tv C-SPAN Cities Tour in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania CSPAN December 2, 2016 6:34pm-8:01pm EST
it was multi racial, blacks, jews, italians, and syrians. people got along. it was really a community. people asked about each other's children, they looked out for their children. a neighborhood you didn't have to lock your doors. no bars, no brothels, revery little retail on this street. very solid working class, lower middle class sort of life here. and so wilson had a very comfortable childhood in that regard in that it was a pleasant place and he talks about this of how well the neighbors got along. but he had not experienced discrimination or racism or prejudice until he left the hill district until they moved to
hazel wood when he was a teenager. he grew up here and it was a nurturing environment. he was also very creative person. the house they lived in was very run down. paint peeling on the walls and things like that. and the kids all slept in the bed together. this was two rooms for five people. they shared the bed. august would get next to the wall and he would pick the paint chips off the wall. and then make stories up about the figures that emerged from that, from the figures that you could see from the paint being missing. so he was always thinking creatively, even as a little kid. this is the wilson house and was situated in the back of where they lived. the wilsons, they just had the bottom two rooms when they first
moved here. in was actually the basement. they had those two rooms up there and what looks like the second floor, but really the first floor. and that's where they had five people in those two rooms. then in the 1950's, the family who lived above them, the family called headly who figures in his play, they had the apartment up above and when they moved out in 1952, the wilsons got their apartment so it expanded their living space. but this was their home that he really related to and meant so much to him. his father did not live here. his father had another family in the south hills. his father had another family. and the father was a baker. he baked downtown overnight like bakers do. they work at night.
in the morning, he would come to the wilson home. by the time he got here, 8:00, 9:00 in the morning, the kids left for school. by the time the kids came back from school, he was already gone. they didn't bond. one reason he had trouble bonding with his father, his father was an alcoholic. alcoholic. us and i think for that reason, he smoked like a smokestack, but he didn't hit the bottle really at all, just socially a little bit. but that's a mystery of just what the relationship between the two was. his real father, or substitute father was his neighbor who lived across the street from
him, charlie burialy, who was a prize fighter, a figure that you could see a kid getting warm about. august idolized charlie and almost adopted charlie as his son. and his wife julia was august's best best friend. and august modeled himself after charlie. in addition to being an outsider which august was, he had what was called the warrior spirit. and charlie is a boxer, a warrior, a fighter, somebody who stands up, not somebody who is aggressive or hostile, but charlie wasn't that, but charlie could take a punch. but charlie said, you take a punch, you get back up. there is a garbage hauler who is angry he didn't get to play
major league baseball. charlie should have been world champion but never got the fight. it was too early for a black man. charlie never got the break he should have. >> i go out there every morning and bust my butt and put up with those crackers every day because i like you. you are the biggest fool i ever saw. it's my job. it's my responsibility. do you understand that? a man has got to take care of his family. you live in my house and feed your behind and fill your belly with my food because i like you? because you are my flesh and blood. >> in august, he decided that's what a warrior does and that's what his mother did. charlie was an important part of august's development and a
neighbor a few doors down from where he grew up. and part of what we will call the warrior spirit. he didn't write high plays in pittsburgh. he wrote some in pittsburgh but they didn't go anywhere. the plays that made him famous was after he left the city and wrote in st. paul minnesota. he channels the voices of pittsburgh. he said it took moving out of the city to a place very different from black pittsburgh to really hear those voices because when you are surrounded by them, you are too close. like your heartbeat, you are not aware of it because you are so close to them. he left pittsburgh when he was 32, 33 and moved to st. paul and got homesick and started thinking back to these voices and people he had known and he
then was able to just channel those in ways he hadn't done in ittsburgh. it was the city's oldest neighborhood. you can see it's right next to downtown and first neighborhood that developed. so it was old and it was large but blacks always lived there and make the difference in terms of race relations. never had this thing of oh,
somebody's coming into our space. blacks were there from the very beginning. what you had was a sick -- thickening of peoples here. blacks and immigrants were here and it thickened, but you never had a real push-in. the jews lived south of center avenue. but the goldblooms were here and a lot of overlap and blacks lived over here and the italians and the greeks and the syrians. but there were jews who lived there and there was a lot of overlapping. and it was a remarkable neighborhood in terms of -- one of the things that people think about living the history of cities of of like chicago or washington, there were race
riots before the king assassination. pittsburgh didn't have those. and when you look at the history of american cities, if you look at most places, they didn't have that. we have this sense of people who were not getting along and fighting tooth and nail. this place shows not necessarily. but we focus on, it's like the dog that barks, if it's quiet and nothing happens, newspapers don't look at it. if there is a riot or outbreak, that gets the attention and if you only look at those, you generalize from those and this was a neighborhood where people did get along by getting out and seeing life and paying to it, august realized life is complex. and not just simplistic sort of
things where you know the answer and you know the good guys and bad guys. people vr conflicting feelings and he was able to capture that because not only did he observe, but he thought about what he had observed and very honest about it and when your you get down to the human element. and there is variety. not just one thing or the other. there are different opinions and he captures that. and shows it in his plays. there are all sorts of arguments in his plays that people are going back and forth because he realized we are not simple people or simple mind. and that's part of why he is uch a compelling playwright. how did this old pittsburgh and new pittsburgh play out for black people?
