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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  November 26, 2010 8:00pm-10:00pm EST

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>> caller: yes, good morning, mr. woodward, and c-span. i have a question. i'm a political junkie. i'm an old retired firefight. like a lot of firefighters, i've heard a lot of conversation in the fire house. i always like to know where the person is making the comment is coming from. and the comments that i hear on television and read in newspapers, it's always left out what the person that is making the comment or writing the books opinion -- personal opinion is or the situation that they are writing about. if they are opposed to war or the war that we are in, i'd like to know up front that i am opposed to this. this is the book that i've written in regards to this. or i'm opposed to or support a particular political person. >> host: kenny, we are out of time. >> guest: okay.
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that's a good and fair question. i steve to be neutral. this is neutral inquiry. i'm not for obama, i'm not against him. that's why i'm able to do this kind of work, i think. i'm not for or against the war. i'm trying to present what carl bernstein and i back in the watergate days used to call the best obtainable version of the truth. >> host: the book "obama's war." if you are a reader, it's available anywhere that you guy books. :
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abolitionist intellectual life and recalls the several other additions of douglas memoir. angela davis is joined in conversation by nobel and pulitzer prize-winning author toni morrison at the new york public library in new york city. the program is just under two hours. >> the >> evening. >> hi angela. [laughter] i'm sorry about that entrance to but i wasn't doing it for theatrics but i do have a brand new spanking hip. [laughter] i love it, i love it, i love it.
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but the rest of the body hasn't caught up yet. [laughter] so nobody's moderating? >> we are just talking. we are talking about douglas, libraries, literacy and liberation and when yes, absolutely. let me start with literacy because i have to stop what on the davis i want other people to know about will read it. and obviously interested in literacy. i am impressed with -- well, if only recently discovered that this country is unique in the world in terms of the distribution of libraries throughout the country to read you cannot go in rural areas in europe or in africa or asia, rural areas and find libraries
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the way you can hear and middletown's, not to speak of the huge university libraries that just jump out of nowhere in indiana and or some place where and pennsylvania you go for 100 miles and there is, this enormous university with more books actually and cambridge or the library is. so it's really an extraordinary thing in it. the other thing about literacy which i'm sort of interested in is on the one hand, the power of reading, and course understanding the meaning of what we read. and what i like to think of as visual who literacy, which in addition to print or without print, what do people who are
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literally aliterate due to negotiate around the world negative people who they depend on. and i don't mean just uneducated people. i mean people like myself say in beijing. i don't read the language, i don't understand it. how do you negotiate and what are the visual signs that you need to travel from the color, shape, the sound, smell, all of the other senses, and it makes for that plus the ability to read. you have this fear at the mention of how to read your world as well as how to read text. and i wanted to begin because i wanted to describe the explosive
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perception of reading particularly certain kind novels and not just explosives and a dangerous sense, but explosive in a way that could be lethal. in my documentation for this, angela, is this thing paul made me bring from my house. [laughter] you know, downstairs by the front door. over the sink is a letter asking me what i'd be willing to come and receive the nobel prize for literature and write a speech. on the opposite end of the toilet is this. [laughter] >> i know, i said i've seen this many times in your bathroom,
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toni. [laughter] >> what it is, it was sent to me by an editor from knopf. the cut was the publication, the nabil, notification. [laughter] the title of the publication is paradise me. the above publication has been redeemed and denied in accordance with section 3.9 of the tdc rules and regulations for the reasons checked below. now there are five reasons why a book would be damned if from the texas department of criminal justice. [laughter] the first reason is the publication contains contraband to read the second one is publication contains information regarding the manufacture of
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explosives, weapons or drugs. the fourth one is a specific factual determination has been made that the publication is detrimental to prisoners in rehabilitation because it would encourage devious criminal sexual behavior. and the last one, publication contains material on the setting up an operation of criminal schemes on how to avoid detection of criminal schemes by lawful authority charged with fun responsibility for detecting such illegal activity. and i skip the third one because that is the one that paradise is accused of. a publication contains material that a reasonable person would construe as written solely for the purpose of communicating
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information designed to achieve. [laughter] not just your average break down, but a breakdown of prisons through inmate disruption such as strikes or why it's this is february 28, reed after my birthday, 1998. i was amused to get this but i was also thrilled. it seemed like an extraordinary compliment. [applause] that paradise could actually blow up in prison. about expanding literacy to the visual literacy as well as print. i wanted to make some connection
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between prisons, the organization and the prohibition and with the interest and to be lethal and dangerous like reading, like literacy. >> i want to begin that seen by talking a bit about the inaccessibility of libraries. in thinking about my own childhood when i saw this incredible building in birmingham, alabama made out of indiana limestone, it was the birmingham public library, but of course it was only for white people.
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though one black library that existed was run down very few books, and i tell this story because i first entered the doors of this library in 1959, and i can remember how it felt to actually walk into a real library because although i had used the library in birmingham, it was very lacking in resources, it was broken down. finally they built a new one years later, many years later. so i think as we talk about the space impulse of libraries and the accessibility of letter race it's also important to talk about those places where books have a hard time penetrating coming in your example of the
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texas state correctional system is one. just before the event, i had an opportunity to look at some of the items from the archival collections here, and i saw a wonderful collection of a periodical that was actually published by prisoners, i think 1939 to 1940 something, and i was reading about, you know, what was required in order to be able to do this. this is for those of you who don't remember a period when we didn't have a xerox. i looked at it and i said this was mimeographed.
