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COPYRIGHT NOTICE


This Oral History is copyrighted by the Interviewee
and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of
Florida.

Copyright, 2005, University of Florida.
All rights, reserved.

This oral history may be used for research,
instruction, and private study under the provisions
of Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of United States
Copyright Law (United States Code, Title 17, section
107) which allows limited use of copyrighted
materials under certain conditions.
Fair use limts the amount of material that may be
used.

For all other permissions and requests, contact the
SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida











Interviewer: Marna R. Weston

Interviewee: Brian Burton

UF 278A



W:This is Friday, March 24, 1995. [It is] a beautiful, sunny

day. This interview is taking place in the conference room

on the fourth floor of Little Hall. It is a library setting

with a large rectangular conference table. A large open

window faces the Fine Arts College with trees, a beautiful

blue sky, and sunshine outside. The interviewer today is

Marna Weston, and the interviewee is Brian Burton. The

purpose of this interview is to provide historical

background for the Oral History Library at the University of

Florida. Brian, thank you very much for participating in

the interview today.

B:Thank you Marna.

W:Why do we not start out with some basic information. [Give me]

your full name and spell it. If you have a middle initial

in your name, explain what that stands for.

B:My full name is Brian George Burton.

W:Are either of those family names?

B:George is my father's middle name. That is where the George

comes from. I am not a junior.

W:What were your studies here at the University of Florida?

B:My current studies here at the University of Florida are

engineering. My past studies include receiving a degree

from the College of Agriculture under the curriculum of food











resource economics.

W:What year was that?

B:That was 1993 in August.

W:Are you anticipating another bachelors or a graduate degree

this time?

B:I am anticipating another bachelors in industrial engineering.

W:Do you have any brothers or sisters?

B:I have one sister, Bridget Burton, who is a student, and is

twenty-one years old.

W:Is she a student here at the University of Florida?

B:No.

W:At another institution?

B:Exactly.

W:How about your mom and dad? What are their names?

B:My mom's name is Molly May Burton.

W:What is her maiden name?

B:Her maiden name is Simpson.

W:Molly May Simpson Burton. And where is she from?

B:Her original home is Jamaica.

W:How about your dad?

B:My dad's full name is Junor Alexander George Burton.

W:Where is he from?

B:He is from Jamaica.

W:What brought your family to Florida?

B:My parents left Jamaica in 1968 and moved to New York. After

moving to New York in 1968, I was born in 1970, December 17,

1970. In 1977, on January 5, my father died. After that











experience, my decided that in order to raise two children

on her own, she would have to leave the city of New York.

That is what brought me to Ocala, Florida.

W:I am sure your father's death was a very traumatic experience.

In fact, we have never talked about that before.

B:Yes it was.

W:Was that something that was natural? Was it an accident?

B:It was natural. [He had] thyroid difficulties.

W:So your mom brought you and your sister to Ocala. Did you

attend different types of schools in Ocala?

B:Yes, I attended Belleview Santos. After that, I went to Lake

Weir Middle School.

W:Lake Weir had a good football team. They won the state

championship a few years ago.

B:Lake Worth?

W:No, Lake Weir.

B:I am unaware of this event.

W:Well, you have got to keep up with the history there.

[Laughter].

B:Then I attended Lake Weir High School, where I graduated second

in my class as salutatorian in 1988.

W:So what brought you to the University of Florida? You could

have gone anywhere. Why did you come here as salutatorian

of your high school?

B:I came to the University of Florida simply because it was close

to my family. I am a very family oriented individual,

family meaning biological family and friends. I am a close-











knit type person. In addition, the University of Florida

offered me more than any other University inside of Florida.

W:Do you mean in terms of financial resources or institutional

resources?

B:Financial resources and institutional resources. I guess you

could say the whole package fit for the University of

Florida.

W:So when you thought University of Florida, you were like this

is it.

B:Correct.

W:Your plans were to come here and get a degree in engineering?

B:Correct.

W:What year did you start here at the University of Florida?

