The Harvard Film Archive is honored to welcome Kent Garrett, a Harvard alum (Class of 1963), to present a selection of his films from a long career—one with no end in site, as Garrett continues his tireless documentarian investigations of socio-political issues. In 1968, Garrett—along with William Greaves, Madeline Anderson and Charles Hobson, among others—was a founding member of WNET’s groundbreaking public affairs show Black Journal. Widely considered the first nationally televised African American series, Black Journal highlighted critical issues within the black community. One of the episodes, Inside Bedford-Stuyvesant, was conceived by Robert F. Kennedy, produced by Charles Hobson and directed by Kent Garrett to show the diverse array of families, students, artists and professionals from a neighborhood more widely known for its crime.
Two other films Kent Garrett made for Black Journal, Black GI and Black Cop, examine the outsider status accorded to those seemingly on the inside. In Black Cop, set Central Harlem at the height of the Black Power movement, a policeman’s discussion of his role in and out of uniform is contrasted with the experiences of a colleague in the LAPD. In Black GI, African American soldiers serving in Vietnam contemplate the contradiction of defending the very country that is oppressing them. Both Black GI and Black Cop portray the deep conflicts—personal and institutional—that defined a generation of black Americans and would shape racial dynamics in the country for decades. Concluding the evening will be a clip from Garrett’s latest work, The Last Negroes At Harvard, a work-in-progress that examines the lives of the nineteen African American men and women—including Garrett—who were admitted to Harvard in 1959, the largest number of African Americans who had been admitted in Harvard’s 300-year history.
For more interviews and talks, visit the Harvard Film Archive Visiting Artists Collection page.
John Quackenbush 0:00
November 14, 2016. The Harvard Film Archive screened works by Kent Garrett. This is the audio recording of the introduction and the Q&A that followed. Participating are HFA junior curator, Jeremy Rossen, and filmmaker Kent Garrett.
Jeremy Rossen 0:16
Thank you. This program is co-presented by the Hutchins Center for African and African American research here at Harvard, so I’d like to thank them. Also like to thank Walter Forsberg at the Smithsonian, WNET, Charles Hobson, and NYPL for lending us their prints. So tonight we're kind of starting to get into the meat of the program, “Say It Loud!”, which is the African, Black Cinema Revolution. And last week, we had Madeline Anderson, so some of you might remember her and her films. And tonight, continuing on in that tradition, the program of showing the more political-minded documentaries, bringing Kent Garrett, whose films I had the chance to see this summer at NYPL. I saw Jake Perlin do a program, “Tell It Like It Is,” which was a great program last year in New York, at Lincoln Center. And I wasn't able, unfortunately, to see the program. But I went to NYPL, and they have a circulating film library there. I recommend that to anybody here. Take advantage of that, if you're in New York, and look at amazing films on 16 millimeter, in a little classroom. They'll project them for you. So I first saw Kent Garrett's films there. And they, I had read so much about them, but seeing them, as they are projected kind of, they are astounding. And then the more I read about Kent and his life, the more I felt like it fit in. And then the fact that he worked with Madeline Anderson, and that he was a Harvard alum. So everything kind of came to place very organically to include him in this program. And he spent his lifetime as a kind of tireless documentarian, investigating sociopolitical issues. So tonight, we're gonna be showing several works, the first of which isn't a film by Kent Garrett, but it is one that I feel like is very important of that time period, by producer Charles Hobson, Inside Bedford-Stuyvesant, which was one of the first African American produced television shows that ran from 1968 to 1971. And it was his dialogues from the community of, you know, the clip we'll see, as you'll see, it's this amazing clip of Harry Belafonte, just sitting in the park in Bedford-Stuyvesant, talking to residents about issues of armed revolution, and all kinds of other related political issues of that sort. And then we'll be showing two of Kent's films, Black Cop, and Black GI. We'll be showing those digitally, as the digital versions are scanned from the original, which are color. The film prints at NYPL were black and white. So apparently, they're distributed in black and white, for some reason. But we'll be showing the original color. These films are slated for preservation at the moment. So there'll soon be new prints, and these films will hopefully get out and be a lot more widely seen. So I'll let Kent talk about Black GI and Black Cop. I will say that they are quite unique in that they kind of, they present a portrait and they kind of examine the outsider status, according to those who are similarly on the inside. And