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and the prisoners to put this together and the books they had to read in order to put the letter a publication together was quite astounding so i would really like to thank library in for allowing me to see these documents, and i also had a brief conversation with what is his name, the head of the correctional -- what's his name clacks nicholas. okay, that's right. you were there, too. nicholas, who coordinates relations between the new york public library, and the women and the men's detention facility. so i was actually telling him
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about my experience in the women's health and tension here in new york. i have a all of these new york memories. [laughter] and why was tim jeal in new york, i don't know, did you mention that i was in jail. [laughter] some people don't know. one of the first places i went i was able to go in the jail was the library. and i didn't see very many interesting books. i had just finished my studies in philosophy and expected something very different. [laughter] and so what i did is i had people send books to me while i was there and i wanted to share the books with the other women. there was like a thousand women
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there and i was not allowed to do that as a matter of fact in the library there was a big cardboard box. >> i could receive the books and watch the books myself. it was okay for me to read them. but don't share them. and one of them what say, towards the jackson's book, not allowed at all. although we did one of the things i learned when i was in jail was how to secrete certain kinds of things. [laughter] so we had these clandestine reading groups with books that were smuggled out of the library. and it kind of reminded me of frederick douglass's effort to get an education to learn how to read and his idea that education
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really was liberation. >> absolutely. the scene on sure people who read of damascus saying don't teach wanting to but being afraid to, he uses an interesting for use in describing her, which was irresponsible. and i thought that's not just happening in the power. it is the irresponsibility of how you manage it, and his hunger was overwhelming because he knew, and we all know that was reason, and the people who didn't want blacks to read you that. that's why. there has been simple fairy stories that would have been quite different or not even that. there is a power. if you can't read and you are in a place like that, they can
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teach you come and the other route is extraordinary. the finance people suffered in order to read -- iowa remember in trying to figure this out with a model i wrote on mercy, how would that child learn to read? she was in king charles haven for catholics who are being be to -- beat him up and being killed and persecuted and during the restoration in europe. the catholics have a different idea about black people than some protestants, and the consequences were not terribly thrilling but the sort of reshaped the definition of what this human being, who is the other, so the priest would
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frequently the five of the virginians who were puritan english people and would teach slaves to read, children to read, not that they wanted them to read the bible but just so they could perhaps read some religious track, so there was that kind of priest in addition to others which wouldn't but there were exceptions in the way they interpreted in sleeved people, and i also wanted to emphasize in that book i wanted to separate race from slavery. it wasn't really the same thing. we assume all sleeves for black and it just wasn't true. they called wide sleeves into service in order -- they were
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not chattel slavery although the function that way if you had to serve since you could extend the contract forever. aníbal infractions you could add another seven years and if they drop dead or happen to have children, you could use the child to pay off the debt, and there were many instances in which europeans work right beside black slave plantations, and i always remark on this one incident and i think i will make a 3 billion where a group is called the people's forms from some surgeons and black slaves and native american indigenous people, all got together and deposed the governor of virginia
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and ran things for a month. they were not so nice themselves i don't want you to think there was a noble growth going forward. there was just another group. when the governor returned from england they killed them all. but the interesting thing is that they established the laws and said things like no black shall be allowed to carry a weapon ever for any circumstance second, any white can maim or kill any black for any reason without being charged. you see what that did to the servants who were white, now the are better, freer, more powerful, the same situation. date for still enslaved, but
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they could be got black slaves without punishment so they have this little marginal status. nothing else, nothing else. but that little margin. and that little margin has worked its way through the country since then to read that was in the 17th century. and, you know, the southern strategy -- you know, all these things in which flag, race, racism as a cause or even a goal. racism is not a goal. it is a half. it is a route of power and money. that is what it is. that's what it's for, the war or segregation or what have you. this finance office manipulation
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or tools or just described on the base in the full amount. >> well, you know, i was thinking as you were describing -- as you were describing the conditions when you're talking about mercy. [laughter] i was thinking about frederick and douglas's another passage in the narrative where she kept hearing this were the abolition and he didn't know what it meant. and he heard about the abolitionist but he had no idea what it meant and he said at some point he realized that it was connected to something that he really ought to be interested in. [laughter] and then eventually, i mean, he
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describes this painstaking process of learning how to write and read and learning how to write by looking at the markings that were placed on the board to be used to build ships, so one something forward, start, s. s. and then he learned those letters, fc, and then he talks about writing the white boys to teach him how to read and write and he bears a white boy who was around to prove that he could write better than frederick douglas himself. frederick douglass really didn't know how to write that much so the white boy could write a lot more and he learns what the white boy was riding.
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the point i was ding. the point i was making is to learn of this word that was so important he had no idea what is meant. yes, evolution -- >> it sounds right. [laughter] >> and then of course comes the most powerful evolutionist of the era. with that kind of curiosity that is only possible through a process of education. which is to say people who don't know how to read and write don't have that curiosity, but learning how to read and write opens up a whole new universe, a whole new dimension and this is why this texas people didn't want -- yes, exactly.
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>> why paradise i mean, really. [laughter] >> and when you consider there are now to .5 million people behind bars what can they really do? what can they do that's a significant to reading and writing really allows for the possibility of in having a very different world. >> but the control, i don't know about all, but it is such a profit making thing. you have a whole cities, i know in upstate new york living off of the benefits of the brand new present, employment of the guards, you know, all of the paraphernalia that goes with imprisonment, and i don't know how the -- i've read about one of those prisons in texas where the prisons give out money.
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>> because they have to pay for their own room and board. >> it's like college. [laughter] >> you get out and your family -- that means you pay for your time, what ever, and of course the laws are heavily weighted in communities for minor offenses and so on. but i was interested in your book because i am not sure i understand that separation -- well, the implication is there is a difference -- there is a difference between vengeance and justice.
