restricted access Acknowledgments
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Acknowledgments It was Dan Siegel, former UC Berkeley student body president and People’s Park protest leader, who first put the thought in my mind of doing a book. It was in 1974, when I was preparing to move back to Memphis from Berkeley, California. Dan put me in touch with Cyrilly Abels, who was Ramparts editor Bob Scheer’s agent. Though the well-respected agent was unable to generate interest in the project at that time, the book idea stuck with me over the years, and in the late eighties I retained a young writer, Dawn Baldwin, who helped shape the story of an insider’s view of history. Publishers found the story compelling. One described the manuscript as a “riveting narrative chock full of rich portraits of little-known participants in this most important period of American History.” Comments like these helped keep my spirits up. Along the way I got positive and helpful feedback from O. T. Wells, Dr. Rachel Emanuel, Connie Curry, Southern University law dean Freddie Pitcher, Francis Goldin, Marie Brown, Phyllis Tickle, Jasmyne Walker, Dr. Maya Angelou, Eddie Tucker, Juanita White, James Williamson, Ellis Chappell, James Duffy, Alli Starr, Van Jones, Walter Bailey, Aimee Allison, Yolanda Hippensteele, and Sterling Lord. In recent years I have seen an increasing generational disconnect among African American and other underprivileged citizens who fail to combat the demons of fractured race relations, economic inequality, educational underachievement, and deficient self-respect. Seeing this trend inspired me to redouble my efforts to publish this story. The need to spread the story of how young black people of my generation organized and started a revolution and to inspire social conscience and activism in today’s youth seems more urgent than ever. xiv the education of a black radical I contacted another writer, professor Roger Easson of Christian Brothers University in Memphis, and requested his assistance on the project. He graciously agreed to help. First Roger retyped the manuscript in digital format so that we could more freely edit it. Then he and I met periodically over coffee at Perkins restaurant on Park Avenue. Roger asked tough questions and sent me back to rewrite parts of the text. He has been a real taskmaster and at times had me feeling I was back on campus. His genius has been a strong part of the final product. Eventually, LSU Press stepped up to the plate and agreed to publish the book. Freelance copyeditor Susan Murray along with Rand Dotson, Barbara Outland, Judy Collins, George Roupe, and the rest of the LSU Press staff have shown great respect, professionalism, and excitement. Not to be overlooked, the photographs you see here tell a powerful story themselves. Several friends helped assemble them. Without the help of the following men and women I wouldn’t be able to share these pictures: Ed Franks of the University of Memphis Library, Jack Kenner, Terrance Hurt, Tammi Rudge, Rick Jansen, Kelli Engels, Dorothy Stokes, Leigh Russo, Matt Flinn of Clark University, Carolyn McGoldrick, Adolph Reed Jr., John Sykes, Judy Jumonville, Angela Proctor, David Turcotte, Chris Peck, and Rob Sawyer of Law Media Productions gave critical help in reproducing and organizing the pictures. My cousin Luther Hampton sketched the picture based on our collective memories of Bailey’s Stand, the small sundries store where I spent many of my youthful hours. Danny Glover and Morgan Freeman were supportive in their endorsements . My thanks to Esailama Artry-Diouf and Bill Luckett for getting the manuscript to them. Julieanna Richardson of HistoryMakers introduced me to Nikki Giovanni, who wrote the book’s foreword. Ms. Giovanni was encouraging and helpful from the start. Her foreword deeply moved me, as I am sure it will you. During the drafting of this book I have had two fine secretaries: the late Mary Sue Latham and Susan Wilson. To them I say thanks. And to those four who were my rock, pride, and fountain of nourishment —my mother, Will Ella Bailey; my sons, Justin and Merritt; and my precious wife, Adrienne—I say, you are a blessing. The Education of a Black Radical ...


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