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tv   Book Discussion on Showdown  CSPAN  October 14, 2015 1:44am-3:39am EDT

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left to state courts to decide. it's not for the united states supreme court to decide. questions are purely state law. what i think the supreme court got wrong in gore -- bush v. gore was they sent it back to the supreme court discussed borderline that discuss bush v. gore in the book. >> much of our discussion this afternoon has been on the arbitration system and the arbitration clause. could you describe that process and a little bit more detail so maybe we might understand that? >> sure. anytime there's a contract, the contract can say that rather than go to court the parties agreed they will go to an arbiter. the arbiters are private individuals. it's not a judge. there is the american arbitration association. there are groups of arbiters. you are a high, a lawyer or
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nonlawyer could be designated as an arbiter and the contract would specify how the arbiters decided. let me give you an example of the supreme court called circuit city versus adams. do you remember circuit city? adams applied for a job there. on the back of his application in small print that said if he had any dispute was circuit city he would have to go to an arbiter and couldn't go to court. who reads all the small print in an application for a job? a few years later after working at circuit city he had a discrimination claim against circuit city and he sued them in california state court-based on california law. the united states supreme court ruled 5-4 no. he edited the contract was circuit city because on the back of his application is set up a good arbitration. so whether it's an employment contract or a consumer contract
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or medical contract if people agreed to give up their right to good go to court and go to private arbiter instead they are then bound to do that. arbiters decisions are generally not published. they are very difficult to get an arbiters decisions overturned and by so aggressively enforcing arbitration agreements the roberts court closed the courthouse door to all of us when we are injured. >> i'm afraid we are out of time unfortunately. thank you all for attending the session. don't forget to become a friend of the festival to ensure that the festival remains a free event. additionally all [inaudible conversations] up next on booktv on c-span2 in prime time wil haygood mes a new book out on theime ti
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first african-american to a boo serve on the supreme court. thurgood marshall. >> i want to acknowledge and thank c-span for being here tonight. [applause]. lets here for c-span. >> let me just say one quick thing about thurgood and how important he was to our country for african-americans, for those who wanted to go to law school, african americans who wanted to go to law school. i was a part of that generation. we looked up looked up to him, believed in him, inspired by him, that i to someday could go to law school and i to could someday become a lawyer. there is a whole generation of people just like me who have gone on to do that because of
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the bravery and courage of thurgood marshall. so tonight, we are here, gathered here this evening, and i view this really as the intersection of history and the future. what do i mean by that? at the intersection of history and the future? we are in lincoln theatre, in this theater, this was the only place that black folks could come and get in or tamed in a they couldn't go downtown. they will come right here. in this theater was nearly demolished, a wrecking ball, almost torn down. we saved it, renovated it, it is now one of the jewels of the city of columbus. history tonight. [applause].
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the intersection of our future of arts and culture in the black community, the rehabilitation, the rejuvenation, the, the recreation of this king lincoln district. history of the future, the intersection, bill hagood, who was raised in columbus, went to east high school, called himself playing basketball, everything he learned in life, he learned it here in the city of columbus. [applause]. 's values, his skill, his inspiration, and his first writing job was for the post. >> ..
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one someone who cares deeply about his past, a deeply about the city of columbus and now one of is not the the creamier great american biographers in our country. [applause] wil haygood thomas somebody needs to tell the stories ofwe l our people. or they will be lost. he does it in an eloquent fut
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way and in a way that is exciting and expiring -- inspiring for the future forss w our children we could never plan ahead of the sanders whe stand for where we come and wil haygood has been thate ande person to explain where weell hisry anm so we can march to the future if he has many more stories to tell. history and our future m manrsects here tonightmbus ellington theatre ins. thurgood marshall. somre he had been to columbus many 13es. co did some research somewhere between nine andhen f 3914 times he visited columbus going back throughtlumb 1938 when he first came to columbus.l.
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he came five years after he graduated from harvard law school. to speak and many times thereafter often at the naacp annual meeting in the city of columbus. he probably stayed at st. clair hotel, which is right around the corner on garfield because back in those days black folks couldn't stay at the motel's downtown. they couldn't go to the theaters downtown so they came to this area of our community, the harlem of the midwest. i can envision thurgood marshall walking up and down the streets of mt. vernon avenue going to our churches, walking up and down the streets. i can envision thurgood marshall being in this user at some point
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in time because everybody came to this theater on longstreet during that period of time. so this is an intersection between history and our future. and with thurgood marshall, thurgood marshall helped set the path for the future of our country in many ways. it helps set the path for all of us here tonight to enjoy the fruits of democracy and the greatness of our constitution. he was a true american that did so many good things to lift up our nation. the lincoln theater, haygood, marshall all at one time in one place in the city of columbus, how fitting.
