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appeared, or we would bring in lecturers. Not teachers in the current
sense, but lecturers. We would bring in, I remember, Robert Brown --
Black economics professor and Black scholar. My brother Phil would be
brought in and give a course, a series of lectures.
This is right through the 1960s.
Right through the 1960s. A number of times Al Lowenstein,
Mike Harrington. I remember inviting and he came -- he later became
on the editorial board of the Times -- Roger Wilkins, was a friend. I
convinced him to come. I convinced Tom Wicker once to come and
What purpose did you have in mind, when you invited people?
Just that they should be more informed -- more information
about what was going on. On Vietnam we would bring in people.
The notion that a good and effective leader understood their
activities in a context.
Yes. Would see that what they were doing on a day to day
basis was related in some way to other things. I think I showed you,
we did a series of Friday night forums -- Norman Thomas, David
Livingston, Bayard Rustin. I think you know that the idea, it's limited
what you can get out of that. It makes you feel good that you're
hearing things, but you really don't learn unless you are engaged and
you're forced to defend or explain yourself. Even if it's on the simplest
level and not as profound.
Then we did another thing. We were concerned about the fact that we
needed an education program. Hank Paley had introduced me to a guy
who had been with him in the paper workers who was now at Cornell,
a professor -- George Brooks, who later in the campaign to organize
Cornell played a lousy role. But that's the way life is! George was a
nice guy, and he agreed to come down. He was intrigued with what we
were doing. He sat down and he suggested -- we told him we wanted
to develop an educational program, we weren't sure what to do. We
had had courses, you know, and that kind of thing. George said, “I
would like to take six months -- six months to a year. I'll come down,
I'll spend one, two days a week. I'll sit down with the officers
individually. You'll tell me which organizers, I'll go out with organizers
in the field with them. I'll go to meetings, etcetera, and I'll try after
that to put together a program that I think meets your needs.
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