they do it in a way that is quite unique, I think to the other kind of news reporting that was done at the time. And concluding tonight, we're going to show an excerpt of Kent's latest film. As a Harvard alum, he has gone back, and he's making a film called The Last Negroes at Harvard, where he's going back and examining the lives of 19 African American men and women, including himself, who were admitted in 1959 to Harvard, which is the largest number of African Americans who had been admitted in Harvard's 300-year history. So we'll be showing a 22-minute excerpt of that new piece. So I don't know, I guess I'd be remiss if I didn't say something about, because last time, when we did this screening with Madeline Anderson, things were, in this country, quite different. And there's a lot more optimism. So I can't help but comment that the current situation has changed. And I just wanted to say a few words about that. And say that the recent election of Trump to the presidency is nothing less than a tragedy for the American Republic, a tragedy for the Constitution, and a triumph for the forces at home and abroad of nativism, authoritarianism, misogyny and racism. As a countering force, I'd say we at the Harvard Film Archive pledge to continue to screen challenging socio-political films and offer the space of the HFA as a communal space where people can come together and talk in defiance of whatever draconian policies are attempted to be implemented. So please turn off your cell phones and keep them off during the duration of the film screening. And please join me in welcoming Kent Garrett to the HFA. Kent?
Kent Garrett 6:16
Hi, I'm Kent Garrett. Thank you for inviting me. And, well I haven't been back here in like 50 years, and things have indeed changed, I'm surprised to say. Anyway, the movie, both Black Cop and Black Vietnam, Black GI, Vietnam were done for a show called Black Journal, which historically was significant in that it was the first show that was done by, for, and about Blacks at the time. And indeed, I think we did about two or three shows where they had a white executive producer on the show, and then we went on strike, and they changed that. So indeed, it became a show that was all about, for, by, and about Blacks. And both movies were done when there were pretty turbulent times. The Vietnam War was in full force, when we went back in 19--I think it was--69, 1970. And Black soldiers were really up in arms. And we examined that, and we talked to some people at the Pentagon. And then the Black Cop thing was a situation of, especially in Harlem, in the New York community, people were upset that Black cops were, indeed, going into the community, and being brutal, and very much, you know, things have sort of come back historically, as they are today. And then The Last Negroes at Harvard is basically about, there were 19 of us in our class, 18 men and one woman at Radcliffe, and we were the largest number admitted at Harvard at that time. And this was sort of before affirmative action went into effect, which was a few years later. And it was an experiment for Harvard, and for many of us as well, and it really worked out. So this is about how we changed as the country changed. We came in as Negroes. And when we left, four years later, many of us, you know, had a Black identity, and it's about that transmission, trans-, trans-, you know, trans-, change. And it's a book project, as well as a movie project. And what we've done here is about 20 minutes of talking to some of the people in the class to see where they were, and see what they had to think about, what they were talking about. And it turned out that they had a lot to say, and so we're gonna turn it into a book, but, and that's about it. Thank you so much! Enjoy the movies.
Jeremy Rossen 8:05
Just wanted to add that afterwards, we'll be having a Q&A, so please make sure to stick around for that. So thank you.
John Quackenbush 9:16
And now Jeremy Rossen.
Jeremy Rossen 9:22
All right [LAUGHS]. There's a lot to unpack there with,
with all those other screenings. I’m gonna open it up soon for questions, because I'm sure there's, there's definitely questions. But I think I wanted to first maybe expand a little more, because we had Madeline Anderson here last week. If you could talk about, you know, your years at the Black Journal, because as you mentioned, and we talked about it last week, you know, there was someone who was the executive producer who was, was white, who was removed. And then, you know, thankfully, they brought in William Greaves.
Kent Garrett 10:02
Jeremy Rossen 10:02
And then I think he recognized that this moment, which I think he would later, or, I think he described, or maybe Madeline described, as the golden era of Black television. It only lasted a very short time. And I think William Greaves was prophetic in that way. And he knew, he knew the work would last much longer, And it has. And I think now it's, it's definitely getting out there a lot more, and there's some preservation work. So maybe you could talk about when, you know, your, your time there, and, and your experience working with everybody there.
