Interview with Amiri Baraka
QUESTION 19
JUDY RICHARDSON:

I'm sorry could you back up and mention what you're talking about.

AMIRI BARAKA:

Oh, in terms of Black images, no that's why we were starved for them, because that's why when somebody like Poitier came onto the scene, later, in Belafonte we were so happy. Or even, the brother that came before him, James Edwards. We thought it positive, you know, kids because we never saw any. I mean that's one of the reasons we like Sabu in Terhan Bey, because they were colored looking, you know. I remember when Richard Conte, we used to identify with Richard Conte, because he was this dark-looking Italian, you know what I mean. But, you know, Tarzan and things like that, I mean we always knew that that was supposed to be some kind of, I mean I always knew that that was supposed to be a put on of us. And even Mantan Moreland, I mean, it drugged me that people thought that they could do that to us, you know. As a kid, it made me, ah, be kind of pissed off that people thought that they had the right to make us look like that. But at the same time I thought Mantan Moreland was funny. Same thing with, ah, the rest of those people that was poking fun at us, I thought they were funny. The problem was that I knew that the people who had them on were trying to ridicule us, so I always had that kind of a dual--I mean Mantan Moreland still has the most reasonable view about death that I've ever seen, you know, stay all the way away from it.