Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Kenneth ClarkKenneth Clark
Photo Gallery

Session:         Page of 763

about the project, and told me that I should go up and talk with Myrdal.

When was that? That was late 1939 or early 1940, and Gunnar had an office in Low Library. Which one is the new one? (off tape)

Side 2

... Gunnar had this cubicle, up in the rafters of the library at Columbia, and Otto told me I should go over and talk with him about the possibility of working on this study.

I went up, and I found him, bent over some books, and I went in and brashly told him that he needed me; that I was a graduate student of Otto Kleinberg, and that I understand that he was staffing a study of the Negro in America, and I wanted to be a member of his staff, and I felt he needed me.

And he wasn't convinced that he needed me, and he asked me to give him some examples of things that I had written. I might have/had one or two publications then, I'm not sure, but I gave him some term papers. And I learned later from Gunnar that he wasn't at all impressed with these term papers. He thought that they were sloppy. I'm sure he was confusing mine with somebody else, but he talked about blots and stuff like that on it, and I don't remember having any blots on my papers.

But anyway, in spite of this initial negative impression, within a matter of months, I was on his staff as a research assistant, at the munificent salary, really, of $175 a month.

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help