This is a very good conversation, in part, because it aims at a central argument in circulation among a number of us who constitute the black left. The black middle class abandoned the general black population after the 1960s civil rights movement. Though West points to a number of other narratives here, he does a great job encapsulating the aforementioned point.
In honor of Julian Bond, I offer my recent dinner with him while hearing him speak at St. Mark’s school. My favorite comment after telling him Diane Nash was at Brooks was this: “Diane was the sexiest woman I met. All of the fellas were in love with her.”
“Look at that girl
Look at that girl shake that thing,
We can’t all be Martin Luther King.”
I am here with one of my heroes. I was honored to hear and spend time with her this past spring. If you do not know Ms. Nash, give this a read.
I first became a Vincent Harding fan while in high school. Attending an all white private day school while living in Montgomery, Alabama was most confusing to me, but it was also the most rewarding experience of my life; it was my introduction to Harding that got me excited about race and religion in history. Hence, he is a reason why my African-American Studies course will read and study his There is a River as a required text. Unfortunately, he like so many civil rights activist are unknown and invisible. If you do not know him, be sure to give this New York Times piece a read.
As noted in the article:
For more than half a century, Dr. Harding worked at the nexus of race, religion and social responsibility. Though he was not as high-profile a figure as some of his contemporaries — he preferred to work largely behind the scenes — he was widely considered a central figure in the civil rights movement.