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and how and whether he was getting enough to sustain the politicaleducation operation that he and his brothers and sisters had organized and were attempting to maintain for the black people of Brixton. When he heard that money was very scarce and particularly hard for them to come by, Emmett gave Michael X an angle which eventually financially supported the work he and his comrades were doing for at least the following twelve or thirteen months. It had nothing to do with stealing or hurting anyone, and still has nothing to do with you, no matter who you are.

Early the next evening, Emmett found himself standing in front of the same microphone before about one thousand of the younger, heavier members of the same audience. This time, however, he was alone with no one else on the stage. He also felt a lot younger than the previous night, when his chippy shot of drugstore scag made him feel as old as the hills and as numb-dumb-cold-dry as a dead dog. He still couldn't figure out why he hit himself in the vein with the poison of his youth. Had it just been for old time's sake or had he been trying to impress his Beat elders with his own down hipster style? He gave up attempting to answer himself with a vow that he'd never chip again.

The rows of radicals who came to hear what he had to say were anxious but attentive, and Emmett was ready for them. He had memorized his speech the day before and had thoroughly gone over it that afternoon, blocking out its dramatic pauses and polishing up his delivery. When the moderator of the day's symposium of "Liberation," or whatever it was supposed to be, finished introducing Emmett as a "Digger, a hippie, an acidhead and a living mythical legend in his own time," he stepped forward to the applause and waited for it to subside, feeling ". . . righteously righteous and stone justly just," as his good friend and family doctor once said in a song.

The handclapping died down, and Emmett spoke strong and clearly into the microphone like an actor delivering a soliloquy, and the finger-popping revolutionaries listened to what they wanted to hear:

"Our revolution will do more to effect a real, inner transformation than all of modern history's revolts taken together! . . . In no stage of our advance, in no stage of our fighting must we let chaos rule! . . . Nobody can doubt the fact that during the last year, a revolution of the most momentous character has been swelling like a storm among the youth of the West. Look at the strength of awareness [end page 432]


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