91 Chapters
Medium 9781936227068

12. Ringside at the Racial Revolution

Davis, Belva Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

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The first thing I learned about him was that he loved music and played classical piano. We were introduced by his girlfriend, LaVerne Williams, a virtuoso mezzo soprano who would sweep the talent competition at the 1966 Miss Bronze Pageant. LaVerne clearly was smitten with this shy, softspoken yet intense Oakland City College student—he possessed a passion for the composition of Tchaikovsky, the poetry of Shakespeare, and the philosophies of Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus. The student had a beautiful face, and in him LaVerne felt she had found a soul mate who shared her artistic sensitivity.

“Belva,” LaVerne said, “this is Huey. Huey Newton.”

“Hi, nice to meet you,” he said.

His name meant nothing to me at first, although I sized him up as well mannered, intellectual, and seemingly a good match for LaVerne. But as we chatted, I eventually placed him as the youngest son of Walter Newton, a devout Baptist who worked several jobs to ensure that his wife remained at home raising their seven children. The Newtons had something in common with the Meltons—both of our families had moved from Monroe, Louisiana, to Oakland and found military jobs during World War II. As I was later to learn, his parents named Huey after Huey P. Long, the cantankerous Louisiana governor whose public racism often masked the good he did for blacks: For example, by declaring it an abomination that white nurses were forced to care for ailing old black men, the governor was able to hire black nurses on the state payroll.

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Medium 9780253115560

15. Culture to the Crossroads

Herman B Wells Indiana University Press ePub

THE INDIANA UNIVERSITY system of main and regional campuses grew from an early and continuing policy of its administrations to take education to the people if the people could not come to the institution. At first, two or three faculty members traveled to the cities from which requests had come for classes in certain courses. Subsequently extension centers were established when the demand and favorable circumstances warranted. Ultimately there developed the vigorous regional campus system that, with the Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses, constitutes Indiana University as we know it today. Robert E. Cavanaugh has written a detailed history of this development.1

Why did the development take that form rather than that of a public junior college system, a two-year extension of high school, in the state? One reason was the failure of several junior colleges that were begun. Another, more telling reason was, I believe, a realization of the clear advantages to be gained from association with an established university. The benefits of full integration with a parent institution such as sharing its administrative and library resources, prestige, and academic maturity while forming its own individuality as a smaller, more locally oriented educational center undoubtedly were persuasive elements in the decision of a civic group to seek establishment of a branch of Indiana University in its community rather than found an independent junior college. The efficiency and economy that result are advantageous both to the state and to the student. The viability of the branching system is one evidence of the remarkable variety, diversity, and flexibility of higher education in America.

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Medium 9780253012845

10 An Old Revolutionary in a New Revolution

Lynne Ann Hartnett Indiana University Press ePub

IN THE LATE WINTER OF 1917, a series of rapidly growing protests and strikes toppled the three-hundred-year-old Romanov autocracy. No professional revolutionaries took the helm. Neither bombs nor assassinations played a part. Instead, mounting death tolls in a debilitating world war, economic and industrial inadequacy, ensuing food and fuel shortages, drastic socioeconomic disparity, and the long-term corrosive effects of the autocracy itself finally exhausted the patience of the people in the tsar’s capital and forced the abdication of the last Romanov tsar.

As these dramatic events unfolded in the city to which Vera had so recently returned, she experienced a flurry of different emotions. Watching the mounting protests and hearing the news that a new Provisional Government had taken control, she felt “joy, sadness for the past, and a sense of alarm” about what the future held.1 For a woman so familiar with the sacrifices demanded by radical political change, the first revolution of 1917 seemed too swift and the transfer of power too easily accomplished. In a letter to her cousin Natasha, Vera wrote, “The first days [of the revolution] were sad for me. I kept thinking of those who perished in the last thirty-seven years. I hope for a favorable outcome and the consolidation of freedom, but I expect difficulties will arise along the way.”2

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Medium 9780253015822

4 Defense Policy in a Fractured France, 1925–39

Anthony Clayton Indiana University Press ePub

In the years 1925 to 1939, the bulk of the interwar years, Weygand’s life fell into three phases. The first was from 1925 to the end of his tenure as director at the Centre des Hautes Etudes Militaires (CHEM), the second from 1930 to 1935 when he held senior military staff and policy appointments, and the third from 1935 to 1939 when he was technically retired but still possessed very great influence. The whole period was one of both ever-sharpening political and social division, which was worsened in the 1930s by the Great Depression and within the military by the onset and spread of what Marshal Alphonse Juin was to describe, after the end of the Second World War, as a military “sclerosis.” The immediate cause of the former lay deep in post-Revolution France. The causes of the second were the loss of so many of the army’s sharpest intellects in the trenches, financial stringency, divisive and deep-seated disputes, and, in the 1920s, overconfidence and errors of judgment.

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Medium 9780253007278

11 Culture and the Cold War

Gerald Sorin Indiana University Press ePub

That the VFW wanted to pack Fast off to the Soviet Union was symptomatic of the anti-Communist mood of some Americans in the postwar period; but whether the Cold War between the United States and the USSR and the anti-Communist and conformist attitudes it helped reinforce were the main ingredients of the American cultural stew of the 1950s is an open question. Fast, however, was convinced that the repressive anti-Communism of the McCarthy period had a powerful chilling effect that kept novelists in line and “kill[ed] social writing in America.”1

Certainly McCarthyism continued at important levels throughout the decade. The Smith Act cases in which Fast was directly involved as a journalist and an unofficial advisor to the defense were ongoing; and the Communist Control Act of 1954, incorporating President Eisenhower’s call for outlawing the Communist Party altogether, was signed in August, instilling worry in many, including Fast, who feared being imprisoned a second time.

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