He who answers before listening; that is
his folly and his shame.
Thunderclap Newman in the U.K. had a
Number One Hit in 1969:
out the instigators
there’s something in the air
got to get together sooner or later
the revolution’s here . . .
The following disclaimer, on the other
hand, applies universally.
It was aptly expressed by writer Bryan Palmer: 
every radical . . . fieldworker, for every militant
anti-Vietnam War protester, for every women’s liberationist, there were
countless . . . youth who followed no rebel road.
nevertheless sometimes make history, and they are
certainly capable of putting a strong stamp on it, as elites have
The aim of this piece is to present the
influence upon the worlds
of those who were interested in revolutionary change. The assumption
the voice of “we” and what affected us.
Points of information are indicated in
this chapter as take-off referrals
to the accumulation of events that occurred previous to the detailed
the Grenada Revolution.
The call to “revolution”
brings to mind the question of its meaning. A study of the concept
makes for a
of social change? Is “revolution”
also a “coup d’état”? A revolt? An
uprising? An internal war? A class rebellion? Is “revolution”
a war, essentially against one leader? Is it a battle,
in essence, to set a charismatic leader as replacement for a demonized
Clusters of revolutionary groups grew out
of social and academic
communities. We had, to put it simply, the desire to change the world
felt we could do it. We thought we knew how the system worked and we
abolish unemployment and poverty. We wanted to make the world a better
to our way of thinking, “The System”
was to blame.
There was that general feeling that if you
worked within your
surroundings for social change, you were working towards the larger
revolutionary movement yet to come.
One felt poised on the brink of a
conversion. One felt the call
for one’s youth to be active. One had a sense that one’s own personal
sacrifices in making change could affect society. One even had a hope
revolution in the United States. The leap in one’s thought of a sense
international solidarity from where one was located was, indeed, a
in boundless hope.
If your radical group, for example, drew
fire from authorities
and it cost the powers that be money to contain your group, kudos to
community for aiding world revolutionary movements. You gotta do what
do to get done what needs to get done. There was a kind of out of
mode of thinking.
The experience during 1968, a key year for
personally overwhelming and led towards a positive life-changing manner
As many of us were young, we thought we
lived in a world of
infinite means. We had a definitive attitude that all could be solved
the most principled way. We thought we spoke and knew the truth, and often felt unwanted for our opinion. We scorned those who accepted a trade-off; and
accused our elders of “selling out.”
We were intellectually inclined, but few
were part of academia.
We were not really part of the working class, but we reasoned that if
regular jobs, we were working; a part of the working class.
We had unique social lives, we thought. We
had a sub-culture that
was lived outside the norm. Our sub-culture, we were sure, knew more
society worked than most others of the greater society. Our
our analysis of issues were right on target in our youthful view.
Little did we realize our innocent start
towards maturity was a
journey with potholes leading, in most cases, to the same place our
stood. But we did not see it then, and that made all the difference
A fundamental reasoning held by many
people during the time of
the Civil Rights struggle, was put into words, in an unknown speech, by
Martin Luther King:
we look at modern man we have to face the fact that
modern man suffers from a kind of poverty of the spirit, which stands
glaring contrast to his scientific and technological abundance.
learned to fly the air like birds, we’ve learned to swim
the seas like fish, and yet we haven’t learned to walk the earth as
Internationally, the shift in thinking had
begun at the
Asian-African Conference, called the Bandung Conference. The gathering
countries was held in Indonesia in 1955.
to Nigel Westmaas:
its limitations, Bandung kindled the ideas of
statehood and sovereignty along with thoughts of social change and
transformation and was in effect, the birth of the Non–Aligned Movement.
Among the many attendees were Adam Clayton
from the United States.
It was an exhilarating
time, a phase in our lives
of much intensity. It was a time of extremes - the uplift of hope and
despair of rock bottom. We had basic human needs for safety, security
survival. We also looked for moving our financial freedom into a
income because we were wise enough to avoid starvation. We were at the
we were highly interested in sex and intimate relations with another.
We had a need for doing
good, being involved in something outside our Self. The concept of
power as a
need was way off our map. Some people were sure they could levitate,
were stuck in the mud. Young people of unique common traits, black and
were on the move. And they were viewing their path on an international
The decade of the 1960s
was a special time from which countless have not recovered with scores
who know they will never rid that spirit from their bloodstream. Even
the radical right carry over harsh and bitter feelings from what
during those years into how they approach current issues.
Whether we were in
London, Boston, Hamburg, or Saint George’s, there were multiple ways we
follow the threads of events around the world.
