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Source global Wall Street Journal     time 2022-12-17 15:01:01
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   "The first time's always worst. You get used to it better before long. You took it real good, homeboy.

  I should stress that Small's wasn't any nest of criminals. I dwell upon the hustlers because it was theirworld that fascinated me. Actually, for the night-life crowd, Small's was one of Harlem's two or threemost decorous nightspots. In fact, the New York City police department recommended Small's towhite people who would ask for a "safe" place in Harlem.

  The ghetto hustler is forever frustrated, restless, and anxious for some "action." Whatever heundertakes, he commits himself to it fully, absolutely.

  From Malcolm X himself, I had seen, or heard, a few unusual things which had caused me some littleprivate wonder and speculation, and then, with nothing to hang them onto, I had dismissed them.

  The third round automatically began the tiring of the aging Listen, who was overconfidently trainedto go only two rounds. Then, desperate, Listen lost. The secret of one of fight history's greatest upsetswas that months before that night, Clay had out-thought Listen.

  Harlem's famous image spread until it swarmed nightly with white people from all over the world.

  From Malcolm X himself, I had seen, or heard, a few unusual things which had caused me some littleprivate wonder and speculation, and then, with nothing to hang them onto, I had dismissed them.

  My father prevailed on some friends to clothe and house us temporarily; then he moved us intoanother house on the outskirts of East Lansing. In those days Negroes weren't allowed after dark inEast Lansing proper. There's where Michigan State University is located; I related all of this to anaudience of students when I spoke there in January, 1963 (and had the first reunion in a long whilewith my younger brother, Robert, who was there doing postgraduate studies in psychology). I toldthem how East Lansing harassed us so much that we had to move again, this time two miles out oftown, into the country. This was where my father built for us with his own hands a four-room house.


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