The Author List
This list is intended to provide the writings with some, perhaps minimal, context. It is not updated as often as the central page.
Sasha Abramsky ("Prison Nation") is a freelance journalist. He wrote Hard Time Blues. He has a website that he never updates at www.sashaabramsky.com
A. Muhammad Ahmad ("The League of Revolutionary Black Workers (A Historical Study)") was once described as Malcolm's protege. Then known as Max Stanford, this young militant Philadelphian militant was associated with the Revolutionary Action Movement and Robert F. Williams. He now teaches in Ohio.
Linda Martín-Alcoff ("What Should White People Do?") is a dangerous woman as well as being Professor of Philosophy, Women's Studies and Political Science and currently the Director of Women's Studies at Syracuse University. Her areas of work include feminist epistemology, critical race theory, feminist philosophy, and continental philosophy. Her webpage is alcoff.com.
Muhammad Ali ("The Thoughts of Muhammad Ali in Exile, c. 1967" ) is the Greatest Of All Time. He was the Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the world, was personally taught by Malcolm X, and refused to serve in the army during the invasian of Vietnam as a conscientious objector. His official webpage is www.ali.com.
James Baldwin("An Open Letter to My Sister,
Angela Y. Davis") was a novelist, essayist, and playwright who started out as a child preacher and exploded into one of those people everyone should just read. The man was black, gay, and wrote powerful honest essays calling america out and they still put him on a postage stamp. One quote among many: "The brutal truth is that the bulk of white people in American never had any interest in educating black people, except as this could serve white purposes. It is not the black child's language that is in question, it is not his language that is despised: It is his experience. A child cannot be taught by anyone who despises him, and a child cannot afford to be fooled. A child cannot be taught by anyone whose demand, essentially, is that the child repudiate his experience, and all that gives him sustenance, and enter a limbo in which he will no longer be black, and in which he knows that he can never become white. Black people have lost too many black children that way."
Benjamin Banneker ("Letter to Jefferson") was a clockmaker, almanac publisher, and assisted in designing Washington D.C.
Edward Bernays ("Propaganda"(1928)) was one of the founders of the Public Relations industry. Nephew to pioneering psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, Bernays's enduring influence on the control of your desires and dreams is as total as it is invisible.
Black Hawk ("Surrender Speech") was a chief of the Sauk Native American.
Major General Smedley Butler ("War Is A Racket" 1935) was, at the time of his death, the most decorated marine in U.S. history. An immensely popular figure in the United States at the time, Butler led the Bonus Army and came forward to the U.S. Congress in 1933 to report that a failed coup had been plotted by wealthy industrialists to overthrow the government of President Franklin D. Roosevelt with the help of General Butler.
Amilcar Cabral ("National Liberation and Culture" and "The Weapon of Theory") was one of the greatest of modern theoreticians of the African Revolution and led the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde. Just before independence was won, he was assassinated by the Portuguese state.
Bartoleme de Las Casas ("A Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies") was one of the original Spanish critics of racism and colonialism.
Fidel Castro ("Why do the Yankees hate the Cuban Revolution?") is a communist who led the revolutionary overthrow of the Batista regime in Cuba and has led the country ever since.
Noam Chomsky (A selection from "Understanding Power") is one of the leading scholars and speakers of the movement. He has written numerous books, gives lectures practically non-stop, and has an incredible schedule of interviews and letter-writing.
Bill Clinton ("A War I Opposed And Despised") was the forty-second president of the United States and was impeached. You've probably heard about it.
Ruben Dario ("To Roosevelt") was a Nicaraguan poet (1867-1916).
Angela Y. Davis ("The Challenge of Prison Abolition: A conversation between Angela Y. Davis and Dylan Rodriguez" and "Masked Racism: Reflections on the Prison Industrial Complex") is known internationally for her ongoing work to combat all forms of oppression in the US and abroad. In 1969 she came to national attention after being removed from her teaching position at UCLA as a result of her social activism and her membership in the Communist Party. In 1970, she was placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List on false charges; she was accused of planning an alleged kidnapping of three San Quentin prisoners and supplying the gun that killed four people during the incident. She was incarcerated on charges of murder, kidnapping and conspiracy, and was the subject of an intense police search that drove her underground and which culminated in one of the most famous trials in recent history. A massive, international "Free Angela Davis" campaign led to her acquittal in 1972. Harnessing the momentum of that campaign, she co-founded the National Alliance Against Racism and Political Repression, which continues its work today. Professor Davis has lectured in all 50 states, as well as in Africa, Europe, the Caribbean and the former Soviet Union. She is the author of five books.
