Interview with Adrienne Manns-Israel

When you talk about the Vietnam experience, how did you all link the Black consciousness with the Vietnam? Was there some kind of connection for you?


The link between Black consciousness and Vietnam started with the notion that Black soldiers were being sent to Vietnam to fight for a freedom that we didn't have in America. And that was the, the, ah, the first objection that I heard to the war. That and the fact that more Blacks were being sent to the front lines and they were being killed and, and, people felt that this was genocide. Then, the second thing, which I felt was that the war was an unjust war that was being fought against people of color who were, who were considered, ah, gooks or, or outside of humanity as we were considered, outside humanity. And the war itself to me was ob- objectionable. Now others had other, they said, "Well Blacks shouldn't be fighting until we get our freedom here." And I said we weren't fighting for freedom in Vietnam at all. So, for me, that was the, ah, see that's why I, I, I think it's hard to say that there was one point of view. There were many points of view. And that was mine.