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but justice itself has some pleasant consequences. we have to assume if we want justice for some bad activity by a bad person we want punishment, we want restraint, we don't want rehabilitation, and that assumes there is something called the other, there is a stranger that your neighbor or the criminal come so-called criminal is some other thing is an other. i was thinking along those lines when i was trying to figure out
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another area of that is of great interest to me and has always been but i never had the patience or her intelligence or the research may be to kind of following through which is what the impact of torture and slavery enslavement and the violence has on the perpetrator. therapists don't seem to be terribly interested in that, but when i mentioned the other possibility, it seems to me that when you destroy somebody threw vengeance and/or severe forms that the real object of the pain
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don't have to go there with me. [laughter] the menace is so mundane in a way so i am thinking about the slave owners i'm thinking about say women who are pregnant lying on the ground or some other response the even when the one he speaks of free career in his case and he finally confronts covey. he is destroying something that is an himself. it's not that that person is an
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animal or soulless. it's strong enough, it is the fragile personality, the fragile personality, not a strong one but the fragile, almost earasable personality that can do that because there's already sells content and self loading and it's in that area well, i don't know, i couldn't say working, but ii am just looking at these various forms. it's so easy, racism is obviously the easiest thing you can do. it's easy to block off the so-called criminals and their away from us. the are not with us. you don't even have to be tolerant because they are over there but if they are us, if we are doing that in order to corral a certain kind of
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behavior scaled as high or low in order to redeem something ourselves that is a whole different operation, entirely different. so i have read a couple, not the sort of little tuitele my grandchildren what to think of me, but some interesting dalia areas of slave owners when they're not showing off, they are just marking how many barrels and writing up and down. it's really interesting because they aren't cruel. i mean, they do cruel things, the are not cruel people. with the obviously are doing is working out some relationship that is so damaging to them,
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really damaging it is a form of self destruction. it's a powerful form of self destruction that i don't care how big the spectacle whether it's germany and the 30's or 40's it's still a spectacle and it's about one's salles floating in a fertility that you need that spectacle. well, that is my lecture for today. [laughter] >> i have had a number of faults also i want to put in parentheses because i want us to come back and that relates to something you said earlier about the profitability of punishment but i want us to think about privatization of libraries. >> the jordan? [laughter] >> well, in the justice we experienced over the last several decades of privatization
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of health care, we are witnessing the privatization of education, and i won't talk about looking for superman or waiting for superman, would average about, the present session of prison, but there is now a company called libraries, services, library, systems and services that this taking over libraries in some communities. california, for example. >> who pays that? >> okay, they make money because the higher nonunion staff. they either don't allow the employees to continue to be members of the union or they how your entirely new staff as they probably also cut back on
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services because the only reason for such a company's existing is its profitability. >> with the person who wants to borrow books? do i have to pay a fee for joining the library? >> well, maybe not yet but who knows what will happen in the future and it's free dangerous to read the privatization of everything is we are in the process of witnessing the that is what i wanted to put in parentheses. the other comment i wanted to make was the fact that i've been looking at the work of this woman from new york, her name is faye. she was a quaker and helped publish a book in 1976 which was
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called in stuff prison, abolitionist handbook, so she was one of the key figures in the abolitionist prison movement. she was a quaker who had also been involved in the entire war movement, and i just saw -- well, there is a film called mountains that take wings. some of my students are here because they saw it. [applause] apparently, he is an amazing activist, the japanese american activist who was in an internment camps and she lived in harlem for many years and that malcolm x and was responsible for introducing the survivors of hiroshima to malcolm, and as a matter of fact, she was in the ballroom
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when malcolm was assassinated and there's this incredible photographs of her leaning over malcolm's body. the woman i am talking about is faye, whose daughter told me the other day that her mother, faye, worked with the same group of survivors of hiroshima was introduced to malcolm x. so it's interesting, all of these kfopt -- >> [inaudible] speed not like alfred. the point that i want to make is she came to the conclusion after doing all of this work on prisoner abolition that the only way the whole movement would be able to move in a progressive
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direction would be to demonstrate that it was possible to address some of the horrendous problems that imprisonment presumed to address so she started to work with child sex abusers and she spent the rest of her life working with mostly men who had an sexually abused children because she felt she had to insert the hardest question, and she also felt that if we continue to be incapable of confronting those horrendous acts of violence that human beings inflict on each
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other that it would never be possible to get rid of the prison because what we do now is we say that when someone commits such a horrible act put them in prison where we don't have to think about them anymore or the perpetrators and we also don't have to think about the problem, and it continues to replicate itself so in a sense addressing it in that way has guaranteed that there would be this reproduction of the problem from juan generation to the next. and you were talking about the am i by year -- diaries of people who committed a horrendous acts -- somebody has a cell phone is ringing. we will wait. thank you. [laughter]
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and so, yeah. you were saying they are not necessarily evil people. they committed evil acts. i think this is something we had a hard time recognizing today. >> somebody called it a case of mistaken identity. her said suicide is a case of mistaken identity. >> suicide -- okay, all i see. you really meant to kill somebody else. you don't recognize yourself. [laughter] >> so it may be at the same. it may be the same thing, you
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know, and knous and a theatrical way when we put that aside we don't have to address the problem anymore, and then there is not that activity, whatever the this is somehow beyond the pale, it's not us because i am getting a little weary with of that motion of the forerunner. i did a whole thing, the forerunner -- foreigner is home, this once his home. i guess a lot of foreigners -- and africa retreated like farmers, right? you become a foreigner and do more in your own home, and certainly it is true with african-americans who are
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preceding miniet the people who came here, or the foreigners own home or the foreigner is home. it's not just linguistic or geographical or community. it really is a kind of severance delivered. mabey for status, maybe just because of another group that doesn't have the advantages you do. one of the reasons back to this last word about mercy that all i know as everyone does and no one in the world this boren which both attitude and prejudice. no one. you can learn them early as long as you are taught in the environment which such ideas can
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flower. but it's not in your dna. it's not natural. it can become environmentally necessary. okay, that in a sense of a human being i want to compare with this romantic notion of the innocent america. america is always innocent. you ever notice of that? there are hundreds of books, innocent americans, innocent abroad. so i want to go back before the institutional lusatian to see what your, you know, these were people coming from europe or money or resources or scared to death. i mean, you have to have a lot powerful going on for two or three months some raggedy ship, most of those things sync.
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you were down there with animals. the vehicle. therefore cowles and pigs and things and a few human beings next to them and then you come to this country with probably nothing, and was bountiful, but what were the running from? using religion or poverty. but the point was that they did not come over here, and italians came to this country were not tertullian's after a while, the were white. >> but it took a long time. a long time of becoming a white. >> it is a process. i mean, you can't just become this, but i wanted to get back to this motion particularly the political slave poisoned now to
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look at what it was like then when every country wanted a piece of this place, speaking dutch or spanish or swedish, did you know there was a swedish empire? why didn't. they were holden here doing what they did obviously in africa taking a little bit, claiming the towns names changed every five years. somebody else said no, no, it's not this, it's this. they changed names constantly, but gup was a big thing, but the people selling here who were refugees came here with some other idea, so what made this outrageous necessity for the level of enslavement in this country is what i said.