B:I started here at the University of Florida in the fall

semester of 1988.

W:You have seen a lot of changes.

B:I have seen tremendous changes.

W:Why do you not tell me about some of the organizations you are

involved in.

B:I was involved in the NAACP. I was involved in BSU. I was

involved in the North Star Leadership Council.

W:And you were founding member of that organization. Tell us a

little bit more about the North Star Leadership Council.

What is that all about?

B:The North Star Leadership Council is about student development.

It is about people development. What we entail in North

Star and what we demand in people is motivation to











accomplish something positive. We feel that if you can find

a person with motivation and a person with a goal in mind,

we can help nurture this person to accomplish their dreams.

W:What about BSU and the NAACP--the Gator chapter, correct?

B:The Gator chapter.

W:Did you hold any organizational leadership positions in those

groups?

B:I was treasurer of the NAACP, and organizational liaison in

BSU.

W:What year did those organizational leaderships take place?

B:Sometime in 1989 or 1990.

W:Now you are also a brother of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.

B:Correct.

W:Now how did you choose getting involved in organizations? What

is Kappa Alpha Psi and how did you choose to get involved?

B:Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated is a fraternity geared

to the fundamental purpose of Kappa Alpha Psi achievement.

That is the reason I chose that organization above the other

fraternities on campus. It was founded on a white

university. It was the first black fraternity to be here at

the University of Florida in 1972. At the time of me coming

to the school, they were the ones involved in a lot of

things. They were the ones promoting achievement in every

sense of the word. I was attracted to it. That is how I

became affiliated with the organization.

W:How do you feel that being affiliated with these different

organizations, Kappa Alpha Psi, founding member of North











Star, Gator NAACP, and BSU has prepared you to deal with the

environment of a predominantly white university in North

Central Florida?

B:These organizations have taught me the ropes of dealing with

people, human communications, and human relations. By being

in these organizations, I learned certain...I am looking for

a word. Marna can you help me?

W:Methods of operation?

B:I learned certain skills necessary to dealing with people. It

is not a black thing. It is not a white thing. It is a

human thing. Being able to communicate amongst your peers

is a great asset. By being in these organizations, it

taught me or showed me a way of carrying myself in order to

do bigger and better things without going through the

anguish of messing up the first time somewhere else.

W:You have an interesting perspective when you say it is not a

black thing, it is not a white thing, it is a people thing.

Yet, there are many people who feel that the University of

Florida, because it is predominantly white, has engendered a

certain response from black students in particular and

minority students in general. Do you have any experiences

as a student at the University of Florida where it was

obvious to you that you were black and you were being

treated that way? How did you respond to it? How were you

prepared for that type of confrontation, if it was a

confrontation?

B:I can recall two experiences my freshman year in which I











personally saw a mindset amongst white students. For

instance, when I first came to the University and I lived in

Broward Hall (Broward East on the third floor), I was

socializing with different fellow students on the floor.

This one particular individual, who is from California, was

in my room talking. The first thing out of his mouth was

how do I feel being the only black person on the floor.

From what I gather, I do not think he meant anything from

it, knowing his personality. To be able to think in that

mindset and to actually ask me that question shows me that

he was in some mindset that was somewhat discriminatory.

W:So you felt because he was asking you that question..

B:I felt it was unnecessary to ask me that question. He asked me

that question. Being as how I was a new student, I was kind

of slapped like this must be the real world. Of course I

have experienced some racial encounters in high school, but

really in middle school. I had to tell this individual that

I was brought up under a Jamaican heritage. In Jamaica, it

is not a color issue. It is a class issue. It is a wealth

issue. My mother has never brought me up thinking that

people are going to make their decisions based on my color.

She has always brought me up to accomplish and others will

seek you out. That is how I lived my earlier days of

accomplishing of doing this or that, whether it was solo or

within a group. I tried to instill in him to let him know

that I went to a white school. I was one of the few blacks

in most of my classes. It was in a sense no different for











me as far as assimilating here at the University. That is

basically let him know that because of my heritage, I have

never really thought about what it meant to be different.

