Previous | Next
123456789101112131415161718192021222324252627282930313233343536373839404142434445464748495051525354555657585960616263646566676869707172737475767778798081828384858687888990919293949596979899100 of 100
were very near to them, in the worst period. We were just about
four blocks away from them, and right around the corner from their
restaurant. But we were quite friendly. As a matter of fact, in the
days of Malcolm X, when we were in Lincoln School, I used to take
groups of Lincoln School students up to the mosque on 116th St.
because they were all interested in it. It was a friendly cordial
relationship with them, even in the worst period.
The Black Panthers were a little more distant from us. They
were all the way over on Seventh Avenue, and they tended to move
uptown, you know, rather than across here, where we were.
Now, in the children who were coming here, the militancy was
most manifest in their attempts to imitate some of these most radical
groups. They imitated them in their clothing, and of cour se their
parents did too. Clothing was the most visible imitation of it,
and as I told you, many of the children wanted to learn Swahili. They
wanted to learn karate. We were actually able to give them some
karate. We never yielded on the Swahili, never. But that was the
most amount with the children, they wanted to imitate the other
The parents were low key, most of the parents, low key, and
indeed, when you figured out all the problems they had, they didn't
have much time to be militant. They really didn't. They had to take
care of everyday needs.
When you took the children to the Muslim mosque, did they
ever get to meet Malcolm X personally?
© 2006 Columbia University
Libraries | Oral History
Research Office | Rights and
Permissions | Help