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The historic meeting between Malcolm X, James Farmer, Wyatt Tee Walker and Allan Morrison on Richard Heffner's ''Open Mind'' TV special on race relations in America!
This is history writ large across the fledgling TV medium's screen. It is Wednesday, June 12. 1963; the day before this meeting, President John F. Kennedy nationalized the Alabama State National Guard to enforce integration on the grounds of the University of Alabama, in direct confrontation with Alabama's defiant Governor George Wallace; the night before this meeting, President Kennedy televised his historic civil rights speech, where he famously declared "If an American... cannot enjoy the full and free life which all of us want, then who among us would be content to have the color of his skin changed and stand in his place?"; and the morning of this meeting, NAACP Field Secretary Medgar Evers was gunned down in the driveway of his home in Jackson, MIssissippi; the enormity of any one of these events would lay more than a sufficient foundation for a grand discussion on the meanings of the moment, but coming as they did one upon the heels of the other, it set the stage for this unprecedented discussion on the state of crisis of race relations in America on this special episode of Richard Heffner's public television show "The Open Mind". On the panel were James Farmer, founder and National Director of CORE, the Congress of Racial Equality; Wyatt Tee Walker, Chief of Staff of the Southern Christian Leadership Congress lead by Martin Luther King; Allan Morrison, New York editor of Ebony magazine; and Nation of Islam leader Malcolm X, striking a contrary and eerily prophetic tone in the midst of this plaintive and urgent discussion. Rarely is televized media history as poignant or as emblematic of the moment as is this broadcast. Of particular interest: the discussion of the possibility within the coming few months of a march upon the nation's capitol that was to become the historic March on Washington of August 28th, 1963 (Black & White, 1:40)
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