字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 my childhood delinquent career was it was a real ball. It was an exciting adventure to me. I was a delinquent. Not because I was forced to admit I was any liquid because I wanted to be one. You know, all these things was your idea of being good. As you say, Brooke. So where they tell you to be good. And this is the way you thought this was it Steal. I was enjoying life and many of the of the people I came up with enduring life. Also, they were enjoying taking drugs. They were enjoying shooting each other. They were enjoying the gang. Friends were all enjoyed. It was a ball. It was It gave us a sort of social status and we enjoyed steel making a rep. Tissue is this is this was meaningful to us in life, and it was perhaps the most meaningful experience available to us at the time. But many of the other guys with whom I ke love run able to perceive it was time to stop playing here. And now, you know, if I if I go on that Coxsackie, I would have had no criminal record, which which would have presented an obstacle in the way of my advancement, economic and social advancement for the rest of my life. And this was the time when I had to make a choice. I had to find a way to avoid going on off along the roster of the New York State penal institutions. Like I would have gone to Coxsackie, Omar, or Burn Dannemora Sing, sing and eventually adequate. Perhaps, if I didn't make the optical. Attica is the top security prison in New York. And but so at the age of 16 you just decided that that was it. You had your you had your childish fun and games. And if you didn't cut it right there, you'd be through for life. That's right. At 16 the party was over. Yeah, but what did you You didn't have any specific ambitions? At 16 when you talk about economic and social advance, a lot of people talking. I wanted to make money. I I wanted to make money and I didn't want to spend too much time in jail in the process of making this money. Right now we go out on these streets and their 16 year old kids walking around. They have any feeling that there are chances for them, that they can make it big in the world. I don't have any feeling that there were chances for me, but I knew it was out there somewhere. And I had to get it. You had again yourself by yourself. That's right. And it didn't really occur to you that being a Negro with Well, obviously, Kirti is gonna make it difficult, but didn't occur to you. Make it impossible. Kid didn't get out of your friends that it was impossible for him. I don't think we thought too much about it. We knew what we wanted. And we were so involved in our problems that we never gave too much thought to the social and economic restraints on us. We knew that we had to get it on, get it? We wanted to get it then and there. You know, somewhere Well, like all kids, I live in Harlem now. I've lived in Harlem on my life. I have I have never go I've never tried to be white. I've never had any desire to be Wait and, uh, you know the people on the street. Yeah, Yeah, I still speak to them and our go there Very few people around here that know me by Claude Brown So they weren't here. You know, it's still stunning, boy, and that's fine with me, you know? And I know them by whatever their nicknames are. We grew up together. I still feel as though I'm an integral part of the Harlem community. Let's talk a little bit about the home, the statistics and you hate statistics, and you hate social science and all that sort of thing. But there's a certain crude truth in these reports. Recently, report on the Negro Family was made as the so called Moynahan report. It hasn't been made public yet, and one of the things that stress is is the of very high rate of illegitimacy in Harlem. I know something like 44% of all births last year, and it it talks about the difficulty of kids growing up with an absent father. Which course was not your case. You you did grow up with the family father and mother and, uh, sisters and a brother. Just one brother. And, uh uh do you feel that this is a really crucial problem. I mean, from the way you look at it safe from the way you look at it as a Harlem kid, Uh, do you think that this sort of analogy on analysis is misguided? Tell me something. Why do you think that? Why do you think that various government, city and federal government agencies are always so anxious to come up with the report? You know, the people in Harlem don't need any reports. What do they need? People in Harlem need people who are sincerely interested in them as members of the power structure. What they need is genuine representation. Right. And this is something which would have given How did they get it? That's way. Start talking about that before. How did they get it? How would they get it? They get it by by the power structure. The administration and general from the Holland power structure on, up you go out to the federal to the top. The federal powers. Yeah. Yeah, just, you know, go here and study the communities themselves. Don't sit around and give something to some psychologists who knows less about it than they do actually think he's been sleeping in a book all of his life. You got to give it to him and say You tell me about those Negroes and all he gets is a psychological report that says nothing. Well, nevertheless, it says something. When you talk when you're talking about Harlem and you're wondering, for example, I'll tell you what it says, Norman. You know what it says. It says, Well, here is the most recent word on on the Negro community, and now you can take this and mall over it for another couple years and forget the Negro. Until that time. That call it has said, That's all it says today. Well, you still haven't answered my question, the one I started with. Do you think that that this business of of illegitimacy, of large numbers of illegitimate is no big problem? Well, because people will. You give people you give people are nothing materially, nothing spiritually or what have they got? They got instincts and urge. Sex is the most natural thing in the world. Yeah, but that that doesn't mean that it's not a big problem. It's not a