"Who Speaks for the Negro?" by Robert Penn Warren


Part 1
Part 1


Sound quality is somewhat poor throughout, and approximately the first seven minutes are especially garbled, though mostly intelligible. There are about nine seconds of silence in the middle of the recording. The recording ceases abruptly after the end of a sentence. These men may be Reverend Peters and  Reverend Johnson.

Audio Note: Tapes 2 and 3 are missing, but the transcripts are complete.

Audio courtesy of Yale University.

Bridgeport (Conn.) men

Apr. 9 [1964]
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Bridgeport (Conn.) men
Bridgeport (Conn.) men Bio

This is a group of men who live in or near Bridgeport, Connecticut. They are not identified in the recording.


The men in this group discuss the extent of integration in the churches of Bridgeport and describe some of the problems of Bridgeport's public schools. Asked by Warren about segregation in Bridgeport's schools, some contend they care less about ending de facto segregation than they care about equalizing opportunities for all students. They also discuss schools in surrounding suburbs and consider busing as a means of desegregation. Considering E. Franklin Frazier's position on black colleges, the men disagree with Frazier and believe that historically black colleges and universities will survive. They believe that black colleges are better situated to teach African Americans about their history and cultural heritage. The men also describe unity and collective identity among African Americans, both in the North and in the South. They provide some anecdotal evidence of the growth of this unity among African Americans who would not have participated in the civil rights movement earlier. The men close by considering to what extent African Americans continue to feel a tie to Africa.


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