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Kenneth ClarkKenneth Clark
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at City College, because I knew damn well that unless they lied, they could never tie me in to Communism.

Even when I was at Columbia, and left wing or Communist fellow students, again, condescendingly approached me as if because they were approaching me, and because I was the only black, studying for the PhD, that I should be so grateful as to join their groups.

I just said, “Go to hell.” You know, “Leave me alone.” I didn't want any more solicitousness from them than I wanted from anybody else. The result was, I never joined a damned thing. And I guess, --


Did you ever go to any of their formal meetings?


Hell, no. I wanted them to leave me alone. You know, they'd come to me in the library, and --

What am I telling you about myself? I didn't want anybody to do me any damned favors. It was just that simple.

It's a peculiar thing about being a black, -- black intellectual, I guess, or a black in my field. Very soon after one moves out of the protective environment of, say, Howard University --and I guess it is a selective thing, because few of us do move into the larger competitive arena -- very soon after you do this, you become aware of peculiar and special kinds of reactions to you.

Let me see if I can classify them. There is the, “Oh, I'm so glad you're here,” reaction -- you know. This generally comes from liberals who are surprised, in a way. For example, my

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