Kent Garrett 10:48
Well, I was there, as I say, about three or four years. And I mean, it was really, I guess the word is really revolutionary times. In the sense that we were really, it was the first time that Black people could really have a say in what was sort of going on, and what was happening. And we had a staff of maybe about, I think 10 different producers, plus we had some producers throughout the country who would, who would provide pieces and that sort of thing. And it was really, I mean, it sort of, it was a different kind of program, in the sense that the Black producers brought a different kind of sensibility to even the editing, the cutting, the pace, and that sort of thing. So that made it a very unique experience. And as I say, it didn't last very long. It was about three or four, maybe five years, and then everybody went on to different, different jobs and situations. I mean, the other good thing is that it was really a training ground for many Black producers and Black technicians, and who went on to do other things in the industry itself. The guy who shot the stuff, the Black Cop production and the Vietnam, a guy named Leroy Lucas, was really, became, went on to become a really well-known photographer, and is a cinematographer, a video person down in Texas right now. And Andy Ferguson was up here, was from this area, he had worked at GBH as a producer and a sound person, and he was on, on the Black Vietnam thing. So basically, that's what it was. It was just for the first time, you know, as a Black person, you could sort of turn on your TV, no matter where you were, from Boston, or New York, or Cincinnati, whatever, and see, you know, Blacks on TV, and everybody's watching it at the same time. There had been a fair number of... not a fair number, but a number of local shows, like Charlie Hobson's show, Inside Bed-Stuy. I think up here, they had, WGBH had a show called Say, Brother. But there were no, this was the first national one where, you know, you could pull from the whole nation to get people on.
Jeremy Rossen 13:26
And I think Madeline mentioned, as well, too, that the impetus for all these shows was, it was didn't happen until after the MLK assassination.
Kent Garrett 13:35
Right. It was after the MLK assassination, and it was after the, what was the report on discrimination and racism, was that the Werner? Yeah, the Werner Report came after that. And that was the impetus for it to happen.
Jeremy Rossen 13:55
Do we have any initial questions in the audience? Because before we get into more, there's a lot more to unpack, I want to get some of the questions out there first. Maybe right in the middle over there, Olivier. Yeah. Actually, if you could wait for the mic, so that way everybody can hear, that'd be great. Thank you.
Audience 1 14:15
I was really amazed at sort of the access, you seemed to get over in Vietnam and just in the streets of New York, and who you were able to talk to. Can you tell me a little bit about that process? And sort of maybe what you were amazed at?
Kent Garrett 14:27
Yeah, well, I think, I think, I would think the Pentagon would say now that that was the last war that they gave journalists access to without, you know, a lot of control, and having to have them embedded. What happened there is that you, we, when we landed in Saigon, in Vietnam, you were assigned a, a, what was it called, a sort of public affairs officer, who was in charge of your crew, your little group. And he would, you know, you would tell him what you wanted to do, and what you wanted to shoot, and all that, and he would give you a notice, and you would go shoot it. But after that, you could pretty much do anything you wanted to do, as long as you could, you know, get on a helicopter and get those guys to take you wherever you wanted to go. And there were a lot of freelance journalists there, there were a lot of, you know, photographers, and that sort of thing. And again, we were shooting in film. So, there were no processing labs there. So everybody, you know, would shoot and have to send their stuff back to New York, whatever, to get it, you know, to get it on air. But, and again, I think after that, the Pentagon, or the military, realized that they had to, they couldn't give journalists free access anymore. And that was sort of stopped. And again, the other thing is that during that time, I mean, there were really riots and a lot of problems in the military. And they felt that by giving access to journalists, it would, you know, help the problem, and solve it a bit. So that was the motivation.
Jeremy Rossen 16:09
They obviously thought that you're going to portray a much different scenario.
Kent Garrett 16:12
Right, right. I mean, and they, like we were on our own for most of this time, but with the Air Force thing, that, that had to be, that was pretty well set up. And they gave us a guy that we couldn't choose ourselves. And he had a, you know, different point of view than everybody else on it.
Jeremy Rossen 16:32
Any other? Oh, okay. Yeah, sorry. Actually, if you wait for the microphone, he's right next to you.
