tv Tour of Black Classic Press CSPAN April 29, 2018 7:15am-8:16am EDT
booktv on c-span2 in prime time with his best-selling autobiography "a higher loyalty." he will discuss several of the issues he faced as fbi director including the russian investigation, hillary clinton's emails, and his views on president trump. watch james comey live on booktv on c-span2 in prime time monday at 7 p.m. eastern. >> paul coates, what is black classic press? >> peter, we are actually kind of, that's a very good question. where a book publisher. on the other hand, we are the printers. we've grown to be book printers as well. the reason why i say it's a good question is because aside from being book publishers, aside from being printers we are actually a vision and a mission
incarnate, , okay? so we exist as a mission in terms of being a voice, particularly four and especially for the black community, and especially for those who have come before us. because our mission is to bring back into print books that a long been out of print, books by and about people of african descent. that's a mission we started a number of years ago, 40 years ago now, and we are that mission. we live that mission. >> what are some of those books that you brought back? >> when we started one of the things i wanted to do was focus on obscure books. so as i tell you these titles many people will not be familiar with them. they will not be familiar with authors who have done these
books, and that's the point of it all. there are many, many books, like i mentioned books by w.e.b. dubois, black reconstruction, we know those, african slave trade can we know those but the books with focus on tend to be authors of a lost in history. and at the same time when they were alive people like houston who was a black woman who, 1926 wrote one of the more important pieces of sparse i'm concerned of history and that is covering ancient history for black folks. so she wrote a book called the wonderful ethiopians. the book was published in 1926, and until we republish it in 1986 it had basically fallen out of memory. the importance of that is, the importance of books like the books republished by people like
george wells parker, those books were done at the time that these people fought very hard establishment of several black folks in black folks were constantly told they had no history. so her contribution at the time which is one of the earliest contributions of any person writing on history of black people in ancient history, her contribution was very significant and it had been lost. our job and our mission is to make sure that it's not forgotten. >> does it hold up historically? >> nothing holds up historically. that's the beautiful thing. that is the beautiful thing about the work that we do. if you go back to herodotus. herodotus doesn't hold up. sure there are many things herodotus says or my site are many of the historical things that he cited that historians still lit by but then they're
probably just as many that don't hold up. so history is a a narrative tht people tell. in mrs. houston's case, many of the things that she deals with, many of the things she points out to does. that he comes less important for me pick it becomes less important for historians. what you want to look at is the ground that they cover, but they have dealt with and, of course, you're going to look at those things that still hold true and really ring with resonance. in our case, peter, particularly the case of black classic press and black folks, i'm looking at the resistance of people who were told constantly you are nothing. you are less than nothing. you have no history. you have had no history. for a person to go back, like mrs. houston, and pull together three volumes of history, there's enough of a narrative in there that definitely resonates true.
she's doing this work before people like carter woodson did his work. carter woodson being the so-called father of black history. so she's working before him. she's stealing in ancient history even before w.e.b. dubois. so it's the effort and the ground that is being covered, not that someone would want to look at this today and say this is the bible for ain't in history. no, it breaks the ground. sets at pay for others to look at and for others to begin the work on. that's most of the work that we do. >> paul coates, w.e.b. dubois lighting or by the turn of the last century, does he hold up? >> own in the same light that mrs. houston holds up. i think it's the same for most writers, and that is to say that people write almost any book
that has been written, you'll find flaws or errors in that book that we would say do not hold up. at the same time you'll find other things in the book that might, you might say let's build something on this, let's work out from this, let's see what we have. he was onto something or she was onto something here. she was an early investigator, an early finder of this. in that sense dubois deathly holds up and dubois was a prolific writer. so there were more things that he wrote that to hold up, but just as easily we can find think that don't. dubois was the promoter of the talented tim, which he would eventually does own. writers were right things that, if you live long enough and if
their experience is long enough, many times if they are wise enough, many times they will disown them as opposed to a generation coming behind them sink this does not hold up. i think where to look at writing that way. we have to look at creating that way but there's not absolute truth in this. at the same time there are truths that can be explored and truths they can be held onto that are important for us with, as a generation or two generations later for us to look at and build on. >> was mrs. houston in new york in harlem at the time? >> actually know. so see, this is so important. actually lived at the time she lived in oklahoma city. so drusilla dunjee houston was one of, i'm sure you're familiar with many of the black towns that were founded in oklahoma. so her father and her family had gone to oklahoma and they had