problem here that the community isn't that concerned about. If they're so concerned About what? You know what? You know what you're saying? Actually, I'm saying, Wouldn't it be nice if we could get the Negroes toe, accept what little they have in the ghettos throughout the nation and still not have too many illegitimate Children? Why should the washer, the Negroes who've been sold deprived in this country about worry about the power structure, the statements over the high rate ability Nobody is suggesting that they ought to worry about the power structures disturbance? The question is whether this is a factor, whether this is a it's merely a symptom of the overall problem. Illegitimacy, drug addiction. Why doesn't anybody say anything? Let's talk. Let's talk about drugs in the book drugs that drugs are the villain in your book, you say, What about 1955 and swept Harlem like a plague? And you thank God, escaped from it. Why do you think drugs took over in the way they did all of a sudden? You see, my generation was in almost total rebellion were rebelling, rebelling against the previous generation. Our parents were rebelling against the power structure, were rebelling against the dealt well. We were rebelling against almost everything all forms of authority, and it's like drugs came at a time when it gave when it gave some substance to our rebellion. If we wanted to say that we were different from our parents would come from the South and they were happy to work in Goldberg 1000 Scrubs floors the work downtown for 40 and $50 a week and think they're doing Girl. It's like, Well, how could we show that we were so different? We were living in the same house is with them We were accepting the same social and economic conditions they were accepting. So what made us so different? Well, I'll tell you one of one of the of the most prominent features of our behavior that distinguished us from our parents with the fact that in 1950 when the drugs began the poor in the Harlem, we went to drugs. We used, we used drugs. We got high off heroin. We nodded, but we were called. We didn't do like our parents had been doing since the plantation days, getting drunk on Saturday night and going around cutting each other up, hitting each other in the head with axes and meat cleavers and shooting each other. All we did, we got high and we nodded. And we became lost in our own cells. You weren't vile. And this was being with you. That's right. It was part of the rebellion. And it was a rebellion in this case against violence. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Much against violence. Violence was merely a single aspect of our parent's behavior. And it was a rebound. A rebellion against being identified with Our parents get to the entire white society, the entire white side. But you yourself always knew that drugs with it was bad business. You escaped it from the beginning. He always knew was the worst kind of thing. Uh, you think that, uh, do you think that the legal I didn't always know this was the waist kind of saying I would have been a drug had attic? Had I not had such a traumatic experience of first, My first attempt at getting high off? Oh, it I thought I was going to die. And so I never went on the other two people who tried it with me for the first time. They went on to become drug addicts and the majority of many, many people who tried it for the first time. Even though they got sick, almost deathly sick, they still went on to become drug addicts. Well, some of what you say sort of implies that you're not terribly concerned about the the idea or the ideal of integration. Is that true? I mean, that is You look forward to a time when whites and Negroes will be living side by side together everywhere with no regard for color. What do you think that that's a lesson for mint to be realistic when speaking about integration of this alienation. Even within ethnic groups, there's discrimination within ethnic groups. You can't tell you can't tell some some guy who are who doesn't like drinking and who doesn't like violence to live next door to guys always getting drunk and beat up on beating up his wife just the same thing. You can't tell a Negro like Look, there's some nice white people's go people around going live with more than some nice Negroes going with him. I don't think that's a really important if you treated if you treated Negroes as fairly as White should be treated in the country. The power structure. Three to them, that is, there would be No, there'll be no clamor for integration. I don't think Nick Wells too anxious to live among white people. They would just like to have the freedom to live wherever they chose while you were talking before I sensed a certain kind of anger. And you're in certain kind of bitterness. Have you changed since the book was written or my? You see, I I was bitten. It's natural for any Negroes to be bitter towards towards the white society. But as I was coming up, I was releasing all of my bitterness throughout my childhood. That's what my my delinquent activity is all about. You know, it was a rebellion. It was more betting against your parents, right? No, no, no. Against I did. I still very little from my parents. They have very little steel. Yeah, I still more fromthe white society. I mean, you're rebelling against the down home. I told you we were rebelling against everything. That's right, you know, from the top on down what you just said about my lack of bitterness. Like I can't I can't go around I could never become a black show, Venice, Because I have I have been I've been We'll help along the way. You know, immensely by white people. It's hard for somebody like me laying down on the ground die, you know, And some Negro has a stay of you and laid you down there and left you to be in a lot of other Negroes. Come by and watch you, you know, and step over you a step on you on the way, and some white man comes and pick you up. How do you say? Oh, that no good. Wait, man. Let me kill him. You've got to be a madman. So you get a bit of this fort. All I can say is that in about for eight years, uh, we're gonna be seeing us, Congressman Brown. I hope so too.