Buffalo Courier Express Review
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Many Voices But a Single Aim: Change
WHO SPEAKS FOR THE NEGRO. By Robert Penn Warren, Random House. 444 pp. $5.95.
DR. LYDIA T. WRIGHT
CATALYSTS—Robert Penn Warren’s “Who Speaks for the Negro” is a transcript of taped records of interviews with Negro leaders. It can be said that Warren runs a thoroughly representative gamut.
Warren includes the “little” people, like Rosa Parks, who believe in direct action and the polarization of issues. These are the strongly committed who usually distrust white liberals. In reality these are the catalyists (catalysts) for change; and, frequently, out of their actions such people as Martin Luther King are born.
Warren speaks to leaders like James Baldwin whose source of power is derived from the fact that they speak only for themselves.
ORGANIZATION MEN—Whitney Young, Roy Wilkins and other organization men are interviewed. These are the individuals with educated and farsighted perspective. They communicate and negotiate. They are interested in a changed society in which conditions are better for all.
In contradistinction to what has often been said, the reader realizes that the Negro does, indeed, have hard core leadership.
The hard core is to be found in the number, diversity and the distribution of totally committed Negroes speaking for themselves, thereby spurring the dialogue that is necessary for change.
(Handwritten in left column – Buffalo Courier – Express 8/8/65, D)Collapse