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Kenneth ClarkKenneth Clark
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States would have a Jim Crow or an exclusionary racial policy.

And we got into trouble. We were all arrested and taken down to the police station, and our picket signs taken from us, and we were being booked, when a tall, red-faced, obviously Irish police sergeant or captain or lieutenant, but the man who was in charge of the precinct, who was in the back of the precinct when we were being booked, came out, without a coat; you know, he had his suspenders on, no tie. And he asked the man at the desk what was the matter.

The complaining officers and the man at the desk told him what we were arrested for. And he looked at him and shouted, “Let these young men go! Take their names off the books.”

Something to the effect, you know, that they should be praised, not arrested, you know -- and he's saying this all in an Irish accent or brogue.

I was bug-eyed, you know. But the reporters had gotten this, and the next day it was on the front pages of the WASHINGTON POST and the NEW YORK TIMES, even. It makes me laugh sometimes, to hear black students say, as they have in the last five or six years, that they introduced concern and protest on racial injustice in America. I laugh.

The sequel to that was that the administration of the university was very upset about our misbehavior, because, among other reasons, I guess, the fact that Congress appropriated a substantial amount of the Howard University budget, and we were insensitive to this, and the president was very upset. Mordecai Johnson

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