gone with the promise of there being more freedom in oklahoma. and so they were participants in establishment of black towns there. she was an early educator. she opened a school there and she taught school in oklahoma, and in tulsa. she was there actually doing that tulsa -- during the tulsa bombing. this this is a black woman thise i think god, i think i understand that i do not have a son. because if i had a son i would have them out to war, you see. as the bombs rained down on tulsa, oklahoma, the first city that american planes actually bombed. the very first city. she was prepared in her mind to resist, and her thinking of god was a statement of that. so on the one hand, you have this woman who is, in my mind, a warrior willing to go to war,
and on the other hand, you have for being a warrior resisting the notion that so much of the world use to justify the enslavement of black people, and that is you have no history. you see, , because you can erase the history. if you can get rid of the history of the black people than you can enslavement because they are no longer people. they are things, items. they are no more than horses, they are no more than cattle. >> do you also print first run books? >> we do, we do. and we've done a few. i should say a few. i should say if you. it's not my passion. my passion, and as i say that, we currently have two or 31st run books in production. my passion -- two or three, first run books.
that's what gets me up in the morning. the are so many ancestors, and people should be clear. we publish books, these books that i'm talking about arbeit ay and about people of african dissent. they are not necessarily books that have been written only by black people. so there are a number of white writers who were courageously stood, like mrs. houston stood, and even before mrs. houston stood. these people knew that the life of blacks being enslaved under these lies was false and it would against the saints and those people we celebrate. doesn't matter whether it's white or black. it's about people of african descent. that's what really gets me started in the morning. i like good books at the same time, but there are so many publishers that have capabilities beyond our capabilities, that have experiences be on our
experiences that i regularly send writers and say you should find a residential publisher for this book because your talent equates that. my mission is a little bit different. our mission is a little bit different. >> what's the process of finding a writer like mrs. houston? who was her original publisher? was it a a mainstream publishe, another black publisher? >> she was a self publisher. people think self-publishing is something new, you know, but it's not. people like whitman and other folks published books on their own. mrs. houston was following in that tradition here she came from a family, her brother was a newspapermen, and she was a newspaper woman. so the two of them worked
together to establish one of the early black newspapers. so in this case she's publishing her work, and you have to remember we're talking about 1926. you won't find, peter, histories done on black people in the ancient world very much at all during that time, and that's because of the universal denial of black history going beyond, and certainly not a civilized history, going beyond in some cases west africa. that was a given. but be on west africa you were talking the people african descent now thinking a history. so the market for that type of publishing was not available. not only mrs. houston, people like j a rogers who was joel augustus rogers, cried for publishers to pick up his work, and he was one of the people who
did tremendous genealogical work. he was interested, and we publish them as well, okay? so he was interested in black blood in the white race. lack of blood in the white race. now, the prevailing thought at the time was white blood in the black race. he went the other way. so we did enormous studies and enormous research. you asked how to get to these books, you know, i used to be a bookseller and people used to come to me all the time, and this was always fascinating and remains fascinating to me. i didn't know about j. a. rogers. i did know about other self trained historians, i did know about john clark when it opened that bookstore. i may have known about john clark.
i learned that mrs. houston. i learned about people like ja rogers because i would supply books to people in jails, okay? people in the jails within the relatives to the bookstore and they would say do you have this book by -- liberties, and i'd no idea who it was. after doing research i would find his people. people in the jails would always in messages outcome you probably are not going to be able to find this book because the white man really don't want this truth out there. they do not want out there. and so i would do the research and sure enough i would find the books, and the truth was, and this led to the founding of the black classic press, the truth was it with the economic basis for anybody to publish these books. it wasn't a matter so much that the white people did not want the books out there. there was no economic model that would support the publishing of these books, certainly by the
commercial companies. and that then became part of the mission, peter, recognizing that there was material like drusilla dunjee houston that people didn't know about. the idea that it could not be brought to press because it wasn't economical to do it just frustrated me and let me from the bookstore into the publishing of these books. and i found tons of them. i have been doing this work now almost 40 years, and i haven't come close to scratching the surface of the books that i would like to publish. i just haven't been able to do it, it's that much. >> is it economically viable though? >> no. it wasn't economically viable for those companies, and i knew anyone looking at the model knows the regular book publishing requires so many readers, and requires the type of interest.