There were our
libraries; local public, elementary school to high school. We had
to buy newspaper, magazines and books. Many of us had televisions in
and set the habit of the “newshounds” we became later.
If we were associated
with a university, whether it be University of the West Indies, Mona,
University of California, Berkeley, we were even more apt to get at the
of revolutionary happenings across the globe.
We went to the
university. We read books. We read periodicals. We listened to “our”
gathered world news from radio and television, but we learned the most
the world, not from our elders, but from our peers, our friends. We had
of unspoken network, a fraternity of dissent whereby all in “the
brothers and sisters.
The variations of what
from the 1950s into the 1970s played itself out in a revolution of all
possibility, a fascinating study.
The U.S. Census figures
speak for themselves:
Most of us in America
lived in suburbs and a good many of us had automobiles.
We who had become
adults during this period were comprised of a higher percentage of
intellectuals from middle class backgrounds than the population as a
were children of parents with unprecedented wealth compared to previous
We had been raised with
fundamental beliefs in the value of patriarchy as the bedrock of our
system, but we were not buying it anymore.
The late humanist John
William Gardner wrote of this generation:
decided that what we really wanted was a society designed for people;
society in which every young person could fulfill the promise that was
society where every person, old or young, could live his life with some
society in which ignorance and disease and want would tyrannize no
society of opportunity and fulfillment
We were sure we could
have it all. We felt we had stopped taking things for granted. Often we
vexed with our personal passive non-participation by tacitly condoning
saw around us which we thought was surely wrong. We reasoned that if
natural resources of the earth belonged to all, surely the benefits
should be shared by all. We favored artist types because we thought
with all classes of society.
We were sure we were
revolutionary and not reformist. We fully expected a socialist
became, in one form or another and to varying degrees, socialists,
nationalists, pacifists and feminists.
One thing was for sure
— we were taught about hate and fear from a song. Many learned the words. From the
film South Pacific playing in 1958
were the words:
got to be taught to hate and fear
got to be taught from year to year
got to be drummed in your dear little ear
got to be carefully taught
got to be taught to be afraid
people whose eyes are oddly made
people whose skin is a different shade
got to be carefully taught
got to be taught before it’s too late
you are six or seven or eight
hate all the people your relatives hate
got to be carefully taught.
The lyrics made perfect
sense to us. No problem.
Still, behind that
egalitarian sentiment, some of us were taken by a fragment of their
that Black people knew things Whites did not.
It was a formative
time, a time of self-education in revolution. Let’s be frank. Those on
were naïve social idealists and slightly rebellious. We put some
thought into our
world. We were full of hope . . . a hope often dashed to the ground by
realities of human nature.
We, of the greater U.S.
Left, had a point-of-view based on the religious ideology of our
carried on a tradition of humanist liberalism. We believed in
advocated social democracy.
We, of the greater U.S.
left, had a whole list of items of concern for ourselves and for our
brothers: free education, opportunities for higher learning, women’s
economic control over resources, African liberation movements, land
opposition to police brutality anywhere it occurred, relations with
promotion of local cultures which included those people with indigenous
We could rapidly use
dangerous arguments and argumentative patterns that suggested we knew
inside story. An apt example is observing a reaction to an earthquake
crumbling blocks of cement fell on people’s limbs.
The reaction to the
situation, though the earthquake example is from the great Haitian
of 2010, was similar to the attitudes of some young people of the 60s.
Here is how our
thinking and our accusatory judgment went:
from the fact it costs them less money [to amputate limbs] than to give
the care a person would receive in the U.S. or Europe. . .yep nearly
thousand people, adults and children, have been amputated when they
given alternate treatment . . . that is an offense against humanity.
immediately goes toward blaming the volunteer doctors, some of whom
the U.S. and Europe with the ultimatum of judgment that they were
“offense against humanity.”
The reaction assumed
that doctors are deficient, not exclusively in care but in caring.
The reaction showed the
person making the accusation did not know the subject.
Truths of the decision
for amputations were (1) crushed bones and muscles; (2) unamputated
crushed muscles leading directly to kidney failure and the country had
dialysis machines; (3) advance care was doubtful; (4) gangrene is a
the likelihood of physical reconstruction with crush injuries is small;
ideal circumstances, a different time and place, the necessity for
might have been reduced.
Another classic example
of our kind of thinking went something like this:
would declare nationalization was an integral part of socialism. That
major corporations that made huge profits must be compensated and taken
from the hands of the few who own them; therefore pocketing all the
huge profits must be placed into the hands of all the people and allow
profits to go to the country’s national treasury to benefit all the
all problems solved.