Audience 2 16:41
It was amazing. You're brilliant, in the direction, especially, and in the rhythms, the way that things organically evolved in each film. So many, I don't know, actually, I don't see that many movies. But so many documentaries now have a lot of talking heads, and very little of the footage. And the way that your film had so much of this, the people, it never seemed that they were being photographed. It made the audience feel that we were right there. And that was remarkable.
Kent Garrett 17:15
Right. Right. Thank you. Thank you. I mean, the key to sort of doing that is you have to really hang out with people, so that after a while, they sort of forget the camera's there, and they just sort of, you know, talk to you. I mean, that was one of the things that made it work pretty well.
Jeremy Rossen 17:35
Another one right in the middle, the gentleman right there.
Audience 3 17:40
Yeah, I really enjoyed the films. I think there's an interesting line of how to best to enact change, whether from the inside or outside, in all three, probably all four of those films. I was wondering if you could comment upon your role as a director and in film, on how you are able to affect things more from the inside or outside in that role.
Kent Garrett 18:06
Say that again. Working on the inside or the outside?
Audience 3 18:08
Yeah, whether you can better enact change from the inside, as in like, as a part of the, as a media institution, producing media, versus on the outside, as a producing media specifically from a Black perspective, as opposed to just trying to fit in and produce media. You know, like you made a comment about the Black Journal, where there was a white producer versus a Black producer, and...
Kent Garrett 18:31
Audience 3 18:32
...there's different themes that come out.
Kent Garrett 18:36
Well, I mean, I'm not, I'm not sure. Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, as a, I'm not sure if there's really an inside/outside break as such, in the sense that we were, I mean, the key thing was, before we had gone to Vietnam, for example, we really did a fair amount of research. I mean, really talking to people, and talking to, you know, and sort of by the time we got there, we were really almost feeling like, you know, soldiers ourselves, in the sense that we were so, you know, into the thing. But I mean, I think, again, I think it was just, you didn't have to worry about the outside when you were at Black Journal, because that, what normally would have been the outside had become the inside, and they wouldn't dare, you know, sort of mess with your footage when you, when you presented it and went through the editing process. I mean, after I, I spent, after Black Journal, I spent 10 years at NBC Nightly News with, well, first with CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, and then 10 years with NBC Nightly News with them, with Tom Brokaw. And there, you had that inside/outside system, and it was very, first, they didn't have many Blacks and it was very difficult to sort of get something on that had a totally Black point of view, sort of, in a way. I mean, it was a very different kind of reality. I don't know if that answers your question, but [LAUGHS].
Jeremy Rossen 20:08
All right. Any other questions at the moment? So. So I wonder if you could talk then, too, about then, going from, from Black Journal, and then obviously working in the nightly news. And, I mean, obviously, that was a completely different experience, but you continued, you know, working and making films. So I don't know. I wondered, yeah, I mean, if you could take, you know, what you learned from the Black Journal, and how that kind of transposed?
Kent Garrett 20:46
Yeah, I mean, you could, you could take, from Black Journal, you really, I think I learned a sense of how to deal with people in the field, and how to shoot, and that sort of thing. But when I left here, I went to medical school for a year at NYU, which I hated. And then I got into TV advertising, I did TV commercials. And that's where I really learned film, in a way, or the whole art of film, and the use of concise language to sort of match it with film. And then after that, I sort of got very tired of that, and I sort of, I think that's not very good for the mind. And I went to NET and worked with Black Journal. And the other, the sort of negative thing about everything back then is that they had very strong unions. And as a producer, you couldn't really touch any equipment or anything like that. So you would learn for, so for, like, what, 20 years or so, I was producing, but never really handling the camera and all that sort of stuff, because you weren't allowed to, due to the strong unions. Which has really changed today. And producers can shoot their own stuff and get it on air. And the Harvard piece was the first time I really, you know, went out and learned how to shoot, and my wife did the sound, and it was a whole homegrown operation. But as I say, but what I came out of Black Journal with was a real sense of how to structure a thing, and conceptually how to structure things, and that, and that sort of thing.
Jeremy Rossen 22:33
I believe Madeline said, too, that the budget for the show was severely cut. And so everybody kind of learned how to really work...