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this country entered the industrial revolution in like three decades of the country. why? because they had slave labor. you don't have to pay them, don't have to do anything, just crawl them. they were making sugar in cuba, and the kept bringing slaves over. cuba is a little island. why did they need so many? you get a thousand to cut sugar, why were they -- them i learned they were dropping dead. they died so fast it just replenished them another year or two. they tried to get gender and younger so you're replenishing them like putting coal into a
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furnace. so all of this is mauney trying to figure doubled not just the consequences of race, which i did in the first book i wrote, other things around it since it seems to have a hold. these have to be ferociously against it or apologetic about it or the victim of it for the perpetrator and i just wanted to get rid of that discourse and find out with the origins are, what its purpose is, not just a scapegoat purpose but it has a real function which is power and control and money which is pretty much the same thing. that's what it's for. it's not something that yeah,
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this group of people like this and -- that's one of the phrase my best friend is because we all know one that's like that. and that's part of the staple. i'm not really, but there's something in the diet, the intellectual diet and the ignorance, you know, of well-meaning people and even their own work. and i was serious when i said i don't understand why they are ignoring or ignore it the way they do. that is a powerful thing in the mind. somebody else was talking about having difficulty going in the library. >> alice walker. she said that she finds it difficult to enter into libraries today. i was so hungry for the
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experience of the library that i never experienced that difficult, and i hunted libraries all over for a long time. >> my first decent job at 12 was to be a page and a library which i got because might sister was secretary to the hid library in and she bought me in and they quickly -- the didn't fire me because i was very slow and you put it on the shelf and they just moved me to another department. [laughter] >> okay, toni, before you move on i have another response but i want to share. i always loved listening to you talk and i realize that i also hear to participate in the conversation so i can to just
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sit back like i usually do. [laughter] it's hard with all of your brilliance. this summer i was in colombia as a matter of fact in september. >> columbia? >> columbia. visited a community of people outside cali who live in this mountainous area, after descended people, people whose ancestors were enslaved 400 years ago who were brought to colombia to engage in gold mining and they still live in the place where their ancestors settled when they use it slavery so it was a fugitive slave
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settlement and the people who live there now live on the same land and do the same work their ancestors did 400 years ago. they still mine gold, women are miners and children are miners and they talk about mining in this incredibly passionate way. the guy is mine, too. it's interesting the women say i have been a miner since i was in my mother's womb. so the point that i am making is now even though they actually own the land, they have the -- they were able to get the title to the land, but not to what is in the land, the minerals, and
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there are a number concerns that are trying to eject them so they can instituted these industrialized modes of strip mining, and one of the mining companies, this kind of complicates the notion of what counts as racism in this day and age and its relationship to power. one of the mining companies is called a anglo gold ashanti. the head of the company is a south black african. so, there we go. and it's also about the way in which racism has its own dynamic
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and its own momentum regardless of who the people or or what the people think. here's a black south african who just how long ago experienced freedom from apartheid in south africa and is now about to take these people off the land, people who lived on the same land for 400 years, so what kind of story is that? everyone should write the new president of columbia. that's one thing we can do this evening. what is his name? he just got elected. >> we will find it. we will google eight. >> on ebay was the last president and a new president was just elected a month or so ago. what's his name?
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santos? is, santos. >> i will remember that. >> but you can googleing or write a letter of protest. >> that's right. >> what time is it? [laughter] >> do we want to take any questions from the audience? >> de few. >> how long have we been talking about? >> less than an hour, 45 minutes. so about 20 more. >> [inaudible] >> i want to apologize for that phone. was from death row in pennsylvania and. [applause] if we are talking about prisons
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and human and how we are being deprived of so many brilliant minds are in prison, that should be helping to lead the country can we talk about mumia end of a political prisoners that are in prison who should be among us? please. >> well first, i would say that speaking of literacy and libraries and the liberation, mumia has made such an amazing contribution to all three of those categories. yeah, this is something that we have to save mumia's life. we have to save mumia's life. [applause] and it's also about the
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relationship between learning in the freedom and about the use to which we put our literacy, and because of the fact that there has been this mobilization against mumia by a law enforcement all over the country, it has not been possible to build the kind of campaign that we see in other parts of the world. as a matter of fact, mumia is an honor larry citizen of paris. there are streets named after him all over europe, and germany, everyone knows his name >> [inaudible] >> right, but what can we do here? that's a good question, what can we do here. >> [inaudible]
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>> where? >> [inaudible] spec we're in philadelphia? [laughter] >> [inaudible] >> november 9th. >> [inaudible] if [laughter] >> okay. and also, we have to do the work that needs to be done to build movements. that is to use all of your contacts to encourage people to think about this case. tell people about mumia. if you have kids who are in school, you know, ask the teachers to talk to the children about the meaning of living in a so-called space society and using capital punishment as a routine mode of addressing a whole range of issues.
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this is the only industrialized democracy in in the entire world that puts people to death in this way. and mumia, more than anyone, has been the face of the campaign to expand democracy in this country to abolish capital punishment and the death penalty. so thank you very much. [applause] >> good evening. first thing i want to say is that miers' not a market library which i think is great. on south avenue, so that's of also. i wonder if that can also translate into specifically around the suicides and bullion
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as well, and i wonder if there is any thoughts in terms of the connection between gender expression and in terms of the hatred of self, in terms of your research and also professor mark davis has done tons of research on that as well if you can comment on that. >> the homophobia is so obviously violence connected with that, it's so obviously a destruction of the self. it is just blazing to me. others may be don't realize it so much. but calling people names and beating them up, hanging people off of fences, i mean, it's just so self-destructive. the more vicious it is towards a so-called homosexual person, the
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more violence there is towards oneself, and i think that is in other kind of scapegoats. i don't know, the mexicans? please. or i read somewhere that when the berlin wall came down -- the end of end, theoretical, not really, but the end of communism is also the end of capitalism. i mean, if one goes, the author goes also. and i have been proven right. the the other thing -- >> use if you've been proven -- >> correct. i mean, capitalism is not dead obviously. [laughter] but its crumbling. >> i mean, it is. >> i know. [laughter] >> but some people don't know
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it. >> they are terrified by the notion of not having it. >> and i think that capitalism -- >> that's true. >> -- taps into every emotion in ways that it was the never able to do. >> everybody's mad. i'm telling you -- >> okay. tell me. >> how do we speak of the demise of capitalism? that's what i want to know. [laughter] [applause] ..
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interesting is when the berlin wall fell -- it is still falling -- other walls went up. the one between israel and the west bank and then the wall in the south of mexico border. all these other was shown to. and then they're not physical walls, but they're the kinds of imprisonment. i mean, which is constantly separating. in some instances, the berlin wall people couldn't get out. now we're building wall so they can't get in. so it's a constant -- the shift looks to me long-range, like part and parcel is the
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disconnect. you know, it's really crumbling. when these people say i want the government out of my social security. >> i know, i know. >> it doesn't matter. it's all incoherent. [laughter] >> since you're talking about capitalism and pumping is an, i want to recognize charlie mitchell over there. [applause] she was the first black woman to run for the office of the president of the united states of america. she was on the communist party. [laughter] [applause] >> yes, dear. >> i was a page in the library
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on a fixed-rate and i'm also a writer so you're making me feel good for my prospects of accomplishment. [laughter] my question is -- actually have two questions. one is about your ideas around visual literacy. i immediately thought about movies, particularly in the context of how movies no been adapted from books and the kind of literacy that we get from movies versus what we get from about. i would hope that the direct or is walking a fine line, although even with speed, pray, love, the general message was raised. i think that becomes more complicated when you talk about black movies, about black women in black movies particularly like how was the color purple and wouldn't work out. now we have for colored girls coming up. i want to know your thoughts on adaptations and so and also if you could flush out some of your ideas in terms of visual literacy in the realm of film
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adapted from books. my second question is a lot easier. how did you two meet? and how did you end up writing -- admitting her autobiography? >> i was at work. i don't know what she was doing. i had a job at random house. [laughter] and she was an acquisition they were very proud of. but we got to know each other at that point. but think i published one book or two. >> you are working -- you had already published -- >> i can remember you would write three or four lines. who would be driving from your house to the city, across the george washington bridge. there would be traffic did you collect a little notepad and write. or you could express breakfast
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and write a little bit here. and then when the book finally came out, i said i cannot believe it. it was so magical. [applause] >> wonderful. but also, i should say i should appreciate what we learned about writing from tony, when i wrote my autobiography. i was somebody who is used to writing philosophy. i didn't think about writing in the same way. and you know, rather than writing it for me, tony with day, well, what was that room like? what was then mayor? what were the colors? and so, she made me understand writing in such a different way and i'm forever grateful.
