Public reenactment of a speech originally given by Stokely Carmichael, the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, in front of the UN Building in New York City on April 15, 1967. Carmichael argues that the civil rights movement must oppose the war in Vietnam, discusses the central role of genocide in American History, and issues a forceful call to organize against war, exploitation and racism. Ato Essandoh delivered the speech at Tudor City Plaza on September 7, 2008.
“This was probably the most controversial major political speech delivered the week of the Republican convention. It was also 41 years old.”
- Carla Blumenkranz, New York Magazine, September 2008.
Quotes from speech:
"We black people have struggled against white supremacy here at home. We therefore understand the struggle of the Vietnamese against white supremacy abroad. We black people have struggled against U.S. aggression in the ghettos of the North and South. We therefore understand the struggle of the Vietnamese people against U.S. aggression abroad. This is why there can be no question of whether a civil rights organization should involve itself with foreign issues. It must do so, if it claims to have any relevance to black people and their day-to-day needs in the United States of America. It must do so, if it lays any claim to that humanism which declares: no man is an island."
"We have not only a right to speak out -- we have an obligation. We must be involved, we must fight racism in all its manifestations. We must also look truthfully at this land of the free and home of the brave, and remember that there is another side to that land -- a side better known to the rest of the world than to most Americans. There is another America, and it is an ugly one. It is an America whose basic policy at home and abroad can only be called genocide."
5:00 PM, Sunday, September 7, 2008
E 43rd St at Tudor City Place, New York City
Presented by CREATIVE TIME
In the press
Hyperallergic: "A video projection focused on a single woodland scene for 24 hours shows undulating patterns of light formed by shadows of the trees. A leaf meanders its way to the ground; an insect buzzes by. A small pool of water shimmers and trickles, but not much else happens. When we come upon a scene like this in nature, we might stop for a photo, perhaps force ourselves to meditate for a moment, searching for peace and a spiritual connection, before quickly moving on. Mark Tribe’s “Balsam Lake Mountain Wild Forest, Ulster County, New York,” from the series New Nature (2016–17), allows us to linger more than we might in the wild, where fellow hikers, inclement weather, or mosquitoes compel us to be on our way. It allows us to enjoy the scene. According to a wall text accompanying this piece, we are more likely to experience nature on a digital screen than in an immersive setting. “In an age of virtual reality and inescapable human impact, is nature as real as it used to be?” asks Tribe. “And how could we use technologies of simulation (including relatively straightforward ones, like video) to preserve the experience of a vanishing wilderness?” By providing a voyeuristic view, the artist awakens us to a primal urge to get outside, to smell the moss, to feel the ferns and rocks, to listen to the water." Ilene Dube, "Artists Urge Us to Get Outside and Smell the Moss"