Interview with Peter Bailey
QUESTION 5
CARROLL BLUE:

Back up again and talk about _The Blacklash_ and its purpose. You were talking about--

PETER BAILEY:

The publication?

CARROLL BLUE:

And communications, and can you talk about that a little bit, the newsletter _Blacklash_.

PETER BAILEY:

OK, well, well you know one of the things that brother Malcolm taught us and is the reason today was eventually why I ended up being a journalist. Because at the time I had no intentions of being a journalist was the importance of the information, of having the correct information on which to base whatever actions you were planning on taking. And another thing that he taught us was that you could not depend on someone else to get the information out. You had to have your own means of getting the information out. So one of the first things we did was to form a newsletter. Ah, and since no one else, you know, took the job, I took over the job as editor of the newsletter. The first three issues I think were called the OAAU Newsletter. And then after that we named it _The Blacklash_. And it was kind of a takeoff, ah, because at the time there was a lot of talk about the White backlash. You know there was a White backlash developing over things that had been happening, and ah. So we decided to call our, our publication _The Blacklash_ and that's how it became, it was xeroxed copies, you know. It was nothing fancy. But when you look at, we had a lot of information there that was not being presented anywhere else. The speeches that he made in Africa, we presented the whole speeches. The African nation's, ah, declaration supporting, ah, our position in this country we present, we, we published that. We published Sheikh Muhammad Babu's whole speech. When he came he spoke in Harlem. And so we, ah, ah, used that publication and we sold it for five cents at our rallies. And it became our publication. We were getting information out.

CARROLL BLUE:

Stop Please



PETER BAILEY:

OK, I when I'm thinking and talking about things that brother Malcolm

CARROLL BLUE:

Go on.

PETER BAILEY:

OK, Ah, another thing that he taught us and this is very important too that we learned was that be careful with words because can get you in a lot of trouble. I remember I wrote when 1964 with the Harlem uprising, when this policeman was accused of killing this young boy, I had written a new, a paper, something for our newsletter, describing it as a murder and I read it to brother Malcolm over the phone, he was in Cairo at the time, despite the fact that some New York newspapers were saying that he was in Queens directing the uprising, he was in Cairo. And I read it to him on the phone and I described this as a murder. He said, "Brother Peter, you can't use murder, murder is a legal term. You can, and you can, and you can only use that once the person has been convicted." He said, "Use the word killing because you know he's going to be acquitted and if he's acquitted then he can sue you for libel and defamation of character." So we went through 500 copies and changed the word murder to killing. And I still have copies there where we wrote killing at the top and scratched out the word murder. And sure enough, later on, when Gilligan the cop was acquitted, he sued SCLC and CORE for distributing information and public information saying that he was a murderer.

CARROLL BLUE:

Cut.