Except a corporation is
not a person and just because of telescoping of thought by personifying
corporation is a shortcut to simplicity, in reality a corporation is a
and complex organization with varying degrees of impact on society.
The ideal solution and
blame – the famed “knee-jerk” reaction
— is at play versus the realities of an
emergency situation where so many doctors from around the world
a quick fix to feed the world’s people. It was this kind of thinking we
early 1960s entertained.
We let ourselves
that “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”
If you said that about political matters, your peers might give an
which was an exception, but this was quickly dismissed. We were quick
scapegoats. We were quick to rebut arguments about current affairs with
examples from another time or place.
We were swift. We knew
it all. We were arrogant. We always wanted to know which side you were
Shall we call them
or the Left, or progressives, or radicals, socialist, communist or
engulfed in the nihilism of the new? For the purposes of this study and
bent on revolution, the term “young revolutionaries” seems apt. There
and varied ways we found those who thought like us, we young
armchair or those out for action.
Let us go “back, back”
as my late friend wrote, and try to remember the early “beatniks”
somewhere out there in California. They
were poets and writers, and they liked jazz. Their preferential
clothing color was
black. They would meet together in coffeehouses; men and women reading
coffee and smoking cigarettes. The “beats” were cool.
Not fully aware of the
of the beat community; for example drugs other than nicotine,
of a criminal hue, and sexual relations of a non-heterosexual type, we
who picked up on literature and music. We knew the beatniks were
materialism and we felt we believed that too.
We of the United States
of America, who were the children of acquisitiveness from our parents’
incomes after WWII, knew something had changed in one group of the
it was definitely other than what we experienced in the suburbs. Some
ached to leave home and live in Greenwich Village.
Bob Dylan’s 1965 lyrics
“Ballad of a Thin Man” turned around our heads:
is happening here,
you don’t know what it is,
you, Mr. Jones?
Somehow we read a copy
of On the Road by Jack Kerouac;
published in 1957,
but we had to be really cool to get books
of poetry from City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco.
the Road impressed some of us at a time when our personal
from suburban stagnation was to get away, hit the road, explore the Big
and the Open West; all exciting prospects that we felt were urgently
turned to “hippie” and the Sixties counterculture. By that time, our
had traveled to new territory.
Over on the East coast,
1965 through 1969, on East 10th Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Ed
and Tuli Kupferberg creations were pouring out of the Peace Eye
Poets Sanders and Kupferberg started the Fuck You Press and a musical
told tales of the Beat and hippie counterculture in the literary
journal Fuck You: a magazine of the arts.
Compressing time, one
saw the emergence of the counterculture people who felt they did not
have anything to do with the sick prevalent culture in America. And so
dropped out to live life the way they saw as best. During this period
60s, there often was a sense of collective hallucination which often
assent to non-sensical behavior.
The anti-Vietnam War
Movement with many mass demonstrations, non-violent for the most part,
in earnest in 1965 and continued into the 1970s.
The Vietnam War had a profound and
depressive affect on our generation.
demonstrations. We read the flyers. We believed in participatory
inclusiveness. We bought the radical newspapers. We wore a “keffiyeh,”
Arabic scarf which indicated we were in solidarity with the peoples of
We knew a refugee family from Jerusalem displaced
to the Ramallah camp and then on to Washington, DC for a new life.
We went to conferences;
for example, the inaugural Socialist Scholars conference at Rutgers
held 27 September 1965.
Participants included Robert A. Hill,
Conor Cruise O’Brien,
and Maxwell Geismar.
We may have hung out in
the same Cambridge, Massachusetts coffee shop frequented by Vanessa
the magical voice of Fairuz
was echoing into the garden, lilting out
from a custom-made audiotape. That was the Algiers Café in Harvard
case you forgot.
We frequented political
bookstores. We mined our local library for books and speeches known to
could read Race & Class,
example, from London. The journal’s first issue was in January of 1959.
Journals from near and far were obtainable.
We followed on “tough
childhood” memoirs like the late Piri Thomas’ Down
These Mean Streets, published in 1967 about growing up in
Since we were what we felt was poor, our view was empathetic,
and precisely because we felt we were poor our point-of-view was predisposed to others with difficult childhoods
when in actuality we were patronizing and arrogant, but young.
Joan Baez albums were
at one’s local library alongside deep field recording collections of
and British folk music. We may have come upon the late Irwin Silber’s Sing Out magazine which he founded May
1950 and continued as editor until 1967. Silber wrote a monthly column
“Fan the Flames,” a title similar to Antiguan Tim Hector’s later
We followed the Supreme
Court decision in 1967 [Loving et ux v. Virginia] allowing an
couple’s marriage to stand. We celebrated “Stop the Draft Week.” We
every protest on television and radio. We intently watched Walter
report from Vietnam in the war right in front of our TVs.
