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completion after he was thrown out and assassinated.
I resisted this change, for years. And still, a little. But I was swept along with the
current, as Roy Wilkins was.
Malcolm X, in insisting up saying people were “Black”, was really
expressing his general resentment against the, you know, the American traditional,
historical approach to Negroes. He -- it was really pretty much in the same context as his
changing his name. Sort of a throwing away or denying validity to the past.
The irony is that he offered this as a substitute for the white designation of the group.
Malcolm was a brilliant man, but not a particularly educated man, and he somehow thought
that Negro was more a white term than Black. He really did. And he didn't see that Negro
was the Spanish term, you know.
But anyway, he wanted to have a term designating the group which he considered neutral,
in terms of the past injustices and inequities that whites have imposed upon blacks.
My feeling was: look, my God, Black is as much a white term as Negro. It was certainly
I remember when I was in college, we were fighting like hell to get the NEW YORK TIMES to
capitalize Negro, and just about the time it was general usage to have Negro capitalized,
here comes this change of term to Black, which was much more difficult to fight to get
capitalized, unless you also capitalized White. And that was bothering me, you know. I
said, oh my God.
And third, I just feel that most Americans of African descent say, “I'm not
‘black', “because perceptually, we aren't
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