Interview with Tony Gittens

What, now it was known as the "Black Harvard," it supposedly had this proud tradition of civil rights, what were you not finding there, then?


Well what, the whole civil rights history of Howard, first of all, was carried out by few individuals. And as we looked at it a little closer there were always people who were thought of as a bit, ah, unusual there. And there were people, there were people in the law school, attorneys and such. And then there some students like, ah, ah, Stokely Carmichael and Courtland Cox and other students who had gone there. Ah, but they, they left Howard, ah, ah, out of resentment for the fact that Howard wasn't following them along and taking a more progressive stand. So, ah, the civil rights tradition at Howard seemed to carry, was more an individual kind of tradition, that, that Howard just sort of hooked on to. The other thing is that around that time, ah, The whole attitude of the Civil Rights Movement was shifting and Howard wasn't shifting with it. The attitude was that, ah, one of integration, of assimilation. Ah, and the whole movement was beginning to shift towards one of self-identity and, and self-empowerment. And Howard, ah, was resisting that as opposed to carrying that forward.**