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On the other hand, there were some positive things that
were happening there, too. In spite of all the negatives, the process
of some kind of collective approach still continued. I mean, the
board still met, in spite of quibbling about what I considered trivia
and crumbs. There was an excitement about the process that sustained
the process, you know.
I got to know Malcolm X quite well personally during that
period. He was brought into the process by the young people, who
found him attractive, and everything, every event that they were
responsible for, Malcolm was one of their number one guests. They
would always find some way of seeing that I would be seated next to
Malcolm at the thing. They looked upon me as a sort of a-- at best,
establishment representative, and at worst, a sort of a cynical
spokesman of the establishment to control their rebellion, you see.
They never really fully trusted me, the youth, as I understand.
Are you saying here that they really viewed you, when they
viewed you at worst, they viewed you as an Uncle Tom?
Oh yes. And not only as an Uncle Tom, but as an agent, you
know, of their oppressors, and there to channel their rebellion so
as to keep it within convenient bounds for the oppressors.
And I knew this. And many of the staff had similar views
of my role. And I tell you that because they thought that I was
sort of oblivious of the meaning and significance of their bringing in
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