just been regular publishing, reprinting books does not work very well as a model, and less you got a ton of them out there. in our case, the decision was that whatever we publish it wasn't going to be decided by the economics of it. that would not be it. what would be decided, what the deciding factor would be is how it resonated here, you know? how it resonated here, and that was based on knowing that the information was not known. you see, because i traveled, i i used to travel and still travel with a whole bunch of people who know a lot about history. and if i raised like in the case of drusilla dunjee houston, , wn a race turning initially, these were people who lived in history, and most of them did not know who she was. that in itself tells me that
that information has to be in the world. the same thing with the gentleman, george wells parker, who did a small pamphlet in 1917 dede with the african origins of grecian civilization. you might ask does that hold up? some of it does, peter, and some of it doesn't, that the very nerve of a black man in 1917 -- now, you've got remember, he's been told since he's been born he ain't got no history. in 1917 he pulls together enough sources that he can argue that, in fact, not only is there an african presence but there's an african origin in grecian civilization. interestingly they told up in the same sense that most of the writers that are taken attack looking ancient african civilization you some of the same sources that used. if it economical?
no. it's one of the reasons and our case that i say today we formed a printing company about 20 years ago now in 1996, a little bit more than that, 1995, a a little bit more than that, right? that printing company allows us, it forgives us to make economical, having the economic model that works on the publishing side. it allows us to print for other people, print books are of the people, and print our books. and so we've been able to survive. >> when we're looking at here this is actually the other part of the company. this is what makes my passion possible. we work for a living, okay? so we work publishing books. right now we are working on a very large job with pearson education. we are printing books for them
as a part of a contract. all of the equipment is focused on printing this book right now. there are literally pallets of it as we go along. >> so when we look at a machine like this, the buchbinder, number one, looks like a pretty expensive machine. >> it is, yes. >> and what does it do? what is this gentleman doing here? >> what he is doing is he is -- these are covers. he is a fixing the cover, or the machine is a fixing the cover to the body of the book, which is here. you can see that is actually dropping this into the machine. the cover is being married back here. it's during this circle around and is coming off. >> okay.
and what are these other machines doing over here? >> that's what turns up the book. once it is bound it actually is trimmed out like this the end up with a completed book. so does the full term out on the book, and in this sense we are dealing with 8.5 x 11 books but we deal with all different sizes of books. this machine is the color printer and it prints the covers that we use over there. so that it will print, i mean, it prints this. it prints all of our covers. the books you held, those covers were printed on this mission as well, okay? these other machines are committed to printing the rest of -- the text of the book. >> you do the typesetting as well? >> we do not. we do not. one of the things, like you want to decide what you're good at,
where your strengths are, and our strengths lie in the actual printing. the digital printing. there are so many people that can do the typesetting, and so we were working with companies, with their usual do is send us a completed file. at that point it's exactly like you want it. they have exactly what they want, all we have to do is print it. it's a seamless process at that point, yes. someone else will do the rest. >> has publishing on-demand major life easier or harder? >> we do a a little bit differt than publishing on demand. publishing on demand usually you'll find that there are printers that would do one title, one book, one book, another book, another book, a completely different book. operation isn't set up for that. we are set up to do short runs of books very, very quickly. if you wanted can books, 50
books, that fits of. if you want 205 and, that fits us. what if you ask me to do one book now, one book later, one book, one book, one book, that's more of an on-demand printing company and there are actually a few companies that do the work. most printers are in the digital stage. most of those companies are going to do exactly what we do, and that is short run printing. it just moves short run down much smaller than what they used to be. >> how did you end up in the book world? was it purposeful or accidental? >> it was an accidental, and was purposeful although it wasn't my intention to do it. purposeful in the sense that my history goes back to the black panther party, and from the black panther party, in leaving the black panther party i knew that i wanted to be engaged with
