Southern University

Title

Southern University

Subject

African Americans--Civil rights
Race relations
Black Muslims
African American leadership
African Americans--Race identity
Black universities and colleges
African Americans--Social conditions
Protest movements
Nonviolence
Civil rights movements--United States
Civil rights demonstrations
Racism
African Americans--Religion
Equality
Passive resistance

Description

Robert Penn Warren interviews a group of students and one administrator from Southern University in New Orleans, Louisiana. They discuss the various leaders of the growing civil rights movement and the Black Muslim movement, as well as the various cultural and social standards Black individuals must hold themselves to in order to advance the movement.

Format

audio

Identifier

2008oh625_rpwcr042

Interviewer

Robert Penn Warren

Interviewee

Southern University

OHMS Object Text

5.1 2008oh625_rpwcr042 Interview with Southern University, February 6, 1964 2008oh625_rpwcr042 02:44:03 ohrpwcr Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History Collection rpwcr001 Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History Project Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries (Exhibit) African Americans--Civil rights Race relations Black Muslims African American leadership African Americans--Race identity Black universities and colleges African Americans--Social conditions Protest movements Nonviolence Civil rights movements--United States Civil rights demonstrations Racism African Americans--Religion Equality Passive resistance Black Muslim movement Malcolm X Martin Luther King, Jr. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) W.E.B. Dubois Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) March on Washington, 1943 Brown vs. Board of Education 1964 Civil Rights Act Tokenism March on Washington, 1963 NAACP Youth Council Southern University Robert Penn Warren 2008oh625_rpwcr042_university_acc001.mp3 0 https://oralhistory.uky.edu/spokedbaudio/2008oh625_rpwcr042_university_acc001.mp3 Other audio 3 Malcolm X and Black Muslims --we'll have a few things like that. The group discuss why they think the Black Muslim movement, under the leadership of figures like Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad, has gained more supporters recently. They also compare this movement to those of Roy Wilkins and Martin Luther King, Jr. in terms of their appeal to their black contemporaries. African American spirituals ; Black Muslim movement ; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ; Ex-convicts ; Malcolm X ; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) ; Roy Wilkins African American leadership ; African Americans--Race identity ; African Americans--Religion. ; African Americans--Segregation ; Black Muslims 17 765 Dubois' split culture concept May I try a question on that subject? The group responds to the question of whether African Americans, individually or as a group, prefer to maintain their separate identity as a different race or be assimilated and fully incorporated into the greater American culture via integration. Africa ; Assimilation ; E. Franklin Frazier ; Vance Packard ; W.E.B. Dubois African Americans--Race identity. ; Black Muslims ; Integration 17 1677 Disadvantages of integration May I interrupt a second, on that point? Continuing their discussion on the split impulse issue raised by Warren in the previous segment, the group considers the question as it relates to black individuals, and how their thoughts on that subject should translate to those fighting and protesting for civil rights and equality. Arnold Marshall Rose ; Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) ; Disadvantages ; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ; Howard University ; Lucy Thornton ; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) ; Social theory African American leadership ; African Americans--Race identity ; African Americans--Social conditions. ; African Americans--Societies, etc. ; Black universities and colleges ; Civilization. Western ; United States--Race relations. 17 2502 Avoiding self pity What do you think of this pr, proposition... The group respond to the notion that black people should always accept that their race puts them at a social disadvantage. They reject it, and praise parts of the movement that encourage self-worth and identity among the black population. Alibi ; Determination ; Elijah Muhammad ; Self-pity African Americans--Conduct of life ; African Americans--Race identity. ; African Americans--Social conditions. ; African Americans--Social life and customs ; Black Muslims 17 2765 Black Muslims and middle class values What about this? The students engage in a discussion of whether the Black Muslim movement exists on a rational basis if indeed the white, American middle class values they purport to separate themselves from, are actually what they are seeking. American middle class ; Black Muslim movement African Americans--Attitudes ; African Americans--Case studies ; African Americans--Color--Social aspects ; African Americans--Conduct of life ; African Americans--Social life and customs ; Black Muslims ; Middle class 17 3400 Dr. King and movement cohesiveness May I read you a quotation on Black Muslims? The group assesses the effectiveness of Martin Luther King, Jr. as a figurehead for the civil rights struggle. Warren puts forward the view of a psychologist who considers King's emotional appeals to be &quot ; pathological,&quot ; but the group believes that King is an effective leader, in spite of his lack of sophistication. Birmingham (Ala.) ; Dr. Kenneth Clark ; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ; Montgomery (Ala.) African American leadership ; African Americans--Attitudes ; African Americans--Case studies ; African Americans--Conduct of life ; African Americans--Social conditions ; Black Muslims ; Christian philosophy ; Civil rights movements--United States ; Civil rights workers ; Protest movements ; Radicalism 17 4331 Nonviolence to a point I found, uh--I didn't have to look for it, it was there, in the November before Kennedy's death... The group comments on the notion that the nonviolent strategy practiced by most civil rights activists might actually give way to violence if those activists are frustrated enough with their slow progress. Brinkmanship ; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ; Howard University ; John F. Kennedy ; Non-violence ; Ralph Abernathy Black Muslims ; Civil rights movements--United States ; Nonviolence ; Passive