If we were in Manhattan
[October 1969] or Washington DC [November 1969], we may have been among
many at one or both of the Vietnam Moratorium marches. Buses were
We remembered slogans
like “No Vietnamese Ever Called Me Nigger.”
We went to “revolutionary” films. We
bent toward the outlaw side of culture.
All this new
information was an adventure for us; one would say we were caught up in
revolutionary adventurism, and we loved the vitality it brought to our
We catalogued in our
minds the multiple U.S. military interventions in Latin America, Africa
Asia over the past 70 years. We felt it all fit together and we knew
We attended political
meetings. We were sure one person at those meetings was an FBI agent.
suspected our telephone was tapped, even though we hardly ever uttered
of importance in our phone calls. We suspected our political meeting
infiltrated by another political party or an FBI agent.
We gave too much power
to our supposed adversaries when we grew paranoid while seriously
conspiracy theory. We transferred information links to others; our
and far. We took our cues from revolutionary figures.
We watched Dr. King
intensely and mourned his passing 4 April 1968, followed by the murder
Robert F. Kennedy 6 June 1968. We watched the rain fall on Resurrection
We were puzzled why
there were so many protests worldwide in dismal 1968 and what caused
worldwide revolutionary trend. We passed over studying explanations and
that we were in solidarity with the revolutionaries of the world.
We wondered how we
could meet the magical Bob Moses. We were in awe of Malcolm X. We saw
riots the summer of 1967
and we read the 1968 Report of the National
Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders,
known as the Kerner Commission
report, and there were still more &
more civil disturbances.
We saw the politicians
come and go. We were highly judgmental about Lyndon Johnson; in
learned we had not “seen” the man’s
We debated the finer
points of Trotskyism; even non-violence, for that matter. We read the
digested the magazines, read the newspapers and reinforced the idealism
hope with which we began our quest.
Grant us forgiveness
for our youthful rigidities.
We had an alarming
disrespect for authority. Even programs or actions which should have
support were derided as “liberal.” “Liberalism” became a term used for
derision. It was a label against centrist reforms like the War on
the Civil Rights Act signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson. John
Fitzgerald Kennedy was one Liberal some of us quietly abhorred, not
out because of his popularity.
In our stated scorn for
consumerism, we kept purchasing books and music recordings because we
needed them. We had distaste for things bourgeois, suburban,
and establishment — all emanating from a “paternalistic” culture.
We questioned the
popular media, though were accepting of Leftist periodicals; every word
We would draw quick
conclusions about what was reported in the major media; e.g. if the
story did not get reported in the popular media, we considered there
conspiracy against printing the “truth” about people of the Left. We
consider that another story, for example the closing down of Expo 67
in Montreal, could trump the news of a
Black Panther. And if it did, we felt cheated. If Expo 67 news was more
important than a Black Panther, well why was that? Just goes to show.
The newspapers and
journals of the Left that we read had the “inside” truth and we felt we
duly fortunate to have gotten the correct answers. The fact that we had
correct line caused us to feel that we were radically revolutionary.
networks were highly specialized and grew from person to person. If,
example, one viewed a Newsreel film, we would read about the creators
film and obtain names; one saw a name of a person they knew. We might
that person and through that person meet others. Soon we had formed a
community. Some communities were some strong and others marginal.
A primary category for
linking to underground channels was through the arts – the new rhythm
recordings and oppositional types shown in films.
The events of the 1960s
in the United States left a message. Even though revolutionaries were
away in the Caribbean, William Van DeBurg observed:
historical context in which the militants operated magnified their
and made it appear that Armageddon was as near as they claimed.
unprecedented scourge of civil disturbances which took place during the
mid-sixties convinced many that every ghetto contained hundreds–even
thousands–of irreconcilable extremists whose singular goal was to
whites conjured up visions of campus radicals, Muslim separatists and
teenage gang members banded together in an unholy pact to kill whitey
him to his knees.
The need to be aware of
the seedbed by which revolutionaries grew is essential to understanding
Our post-war younger
generation had more affluence than our parents. Within that generation
influential minority of youth who felt “there
was a kind of nobility in being devoted to the public good in an
There were underground
channels where one could obtain information related to fulfilling this
you were a youth, you could read Albert Camus or MAD
magazine, for example, and both were super cool. You could even
attempt to read Jean-Paul Sartre.
Many of us were raised
in the city or the city-suburbs. We were not raised on the farm like
We did enjoy returning to the old homestead, if there was one, for
An important element of
context for potential revolutionaries was the Cold War.
