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Playlist: Malcolm Day program

Compiled By: Patró Mabíli Panther

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Celebrate May 19

Harlem In Revolt - Part #1

From Canadian Broadcasting Corporation | Part of the Harlem In Revolt (3 Parts) series | 54:59

A little more than fifty years ago, 1963, was a time of great upheaval in the United States. The fight for civil rights was in full force with people like Martin Luther King Jr., Stokeley Carmichael and Malcolm X making headlines. During this historic time, CBC Radio commissioned a young writer called Austin Clarke to make a documentary.

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He travelled to Harlem to find out what living conditions were like for the African-Americans who lived there. In later years Clarke would go on to become a celebrated author, whose novel The Polished Hoe won the Giller Prize in 2002. But in 1963, he was a young freelancer with a microphone and a notebook. The results were powerful.

The world saw pictures from Birmingham, Alabama that showed police dogs attacking demonstrators. They were also beaten, sprayed with fire hoses and arrested. Martin Luther King Jr was one of them. While he was in prison, he wrote his famous "Letter from Birmingham Jail" which called for non-violent civil disobedience to fight racism and segregation. Later that year, King's 'March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom' brought a quarter of a million people to the nation's capital. And it was there that he delivered his famous 'I Have a Dream' Speech.

It was during this period of upheaval, CBC Radio produced this documentary on the African-American condition. However, it focussed not on Alabama, Mississippi or any other southern state, but on the integrated city of New York. This documentary aimed to answer the question: what was life like for African-Americans in the north where integration had been achieved, at least on paper? Were the residents of Harlem any better off than blacks in the south? 

Austin Clarke
To find some answers, a journalist by the name of Austin Clarke went to live in Harlem. Today, years later, Clarke is a celebrated author in Canada and abroad. But at the time, Clarke had come to Canada from Barbados in 1955. He spent two years at the University of Toronto and then worked as a reporter in Northern Ontario. 

In order to prepare for this documentary 'Harlem In Revolt', Clarke spent several weeks in Harlem. He watched, listened and recorded interviews. Because he was black himself, Clarke felt that he got honest and emotional reactions.

Malcolm X
Malcolm X, the controversial black leader who was later assassinated, was one of the people he talked to. Malcolm X was a member of member of the Nation of Islam, a group that advocated radical action. It was a foil to Martin Luther King Jr's non-violent approach to fighting segregation.

Clarke's documentary captures a clear and valuable portrait of some important moments in American history. 

He recorded anger and frustration. But he also captured ideas for change and even cautious hope for the future.

Before listening to this documentary, a note about language. The word 'Negro' is used throughout the program. In 1963, it was the prevailing term, with 'black' gaining momentum. However, Malcolm X had started using the phrase African-American, and you'll hear that later on.

Part Two, the second part of this documentary, features a longer interview with Malcolm X. He was the charismatic voice of the Nation of Islam, a religious and political group which believed in a separate state for African-Americans.  Malcolm X explained why the time for reconciliation had passed and that separation was the only option.

Part Three is the unedited conversation between Malcolm X and Austin Clarke. It's narrated by CBC Radio host Michael Enright.

Harlem In Revolt - Part #2

From Canadian Broadcasting Corporation | Part of the Harlem In Revolt (3 Parts) series | 54:59

This is the second hour of the documentary 'Harlem In Revolt.' It was made by a young writer called Austin Clarke and looked at the state of Harlem circa 1963. It was a time of great change in the United States, with the fight for civil rights in full force. Clarke travelled to Harlem to talk to the African-Americans who lived there.

In this hour Clarke chronicled the emergence of the black determination to find new strength and power in identity.

Prx_-_malcolm_x_portrait_small The growth of extreme religious and political groups such as the Black Muslims and the African Nationalist Movement were the first steps in this revolution. Clarke spoke to Malcolm X, the fiery spokesman for the Black Muslims, who presented arguments in favour of separation. Bonus Feature!  Also look for our special bonus - 'Harlem In Revolt - Part#3' the raw unedited version of Austin Clarke's interview with Malcolm X.

1963 was a time of social upheaval. It was the summer of Martin Luther's King Jr's March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It was there that King delivered his 'I Have a Dream' Speech. 1963 was also the summer of the Birmingham riots with police dogs and water cannons being used on black citizens who were demonstrating in the streets.

It was in the midst of this historic period that Austin Clarke went to Harlem for CBC Radio. Austin Clarke has gone on to become a prominent and award winning writer, but at the time he was a young journalist with a story to tell. You'll hear his passion and his deft writing and interviewing skills.