Eugene Debs ("Statement to the Court Upon Being Convicted of Violating the Sedition Act" 1918) ran five time Socialist Candidate for Presidency, the only candidate to run for US President from prison, and was an advocate of industrial unionism.
Frederick Douglass ("The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro" and a selection from "The Narrative Of The Life of Frederick Douglass") was one of the foremost leaders of the abolitionist movement, an escaped slave, and a brilliant orator. He noted "To make a contented slave you must make a thoughtless one."
Max Elbaum ("What Legacy from the Radical Internationalism of 1968?" 2002) has been involved in peace and anti-racist movements since joining students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in Madison, Wisconsin in the 1960s. Through the 1970s and 1980s he participated in campaigns defending affirmative action and opposing U.S. military interventions in the Third World while writing extensively for the radical press and taking part in then-widespread efforts to construct a new US revolutionary political party. In the 1990s, he was the editor of CrossRoads, a magazine featuring dialogue and debate among socialists and radicals from different left political traditions. His author page is www.revolutionintheair.com
Frantz Fanon ("Reciprocal Bases of National Culture and the Fight for Freedom") was a French psychiatrist and revolutionary writer, whose writings had profound influence on the radical movements in the 1960s in the United States and Europe. In his teenage years, Fanon became politically active and participated in the guerrilla struggle against the supporters of the pro-Nazi French Vichy government.
Liza Featherstone ("'Action Will Be Taken': Left Anti-intellectualism and Its Discontents") is a New York City-based journalist. She is the author, most recently, of "Selling Women Short: The Landmark Battle for Workers' Rights At Wal-Mart".
Kim Gilmore ("Slavery and Prison - Understanding the Connections") is a member of Critical Resistance East (e-mail: email@example.com).
Zoltan Grossman ("New US Military Bases: Side Effects Or Causes Of War?") teaches at The Evergreen State College and has a webpage.
Ernesto 'Che' Guevara ("U.S. imperialism is guilty of aggression in Vietnam.") is more than a T-shirt. He was an Argentinian doctor who joined Castro in 1954 to lead the Cuban revolution, was strongly critical of the Soviet Union, developed the theory of Foquismo, and was killed on orders of the CIA. Since his work in the Cuban revolution, he has inspired countless activists and revolutionaries worldwide.
Fred Hampton ( "Power Anywhere Where There's People") was only twenty years old and already the deputy chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party when he was brutally assassinated by the state. Hampton coined the phrase "Rainbow Coalition" after forging a class-conscious, multiracial albeit tenuous alliance between the Black Panther Party, Students for a Democratic Society, the Young Lords, the Young Patriots, and the Blackstone Rangers.
Stephen Hartnett ("Prison Labor, Slavery & Capitalism in Historical Perspective") is an associate professor at the University of illinois-Urbana Champagn. His School webpage is here.
Harry Haywood ("A selection from Black Bolshevik") was the son of former slaves, became radicalized after his family was attacked by a white mob and forced to leave town, fought in the first world war, participated in the armed defense of black communities in Chicago during a six-day 1919 white race riot, joined the communist Party, wrote Negro Liberation (1948) and Black Bolshevik: Autobiography of an Afro-American Communist (1978).
Doug Henwood ("'Action Will Be Taken': Left Anti-intellectualism and Its Discontents") edits the Left business Observer and writes books, including the excellent Wall Street which is now completely online. He also has one of the greatest jacket quotes ever: "You're scum...sick and twisted...it's tragic you exist." - former Wall Street Journal executive editor Norman Pearlstine
Billie Holiday ("Strange Fruit" 1937) was the outstanding jazz singer of her day. Holiday's record label refused to record the song but Holiday persisted and recorded it on a specialty label instead. The song was quickly adopted as the anthem for the anti-lynching movement.
Langston Hughes ("A Selection of the Poetry") was one of the most important writers and thinkers of the Harlem Renaissance.
George Jackson ("Remembering the Real Dragon - An Interview with George Jackson") was a Black American militant who became a member of the Black Panther Party while in prison, where he spent the last 12 years of his life. He was assassinated by the state.
