Black History Month Segment: A Look Back At Adam Clayton Powell, Junior


Published on Feb 21, 2014
A look back at a nearly forgotten man, the former Harlem Congressman, and Pastor of the oldest Black Protestant church in New York, Adam Clayton Powell, Junior. This segment includes an interview with the former New York City Councilman, and State Assembly member, Adam Clayton Powell, the Fourth, one of his surviving sons who joined us at Sahara TV’s New York studios.

Adam Clayton Powell / Black History segment / Sahara television

On Camera:
IN THIS SEGMENT FOR BLACK HISTORY MONTH, WE TAKE A LOOK AT A MAN WHO IS
MOSTLY FORGOTTEN.
YET, HE LEFT AN INDELIBLE MARK ON BLACK NEW YORKERS, BLACK AMERICANS AND
BLACK PEOPLE ALL ACROSS THE GLOBE.
HIS NAME IS ADAM CLAYTON POWELL, JUNIOR……
(GO TO STILL SHOTS HERE….. MAKE USE OF FADES OF THE ‘ADAM ALONE’ SHOTS.)
POWELL WAS DASHING, HANDSOME, DEBONAIR…. HE WAS DAPPER IN DRESS, YET,
A POWERFUL SPEAKER WHO STOOD TALL, AND A RESPECTED LEADER AMONG BLACK
ELECTED OFFICIALS ALL ACROSS AMERICA.
HE ALSO REPRESENTED THE MOST FAMOUS BLACK COMMUNITY ON EARTH…..
HARLEM.
AS LEADER OF NEW YORK’S 15TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, POWELL COMMANDED RESPECT
NATIONALLY, AND INTERNATIONALLY.
HE WAS SOUGHT OUT BY PRESIDENT CANDIDATES, LIKE JOHN F. KENNEDY, SEEN HERE WITH
POWELL AND ELEANOR ROOSEVELT. (INSERT POWELL WITH ‘JFK’ AND ROOSEVELT HERE.)
HE WAS CALLED FOR ADVICE ON DOMESTIC ISSUES NUMEROUS TIMES BY PRESIDENT
LYNDON BAINES JOHNSON, WHO HE IS SEEN HERE WITH. (POWELL WITH LBJ STILLS HERE.)
YET, IT WAS HIS ORATORY AND MASTERY OF THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE, BLACK MAN’S
STYLE, THAT COMMANDED ATTENTION, LIKE AT THIS HARLEM RALLY IN THE EARLY
1960’S.
(GO TO ‘FIRST CUT’ OF BLACK AND WHITE VIDEO CLIP FROM THE LINK I SENT.)
YET, ADAM CLAYTON POWELL COULD ALSO BE IRONIC, FUNNY, AND DOWN RIGHT
SHOCKING….
( GO TO 2ND VIDEO CLIP ON THE LINK THAT IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWS….)
PAGE TWO…. Adam Clayton Powell / Black History segment / Sahara television

OUTCUE: …..SHORT ENOUGH TO BE INTERESTING.” (LAUGHTER)
(INSERT STILL PHOTOS OF POWELL WITH KING AND MALCOLM X HERE… )
A CONTEMPORARY AND FRIEND OF SUCH BLACK AMERICAN ICONS AS MARTIN
LUTHER KING, JUNIOR, AND FELLOW HARLEM ICON, MALCOLM X, ADAM CLAYTON
POWELL PLAYED AN IMPORTANT ROLE AS A LAWMAKER…..
INSIDE CONGRESS, HE CHAIRED THE POWERFUL LABOR AND EDUCATION
COMMITTEE, INTRODUCING NEW SOCIAL POLICY THAT BENEFITTED ALL
AMERICANS. (BELOW INSERT 2 TO THREE PHOTOS OF YOUNG ADAM)
POWELL WAS MARRIED TWICE, AND FATHERED FOUR SONS…. ONE OF THEM ADAM
CLAYTON POWELL THE FOURTH, A FORMER NEW YORK CITY COUNCILMAN,
AND A FORMER STATE ASSEMBLYMAN REPRESENTING HARLEM. (STUDIO SHOT HERE.)
ADAM CLAYTON POWELL THE FOURTH, JOINS US IN THE STUDIO….
SENATOR, WELCOME TO SAHARA REPORTERS…. (“LIVE” STUDIO INTERVIEW HERE.)