and the book is an effort to say unevenly and ared unequally and in the process of developing the old industrial city and in ways the emerging ew city has not integrated african-americans on an equal footing. so the first blacks that came into the pittsburgh region -- in the large numbers, some ways, they were migrating from areas f enslavement in the south and were building communities, some were fugitives and some were free. they were setting up a community. the real background for our story is the period between the civil war and the end of world
war ii. and that is the long haul of that story is that black people in pittsburgh, in this ohio river valley became part of a new industrial environment that really took off in the period after the civil war. and this moment after the civil war, pittsburgh was beginning to pick up steam as the iron and steel center. when i say blacks fared unevenly is that the perception of african-americans and the behavior towards african-americans was a little bit mixed, but mainly hostile in many, many ways. first of all, industrialists for the most part, and this is in pittsburgh and elsewhere in the nation, had this notion that black people were inadaptable to
the machine that the machine was not something for the black people, with the rural culture, they aren't going to get with this rhythm of industrialism. as early as 1875, pittsburgh steel owners import strike voters to break the strike of workers and what was introduced into the steel industry between 1875 and world war i before the great migration took off and they came in for replacements and it is interesting that these employers could see black people as capable of doing this industrial work when in general, there was a negative attitude. so you could tell there was a way in some of these ideals
about black workers and in a broke ican-americans strides in part because it wasn't just the owners who discriminated against them, white workers, when they organized those labor unions and made those demands, they put clauses into their unions that blocked african-americans' membership. and so you got these dual impacts of labor union discrimination that pushes blacks into the middle and forced them to strategize about how to make a living. and one of the strategies they employed, a very dangerous strategy in many ways because it meant that white workers were hostile and off earn very violent against the striking workers and black people had to
1/2 debate that experience. the good thing for them over the long haul, they gradly got a foothold in a major industry. and for a while, the companies would release most of these workers after the strike, but they did have a small contingent of blacks that came a core of black workers that persisted until world war i, so by the time the great migration hit, there was another era of recruiting blacks into the industry. they were some of the most favored jobs and paid more. it did create an economic foundation for building families and communities and in the wake of the great migration, these communities, they really blossomed and expanded.
work in the steel industry helped fuel the development of churches, fraternal orders, civil rights, social clubs, business infrastructure. it was a really a critical piece of the economy of pittsburgh. it wasn't the only work that black people did but an emerging core economy. before world war i and before blacks got jobs in the industrial sector, they were usually employed in household labor and general labor jobs in all kind of capacities on street construction projects, digging ditches and sanitation work, they did those kinds of jobs, but this opened the door for more employment. this is going to set up a scenario where black workers very many grievances about how
they appreciate getting jobs but over the long haul, they want to move up. so that dissatisfaction that built up over the limitations, the job ceiling that they confronted, would set up a scenario of fueling the rise of this movement, a black labor movement, a black civil rights movement and so on into the inter-war years. since blacks started to move into pittsburgh than they did in other areas, by the time the great migration hit, the upsurge in the percentage and number of blacks coming in was not as great as it was for other cities, like detroit or even cleveland and those other steel centers were receiving their
first major wave of black people coming into the industrial sectors. pittsburgh was on the upswing but not as dramatic. but more flattened kind of development. and over time, blacks continued to come here even after world war i. the work one was a major one as i talked about this throughout our discussion. the other one was housing. housing was a major issue for african-americans. pittsburgh like other cities put barriers up against african-americans moving into predominantly all-white neighborhoods. as late as the 1960's, there were still some advertisements nrp newspapers that emphasized ooms for colored, will rent to
colored. and then others were rooms for whites. so there was a very, very sharp line and expectation that this is a racially segregated housing market and if you want to find housing, you better start looking for places that will allow black people to rent or buy. but the history became the central neighborhood for african-americans and initially, it was a multi ethnic neighborhood with jewish people, other european ethnic groups occupying the turf. but over the time, it became african-american especially in the period after world war ii. but unlike a lot of communities, pittsburgh really has different american neighborhood but the neighborhoods were restricted. and usually segregated.
but like other things, segregation was never the kind of hard absolute line that we sometimes make it appear. in fact in the literature and some of the interviews, black people would often say, yes, black people were limited from moving into certain neighborhoods, but white people could always move into african-american areas. so as a result, you get this -- and also there were lines of transition, where the borders were blurred between the races and there was intermixing. but i think for the most part, those neighborhoods became identifybly black. one of the ways to understand the sentiment and the sort of orientation of african-americans
in pittsburgh and much of the country after world war ii, is to go look at what was called the third important practice committee, that during world war ii, african-americans threatened this march on washington and told roosevelt, if you don't do something about discrimination by companies or golf contracts against plaque people, we are going to march 50,000 strong on the nation's capital in protest. and roosevelt wanted to discourage the new movement and said you can't march on the nation's capital and they said yes, we can. in the end, roosevelt backed off 2nd issued executive order 8802 that established this committee that would oversee the hiring practices of these companies that had these huge golf
contracts and to encourage them to hire black people on an equal basis. it's almost as if the modern black freedom movement demolished jim crow and it undermines nearlyly the industrial working class. because during the late 20th century, the steel industry virtually disappeared and along with it, black workers in greater and faster proportions than whites even though all workers suffereded. for ou can see it by 1990, example, the poverty rate recorded for blacks in the pittsburgh was 40%. at the same time, the poverty rate recorded for white residents, 14%.