Kent Garrett 22:41
Jeremy Rossen 22:41
...very economically, as well. And so, you know, everybody put in, you know, as a labor of love as well as just a job, so.
Kent Garrett 22:47
Right, exactly. That's true.
Jeremy Rossen 22:52
And so for the, for the, the excerpt we saw for The Last Negroes at Harvard. So what's, you said, you mentioned that there's also a book component.
Kent Garrett 23:02
Yeah, what happened there is that again, we started that, maybe eight or nine years ago. And it sort of came out of what, you know, what happened to the guys, or the people in my class, and what were they doing now? How had they, how had their lives turned out? I mean, we're all about, well, actually, I'm 74. So some guys are 75, some guys are a little, young, younger now. And then we learned that we were the largest number of blacks ever admitted to Harvard back then. And in talking to the guys, first the idea was to go out and see which one of us, which of us still had our mental facilities together. And, you know, or had not gone off the deep end or anything like that. So we went out, and we were spread out in about 10 different cities. And one guy was in St. Thomas, another guy was in Austria. So we went out and taped interviews with them, and were amazed that everybody, you know, was so intact, and so articulate and had a lot to say. And many people felt that they had transformed from coming in here as a Negro, which was the term at the time. And they'd left Harvard, as Blacks, as Blacks. And Harvard had sort of evolved as well, to an extent. And so that became sort of the story. And we felt that it makes more sense in many ways as a book, and we can get more detail and feelings and all that. So at this point, it's a book project, and maybe we'll get back to it as a documentary project. But right now we're in the process of, you know, trying to talk to, talk to all the guys and woman again. And you know, so we're talking in next year, or next few years, or so. And that's what that project is about.
Jeremy Rossen 25:10
Any other questions from the audience? Take, right down here, Olivier.
Audience 4 25:20
For Black GI, did you ever get a reaction from any of the soldiers depicted in the film, if you know who these are. And then similar to your Harvard project, I think it'd be really interesting to see the trajectory of some of their lives as well. It might be an expensive project to undertake, but to go back and see what happened to some of their lives.
Kent Garrett 25:41
Yeah, we never did go back. I mean, I think at one point, we attempted to try and do something like that. But we weren't able to. I mean, I think, at that time, we really didn't have, I mean, we could have gone back to the Air Force guy, who was really set up and had, you know. But most of the stuff was in the field. And we were out there traveling, and we would come across a guy, and get his name, and that sort of thing. So we never really went back to find out what happened. I mean, what, and obviously, what happened is that the military became, you know, voluntary. And, you know, no longer do you have to, you know, I guess you have to register for the draft, but you don't have to, you know, you won't get drafted anymore. So that was a significant thing that happened there. But we never, we've never gone back to see what happened to these guys.
Jeremy Rossen 26:40
Any other questions in the audience? So I wondered if we could talk, I guess, more about Black Cop, because it seems, I mean, since Black Cop came out, obviously, I mean, lots of things have transpired in the last few years to make, you know, I mean, Black, it seems like there could be, you know, there's many parallels to
Kent Garrett 27:09
Oh, yeah, today. Yeah, yeah, I mean, history comes around. I mean, it's sort of coming around again. But I mean, the issue in that piece was basically, I mean, the fundamental issue was really, should Blacks become cops? I mean, should there indeed be Black cops? And that was the kind of thing we were trying to go after, and try and figure out. But we spent many, many hours just riding around Harlem at night with these two guys. And it was, you know, it was, it was good. I mean, I thought he was pretty articulate. And then I thought the sergeant that they gave us was pretty good, too. And, and again, we didn't, it wasn't a question where we could resolve anything. And, and again, the level, the level of brutality then was not the level, in terms of shooting Black men, that it is today. I mean, there was a different time then. I mean, and it wasn't as brutal as it is now.
Jeremy Rossen 28:24
Questions here from the audience? One back in the middle. Amanda's got it.
Audience 5 28:35
Going off of sort of what you just said, I thought it was really interesting. And the point when he was talking about if I, you know, like, shot a, like a Black kid or something, trying to steal something, as opposed to just arresting him, and him going to jail eventually. I can't remember the exact words he used.