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[applause] that is the son of columbus. he is our son. he picks the city in this theater where thurgood marshall probably spent time on the streets of longstreet avenue. tonight you are going to hear about the lowdown that the showdown. thank you. [applause] >> one thing i intended to tell you is i spent 16 years in prison and now i have been six years as chairman of this board and it's great to have the two institutions collaborate. this is the first of many to
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come. it is my distinct honor and pleasure to give you a brief forward of wil haygood although he needs no introduction to this audience. he has authored several nonfiction books including a trilogy, and photography of iconic 20th century speakers hailed this culturally important by "the los angeles times". the king of the cat, the life and times of adam clayton powell jr.. a "new york times" notable book of the year. the second book of great noteworthy and black-and-white, the life of sammy davis junior a multiple award winner and the next book which is called sweet thunder, the life and times of sugar ray robinson named as the best book of the year by forbes. his other books are too on the
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river about a 2500-mile journey down the mississippi river and the haygood of columbus a family memoir, the story needs no introduction. a story of eugene allen the white house butler who has served eight presidents turned into a blog buster movie. mr. haygood's career has been notable. for 17 years he was a national foreign correspondent with the "boston globe." in 1990 he covered the civil war in somalia and was taken hostage by the rebels. he was eventually released with the aid of pakistani and troops. on another foreign correspondence he found himself standing outside south africa a south african prison where freedom fighter nelson mandela was released after 27 years of imprisonment. a little-known fact he was one of the few american journalists
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who report from behind the berlin wall. mr. haygood has been a john simon guggenheim fellow and the national endowment for the humanities fellow. these are two of the highest awards bestowed on an author. mr. haygood has been called america's candy is cultural historian. he is a social is toric dynamic of this country as few writers have. the works of mr. haygood come to life as he says his works are meant to engage in a conversation are going back to the old school way of life simply lets wrap. he says that stands for rule revitalization of the apathetic public and i would agree. that is what he says motivates him, revitalizes him and gives him the insight of his
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historical journey. as mr. haygood says this doesn't just inspire him. by that he means they are welcome at the dining room table for sunday dinner. he wants to be able to talk with him and that's how he chooses. his book king of the cats adam clayton powell jr. tells about this harlem congressman who rises to power and fame. it reveals one of the most effective legislative persons in the history of congress. adam clayton powell jr. like thurgood marshall on to bond with lyndon johnson that move legislation through the house like no other. it's historically significant. adam clayton powell crossed paths with thurgood marshall and occasionally communicated. they had a common bond and their answers were aligned. this is another one of those
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journeys that wil haygood takes us to better grasp the significance of the historic figure who happens to be african-american. and black-and-white the life of sammy davis junior we learn that sammy davis junior was a fierce dedicated civil rights advocate. he coordinated and pulled together both black and white entertainers such as martin luther king and the civil rights movement. we witness the struggle that sammy went through in his conversion of this religion. we get an inside to his interaction with the rat pack frank sinatra and company. we are a witness to history when sammy places a kiss on richard nixon and his careers forever diminished. the book also tells us back in the nixon kennedy race for president it was clear that based upon history nixon was more deserving of black folk --
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then the black folks in attendance. we witness first-hand but none attain her defend sammy davis junior. he plays every instrument and the orchestra and we know about his abilities sing and dance. the life and times of sugar ray robinson. sugar ray robinson tom for pound baby that is prizefighter the world has ever seen. will will tell us sugar ray was not just a fighter. he was a harlem renaissance man. he loved the arts and that included literature dance, song and art. sugar ray and directed with all the great entertainment during the harlem renaissance. this cat was hip and this cat was cool. we get to see sugar ray in the life that no other artist could have brought to life.
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and though resurrected an icon. the story of eugene allen, the butler who served presidents who turned into a successful blockbuster movie. will wilburn selects someone who is invisible to america. will gives us the grace to supplant hard work of an individual who believes in the american dream. he brings to life an individual who was present but invisible during critical times in american history over a presidents. only will haygood has the insight to give us a perspective and the cultural competence to do so in such a magnificent way. "showdown" thurgood marshall brought the constitution to life. he said the find the rules and i will live by the rules and meet you at -- beat your game. "showdown" has been nominated for prestigious 2015 andrew carnegie medal for excellence in
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nonfiction. [applause] and not that the trade magazines are the end-all but will has received for "showdown" four stars. there are from journals and magazines across this prestigious literary world. star reviews from publishers weekly. kirkus review, the library journal. the atlantic magazine said it best. wil haygood thurgood marshall with "showdown." biggest decision to focus on marshall's confirmation hearing proves genius. we at the lincoln theater inducted will as her first inductee into our walk of fame. where were we smart.