what i felt the best aspects of the black panther party and that was community work, community education, building the black community. the other aspect that i became connected to in the black panther party was working in the prisons. in the prisons, at the time i came out of the black panther party i still had charges that i might go to prison, okay? and eight other people and been in the black panther party with me who were in prison. so one of the things i did, disconnected from the black panther party, still wanted to be active in the committee. i i created a prison program. that prison program and this may sound familiar as the conversation, the prison program had three aspects. the first aspect was a bookstore, and that bookstore was intended to get books into the jail and get books into the
community. books that would help increase the awareness and consciousness of black people. because we had a model. we had george jackson as a model who'd gone to jail, had educated himself and to become devoted and committed to the community. we had malcolm x as a model would gone to jail as a petty criminal and do it educated himself and came out, was very committed to the community. well, feeling like there so much brainpower as i still feel in the jails today and knowing that education and self education was one tool to transform people in jail, that's why that bookstore was there. that bookstore was connected as a vision. that bookstore was connected to publishing company. that publishing company would publish books for not only that bookstore, it would publish books that would be sold
throughout the black community and be sold and moved to the jails, okay? then there was, you guessed it, a printing company that was connected to it. that was what i created when it came out of the black panther party. and so i've been fortunate enough, we begin talking about mission. i've been fortunate enough to see those phases manifest themselves. the bookstore which i closed the same year i open the publishing company which was actually in 1978, okay? i close the bookstore down,, opened the publishing company. the publishing company and then a printing company was opened almost 20 years later, a little bit less than 20 years later. when i was thinking about a printing company, at the time
you had a multimillion dollar plant. you had big presses. us-40 people on staff and things like that. i had no idea how that would work, but i but i imagine it ie same sense that people like frederick douglass, people like martin delaney, people who, my elders and ancestors who resisted saw the importance of having a voice, and instrument to be a voice for the black community and get that out and direct it, and direct it in a resisted way so that consciousness created in the black community could restore that community and build that community. that's what i saw in those programs and that's what i attempted to do, and that's what i've been fortunate enough to see come to pass here. >> why did you leave the black panther party?
>> the easiest way, the easiest way to say that is that it was time here that doesn't give you any information. i left the black panther party at a time that the party was transitioning into something else. the interesting thing is i went out to, i serve you in baltimore and i was a defense captain here in baltimore. i went out to california because i probably had about ten people here in baltimore under charges or in jail. i had charges on myself, but bi have people who are facing life sentences who i didn't believe should be facing those life sentences, and the party had promised legal help and that not fulfilled it. so i went out to california with the thought that bulky, we can get this straight, we'll talk about it, get some support back. and that never happened. that never, never, never
happened. and daily i was out there waiting to talk, to get support, legal support back here. and it never happened. i just reached a point that it became very clear to me that i was in the wrong place and with the wrong people, and so i left. i left and they came back. i was very disconnected in the baltimore community. because when i left the black panther party was at the center of political activism in the city, and coming back i was totally disconnected from that and totally confused, as i children, i had five children at that point. i had four children, one on the way at that point, and i was totally disconnected, did know what i would do. the vision of the george jackson prison movement can't be connected, and people of the community, when i came back people in committee would always
stop me, seem on a street and say you're not with the panthers can what i'm going to do next what he going to do? we are waiting, waiting. so there that was that kind ofe after leaving the panther party, the confusion and grounding myself in the work in the jails helped me clear up where i was. grounding myself in the work of the establishment of a bookstore and publishing house helped grounding and helped save me. >> paul coates, is a book program for the jails still available? >> no. it didn't last that long either. it didn't last that long. that original idea ran into two forms of opposition that just crippled that idea. it goes back, you said didn't hold up? no, it didn't hold up, okay?
