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who were these it's been my app by app at hand evolving on the first black political convention was the unanimous acceptance of the marble on libor aka who is in the studio with me to analyze the convention as a viable political architect the merging of his ideology of black nationalism and his creative history as a port and writer were demonstrated at the congress of african people in september of nineteen seventy mr stevens
these days it is you understand we don't really know so in the meantime
it's been expanding just listen anyway it's nineteen eighty nine iranians boston
so why is it so at times we would do it
it's been i think more than anything that film shows the combination of you as an artist and as a politician people are now asking particularly of your followers who had defined use the architect of black bart as well now as the architect of unity without uniformity do you consider yourself basically an artist or not you consider yourself basically politicians well i don't see the division i think those kinds of divisions are basically artificial we were dealing with the defining aesthetics from a black point of view one of the points that we've tried to make is that there is no division between art and life on your
politics and life you are it's a particular way of defining things at a particular time we believe that that the development of black people did things on their first unified and also depends on them being able to create our political structures into actual structures to transform their potential into how sick and in that kind of low thrust artists unnecessary black artists the nets are black politicians unnecessarily black economist at mississippi state people in diverse all walks of life on the set and i don't see the division between now and the black politician the black artist i think all that energy is necessary in all these the focus in the same direction that is the creation of a strong national black community i think one thing it's affecting everybody even the people perhaps that believed in you is that it looks as though now you not just talking you really pulling off
an obviously this film goes back a few years you've been talking to a few years before that i like to wear a business of today's question you were one of the three co chairman along with congressman charles diggs and mare hatcher of gary and universally everyone including i might add the opponents of the convention and you have particular are writing in televising that you by the only man perhaps who can tell the convention together how do you react to well i think if that's true and where it is true it's because over our belief that it is in the concept and people can if you flood nor a local organization that arm without the entire nation of black people then there is no hope for real progress that day it's all right for us to have personal ideologies you were all in favor of personal and very strong ideological commitment but also we believe that our you know if you're like a good christian or a good
muslim you know i'm i'm a good nationalist you know it's actually fuel for me to try to convert you to my ism i think what we have to look for is the easiest point at which we do merge which there is a real community and that's following to a certain extent what malcolm x said when he talked about the unity of groups and that that the strength of the black community would come when we learn to put aside our petty differences are petty sovereignty use and transcend those kind of petty concerns to reach a strong community and i was impressed much of africa by the kind of the diversity and say liberated nations like the republican guinea in tanzania with israel diversity we have christians and muslims into some tribes enormous side china kikuyu yet well within the framework of a national kind of a consciousness international kind of unity they're able to sort of love put those diverse cities together you know and come up with
with the national agenda and that was that the cancer behind conventional cars at that convention sticking enough in the context of the art of your statement was very strident coming together with various travel cheeks be at the trial by my good girl from michigan and michigan delegations and their travel cheese head perhaps a little different concept of unity without uniformity perhaps than the basic philosophy of the convention well i think some other people in michigan are the ones walked out because the northern walkout isn't a factor upon the delegation stay in elected a new cheese as a matter of fact but i think some of the people it did walk that were accused of being of representatives of the united auto workers or uaw they said uaw had paid their way to the convention but i believe very truthfully that even that persuasion it is legitimate and i'm sure that a lot of well you know black folks negroes words what have you who have their way pay different places by white folks
i think we have to accept that as a legitimate kind of direction for some black people to come but i think those people have to realize that again they can have an input into the total assembly of black folks but they can dominate the only thing that can dominate is what is really can be considered by the majority as something which will benefit that majority i think the majority always has the right to decide you know in the minority always has the right to be heard you know but i think there has to be you know that kind of into reaction where each group knows that the filing which are actors some kind of the you know transcend that some kind of dialectical reality that takes into consideration opposites and then makes a better truth of mozart's spoke acknowledging your success as the i might save moderator at the convention and the fact that some eight thousand blacks got together and did some of the things many of the things you're talking about one of the major magazines wrote recently that that convention really did