so the late 20th century and the aftermath of the steel industry was a painful moment for black people and they were not imagining access to the new jobs and the new pittsburgh in the same degree as their white counterparts and i think that gap continues that we still have this gap. it has had a profound impact on the way we understand pittsburgh today. and one of the things i have to keep coming back to and what i said at the beginning, is that there has been an unevenness about the way that black people have experienced the city. what that means is that for many black people, pittsburgh is a decent place to live and strive to make it so. but the opti calls and the
racial lines are very clear. so i think, the current pittsburgh is still grappling past. s unequal racial d its inability to fully address, embrace that racism continues to affect the city. i would hope people would pay attention to the policies, because poor and working class people are not going to be quiet about long-term neglect and inequality. they will move on their own accord. and in some cases, they may have to move in ways that disrupt the peace of the community because people have ignored and
sidestepped the issues for far too long. just take a page and say, you know, let's learn from history. they feared. they contribute to this community and shouldn't wait until a crisis hits where people have reached the breaking point to address the issues. >> i have been a steel worker all of my life and i come from a steel-making family. both of my grandparents were steel steel workers. my father and myself all worked for the same company. d pittsburgh was the natural capital of the steel making in the world. and i began to wonder why, why
that in the process i began reading books about steelmaking and dust steel industry. i was always lacking the reason. --was known people pittsburgh was the steel capital, but nothing said why, and a lot of people at your f-rated it to call. -- a lot of people attribute it it to coal. but it was not the cold, but although that had a big part to , it was was people engineering, it was technology, it was the development of systems. so it was a much more complicated system. as a matter of fact, it was also utilization of materials.
things that would not be used in the past now were found to be very useful and very economical to the process. the title of the book is "city of steel: how pittsburgh became the world's steelmaking capital during the carnegie era." they started applying scientific articles, and a person who did that was andrew carnegie. and a lot of the story became andrew carnegie, because there were many steelmakers in pittsburgh, but carnegie started applying science. he hired chemists. he will have questioned him, how carnegie could afford to have a chemist, a professor in his plant. and carnegie thought of the others, how and why couldn't
they afford it, and carnegie sun ofabout the burning chemical knowledge. thingsnderstood from a scientific point of view, whereas other people were still going on the seat-of-the-pants operation. they rely on people's opinion and not on what it should be. the steel industry developed in this region because of history. t-ironurgh was a wrough manufacturing reason -- region. -iron is a softer form of the material. it was a small batch process. this did require a lot of skill, and that is where a lot of the
basing your analysis on what was on the skill of the people that you had working for you. and so in that day you might be able to make 1500 pounds of wrought-iron but was very soft, but malleable. it could be made into useful products, but it was too soft. and a lot of things that were being built, especially rail, required they be a harder material, and that harder material turned out to be steel. when they made rails out of and theiron, development of the united states and building all the railroads, many rails would wear out in stations in places that had high curves, in only a matter
of months, and steel rails were harder. from the was too hard, pounding of the local motives -- locomotives, it would crack. steel was a happy medium where this interview is being conducted. this was the last major facility bought by carnegie before he sold out. he purchased this plant in 1898, and by 1901 he was out of the steel business. this is an iron making plants. you make iron from iron ore. it is not reeling a melting process. there are blast furnaces behind us, blast furnaces and stoves. you have to smelt iron ore. iron ore is ferrous oxide. it has oxygen in it. you have to remove the oxygen,
and the way you do it is chemically you reduce it. from the carbon monoxide from e, andel, which is cok you are left with pure iron, and that is a process. this is really a chemical factory and not a melting factory, and that's how you make ore.from this facility was you to feed the homes that works across that homestead -- homestead works across the river, which most folks know from 1892. this works was part of the homestead works. it was also a bessemer steel plant. it was built by one of his partners at one time that they had an argument, whose name was andrew, and andrew had a carnegie, and the
bessemer steel company was his cool of his vengeance. the people that owned it along man was afraid it was going to fail, so they asked carnegie to buy him out, she did, and that became the carnegie plants. and what carnegie did at homestead's he went into a very special kind of open rocks partmaking called basic steelmaking, and that does not mean basic fundamental steelmaking. it means chemically based steelmaking. the significance of that is you can remove bad materials, andaminants, from the scrap the iron. you can remove phosphorus, and sulfur. all the open hearth production was made from scrap and cold pick iron. produced ar plants
lot of scrap, which had little or no utility. but if you put it in a basic open hearth furnace, you can use it. all of this material that was considered scrap in other places and useless material was now to be utilized in the open hearth at the homestead works. and not only that, it could be utilized a steel that had very high prices. win,o it was a win, win, win situation with carnegie. this was one of the synergies out.worked he took material that was useless and make it into the most profitable products that you could make. the only thing you had to add was labor and fuel to do it. that is part of the genius of carnegie. he could see these things, and