but, peter, , inside it was some really good things that we can build off of. and, in fact, that we are looking forward in our 40th year are looking for to build off of it, but it ran into two real things that were stoppers and said okay, we don't need to go this way right now. one, the state of maryland, the state of maryland threw up blockades to the free literature that we were getting into the jails. when i say literature, you have to understand these are not political tracks. some of the books were textbooks that were going into the gym. so they threw up a block to it, in part because of the fbi, you know, still had a thing on me and we were working with panthers inside the jail. so we got opposition and got stopped dead there. for the books that we did get
into the jails, you know, in jail you don't have a lot, right? and so you gravitate to centers of power, one of the centers of power was a collective that was distributing these books. so they would distribute the books and sometimes, sometimes people would use the books as commodity to buy cigarettes or to buy what you need to survive in jail, which i understood. but that was very demoralizing. let's don't do that, so the program went on hold. we are in the process now of reworking it through right now because that always bothered me. the bookstore worked as long as it worked. the publishing company work. the printing, he worked, but the original motivation for it of conducting the books into the jail, that was different. now, having said all of that,
one of our largest constituencies is people who are incarcerated. so we stilson books into the jail but the books are sold. we will send books sometimes went of our incarcerated, they don't have money. gibson books into the gym as long as they make an effort or an offer. so if you're in jail and you said i don't have $10 for the book and you say, i got one dollar, i'll do a deal with you and i'll send you the book. that goes back to the old thing like doing, our early notion was just to send books in the jail but i but i believe that books, especially books and things that you want, you do what you need to do to get them. for even if you don't have ten dollars, people done this, i've got postage stamps, keep the stamps, man, here's the book. at least you're willing to extend something that you had a
value in exchange for something that you saw i had a value. that means to me that you really want it. what you're asking for. and so that's what we would do. paul coates going to reference this a couple of times. he said the fbi was looking for you. you potentially had charges to go to present yourself. what were those charges? >> i don't know. i mean come here's the thing. i never had federal charges. i never had federal charges. always local charges, and when i say i don't know, i'm saying because there were multiple ones, you know, during the time i was in the panther party and after the time us in the panther party. there were probably about 16 different arrests and they're always on charges that eventually would get dismissed, okay? it wasn't like i was out there doing anything. when i was in the party one time, we were moving guns.
we were moving rifles, which was legitimate, okay? i mean, even today you can move, if you come rifles you can move those rifles. so we were moving rifles but we repaired those making rifles so we got arrested. the charge was, i get 15 attempted murder charges out of that, okay? 15 attempted murder charges. and it was because when they came out i had a rifle in my hand and i was surrounded by 15 tops. of course they didn't, you know, they could arrest me on it but he couldn't make the charges stick, so they dismissed the charges, but they were good for bail. so though in number of charges from attempted murder down to parking. i was arrested once because my car was parked in the wrong place. i don't know how they did that but i but i got arrested. i got arrested one time for
practicing law without a license, and there was no law in maryland about, you know, practicing law without a license, and the judge finally had to let me out. get me and chill for about three hours. he finally had to let me out because there was a law, okay? and what had happened was one of the panthers was in court and he looked to me for advice, you know, if you're in charge of this chapter, you know little bit about everything i know a little bit, that much about law. he looked at me and i nodded my head, you know, back at him. he turned around and said judge, and you suggest or something like that, and you are you? what did you got to do with this? if you say something else, i'm going to arrest you for -- i hadn't said anything, mind you, but he does anything else i'm going to arrest you for practicing law without a license. it shall happen he asked the guy the question, the guy looked back at me and i instinctively
-- arrest that man. so there are a lot of charges, none of them amounted to anything and i was never really tried in front of a jury for anything. but it was a tactic that the police would use to cripple not only the black panther party, all activist groups, and they still use it as a tactic to cripple, take bail money and stop people. >> have you ever written about your own experiences in your own life? >> i'm actually writing now. but you have to admit, i got a tough act to follow, okay? >> what is that tough act? >> my son who's just a tremendous writer speedy ta-nehisi coates, winner of the pulitzer, winner of the national book award speedy you had to mention? i'm just kidding. i love it, i love it, i love it. he sets a high standard that am
going to have to come up to one day, but right now the writing really is not so much because of him, but for my purposes, it really is, i'm writing because there is a story to tell i think, but also because i think it's important to my grandchildren that that story be known. now, my children have heard it over and over and over. now, by that the remember it or not, that's up to them. i'm focusing on the grands at this point, and i write
largely at the urging of walter mosley was a good friend and who enrolled me in the possibility of writing every day, every day. he wanted me to write two hours a day. i said walter, i can do two hours a day, i'll do an hour. so we took it on and he's been a great friend, mentor and coach to me in the writing. >> so as you write your autobiography of your experiences, your thoughts, are
you writing an hour a day? >> most days. not every day. >> here at the office? >> no, i do it at home. it's the first thing i do when i get up in the morning. >> did you recognize early on that your son was a writer? what did you come up with that name? >> so that name comes from one of the people that the people in jail told me about. i guy by the name of, he's effectually called doctor -- now, he was alive
at the time they people in jail new him,, they need him to his lectures. i came to know him because people in the jail wanted his books. i came to know him and we became good friends. i shouldn't say good friends because doc was always kind of mysterious. i think we were good friends, okay? we were friends enough that i became his publisher when he retired. he also was a self publisher, publish his own books.
