Interview with Sonia Sanchez
QUESTION 8
INTERVIEWER:

You could also talk about, um, what it meant in terms of what he was trying to do with the African continent and connecting Africa.

SONIA SANCHEZ:

And so, of course, there was his disconnection from the, the, the Nation. There was our disconnection as artists and observers of the Nation. Ah, we became very much disconnected also from the Nation. And then we began to observe, ah, Malcolm's, ah, movements towards Africa, and were very much involved with talking to people who were involved with that. There were people who made, had strong connections, ah, ah, with Malcolm and had letters back and forth from him at that particular time. And would let us know what was going on at that particular point. What we saw and didn't see, however, I think, was that we didn't really know what was going on. We heard the roar from Africa. Africa responded in a very splendid fashion towards Malcolm, you know. When he traveled, ah, the students, most especially, loved him. So they loved him in the same fashion that we, that we loved him. So we knew that he had a very successful movement there, ah, ah, on the continent. When he came back, ah, his movement to the Audubon ah, the movement to, to forming his own organization. Ah, many of us went up to the Audubon Ballroom to see him, ah, and to hear him talk at that particular time. The fire was still there. Ah, you saw some disconnections in terms of crowds. The crowds were not the same anymore, you see, because people didn't know really what to do. Ah, people had come into the Nation you must remember because of Malcolm. So many people stayed in the Nation. Many left also. Many came to listen to Malcolm, be he didn't have the, the support that he had had in the nation. He didn't have the temple. Ah, he didn't have all the people who would go out and make sure people came out to hear him speak. So you had other people who were involved more with a pan-Afrinist--Africanist kind of attitude coming towards him at that particular point. So I think that it was probably, ah, a low period on many levels for Malcolm and for many of us also who were observing him, not in a disciplined fashion but in the fashion where you thought about going on a Sunday to hear him talk. And, and, and when you came, you know, you know.