Now at Tim Tyson’s talk that is a closeout to the Campus Reads a Book program. Tim introduced by director of the Stone African-American Culture Center. “Mercy” says Tim. Tim talks about the number of Methodist and Free Will Baptist preachers in his family. He introduces his parents and also Eddie McCoy who we all know from the book. Much said about Eddie as a local historian and notes that Eddie’s tapes and transcripts are in the Southern Historical Collection. September 8 5 – 7 Tim, his father, Eddie and Jacqueline Dowd Hall will be speaking at the Wilson Library.
3 point sermon to be delivered. MLK was a Southerner. The Black Power Movement was born in the South like King. King and Black Power Movement had much in common. The South is the major arena on which the problems and successes of our country are played out.
Tim’s talk is on MLK (Sally will have more on her blog later I’m sure. She’s writing now.).Tim talks about food. MLK’s fav food was fried pig’s ear sandwiches. Tim is big on food.
[taking time to listen here]
King as a realist not a genial black santa claus as we have made him. Eloquent description of King and is radicalism. Tim now speaks of King’s first speech at age 27. Embrasses the non-violent and Christian part of the movement.
Quotes King’s Chapel Hill speech. (Sally says that she’s read all that could be found on that speech and that she can’t recall that quote tho).
Now about the Black Power Movement. Black independent and Black separatism. Black Power are a revival of a tradition of resistance. James Meredith’s march and shooting changed the chat “Freedom now” to “Black Power” also the scene of Stokley Carmichael and MLK’s debate about the nature of power and how Irish, Italians and Jews had become white and how that might apply to blacks. They did not agree. No one was shouting “Irish Power” in order to get accepted in Boston.
Active question time. Is violence necessary? How did he come to tell that story and how long did it take him (since he was 11)? What about the reappropriation of the word nigger is asked by a young black woman senior from Oxford. Tim talks about reappropriation of Tar Heel, Linthead, Redneck, etc. Now about the Wilmington takeover. Aycock and the next six governors were all involved. The beginning of the Jim Crow South. In response to a recently released soldier’s concern that he had never heard of the Wilmington riots. How can a white man do African-Amercian studies asks a young white man in African-American Studies. Tim talks about talking on Robert Williams to the Republic of New Africa. Funny but tough talk.
What do we do about working on racism? Friendship is fine but what about public policy asks Tim. How to keep the public sphere open?
Mary Williams will be playing and singing songs that are referenced in the book including a take the roof off the church version of “Blood Done Sign My Name”
At one of the many discussions at UNC of Tim Tyson’s Blood Done Sign My Name. This is not a discussion of undergrads, but one of graduate students and faculty. Since this is not exactly a private discussion but it is not exactly a public discussion either, I’ll be broad in my remarks.
Coordinator Dr. David Carr notes that he and several other folks here have come from leading freshmen discussions today. He tells of wanting to talk alot but that he once got a chinese fortune cookie fortune that said “Today is a good time to shut up” He then acknowledged that he has yet to learn to do that. Now he tells us that the freshmen were born in 1987 parented by parents born in 1962 (if their parents were 25 when they had these freshmen). David contextualized the period by describing the Kent State killings and the Augusta and Jackson State killings — all in the same month as the killing of Henry Marrow. May 1970.
Folks mention other books: “A Lesson Before Dying” and “Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down” and Tyson’s “Radio Free Dixie” Personal reflections are brought up along the way. A bit about small town concepts and how the particularlity is more touching to some than the broad national pagents. “Autobiography of a Blue-Eyed Devil: My Life and Times in a Racist, Imperialist Society” is being read by one man. Another person talks about the portrait of the South. Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” Bebe Moore Campbell’s “Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine” High school students are very aware of class notes Carr. I mention Frank Johnson and Sally’s class. I only know a little or do I know a lot?
What is this book about? asks David. One says: Information Access. (Glad he came to the ILS ;->). Special mention of Tim’s having left the paper that had the pages torn out. Tim left it that way so that people would know that it had been damaged. Mid-westerner claims she had no clue of the culture. She was shocked at first by Silent Sam, but then thought that avoiding history is not a good thing. Back to information. Why did it take so long after Brown v Board before segregation ended? How far have we really come? “Wolf Whistle” and James Baldwin’s interview with Martin Luther King are mentioned. David was on faculty at Rutgers with the former president of NC A and T. A little talk of Viet Nam. Viet Nam included black and white soldiers and that effect in noted. In Camp Lejune, racial tension was extremely strong.
“Henry Marrow thought he was going out for a soda” not to change anything. A young black woman talks about “Color Purple” and how racism infected and infects the black community as well. How racial heirarchy infects us all even blacks.
“Founding Brothers” is mentioned by one faculty member and how the founders couldn’t deal with it and left it for us to determine.
David envies Tim as a writer. How Tim uses the work “kenneled” in the phrase how he realized when he refused to drink from a certain water fountain that “racism was kenneled within him.”
Discussion of complexity. Return to the water fountain. And other stories told.
Ending? or Going on after an hour. What would we talk about if we had another hour to meet?
Sex and race (not gender but sex) brought up. The combination that killed Emmett Till and Henry Marrow. How to personally recognize racism within oneself.
David talks about the “Color of Water” which will be read by the Durham community. David is arranging and training the reading group folks there. He’s looking for volunteers to help out.
Carrboro on September will have a community book forum which will begin with “Blood Done Sign My Name.” Tim asks for sweet potato pie to be brought.
On September later, Richard Florida’s “Creative Class.” and in November “Rescuing Patty Hearst”