so while, let's see, ta'nehisi was born, i was in his publisher when ta'nehisi was born but he sold his books. his books deal with, largely with ancient africa but also do with the consciousness of black people. it's a combination. so he called, , i was headed to the hospital actually because were to put a name on the birth certificate and he called and when he called, he very seldom cawley but i said i'm glad you called. i'm headed to the hospital. i've got to have a name for charles, my wife's baby at the time. and so he said what names have you looked at? i said i looked at these two names after dinner with. one is -- the other is ta'nehisi. ta'nehisi. he said nagin ta'nehisi. he will need a strong name.
so ta'nehisi is land of the black, from the black land. it's generally interpreted as land. people who are located somewhere around sudan, okay. his suggestion was to deliver so that's out ta'nehisi got his name. he would always ask about ta'nehisi. when ta'nehisi begin to write he would ask about how he could never come he could never member his name, okay? how is our boy? house our boy, , you know, the e that rights. >> out of all their children acv only writer at this point? and you have what, nine children, eight children? >> i actually have nine. two of them are through marriage. they are my last acquisitions and a bring them along, you know? i have seven biological
children, but i have nine. it's interesting because i don't think ta'nehisi, the kids used to always right, and his sister, his younger sister -- his older sister, i'm sorry, i always thought would be the writer. she was the one they used to have notebooks full of writing and writing and writing. ta'nehisi used to do a lot of rap and then he, as he went to how he did a lot of poetry. he hung out with a tremendous group of young poets at howard, and they helped shape him. he hung out with miller and it was the howard expense which shaped his writing. i watched his writing over the time but i think his mother, his mother appreciated him much more than what i did. she actually bought an early book of his poetry.
ta'nehisi writes about him being at that point. i don't think is a bad poet. i think is a very good poet, very good poet, but the people he hung out with, he felt were much better. so he gave up poetry. but he published a chapbook, he put a chapbook together and his mother brought it to me to print for him. he didn't know it at the time but i read that book closely, and i felt his power in his poetry then. now, this would've been, i don't know, 20 some odd years ago. then he went to work under david carr at the city paper. he will he became a sensation under david carr, under david's tutelage even at the city paper. he did a front-page, he had only been at the city paper may be about two months but something and use on the front page. sign saying all this to say that of course i followed his writing
from that time forward. and could always see his power as a writer, and he's just gotten stronger. >> did you publish that poetry book? >> i printed the book. i printed the book but it did not publish it because again, it wouldn't have been my mission. it wasn't inside of my mission. your question, your question leads me to this, because people always can ask, you know, are you going to publish ta'nehisi? did you publish ta'nehisi? and i don't know. i don't know the answer to that. we came close to doing the reparations. i wanted to do that as a standalone after it had been published. >> it was in the atlantic originally. >> and i wanted to do as a standalone. however, he and chris got
together, and eight years in power was born and so that article, i'm sorry, thank you, chris jackson, his editor, got together. so that article became a part of that book, and well it should of been. it's perfect in that book. so we came close to publishing that -- republishing that, okay? but i don't know about his original work. we may do something together. i actually sent ta'nehisi his first book, he wanted -- >> between the world any? >> no. it would've been what became the beautiful struggle, okay? and it was so early on it didn't even have a title, at the first book was the beautiful struggle. at the time he and i discussed it did not have title because you some essays, okay? the thought is, what i told him was he didn't need to publish that book with me.