Being different sets you apart from the rest. Being unique

is a characteristic that more of us should try to foster--

unique in a positive sense.

W:So you think that this perception of looking at people based

upon color is something more endemic to the United States or

Florida than Jamaica where your family is from?

B:Correct. I understand that people have stereotypes and people

places stereotypes on other people. Even though you place

stereotypes on another person, if you meet somebody who does

not fit that stereotype exactly, the first thing you do is

say that is a different type of person. You can use the

example of the organization, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.

Many people try to stereotype you as a Kappa. After that,

they begin to know you and say, "Oh he is a Kappa, but a

different type of Kappa." Just by doing that, you are in a

different category of a stereotype. My philosophy is if

someone is going to stereotype, then they are going to

stereotype me for exactly who I am. They are going to

redefine the stereotype consistently and constantly. I will

have no problems with promoting that stereotype because that

stereotype is me.

W:There are many fraternities to get involved in on campus. Did

you consciously chose to be involved in a black fraternity,

and if so why?











B:I consciously chose to be affiliated with a black fraternity on

the basis of nurturing my traditions and roots. Being that

I had been brought up as basically the only black in the

class, it is kind of a place to come home to if you want to

call it that. Everyone has their different religions,

creed, etc. I acknowledge the fact that I am a black man.

I have no problems with standing up for that. I guess you

could say that I wanted to be affiliated with other black

men and women who has aspirations such as mine.

W:Do you feel that on a campus like the University of Florida

which is so big that it is important to have a base to come

home to as you said?

B:Exactly. To have a base or foundation in which you can grow

and work through trial and error to perfect yourself before

you go out and deal with other people.

W:How would you describe the University of Florida in terms of

the race issue? In your own words, what did you experience

as a student? How would you sum it up if you had to put it

in a few sentences or a paragraph? What is it that strike

you about the University of Florida?

B:Watching the University of Florida grow, I have noticed the

strong connection between college athletics and the overall

morale of the community. In that respect, I see that it is

necessary to have something to hold on to. Many students

come here lost. Many students come here not sure of what

they want to do. I believe if the University continues on

the trends of trying to develop the student in many aspects











of life, not just academic bookwork, that the University

will create a student whose limits are endless. I also

believe that under the reign of Dr. Lombardi [Dr. John

Lombardi, president, University of Florida, 1990-present],

changes here at the University have been somewhat expedient

as opposed to if we had a different president of the

University.

W:When you say expedient it reminds me of a quote by Henry Moore

Beehcer that "expediency is for the hour, but principles are

for the ages." Do you believe that the University of

Florida has placed expediency over principle or would you

characterize things in a different way?

B:Dr. Lombardi has worked at an expedient pace to bring the

University up to modern times, but not sacrificing any

principles. I believe the principles are intact, and the

vision is there. In these changing times that we are in, we

have no choice but to work efficiently and effectively as

soon as possible to be able to be on top in the future.

W:As a student leader on campus during the late 1980s and early

1990s, the BAM incident comes to mind as a significant

event. What was your perception of what was going on?

First of all, if you could describe, to the extent of your

knowledge, what BAM was and what went on. Then explain how

you felt about it.

B:I felt that BAM was an event that occurred because of the

student leadership here at the University of Florida. It

was not an administrative thing. Administration sets their











policies and their goals for the betterment of the whole

University, and to keep a good image with the world. From a

student's perspective, dealing with students, we have many

students here that do not believe that all men are equal.

We have students here who have power within their respective

organizations who feel that if they were to help someone

else, they would lose their power. Now we all know the

reality of the real world, and we all know that people in

the real world who cause controversy points at the college.

Therefore, what we see going on with the Black Awareness

Movement is a situation which has happened on a national

scale, and could happen on a global scale.

W:So that was December 1991?

B:Correct.