he utilized the good ideas that he had as a businessman, although not a technical businessman, but people resisted him to try to do something like that, because it took investments, it took away from profits. he was constantly reinvesting money from the profits back into the company to the consternation of his partners because they wanted money. carnegie, money was not important so much. carnegie had 50% of the company or more, and so 50% of a little is much, much better and more satisfactory to him than 5% of a little to the other partners. they wanted more money. carnegie had enough money. he was not an extract given that extravagant liver. 1886, he lived in
the hotels with his mother. his plants were always the best. he was willing to invest the money to make his plants the best. again, that brought more people in. they love to work for somebody who was doing the best. carnegie actually instituted at jones' insistence, carnegie instituted the eight-hour workday. in 1878, people do not realize that. years, they have the eight hour workday at his plant, at edgar thompson. on and more steel was needed and america was taking off as an industrial nation, because carter nagel -- carnegie had these efficient mills, his profit began to take an upswing. in the late 1890's, he was starting from a little bit more $5 million profit a year,
to 40 manion dollars dollars, and his left will year of operations, his prophets were said to be $40 million. that is questionable and had to do with ego. it might have only been $30 million, but that is a lot of profit. nobody was as profitable as he was. so they had to get him out of the business. he made an asset that was so valuable that they had to buy -- him out because he was going to destroy all the other steel companies in the united states because he could undersell all of them. so they got him out of the business, and when they sold the carnegie steel company to form the basis of u.s. steel, they gave $480 million. times theout 3 1/2 total profits that he made over all the years he was in business. ther world war ii,
pittsburgh region was beaten to death by producing a lot of steel for the war effort. and they tried to improve plants, but they did it piecemeal. and so instead of going out and building something totally new, they would try to keep their workers working, and they would do this piecemeal. they could not keep up with the industry. the plants were getting too old. they were not the new, efficient plants. they continued with casters and the basic oxygen furnaces and things like that. 1970's, you could see the handwriting was on the wall. plant start closing. steel plant started closing. the story is about innovation and the story is about technology, the story is about the development of the science of steelmaking, which is
attributed primarily to the carnegie steel company. it is not about the bad part of it. it is about the good part of it. it is about the science of it. it is about people thinking and excelling and doing well. yes, that that has to come along with the good, but that is not why carnegie succeeded, nor other companies. they wereeded because innovators. they succeeded because they could see how to take one and one and make seven. they saw ways to make things work better, as i said, with the scrap and the open hearth. they saw ways to make fantastic thatvements overstuffed was insignificant. they used insignificant things to make significant progress and
to change the way things were done. lovernegie really had a and through this wonderful institution, felt that this would be a way for the into anotherape world. >> right now we are in the oliver special collections room of the carnegie library of pittsburgh. we will come back here later to look at some of mr. carnegie's materials, but now we are going to make our way down to the second floor, to the reference services department, to look at the reading room there. now we are going to pass through our book stacks. we have an 11-story book stack at the rear of the building, and we are going to move from there to the second floor.
you will notice in the book stacks that the floors are all green glass panels. that is so that light can pass through all of the floors of the stacks and help to illuminate them. that when remember the book stacks were built at the turn of the 20th century, lighting was not as superior as it is today. so everything that they could do to make it easier for the people , librarians, to find the books and to bring the books out to the public was an asset. so that is why we have the green glass floors. in tworary was built parts. as theeum was added second building. the original building was built in 1895 and dedicated by mr.
carnegie at that time. that's building was judged to be too small, and mr. carnegie added additional money to expand and add specific art galleries and natural history galleries to the building. and the book stacks him of the 11-story book stacks, and renovations to the interior, everything that was rededicated in april of 1907. so we are going to move from the pennsylvania department down to the second floor to the reference area, and that is our main reading room. now, this hallway is the main hallway on the second floor. this and the marble staircase was added during the 1907 renovation. all of the decoration here, including the decorative and that's about all of the doorways, was dawn by elmer
garnsway, who also worked on the library of congress and the boston properties library. the images in the lunettes are images from the renaissance the dalliance. that was the theme for this particular hallway. all the decoration on the marble staircase has been restored. this is all as it was when it was first rededicated in 1907. the colors, the gilding, everything was restored to make it look new again. here we are in the main reading room on the second floor. this is the home of her the reference services department.