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wil haygood did our first fund-raiser for the publication of the sammy davis junior buck. pat luzinski in the library i can't remember we met at the office for five years ago i don't recall. i think a library is done in addition to this book brings the community together is extraordinary. will and i are talking about family members who traditionally have not read in each of us gave her brother a copy of "showdown." and each of our brothers engaged books like nothing else and we had a conversation different from any other we have had before. this is the magic that wil haygood has provided for this community, his state in this nation and i think when the world looks at america and says
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this is the journey that we went through to arrive at the crossroads we are today this book brings us to a place that i think we can engage in a discussion about race where no weather has before. ladies and gentlemen, we present to you mr. wil haygood gets it back, relax, hold on and enjoy the show. thank you a million times over. [applause] [applause] [applause]
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>> for some reason the older i get, the less people say extravagant beautiful and lovely things about me. [laughter] i find that somewhat peculiar. i'm going to have more to say about larry james in a moment. when i was growing up, in a neighborhood going to monroe junior high school right down the street, me and my sister
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would walk to school together. those were the days when everybody had a transistor radio you could hold it up to your ear and listen in or put it in your pocket. it was a very catchy tune from those days that i remember. it started out with focus first and then it went into song and it started like this. hey man, i hear you were pretty good on your feet. don't you know there's a dance down on market street. hey, hey there's going to be a showdown.
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hey, hey there's going to be a showdown, a showdown. ♪ i have been humming that a lot. [laughter] even if i did leave my band back in d.c.. anything like this would be possible without the great coalition coming together. organizations across the city have bonded and merged to make this night possible and to bring a native son home. i'm very mindful that great people, great organizations are represented here tonight starting with bill connor who is
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in bradford. she is wearing a bad dress. i take note of that in the lincoln theater. the columbus private library and of course the mayor's office. i can't fight everybody individually but there are some people here that i would like to acknowledge. i was a little something about you and then you can stand up. some of you know that i teach at night, monitor miami university in oxford ohio.
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the lady who signs my paychecks this year so why would i introduce her first. [laughter] she is the provost of miami university in callanan. stand up. [applause] dear friend of mine who used to protect me on these rough streets back in the day. many of you know the championship prizefighter. [applause] the athletic director of the ohio state university eugene smith. i think he is here. [applause]
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one of the great attorneys of the century alex shumate. [applause] a guy i used to talk with a lot about working life, jerry saunders. [applause] last year i received the rosetta james foundation award named after an alabama civil rights pioneer. she is 90 years young. rosetta james is here and i would like her to stand up. she's an icon of the american civil rights movement. [applause]
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she is up in the balcony. [applause] she marched with martin luther king jr.. [applause] i can't tell you how excited i was when she called me and said she wants to come. a guy who i grew up with on the northside of town, a friend of mine who talk a lot about thurgood marshall over the past five years, bob miller.
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[applause] i studied at miami under this professor. he was in the civil rights movement and marched with john lewis, the soma hero. hugh was also jailed for marching in the movement. rick malle meyer. [applause] his wife is here. she fixed me some mighty fine meals when i was in ohio. sue momeyer. [applause] >> a writer can dream up a moment like this when this book
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has been selected. a citywide program to be read by everyone at the same time. i will be coming back in a month for multiple, multiple what does the is to call those? multiple-choice questions. [laughter] i can't think the library enough where i used to go on saturday mornings with my 50 cents. there was never a car and my family. i could go to tokyo and i could go to paris and i could go to d.c.. i could go to chicago if i could get myself into the library.
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the genius behind all that has been pat luzinski. [applause] i will be returning to the city. i'm going on a 24 city book tour and i will be returning to the city october 21 to appear at the ohio state university. that invitation came from a provost of diversity and inclusion at ohio state university. her name is sharon davies. [applause]
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my cousin just flew in today from atlanta, a charles nichols. my sisters diana and wanda are here. [applause] my very suave brother is here from los angeles, harry haygood. [applause] the man who i got to know some years back because i would story about him. chief james jackson. [applause] i teach media journalism and found at miami-dade. and the chairman of the department played a large role in giving me to leave war zones.
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in journalism and he is here. dr. richard campbell. [applause] >> david harrison has done a lot in the community of social justice issues. the president columbus state college, david harrison. i think easier. [applause] donna james, absolutely wonderful. [applause] it was great at the teen center honored african-americans judges
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this year as their honorees. there was a man in this community and when he graduated from college he wanted to teach and they sent all the african-american teachers tend to champion junior high school. but there were too many teachers there. so he switched gears and went to ohio state law school. he launched his career in the law. i had a chance to get to know him. the first letter he ever wrote
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to me was about the brown v. board of education event. he offered one of the last great legal decisions in this country linked to brown v. board of education, the decision that the segregated school system in the city in 1974. he became the first african-american federal judge of his community. i think every african-american lawyer owes him a great debt.
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you can put his name in the same paragraph as thurgood marshall and you would be proud to do so. his name, judge robert m. duncan [applause] i have traveled from washington d.c. with the book for him and his family. his wife shirley duncan is here and i'm so honored by her presence and i would like her to stand up. [applause]
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doing my research for the thurgood marshall book, "showdown" i came across a letter from a lady named barbara roth. i was in arkansas visiting the archives of senator john mcclellan who was one of the segregationist senators who did not want thurgood marshall to extend to the high court. the second at the hearing it was thought the martial combination was in trouble because he was being grilled so harshly. a young lady wrote a letter and she concluded her letter to her
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arkansas senator with these words. chances are that the nomination will be turned down. color doesn't make a person comes character that makes the man. one of these days senator the president of the united states will the black. ..