W:And at the same time, there was a parallel of that taking place

on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel

Hill, where some of the black athletes there felt that black

students on campus were being denied adequate access to

resources. They were threatening to boycott participating

in sporting events. I know you were not a student athlete

here per se, but you knew people of course. What was the

perception of the student athlete on the University of

Florida campus about the Black Awareness Movement?

B:That comes down to a point of being student athletes. They are

praised when they are doing good, and criticized when they

are doing bad. Student athletes (I cannot speak for each

individual) that I know and have conversed with believe in











the betterment of the people. Now you bring administration

into it. Now you bring the coaching staff into it. Because

of the political dilemmas that can happen and political

transactions that can take place, their hands are tied.

Their hands are tied. I would think that the University

would take it upon themselves to make sure that the athletes

are happy as far as academically being able to better

themselves in a professional sense other than sports and

culturally. Athletes are unable to experience their

culture. They are unable to hang out, for lack of a better

term, with their people. They are unable to go back and

nurture or help their people because of their athletic

affiliation. They are catered to, just like the top 10

percent are catered to. They are not catered to in all

different aspects.



Technology is here. We can make things faster. We can do things

faster. We need less people to do things, and so on. The

future is human resources. The future is a well conditioned

individual just like a well conditioned athlete. For

instance, if you want to assimilate into sports, do cross

training. Cross training is being able to do many different

things. We have one shoe that can be used for many

different sports. In the area of human resources, it is not

going to be just the one thing you can do. It is going to

be the many things you can do, or the many things you have

capabilities of doing. Students, I would say, have to











understand that that is the point where they are going to.

They have to see a vision. They have to see a dream. They

have to self develop themselves because it is the minds of

people that other people are going to want to work with. It

has nothing to do with the facilities. It has nothing to do

with the equipment. If you cannot think, you cannot grow.

In that respect, I feel that the University catered more to

the all around student, especially in the area of collegiate

sports. They would set a trend to where everyone would be

happy regardless if school was tough or not. It would comes

with self confidence.

W:Let me get a little more specific so that I can break this

down. Where were you when you first heard about what was

going on, and what was the first thought that went through

your mind after you heard about it?

B:When I first heard it was going on, I was at work in the

Marstons Science Library, which I have worked at for three

and one-half years now. I was on the clock. I told my

supervisor that there were things that I had to do. He

allowed me to leave. I went to the Reitz Union. I walked

in. Everyone was closed basically, and it was quiet. I

walked in and went upstairs. I saw a few hundred students

on the third floor.

W:What were you thinking about on your way over there?

B:I was thinking collective behavior. I was thinking at it from

a sociological standpoint on how it was created or started

by the thoughts of one individual and look at it now--[it











is] to the point where the University is worried, not

listening to the demands, but threatening. The hurt was all

ready there, meaning suspension. The University is a place

to grow, a place to foster knowledge, a place to bounce

ideas off of other people. In a sense, if we are here to

grow to become better people and help our fellow man, when

we do it, do not slap us on the wrist for it. Do not teach

us to be strong, stand tall, walk proud, and achieve, and

then tell us you cannot do that. I am not talking on a

materialistic level. I am not talking on a financial level.

I am talking on an internal spiritual level.

W:I am thinking back to that night, and I remember that Dr. James

Scott (now at Georgia State), the former dean of student

services was there. These were the people representing the

UF administration. Dr. Art Sandeen, the vice president of

student affairs was there. Nikido Mani was there. I was

there. I was student body treasurer at the time. There had

been a senate meeting going on down in the auditorium on the

second floor. As you just described, when you walked in

several hundred students were filling that corridor in the

area between the elevator and the Student Government

Executive Offices. There were people sitting down on the

floor. There were some people standing around. There were

also a group of students. Besides the 200 to 300 students

that were sitting outside office in the meeting area which

any student is allowed to use, there were students on the

inside Student Government Offices where the president, vice











president, and senate offices were. They had posted

different signs that they had found in the windows. It was

barricaded. What were your thoughts about the people who

were on the inside, on the other side of that glass wall or

door?