represent the diversity of black america well i think that that the only way they can set that is not be there because in all my days of being in a round from places i can truthfully say that that was the most diversified a group there i think we have been that eight thousand people and i guess those eight thousand were the ones that we could see in the school there were another three or four thousand that came in and around the city of gary and cities chicago they never got to the convention with the eight thousand or so that we saw they were absolute dangerous it wasn't so called black integration is in the so called black nationalism and the muslims and christians and black democrats and let republicans it was a very very diverse group and i think what we have to do is see ourselves as that kind of risk we're not a monolithic people and people keep saying well what does the black community very first the lawlessness of us to create the black community so far we have is a kind of
settlement where we share space and ocean values what we try to do is evolved past as the sharing of space and assuring by default of negative kind of qualities were trying to get creative community you know which has to do with people coming together you know an evolving a specific political culture based on that diversity was we can accept the fact that we are diverse we're not monolithic and just like the white community and nobody says well as the white community saying if they can have like jerry rubin and richard nixon you know both claiming to be white folks i think that we can at least claim some kind of diversity you see still see ourselves as having a common direction you find that we can work out with a little kind of effortless science in practical terms were can we do we i think thirteen million registered voters something like six million blacks either don't vote or are not registered with their keening oblique
potential black voters how can we in a pragmatic way out with his political convention a political agenda how is that wanted a practical way effect on american politics well i think one of the most important things to come out of the convention a steering committee has been named chairman from fifty different states plus national organizations to put together our a message of electing a national assembly which would be about four hundred and twenty seven a black folks our minimum to christie and the rest proportionally elected actually ten percent of the of the amount it came to the convention now what this assembly we would try to function much like our congress our national assembly of a nation of the country our religion very consciously tried to involve these diverse groups on a continuous basis and had been no attempt to like dominate by one group but or other groups would be able to come together in a well organized you know evolving
political structure are we need a political structure a concrete political structure when we caught up ari are we can call it a band could you call and you want to but we need a concrete political structure that will allow black people even though they might be black democrats they can remain black democrats as long as they can also you know understand that the art showed and eventually will feel they must contribute to development of this black political structure see which will even be able to work make their functioning within the democratic party much more valuable to themselves and to the black community iowa on ana county other issue basis does this mean that we should decide to support a candidate who is opposed to busing who is for busing who is opposed to commit to control of schools who is not for community controlled schools is this the planet are we talking i'm asking all we talking about
organized around an issue or would talk about organized around a concept of nation who we were talking about organizing now around the concept of political power for black people self determination for black people and in that context specific issues have to be handled according to what benefits the national black community at any given time you see so it's a party issue of schools for instance does this national assembly what is a great diversity of the black community think about this what will benefit as well as look at this scientifically in on iran sometime like sudden emotionalism let's sit down a look at this how will it benefit it's actually the majority of us and then place the weight of our national black community behind that city and by doing that will find that more and more will isolate those arm say are representatives of purely white interest that exist in the black community using only where legitimate black interest will mourn war began to
re find and define themselves and to show themselves you say an end create a kind of arm legitimacy you think the democratic party has taken the bible for granted yes i think so i think the democrats are can take the black vote for granted because most of the people will function in the black community has been democrats say are but i think there's that's over so i think that they're taking for granted not only by the democrats but any young white controlled institution any institution ah that is not clearly you know in controlled by black people for the benefit of black people it's all over i think that the seventies one clear thing will come out of this decade is the creation of some strong black political structure that will evolve more and more to a direction you're seeing off for the black community and national black community do think that black