-- this is the home of the reference services are taught -- department. we have references and service that your real here, and all of that material comes from this particular room. at one time, the very beautiful ceiling, vaulted ceiling, or skylights. painted over in both world war i and world war covering was never removed. so they no longer function in that way. but they still have been restored and all of them have been repainted. the murals were all cleaned and sealed. the lamps on all the reading tables are replicas of the inginal lamps that we had the early 20th century on all of the reading tables. so this -- we tried to keep the atmosphere here as true to the original as we possibly can. mr. carnegie was extremely
interested in the early creation of all of his libraries, the calls all of those -- because all of the communities were close to his heart. all we go up to the over room, the archivist will show you correspondent where mr. carnegie was interested in every part of the library's construction. after a certain amount of time, any communities were asking for libraries, but mr. mccartney created the carnegie corporation of new york, and his secretary continued to the carnegie corporation of new york to make sure that the funding was available to keep creating public libraries across america. >> today i have selected from our own institutional arkady that archives and your carnegie -related materials, correspondence, photographs, brochures pertaining to carnegie and his involvement with the library from the
beginning until he passed away. this shows his thoughtfulness in developing not only this library, but his great idea of libraries throughout the world. and the colonel anderson collection, which is up here, we are going to see some books that carnegie looked at when he was a young boy that may have influenced him later on. and the idea that these holdings would be wonderful for the city of pittsburgh, as well as for people coming from all over the world. i have selected today a number of items that you can see that appear on the table that traces carnegie library from its ininnings to its opening 1907. fourou look at the
photographs that are here, you can see this area, which is a pretty big complex, shows that it was a field, and there is a , and it is pretty undeveloped, as well as out in front of holding there were trolley tracks because the trolley would go past and stopped right in front of the building. those tracks remained for many years after the building was opened, that it is hard to believe when you look at this complex how extensive it is, that it basically was golly and and hill andy couple centuries. this area was perfect for his large of having a complex. carnegie envisioned this area as ,n educational area of the city which is very true today because both the university of
pittsburgh and carnegie melon university border the carnegie library. it is also not far from here several other colleges. there is also pittsburgh public schools are around here. developed withs his vision as an educational area in the city of pittsburgh. as we move along here, i pulled from the invitation that was sent out to the public for the opening of the original library building in 1895. some carnegie correspondence. his letters are fabulous on many accounts. one, they give detailed information of what is going on in the building of the building, but as you can see on a number
of these, carnegie just did not hand a piece of paper over to his secretary to tie. have to type.uld and that he would sign the letter went it was finished. he would go in afterward, cross notes,out, do posted anything that needed to be added in, he just did. so it is a wonderful chance to see carnegie's own handwriting. and they are really pretty interesting as well. library initially opened in 1895, carnegie immediately that it needed to be larger, as has been mentioned earlier. decided that he wanted to have a larger space. he at the time did not like the two towers that were outside in the building. as you can see on one of our
photographs here, there are these two towers that are out the front, which i personally like, but carnegie himself to not, he had the means to remove them. and one of the most interesting letters describes his dislike of those two towers, and if i may just quote briefly a sentence or two from the letter, he says the two famous architect who designed the building are not proper judges about the towers they are their own work. i should like the opinion of other architects. with a towers as i see them, the building would look like a mule with long years, and that has become one of the famous carnegie lines here that they are a mule with long years. carnegie also -- years -- ears. carnegie also wanted a list of the famous individuals to run along the outside the building.
it was supposed to be the four culture --ocks of literature, science, music, and art. carnegie approved of the names that were outside of the building, it got leaked to the press, and carnegie was not happy at all because the original list omitted robert burns answer walter scott to very famous -- scott, two very famous scotsman, and dickens was on there, and so he was not happy with that, and so he wrote a letter criticizing the names that were on there, approving others, and eventually it was all worked out that for the names that were on the outside of the building. it is one of these interesting correspondence that you can see how carnegie thought about who should be represented and he should not be represented on the
outside of his buildings. the library is blessed with two that deal collections not only with carnegie himself, but represent his interests when he was a young boy. when carnegie was a young boy, he would visit every saturday the home personal library of a colonel anderson who lives in the allegheny city, the north side of pittsburgh. books would be exposed to in all topics, all genres. that library in its day, at colonel anderson's house, was well over several thousand volumes. currently, what is left of that collection, is about 400 books, is housed in special
collections. we also have a wonderful collection that was given to the library, actually, by mrs. carnegie. the collection was the working library of a woman named margaret barkley wilson. she wrote and on scientology -- and on talent she -- an anthology on carnegie, books and pamphlets and journals that carnegie had wrote things in himself, his own personal writings, but also material books and journals or magazines , andcarnegie appeared in there may be some description about him. is verycollection important for somebody who is doing research on carnegie. so when you look at it at first
glance and it looks like a hodgepodge of thing, like why is there a biography of of mark twain here, or something on the wrist of a policy, but carnegie is mentioned in those, so it helps to get the wide angle view of carnegie the man. i think by looking at some of the materials we selected here lovecarnegie really had a for learning, and through this wonderful institution felt that this would be a way for the escape into another world, whether they are doing , and he or enjoyment felt very in that it to colonel anderson with his library come and i think he felt that giving this library to the city of pittsburgh, he was doing the same thing that colonel anderson
did to him. would you please stand and face the jury? mr. robberson? loshe superior court of angeles, in the case against o.j. simpson, we've jury find not guilty of the crime of murder in violation of -- >> we started paying attention to a lot of high-profile cases, particularly in the 1990's. help but be struck by the o.j. simpson verdict.