Kent Garrett 28:52
Audience 5 28:52
What did, did you, were there any things then that you think of what he said there, and how, maybe, in today's world, about how important that would be for cops today, or just drawing the parallels between what he might have been going through then, and you know, what, maybe, Black cops are going through in Ferguson, or other places like that. How can you draw from then to now?
Kent Garrett 29:16
Well, I think, I think, I think that Dave Walker, the guy we interviewed, really felt very comfortable in the Black community. I mean, I'm not, I don't remember if he grew up there or not. But I mean, he was very comfortable. And he felt very at home with the community. And I think that sort of affected the amount of fear he had of the people, in the sense that he, he didn't think that they were going to, that he was in a, it was an encampment. That he didn't think that he was going to be shot by them, that they were negative to him. And I think that was a part of his personality. And I think therefore he was able to, not having that fear, he was able to discern whether, you know, this guy is running away, because he stole something. I'm not gonna shoot him, I don't have to shoot him. And plus, I think at that time in New York City, I'm not sure if they have it today, but you had a, you can only live so many miles away from the city to become a policeman, so that you had to be, black or white, I mean, so you had to be sort of, have a stake in that community. And the idea being that you would know people, etc, etc. And I think today, it's just totally different. I mean, it's, you know, you're, it's an occupation for many, that many of these policemen feel. We haven't done any police report, I've done news spots, but not, not long documentaries, as such. But, I think that is the big difference. I mean, that, that you feel that, you know, you're an army, kind of patrolling.
Jeremy Rossen 31:02
Exactly. Well, I mean, after the 60s, and the riots, I mean, you saw this, and you see it now. This intense militarization of the police force and the type of equipment that they're using now is military grade. And the type of mentality is more like combatants.
Kent Garrett 31:17
Right, exactly, right.
Jeremy Rossen 31:18
So it was this, is a, it was a, since the late 60s, of specific moves of the department towards this militarization.
Kent Garrett 31:27
Right. Right. I agree.
Jeremy Rossen 31:33
One down here, Olivier.
Audience 6 31:41
First of all, thank you very much for showing your films.
Kent Garrett 31:44
Oh, okay. Thank you for having me, yeah.
Audience 6 31:46
And I was just curious, when you were working at Black Journal in the late 60s and early 70s, did you see yourself within a larger context of documentary filmmaking and documentary film movements, things that were going on at the time, not necessarily on television, but, you know, on, on one end of the, of the political spectrum, you have the Newsreel Collective,
Kent Garrett 32:17
Audience 6 32:18
in New York, that were making, you know, at least some short films about some of the same, some of the same issues. And there were also feature-length documentary films about people like Eldridge Cleaver and Terry Whitmore.
Kent Garrett 32:35
Audience 6 32:36
I'm just, I'm just curious. Did you see yourself as part of a larger political documentary film movement? Or did you see yourself as having different goals?
Kent Garrett 32:49
Not really. I mean, I not so much of documentaries. I mean, I did. I did documentaries for CBS Reports, I did, for a while. But I came away just feeling, after the Black Journal experiences, that the media, and news, and video can be used to really change people's consciousness. And that's what I've always wanted to do with all of this stuff, all of this video. I mean, and again, I did a lot of it, I think in news, at NBC and CBS. But it wasn't, I mean, that's where I, that's what I think can be done. I mean, that's where that was sort of my goal. And how I did it was, you know, was a, you know, didn't really matter. It could be documentaries, long form, or short form, and all that. And I feel that, like, I was talking to someone today, here at Harvard, and talking about, they mentioned the Office of the Arts, which is really a great thing, which apparently supports, you know, young people that want to do arts and all that. And I feel that if I'd had that when I was here, when I was here, back, and again, this is 59, 60s. There were no, there was Fine Arts taught, but there was no studio art, there was no studio, you know, no film school, none, none of that stuff. And I'm glad to see that's here now. And as I say, if I, if that had been here then, I think I would have jumped on that as something to do. But I think it's very powerful. I think the media, I think the media made many mistakes with Trump, but I think they'll correct those mistakes, and I think it'll, it'll raise the consciousness of people, and things will work out.
Audience 6 34:45
Also, just out of curiosity, is Leroy Lucas, also known as Leroy McLucas?
