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This is the 12th in a series of programs entitled seeds of discontent. Presenting the program tonight is hard predicament you're in your assistant professor in the School of Social Work Wayne State University professor summit. For the past six weeks the seeds of discontent has taken a look at the problems of the American Negro who today constitute one of the largest discontented forces in American society. We have attempted to provide some historical insights into the problem. After looking at the historical side of Negro life in America we are attempting to explore present day realities and obtain a glimpse of the future. We have continually emphasized that one must look at many different strata of Negro life. It's a total ramifications of the negroes plight and his discontent is to be comprehended more fully. It would be a gross disservice to ask a kitchenmaid to talk about the total needs of the American Negro or to think that her opinions necessarily reflect the mood and aspirations of millions of
citizens. Likewise it would be sheer folly to ask a negro born in well to explain the Negro Problem and speak about the lifestyle the needs and aspirations of the kitchenmaid. This has qualifications of course because some of the problems of living in a racially conscious and Prejudice society affect each and similar ways at a given point in the social spectrum. Although not to the same degree. Another qualification is that we are so classification oriented that it is very difficult to talk about a problem without first setting up some kind of classification scheme. We are trying to strike some kind of realistic balance in confronting the problems of the American Negro. So far the reflections that you have heard were the attitudes and feelings of many different negroes from different walks of life. On our opening three programs only American Negro you heard the voices of
Negro males in the age 15 and up bracket most were laborers. Some had retired. One was a small businessman. Another was a supervisor in private industry. On our second three programs we went to the field of entertainment and some of the top negro performers to get yet another perspective on the problem of the negro. And coming weeks we will move to other strategies of Negro life in America as we move into these various lifestyles. It should be remembered that there is a tendency to pick or choose bits and pieces of answers opinions and propose solutions based upon our own values about what should or should not be done. It should be remembered again however that the whole range of Negro life must be considered if we are ever going to move away from the surface and move into the inner dimensions of the total problem.
On tonight's program we're going to do a final wrap up on the negro entertainer. So far we've listened to their reflections on the field of entertainment and it's opportunity structure as it applies to the aspiring young negro performer. The general consensus was that even though the negro had made significant strides in the field of entertainment he was still confronted with many obstacles because of race so much so that we have speculated on the probable negative effects on the aspiring young negro performer locked in a ghetto trying to find his way out with an inadequate education. We also asked the top performers to reflect on some of the problems of negroes in the larger society. From the point of view of causation. We felt that this was valid because of the contacts that these performers had throughout various communities in American
society. Briefly stated it was their feeling that the whole area of racial insults of jobs of education of housing had to be radically changed before these problems could be fully worked out. It was their feeling also that the whole question of the Vietnam War juxtaposed with the issue of injustice in this country had to be settled before there can be meaningful avenues to change. And I final wrap up tonight. These same performers Odetta Dick Gregory and Leslie Green will talk about their own philosophies as it relates to Negro life. What can be done what is necessary what is meaningful and what is not. This philosophical examination is most important a man's philosophy about his conditions and status in his world may tell us something about his designs for political and social action in the future. If these
conditions are not changed. Let us begin with Mr. Dick Gregory. Gregory you feel a traitor right. Successful stuff goes one. Oh I think it was successful from Mona standpoint of those who want to. Make 6000 Negroes got hired without taking a test. So they are just going to tell him why I felt that test meant faggot a faggot a little too close to full acclaim. And. I think violence have always been successful in this country. Mr. Gregory qualifies his concept of violence as a change technique in later dialogue as he talks about his position on Vietnam his participation in the Milwaukee protest and his thoughts on the future. With this in mind then let's continue. I don't believe in killing. Period. And. I think all countries need an army to clean up after earthquake after tornado