Simply put, worldwide, the Cold War was the
name of a point of view that placed people in two separate arenas -
Communist world and the Western world.
In the Caribbean, the
Cold War led to a split in political parties between Left and Right.
political and labor history of the Caribbean played an important role
studying the context of the Grenada Revolution.
By the end of the 1960s
and into the 1970s, the views of worldwide Left began to shift. The
of political writings from Fanon, Nkrumah, Debray, Che Guevara, mixed
Lenin, Trotsky and Marx, and tossed with the teachings of Mao,
the felt need for structure, a political program and education.
One might have been
among the “radical chic” who met up with Che on his 1964 visit to
speech at the United Nations.
One might have even
read the Cuban newspaper Granma Weekly
Review. Granma was
the name of the old cabin cruiser 79 Cuban revolutionaries and 3
boarded in Mexico to make their attack on Batista forces in Cuba.
One studied Marxist
classics supplemented by speeches of European student leaders — Rudi
Karl Dietrich Wolff
and Daniel Cohn-Bendit.
These speeches in themselves were packed
with ideology, sayings and propaganda.
1969 Obsolete Communism: the Left-Wing
Alternative was one reading in the Grenada revolutionary
study groups of
Strategies and tactics
were needed, ideologies require clarity, and the structural roots of
political economy of the capitalist nations needed to be exposed.
We of the American Left
had been looking for world redemption. We dreamed that through direct
the force of our morality and persuasion would take America, at
minimal, to a
frontier of peace and justice—a country where life was fair for its
and all people were treated equally.
By the second part of
the 60s, after the pure euphoria, we felt the downward trajectory of
when we experienced one tragedy after another. The assassination of Dr.
Luther King Jr., 4 April 1968;
the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, 6
June 1968; 
the election of Richard Nixon, 5 November
the My Lai Massacre, 16 March 1968,
and the Kent State shootings, 4 May 1970.
The continuing specter
of the War in Vietnam no matter how much we protested in marches, in
in song, became a serious and dark cloud.
There were those who
championed, as a political action way of life, to live permanently
or under-employed — outside the capitalistic system of consumerism,
A portion of our peers
dealt with the frustration of failed challenges by dropping out, some
drugs,” some pushed back with violence.
They had hit a wall.
They saw the old ways of protest as ineffective. The slogan “Power to
People,” the African National Congress (ANC) rallying cry, was not
By the end of the
1960s, it could be seen that everything had been coming loose from the
years of 1960-1970 and into the 1970s. Matters wheeled seemingly out of
in the 1970s, going into wild extremes.
We became bitter and
disillusioned and alienated.
me, it isn’t really
Phil Ochs, “The Scorpion Departs But Never Returns,” Rehearsals for
A&M Records, April 1967
Much interest was
focused on the United Nations [UN]. Interest in the UN, established 24
included its work on decolonization.
For example, based on
previous organized bodies, a Special Committee on Decolonization was
1961 by the General Assembly of the U.N. with small island Caribbean
achieving statehood. 
Aiding efforts at
granting independence to colonial countries, U.N. members were
concentrating on this issue.
The original edition of
Frantz Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth
was published in 1961 with the more popular editions in the U.S. and
published in 1963. The theorist of the day for revolutionary struggle,
colonialism and racism was Fanon [1925-1961]  who
wrote extensively on national liberation in Wretched
of the Earth:
During the colonial period the people were
called upon to fight against oppression.
Following national liberation they are urged
to fight against poverty, illiteracy, and under-development
As early as the 1961
when Patrice Lumumba was assassinated, the struggles in Africa for
liberation appeared to start their eventual full swing. In 24 April
was Che Guevara and other Cubans who made their way across Lake
the shores of the Congo for the first time.
Note the path of one
Amilcar Cabral, in the
late 1950s, began leadership of the Guinea-Bissau people’s struggle
forces of both Portuguese Guinea and Cape Verde [PAIGC].
Cabral spoke at the
first Tri-Continental Congress held in Cuba in January 1966.
The speech was titled “The Weapon of
The theme was the spirit of
internationalism. He also spoke following Che Guevara’s death of 9
Cabral spoke at the
United Nations and visited black activist groups in the United States.
On 1 July 1970, Pope
Paul VI had an audience with Cabral, Agostinho Neto from
Angola and Marcelino Santos from Mozambique. 
Amilcar Cabral was
20 January 1973.
of Guinea-Bissau was achieved 24 September 1973.
Movements occurred in Algeria with independence granted in 1962, and in
with independence granted in 1963.
The movements against
African colonialism in Mozambique, Guinea and Cape Verde, Angola, São
Principe brought changes, but also continuous turmoil.
