Robert Penn Warren – Who Speaks for the Negro? (1965)

“In 1965, Random House published Robert Penn Warren’s book titled Who Speaks for the Negro? In preparation for writing the volume, Warren traveled throughout the United States in early 1964 and spoke with large numbers of men and women who were involved in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. He interviewed nationally-known figures as well as people working in the trenches of the movement whose names might otherwise be lost to history.  In each case, he recorded their conversations on a reel-to-reel tape recorder.  The published volume contains sections of transcripts from these conversations as well as Warren’s reflections on the individuals he interviewed and his thoughts on the state of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. The Who Speaks for the Negro? Archive contains digitized versions of the original reel-to-reel recordings, as well as copies of the correspondence, transcripts, and other print materials related to his research for the provocatively-titled book. Warren states in the forward to the volume: ‘I have written this book because I wanted to find out something, first hand, about the people, some of them anyway, who are making the Negro Revolution what it is—one of the dramatic events of the American Story.  This book is not a history, a sociological analysis, an anthropological study, or a Who’s Who of the Negro Revolution.  It is a record of my attempt to find out what I could find out.  It is primarily a transcript of conversation, with settings and commentaries.’ Who Speaks for the Negro? was a groundbreaking volume in 1965; the book and its related materials remain a valuable resource for studying the history of race and of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States.   Warren had hoped that his book would allow readers the opportunity to ‘see, hear, and feel as immediately as possible what I saw, heard, and felt.’ The digital archive allows users an even greater opportunity to share in Warren’s experiences with the extraordinary men and women whom he interviewed during this turbulent time in United States history. …”
Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities, University of Kentucky and Yale University Libraries

Book Review: ‘Free All Along: The Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Interviews’

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
This entry was posted in Black Power, Books, Civil Rights Mov., Dick Gregory, Eldridge Cleaver, Free Speech Mov., Huey P. Newton, James Baldwin, Jesse Jackson, Malcolm X, MLKJr., Religion and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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