activity. And so I would not say I wouldn't join the army I would join. Under one condition you're just going to say I want to she send me to the front line immediately without a done because as dirty as America is she's still a mom and I made about lawn and rushed up to the station about Russian feel the American. Market is worth dying for but I've never met anything worth killing for. And the day that I start killing to stop problems I'm sure to be dead. Mississippi shares to keep my wife in a battle as he is a little pregnant. I'm sure nobody interested me ten thousand miles away to a no moon at nobody I don't know. As indicated Mr Gregory participated in the Milwaukee protest which is still being led by Father Grampy a white priest and the following dialogue. He assesses the feasibility and possibility of change by peaceful protest. He explains this in answer to first. How did Father grabby ascend to leadership and second glee and response to what has been the result of the
demonstrations. He was just on. That does a lot of elements. And I get tremendous jargon is a subtle point there to build up a crisis and to don my leadership. The mistakes that the mammy. Projected him up. Let's face it you know majority of black folks in this country. Are racist enough to wise Negroes if they rather follow why can't have black hair to begin with if you just give us a chance. And Greg came through and was saying things we men don't say anything I white hero's been saying you know all the way down to dealing with this white man God came through and that doesn't come along as we can teach you as a virtue to shoot straight. But he just you know was a thoroughly beautiful cat man that was honest and sincere. And that came through behind a lot of mistakes. The interesting thing was when black. Nationalism was on the
highest level it's ever been in the history of the world that why can't you come to Italy. Which means that black nationalists and black power. When it comes into a philosophy is not a callous attitude I think there's a very important and he proved this because we're getting to the point that albino Negro would have been able to do in the background. That he was going to the part that we thought it would not be had a Malcolm X T-shirt and a paralyzed and degraded black nations ever live in history this country was not a Negro It was John Brown. And he told his son to kill anything that crackers in Kansas City and his boys he couldn't do it he threatened to kill his son and when they get a man to kill his own baby or his mammy over his movement and has a lot of John Brown. And reference to the second question on what has been the results of the demonstrations in Milwaukee Mr. Gregory had this to say. They got on me going there in March for eighty five straight days. And. The movie industry had fallen off 80 percent.
Close rifle to steel still enough to believe that when we get jumped on is less towards it doing the jumping which is beautiful and this is the only reason I would say the nonviolent struggle has a chance to survive. Dominus survived as long as it did survive that we had white kids that was making mistakes like he'd make a Birmingham new thing. Go ahead and King as one of your kingship Gaber Can I have that money get a Nobel Prize and we think of you think of king and crown and so on and why crackers would make a mistake we didn't have moved them. And so now I think you fully realize that you can take the mental picture that white folks have of us. You can put any bank out of business you want to put out of business just by giving you some dirty Greedy niggas stand in front of the bank because all white folks majority in the back of a mind think all niggas been STEAL FROM I'm going to rape them and snatched the pocketbook and you just get in can't peacefully protest in front of Bank and Whiting on cross that line with a stack of money and eventually you closed the bank back to the family in the house and deposits over a
month period he got a big deal and I think that this is what happened in Milwaukee. We went downtown and we marched downtown because we know why they think it was just the loons that was being brought in with good white police is not bad. So you use that image and you march downtown. And you keep marching down and you get you some dirty crazy cats and you know it's downtown and he could see his receipts and you know would you do it. And so consequently this is what we were able to do. In Detroit the motel hotel business as a three days ago has 47 percent on occupying it against last year at this time. They have not been able get one engineer from the Ivy League schools where they recruit very heavy. Because too many jobs the engineers will come into that area. The department store business is 25 percent. Of. The brewery business which we are back against all on their farm from like 33 points when we started down to twenty seven point couple days ago.
And so you know the motley the field I was to go deaf we didn't get a great victory because. Listen you're willing to buck his system in and play his game with him as long as he played his game fair and I feel we don't deserve it. And we run and we get too many quick victories and we've been out in the street and I don't want to be able to. And. It's so i damaging to the town's decision that it's a club if they gave us everything we wanted in the morning we could also demand that the police chief resign I would do anything we want to do that now because we hurt him so bad economically in that town meeting not coldly movies at 8 o'clock every night. Christmas season is rolling around. In a downtown apartment still not only have they lost 25 percent of the business the the restaurants which Milwaukee they've always been known to man the restaurant business what a very good convention. There because of the restaurants. And the restaurant business is 40 to 60 percent.