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>> after the story of the kid born in 1954 wrote, the kid who became the man who became the writer, he was hired as a technical advisor to the movie that the hollywood movie producers started to make its in 2012. one day stefan, sean was in
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the white house. and he bumped into the negro president who barbara ross had predicted would be in the white house. [applause] the president asked what he was up to. he said,to. he said, i have just been hired to be a technical advisor to the butler. and i stopped in the white house because i wanted to get a little gift for the writer for we will be a good wrote the story. the negro president who barbara ross predicted when turned on his heels and went back and his officer came out. he said he did something in
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the blue other case encased in velvet. he gave it to stefan's sean who said, thank you, mr. president. i know for a fact will love this. the president said, think you will love it, too. they gift that the kid born in the year of thurgood in 1954 perceived from the negro president who barbara ross had predicted is the presidential a pen that i have taken from out under lock and key in my home and brought here tonight and signed every book that you will leave here with this evening. [applause]
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nothing, nothing is more personal than deciding who you are going to dedicate your book to. showdown has been dedicated to two people, both like thurgood marshall are trained in the law, they are residents of this city. i wanted to do a little something special face people.
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so this 1st person received the 1st copy of this book from the printing press. and i also went to a jeweler in washington because i wanted a gold plated nameplate designs to put in front of the book. when i asked the jeweler how much that would constitute told me i said, maybe i should go with the posted. [laughter] but i did not go with the posted. i went with a goldplated nameplate that says, the 1st copy of this book, showdown, but will a good to
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roll off the printing press is exclusively for michael b coleman. [applause] 's i would like the mayor to come up and accept his book. [applause] >> thank you very much. thank you. i have always wanted to feel like a mayor. and this has given me an opportunity to do so because i have written a citation to go along with the book. [applause]
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i gave myself the power to issue a citation. this is mayor coleman's. it said, to mayor coleman, in the dark days of legal segregation and state-sponsored terrorism the black sharecroppers and their families of the deep south gave out upon the fields they worked, looking for hope, washington dream. a man arriveda man arrived on scene and began marching into the state and federal courthouses throughout the south, changing the laws, one writes for those in the field and writes for those in the big cities, too. some of these people began referring to him as moses.
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his name was actually thurgood marshall. as laypeople, we do not need to anoint man or woman as st.,a saint, but it helps us to no that our heroes have safely -- saintly ambitions. your book is solved all races and creeds and colors. thurgood once said, you did not wait. he took the bull by the horns. as has been noted, you broke barriers, did not wait for the times, you made them. you have earned your place in the collective memories of so many. he prepared to leave city
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hall, consider this book that has been dedicated to you valentine from a writer born in the very city you have led. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> the next book dedication
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reads this all off of the printing larry with the power invested in me. i will now read your citation.
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to larry james commend the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s the big, fancy law firms of this great nation would have nothing to do with thurgood marshall. his name would never go on one of their buildings, and he knew it. he did not bemoan his plight he had a higher calling. he was fighting in the trenches on behalf of justice and freedom. time passed and walls came tumbling down as, but history, as we know, can turn rather beautifully. now there are many buildings with the name thurgood marshall. since 2,001 larry has had his name grace a law firm in downtown columbus. [applause]
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yet even with that distinction time and time again larry james has returned to the trenches, fighting in the name of justice and freedom. he has won so many of his showdowns. larry james is thurgood marshall's kind of lawyer, someone once asked thurgood marshall about his personal successes. i dug way deep, he said. larry james in the universe of law, art, books, and philanthropy, you have set a glorious standard. this book is dedicated to you because, like thurgood, you have dug way deep.
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[applause] one of the things that pres. lyndon johnson said after he now men thurgood marshall i want every black mother to look across the breakfast table in the morning and no now that her son or daughter can become a great supreme court justice or a great judge.
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the mother of algernon marbling was one of those ladies. she looked across the breakfast table and poured a dream into her. i am proud to prepare to have a conversation with judge motley who is yet one more of those seeds that sprouted in the glow of the great mighty thurgood marshall. the judge, please come to the stage. [applause]
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>> right here. >> thank you. have a seat. now for the book. there have been in excess of 20 biographies written about thurgood marshall. what was the emphasis for a showdown.
