Today we share this two-part story in celebration of National Potato Month
In the process of writing a book on black and Latino coalitions in New York City, I interviewed political strategist Bill Lynch at his office in Harlem located almost over the top of Marcus Samuelson's restaurant the Red Rooster. Lynch became the most fascinating political operative I learned about. Bill (which he preferred to be called) scheduled me for a 30 minute interview, but when he saw that I had done my homework on the history that he had lived, we talked for almost 2 hours! Towards the end Bill says I should interview Harry Belafonte who along with him had been instrumental in getting David Dinkins to run for mayor in 1989. In no time he had Belafonte on a speakerphone and made the introduction. I was awestruck as I listen to his raspy ask,“book why does he want to write a book, that's a lot of work! (Belafonte had just finished his autobiography). Bill had photos of him and Nelson Mandela on his office walls. He explained that when he served as chief of staff for Mayor David Dinkins he got to know Mandela in the process of organizing his New York City visit. They became friends and Mandela later hired Lynch as a consultant on his presidential campaign.