I don't know where they got to sprayed 40 to 60. You said. It came up in the papers for you to see to say no and. You say to. The purpose of it is 25 percent of what they have missed there is huge amazing millions of dollars that the bums do if Lowell's and reduce the sales to keep people downtown. One I know but the term everything you said I gather that you were somewhat optimistic future. I wonder looking at things from your own. Personalized. Search. Led. To a. Lot of. People. Last at one hour. You've also been in touch with a number of people throughout the country looking at your own personal experience with. And what it's meant to other people. What do you see you're feeling there is going to be hard to watch your.
Blood shed from the standpoint of man fighting man. Bloodshed when you have you crumble a system. You know. If I know you're going to demolish this house and I get out of it you know. If I don't believe you can do it I stay in it and the bloodshed all the bloodshed one name that me yet another person gives me. A new attitude of black folks and why folks. Is talking now about how they can destroy cities. I don't worry about this guy. It Gad it's going to Tampa town and sit and tell me a stranger who just comes in town he's not going to have to tell the fact he's talking about me that there's a lot of cats is planning on it we don't know about. We're not here to hear you know just unload probably little faggot looking college kids somewhere and I would have had rimmed glasses on Probably word for DuPont you know. The fact that his plans are already made in the only purpose the star played in the wrap service they give the CIA the wrong cap to tap
you know. So while they run around tapping on milk and cat phones Well don't do nothing. Who gave us our medals you know after Detroit busted because the black militant cats in this country with that black power convention in Newark New Jersey was Bell Telephone paid for. Right he gets so upset he should investigate and find I want to tell from pay for that black power convention and stuff it was out of the country. Detroit and all of the other cities blew up like a little blip of a book and all of us was like in one city talking about why it is so it means that somebody want to get us out of the way so something is going to happen. That when the military has a stand on a corner of town by white it will make a number can't go to work. But I think it should be thoroughly investigated to find out why we had explosions this summer like we never had before and all the cats that used to get blamed for I was layin up there would see any room and they didn't know. Did you go to where you'd
like to meet the biggest chicken too. I just kinda desultorily knew it. He paid $25 to register for five days and with that what you hold in five meals a day and I just normally eat three meals a day in fact it was the day the telephone gave our all black power. Yes you can tell I got a little miniature Prince's phone key change the title he gave us which initials and if it should from Mr. Gregory as we have said before leans towards a revolutionary poll of social and political action. His philosophy however is expansive enough to encompass violent and nonviolent means of protest and change. Let's move on and listen to the philosophy and thoughts of Odetta. What do you see in the future in terms of America coming to grips with that problems regarding the American Negro.
I think that the National Guard will be improved. And that that's the way the other side will do it. But that's the positive side is that there are as we've traveled around more and more individuals and small groups who are working the best way they know how and within the community. I think the thing that will come out of it I think the closest thing the most positive thing is that strut that we have
that is there. So as we recognize it and if there is an attitude of a group or an individual where because of his color he he feels he doesn't want you there would no longer affect us or put us down you know. Worth the wait to see the exact executive branches the governments are working out. The closest thing they come to it is. Yes says nothing. I think there's a beginning of recognition with with individuals or small groups that are working.