the coverage was almost identical. the thing that people in stores, watching the verdict come out on television, on street corners. and you found these expressions on the faces of white when they heard the verdict who were absolutely appalled, or five because there was a substantial amount of evidence incriminating o.j. simpson in the murders. these were juxtaposed against the faces of african-americans , primarily intic most cases because they thought that justice had finally been served. in everything will survey that came out looking at the opinions of whites, opinions of african-americans on the o.j. simpson case, all pointed to exactly the same conclusion, that african-americans have become extremely cynical about the ability of the criminal justice system to do its job
right, do its job in a nondiscriminatory way. this is why we subtitled the realities ofe hites," because they are seeing different with things. whites are very sanguine about the criminal justice system. job,ieve it does its fairly, that it treats everybody the same, and for the most part minorities do not have very much to complain about. when you talk to most african-americans, you sense something very different, very different which is that the system does not treat people fairly, that no matter what part of the criminal justice system you are looking at, whether racial profiling, stopping motorists, whether interrogation, arrests, whether it is a jury verdict, whether it is incarceration that in every stage along this process the
argument is that african-americans are treated for more harshly, for more punitively and that the system of justice is just broken. that it is just absolutely broken. we also talk about racial in the sense that the criminal justice system in particular is unfair towards african-americans and the entire race. one of the ways we look at this to explaineople something for us, and what we ask them to explain is why is it that blacks are so much more often arrested and incarcerated than our whites. and that is indisputable fact. typically, when we ask people questions about that, they will give you one or two types of responses. what wel either make refer to external attributions. in other words, the reason has happened because something in
the environment, or they will give you internal attributions, which is the reason we find these differences is because there's something different about the personality or the characteristics or the dispositions of people which makes them turn out differently. so when we ask people how do you explain the fact that african-americans are so much more often arrested and incarcerated, we ask whites, and they consistently give you internal explanations. they get arrested, they get incarcerated more because they do not respect authority, because they are just more criminal, they are more violent in nature, more likely to commit more crimes. african-americans the same questions, they will focus on external explanations. the reason why we are incarcerated, we are are rested so much more often has to do with the fact that the criminal justice system itself is very heavily biased. ok. perceptions of
unfairness of the personal level, at the racial level, the group level, but also in a very, very general sense, what we call systemic unfairness. if you ask people very broad like u.s. questions people to agree or disagree the justice system in this country is people fairly and equally, overwhelmingly white say, yes, it does, it does treat people fairly and equally. african-americans overwhelmingly say it does not. reports can be trusted to give everybody a fair trial. these enormous differences. i am talking about differences in the facility of 50% or 60%, were the vast majority of whites will say the courts give out the same treatment everybody, african-americans say a do not. areasse are some of the in which we find these enormous differences between blacks and whites.
when people look at the criminal justice system today, especially with this rash of police shootings of minorities, especially african-americans, when people look at the inequity at in the criminal justice system, those all happen at the level of the policymakers. it is the people in congress, the president who make decisions about people in the governor's office and state legislatures who make decisions about what are the laws and are the laws. everybody. or it is the police officers make the decisions, in many cases. so it would make perfect sense to interview decision-makers, police officers, and that would be an outstanding research opportunity. we focus instead on citizens. we focus on average citizens, not because they make the policies, but because they have an incredible influence over the
people who do make the policies. this was the issue that consumed us, whether citizens' choices in the criminal justice domain are risible, whether they are logical, whether they are informed. and unfortunately, we found a love evidence that that is not the case. -- and i amd is generalizing to his room extent -- what we found to a lot of extent that when people think about crime, they think about race, and when people think about race, they think about crime. so we spent time talking to people about racial stereotypes. -- both whites and african-american response. asyou see african-americans being lazy, as violence, do you see them as being hostile, do you see them as respecting authority? and it is astonishing on one level to see how readily people say yes to those cuts of
questions. people are fairly willing to admit that they have stereo times, negative stereotypes for various minority groups. the real numbers are much higher than we found because a lot of people do not admit to it, actually feel this way. and there are in many cases very close relationships between how whites perceive african-americans, how negative our stereotypes of african-americans and our views on the criminal justice system are, that the more negatively we tend to stereotype blacks, the more we see this is as being fair. that being that if icf can-americans as violence, as whatever, that i will think sure, they end up in the penitentiary more often, but that is the way they should be. they need to be in the penitentiary more often.
