Interview with Fred Black
QUESTION 11
LOUIS MASSIAH:

The conflict among the students and the faculty: what kind of signal did this give to the media?

FRED BLACK:

Well, one of the things that struck me, was that for the first time the media was interested in portraying Black disagreeing with Blacks. Whereas the media had covered the civil rights struggle as an example of Blacks fighting for their rights, the whole civil rights struggle as we saw on TV on the evening news. But now, here we have an example of a prestigious Black university where the students, faculty, and administration is in conflict, and it seemed like it was a very desirable news story for these folks, particularly in Washington D.C., given the tradition that Howard has had in this city. And, ah, it was not unusual from that point on to see negative Howard stories on TV or in the Newspaper, and you just wondered whether or not people were interested in what was really happening here or interested in portraying the students, faculty, and administration in a negative light.