B:I remember vividly now. Let me work on some thoughts here. I

remember the senate room. I remember students within the

senate room--senators who knew what they were doing and all

of a sudden were afraid because there were so many

individuals in the room who wanted something accomplished.

In that particular room...

W:This was the original senate chambers.

B:The original senate chambers.

W:That is right because there were speeches organized and the

meeting was so big they had to move it to the auditorium.

B:Exactly.

W:So this is not the third floor, this is the second floor.

B:This is the second floor going from the senate chambers into

the auditorium. I did not stay in the auditorium much. I

was in the senate chambers and I was upstairs. I was called

back to work for a little while, and I came back afterwards.

In the senate chambers, again people know what they do.

Individuals know what they do. Sometimes people are not

conscious of what they say, but their actions [speak louder

than words]. They know what they are doing. When you look

at it from that standpoint, the student government senate,

just because someone is not in your face [does not mean]











someone should have to be in your face to look out for the

betterment of the group. It was unnecessary for 100

students to occupy the senate chamber for someone to listen.

W:What was the reason that the students were there? Why did BAM

take place specifically? It was a funding issue, was it

not?

B:It was a funding issue for Black History Month and getting a

speaker if I recall correctly.

W:A particular speaker. As I remember it, the senate president

himself, Jason Unger, was not at the senate meeting, and

neither was the student body president.

B:Correct. The people that actually dictated what could happen

were not there.

W:Senate pro tem, Meredith Phillips, from Delta Phi Epsilon

sorority. She was presiding over the meeting.

B:Yes, there was a young lady who was presiding.

W:Can you describe the nature of the discussion? What was the

atmosphere in each of those chambers--in the senate chamber

proper and then when it spilt over into the auditorium?

What was the attitude? What was the atmosphere like?

B:Again, if you look at it under the area of collective behavior,

you have some individuals there. For instance, you can take

the story of Malcolm X. Malcolm X had a vision. Malcolm

had a dream, and a way of life instilled in his head. His

thoughts were for the betterment of his people. There were

plenty of people right behind him who were riding his wave.

So I can say that even within that senate chamber, there











were some students there who were there because there was

not anything to do. There were some students there who were

not thinking for themselves. There were some students there

who were thinking for themselves, and there were some

students there who were thinking for the betterment of

everyone. The attitudes of the senators was we messed up

and we are going to have to pay for this. The attitudes of

the students was fight for anything you can get basically.

They pushed our buttons enough for us to not take the stand.

W:If you can recall, in the senate chambers there was a very

organized presentation. There were speakers who had been

using the speaking time in order to take up all the time in

the senate on that particular night. When it went into the

auditorium, which is bigger, there was an incident with

was there not, with a bat or something. Was that

on a different night?

B:I cannot say anything about what happened in the auditorium

because it would be heresy. I was not present.

W:At no point in time, you were not present?

B:I glanced in and out.

W:You saw that Meredith Phillips was presiding or a young woman

was presiding.

B:Exactly.

W:Let us talk about what you saw in the senate chamber, and then

we will go back to the third floor where everybody was.

Describe what you saw in the senate chamber.

B:I saw students who were tired of being manipulated. I saw











students whose time of manipulation had come to an end. I

saw students and spoke with students. Here is an incident.

This is pretty renown or a well known incident that many

black students have encountered. When you are a black

student, when you communicate with white students on a level

which is professional, the first thing a student wants to

say is you are a different type of black person, or you

speak different referring kind of towards you speak white.

W:Why do you think they are saying that a person that speaks well

speaks white?

B:It is a mindset.

W:Could you elaborate on that? What do you mean?

B:It is a mindset because they do not know or do not see other

people across the world achieving whether it is Japanese,

Chinese, Asian, South African simply because white people

here are a majority in the United States of America and are

unable or do not take the time to experience other cultures

or other people. Black people have no choice, especially

the black people here in America. We have to pay attention

to the white person. White people do not necessarily have

to pay attention to the black person.