June Jordan ("June Jordan Speaks Out Against the 1991 Gulf War" 1991) was an African-American bisexual political activist, writer, poet, and teacher, born in Harlem, New York, to Jamaican immigrants. She founded Poetry for the People at the University of California, Berkeley. She was a full professor in the departments of English, Women Studies, and African American Studies. She also taught at Yale University. Jordan died of breast cancer, at her home in Berkeley, California. The June Jordan School for Equity, formerly Small School for Equity, in San Francisco is named after her.
Joreen ("The Tyranny Of Structurelessness") was the pen name of Jo Freeman, a feminist scholar and writer. Her webpage is at www.jofreeman.com/.
Helen Keller ("Strike Against War") was a deafblind American author, activist, lecturer, and socialist.
Martin Luther King Jr. ("Letter from a Birmingham Jail" 1963) was a great Civil Rights activist who has, unfortunately, been repackaged as something he wasn't: a simple dreamer. King's current image is too associated with "nonviolence" when what he really espoused was "nonviolent direct action." While this simple author note cannot do anything to dispel this mythologizing, we'll simply admonish readers to seek out more of King's actual words and a brief quote: "You can't talk about solving the economic problem of the Negro without talking about billions of dollars. You can't talk about ending the slums without first saying profit must be taken out of slums. You're really tampering and getting on dangerous ground because you are messing with folk then. You are messing with captains of industry... Now this means that we are treading in difficult water, because it really means that we are saying that something is wrong...with capitalism... There must be a better distribution of wealth and maybe America must move toward a Democratic Socialism. "
Karen Kwiatkowski ("The New Pentagon Papers" 2004) is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force whose assignments included duties as a Pentagon desk officer and in a variety of roles for the National Security Agency.
George Lakey ("Strategizing For A Living Revolution") was first arrested in a civil rights campaign. He has co-authored a basic handbook for the civil rights movement, A Manual for Direct Action, and then five other books on social change. He currently works with Training for Change in Philadelphia.
Mary Elizabeth Lease ("Wall Street Owns The Country" and "Speech to the Women's Christian Temperance Union", both 1890s) was involved in a growing revolt of Kansas farmers against high mortgage interest and railroad rates. This brought her to the forefront of the People's (Populist) Party as one of their most popular orators.
John Lewis ("The Revolution is At Hand") is an American politician and was an important leader in the American Civil Rights Movement as president of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He has represented the 5th District of Georgia (map) in the United States House of Representatives since 1987. The district takes in almost all of Atlanta. His official website is www.house.gov/johnlewis/index.shtml
Staughton Lynd ("The Freedom Schools: Concept And Organization") is a political activist, historian and attorney who specializes in labor law. He lives in Youngstown, Ohio.
James Madison ("Federalist No. 10") was a "founding father," fourth and shortest president of the United States, and was the first president of the American Colonization Society which bought passage for free black Americans to return to Africa.
Nelson Mandela ("Two Selections") was imprisoned by the Apartheid South African state for twenty-seven years for his work with the African National Congress. Four years after his release, he was elected State President. He won the 1993 nobel Peace Prize. A CIA agent bragged to have assisted in arresting Mandela.
Abel Meeropol ("Strange Fruit" 1937) was a Jewish schoolteacher and union activist from the Bronx. Abel and his wife, Anne, later adopted Robert and Michael Rosenberg, the orphaned children of the executed communists Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.
Don Mitchell ("You Who are the Bureaucrats of Empire, Remember Who We Are") is a geographer at Syracuse University, is part of the "People's Geography Project," and won the genius grant. The People's Geography Project's website is www.peoplesgeography.org
Huey Newton ("The Women's Liberation and Gay Liberation Movements" 1970) was co-founder and inspirational leader of the Black Panther Party.
David M. Oshinsky (A chapter from "Worse Than Slavery") is the George Littlefield Professor of American History at the University of Texas. His books include A Conspiracy So Immense: The World of Joe McCarthy and Polio: An American Story.
Jose Palafox ("Opening Up Borderland Studies: A Review of U.S.-Mexico Border Militarization Discourse") was the associate producer of the critically acclaimed documentary "New World Border." Palafox was born in Tijuana, B.C., Mexico and raised in San Diego, CA. He has published extensively on the militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border (e.g., Z Magazine, Covert Action Quarterly, ColorLines Magazine, and Clamour) and has long been involved with immigrant and border rights. As a musician and activist, Palafox has been part of the punk-hardcore underground scene since the early 1990's.