The original film, Cuba: an African Odyssey,
is three hours long with three main
sections dealing with Cuban internationalist aid — Lumumba and the
and Guinea-Bissau, and Agostinho and Angola.
The Cubans had not
consulted with the Soviets when they entered Angola. The Cuban vessel
The Vietnam Heroico was seen in
United States did not know the incursion was all Cuban-led until
Angola and Mozambique
were officially independent in 1975.
The island of São Tomé and its major city
Principe also achieved independence in 1975.
with its practice of apartheid from 1948-1994
under South African Rule and Zimbabwe
under British domination were additional
countries of revolutionary struggles. Zimbabwe achieved its
1980 and Namibia its independence in 1990.
Mali’s Modibe Keita,
Ghana’s Nkrumah, Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere, Guinea’s Ahmad Sékou Touré,
Amilcar Cabral, Algeria’s Frantz Fanon, Mozambique’s Samora Machel,
Eduardo Mondlane, Senegal’s Léopold Senghor, Martinique’s Aimé Césaire,
United Congo Republic’s Patrice Lumumba are a few of the myriad of
liberation struggles to recall.
The Left in the United
States embraced many African independence movements.
The U.S. citizen
Carmichael entered the international revolutionary scene when, from 31
1967 to 10 August 1967, he attended and spoke at the Organization of
American Solidarity Conference [LASO] and Organization for Latin
Solidarity [OLAS] in Havana.
Castro activated, according to the Committee of Santa Fe report, the OLAS organization under the slogan:
"It is the duty of the whole revolutionary army to make revolutions."
magazine reported that “700
delegates and observers and 73 foreign newsmen [were] invited.”
A journalist reported “the conference held up the experience of the
Cuban revolution as a general model.”
OLAS was founded 16
January 1966 when delegates from 27 Latin American countries first
From Cuba in 1967,
Carmichael then visited Vietnam, Algeria, Syria, Egypt, Guinea,
Scandinavia and France, talking with leaders in most all those
Brutents wrote about national liberation movements in his National Liberation Revolutions Today. As
of 1977, when the book
was published in English, Dr. Brutents was a professor and Doctor of
the Soviet Union, known as the major Soviet specialist on national
Brutents made the point
that national liberation movements are not bourgeoisie democratic
nor are they independence movements.
Dr. Brutents explained:
liberation revolutions are revolutions stemming from national
movements and aimed to do away with foreign political, economic and
domination and oppression (including national colonial subjugation),
and to set
up sovereign states.
The change was not so
simple, according to Dr. Brutents:
most important aspect of national liberation revolutions that needs to
brought out is that in the course of these revolutions there is a
only in the social nature of power, as there is in “conventional”
bourgeois and bourgeois-democratic revolutions,
but above all in its national character.
is a change of ruling class both in social terms (although this does
occur, as for instance, in the substitution of the Indian bourgeoisie
British bourgeoisie), and in national terms (in every instance without
The clash of social
forces permeated much of the radical thought of the day with people
maintain power and privilege vs. those who wanted to alter the
radicals were not studying Brutents during this early period, they were
so later during the time of the New Jewel Movement [NJM] in Grenada. At
Jamaican Workers Liberation League [WLL] and the later Worker’s Party
Jamaica [WPJ], Brutents was studied.
Afro hairstyles, dashikis, Nehru collars,
sunglasses [if one could afford them], clenched fists, sandals made of
and wide, wide bell bottom pants all carried a message that Black
The “process” was long gone by 1963
natural hairstyles for Afro-American men were often patterned after
Cooke’s natural “do.”
The influences of the time from “Mother
Africa” were new and
unfamiliar. People were exposed to African culture in considerable
measure—dance, art, music, poetry, clothing, hair style and history.
It was during this time of all things
African for Africans no
matter where they lived, the terminology cultural
into academic use, though the term was not exclusive for Africans and
long before the 1960s.
Imamu Amiri Baraka [formerly LeRoi Jones]
founded the Congress of
African People (CAP)
in the United States to
advance his own vision of African cultural nationalism. The other
were Hayward Henry, the first chairman, and Richard Traylor, treasurer. 
Baraka’s vision and that of the others was
influenced by African leaders such as Julius Nyerere, Amilcar Cabral,
Sékou Touré and by the African American cultural nationalist Maulana
One sees in Baraka’s writings, and others
of his political
orientation, an emphasis on revolutionary socialism with an alliance
black underclass, the black “peasantry,” a term for the black working
Speakers at the African Congress held 6-9
September 1970 in Atlanta, Georgia,
included Hayward Henry, Rev. Ralph Abernathy, Rev. John Cashin, Kenneth
Gibson, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Whitney Young, Jr., Louis Farrakhan, Howard
Richard Hatcher, Ambassador El Hajj Abdoulaye Touré, Evelyn Kawanza,
Mbala, Rosie Douglas, Julian Bond and Imamu Amiri Baraka.
