "I am less ignorant than you." "But, you're a nigger." "I certainly am what you mean by that." "Well then, moreover I don't want my sister marrying a nigger." If a Negro should ask her I suppose she would just say no." "She ain't gonna marry you even if she says yes." "But, I don't want to marry her." "Why not?" "Because I'm already married and I rather like my wife." "But, she's a nigger." "Well, her grandmother was called that." "Well, then." In 1895 Booker T Washington went to Atlanta as the guest of honor at the Cotton State's exposition. He was 39, president of Tuskegee Institute.
"This was the first time in the entire history of the negro that a member of my race had been asked to speak from the same platform with white Southern men and women on any important national occasion. I was equally determined to be true to the North as well as to the best element of the white South in what I had to say. [applause] Mr. President, gentlemen of the board of directors, and citizens, the negroes greatest danger is that in the great leap from slavery to freedom we may overlook the fact that the masses of us are to live by the production of our hands. No race can prosper until it learned that there is as much dignity in tilling the field as in writing a poem. It is at the bottom of life we must begin and not at the top." [applause]
Easily the most striking thing in the history of the American Negro in 1876 is the ascendancy of Mr. Booker T Washington. One hesitates therefore to criticize a life which beginning with so little has done so much and yet the time has come when one may speak in all sincerity and with utter courtesy of the mistakes and shortcomings of Mr. Washington's career. Whereas Frederick Douglass in his old age still bravely stood by the ideals of early manhood, ultimate assimilation through self-assertion and on no other terms. But Booker T. Washington arose as essentially the leader of not one race but of two, a compromiser between the north, the south and the negro. Mr. Washington represents in negro thought the old attitudes of adjustment and submission. "And to the white race where I
committed I would repeat what I say to my own people. Cast your bucket down among the 8 millions of negroes whose habits you know, whose fidelity and love you have tested in days when you have proved treacherous meant the ruin of your pious thought. And while doing this you can be sure in the future as you have been in the past. But, you and your families will be surrounded by the most patient, faithful, law abiding and unresentful people the world has seen. As we have proven our loyalty to you in the past in nursing your children, waiting by the sick beds of your mothers and fathers and often following them with tear dimmed eyes to their grave. So in the future in our humble way we will stand by you with a devotion no foreigner can approach and in all things
that are purely social, we can be as separate as to ?think.? Yet one ?has a hand? in things essential to our mutual progress. [applause] [applause] Mr. Washington's program practically accepts the alleged inferiority of the Negro race and we do not expect that the free right to vote and to enjoy civic rights and to be educated should come at once. Nor do we expect to see the bias and prejudices of years disappear at the blast of a trumpet. But we are absolutely certain that the way other people, rather the way for a people to gain respect is not by continually belittling and ridiculing themselves. On the other hand. Forgive me. On the contrary the Negro must insist continually in season and out of season that voting is essential to modern manhood. That color
discrimination is barbarism and that black boys need education as well as white boys. [singing] 1919 Betsy Smith was singing the blues. Her blues It was said to be funny and boisterous, gentle and angry and bleak. but underneath them all around the raw business of being a human being who has to think twice about which toilets she can use. You cannot want to wait anymore. "Actively, we have woven ourselves with the very ?[inaudible]? of this nation. We fought their battles. Shared their sorry. Mingled our blood
with theirs. And generation after generation we have pleaded with the headstrong, careless people who despise not justice, mercy and truth less the nation be smitten with a curse. Our sound, our toil, our cheer and our warning have been given to this nation in blood brotherhood. Are not these gifts worth forgiving? Is not this work, this striving? Would American have been America without her negro people?" [cheering] The next year Marcus Garvey addressed 25,000 of his followers in Madison Square Garden in New York. His message to the Negro people was a simple one - back to Africa. "While others are raising the cry of white America, of white Canada, of white Australia we without reservations raise the cry of a black Africa. Where is his king and his kingdom where is his President, his country
his men of big affairs? And, where is his army, his navy. And if the ?[audible]? When Europe was inhabited by a race of savages, naked men, heathens and pagans Africa was peopled by a race of cultured black men who were masters in arts, science and literature. Men who were who were cultured and refined. Men who it is said were the likes of Gods. Why then should we lose hope? Black men were once great. You shall be great again." [cheering] 1923 at the height of his power, the height of his career, Marcus Garvey claimed 4 million followers. America had seen nothing like this. Everywhere there was a blossoming pride in being black
Negro girls had white dolls snatched from their arms and replaced with black dolls. Little negro boys studied the history of black heroes. Marcus Garvey even had secret meetings with the leaders of the Ku Klux Klan. And when this was discovered he made no apologies. "then ?[inaudible]? and the race riots all worked to our advantage by teaching the negro he must build a civilization of his own or forever remain the white man's victims. The Ku Klux Klan is going to make this a white man's country. They are pleasantly honest and frank about it. Fighting them will get you nowhere. I regard the Klan the Anglo faction clubs the white American societies as better friends of the race than all other groups of hypocritical whites put together.