Kent Garrett 34:50
Audience 6 34:52
Was that okay?
Kent Garrett 34:52
Audience 6 34:53
Because there's someone, someone I think, worked on the Shirley Clarke film, The Cool World, as
Jeremy Rossen 35:00
That was Madeline Anderson, she was the assistant director
Audience 6 35:03
A different cinematographer than the person who was billed
Kent Garrett 35:10
On this one, yeah.
Audience 6 35:11
Because Shirley Clarke needed a Black cinematographer to go and get wild shots in Harlem.
Kent Garrett 35:17
I mean, I don't know, he might have changed this name for that one, I don't know. [LAUGHS] But I don't think so.
Okay. Thank you.
Kent Garrett 35:24
Jeremy Rossen 35:33
One, one back here, Amanda.
Audience 7 35:38
Hi. Hi. And thank you.
Kent Garrett 35:40
Audience 7 35:42
So, so, Malcolm X at Harvard. In it, it looked like a clip from the Spike Lee movie. Did it, did I, did it, did it just look so much like
Kent Garrett 35:57
Yeah, that was one, that was one thing there. Yeah. I mean, he came, we had him here. He came to, when I was here, I was in Eliot House. And he came. I think that during that time, they had the seminars at the houses and a guy named Bill Strickland, who, Bill Strickland, who was a few years ahead of us, had grown up with Malcolm X, up in Roxbury. And he invited him to come as part of one of the "soc rel," social relations seminars in Eliot House, and he came for a dinner, I think the night before he was to talk at the, I forget where he talked, the Law School, or some other place. But yeah, that was a, that was, that was a picture from the clip from the movie, right.
Jeremy Rossen 36:46
I guess, uh...
Audience 7 36:52
By the way, that was good. That Navy piece. I don't know how you got those. Yes, they really let it all, they talked about everything.
Kent Garrett 37:02
Who, the Navy guys?
Audience 7 37:03
Kent Garrett 37:04
Yeah, yeah, they were out there. Yeah.
Jeremy Rossen 37:11
I think we have, right down here. If you want to wait for Amanda.
Audience 8 37:19
Lowell Davidson, who did the music on the film, and it's really amazing. And I don't know how he fits into your class. Was he in your class?
Kent Garrett 37:28
Audience 8 37:28
Kent Garrett 37:29
Yeah, he was in our class. Yeah, Lowell Davidson was in our class. He was, I forget what house he was in, but yeah, he died, I think, in 2000 or something. But he was, he went on to become a, he was a biochemist. But he went on to become a protege of Ornette Coleman. I mean, he was a wonderful piano player, Lowell was, so he was in it. He was in our class.
Audience 8 38:03
He wasn't alive when, I mean, I don’t know when you started
Kent Garrett 38:05
No, no, he was. Yeah, we did this about we did this, the Harvard thing, about seven, eight years ago. And he had already died by then. Yeah, he was. So far, we've, there were 18 of us men, and I think six have died so far. In the movie.
Jeremy Rossen 38:32
Any other questions out there? Well, like to thank, thank you, Kent
Kent Garrett 38:38
Alright, well thank you.
Jeremy Rossen 38:39
for making the drive over from upstate New York, right?
Kent Garrett 38:44
Right, upstate New York. Yeah, right.
Jeremy Rossen 38:46
And yeah, once you finish this, you have to come back and
Kent Garrett 38:51
All right, thank you. I'd love to.
Jeremy Rossen 38:52
we'll do this again.
Kent Garrett 38:53
Jeremy Rossen 38:53
So thank you very much for coming.
Kent Garrett 38:55
Okay, thank you for coming, everybody.
© Harvard Film Archive
Inside Bedford-Stuyvesant (excerpt)Directed by Charles Hobson.
US, 1968-71, digital video, color, 12 min.
Black GIDirected by Kent Garrett.
US, 1971, DCP, color, 54 min.
DCP source: National Museum of African American History and Culture
Black CopDirected by Kent Garrett.
US, 1969, digital video, color, 15 min.
Copy source: New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
The Last Negroes at Harvard (excerpt)Directed by Kent Garrett.
US, work-in-progress, digital video, color, 22 min.
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