James Hicks and Richard B. Moore
One of the people Clarke interviews was James Hicks, the editor of The New York Amsterdam News. It's America's oldest black newspaper situated in the heart of Harlem. Hicks talked about the role of black newspapers during these troubled times. Hicks' prediction about the effect of a racial clash in Harlem was prophetic. Less than a year later, the Harlem Riots of 1964 lasted six nights, left one person dead and more than a hundred injured. There were also riots in more than a dozen other American cities.

Clark also spoke with Richard B. Moore, a prominent civil rights activist and communist who lived in Harlem in New York City. Moore strongly advocated against using the word Negro because he said it was associated with the slave trade. 

Malcolm X
1963 was a pivotal year in the history of American civil rights.  Early in 1963 Martin Luther King was jailed for taking part in a peaceful demonstration in Birmingham, Alabama.  Later that year he led his March on Washington. 

President John F. Kennedy delivered a civil rights address that called for an end to segregation. In St. Augustine Florida, four black teenagers were jailed for sitting at a whites-only lunch counter. In Birmingham Alabama the Ku Klux Klan bombed a black church that killed four children.

1963 was also a time of rising influence for the young black leader named Malcolm X.  He was a member and leader of the Nation of Islam, a religious and political group which believed in a separate state for African-Americans. 

CBC Radio's Austin Clarke managed to get an interview with Malcolm X for this documentary. Over fifty years later it stands as an important record.  Shortly after this interview, the black leader left the Nation of Islam.  Less than a year after that, he was assassinated.

Clarke worked hard to track down Malcolm X. Clarke is quoted as saying "This interview was the fruitful result of two weeks spent tracking down Malcolm X in Harlem: at the Muslim Restaurant, at Muhammad Speaks (the Muslims' newspaper office), and in bars and restaurants, where I asked if anyone had seen Malcolm X.  And then he called. My reward was an hour of his time. His time was golden.  He was a very busy man and this was the first radio interview in my life. I was terrified by the obvious importance of the interview, and more scared when Malcolm X, agreed to the interview..."

Assassination of Malcolm X
In the months after this interview Malcolm X severed his ties with the Nation of Islam and became a Sunni Muslim. He also regretted some of the views he had espoused while he was with the Nation of Islam, saying: "I did many things as a [Black] Muslim that I'm sorry for now. I was a zombie then ... pointed in a certain direction and told to march". Many Nation of Islam members considered him a traitor. In February 1965, Malcolm X was assassinated in New York by members of the Nation of Islam.

Austin Clarke
Austin Clarke continues his career as a writer and has published over twenty books of novels, short stories and memoirs. Recounting that interview with Malcolm X, Austin Clarke commented that after it aired on CBC Radio, "I would say my life was made."

Part three of this documentary is the full unedited conversation between Malcolm X and Austin Clarke. It's narrated by CBC Radio host Michael Enright. 

Harlem In Revolt - Part #3 (Malcolm X unedited interview)

From Canadian Broadcasting Corporation | Part of the Harlem In Revolt (3 Parts) series | 01:09:59

Malcolm X 1963: The uncut interview.

Prx_-_malcolm_x_portrait_small Bonus Feature!
In 1963, a young Canadian writer called Austin Clarke went to Harlem to make a documentary about the African American experience of living in Harlem. He interviewed a wide variety of people: community workers, historians, , journalists as well as many of the residents of Harlem. One of them was a provocative and brilliant young black activist named Malcolm X.  He was a member and leader of the Nation of Islam, the religious and political group which believed in a separate state for African-Americans. 

Austin Clarke managed to record an interview with Malcolm X for his documentary 'Harlem In Revolt.' More than fifty years later it stands as an important record.  Shortly after this interview, the black leader left the Nation of Islam. Less than a year after that, he was assassinated.

In the documentary 'Harlem In Revolt' he included just a short portion of the full interview. We thought you might like to hear the whole thing here. It's explosive, incendiary and sounds more like a rant than an interview at times.  But it's also a fascinating record of a man and a time in his own words. 

A reminder that the word 'Negro' was in common use then, although its use was starting to be questioned and gradually supplanted by black or African American. Nevertheless, you will hear 'Negro' used frequently.

We present the full uncut version of Austin Clarke's interview with Malcolm X recorded in late 1963.

Resistance and Resilience: The Cultural Legacy of the Black Panther Party

From Making Contact | Part of the Making Contact series | 29:00

The Black Panther Party combined Black Power’s militancy with socialist ideology, and infused funk music with Franz Fanon’s writings. Their impact on American culture, from music to style to community organizing, continues to resonate today.
Fifty years after the birth of Black Panther Party, we take a look at the lasting cultural legacy of the Black Panther Party through the eyes of the generations that followed.

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Fifty years ago, the United States was in a period of tremendous social upheaval and cultural change. The Civil Rights Movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King had resulted in new federal legislation outlawing discriminatory laws, but police brutality and economic inequality rampant in black communities. 

