Interview with Harry Belafonte

Malcolm's death cost us the man but if you watch this history he is he grows from his death. Do you agree with that?


Yes. I think that, ah, I think that Malcolm left us a legacy that will forever be a well that young people or people in general can go to. Because our struggle is still very much, in many of its characteristics, exactly as it was in the '60s, in '50s, and the '40s and the '30s and the '20s. And it has in, in, in, in very profound and, and, and meaningful ways, changed very little. We have examples of success. We have examples of, of people who appear to have overcome and have taken advantage of the integrationists spirit and done something with their lives which are held forth as barometer for the other 30 million Black people in this country to use as their guide and therefore if you pursue your interest the way these, ah, illustrators have done then, ah, you too will become part of the great fabric of America. Suggesting that, ah, anything that we wanted to be was totally within our province and that we control everything. So, if we were poor, hungry, on crack, dope, struck out, homeless, hungry and unemployed, it was our doing. And that, ah, if we would just aspire to what the others were achieving, that had gained, ah, media, ah, ah, ah, representation, that, just do it the way they did it, ah, and you'll be OK. Here's one of the greatest hoaxes ever and Malcolm often denounced that. Ah, he often found those who sat in the position of privilege were sometimes the greatest instruments of, ah, of, of, of, the greatest obstruction to Black aspiration because it confused, it muddles the mind. I don't know what the Black kids, I know what Black kids really do when they look and they see, you know, ah, Michael Jordan and a few million dollars and they see, Sidney Pottier and they see, ah, ah, Eddie Murphy and they see the successes that appear to be mine only for the taking. Ah, without any real sense of, of how totally out of step those successes are. They're unreal. They have no basis in reality, not even for White folks. You know, the inordinate success for some, some Blacks are, are experiencing given the condition from which we have come.