Cover to Cover with Jack Foley, for January 7, 2009 - 3:00pm
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On today’s show, in celebration of Barack Obama’s coming presidency, Jack Foley presents the first of three shows dealing with an April 25, 1961 panel discussion on sit ins in which Malcolm X, James Baldwin, and LaVerne McCummings participated. Amy Goodman played excerpts from this recording on Democracy Now in 2001, but she edited out the remarks by LaVerne McCummings and presented it as a debate between Malcolm X and James Baldwin. As the recording shows, it was not a debate but a discussion among Malcolm X, James Baldwin and LaVerne McCummings. Some of what is said sounds dated; some of what is said sounds extraordinarily current. One of the most striking features of the recording is James Baldwin’s insistence on a redefinition of manhood in which the model of the warrior is discarded. Football players, says Baldwin, are not men. Malcolm X, on the other hand, extols the image of the warrior: black people “should stand up and fight like a man.” LaVerne McCummings’ remark that black people should be “cool, calm, and collected” sounds strikingly like the techniques of Barack Obama.