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SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE  April 2007

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE April 2007

Subject:

Re: Len Radinsky (1937-1985) & nostalgia and Black Liberation

From:

herb fox <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 7 Apr 2007 18:09:05 -0400

Content-Type:

multipart/mixed

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (76 lines) , herb_fox.vcf (11 lines)

 Crrol:
   I certainly agree one shouldn't duplicate anything from the past, 
especially mistakes, of which my post made some mention, one being 
SftP's (not my) disconnect from the Black Liberation Movement.
I hope that you don't deny me remembering some of the fun, excitement 
and meaningful personal relations
that date, by the way, from the early 70's. 
    Now to the point.  How should we understand the political movements 
of the past?  This is always a problem for historians, since there are 
three periods to be considered--when the events occurred, when the 
historian writes of them and when those who did not experience them 
learn of them.  It appears that the comfortable-class-student movement 
of the 60s and the feminist movement have received more press than the 
Back Liberation Movement, the Veteran/Soldiers movement and the 
progressive workers' movement.  That  misrepresents the role of the 
Black Liberation Movement.  Perhaps one should also mention the generous 
sprinkling of ex CPers and Red Diapers in the leadership of these 
movements.  Nevertheless i, for one, am hard pressed to eliminate any of 
these movements from the historical equation.  As for placing them in a 
heierarchy, it probably depends on the question one asks.  They all have 
precedents that pre-date the 50's.  If the question is what is the key 
defining element of US history i don't hesitate to name the thread of 
slavery and subsequent treatment of Black America as the defining 
characteristic of this nation from its beginning into the present.  It 
is not only the oppression of African Americans that makes this nation 
what it is, it is also the expression of African Americans that makes us 
what we are.  For example, our primary cultural export, decribed as 
"American as apple pie" is jazz, the product originally of African 
Americans.
    Jonathan's remarks about the influence of the student/middle-class 
anti-war movement on the soldiers ignores who many of those soldiers 
were--African Americans who witnessed the liberation movements in Africa 
and the Black Liberation Movement at home.  They also influenced the 
non-black soldiers in Vietnam. [It is sad to note that in today's 
mercenary army, it appears that African American soldiers are pretty 
stalwart supporters of the army.]
    I believe Carrol, that we probably have more agreement than 
disagreement on the role of the Black Liberation Movement.  I do think, 
though, that your assertion does not illuminate the issue well.  Perhaps 
you (or i) could recommend some stuff to read for Jonathan (and 
others).  In any case it doesn't make historical sense to deny the role 
of other movements of the time.  Rather their roles need to be put in 
perspective.
    Finally, although personal testimony cannot replace documented 
history, let me say that the Black Liberation Movement has been central 
to my political activity from its beginning in the forties.  At a 
meeting of Club Emancipation, an interracial political club in Roxbury 
(Boston), i met my wife.  In the 1952 marriage that lasted 24 years we 
produced four African American children.  They weren't born into slavery 
and they eventually could go places that would have brought violence 
upon their parents; but they were born into a racist society, the 
indignities of which they still suffer in spite of their accomplishments 
as do all African Americans (and other people of color) regardless of 
class or birth.  Nothing on the progressive agenda will make my country 
whole that doesn't include the emancipation of non-black Americans from 
the penetrating stain of their historical, prevalent racism ensconced in 
our institutions. That is why the Black Liberation Movement is 
essential--because the non-blacks can't seem to liberate themselves.
In struggle,
herb


Carrol Cox wrote:

>Nostalgia in reference to the '60s _is_ dangerous. The great overriding
>fact of the '60s was the existence of the Black Liberation Movement of
>the 1950s/60s. Nothing in the '60s makes  full sense except in that
>context. Recognizing that prevents unwise attempts to duplicate that
>decade.
>
>Carrol
>
>  
>

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