Christian Parenti ("Crime As Social Control," "Lockdown America in 22 Minutes," "The War on the People: An Interview with Christian Parenti," "'Action Will Be Taken': Left Anti-intellectualism and Its Discontents") is the author of Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis, The Soft Cage: Surveillance in America from Slavery to the War on Terror, and The Freedom: Shadows and Hallucinations in Occupied Iraq . He is a visiting fellow at the CUNY Graduate SchoolÜs Center for Place, Culture, and Politics. His articles appear regularly in The Nation. He is required reading.
Michael Parenti ("Imperialism 101") is an internationally known award-winning author and lecturer. His talks are engaging and he has a good sense of humor. His webpage is www.michaelparenti.org/
Anthony Platt ("Social Insecurity: The Transformation of American Criminal Justice, 1965-2000") is a member of the editorial board of Social Justice and professor of social work at California State University, Sacramento.
Lewis Powell ("The Powell Memo") was Nixon's idea of justice. Before being on the supreme court, he was a corporate lawyer.
Walter Rodney ("African History in the Service of the Black Liberation," "George Jackson: Black Revolutionary," and a "Street Speech") was a prominent Guyanese historian and political figure who vigorously explored the idea of the guerrilla intellectual. He wrote How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, Groundings with my Brothers, and a two-volume history of the Guyanese working people. When he went to Canada to speak, he was barred re-entry back into Jamaica where he taught. Riots broke out throughout the Carribean. He was murdered by the state.
Dylan E. Rodriguez ("The Challenge of Prison Abolition: A Conversation between Angela Y. Davis and Dylan Rodriguez") is an Assistant Professor at University of California - Riverside and was involved in the formation of Critical Resistance. Rodriguezs first book, Forced Passages: Imprisoned Radical Intellectuals and the Formation of the U.S. Prison Regime will be published in 2005 by the University of Minnesota Press. His School webpage is here.
Theodore Roosevelt ("The Roosevelt Corollary") was the twenty-sixth (1901-09) President of the United States, succeeding to the office upon the assassination of William McKinley. At 42, Roosevelt was the youngest person ever to serve as President of the United State and racist to the core.
Leopold Senghor("The Negro is the Race Oppressed by All the Imperialists") was an Seneglese poet and politician who served as the first president of Senegal (1960´1980). With Aime Cesaire and Leon Damas, Senghor created the concept of Negritude, an important philosophical movement that sought to distance African culture from European influences.
Gil Scott-Heron ("The Revolution Will Not Be Televised") is a poet and musician, known primarily for his late 1960s and early 1970s work as a spoken word performer, associated with African American militant activists.
Lamina Senghor ("The Negro is the Race Oppressed by All the Imperialists")
El Hajj Malik El-Shabazz
See Malcolm X
Gregory Shank ("Looking back: Radical Criminology and Social Movements") is the Managing Editor of Social Justice. He earned degrees in Sociology, Criminology, and the Sociology of Education at the University of California, Berkeley, and has been on the staff of the journal since 1974.
Max Stanford See A. Muhammad Ahmad
Paul Street ("Race, Prison, and Poverty" and "Empire Abroad, Prisons At Home: Dark Connections") is an author, teacher, speaker, historian, and blogger.
Sojourner Truth ("Ain't I A Woman?") was born a slave, wrote a book "The Narrative of Sojourner Truth," and was a strong feminist abolitionist. When a white man told her that her speeches were no more important than a fleabite, she replied, "Maybe not, but the Lord willing, I'll keep you scratching."
Mark Twain ("The War Prayer") was born Samuel Langhorn Clemens, was an active member of the Anti-Imperialist League, and apparently wrote some books as well.
Karen Wald ("Remembering the Real Dragon - An Interview with George Jackson" 1971) is a North American anti-imperalist activist and former Liberation News reporter. A collection of some of her writings can be found here.
Suzi Weissman ("The War on the People An Interview with Christian Parenti" 1999) is an Associate Professor of Politics at Saint Mary's College of California and sits on the editorial boards of "Critique" and "Against the Current."
James Monroe Whitfield ("America" 1853) was a barber by trade, a major propagandist for black separatism and racial justice, and a poet whose impassioned protest verse combined bitter anger and artistry.
Kristian Williams ("The Demand For Order And The Birth Of Modern Policing") studied literature and philosophy at Reed College. As a member of Rose City Copwatch, he has helped document cases of police brutality and trained dozens of people on their rights when dealing with the cops.