I like honest and fair play. You may call me a Klansman if you will but every white man is a Klansman and there's no use lying about it." Marcus Garvey is without doubt the most dangerous enemy of the Negro people. He is either a lunatic or a traitor. He is yelling to life from the black side. A race consciousness which if it blazes into a real flame means eternal war and bloodshed. "The black and white races are now facing the crucial time of their existence. The whites are rightfully and properly crying out for a pure white race and the proud and self-respecting blacks are crying out for a moral and pure and healthy Negro race. Between both we have a new school of thought advanced by the neophyte or
colored man Dr. W.E.B DuBois who advocates racial amalgamation or general miscegenation with the hope of creating a new colored race by wiping out both black and white." [piano music] 1925, Garvey's bubble burst. The Back to Africa movement collapsed. Marcus Garvey was the product of an extraordinary era, the fabulous 20s. During those years Negro artists poured out a stream of plays, poems and musical compositions. That era has gone down in history as the negro Renaissance. It was a period, wrote Langston Hughes, when local and visiting royalty were not at all uncommon in Harlem. It was a period when every year there was at least one hit play on Broadway with the negro cast.
It was a period, God help us, when Ethel Barrymore appeared in black face as Scarlet's sister Mary. It was the period when the negro was in vogue. And then, the stock market collapsed. During the Great Depression, Negro America and the words of Lester Granger almost fell apart. There's a bit of ?bitter? poetry. Negroes, last hired first fired. Then came the war and negroes marched off again to fight for democracy. You came home again to the white zone. At the end of the era, in 1945, some changes had been made but mostly it was the same old story. The first Fair Employment Practices Act was passed in New York. But in Gary, Indiana 1,000 white students walked out of three schools
protesting school integration. [singing] A hit song of the times "Aren't you glad you're you. And when you wake up each morning, aren't you glad that you were born. Think what you've got the whole day through. Aren't you glad you're you." [singing]
Series
History of the Negro People
Episode Number
5
Episode
Free at Last
Producing Organization
National Educational Television and Radio Center
Contributing Organization
Thirteen WNET (New York, New York)
Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
AAPB ID
cpb-aacip/62-sf2m61c59f
NOLA Code
HONP 000105
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Description
Episode Description
In this program dramatic readings trace the history of the American Negro from emancipation to the end of World War II. The words are those of four major Negro figures - Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, and Marcus Garvey. The cast features Ossie Davis, Frederick O'Neal, Hugh Hurd, Roscoe Lee Browne, and Leonard Jackson. Frederick Douglass, a former slave and leading abolitionist, saw the years immediately following the Civil War when Negroes and whites went to school together, rode on street cars together, when Negro senators and representatives sat in Congress. By 1877 when President Rutherford B. Hayes appointed Douglass as Marshal of the District of Columbia, Jim Crow had reared his head. Douglass reflected: "I am an outcast from the society of my childhood and an outlaw in the land of my birth." Booker T. Washington, founder of Tuskegee Institute and an advisor to presidents, called for conciliation, for patience and hard work on part of the Negro. Later William DuBois, Harvard educated and a founder of the NAACP, spoke for another course: ... "Negroes must insist continually, in season and out of season, that voting is necessary to modern manhood, that color discrimination is barbarism, and that black boys need education as well as white boys." At the close of World War I, Marcus Garvey urged another course to some 25 thousand followers at a Madison Square Garden rally in New York. His message was a simple one for Negroes: Back to Africa. At the height of his career, Garvey claimed 4 million followers. The depression came, and the so-called Negro Renaissance of the twenties died. "The Negro," it was said, "was the last hired and the first fired." When World War II came, the Negro went off to fight for democracy. He came home to a land "for whites only." "At the end of this era, 1945, there were some changes, but mostly it was the same old story," narrator Ossie Davis concludes. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche.)
