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Let me see. Again, I am not able to give you specific
examples, but general, and he felt that it was important for black
children to have models that were positive in terms of developing
their own self-esteem. Obviously, he had, at least before his
excommunication, he had ideological differences with black leaders,
but interestingly enough I don't recall his being overtly hostile
toward them. He seemed to me as if he wanted black youth to respect
themselves and to have models of respect.
Did he have any role models of his own as you recall?
Well, theonly one he kept--of course, Elijah [Muhammad].
Elijah. But I think he had models beyond that. I had a funny
feeling that he liked me, and in Alex Haley's book, the biography of
Malcolm, there was a sentence or two that seems to have supported
that belief that--if I asked Malcolm to get on a program with me I
don't recall his ever saying, “No,” even though when we got on the
program we would probably differ on a lot of things. There was sort
of a mutual understanding and respect and I think the fact that I was
a professor was important for Malcolm. Whenever I asked him to come
up to visit my classes at City College he would come.
You recall that he looked at certain of the successful athletes
as inspiring role models for blacks, or did he not place so great
importance on that athletic--?
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