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Kenneth ClarkKenneth Clark
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As I think I mentioned to you earlier, they brought me in in 1961 to start that because they suddenly realized they had hardly, if any, blacks in the collection, much less having any black interviewers that they could feel[?] because I've been in the streets in Harlem for the last, frequently in the previous three years.


I would like to make it very clear that I am not an expert in all the areas that are of significance or importance in American race relations. I'm not a political scientist. I'm not an economist. The only area in which I feel, or used to feel that I was expert in was in the area of the type of research that my wife and I did on the matter of self-identification, self-esteem of black children, and our attempt to seek to understand the dynamics of self-hatred or interaction among blacks, and between blacks and whites. But it's been a long time since we did that. Certainly I continue to observe, or try to observe the complexities of American race relations. If I were a critic of myself, if I were one of Kenneth Clark's critics I would say that he has consistently interpreted of a lot of contemporary problems in the light of his and his wife's early research. That's an over-simplification.


You mentioned one of the areas you had discussions with Malcolm X was that of models, role models. Can you elaborate on that more? I think you've already talked about how important he thought children were, schools were, even though he had formally only gone through eighth grade. What about the adult role models? What did you talk about?

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