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someone once came to duke ellington and said that they were going to make a song, going to rerecord a song that billy gillespie has made. duke said don't. he has he has close the door. on that song. i am hoping that the people will pick up my book and as someone else comes in with an idea, she write a book about thurgood marshall. they will say don't. as will hagood has closed the door on that. what i think so, what really was a magnet to me was that marshall and his hearings were five days stretched over 12 days, and his nomination set in limbo for six weeks. before that the supreme court have been all-white. before him no nominees
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hearing had lasted more than a day. so with southerners leading the charge, i knew that there was great drama in that and wanted to figure out why that happened and why they wanted to stop thurgood marshall. >> you told it beautifully. against the backdrop of the confirmation proceedings that we are going to talk in length about, but it is also aa poignant story about the relationship between two topics, two great men, the relationship between thurgood lyndon johnson. tell us why you chose that particular approach and use it as a subtext. >> two men who were somewhat
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poor in their youth, neither was born with a silver spoon. and so when you are poor i think it soaks inside of you. i think it does something to you. gives you a quicker gear into people, especially if you are inclined to help people thurgood marshall, he went to texas to fight of voting rights case in 1948. blacks were being bitten is
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to vote in the white primaries. lyndon johnson, so you can't argue command i know some people think that it is the other way around,around, but you can't argue no thurgood marshall the lyndon johnson because with the help of the blacks in taxes they sending lyndon johnson back to the senate's, and in the senate a game seniority and became, as we all know, senate leader. >> there was a reasona
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reason that lyndon johnson felt so comfortable around blacks in texas. he appointed gang lyndon johnson to add the national youth program. >> in houston, dallas, san antonio and tell them that one day things are going to be better command i won't forget you. and i think that scarred him in a very humane way. >> we are going to get to lyndon johnson and why he was hell-bent on the marshall nomination, but 1st i want to have some personal context for thurgood marshall.
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he was raised in segregated baltimore. you gave us a great glimpse into the window that was the justices family. was there a defining moment or a set of circumstances that you feel made him the fierce advocate that he was? >> some from his father a child fight back if anybody uttered racial epithets at him. one day he hopped on the railway car and he said well, mr. conductor, i can't.
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the conductor argued with them, shoved him, fell down, and yet thurgood marshall 19 years old was arrested. and he thought that was wrong and of course it was wrong. they came down and build them out. so he had been jailed as young man for no reason except the color of the skin >> that resonated with him because thurgood learned at a young age that the law subjugated blacks. he got it in his mind that i need to make the law elevate blacks, and so he was
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constantly fighting the active subjugation against the hope and promise to elevate. >> and he got much of the impetus great lawyer. it's came to resuscitate the program. and how important was that relationship and setting the trajectory for thurgood's career? tell us about the impact of the sojourn that they took in the summer 33 through the south and so he asked this
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tall strapping one time student of his. >> graduated number one in his class. >> yes, marshall that, recent graduate. he asked marshall if you would like to write in a car with him and they would go visit school houses and take notes and file a report to get back to naacp headquarters in new york city. they were both stunned at the rated conditions of the school houses. in many selling communities the black children would have to walk 2 miles to school, no buses in the way children have buses that were brand-new. they made notes of this, took photographs and file
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their reports. often scared, sometimes threatened, but they survived. >> now, what is interesting about it is, they did not personally witness acts of violence and brutality. his you praise the violent history of race relations in the south and talked about state-sponsored terrorism earlier. i have domestic terrorism is the same thing, but what impact did that have on thurgood as he traveled throughout the south and his quest for justice.
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>> one of the amazing things to me in doing this book was witnessing through reading and research the amazing bravery of thurgood marshall and the lawyers who traveled with him. >> yes. he would often get to a town in the local black farmers would have to hide's. they would have to garden through the night. he was the nations best hope , a one-man crusade's he had lawyers superdrug crew, but he was the architect of this naacp regional strategy. we have to go over here to texas and florida and michigan.
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the room, what i do's you have to give the hearing context. >> exactly.exactly. and i wanted to take the reader outside of the hearing room. >> talk about freedom of the press. marshall's for big horsemen who did not want him to extend or senator james lee fun in mississippi, senator out carolina, strom thurman
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of south carolina collection senator mcclellan. >> john mcclellan of arkansas. these people are powerful, barons in the senate, huge staff. >> also called a pack of fools. >> yes. yes. but it is a nice line. a pack of wolves. >> that was a fair characterization. >> yes. >> that's right. getting back to his travels tortured if nonviolent pass themselves. as i was struck by the circumstance of harriet and harry more who as it turns out where the 1st naacp members killed in the line
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of duty. >> dear friends of thurgood marshall's, husband and wife, voting rights activist they came home one night. it was actually christmas eve. they went to bed. while they were away some klansman had stuck dynamite under the house. early on christmas morning house blowout. harry more died immediately. harriet was rushed to the hospital is. he had slept in their guest bedrooms several times. he could have been in that house that night if he had not been working in florida. harriet more stuff, whom i
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interviewed told me that she had been on a train trying to get help christmas. she was seated in the segregated section and no one got word to her that her family was trying to find her. when she stepped off the train and christmas day she looked around and did not see her mother and father and thought that was mighty strange and saw some relatives walking toward her and said where is mom and dad. they simply have to talk to you and she said, no, where is mom and daddy. they said, well, events on tall we are sorry, but your father is dead and your mother is holding on. she wants to see you at the hospital. the doctorsthe doctors told the family that if harriet could hang on for seven days
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that they thought she would make it. she died on the 6th the day. >> it was an interesting postscript if we fast-forward to 1967. >> my goodness, i was at her house interviewing her. over the course of four hours. before i get ready to leave she said, can you come to my kitchen and help me get something there? there was a big oil painting , gigantic, maybe five -- 4 feet by 5 feet. and i stopped in my tracks. as it was an oil painting of thurgood marshall. and i said, my god's, misses
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moore,, mrs. moore, why didn't you tell me that this painting was hanging here. she said, zero, i don't know why. on the day that thurgood marshall was confirmed in a friend of mine in florida knew how close he was to me and my family and had this oil portrait painted in shift to me. i was stunned. here i was sitting there for four hours, and thurgood marshall is right on the outside of the wall. this maybe he was listening. >> i'm sure he was proud of the work you are doing. to get to no them as a result of his work with the legal defense fund. as you chronicle his life,
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he was with the defense fund for two years being used as an associate, andassociate, and from 38 to 61 he ran the legal defense fund and, you know, while he was there he was -- if dr. king was the moral and spiritual leader of the civil rights movement, thurgood marshall certainly was the chief legal architect. he made law. he was a sterling advocate who argue before the supreme court 32 times, 129. once he was at the legal defense fund, would it be fair to say that he had trained his sights on dismantling separate but equal and obliterating plessy versus ferguson, and we all no that he did that in the brown decision that has been discussed. the thurgood marshall, the advocate, spent much time in the south battling other issues.