In Oakland, California, Bobby Seale and Huey Newton knew that Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty and King’s path of nonviolent resistance weren’t enough to bring about the changes black people in America needed. 

Spurred by the assassination of Malcolm X, they began calling themselves Black Panthers. They combined Black Power’s militancy with socialist ideology, and infused funk music with Franz Fanon’s writings.  Armed with rifles and shotguns, they monitored police activity in black neighborhoods. Through their weekly newspaper and funk band, they captured peoples imaginations.  They created “survival programs” for the black community – community schools, free breakfast for children, healthcare clinics, political education classes, a newspaper, even an ambulance service. 

The Panthers grew quickly into a national organization.  By 1970, they had chapters in 68 cities, each with their own leadership structure. But shootouts with rival organizations and the police, the incarceration of Panther leadership, internal strife, and infiltration by FBI informants took it’s toll. In 1972, the Panthers shut down their national chapters and consolidated their organization in their home base of Oakland. They shifted their focus to electoral politics, but that wasn’t enough to slow their gradual decline; by 1980, there were just 27 active Panther members. Yet their impact on American culture, from music to style to community organizing, continues to resonate today.

Fifty years after the birth of Black Panther Party, we take a look at the lasting cultural legacy of the Black Panther Party through the eyes of the generations that followed.

 

Featuring:

Cat Brooks, artist and organizer with the Anti Police-Terror Project; René de Guzman, curator of “All Power to the People: Black Panthers at Fifty” at the Oakland Museum of California; Sadie Barnette, Panther cub and artist; Refa Senay, Panther cub and artist; Hodari Davis, co-director Young Gifted and Black, organizer Life is Living, Keba Konte, founder and owner of Red Bay Coffee, Kaleb Houston, Director of Coffee for Red Bay Coffee

Families Fighting the Prisons

From WFHB | Part of the Kite Line series | 29:33

First, we hear part of a panel from the recent Fight Toxic Prisons conference, which was held last week in Pittsburgh. Saleem Holbrook shares his experiences after doing nearly three decades inside, with a focus on what it’s like to organize behind the walls. Coming into the system when he was young, he describes the influence of older prisoners on himself and others. He speaks on the influence of Malcolm X, the George Jackson Brigade, and how those thoughts sat with them for years before culminating in the Human Rights Coalition, and other ways to act against a system designed to oppress those inside. Now, Holbrook is out, and continues to organize. He is the co-founder of the Human Rights Coalition, along with his late mother. Holbrook sat down for an interview with us to speak more in depth about his own experiences, and how the families of prisoners can get organized to make a positive impact on their loved ones on the inside.

Img_1351_small First, we hear part of a panel from the recent Fight Toxic Prisons conference, which was held last week in Pittsburgh. Saleem Holbrook shares his experiences after doing nearly three decades inside, with a focus on what it’s like to organize behind the walls. Coming into the system when he was young, he describes the influence of older prisoners on himself and others. He speaks on the influence of Malcolm X, the George Jackson Brigade, and how those thoughts sat with them for years before culminating in the Human Rights Coalition, and other ways to act against a system designed to oppress those inside. Now, Holbrook is out, and continues to organize. He is the co-founder of the Human Rights Coalition, along with his late mother. Holbrook sat down for an interview with us to speak more in depth about his own experiences, and how the families of prisoners can get organized to make a positive impact on their loved ones on the inside.

Malcolm X in Boston and Beyond

From Open Source | Part of the Open Source with Christopher Lydon series | 59:00

Conversations with Will Power, Kerri Greenidge, Brandon Terry, and Rodnell Collins about Malcolm X.

Screen_shot_2020-02-14_at_12 The life of Malcolm X is the classic hero’s journey, in a setting we almost know: a story of anointment, dedication, fate, faith, family, incredible risk and reversals.  There was spontaneous poetry in it, enough sin to make salvation real, and redemption before an early, ugly death – all of it brilliantly told in an autobiography that wasn’t entirely Malcolm’s composition.  The question is about the dateline of the life: whether the core of the Malcolm epic isn’t a Boston story: The spur of ideas in a talky town, on both sides of the color line; the force of family, specially Malcolm’s sister Ella; the oddly enlightened prison where young Malcolm found his way.

Malcolm X, the equal-rights champion, rose to historic standing by blaming and shaming both white and black America — whites for oppressive racism and blacks for putting up with it.  Foil for the Christian preacher Martin Luther King, Malcolm was the firebrand who did not turn the other cheek, who mocked the singing of “We Shall Overcome.” At Malcolm’s funeral 52 years ago, the actor Ossie Davis remembered his friend as a “howling, shocking nuisance” before his “brave, black gallantry” took hold.