NYU Black Renaissance Noire Winter 2014 - Page 111

Because I had interviewed Sterling Brown, I was encouraged by Henderson to interview the writer Frank Marshall Davis on October 24, 1973. This interview would be helpful to the literary scholar John Edgar Tidwell. who in 1992 edited Frank Marshall Davis — Livin’ The Blues: Memoirs of A Black Journalist and Poet. During the 1970s, Frank Marshall Davis was a mentor to President Barack Obama while Obama was growing up in Hawaii. Obama writes about Davis in his memoir Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance (1995). Listening to Sterling Brown talk about his life was more exciting than reading John Hope Franklin’s From Slavery to Freedom. Looking from behind a camera served as an early reminder that I couldn’t just write poems, but that I needed to live the legacy. I needed to preserve the memories of people that came before me. My early beginnings as a literary activist started with the promotion and documentation of the work of Sterling Brown. Thanks, thanks my good friend, I am in your debt. In 1981, I served on a D.C. Arts Com ֗76