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you highlight the diversity of cases, the breadth of his practice. why was that so important? >> yes, for the simple reason to show his versatility. he was a highbrow lawyer's and also one with his feet squarely on the ground. he went to tennessee one time. there was -- this was in 19 -- world war ii era and there was a small town. this once i read something other than the cliff notes version.
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>> and so this mother wanted to take her radio back to the store. her son, her african-american son went to the store, and the mother was talking to the clerk who was right and said, this radio does not work. at the clerk, a young white male said, you are alive. you probably broke it. and some looked up at the clerk as if he was unsure that somebody had just called his mama a liar. the mother said, i'm not lying, you are.
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the clerk slapped the black soldiers mother's. the soldier unleashed the punch that can only be summarized as an active sweet thunder. and not the white work through the window. and by nightfall the city has been engulfed in a riot. and many blacks and whites were shocked and called thurgood marshall to the rescue. marshall came and got most of those who have been convicted off. one night marshall was getting out of town with a couple of other lawyers and
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was stopped by the local sheriff. they told him one time that he had been speeding. he said he wasn't. they told him him to keep going. and they stopped mcginn. >> the 2nd time was to check for drinking. >> alcohol. you have been drinking, and they stopped or 3rd time and said you can't drive the car anymore. then they went about 15 yards and they were stopped and everyone was told to get up marshall and they finally told marshall to get out saying he was being arrested for drunk driving. there was a river in this tennessee town. the share of put thurgood
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marshall in the back of the car and started heading off to the river's. the lawyers who were out of the car quickly found another ride is a news man was following them. they quickly hoppedthey quickly hopped in the car and followed the car toward the river's, and the sheriffs got scared that they would be found out, so they took him on into town. hehe survived that night by the skin of his teeth. >> was also interesting,'s they're were a couple of patrol cars in the vicinity who did not respond or intervene. when he was taken back into -- into town they told him to get out of the car. >> right.
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>> he was smart enough to no that he would get shot in the back. >> right. >> i'm not walking over there by myself. you have got to walk with me this. he lived long enough for you to write the book. >> in line with that, very canny. it was no foundation, no federal department of civil rights to protect him or any black lawyer. so marshall formed an unusual alliance with of all people j edgar hoover he would bring back little knickknacks from the road, j
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j edgar hoover who threw them in the trash cans. >> hoover detested have to do something about that and marshall needling the.
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held himself out as one. you would think that was a commonality. >> marshall was very careful not to label himself liberal. the u.s. constitution is the u.s. constitution, and the truth needs no defense is. you're breaking the law. if your your rest blacks for no reason, you're breaking the law. he used to carry it in his pocket. getting back to the harry and harriet more case, this would make a great scene in
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the movie if it happened. marshall after the harry and harriet more case, scuttlebutt from the clan that they were going to kill thurgood before he got out of town. marshall knew not to call the airport because one of the courts there might tell somebody, hey, marshall has a ticket for friday night at 730. thurgood walks out of his motel, and it is dark and he is getting ready to slowly make his way to the airport. he has a friend driving. and these two dc looking men , white, start walking across street slowly.
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now i think i am lee daniels with the camera. this they start walking across the street. marshall was nervous. and they asked him to roll down the window. one of them leans in and pulls out his fbi badge and says mr. marshall, j edgar hoover. >> that is a great scene. when they got to the airport court said sorry, that next flight is sold out. as a matter of fact, there, there are no more flights going back to washington tonight or tomorrow. as one of the fbi agents
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leaned over the counter and got medicine knows and said you better find a seat on that next airplane for this man or else. an hour later he was in the air. >> and it helped when the agent flashed his badge. >> absolutely. yes. now,now, let's talk about the breadth of the book, the confirmation hearing. and as i read the book and as i read about those five days of the hearing the violent episodes you portrayed throughout the book, i cannot help but think that the behavior of the southern democrats, the gang of five was a metaphor for white characters to stifle black advancement. did you mean to leave that impression with the leader? is that my southern roots coming to the fore?