Robert Williams ("Appeal to Adlai Stevenson" 1961) organized African-American armed self-defense in the South. President of the NAACP in Monroe, North Carolina, he led the Black community in preventing Klan attacks and opposing the racism of governmental agencies. He was falsely accused of kidnapping charges by the FBI and was forced into exile.
Ellen Willis ("Ellen Willis Replies"1968) is now the director of the Cultural Reporting and Criticism concentration in the graduate program. Formerly a columnist and senior editor for The Village Voice, a contributing editor at Rolling Stone and the first pop music critic for The New Yorker, she has recently appeared in The Nation, The New York Times, Salon, and Dissent, among other publications. She is the author of three books of essays on culture and politics: Beginning to See the Light: Sex, Hope, and Rock and Roll; No More Nice Girls: Countercultural Essays and Don't Think, Smile! Notes on a Decade of Denial.
Carter Godwin Woodson (The Mis-Education of the Negro 1933), the son of former slaves, grew up to be a historian, editor, publisher, writer, and founder to the precursor of Black History Month. Known as the "Father of Black History," believed strongly in the development of black history as an important foundation for changing black life in America.
Malcolm X ("The Ballot or the Bullet", "A Message to the Grassroots", and a selection from "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" 1965) was a black militant leader who articulated concepts of race pride and black nationalism in the early 1960s. After his assassination, the widespread distribution of his autobiography story made him an ideological hero, especially among black youth. His autobiography is essentially required reading.
Howard Zinn ("Drawing the Color Line," "A People's War?," "Federal Bureau of Intimidation," and a selection from "The People's History of the United States") was raised in a working-class family in Brooklyn, and flew bombing missions for the United States in World War II, an experience he later pointed to as shaping his opposition to war. In 1956, he became a professor at Spelman College in Atlanta, a school for black women, where he soon became involved in the Civil rights movement, which he participated in as an adviser to the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and chronicled, in his book SNCC: The New Abolitionists. Zinn collaborated with historian Staughton Lynd and mentored a young student named Alice Walker. When he was fired in 1963 for insubordination related to his protest work, he moved to Boston University, where he became a leading critic of the Vietnam War.
He is perhaps best known for A People's History of the United States, which presents American history through the eyes of those he feels are outside of the political and economic establishment. One of the many webpages dedicated to his work is howardzinn.org.
Organizations and Anonymous
The African Methodist Episcopal Church ("The Negro Should Not Enter the Army") was born in protest against slavery.
The Black Panther Party ("Black Panther Party Platform, Program, and Rules") was a revolutionary Black nationalist organization in the United States that formed in the late 1960s and grew to national prominence before falling apart due to a combination of internal problems and suppression by state, including imprisonment and murder.
Chicago Women's Liberation Union ("Socialist Feminism: A Strategy for the Women's Movement") grew out of the women's movement, the civil rights movement, the anti-war movement and the other social movements of the time.
From 1969-1977, CWLU members dedicated themselves to developing grassroots programs for women while working toward a long term revolution in American society. There is an excellent page about them: CWLU Herstory
Communist Party of South Africa ("How to Master Secret Work") was founded in 1921, and a partner in the Tripartite alliance consisting of the ANC
and Congress of South African Trade Unions
SNCC ("The Basis of Black Power: a SNCC position paper") stood for Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (later, Student National Coordinating Committee) was one of the primary institutions of the American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.
The Radical Education Project ("The Radical Education Project: An Introduction And An Invitation") was an effort by activists and intellectuals to develop a research, education, and publication center designed to strengthen the movement toward a new left in America.
The White Rose Society ("The Six Pamphlets of the White Rose Society") was a close-knit group of friends in Nazi Germany. They anonymously published a series of pamhplets, distributing them to scholars, medics, and pub owners. They began to do public grafitti critical of Hitler. Several were caught distributing fliers and they were all rounded up and virtually all involved were executed.
The Vietnam Day Committee ("Attention All Military Personnel a pamphlet of the Vietnam Day Committee") was a Vietnam-era antiwar group that organized day long teach-ins.
Back To History Is A Weapon's Front Page
"The police walked us back to our car.
Don't I call them 'Pigs'? Not when they're
walking us to our car, protecting us. They're
-Bill Ayers of SDS joking
about a Death Penalty protest that got a little hairy.