W:Why is that do you think?

B:It is the economic situation, the economic thing.

W:Strictly economic?

B:Strictly economic. Noone is going to live in a certain area if

they can live in better than that area. We are all

consumers when you wrap it all up. So I had this











conversation with this young lady and I corrected her. I

said, "You are saying that I am different. The difference

is education. It has nothing to do with you color. It has

nothing to do with your color. It deals with education. So

I am not a different black person, I am an educated black

person." I corrected her and told her, "Don't you ever say

that because I understand it is a mindset. Don't you ever

say to a black person that they are different because they

speak white. You best say that you speak proper English."

W:And you see a difference between those two things?

B:There is a huge difference. What does it mean to say you speak

white? White people have many different dialects

themselves. You have the farmer. You have the western type

culture. You have the city type person. You cannot break

it down to just one race. Irish people act different from

Italians. In a sense, it is all considered white.

W:So it is almost a suggestion that white people in America have

a monopoly on standard formal English to make that kind of

comment.

B:Agreed. It is a mindset. It is a conditioning that has been

instilled within kids from when they are younger. There is

no real way around it except through education. That is the

only way around it. If the people in power would understand

that they could have more power and prestige if they did not

try to hold others down or oppress others, everyone would be

happy. You can see again, in industry, everyone is working

towards this win-win situation, or a win-win solution. What











does that mean? That means stop oppressing people. Stop

employing people as far as employer/employee. No. It is a

partner. Look at life as a partnership. You do not look at

life as an owner in work.

W:You seem to look at things in a business or economic

perspective. Has that helped you rationalize some of the

irrationality to look at it from a business point of view?

B:Yes, in a sense that most people I know or come in contact with

forget the human development side and look at the

materialism. They feel that if they can get to this

materialistic paradise, they will find happiness. They will

be happy. It has again been shown by many celebrities,

millionaires, rich kids (students) who are not happy, but

have all the material items that they could ask for. Things

are given to them right on a platter. They are still not

happy. That tells me that in life there is more than just

the material side of it. If most of society is geared

towards this materialism, materialism comes from economics.

Materialism comes from business. If you analyze business

and then add human factors, human communication and

qualities, to business, business will boom and individuals

will be happy.

W:What do you think was the most significant event that occurred

to you or around you since you have come to the University

of Florida?

B:I would say that the most significant event that occurred here

at the University and has molded me in the areas of human











communication are the areas of friendships with men and

women. The most significant experiences that have happened

here at the University that I believe are significant to my

prosperity in the future all deal with individual, personal

relationships. It is not just one thing. For instance, the

individual I was talking about, the young lady we discussed

speaking proper or speaking white, has an effect on me. How

I deal with that situation with her has an effect on me. I

can say that there is no one significant instance in my

life, besides my father's death, which has created the

individual talking on this tape. [[end of this side]].



W:We are continuing the interview with Bryan George Burton in 423

Little Hall for the Oral History Archives of the University

of Florida. The interviewer is Marna Weston. Bryan, what

single achievement at the University of Florida in a

nonacademic realm did you have that you are most proud of

that had a significant impact upon the person that you are

now.

B:I would say that the one significant achievement that I am most

proud of here at the University (nonacademic) would be the

creation of the Black Male Extravaganza. Why do I say that?

I say that because it an accomplishment for me, but it said

more than that. During that time, black males here on

campus were getting a bad rap because of some negative

incidents dealing with one particular black man. The media

hyped it up to a point where many other races and creeds all











ready fear black men, for whatever reason. I just wanted to

show to the University and to the student body that the

black man is not a person to be feared, but a person to be

allied with.

W:Before we go back and talk about the implications of what you

were talking about, the fear, I want to ask you to give a

little more basic background of what the Black Male

Extravaganza was. How did it start? Did you develop it?

Where was it held? Could you give a little background on

that?