he actually needed to be at a commercial publisher. one, the commercial publisher could support his work anyway at a small black press like ours could not. that's one. number two, the commercial publisher could pay him in, and advance what you deserve because his writing, and he needed because he didn't have a steady source of income when he needed that advance. i couldn't pay them that the commercial publisher could. three, if i publish the work it would be more like, people might feel it more to be a vanity job because i'm publishing because he's my son. .. that part of the foundation was not deflected.
i can't imagine that he might have been a candidate, being published by the press of his father. that would have been a hard thing to do. he needed to be out there with the sharks and thebig guys and that's what he did and he made it that way as we talked about , otherauthors , we were eight years in power, what would that be like 50 years from now? >> guest: that's a question but honestly i would have to say the same thing and i think about that way with literature, period. if you look at dickens, dickens had lines that are so powerful, they stop you in your tracks and other things you look at and you say why is he doing this? it doesn't matter. i think it's that way with literature. there are elements in it that
you will like and elements you won't even today when you read it and there will be pieces like this that people will criticize today and they will still be criticized 50 years later. the wonderful thing about figures in power is he's able in that book to go back and do a substitute of himself. it verifies the point. he was feeling one way when he wrote it and it was an absolute truth as he wrote it and further down the road he says i don't know about this so i think literature is not an unchanging body of words andideas . that our truths. they may portend to the truth, they may be some truth in them. i'm not saying there's not truth there but i'm saying whole truth . i think the power is more in the context of their creation, the story of the creation often is more important than the words but
also what they alluded to. what they indicate, what they suggest and the ideas that they give us today as we write them 100 years from now, what are the ideas in eight years in power that people will be looking atthat will inspire that generation? that's what's important to me . >> if your youngest children come to you, somebody in the community comes to you and he says what should i read , what comes out of your mouth? >> it's depends. it might be the autobiography of malcolm x. if your child came to me, if your youngest child came and said, i would say that the autobiography of malcolm x. i would say something like george wells part or a small
pamphlet that deals with, there are any number of. any number of small books that i would point at a young person to and have them reengage. the reason i say your child is my advice would be no different that for a white child than a black child. i might be moreemphatic with a white child because it would be an opportunity to introduce themto a grounding in black history that they wouldn't normally have access to . so that's the way i would approach it . i would certainly introduce them to ta'nehisi and i've done that as an access point but there are other people. baldwin. it really depends. one of the first questions i asked is what are you reading now? what are you interested in now? i might send you to a comic book. there's people that don't read comic books, but comic
books are a great access point for people to read. and think about it. you probably already have this but really, what we want is access. it's like with food. what is the access point? how do we get them to that point? reading is a similar thing, how do we get someone to develop as a great consumer of words ? if you're not? if they come out of the literary world that's one thing but what do you do if they're not? and comic books stand in as a point of accessibility for me and they always have because they were my access to read . i read comic books long before any other writers. i read comic books.
>> host: there is a close connection to black panther. >> guest: and ta'nehisi was a great, quick leader in his feud. at the time i could steer, i was opened up and he was reading and he made sure that as with any other child, make sure they had a grounding in black history. children are going to get a grounding in what some people may call american history. we're going to get a grounding in. you get that every day, you get an over grounding in it. >> black history, native american history, it's the asian american, latino history, you don't get grounding and that's the opportunity for the expansion of our children. that's the opportunity. >> so that doesn't necessarily happen in school. i even know that you can demand it for half the school. it's nice if it does but as a parent, i think it's
incumbent upon us to take those things and expand our children's minds and their curiosity and their ability as to define themselves and connect with other people in the world and i think reading is a great way of doing that. >>. >> host: should there be separate sections and libraries for my history and native american history? >> there's a section now, i know it doesn't bother me, i know it bothers some people. i think the books need to be there. the books need to be there and i think you go into a store, and they are, that's where the problemis . as really where the problem is, for me. i know some people mix them all together, mixed genres together, i don't care. but in a bookstore, i'm looking to be informed. and if the information inside that bookstore follows a narrow path, then i feel kind of letdown. i don't care where i am.