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we also had fun. you remember when we went to the virgin islands and i made you -- i'm a nature walk from one end of the island to the other. >> there was nowhere -- there was nowhere in the united states or anyone can feel safe and write. last night so we went to the virgin islands. it was like a month or something. >> because i remember we were going to stay at the holiday inn and it wasn't finished a. >> remember we went to finland and sweden and denmark? >> to photographers came out and these women -- these women formed a circle, its huge circle and hold hands with angela in the middle and i was sort of
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player. [laughter] to keep the photographers and the journalists or whatever. it was amazing. i should've had a camera. this is a wonderful question. i think -- >> what? >> movies and adaptations. >> i think that most of them are pretty awful. [laughter] [applause] i don't know if this fear of doing something. you know how creative say african-americans have been with music? i mean, should i have told them how to do it? was just reading about bob
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coming out. it was so chaotic. i mean, they were seen my god, what is the music changed right away into some thing where high notes, screeches come a new language. you know, they took off. anyway, back to the movie thing. it's as though they are fearful of powerful and different creativity. i wanted to do something wildly different or they follow certain patterns. you know, from the first scene, everything. now, i understand that the business requires certain kinds of formalized in order to get the money and to get them out. i understand that. it's such an expensive project, i'm surprised anyone does anything. i was stunned looking at -- this has to do with african-american
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films, but i saw -- what does that, no country for old men? my god, there was a movie with no score, none. they didn't tell me. [laughter] that guy just blew his head off or something. there was just some mexicans. that's all you heard. it's like they trusted me. it's frightening. it was different, but i wasn't urged by the music, pushed. this is going to be scary, this is going to be happy. you know? and i thought, isn't that interesting. so that's a little bit i know about movies. what i am saying is i wish it were possible to do more
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inventive, creative, non-formulated hollywood things. if possible in the movies. hey, thinking about passing change? wasn't that something? [applause] i have never seen anything on broadway that letter it and that musically inventive in stage that way. that was really a leap for me. i thought it was fantastic. so it is possible. and i just want to say that, you know, i've been unhappy -- not unhappy, but not wholly excited by it and not saddest eyed by a lot of the films and musicals going on. although they are well-intentioned. for me, well-intentioned and good enough. it's like happiness. that ain't good enough. don't rest on happiness.
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it's okay. i hope you all are happy, but we've got to do more than that. more than that. yes. the >> hello, first of all let me say this is an incredible honor just to be in front of two of my literary unlike euros. i'm a bust stuff i am breakdown without even reading paradise. i have two questions as well. [laughter] the first being you talked about a letter in colombia to the protest of what's going on with the miners there. what do you think in this time where it seems like lethargy and smacked of them has risen so high it's almost choking a, how do you feel -- what do you think the role of written protesters? and mean, does it still have an effect, the written letter protests? the other question i have is also in these times, what do you think the role or the importance
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of the storyteller is? >> well, angela, i want you to answer both of those questions. but i have to practice, you know, we live in this fast food nation. americans just wanted now and allow it. and they sort of like deserve it. you know, politically, everything. if you don't hand it to them right this minute, like at mcdonald's, you know, you just drive by, tell the machine what you want. and demand your money, get your food and go on. and it seems like that is the sort of constant thing, so actually sitting down and writing a letter, nailing it, telling the other people to do the same thing and organize,
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like actually get on the phone. that takes too long. it's like, it may take a while. that's my version. >> i totally agree with you. because we've forgotten how to write letters. i was going to say for those of you who will have problems actually sitting down and doing a letter and putting it in the mail, you know, finding finding out how much it cost to mail letter and all of that, you could perhaps figure out how to e-mail him. [laughter] but let me see if i can answer that question in a slightly more complicated way. and it has to do with the
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previous discussion we were having about capitalism and the extent to which we assume that as individuals we are powerless, which is in part a consequence of neoliberal, individualistic ideology, that we only think of ourselves as individuals and that we don't think about possible connections, a broader connection with communities that are not only in the u.s., but better in other parts of the world as well. and it seems to me that this is the real challenge of this. even for people who consider themselves progressive in a country like the united states of america. because we also -- we also imagine ourselves a somewhat different from the rest of the people in the world.
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you know, american exceptionalism has this impact even on both who pretend to be most radical. exactly. and so, what would it take? what would it take to create a connection with that community i was speaking about. there are about 7000 people, afro descendent colombians, many of whom still have african names because they have created a history and the culture that goes back to -- that goes back to resistance against slavery. and they're still resisting. as a matter of fact, they received an eviction order for august 18th and they refuse to leave. so yeah, and writing to answer your question -- britain protests is a process that could perhaps help us feel as if we
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are making communities. we are reaching out to younger selves and that we have emotional connections with people who live on this mountain and this village called hematoma. they have a mantra. >> in connection with what you said, angela, and i was beyond, they call the citizens. we were american citizens. >> were first class are second-class. >> yeah, but the word was citizens. now citizens suggest some relationship to her neighbors in the towns in the village. and there was a code word. that's all you could do. americans do in american
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thought. we bought things for status and not so were to do. now, what are we? we are taxpayers. [laughter] all of a sudden it's about bullet impacts, blue money. i don't want to give it -- those people who should not have it, you know, and you talk about capitalism sort of seeping into the blood. they just change the language and redefine us and we go forward. yes, my driver was complaining about his taxes. i said so well. you say taxes and i say so. so while the sudden we lose who we are or we are redefined. and when the language changes, we changed, the labels change. so all of a sudden it's about
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taxes. but if we were still citizens, that's a different thing. we have some obligation. >> and citizenship not narrowly defined. >> and there are no losers. i remember when hobos were romantic. they were on these trains, now there is a homeless loser, who by the way don't pay taxes. [laughter] [applause] he was shaking his head. >> hi there. >> actually, there were some great blues players out there on the railroad, playing some fantastic, fantastic music. ladies, this is an honor.