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>> no, because i am from north carolina. there were some very real things that happened that made the southerners who were trying to stop thurgood marshall. first of all, they consider him one of them. he had signed the bill. that wasthat was the 1st nail in the caution -- coffin of white supremacy. the 2nd was the 1965 voting rights act. a 3rd nail in the coffin of white supremacy was the nomination of thurgood marshall to the us supreme court. lyndon johnson sought to emancipate the entire american judicial system by nominating thurgood marshall to the highest court in the
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land. >> in june of 67 when he announced all right before that there was not a seat available. so he had to use his political savvy so the machinations of johnson's politics to make a seat available, how do they make that available? >> hell-bent on integrating the us supreme court. there was a justice on the court named tom clark. they had texas roots. lyndon johnson wanted to see him. tom. how are you doing? 's how is the wife?
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tom, i wish i had a boy. i've got all daughters. i love them dearly, but while. go ramsey. i tell you something, i want to make him my attorney general but i cannot do it because you are on the high court and they are going to accuse me of nepotism. i tell you something, tom, i know how much you love that boy and i know how much the boy loves you and i know any daddy in the country would be so proud to see his son extends to the high court. my hands are tied. there is nothing i can do because there is no vacancy. lord, i wish there was a
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vacancy. a day later i interviewed justice clark's daughter. a day later justice clark, in fine health, lifetime appointment went home and said hey, i'm tired of the court. and you know, i think that it is time for me to take a long vacation, maybe play some golf. they are sent first-class tickets around the world on
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a fact-finding mission. >> what was the tone of the hearing. >> no. let me in case some of my miami students are out there. i went and down to track down as many people as i could. it's the hearings and the hearings from the outset, james eastman, mississippi, chairman allowed the media
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in there on the 1st day for 30 minutes, and that's it. that would never happen today. and so they were not there. you have asked me how come some of these rancorous things did not make it into the media command to the newspapers of the day. the journaliststhe journalists were not there. some of the senators from marshall side because they were heroes. these were great people who were fighting for marshall. >> derksen was one of the republicans. >> yes, he was. this one of the things that during the hearings they tried to paint marshall as
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not sophisticated about the u.s. constitution. >> that was strom thurmond. >> right. >> one of the most sophisticated persons ever to grace the halls of congress. as. >> that was pretty bizarre. the simple fact that these were the leading figures, irvine, noted constitutionalists and the figure during the watergate hearings but not so much so during these. >> harvard law school. sam ervin collected books. about 35,000 books, went
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into bookstores all the time and walked out with flows and loads of books, small books, books about history, books about the art, books about religion. he had a ton of books command he was a very smart man, but nowhere in none of those books that sam ervin ever feel he found online or paragraph that justified equality for the black man. well, how about -- i want to come back to that southern statesmen, strom thurmond. and how between they set the tone for the hearing because it seemed they here the lion's share of the questioning.
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>> yes,yes, they had seniority and had been in the senate a long time. they were known as the old bulls it's. eastman and mississippi once stopped of the hearing, it got really quiet, glared at marshall and said, mr. marshall, do you like the white people of the south? >> that was the question. that was the question that all of the southerners won't ask is because their minds says you have opened is our way of life. >> right. >> thurgood marshall was considered public enemy number one throughout the
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south. one man, white man in his late 60s who i interviewed said one of the amazing things is that when i was little in my committee, our parents would tell us if we are bad thurgood marshall is going to come get you. [laughter] yeah. and this is a line in my book. he told me he said -- and i did not even no what a thurgood marshall was. >> these old bulls, as they were referred, did not all come to the table with clean hands. >> they had a murderous past.
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>> that is a fascinating little sideline. james eastman's father several months before he himself was born which the black man. strom thurmond's father murdered aa white man. if you look at the book in terms of fathers and sons, which that is a subs -- subtext, thurgood marshall and his father, strom thurmond and his father, james eastman and his father , a lot of blood and tears and family history that courses through the book, and so these were people who brought blood, family blood into the hearing room and also there was a subtext of interracial sex.
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the marshall hearings happened in the year of the famous loving case. they were couple in the state of virginia. you have all heard about this couple. there is a movie being filmed right now. the lovings were arrested is in 1967 weeks before thurgood marshall's hearing started its for sleeping in the same bedroom. thethe state of virginia subdural drop the charges if you leave the state, so they didn't came to washington dc to live. strom thurman asked marshall about the loving case. the same strom thurmond who was sleeping with his black maid fathering a child is
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paying her hush and not talk about it. and he was directing those comments at marshall's for discrete reason. the 2nd wife was filipino. and that was strom thurmond's way of, and attempt to hurt thurgood marshall. those democrats, the southern democrats, particularly senator ervin maybe argument that his opposition was not predicated on race but rather what he saw as the justices pension. he labeled marshall as
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someone who would be a judicial activist. >> marshall said it was not next living document. maybe constitution adapts to the time. there are those who disagree. i believe it is an organic document. >> one of the senators asked marshall how come you do not rely or doubt voluntary
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confessions? thurgood marshall said, well, i had a client once, back to five black kid who is been for six days and finally voluntarily confessed. >> there is a little known fact even on day five and is a hearings were dragging on lbj plotted an alternate strategy. ..
