Southern Illinois University Carbondale Daily Egyptian Diversity News Archive (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)
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Egyptian19700206Must; Egyptian19700206Must.tif
Egyptian19700206Must; Egyptian19700206Must.tif
TitleEgyptian19700206Must; Egyptian19700206Must.tif
Original Publication SourceDaily Egyptian
Digital File FormatTIF (Tagged Image Format)
Digital File PublisherSpecial Collections Research Center, Morris Library, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Rights StatementAll copyrights held by Southern Illinois University Carbondale. For permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this image, please contact the Special Collections Research Center, Morris Library, Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Phone: + 1 (618) 453-2516. Email:
CollectionDaily Egyptian Diversity News Archive (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)
Transcript.Must have unity
African views the black struggle
By Linda
Scuta***. Writs*
In August, 1963, Cecil
Blake, a black student from
Sierra Leone In Africa, entered the United States and
gained his first Introduction
to black America.
Like many other African
students, Cecil Dlake has
often been asked; "What Is
black America to you? More
specifically, how do you as
an African view the black A-
merlcan and his fight for
According to Blake, "The
black man's struggle In
America Is highly related to
black peoples' struggle for
freedom throughout the world
for a common oppressor Is
being opposed. If the black
American can succeed In getting out from under this racial
subordination. It will definitely affect and give support
to other oppressed blacks, "
Although Blake, a Junior
majoring In journalism, emphasized that this was a personal opinion, he added that
In his association and conversations with other Africans,
the same opinion has been
Although Blake expressed
his belief In the "unity" of
black man's struggle In A-
merlca and the African's
struggle In Africa, he also
expressed his surprise at the
reception he received from
American blacks upon entering the United States.
'When 1 came to this
country, I expected the African and black American relationship to be more cordial,
meaningful and understanding.
After awhile, however, I began
to detect some type of rift
between the two people."
According to Blake, there
was a lack of understanding
and a certain amount of suspicion among bl.ick Americans toward him. There were
exceptional cases, however.
In which Blake was approached because he was an
"Some were very much Interested to know about my culture *nd behavior, " he said.
"In come cases they even
tried to explain the friction
between Afro-
Said Blake, with a smile,
"Some people became Interested In me because they
though! I was from the jungle,
and they wished to know why
I dressed In a shirt and pants."
In general, there was not
as much Intermingling of Africans with black Americans
as Blake had anticipated.
According to Blake, the
Afro hairstyle and African
designed clothes arc symbols
which black Americans arc
using to Identify with an African heritage.
"The black American can
wear these things, but he can't
feel African merely by wearing them."
According to Blake, the cultural Identity must be a cultural process which has developed through one's life
Blake admits this type of
symbolism is a positive factor in creating a black awareness, but many people don't
need those symbols to be
aware of their Identity.
C7Too'often, there tends to
be an over-play of symbolism
In black America. Tbe idetrtlry
must come from the inside/1
Me is employed as s student worker at the Black: A-
mcric*n Studies Office. After graduation, Blake plans
to return to Sierra Leone
and do some writing.
"I may even enter politics, " he added-
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