it colors our perceptions of the fairness of the system. even though we were basically motivated to write this book because of things that were happening in the 1990's, we are certainly seeing even more of the sort of incidents today than we did back then. ferguson, missouri, baton rouge, also more over and over and over instances,-profile very high-profile instances a predominately minorities being shot and killed by police officers. just as we saw in response to the o.j. simpson verdict, rodney substantial seeing differences between white and black in terms of how they view these sorts of instances, that again, not always -- but whites have a stronger to not just side with police officer and not just
excuse what the police officer dead as being a rational, reasonable response, but to attribute to the victim sort of dishonorable characteristics, to focus on, well, ok, he might not have had a gun in his hand, that he had just dropped a convenience store, something of that sort. african-americans -- and you see this especially with the development of the black lives matter movement -- african-americans are not as sanguine about what is going on, nor should they be, but they are tremendously skeptical that these things are being investigated the right way, that these things are being prosecuted right way, that the isavior of police officers at the level we would like to see it. there is a tremendous amount of and anger onpair, the part of minority communities
. and there are some signs of hope. one of the areas, for example, is that if you look at laws which themselves can be considered to be racially discriminatory, the most obvious example is the 100 to one provision where people are given the same prison terms for 100 grams of powder cocaine as for one gram of crack cocaine, even though graham per gram they are from ecologically similar. whitele cocaine, community, crack, in the black community, and the punishment is 100 times are sure for -- harsher for crack than for powder cocaine. underpresident obama, eric holder, they try to equalize those laws, and what they did several years ago was change it to 18 to one. that is still racially
is,riminatory, and yes it but they are at least trying to move in the right direction. this isr thing is that one of the issues that is uniting republicans and democrats and liberals and conservatives. for the simple reason that a lot reforms we have to see in the criminal justice system are budget driven, that as budgets, particularly at the state level, become worse, it is simply far too expensive to incarcerate so many people. so what you are finding, even in the notoriously most conservative states, like texas, the state legislators are coming to the realization of we cannot afford to do this anymore, so they are starting to experiment with early release programs and job training programs in prison and education and alternative sentencing for nonviolent offenders. it might not be for the reason we would like, that is to say,
we would hope those kinds of reforms would be made just because it is wrong, but at least legislators are beginning to address those issues, because they do not have any other choice. ablenk what we would like to come away with is an amongtanding, especially whites, that when they see a movement like the black lights matter of movement, this does not mean they are explicitly saying that right lives do not matter. do not white lives matter. that has nothing to do with the black lives matter movement. rather it is an attempt to deal with the climate of racial discrimination in the justice and the only way they know what to do, the only way they think of, which is call attention to it over and over and over again. whether that is falling on deaf ears, i do not know. i guess time will tell us sooner or later what will happen. what people need to realize is that just because whites see the criminal justice system as fair,
balanced, eagle, does not make it so. it does not make it the reality. as segregation is persisting, and as discrimination and inequality are persisting, and then has the economy and economic hardship begin to worsen the great depression, you are seeing commercial black journalists and particularly at the national newspapers begin to report the news with this sort of sentiment, progressive sentiment attached to their stories. so what i look at in my book is fromlooking at this period basically world war i to the i am trying tot examine is the political and professional evolution of black journalists in that time. i am trying to gauge how black journalists and their writing, their coverage of news events
changes over time. sort get to that point by of examining how these outside journalists,ading pressuring journalists to cover the news in different ways. these forces are the alternative black press, which emerges in world war i and includes people , hubertialists randolph harrison, known as the father of black radicalism, marcus garvey and his pan african movement and the universal eager improvement association. these are people who are advocating a politics of anti-colonialism, anti-capitalism, and black nationalism, and they want their perspectives to have a broader audience. pressuring commercial black newspapers to begin to cover the news from
their perspective. and so you start to see that newswriting becomes more progressive at the same time you are seeing in black america universities are becoming more progressive, the activist organizations, the national negro congress, the naacp, they are becoming more progressive, and that is becoming part of a that is in a sense very aspirational because it is saying america is racist and america is bankrupt in the 1930's, how to move ahead? and it really is the search for a true alternative to the american way, a true alternative to a two-party political system, to a political economy rooted in white supremacy. so we start to see that in the news coverage up to and including world war ii. where theis moment alternative black press is strongsort of a
influence, and is almost completely disappears because it falls into the commercial press. until we get to the end of world war ii, and by this point now, these national newspapers have hit their , they aren peaks reaching up to 3 million readers a week at a time when they are selling up to 3 million newspapers and week when there is about 13 african-americans in the nation. leadership estimates are saying nearly half of all african-americans, they are not buying, but they are at least reading the newspaper. they have an enormous influence, and that is the significance of by moment, is that they, embracing the progressive politics of the alternate black press, they have broadened the framers of what is acceptable in black political discourse. a couple of examples might help explain that. i think one of the ways you can
look at this is to me a key moment and where i see the birth of the true modern national black newspaper is really in the 9036, and this is the moment when the picks for courier will surpass the chicago defender installation and emerge as being the second national newspaper to emerge on the scene. what the courier and defender are doing is that summer they the buildup to the italian invasion of ethiopia. daily newspapers are also covering this event, but it is perfunctory. here is some foreign news that has to be covered. whereas with the black a bigpers, this becomes deal. it is a central event in their countries, and people are interested in it. people are complaining that western democracies should stand
up for ethiopia but against y what you see.in the fender and the courier their seizing upon the moment to say , to look at world affairs in a -- it is a panh african approach to initiative, an approach that says that the african-american experience is part of a broader and african experience. and that what happens in toiopia has importance african-americans in united states. most of whom have never been to africa and will never go to africa, but they will say this should matter to us because of what it displays is that white supremacy works here in america ethiopiay, it works in in this invasion by italy in a different way, but both in a sense are united by this capitalistic system that
tolerate and more than tolerate, encourages racial exploitation. so the courier will bounce to the top of the circulation, to the top of its competitors because it is going to send a reporter to ethiopia. this is sort of an amazing thing even the limited resources that are available to these to makers at the time, that sort of commitment to fielding a foreign correspondent. rogers, sent over jay who is a west indian who has migrated to the united states, and is a historian who is a key figure in advocating, panlarizing this concept of africanism, that african-americans are connected with other african-descendent peoples around the world, because he has a cartoon feature
that appears in the courier , and well after he is that it continues to run. black-centricng a point of view history that is not available anywhere else for the most part in america. and he is going to kerry this perspective with him when he goes and covers the war in ethiopia. and you are not reading this type of news anywhere else. you are going to also see these newspapers, because of the relentless pressure that they deserve, on the wrongness of and because of their increasing popularity during this time -- a sizable readership where they are informing 6 million people or so amy, that the federal government during wartime will often try to censor these
newspapers and realize that they cannot do it because the many and tooe too powerful. they have too large an audience. they realized that he had it advanced to censor the note that the newspapers do not work, so it leads to a degree of toleration and gradually acceptance amongst federal authorities who would really prefer to see these newspapers and hurley shut down. to this is going to start come undone during the almostmmunism movement, before world war ii is even over. because by this point, the commercial newspaper publishers were always somewhat -- some of them supported it, but some were reluctant about the progressivism. they were participants in the two-party political system.