people live that this black recently showed all will be really relate to the republican party you see you foresee a time possibly that we might direct our votes on the side of republicans around a nation one thing that most of us who you know were paying attention in the late fifties and the sixties to the african nations and the asian nations learned is that it's not necessary for you to like get in anybody's boxcar instead when you make alliances of coalitions are when you make deals see what you are giving up your sovereignty and too often what happens only people when they make some kind of coalition and i'm really making a collision and i not getting a deal actually giving up their sovereignty for instance on our small island in the pacific you can't make a deal with united states the united states co ops that they go along with you know state for too long so called
negro leaders have not been able to deal from a power base what they've done is just give up their sovereignty to right folks was saying we create our own kind of national base and national kind of you know overall structures that we can deal with people from the bases of power is why when you say nixon going to china you don't worry about now you know like selling you know his body his soul to nixon because you know the chinese with eight hundred million people a coming from a position of power so they can work together and they need not be any permanent interests you see it can change according to the interest of the black community we at the deal from the concept of a national sovereignty we would benefits us we go for what doesn't benefit us we don't go for let's talk about summer league robinson a black teenager particular with aids i don't think as an industry that many of the political types black political types in our community are highly egotistical in terms of their self centered interest in even you maybe at this point threatening that secondly you constantly referred to the
paranoia and fear of the unfounded fear in a community of any movie jew as a a model of the rock and makes how how you as an individual going to remain intact with those two forces operate how you can get into the political arena and not be accused of being selfish or self centered well firstly say this that we believe that you know i'm speaking now as a national is that what we do our work legitimizes with a community we don't have to be self aggrandizing a self advertising what we do legitimizes with the community the work itself you know we have a saying that cause it a swahili for work is the blackest of all was me that the work will legitimize what you do will legitimize it and i think that are black people you know we've been so use too will advertise failures and and rhetoric you know above the action that what all of us are looking for now is his work an
accomplishment and success and i think that more and more in the seventies that we'll begin to see people becoming more arm action oriented accomplishment oriented and no communally oriented c arm speaking from your organization can if you find work in the car was an afghan people are our feeling is that we believe in collective work and responsibility gene in swahili word we believe that arm our brothers and sisters problems are problems to begin with because there is no liberation for you know lead the african people anywhere unless all of a celebrity they can't be any vest pocket liberation you know so we don't have any worry about that because we believe for small community will legitimize what needs to be legitimized the black people were not fools you know a lot of people even some colored people think they awful i think that eventually we will see the coming together of the
diverse forces of the black community you had a program as it is it really is it too late i think that that kind of anxiety works within a lot of us you know consciously and unconsciously and i think that the legitimacy of what we do will be based on what we actually can begin to accomplish what i don't think is any doubt in anybody's mind clearing the people who were there many of whom are found need perhaps a reason to attack the convention per se and the people who were there many people observed that particular the members of the committee for unified and walk work on it go to bed the tightening the seventies the next day they'll caucuses and no one can ever find you at a party at a convention they say that should you having meetings and you're getting ready for the next day but i think we have to understand in a very human sense that this does make you successful that it does make you a recognizable by your deeds and that the hefty interest in the black community when you deal in the political arena i'm sure you will admit is different from you dealing in the artistic community it has a more vested in that other people have their representatives and i couldn't be representing them like i'm still i'm
wondering about you surviving i'm wondering about the fact that you keep a low key and you are moving into a very common situation i really would like to know what your plan is to continue to do well as a say you know our basic strength comes from the stanford community on i think that the more of us realize this the hell do we as a community will be i don't think any of us has any difference except organize community and what we're actually trying to do is to be a part of the organization of the community now what people why people are surprised at the kind of selflessness of the nationalist is that this is like a legitimate that we think is a legitimate our approach to life to see something actually created you know rather than the creation of another yet another little ego you know yet another little ego so long people will find it with very sincere in saying that we believe in collective work you know we believe that it is the community