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>> >> if he doesn't make it it, then i am coming after you wrote and william was taken aback why is he thinking he could get past the bulls what marshall could not? >> he was not known as the
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civil rights fighter of thurgood marshall. >> appeal was the first african-american clerks, supreme court under frankfurt. >> exactly right. >>. >> but justice marshall was eventually confirmed 69 / 11 there were some that were unaccounted for there were 20 votes. tell us about those. >> it is amazing. the senators go to washington to vote for their constituents lyndon johnson started to make phone calls that said senator my goodness.
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i see is a of a bridge scheduled to go what did your home town next year. my sources tell me they may put your name on that bridge. but there might not be a bridge or no money for a bridge. if you vote so when you come out of your house next tuesday, and go down to the corner and go to the coffee shop and sit in there all day long. here and 20 were so fearful of johnson that they didn't. they did not vote. is a was through absentia. >> and that is astonishing.
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they are sworn to vote. johnson put the fear of god into them if they did not vote. no marshall was confirmed but pay attention to the arcade rules of the senate. if these centers could stop the white house before they reached 60 votes they could filibuster the nomination to death. so they only got a handful of votes over the '60s of zero there really was a close vote when you look at it that way. the white house had some concerns with that meant
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powerball was of the run or thrown out of congress for ethics violations, people were linking powell and marshall's name in the media to read letters to the senate and the president of the last day of the hearings detroit your reps and a massive race riot the same time as milwaukee these riots of course, were because of decades of pain and a lack of opportunity. so many things happened aside from the as powerful southern rand but that made thurgood marshall himself
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worried. he had to of sleepless nights of. >> the more the riots would rage he would do without because they kept coming back to the mantra of soft on crime, miranda and as a result of being soft on crime, the inmates are running the institution throwing molotov cocktails. your guy had a phrase from carmichael and they were trying to draw some synergies from the confluence of fact. >> the white house says invests including the
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democrats on the committee's >> they got word to the voters if you love thurgood marshall then start writing one letters to the white house people started to flood the letters that was very poignant. >> said justin served from 67 through 1991. basically all that you have gleaned from your extensive research, do you think he enjoyed his time on the bench as much as he enjoyed as an advocate?
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>> that is the good question but thurgood marshall knew how important it was to have a of a gifted warrior on the supreme court who was black. was he happy or happier in his job driving around the country winning those cases? the course -- the court turned racially after so no. i don't think there were the happiest years of his life life, you can read an awful lot of the marshall legacy he really was the giant i am sorry that so many people
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that he got lost in history and this rehabilitates them he needs no rehabilitation. [laughter] >> i have one more question may be a minute or two with questions from the audience. you have written a number of books with cindy davis, jr., paul, how does this fit into the path the on of great african-americans? what about the third ones? >> i think about
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african-american history coming it is told through a lens and all these people are the are rabil with a cause for freedom. and that is the guiding goal to shape your writing pen around. it is from the. it is a great story. of that group marshall was the supreme figure no doubt about it. but you could see eye-to-eye
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with sugar ray robinson and the butler. i think it is best summed up like this. from the day that marshall was nominated, he was in the white house there were three african-american butler's serving tea and refreshments one of those was eugene allen. allen. sometimes he slept that overnight at 1600 pennsylvania avenue the most powerful address of the world of '50's '60's he to
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go back to his native virginia now is serving a third marshall. now to see how long would subjugate the blacks third marshall looking at those black bowlers in the white house and the mindset was i am going to keep using the though wall -- the lot to elevate you. and to me that is why i love the majesty and mystery of of history. [applause]
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>> we're running a little long but we have time for a couple of questions from the audience i know you want to take this opportunity. >> william hastings and how can you think to hear about more radical in by the way i
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will say this i immigrate nephew of robert carter. migrates and it just died last year she was 99. >> thanks for being here. today to what thank that they would talk to their what they didn't talk about in the '60s. with the radical raised very and then dealing with of lawyers. >> state your question. >> so how to bring that fourth with that big change.
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>> different lawyers have different strategies in different periods in history so maybe the lawyers don't have to do try as many of the cases that marshall tried because there are more civil-rights warriors doing that kind of work. with epic voting rights cases but the generation
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find its own best lawyers. >> had eating marshall m. barack obama up against clarence thomas? >> that is a loaded question but getting she would be happy about the first family in the white house. one but yet still after 67 of what may have to address no doubt about it. >> will you put any women in
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your historical autobiography? [applause] [laughter] >> that was not the question i told you to ask. >> yes. there are multiple figures who i am thinking about. been writing about next but wait in order to defend myself sugar robinson
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brought the major figure was lena horne because she was a dear friend. and to answer the question thank you for asking. >> that would like to welcome a woman to the stage. [applause] >> we what to make sure you all enjoy your evening. [applause] and to the wonderful judge thank you. as we close out this evening


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