Speech- "Public Intellectuals ", 2002 April 12 (Doc 2 of 2)

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Kilson argues that while America has had persons thought of as "public intellectuals" since the 1830s, for black people, the "public" in the title has always meant the black public almost exclusively until fairly recently.

Early black public intellectuals, Kilson says, can be divided into several categories.

Most were either university-based figures such as like W. E. B. DuBois, St. Clair Drake, Ralph Bunche, John Aubrey Davis and E. Franklin Frazier, journalists, including like Monroe Trotter and Ida Wels-Barnett, historian Carter G. Woodson, attorneys Charles Houston and William Hastie

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youth could strike a blow against the system that had thwarted our parents' hopes and dreams.

That introduced me to the movement for justice that has been my life from that day to this - and I ahve tried to fight for justice by offering my body and by offering my mind.

In this role I follow Kilson's dictate - I try to challenge the discrepancy between opportunity and denial.

I come to this naturally - on the wall in my home is a photgraph of myself, my sister, and Drs. DuBois, E. Franklin Frazier, and my father, Dr. Horace Mann Bond.

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My first published statement came directly from the movement. With a Spelman College student, I wrote a document called "An Appeal For Human Rights." With help from noted white author Lillian Smith, it was published as a full-page ad in the morning Atlanta Constitution, the afternoon Atlanta Journal, and Atlanta's black daily, the Atlanta Daily World.

In it, we listed the grievances black Atlanta had against the segregation system, and we announced "we had joined our hearts, mindss and bodies in the cause of gaining those rights which are inherently ours as members of the human race and as citizens of these United States."

The "Appeal" closed with this plea - and a warning.

"We, therefore, call upon all people in authority - State County and City officials; all leaders in civic life - ministers, teachers and business men; and all people of good will to assert themsleves and abolish these injustices. We must say in all candor that we plan to use every legal and nonviolent means at our disposal to secure full citizenship rights as members of this great democracy of ours.:

It caused a sensation.

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unwillingness of the conservative black daily newspaper in Atlanta to support the movement's goals and aims.

At the Atlanta Inquirer, I ghostwrote a column for the leader of the Atlanta student movement, wrote a sports column (about which I knew nothing then and know little more now) and covered police and community news.

Again the power of the written word was made plain; the Inquirer offered a progressive alternative to the Atlanta World, and the reading public let us know they appreciated it. And the powerful let us know they did not.

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