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i put my hand on a book i was looking for a new house -- idb welds large for me. >> i did? paula giddings? >> it was a program that you -- >> yeah, me and pollock. she wrote the book. >> yeah, yeah. >> correct. >> can i just say something? many people don't acknowledge how important toni morrison was to the emergence of what we now call a black feminist literature . [applause] and i just -- i mean, i say this
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to my students. i don't know whether i've ever cited to you, but i remember when she was publishing tawny compiler a bad deal jones. [applause] >> and bill clinton, all of them. >> and what we know of black women's writing that took shape in the 70s and 80s would not have been possible had not toni morrison consisted at an editor at random house on publishing these works. [applause] and she published paula giddings first book, too. >> yeah, paula giddings first book. >> she didn't realize that she was doing that.
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>> in the case there was an hiatus, i was sort of writing and between myself. data might added hall. they didn't hire me to write books. they hired me to edit them, but what can i say. >> sorry, i interrupted you. >> no, you're exactly where i wanted to. speculative literature, fiction, sci-fi, how does that relate to the third world women in the movement for literature as a student of anthropology, always brooding to what's real. i look for fiction for ideas to make what's real illicit, although many name. show me the reverse. where are we on the third world,
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writing back speculative, soft sci-fi about what is going on socially. >> listen, you've got somebody coming here. this is a good story. i hope i'm not saying the thunder. edwin didn't get caught. she has this book called dangerously created, something like that. anyway, she gave a speech at princeton and she was describing something that happens in hating. i was overwhelmed by this and i hope that answers part of your question. she said that during the really tough times, [inaudible] they established a rule that if somebody died, your son, your neighbor, a stranger on the street, you know, if they killed
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and you could not pick them up. you could not go and get the body, even if it was yours, a relative. at some point a few days later, a garbage truck would come along to pick it up, but in the garbage or do whatever they did. so if you went out to pick up a body, to bury it or whatever, you would get shot. so everybody was afraid. i hope i'm not -- i know this is part of what she said. at some point in the neighborhood, somebody organize the little theater in the garage and the local people came to participate in this play, some to be in it and some to be watch it. and they did it every night. the tucson worker would come by and check and see what they were doing and walk on by. but what they were doing, get
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this, the play was antigone. [applause] i mean, back to me was the most extraordinary thing. it provided the soulless. that was about the subject, the conflict between the government and so on. and so, i was thinking, not only about your inquiry, but also about the visual literacy thing, for many, many ways. there's no one way. the letter is a beautiful thing and important and permanent and it's there. it can't be erased. the same thing as with the other. the same thing as with portraits. i mean, the same thing as just, as we were saying, try to think what it's like in the world if you can't read. what other kinds of things jump out at you. you know, use everything,
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everything, you know, to become, you know, the best human being you can be. [applause] >> i'd also just noticed the lights are on now. and i noticed that amir baraka is in the house. [applause] at various right there, look, look. he's behind there. >> look at him. >> thank you. >> yes. >> good evening, i'm very honored to be standing in front of you. you are my idols. i represent the resistance in new york city, the black and latina mothers who believe in public education, who use the libraries, who who are so
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opposed to control into the privatization of our school. [applause] and i want to give a shout out to the parents in chicago who is just sat in for a month in order to get a library for their children. there was a field hospital is going to be torn down. and they sat in because they a library. and speaking to you because, as i said, you are my idols and i was greatly influenced in the 70s and 80s in the literature and being able to use now the internet to peel to hear you give speeches and to speak in front of like the new york women's or the new york women's foundation, where mothers like me, women in the community don't have access. and so, i'm asking now if you can give the women that many,
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the mothers in new york, the women that i represent, can you please give us some words of encouragement and inspiration so that we can take that back to the community and we continue to fight our struggle for proper quality, human rights based education -- public education for our children. [applause] >> give me your e-mail. do you have e-mail? >> now? >> yeah, give me your e-mail. >> let me say that what you said in that minute that it took you to explain who you were, i am sure inspired so many of the people here in the work that you're doing -- [applause] to resist privatization. so, the message that i would
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give to you to take back this to continue doing what you are doing. and you know, we need to follow your leadership. we need to all be involved in this campaign to prevent the children of privatization from taking over our lives and especially from taking over the public educational system. so thank you. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you. >> you're welcome. don't forget. [laughter] >> hi, this is a question for angela. before we saw the shepard image of obama, even, you know, in the context of all of these iconic image of angela davis. i'm wondering, how does it feel when you see people, you know,
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using it in posters, putting it on teachers. does it feel like you? or does it feel like it is spreading sort of what you are trying say? [inaudible] [laughter] >> okay, i'll tell you a story. because it has begun to bother me somewhat now. it's so easy to create the possibilities of proliferating, you know, anybody can do a t-shirt. and then it goes on the internet. and so, i was a bit disturbed by that. and i asked a young woman, who was a high school student, who had one of those t-shirts. i said was the whole point? worry right now? i thought that when out in the 70s because then there was the reason. the reason was to hope create this campaign to free me.
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exactly. so i said, this is the 21st century. and she says, well, i wear this t-shirt because it makes me feel powerful. it makes me feel like i can do anything i want to do. and i don't know what she knew -- whether she knew anything about me really. but that made me recognize that people bring their own interpretations. and not images and image image not so much of me as an individual as it is an era during which millions of people came together, you know, all over the world and demanded my freedom. as a matter of fact, charlene mitchell was the executive to her of the national united committee.