B:The Black Male Extravaganza was organizationally developed

between Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and the NAACP Gator

chapter. What it was was an event showing the different

aspects of the black man. What I did was I took the talent

of about sixty-five different individuals here on campus,

and created an event out of it. It was a time for black

students or black males here on the campus to showcase

themselves. Not everyone gets recognized because they were

in the computer lab working on a newsletter for hours. Not

everyone is recognized for all the work involved in creating

what everyone sees. Not everyone is the showboat or on the

frontline for everyone to see. What I was trying to do

there was let people see the people behind the scenes of

every different organization here on campus, as well as pay

tribute to the great black men of the past. We had

theatrical events, monologues, and plays. We showcased

through a fashion show type scenario the graduating seniors.











We had some dances incorporated in there. We had some oral

speaking, and reading biographies on people of the past.

From that one event, it challenged the women to do the same

thing. People work for other people and work hard when it

is appreciated. I guess in my sense, what I was trying to

show here was that even though you may not always have you

fifteen minutes of fame, those who do not, I was trying to

give it to. I was trying to show them that you are

somebody, you know something, and it is appreciated because

we were not brought into the world to live alone. On that

basis, you have to appreciate all those that you work with

or come in contact with and respect.

W:I think that kind of leads back into that previous issue, the

question of fear. Do you feel that black men are feared in

the general population?

B:Yes. There is no doubt about it, and no question in my mind.

When you look at the numbers, and you look at the majority,

the majority of the black men out there because of the

system fall short of being that black man we know they can

be. That is a system thing. Again it comes down to

education. If you are not educated, or if you do not have a

strong belief system for yourself, you are just going to do

what others tell you to do. You are just going to follow

the crowd. Again, you will not be unique. You will not be

different. You will just be amongst the masses. The masses

are usually where stereotypes are constructive and creative.

W:How does this fear translate into how black men are perceived











or how they are treated whether it is between other students

walking to class?

B:It translates right into that. For instance, an experience I

had where there was this white lady at the teller, and I was

at the teller. There was an impoverished black man there

who was standing around the teller area. Right there you

have two black men. You have one black man who because of

economic reasons is less fortunate than the other black man.

This white lady has these two black men. The reason I do

things had nothing to do with race. It had to do with

because she was a woman. I was at the teller withdrawing my

money. I saw the other black man there. Before I left,

towards the lady I said, "Would you like me to stay until

you get your money?" She said, "No, that is okay." I said,

"Okay." I was walking away, and she said, "Thank you." See

I had to give in that scenario. I had to show there was a

concern of mine for the woman. This comes from being raised

by my mother, a respect for a lady and so on. If I was a

white man at the teller doing what I was doing, if it did

cross my mind, I probably would have never asked the lady.

She would have asked me.

W:Do you think that situation would have been different if the

person who appeared to be more impoverished had been a white

person? Do you feel that you would have been as inclined to

do the same thing because it was a lady?

B:Yes. On the fact of how I was raised, I did that for her

benefit, whether she was black, white, or whatever race,











color, or creed. I know how it was interpreted by her was a

different type black. It has nothing to do with the color

of your skin.

W:I have felt this way before. Do you feel a responsibility to

justify and explain I am out here doing good deeds and I

just want you to see that? If so, where does that come

from, that need to have to justify I am doing the best I can

and trying to help people as I go along. Where does that

come from?

B:In a sense, I guess it is a personality trait. You have two

type of people. You have the selfish person, and you have

the giving person. The selfish person wants everything for

themself, and expects you to come to them. He wants to have

the power to dictate how you operate. The giving person,

again this can go back to a quote. I do not know how to say

it or whether it is a quote or not. The whole concept of

teaching a man a fist or giving a man a fist. I know I can

achieve. I know I am capable of doing many things. Again,

you do not live in this world isolated. When you are

isolated, you tend to pick up psychological disorders

because you cannot communicate. The basis of life is to

grow within your environment. The whole circle of life

concept is true. I cannot do one single thing to help

others without the help of someone else.




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