Interview with Les Campbell
QUESTION 37
INTERVIEWER:

OK, you read a poem written by Sia Berhan on WBAI, could you talk about that incident? And also, do you have any regrets for having done that?

LES CAMPBELL:

Well, Julius Lester, who was the, ah, major factor at BAI during that time, he's now a professor at the University of Massachusetts, asked me to come on his show. He had came out, he had taped a class of mine on Black history, had played it on the air, he had gotten a very favorable response from his listeners, so he asked me to come on the show and talk about Ocean Hill. When I got to the studio I showed him some poems from some students, and I asked him did he think I should read these poems. I said, "These poems were raw responses of young Black students to what was going on in Ocean Hill-Brownsville." And I asked him if he thought I should read any of them. He selected this one, he said, "This one sounds really like dynamite." He said, "Why don't you read this one on the show?" I said, "Don't you, do you, do you feel that we'll get a reaction?" He said, "Well, hey, look, this is a controversial show, you know, we're going to read this poem." So we read the poem, we read, ah, her poem, which was called "Hey, Jew-Boy", and we read that on WBAI radio at the time. Um, we got some response from the BAI audience that night--