WHAT BLACK POLITICIANS ARE SAYING by

WHAT BLACK POLITICIANS ARE SAYING

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Campaign rhetoric and strategies from a score of politicians including Julian Bond, Shirley Chisholm, John Conyers, Kenneth Gibson, Fannie Lou Hamer, Percy Sutton and others. ""Neither Super-Tom nor Super-Militant,"" most of these pronunciamentos give voice to conventional electoral pieties and come out strongly for working within the system, racist though it may be. Anna Langford, Chicago alderwoman, tells how she ""Whupped"" the Daley machine, and, like Chisholm, urges grassroots political organization in the ghettos. Newark's Gibson waxes indignant over accelerating urban deterioration and blames state and federal government (""The city of Newark is a creature of the state of New Jersey"") for the failures of his own administration. Rep. John Conyers (D. Mich.) berates the White House for U.S. non-support of U.N. resolutions condemning the Portuguese invasion of Guinea and the more general racism of Portugal's African empire. Bond and others talk about giving substance to the American dream of equal opportunity, steady economic growth, and recognition of a unique Black Culture within a genuinely pluralistic society. Dick Gregory urges ""pure moral commitment"" and provides some comic relief: ""Senator Muskie invited me not to run with him."" The Rev. Jesse Jackson, ""Mayor"" of Chicago's South Side, calls on God to sustain the black struggle: ""What is the promised land? Hope. Opportunity. Food. Mutual Respect. Jobs and Income."" Or, in other words, Black America wants what White America wants and political muscle is the way to get there. Exhortation rather than analysis and bland enough to offend hardly anyone.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1972
Publisher: Hawthorn