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[applause] so, yeah. i can't stop it, so you know, why not see what is -- what might be possible project is and positive interpretation. so you know, who knows. i do that kind of upset when people when people say i am the only black woman ever wore a natural. [laughter] and i can remember when i was a high school student in new york and i saw mary ann mckeever and i saw art danner. and then later, of course, toni had a natural, a beautiful natural. so why did they keep picking on me? [laughter] that i don't understand. but thank you for the question. [applause]
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>> hi, i'm here representing my classmates and professors. >> you're what classmates? >> college. i'd like to ask you if you think, which is worse, been internally imprisoned or being imprisoned by society? india think it is possible to internally free lobbying or prison that society? compared to slavery and just being imprisoned recently. thank you. >> you're really asking about freedom i have a very small short answer about internal freedom. i'm from ohio, near -- [applause]
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no kidding. [laughter] as i was 10. they come to new york and make good, make good near lake erie. it's a working-class town that has steel mills, shipyards. so a lot of people can name. african-americans from the south and mexicans in europeans and so on. i mean, real diverse as they say in the rural community. no common thread do you have poverty. but again, we've are citizens and you know, the polish lady next-door with bring us those little cabbage things with meat and then. you know, if we didn't have any and we had something, we would bring her -- i'm not trying to make it sound like it was
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thrilling because -- although we were too young to know we were mr. ball. so at any rate, my experiences about ray's are very different from many other black people. one is because i grew up in a mixed neighborhood. it did mean people didn't call me names, but they were calling each other names, so what. i remember coming home with somebody, little boy said ethiopian you. [laughter] what is the ethiopian? she said ethiopia is a continent and africa and i think the original if human beings were born there or something. and so, i thought what is he talking about? [laughter] but here's the thing, there was little minor things like that.
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but i never felt -- and this is curious. i think i know why, but i never felt it the way it was meant. and i think the reason is because i always thought that those people were deficient in some way, always, even a pivotal one. i thought they were deficient. i had a big sort of racial moments when i was 13 for some white family, just before i got my job at the page, i was working after school just doing housework at $2 a week, one of which went to my mother and the other i could keep. but she had some complicated -- for me complicated equipment
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like vacuum cleaners. never saw one. and the stove. and i did know how to work it, so she would curse me out every now and then. i told my mother, mom, let's quit. he said go to work, get your money and come home. you don't live there. i don't have an employment problem since. it was not my life was not there. and also i didn't have to disdain or be afraid of or neglect any person who had a skin advantage over me, whoever they were. i never felt bad. but i but the first book, i
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thought i really wanted to know by that girl felt so bad, the real-life krill who said -- we were talking about whether god existed. of course i was persuaded that he did and she was persuaded that he did not enter proof was that she had prayed for blue eyes for two years. two years? and she didn't get them. so obviously he wasn't up there. but when i looked at her and thought about how awful she would look. [laughter] if she got them. and then i thought, the second thing was how beautiful she was, you know, but i didn't even know whether she was as beautiful as that until we found a bout what we might think and everything of
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course was why did she want that? why does she think that's an improvement? it made me, you know come to think of that as a real subject for a book, not some old vic done, but really how it works, how you can actually -- this is a concentrated question. >> it was about freedom, too. >> so that internal thing, i had trouble when i first traveled south. that was way people. i mean yeah, maybe, but my inability to perceive how southern blacks, who were coming you know, their whole lives were
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pressed, like not being able to go into the library. and just anything like that, not knowing, you know, is this place is or is that play safe, or knowing what the safe places are and what that might do, how to escape from that, how does one internalize that or does one, you see. and if you do, you know, how do you get rid of it? salado stash but i always thought that those people, whether they were adults or children. it's like the com ethiopian. that was like so. it sort of complimented me in a way, that i could not feel the degradation that was supposed to feel or the self-loathing. and i always felt that inside, which i suppose is called air against.
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[laughter] but i think it was the way in which my family responded. and they were both from the south, deep south alabama or georgia, where they instilled in us some other things. >> maybe i could just add a couple of things? is this the last question? >> no, no, please add something. >> and it's actually on a different register about freedom, internal freedom, external freedom. what do we mean by freedom? and we've been talking about frederick douglass. and freedom hide a surgeon historical meaning then. it was about abolishing slavery. and as i thought about this new
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addition of the narrative of the life of frederick douglass, i thought it would be important to point out that in a sense, as incredible and is brilliant as frederick douglass was, his imagination of freedom was historically constrict to. so in a lot of ways it was about manhood and back sides which proves his manhood and in the process it provides a path towards freedom. so the question is well, what about -- what about women? what about little girls? how could they imagine freedom? and so, i want to say -- i'm going to say this in response to one of the earlier questions that i didn't get to answer about as suicides of young gay
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people today and how we take about freedom and the deeply historical character of our own imaginings of what it means to be free. and what it means to be free and predict douglas is time? wanted it mean to struggle during the civil rights era? you know, what does it mean to expand our notion of freedom today? we talked about immigrants. you know, tony were talking about a wall. the mexico you talked about how the palestinians. so how do we bring palestinian freedom into our frame? how do we bring, you know, for enough immigrants into -- into the way we imagine freedom today. how do we think about
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transgendered people? how do we think about gay, within the frame of freedom? and what does that tell us about the extent to which our own framework of freedom is quite restrictive. so i ask myself sometimes, 100 years from now, how are people going to be talking about the struggle for freedom? because i don't think we're ever going to get there. i don't make will ever reach a point where we can say, we are free, right? we can rest. we can stop now. we flawed. and so, it seems that in the very process of struggling for freedom, of reflecting on freedom, of writing about
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freedom, we constantly challenge the framework within which we developed that imaginary freedom. >> i think it is. is powerfully imaginative in a surgeon. as this in another. if something else. i think of freedom is a major part of this is knowledge, maybe wisdom if you get there, but certainly knowledge. and then i am reminded that the verse, genesis is knowledge, the acquisition of knowledge. that's why they get thrown out of that little kindergarten they were in. last back that little playpen where they could just sort of, you know, they say on, you know
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something? and the little word that he says to king james, they may become wise. so stop that. they knew. and in many other religious forms, busway faith and belief is important, not knowledge. faith, which is, you know i'm not complaining. i'm just suggesting that there is something so powerful, so attractive, so liberating about what we call science, knowledge, and that, you know, you can have it, which is the same sort of thing that we were talking about this document from the texas correction bureau and what andrea is talking about which talks about the necessity of reading literacy of all kinds under constrained circumstances.
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and what frederick douglass did, hunting and intellect like we are in prison, you know, all of this works into the same thing, the big horror. they have led us to believe is knowledge. because that will set you free. [applause] >> on this note of knowledge -- [applause] i would like to thank angela davis and toni morrison. thank you very much. >> this event was hosted by the new york public library in new york city. more information, visitto nypl.org. >> joining us is jonathan safran foer author of eating animals. you talk about farms wherebout animals are being produced foreg eating. and you say that they are pce treating treating living animaln like edwards. what did she mean by that?e aret
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>> i should sway there's two kinds of farms in america. and there's one of those factory farms and small family farms. in the small family farms ise th thatin those people and about america bashing is fun, gamblesr on grass and fence postshine and and farmers walking around in sunshine and hay in america 90% of the farms are animals are raised by concentration, hundreds of thousands, given antibiotic from birth until death, pieces of their body removed without anesthetic. our food system has become like our tennis manufacturing system. it doesn't matter how we treat these things. unfortunately, it also doesn't matter what the environmental effects are. we have the very disinstructive industry. >> where did you get the idea about writing "eating animals"?