they made their money by being capitalistic enterprises. these businesses now they begin to move away from these radical politics, begin to purchase their newsrooms from the more radical voices, and this is the time you will see frank marshall davis, who is working for the associated negro press, with clark burnett and he will go to hawaii and simply not come back. olly harrington who works for the pittsburgh courier will hear he might be under investigation by the government so he goes europe and does not come back. will be indicted in his column in the defender will disappear. langston hughes will be called before congress to testify whether or not he was a communist sympathizer. so these voices, this sense of progressiveness is marginalized in these newspapers. at the exact moment
that the civil rights movement is beginning to take off. dust so nowof see these newspapers have got a number of competing pressures on them. suddenly daily newspapers, white newspapers are interested in race stories that they have never paid attention to before, so you have got them, johnny magazinend "ebony" presenting an uplifting and colorful version of black life. s are magazines like hi arriving. au have new competitors, reduced sense of allressiveness, and this is happening at a time when these newspapers start to fall behind. their circulations are declining. their it occurs, influence begins to diminish. -- one of thesons
things i thought when i started african-american history, i had this sense that black radical politics were -- worked as friends as they are often portrayed to be in popular discourse, whether in the media when aentary, that progressive viewpoint is expressed, that it has -- there is a long history and a reason for that. one of the ways historians had long studied the civil rights movement is the traditional framing was the civil rights movement begins with brown v. board of education in 1954 and ends in 1960 with the assassination of martin luther king. that is a misleading characterization of the movement because what it does is it
lops off the black power movement and something happened in this fight moved in a different direction that somehow is alien from what had occurred before. i think if you understand the relationship between this commercial and alternative black press, which are never as defined as we see with the white press, and that fact that they have a close working relationship and that many of the progressive viewpoints of black radicals are being discussed and debated and blacked in mainstream newspapers, the leading national newspapers, and you understand that the black power movement is simply an extension of the civil rights movement. the protestnd that that occurred today with the black lives matter movement are an extension really of a long
heritage of radical politics that says that the american system is flawed and it needs to be corrected. our visit to pittsburgh, book tvania, is a exclusive, and we sure did today to introduce you to c-span's cities tour. we have brought the book seemed to our viewers. you can watch more of our visits at www.c-span.org/citiestour. >> this weekend, the c-span will explore the literary life and history of candy, arizona. relationshipan's with wildfires and the effort to change the narrative of fire with the author of "between two fires." >> 450 years, this country --
the first service est out ofhe for the environment. we have tried to put a fire back in, and that has been difficult. >> i am the person who tells that story and i will try to do it as best i can, is honestly i can, as balanced as i can, but i get to do something fundamentally creative and say this is what i think happens. >> on american history tv on c-span3, here about barry goldwater and another by their collections, from the arizona state university archivist. >> when you look at carl hayden's career, he was really
responsible for cosponsoring and writing a huge amount of legislation that benefited the citizens of arizona and citizens of the united states. and his legacy was very much a legislative legacy. barry goldwater was really a person who is an icon for the western united states. he was a person who represented the interests of the west. >> and the curating of history museum.empe history originallyhayden was born in connecticut, comes out west during the course of his life, travels over the santa fe freight, runs eventually makes it to arizona in the 1850's. and sunday at noon
afternoon on c-span3, working with our cable affiliates and visiting cities across the country. the documentary contest is in. , and we're asking students to tell us what is the important issue for the new president and the new congress to address in 2017. joining me is a former from 2015.winner tell us about your documentary. >> my partner and i produced a documentary where we covered issues of homeless veterans on the street of orange county. we decided these are people who have fought for our country, and the fact that they are now living on the street, not having anyone to care for them was not ok. we decided we are going to talk about this issue with our
community and we decided to make a documentary about it. >> i think for students during this presidential election, as is a great opportunity and a great time for them to talk about what they care about because they might not be happy with the result of the election. this is a time when they can do something about it. all seniors in high school, students in high school, it'll schoolers to use this platform to speak their force, to say that your generation deserves to be heard and it is anment, better place to speak of these issues. i think my advice for the students who are on the fence a starting this documentary is to really look into your community and see what is affecting those who are around you because they are the ones who do you love,
they are the ones you see the if there is an issue that you see happening every day on the street, that is probably where you can start. you can go to our website for more information. >> tonight on c-span, a public memorial service for former cuban president fidel castro. and then, the presidential process. and kevin brady talks about potential changes to the tax code and other tax policy issues. this week, thousands of