Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Kenneth ClarkKenneth Clark
Photo Gallery

Session:         Page of 763

again here. This is your writing, “The bi-focal lenses that American blacks are still required to wear were placed there by the persistent, flagrant and subtle realities of American racial rejection. It is not likely that this bi-focal vision will disappear. This double consciousness first described by Du Bois will not be resolved until the vestiges of American racism are removed.” That concludes your op-ed piece. That question that was in the back of my mind, after having read this and then listening to you this afternoon, was where you've expressed some of your discussion bothering you, and the course of the interview perhaps bothering you. Weren't you similarly bothered when you wrote this piece in 1980?


Yes, I guess so. My colleague, Larry Plotkin, is the one who sort of insisted that I write it after I was telling him about my experience of my grandson in Lake Placid at the Olympics. Larry, who's a psychologist, who's been a friend and a collaborator of mine for many, many years, said, “Kenneth, you're obligated to share this.” I think I said to him that Du Bois said it. But he said, “Well, you have to bring it up to date.” I really am tired of sharing the obvious. [laughter]


Let me come to another topic which you have touched on before both in your first reminiscences and to some degree in this epilogue, though I think then it was mostly in the context of Jesse Jackson, his “hymie” remarks and Louis Farrakhan. Now, since you last commented on that the NAACP has had a meeting which, the headline here in the [New York] Times, June 26, it says that “The parley hears

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help