QUESTION ONE: WHAT DOES THE LEGACY OF ADAM CLAYTON POWELL MEAN FOR
YOU, AND FOR AFRICANS THE WORLD OVER DURING THIS BLACK HISTORY MONTH?

QUESTION TWO: POWELL WAS AN ADVOCATE OF PUBLIC SERVICE, YOU SERVED AS
A CITY COUNCILMAN, AND LATER A STATE REP…. WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT
PUBLIC SERVICE?

QUESTION THREE: YOU, AND THE CHILDREN OF OTHER NOTABLE PUBLIC PERSONS,
FROM, SAY, MARTIN LUTHER KING’S SON, TO THE KENNEDY’S AND OTHERS, FIND HAVING
A FAMOUS PARENT TO BE A HARD ACT TO FOLLOW. WHAT WAS IT / OR IS IT LIKE FOR YOU?
(MORE)
PAGE THREE Adam Clayton Powell / Black History segment / Sahara television

ERIC ON CAMERA:
A FOOT NOTE… THERE IS JUST NOT ENOUGH TIME TO FULLY DETAIL ADAM CLAYTON
POWELL’S IMPORTANCE.
YET, THERE HAVE BEEN OVER TWO DOZEN BOOKS WRITTEN ABOUT HIM, A
DOCUMENTARY, AS WELL AS A FEATURE FILM ABOUT HIS LIFE AND TIMES. (GO TO STILLS HERE.)
HE WAS A BLACK MAN WHO COULD HAVE PASSED FOR WHITE…. BUT HE WOULD HAVE NONE
OF IT. HE PROUDLY IDENTIFIED HIMSELF AS AFRICAN-AMERICA.
(**) A MAJOR HARLEM THROUGHFARE, 7TH AVENUE, NOW BEARS HIS NAME, ALONG
WITH THE TALLEST BUILDING IN HARLEM, AND STATUE OF HIS LIKE-NESS IN WHAT IS
CALLED AFRICAN SQUARE. (**INSERT PHOTOS OF HARLEM STATE OFFICE BUILDING AND
STATUE STILL SHOTS HERE…..)
YET, POWELL WAS ONE PART, OF A THREE TIERED MOVEMENT FOR SOCIAL CHANGE
IN AMERICA BACK IN THE 1950’S, AND 1960’S. (BEGIN FADE TO mlk AND Malcolm shots here.)
WE ALL KNOW OF MARTIN LUTHER KING AND MALCOM X, ON THE ACTIVIST SIDE.
(INSERT PHOTOS OF King AND MALCOLM X HERE….)
SOME HAVE HEARD OF THURGOOD MARSHALL, THE CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY.
(INSERT PHOTOS OF THURGOOD MARSHALL HERE… FADES… 2 OR 3 SHOTS.)
IT WAS MARSHALL WHO FOUGHT, AND WON, THE MOST IMPORTANT SUPREME COURT BATTLE
AFFECTING NON-WHITES IN AMERICA IN A CASE CALLED, BROWN VERSUS BOARD OF EDUCATION.
(INSERT ADAM ALONE PHOTO (S) HERE…. )
YET, THE CHANGING OF THE LAW, INSIDE THE AMERICAN CONGRESS WOULD NOT HAVE
OCCURRED WITHOUT THE PUSH OF NONE OTHER THAN ADAM CLAYTON POWELL, JUNIOR, A GIANT
AMONG GIANTS IN THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY.
(BACK ON CAMERA TO ME.)
AND THAT’S JUST PART OF THE STORY OF BLACK HISTORY IN NORTH AMERICA.
ERIC WILLIAMS, SAHARA TELEVISION, NEW YORK.

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