The [CAP] conference leaders were Boston’s
[Mtangulzi Sanyika] of the Black Unitarian Universalist Caucus [BUUC],
Jones [Imamu Amiri Baraka], James Traylor [Mjenzi Kazana] and Howard
In addition to the speakers, among others
leading the eleven 
workshops were John Henrik Clarke, Larry Neal, Rev. James Cone, and
The book, African
a documentary of the first modern Pan-African congress
includes an Introduction
by Baraka who provided an overview of Pan-African gatherings counting
organization as one:
September 1970 meeting of the Congress of African Peoples
in Atlanta, Georgia, was one in a growing historical tradition of
gatherings of Pan-Africans, in so-called modern history, beginning with
four meetings called by W.E.B. Du Bois down to the Manchester
fifth Pan-Africanist Conference) in 1945, pulled together by George
Du Bois, in which the phrase “Pan-Africanism” first got put into common
most recent times, the Black Power conferences, held in
1966 (Washington, D.C.), ‘67 Newark, N.J.), ‘68 (Philadelphia, Pa.)
immediate forbears, as well as an international meeting in Bermuda in
these meetings were part of the same historical and
contemporary dynamic, the movement for international African
is Pan-Africanism at its broadest!
Baraka edited this volume about the
African Congress which stated
the aim to form a Black political party and the text of an outline of
program of “self-determinism,
self-sufficiency, self-respect and self-defense.”
included many speeches given at the conference.
One such speech was by the late Roosevelt
Douglas, quoted below
in part: 
afternoon to my Brothers and Sisters:
. . .
this is supposed to be a Congress of African People
based on the political ideology of Pan-Africanism . . . I was
distressed with what many of the speakers said with regard to the
of Pan-Africanist thought.
was significant that many of our brothers stayed completely
away from praising the work of the Honourable Marcus Garvey.
Brothers and Sisters, it is important that when we leave
here today we understand what the chronological development of
thought has meant to use since 1900, and why I speak about the
important that you understand that the first Pan-African
Congress held in London was organized by an African born in Trinidad,
of you may not have heard of this brother, but it is
important that you understand because Africans in the Caribbean have
very significant role not only to the development of Pan-Africanist
to the liberation of African people wherever they live.
Rosie Douglas also spoke about the
challenges to students at Sir
George Williams University in Montreal: 
me tell you that our struggle in the Caribbean is based on
morning I’ll be going to court in Montreal facing
twelve criminal charges and the possibilities of life imprisonment.
confrontation began two years ago when Black students at
a white university in Canada launched a complaint against a professor
insisted on failing Black students because he said that Black students
Black people were too damn stupid to be doctors.
moved against this and the professor was supported by the
administration of the university.
administration of the university was then supported by the
government of Canada.
is important for those students who are here is that you
must understand that white universities are controlled by the very same
who control the economic resources of the Caribbean and of Africa . . .
fight which we began in Canada—when we realized that we
would be facing life imprisonment, and that we had no tangible support
Canada, from a population of twenty-five million crackers—we decided
that if we
were going to confront the board of governors at the university that
wealth of the Caribbean and of Africa then, if we believe in
have to expand the base of our struggle from Canada into the Caribbean
our brothers in Trinidad, in Jamaica, in Haiti, in Cuba, in the
Republic, in Puerto Rico, in Guyana, in Surinam, would understand that
fight against imperialists in Canada they must engage in a similar
Roosevelt Douglas also gave a workshop
speech during the Congress
of African People [CAP] in 1972. It is quoted in full, titled The Pan-African Struggle in the Caribbean [see
full text General Appendix].
Estimates put the attendee numbers at
3,500 people who were
listening to speeches, attending workshops and making resolutions. Almost all the
Congress of African Peoples
[CAP] listed as “Organizations Represented” came from the United States.
started in 1968 out of New York City by the Pan-African Students
and the Pan-African Institute.
In 1973, “Revolutionary movements in
Caribbean colonial history”
was a going title of volume 8, no. 2 of the Pan
African Journal. This issue featured –
and resistance in West Indian history by Tony
Caribs—native resistance to British penetration into the
windward side of Saint Vincent, 1763-1773 by Bernard Marshall
tendencies in the Caribbean revolution by Bukka
Sylvain of Haiti on the Pan-African Conference of 1900
by Tony Martin
Arnold Ford’s back-to-Ethiopia movement by William R.
from the National United Freedom Fighters of
A study on Pan-Africanism by Ronald W.
