some notes watching Black Leadership Forum on c-span discussing what would our black ancestors think of us today. amazing panel including the inestimable Dorothy Height—93 this march & looking wonderful in her powder blue hat, suit, jewelry—the way a lady of the south dresses.
most memorable quote from james baldwin's the fire next time:
But in our time, as in every time, the impossible is the least that one can demand—and one is, after all, emboldened by the spectacle of human history in general, and American Negro history in particular, for it testifies to nothing less than the perpetual achievement of the impossible.
from the blf website, Visualizing a Neo-Rainbow:
The failure of most post-Rainbow electoral initiatives has led progressives to do one of several things: (1) throw up their hands and accept the terms of operation within the Democratic Party; (2) throw up their hands and accept electoral marginalization through symbolic electoral interventions, or else third-party races at the local level that have yet to move national politics in a progressive direction; (3) throw up their hands and abandon electoral politics in favor of “pure” social action movements; or (4) just throw up.
from pbs, interview with Dr. Dorothy Height:
GWEN IFILL: You write about an incident in your book involving Malcolm X and Lorraine Hansberry who was the author of A Raisin in the Sun.
DOROTHY HEIGHT: Yes.
GWEN IFILL: Tell us about that.
DOROTHY HEIGHT: Well, you know, Sidney Poitier really convened a group at his home in Pleasantville, Ossie Davis called it. And it was for Malcolm X, he wanted to meet with the united civil rights leadership group, which was made up of Dr. King and Mr. Whitney Young, Roy Wilkins, A. Philip Randolph, James Farmer, myself, and John Lewis. And he wanted to let us know that he'd been to Mecca and that he had a change of heart.
He said "we spend all our time talking about the white man and trying to do something about him, and we've been at each other. We need to get together and always be together." And he said, "our unity has to be there, we have to be in unity," and he said, "we have to now focus on our people." And that was a complete change for him. And I'll never forget this strong man saying all of this and he said, "We need to talk with each other."
And Lorraine Hansberry, the marvelous author, was lying on her couch and she lifted her head and she said, "Malcolm, I hear what you're saying, but how do you think I felt when I heard you on television saying that I was a traitor to the race because I married a white man? You didn't know who he was or why I married him or anything. And you never asked me a thing about him."
And it was really a tremendous experience to see this huge, vigorous, articulate, militant man simply look at her and say gently, "Sister, you're right. We all must work together and talk to each other before we talk about each other." And that to me was an experience I'll never forget.
it is always wonderful being reminded of where i come from. and why the impossible is something i strive for.