Series Description
The little known and long ignored heritage and history of the Negro people is explored in an unprecedented television effort. To prepare this series of nine half-hour episodes, N.E.T.'s cameras traveled throughout the United States, to Africa, and to Latin America. Hosted and narrated by Broadway actor Ossie Davis, History of the Negro People also calls upon the talents of novelists John A. Williams, Cyprian Ekwensi, Jorge Amado, and Chinua Achebe; Basil Davidson, noted British writer and historian on Africa; actors Frederick O'Neal, Roscoe Lee Browne, and Hugh Hurd; John Henry Clark, writer and teacher; historian Gilberto Freyre, actress Ruby Dee; the choral group "The Voices Inc.," and a number of other personalities. The episodes vary in format, with dramatic, documentary, and discussion techniques employed according to the subject and content of each half-hour. The final episode is extended to 75 minutes. In addition to being host on the series, Mr. Davis has written the script for episode 3, Slavery, a dramatic and choral work adapted from the testimony of former slaves. He appears in the episode with his wife, actress Ruby Dee, and the choral group The Voices, Inc. History of the Negro People is a 1965 production of National Educational Television. The 9 episodes that comprise this series were originally recorded in black and white on videotape. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
Broadcast Date
1965-11-09
Asset type
Episode
Topics
History
Race and Ethnicity
Subjects
African Americans; History
Rights
Copyright National Educational Television & Radio Center November 7, 1965
Media type
Moving Image
Duration
00:29:44
Embed Code
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Credits
Actor: O'Neal, Frederick
Actor: Hurd, Hugh
Actor: Browne, Roscoe Lee
Actor: Jackson, Leonard
Actor: Dougherty, Chet
Actor: Reihhardt, Ray
Actor: Noble, James
Actor: Hubbard, Alma
Actor: King, Woodie
Actor: Marriott, Jon
Actor: Reinhardt, Ray
Actor: Marriott, John
Actor: King, Woody
Associate Director: Korek, Ina
Associate Director: Korek, Ina
Associate Producer: Broder, Rita
Associate Producer: Broder, Rita
Audio: Hanley, Frank
Copyright Holder: National Educational Television and Radio Center
Costume Designer: Boxer, John
Director: Browning, Kirk
Director: Browning, Kirk
Executive Producer: Howard, Brice
Host: Davis, Ossie
Lighting Director: Nolan, John
Narrator: Davis, Ossie
Producer: Rabin, Arthur W.
Producer: Rabin, Arthur W.
Producing Organization: National Educational Television and Radio Center
Production Designer: Rosen, Charles
Sound: Hanley, Frank
Technical Director: Chumbley, Leonard
Writer: Rabin, Arthur W.
Writer: Benjamin, James
Writer: Rabin, Arthur W.
Writer: Benjamin, James
Writer: Designer: Rosen, Charles
Writer: Costume: Boxer, John
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Thirteen - New York Public Media (WNET)
Identifier: wnet_aacip_8977 (WNET Archive)
Format: 2 inch videotape
Generation: Master
Thirteen - New York Public Media (WNET)
Identifier: wnet_aacip_31828 (WNET Archive)
Format: Digital Betacam
Generation: Master
Duration: 00:29:00
Thirteen - New York Public Media (WNET)
Identifier: ARC-2N-153 (unknown)
Format: 2 inch videotape
Generation: Master
Color: Color
Thirteen - New York Public Media (WNET)
Identifier: LWO #41265 (unknown)
Format: Digital Betacam
Generation: Master
Color: B&W
Duration: 00:29:06
Thirteen - New York Public Media (WNET)
Identifier: netnola_honp_freeatlast_doc (WNET Archive)
Format: Video/quicktime
Library of Congress
Identifier: 1204707-1 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 16mm film
Generation: Copy: Access
Color: B&W
Library of Congress
Identifier: 1204707-2 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: Digital Betacam
Generation: Master
Color: B&W
Library of Congress
Identifier: 1204707-3 (MAVIS Item ID)
Generation: Master
Library of Congress
Identifier: 1204707-4 (MAVIS Item ID)
Generation: Copy: Access
Library of Congress
Identifier: 1204707-5 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 2 inch videotape
Generation: Master
Library of Congress
Identifier: 1204707-1 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 16mm film
Generation: Copy: Access
Color: B&W
Library of Congress
Identifier: 1204707-2 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: Digital Betacam
Generation: Master
Color: B&W
Library of Congress
Identifier: 1204707-3 (MAVIS Item ID)
Generation: Master
Library of Congress
Identifier: 1204707-4 (MAVIS Item ID)
Generation: Copy: Access
Library of Congress
Identifier: 1204707-5 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 2 inch videotape
Generation: Master
Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive
Identifier: [request film based on title] (Indiana University)
Format: 16mm film
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Citations
Chicago: “History of the Negro People; 5; Free at Last,” 1965-11-09, Thirteen WNET, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 30, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-62-sf2m61c59f.
MLA: “History of the Negro People; 5; Free at Last.” 1965-11-09. Thirteen WNET, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 30, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-62-sf2m61c59f>.
APA: History of the Negro People; 5; Free at Last. Boston, MA: Thirteen WNET, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-62-sf2m61c59f