Right there in the neighborhood and helping funding the government help and helping to fund these these groups that are already existing that are that are involved in the community. That's that's very positive. But I don't. I don't see legislation because that legislation isn't everything neither is it but or in any real attempt by. The government to really understand. A lot or even to understand that he needs that it needs
to ask real questions of people who are actually involved instead of people that need that the government is comfortable with because they know which fork to use. Sometimes I wonder how we remain hopeful. You know how we keep up optimism. It may well be that it's sort of the only way to continue. But I am optimistic. Do you feel that the national mood is such that this country is finally going to recognize certain injustices and make a committed effort towards doing something about
the national mood. Yes the national mood seems now to be growing in line and choosing sides. And I remember I was flabbergasted with the thought that the people who objected to equal rights meaning that the connotation of equal rights is that you have more than I have. I I don't have very much faith in the reasoning and thinking ability of people as a whole. I I me you get you get people who go along stomping on people who are
peace buddies you know who don't want the guys there. And you. Say for some reason either. We're going to leave you not trained out of thinking maybe we've never really been taught how. To use the reasoning power because as you know in our school system it's better just to have the kids learn the answers and give you the questions and don't worry about it you know. So you'll have to step school that you know was a big night you know. So this is reflecting itself of course in the in this drawing of the line and choosing sides. And I notice on a newscast in Milwaukee they are anti housing
people when they went on their march. They all had helmets when we went on I am much we don't have any helmets now and. I think they feel the justification of what to do. And ready for someone on the black side to just start to listen. You know so that they with the help of God can smash it. I don't know what kind of education program would have to be started just to help us start thinking right. You know what that says is a holo can he she with no doubt the philosophy is one of working within the system for the most part she places great emphasis on logic
reasoning on small groups attitude change and the enhancement of self concept and social relationships. In some respects however she is less optimistic than Mr. GREGORY. Let's turn now to the professional bassist Mr. Leslie Granard for his philosophy and final comments. As a musician I feel in my own mind as a universal person. I feel that I want to develop a musical dialogue that transcends all ethnic boundaries. I want to I'd like to teach children music on a not necessarily classical music or maybe to learn to play the instrument fine but teach them that there's hope there's an expression within that that can be filtered out through different instruments or many instruments not necessarily trumpets and in drums or all sorts of instruments available. And there's also there isn't going to a piece that can be achieved that I've learned a bit about that helps me a bit. Every day that
transcends religion also the thing that that would hurt as hurt me the most is that sometimes I I get a tinge of guilt when these issues of black and white come up because if it came down to choosing sides it would be very difficult for me because I love people on both sides of the fence in terms of color now. I don't love any bigots. But you know I know some awful beautiful people with blue eyes you know. Well I like to reduce my little my little sly little nephew that you know and vice a versa. And many people might not agree with me but I my whole life and the more I get involved in what I consider we like to consider universal things like Malcolm found when he came back from America he said wow he didn't know that people of all races and all colors can merge together on a higher level and accomplish
that one thing that has to be accomplished before anything else is meaningful and that is an inner peace a way to learn to love myself so you can love somebody else. And these are the things that I'd like to keep teaching myself and would like to. Verify enough that the children should learn it and we have ways to demonstrate it to them without without without Madan DeMarco Tom is without without confusing them on the issues of well because my skin is one color I can talk that way. We haven't gotten to the problems over there that have always existed between like completely colored people in dark colored people yet you know I think taking that step further and do some work on that level. Much has been written and said about the role that the negro performer has played in
shaping American history in the early days as music although closed in the dress of religion was a code language for protests and messages that could not be said. During the 20th century it has been said that the negro entertainers sold out by perpetuating comfortable stereotypes. With the wave of protest of recent years however there is a trend toward speaking out toward supplying the very movement itself with a spiritual quality that promotes determined social protest. One only has to remember the early 60s to see how vital the songs of protest were to the entire movement. As a closing No I should like to play a few verses of a song written by a group of Negro performers called the Freedom Singers. The song provides an excellent commentary on some issues that are very much at the base of discontent of many negroes. Last summer and then we have a genuine about do out of love and there was a soldier bought it came home.
He saw what was going on in his uniform. So when he came back home the secretary of defense called his name or issued a statement and said look you can go overseas and fight with the uniform but you can come over here pick it in and demonstrate niño uniform. So you know that's on America. So what the fellow did he got up in a man's BE NICE a he said look I'm an American fighting man and I'll defend this country as long as I came. In and I can defend it but always seems then why don't you set my people. You know Mr Raydon Gian the way they treat puppy bowl to me you know know that was. My it was a an old
A and was told by. This was the 12th series of programs and titled seeds of discontent resenting the program was hard for it Smith Jr. supervisor of the screening and in taking it maintained by the Michigan Department of Social Services delinquency rehabilitation programs. This program was produced by David Lewis and engineered by Dave Pierce for the Wayne State University tape network. This is Wayne State University Radio. Thank you. Very. Much. This program was distributed by the national educational radio network.
Seeds of discontent
Episode Number
Episode 12 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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Series Description
For series info, see Item 3313 and 3314. This prog.: Guests: Odetta, Dick Gregory, Leslie Grinage on what should be done in entertainment field.
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: 68-15-12 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:30:08
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Chicago: “Seeds of discontent; Episode 12 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 May 27, 2024,
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APA: Seeds of discontent; Episode 12 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