i want to be in a french bookstore but then even there i want that bookstore to have, i would want it. don't get me wrong because my reading french is poor. so but let's just say for example if i were in a french bookstore.i would want to have an extended experience. of the world. >> that's what i think things should do. >>. >> he is the founder and director of black books. >>. >> here's a look at authors recently featured on "after words", our author interview program that includes best-selling nonfiction books and best interviewers. david corey and michael isikoff reported on how russian hackers attempted to influence the presidential election. south carolina republican senator tim scott and representative trade county talk about their friendship
and time in congress and james workman retraced the events leading up to the assassination ofmartin luther king jr. . in the coming weeks, facebook post founder chris hughes argues for guaranteed income for the working class. defense secretary donald rumsfeld recounts the president view of gerald ford, joined by former vice president dick cheney and this weekend journalists ronald kessler report on the trumpet administration. >> he offered a veil so he, she put on and came out and started going out with him for a few months. and guess where fox went out together was in that story. >> the 16th paragraph. and it was the story that had meeting and an encounter, we said he was wonderful and the gentleman and they started going together. to me, it's like robbing a bank .
and when i was at the washington post, in water dates, i would have been fired if i didn't write back. >> that's how the media change and what i do is i have specific examples about the collusion allegations or any other issues. and on collusion, the washington post ran a story august 14 of last year which quoted emails, they been sent over by the white house congressional committee among the various campaign aides including manafort. this minor aid was trying to get them to meet with russian leadership and manafort in the email said no, we're not going to do that and gates said we're not going to do that and manafort said we have to warn from not to do this. and manafort said i want this
guy to makesure that nobody in the campaign knows anything or have anything to do with russia . >> i never readthat . as you seen it anywhere? >> it's ignored. it's ignored by the washington post and even washington post story had the headline from aid tried to get aides to go to russia. the real story which was trumpet aides don't want to have anything to do with russia. >> "after words" airs every saturday at 10 pm easter and sunday at 9 pm eastern and pacific. all previous programs are available to watch on our website, booktv.org. >> staying on the strip club example, i immediately confessed, a woman came over to our table. i said i'm just asking some
questions, do you mind? she was super helpful and she's like yes, all these companies are here all the time and they come and it's mostly guys, sometimes there's a woman tagging along for whatever reason. and they talk about work, they will be with their boss. the big tech conferences, these executives will walk in the door and make people talk to them. they might go offto a private room together. business is getting done in the middle of the day in the heart of san francisco at a strip club . and you know, we're talking about part of it, sexism exists in every industry but at silicon valley, this is supposed to be the most progressive industry in the world, it certainly is the most powerful and yet the people who have connected the world and organize the world information in our building self driving cars, when you ask them what can we do about hiring more women and
diversity, it's like that's too hard. i don't know how we're going to solve. one of the really important reasons i wanted to write is simply the hypocrisy of it. but on top of that, i fully believe the people taking us and connecting the world and have given us rides at the push of a button, i believe they can do this, they can hire women and pay them fairly and another fact for you, the pay gap in silicon valley is five times the national average so if you control for job titles and experience in geographical location, the pay gap is about five percent. at silicon valley, it's 28.5 percent so at the very least, youcould look at all the data, we love data on paper . and hey women, what are you paying the men? >>. >> watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. >>.
>> here are some of the current best-selling nonfiction books according to the new york times. stopping the list, secretary of state madeleine all right warning about the rising fascist tactics by world leaders followed by russian roulette, a look at russian hackers attempted to influence the 2016 presidential election by journalist michael is a cough . after that, physicist neil degrasse tyson's astrophysics forpeople in a hurry and i'll be gone in the dark . true prime journalist show mcnamara's first-hand account of research for the golden state killer. who was responsible for a dozen murders and 50 sexual assault in california during the 70s and 80s. in fifth, swedish physician on throttling rights on human progress. a look at some of the best-selling books according to the new york times continues with educated, tara westover's account of her childhood in the idaho mountains and her first introduction to formal
education at the age of 17. in seventh is barbara ehrenreich's thoughts on the fear of death, natural causes followed by journalist peter sweitzer's report on the business deals made by prominent political families in secret empires. wrappingup our look at some of the books from the new york times nonfiction bestseller list , jeff benedict biography of professional golfer tiger woods and fire and fury, michael will expose of the white house. these authors have will appear on tv. you can watch them on our website, booktv.org. >>. >>. >> hi everyone. welcome. my name is robert hume and i'm the chair of the political science department at fordham university and it is my great pleasure to