which is that we believe that in terms of our organization that is the organization to which we all oil isn't gay and the black community expect a report on the continuation committee about the convention and resolutions that were adopted well the report the official report is supposed be made op may nineteenth birthday i'll throw malcolm x so there's already a meeting this week with the steering committee first meeting post convention steering committee to begin to one short out their direction set the guidelines for the elections in the state to this national symbol what will we will we hear this the resolutions as they were adopted at the conventional what we get from the continuation school at resolutions as it will be modified by the committee well i don't i don't know the exact you know documents that they be given out i'm sure that they be pretty much the way they were given and
gareth has a line as he has they have to be ordered and one specific issue we don't need that much time on it but there's a lot of confusion as to what the final form of the resolution against busing was well i think there were three as i remember there were three martin specific arm resolutions that came off the floor about busing in education in black communities and no one was the resolution on the unitary educational system that came from on court a number of interests are another was that in addition to that that was put forward by on livingston wingate from new york and the third i think came from the south carolina delegation on the alabama delegation and with the alabama delegation and i think that those three resolutions all of which came off the floor when they put together i think you'll see a well balanced our concept of black parties around not education unless you know and i think the important thing that god said was that
busing is no substitute for quality education and that the main priority in the black community is control community control of the education in our communities that it was a patient treatment of the budget my rent control of that everything that has to do with administrating and seeing to the educational quality of the school i think that it's a very exciting prospect the idea of a political movement or perhaps in an eventual political party and i don't believe that anyone has crystal ball this time that another gigabyte and outside two are and will continue to be a very important figure in that thrust which obviously seems to be a new thrust for black people and particularly for black nationalism like to thank you very much for being our guest and water and now the black national anthem as
a pair o v i in the oh those crazy a
rainy day long and at our days can win you will only
Black Journal
Episode Number
The Black Political Convention. Part 2
Producing Organization
WNET (Television station : New York, N.Y.)
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Episode Description
Black Journal continues its focus on the National Black Political Convention with an interview with Imamu Amiri Baraka, poet-playwright and co-chairman of the convention. Baraka (formerly known as LeRoi Jones) was a central figure at the three day conference held in Gary, Indiana, and his influence has been acknowledged by both delegates and the press. Advocating a theory of "Unity without Uniformity," Baraka sought to reconcile the differences between black s whose political affiliations ranged from the NAACP to nationalist groups. His decision to admit white reporters and television crews into the convention hall angered many nationalists and subsequent coverage of the convention as it appeared in white media has been severely criticized by those attending the conference. Baraka is interviewed by Black Journal producer, Tony Brown. "Black Journal" is a production of NET Division, Educational Broadcasting Corporation There are two episodes labeled as #56. It is unclear if both aired, or if only one episode aired and other was canceled. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
Episode Description
This record is part of the Literature section of the Soul of Black Identity special collection.
Series Description
Black Journal began as a monthly series produced for, about, and - to a large extent - by black Americans, which used the magazine format to report on relevant issues to black Americans. Starting with the October 5, 1071 broadcast, the show switched to a half-hour weekly format that focused on one issue per week, with a brief segment on black news called "Grapevine." Beginning in 1973, the series changed back into a hour long show and experimented with various formats, including a call-in portion. From its initial broadcast on June 12, 1968 through November 7, 1972, Black Journal was produced under the National Educational Television name. Starting on November 14, 1972, the series was produced solely by WNET/13. Only the episodes produced under the NET name are included in the NET Collection. For the first part of Black Journal, episodes are numbered sequential spanning broadcast seasons. After the 1971-72 season, which ended with episode #68, the series started using season specific episode numbers, beginning with #301. The 1972-73 season spans #301 - 332, and then the 1973-74 season starts with #401. This new numbering pattern continues through the end of the series.
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Race and Ethnicity
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Executive Producer: Brown, Tony
Interviewee: Baraka, Imamu Amiri
Interviewer: Brown, Tony
Producing Organization: WNET (Television station : New York, N.Y.)
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Identifier: cpb-aacip-5bc5a9c066b (unknown)
Format: video/mp4
Generation: Proxy
Duration: 00:29:09
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Chicago: “Black Journal; 56; The Black Political Convention. Part 2,” 1972, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 29, 2023,
MLA: “Black Journal; 56; The Black Political Convention. Part 2.” 1972. American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 29, 2023. <>.
APA: Black Journal; 56; The Black Political Convention. Part 2. Boston, MA: American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from