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>> when our wife got pregnant with our first child, i thought about feeding somebody else, that frightened me. i wanted to know more about the affects on our bodies and world. >> you talk about the affect our or bodies, what effect was the eating meat on the environment? >> well, the u.n., which is not exactly the humane society, said that animal agriculture is the number one cause of global warming. produces a lot of greenhouse gases, and top two or three causes in environmental problems, air pollution, loss of biodiversity. basically, knowing what we know, we can say that it's impossible to onesself an environmentalist. >> you talk about the economic, environmental, and social considerations.
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explain that. >> it takes 26 calories of food to put into the animal, you get one back. we are basically ming south south america, taking advantage of south africa, it's not so great. but is the 50 cent mcdonalds hamburger is chicken nuggets. >> based on your book, is there any such thing as good meat? >> i'm not one to say. is there such a thing as a farm where animals are treated well? yes, i went to farms that farmers treated the animals better than i treat my dog. i also went to farms that are environmental sustainable. the question is can we have a farm system that's like that, want answer is no. there might be an analogy to
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child welfare, excuse me, labor. 6-year-old give them a job to enable the family to stay together. we have a system like that. those in the mercy of those at power, and such strong incentive to abuse the power, it always gets abused. in americas we have always have really good farmers. really noble people, and appeal to the stewardship, but we will not have a farm system like >> in addition to a question here that covered a wide variety of background items, the yaf
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members were to imagine a history from 1966 to the end of the century, in other words, the word to thousand. they were looking ahead for 32 years and imagine what they perceived or what they were viewing is what would happen to her country for the remainder of the century. in the graduate student who is doing this study, richard brown bag was surprised to what he described a yaf members said they continued drift to the welfare state and moral decay would be reversed in the future by the american people moving the train of events back to common sense. braun got also surveyed members of students for a democratic society, which was the leading
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new left or leftist organization on campuses of the 60s. and again democrats and the college republicans. and he reported on his results in an article that he cowrote and was published in an academic journal. it's interesting to view some of the projections the yaf members in 1966. one yaf member predicted a redirection of american society toward freedom and conservative principles. remember again, he's writing in 1966. and here's what he said. the united states, led by hypocritical and unprincipled leaders becomes very bureaucratic and increasingly socialistic. the united states generally loses the battles in foreign affairs because it does not present his philosophy of free enterprise, libertarian beliefs, et cetera, as well as it should.
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sounds almost familiar to the current day, doesn't it? finally, as he predicted, in the 1960s -- excuse me, in the 1980s or thereabouts, the american people now realize that the american society is not necessarily freedom. they realize their freedoms are being abridged. they realize the economyabridge. they realize the economy is becoming too regimented and the government to bureaucratic. the people will then change the trend of events back to common sense conservative principles of government. remember his prediction was 1980. and when you recall from history, 1980 as it turned out was indeed the year in which the american people voted for a conservative president, ronald reagan, who did indeed --
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[applause] who did indeed change the trend of events back to comments and conservative principles of government. braun got cited another yaf has been the following events in the near future from 1966 to 2000. his predictions were as follows. 1968, republican jury. 1972, reagan elected president. 1976, reagan reelected. 1978, follows soviet russia. 1980, followed by china. 1985, end of welfare, social security and medicare. 2000, and opinions. now, as braun got in his co-author noted with her sts counterpart, the authors seem to have a mountain of naïve faith. well, let's let back nearly 45
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years later we can see that this naïve faith seems to have been rather accurate in its prediction of future events. change a few of the dates, modify a few of the conclusions in the yaf members who have been on the high school and college students have laid out a political history of the last of the 20th century. because consider nixon's big tree in 1968 brought both the realignment of american politics as well as admittedly the disgrace of the watergate impeachment and resignation. reagan's victory came eight years after the yaf are had predicted, but was by a landslide election. it took nine more years for the berlin wall to follow, closely followed by the demise of the soviet union.
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then, in his 1993 state of the union message, a new democratic president promised to quote, end welfare as we know it. and the reforms of our welfare system were enacted a short while later, when republicans gained the majority in congress in 1994. two years after that original state of the union message, that same president declared quote, the air of big government is over in the state of the union message. >> to watch this program in its entirety, go to booktv.org. simply type the title or the author's name at the top left of the screen and click search. >> well, we're pleased to be noy joined now by craig robinson, who is the author of this book. it's call a game of character.ll co now, coach robinson is the
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basketball coach at oregon state university, not usuallying coveo something that is covered ony my booktv, but the foreword was written by marion robinson, sobn we thought it was worth having coach robinson on. coach, who is marion robinson? >> marion robinson is none other than my mother. mother of craig and michelle ani wife of fraser robinson and one of the influences in my writing, whitme of character. >> currently at denison at the white house. obviously. obviously craig robinson iscture michelle obama's brother. he's got a picture here on the front of an old family photo. who is fraser robinson? >> well, fraser robinson is the grown man there who was my father. and he died roughly 19 years ago. any game i've what i learned to
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both robinson and how those lessons resonate on the court, in the classroom, at the dinner table in the boardroom. >> we plan to no marion robinson a little bit because she's a somewhat public and we've seen her with the girls and everything. but what did fraser robinson do quite similar what do you remember most about him? zina well, my father worked for the chicago water department and was an hourly shift worker and spent the bulk of his free time raising his children. and he was the keeper of all of the family folklore. he told the stories, pass along the lessons in the values.at and in a game of character, talks a lot about the lessons that i learned from him. talk >> and craig robinson, you also talk about life lessons you can learn on the basketball court in >> this y book.
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up what are they?if >> well, when you play pickup basketball, you can tell if a guy is selfish or not.lfish or you can tell if a guy is egotistical. you can tell if he has any call. integrityyou have to make up yon calls and give up calls. you can learn a lot. >> when's the first time you played baskball with barak obama, and what did you learn? >> the first time was when my sister asked me to spend time on the court with him to see what person he is. i found that he is highly intelligent, high integrity, team player, and i also said that most of all, he just didn't pass me the ball because he was dating my sister. >> how much time do you get to spend with the obama's? >> you know, during the season it's tough. i'm here just on the day, so i won't even see him on thistr

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