Civil Rights Roundtable 1963
March 3, 2011 4:25 AM   Subscribe

On August 28, 1963, Marlon Brando, James Baldwin, Harry Belafonte, Charlton Heston, Joseph Mankiewicz, and Sidney Poitier met in a TV studio to discuss the Civil Rights Movement. (SLYT)
posted by XQUZYPHYR (15 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
Truly, a collection of talent that would not be eclipsed until James Franco dined alone.
posted by Etrigan at 5:11 AM on March 3, 2011 [9 favorites]


Interesting that no women were present at this.
posted by wheelieman at 5:23 AM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's weird to hear Charleton Heston being eloquent and persuasive and sane about an issue.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:10 AM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


According to Archie Bunker, Harry Belafonte isn't black, he's just a "good-looking white guy dipped in caramel."
posted by fairmettle at 7:22 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


What a fascinating slice of the moment. You have James Baldwin ranging from articulate to mystical to profound and tangential ("The most important question is: Why did the white man need to invent the nigger?") You have the Hollywood liberal who wants to argue for all concerns at once (Brando). You have the Hollywood conservative who confesses his civil rights commitment involved talking about this at cocktail parties before being coming there (Heston). You have a lieutenant of Martin Luther King (Belafonte). You have the apologist moderator who says that they couldn't have such demonstrations in other parts of the world mentioning the obligatory communist countries, China and Russia while being seemingly oblivious to the fact that such demonstrations were often met with violence in America. The divide between the well-intentioned (whites) and those who lived the story (blacks) has a searing unspoken tension.

An imagined extension of this would make a great play.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:38 AM on March 3, 2011


Man, I don't want to be totally shallow, but that is an awful lot of handsome in one room.
posted by Zozo at 7:54 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Interesting that no women were present at this.

Interesting that no women were present at a televised policy roundtable in 1963? More ordinary than interesting.
posted by blucevalo at 7:55 AM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Try to imagine such a civil, thoughtful, intelligent, measured talk by celebrities, in today's television landscape. That's right, you need to imagine it because it could never happen, which is tragic beyond words. Our snark tolerance quotient alone would make it impossible.
posted by dbiedny at 8:27 AM on March 3, 2011


It's weird to hear Harry Belafonte being eloquent and persuasive and sane about an issue.
posted by clavdivs at 8:29 AM on March 3, 2011


Which Baldwin brother is James?
posted by gottabefunky at 8:56 AM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


An imagined extension of this would make a great play.

Have the moderator meet up with a humanities professor at a pub thirty years later and Tom Stoppard is already halfway done with the script.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:29 AM on March 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I feel sad for the Negroes if those were the best guys whitey could come up with.
posted by artof.mulata at 11:57 AM on March 3, 2011


like to have seen Barry Goldwater and Malcom X at that panel.
posted by clavdivs at 1:34 PM on March 3, 2011


Anyone know if the fellow listed as 'Joseph Minklelwitz' is actually 'Joseph Mankiewicz?'
posted by artof.mulata at 5:21 PM on March 3, 2011


Hmmm. Birthday.
posted by buzzman at 10:03 AM on March 4, 2011


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