Interview with Arthur Johnson

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Ah, because, ah, Black leadership had not given Whites in the, ah, leadership of this community a clear signal of pending trouble, perhaps had not, ah, warned them of the great danger of, ah, such an experience, they, a number of them began to feel that they'd been talking to the wrong leadership in the Black community. Ah, that was a, a, a comment on the record of this whole experience I think that is significant, and I think it's, ah, regrettable. The Black community leadership ah, was grossly offended by this because they did not accept the responsibility of, of, of, of, ah, with certainty telling anyone, ah, how the Black community would react on a given day under the weight of the racial repression that existed in this city. Ah, and when it did happen, ah, I think, ah, Black leadership, in many cases, was as surprised at the form it took as anyone else, and they were entitled to be surprised, I think. Ah, the, the, the, the ultimate, ah, ah, challenge, ah, here I think in, in how this, ah, whole process and, and how this experience was viewed by Whites and Blacks, ah, came at the point at which it, within the organization of New Detroit there was, ah, a, a, a, a challenge to the Board of New Detroit to support a hundred thousand dollar grant to a new Black organization. Ah, a number of us Blacks, and as well as some Whites in the Board of New Detroit, felt that that was, ah, virtually an insult to the established Black, ah, leadership and to the established Black organizations. And so they, ah, very strongly opposed that. This is, I think, the first critical very serious issue that developed within the, this new organization called New Detroit.


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