Interview with Fred Black

Lets stop, lets cut a second, I want you to include--


OK, Ali is on the campus, he's speaking to the students, he's a conscientious objector, you know. You're a member of ROTC, you have a brother in Vietnam: what's personal reaction to what was going on?


The day of the Ali speech, which was probably one of the largest crowds ever out there: over 5,000 people at least. As I listened to him explain why he did not want to join the army, I remember feeling that gee, things are going to be different from now on. Here is a, a, Black figure who has come out publicly against the war, against even being in the service. And it seemed to me that we had fought so many years to be included in the major institutions in this country, that all of the sudden we are arguing being part of these major institutions. And those who, you know, who had gone voluntarily to Vietnam and even given their life, did it because they believed what the country was about, and here now we're starting to challenge those basic assumptions about not only the war but the role of Black people in America in support of that war.