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Kenneth ClarkKenneth Clark
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And you talk about pessimistic!

Now, here they were, offering me literally a blank check, in terms of helping to get this thing off the ground; and here I was saying, “Look, leave me alone.”

I didn't want to write, think --

Looking back on this, it almost could have been a strategy to be wooed even more, except that it wasn't. I really was the reluctant -- you know, when a man is trying to get a gal to either go to bed with him or take him seriously, puts out a lot of effort and energy, and it increases his interest to the extent that she seems unimpressed? Well, I was unimpressed. And I must say that Les, who is one of the most patient persons I know, persisted. Justine, whom I've known from the time Mamie and I started Northside, she and Chad were our first major supporters and advisors outside of the Harlem community -- they were very skilful in not taking my negativism seriously, and calmly saying, “OK, let's continue to talk.”

And my mistake was, I did continue to talk. As you can see, I guess that's the way I can get booby trapped. People let me talk.

And by the third of fourth meeting, they got me talking less negatively, and agreeing to meet with a larger group for discussing the feasibility of this. And before I knew it, they got me in the position of advocate in these larger meetings.

Well, the scenario went according to their plan, that after about three months, two or three months of discussions

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