resistance. ; Protest movements. ; Violence 17 4620 Patriotism and pro-segregationists Mr. Warren, sometimes I toy with the idea, when I, when I'm subject, subjected to the situations around me... The group discusses political identities that they see in the South, and why that region has been slow to accept progressive change in race relations. Abraham Lincoln ; African revolutions ; Emancipation Proclamation ; Gunnar Myrdal ; James Baldwin ; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) ; Ralph Ellison ; The Fire Next Time African Americans--Conduct of life ; African Americans--Social conditions. ; African Americans--Southern States. ; Discrimination ; Patriotism ; Racism ; Segregation ; United States--Race relations. ; Universities and colleges ; Universities and colleges, Black ; Voting age 17 5830 Timing of the movement Well, that brings up another question. The group members give their historical explanations of why the civil rights movement has progressed as it has, and not in earlier years. Brown vs. Board of Education ; History ; Korean War ; March on Washington, 1943 ; World War II Civil rights demonstrations ; Civil rights movements--United States ; Korean War, 1950-1953 ; Middle class ; World War, 1939-1945 17 6459 The fraught meaning of gradualism Sociologically, back in history we see this, that, uh, such movements must accelerate or expire. Warren and the group debate extensively on the applicability of the word &quot ; gradualism&quot ; to the civil rights movement, and whether or not a strategy based on the idea of gradualism would be acceptable to African Americans. &quot ; All Deliberate Speed&quot ; ; 1964 Civil Rights Act ; Abraham Lincoln ; Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. ; David Lawrence ; Gordon B. Hancock ; Gradualism ; March on Washington, 1963 ; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) ; Strom Thurmond ; Tokenism ; U.S. News &amp ; amp World Report African American college students ; African Americans--Social conditions. ; African Americans--Southern states ; Civil rights movements--United States ; Civil rights--Law and legislation ; Education ; Protest movements ; Segregation ; Semantics 17 8023 American icons Let me, uh, uh--this question is similar to things like that. The group discusses iconic American historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson, engaging the question of how much reverence African Americans should have for these figures in light of their actual beliefs. Black bourgeoisie ; Conspicuous consumption ; Emancipation Proclamation ; George Washington ; John F. Kennedy ; Lincoln Memorial, Washington (D.C.) ; March on Washington ; Thomas Jefferson African American--History ; Civil rights demonstrations ; Civil rights movements--United States ; Founding fathers of the United States ; Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865 --Views on race relations ; Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865--Views on slavery ; National monuments ; Racism 17 8365 African Americans and Christianity And now you find Negroes who will say Christianity has been the great trap. The group talks about the role of religion and Christianity in black culture. Faith had been criticized by some black social critics at the time, but the group defends its importance. Holy Bible ; James Baldwin ; Karl Marx African Americans--Religion ; Christianity ; Religion ; Religion and politics--Southern states 17 8679 Squaring the knowledge of history with the need for action That's, um--I feel why, why I brought that up that line of thought originally... The group acknowledges the idea that the African American freedom struggle must maintain an awareness of American history as it relates to the movement. Abraham Lincoln ; George Washington ; Jesus Christ ; Thomas Jefferson African American leaders ; Civil rights movements--United States ; Historians ; History 17 9022 The sincerity of civil rights leadership I'd like to point this out--I, I ,I don't think this has been pointed out... The group addresses the problem they see in the civil rights movement of leaders' self-interest and opportunism. They stress that participants in the struggle for equality must act with passion and selflessness. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ; Opportunism ; Revolutionary politics ; Self-aggrandizement ; United States Armed Forces African American leaders ; African Americans--Conduct of life ; African Americans--Societies, etc. ; Civil rights movements--United States ; Civil rights workers 17 9243 Assessing Dr. King and nonviolence Well, I just want to ask this final question. The group looks at the persona and activism of Dr. King, discussing how deserving he is of the nation's admiration. They also talk about the strategy of nonviolence and whether it can be maintained in every setting and situation in the United States. Alabama ; Declaration of Independence ; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ; Mississippi ; NAACP Youth Council ; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) ; Robert Penn Warren African American clergy. ; African American leadership ; African Americans--Religion. ; Civil rights movements--United States ; Equality ; Nonviolence ; Passive resistance ; Priests, Black ; Protest movements. 17 interview Robert Penn Warren interviews a group of students and one administrator from Southern University in New Orleans, Louisiana. They discuss the various leaders of the growing civil rights movement and the Black Muslim movement, as well as the various cultural and social standards Black individuals must hold themselves to in order to advance the movement. No transcript. All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries. audio Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries. 0 http://www.nunncenter.net/ohms/render.php?cachefile=2008oh625_rpwcr042_university_ohm.xml 2008oh625_rpwcr042_university_ohm.xml https://oralhistory.uky.edu/catalog/xt7pvm42vb4w

Interview Keyword

Black Muslim movement
Malcolm X
Martin Luther King, Jr.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
W.E.B. Dubois
Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)
March on Washington, 1943
Brown vs. Board of Education
1964 Civil Rights Act
Tokenism
March on Washington, 1963
NAACP Youth Council

Sort Priority

0019

Interview Usage

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Files

southern_sm.jpg


Citation

“Southern University,” The Robert Penn Warren Oral History Archive, accessed December 6, 2019, https://www.nunncenter.net/robertpennwarren/items/show/125.