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The Man Behind "The Butler"

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Wil Haygood, long-time Washington Post columnist on race and politics, who wrote the article that inspired the new movie "Lee Daniels’ The Butler", discusses his piece, and his work covering race and civil rights, one day before the anniversary of the March on Washington.

Guests:

Wil Haygood

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Comments [10]

Eric from Albany CA

In addition to the insulting incident at the Kennedy White House that was discussed during Brian's interview, Sammy Davis Jr. was removed from the list of entertainers at JFK's inaugural party in 1961 because of his marriage to a white woman. As for Davis' endorsement of Nixon in 1972, that was because of Nixon's support for Israel.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sammy_Davis,_Jr.

Aug. 27 2013 03:15 PM
adrienne from UWS

sorry to hear on the interview that your guest found it so difficult to say that Sammy Davis Jr. converted to Judaism that Brian had to finish his sentence for him.

Aug. 27 2013 11:57 AM
Edelen McLaughlin from Brooklyn

On LBJ's positioning in the movie, I agree. Robert Caro's book, Master of The Senate, would help with reckoning who LBJ was. As your guest has said, he had no equal in the passage of legislation and actual work toward civil rights. However, this was squarely in the realm of his political maneuvering, not his morality as he often referred to the Civil Rights Act as "the nigger bill." He was a shrewd, complex, and yes, comical figure as the videos on him show. It was political pressure behind the images of Emmett Till that drove him in that case to the political necessity of keeping the country from exploding after Jet Magazine published Moneta Sleet's stunning photos of the tortured Till.

Aug. 27 2013 11:30 AM
Mike from Jersey City from New Jersey

BEGGING YOUR GUEST'S PARDON. BUT HE LEFT OUT PRESIDENT ULYSSES S. GRANT AS A CIVIL RIGHTS GIANT.

THAT WOULD BE THE PRESIDENT WHO PUSHED THROUGH THE AMENDMENT GIVING BLACK MALES THE RIGHT TO VOTE -- 60 YEARS BEFORE WHITE WOMEN COULD.

Aug. 27 2013 11:28 AM
Roberta from Brooklyn

Brian, I always love your show. But I think it's a shame that you didn't see this film before interviewing this guest.

Aug. 27 2013 11:24 AM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

Yesterday's Steve Malzberg Show had a guest who attacked the film for its lack of verisimilitude to the life of the actual butler.

Clueless...

Aug. 27 2013 11:18 AM
Jack from Brooklyn

I found it shocking to learn that equal pay for equal work wasn't instituted until the mis '80s in Reagan's term.

Aug. 27 2013 11:17 AM
Dorothy from Manhattan

Wanted to call -- Can't remember number.

I saw something on line yesterday, full of hate and anger, quoting Michael Reagan attacking the movie.

Can the author speak in general about right wing attacks?

Aug. 27 2013 11:11 AM
Claire from Westchester

Why was Lyndon Johnson treated so comically in the movie when he was the one who was responsible for getting the most important civil rights legislation passed? His portrayal was offensive. It perpetuates the myth that JFK was the great civil rights leader, when in fact, it was Johnson's will, heart and political and legislative acumen that were responsible for the laws passing.

Aug. 27 2013 10:56 AM
Mel Miller from Upper West Side

I'd like to encourage you (and Lee Daniels) to celebrate the life of Eugene Bullard

Son of a slave; runway at 11; stowaway at 12; boxer; minstrel performer; enlistee in the French Foreign Legion; pilot in the Lafayette Flying Corps; awarded fifteen French war medals including the Croix de Guerre and Légion d'honneur;

married to the daughter of a French countess; Paris night club owner and friend of Bricktop, Josephine Baker, Louis Armstrong, Langston Hughes;beaten at the Peekskill Riots associated with a Paul Robeson concert;

elevator operator at the Rockefeller Center and interviewed by Dave Garroway.

Aug. 27 2013 10:05 AM

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