Walters stated: 
were new grassroots voices not involved with the
Pan-African movement . . . in the Patrice Lumumba Coalition led by
and Elombe Brath in New York . . . in Malcolm X Liberation University
and the Student Organization for Black Unity [SOBU] in Greensboro,
Carolina led by Owusu Sadaukai, Tim Thomas and Mark Smith . . .
A Youth Organization for Black Unity
[YOBU] [1969-1975] of
Greensboro, North Carolina, grew out of SOBU and MXLU. YOBU’s aim was
a revolutionary Pan-African youth movement, promoting Marxism-Leninism
of revolutionary nationalism, in the United States and continue
the bi-weekly The African World
newspaper. Nelson N. Johnson was YOBU’s national chairman.
Note that later, in Grenada, around 1973,
one of the first
organizations to bring Black Power to Grenada was called the
Black Unity [OBU].
A firm move beyond protest into action was
the establishment of
Malcolm X Liberation University [MXLU] on 25 October 1969 in Durham, NC. A
year later the university moved its headquarters to Greensboro, North
One prime organizer of MXLU was Howard L.
Fuller, one Owusu
Sadaukai, who also was a chief mover for the African Liberation Day
to come later.
was additionally an organizer for the September 1970 Congress of
By 1969, Stokely Carmichael had extended
the All-African People’s
Revolutionary Party [A-APRP], founded by Nkrumah in 1968 to the United
as the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party [AAPRP]. The group was
Pan-Africanist in its Marxism-Leninism [M-L] orientation with
socialism as a tenet of its ideology.
During the period Walter Rodney was
teaching in Tanzania, from
1968-1974, he was also traveling throughout America.
A United States study location for the
scholar Walter Rodney was
the Institute of the Black World [IBW]. Rodney was described as a
Dr. Rodney made contact with Vincent
Harding, William Strickland
and Robert Hill of the IBW when on a speaking engagement at Howard
He was also in the United States from
February-June 1972 as a
Visiting Professor at the Center for Afro-American and African Studies
at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
A journal article project and a summer
month during 1974 at the
Institute of the Black World [IBW] kept Rodney in Atlanta.
The IBW was founded in 1968. Its
organizers were Dr. Vincent
Harding, William Strickland of SNCC, Jamaican Robert Hill and others.
1970, the IBW was associated with the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial,
the Atlanta University Center.
The Pan-Africanist organization of the IBW
was located in Atlanta
on Chestnut Street in the same house where W.E.B. Du Bois once lived.
Archival materials of this period are
found in the Vincent
Harding Papers at Emory University’s Manuscript, Archives &
In Africa, the country of Tanzania, the
one with which Tanganyika African National Union [TANU] and Julius
worked, emerged in a TANU pamphlet in April 1962, published under the
title Ujamaa—Essays on Socialism.
followed by The Arusha Declaration
5 February 1967.
In 1968 Nyerere’s Ujamaa—Essays
on Socialism was first published by Oxford University Press
out of Dar es
Salaam. The volume included ten  essays including the two named in
Bogues summarized Nyerere’s fundamental
the foundation of his political theory was the conception
that the overarching good of a human polity was that of equality.
basic difference between a socialist society and a
capitalist society does not lie in their methods of producing wealth,
the way that wealth is distributed.
In 1971, Owusu Sadaukai [Dr. Howard L.
Fuller] traveled to Africa
where he observed the anti-colonial movements in Mozambique,
Angola. Upon his
return to the United
States, Sadaukai began to make plans for African Liberation Day (ALD)
demonstrations designed to show worldwide support for the African
The concept of African Liberation Day,
according to Sadaukai, was
to make the connection between liberation movements in Africa and the
States in each of their struggles against corporate oppression.
His title was National Chairman of the
African Liberation Day
Coordinating Committee [ALDCC]. His idea had been growing since his
tour of African countries in September 1970. On that tour he was
the Student Organization for Black Unity [SOBU] and the Malcolm X
University [MXLU] of Durham, North Carolina.
After forming the African Liberation Day
[ALDCC], the head office was at 2207 14th Street, NW in Washington, DC.
The steering committee of Owusu Sadaukai,
Ralph Abernathy, Julian
Bond, Imamu Baraka, Ron Daniels, Angela Davis, Ron Dellums, John
Vincent Harding, Nathan Hare, Huey Newton, Stokely Carmichael, Richard
Betty Shabazz, and many others, decided on 27 May  for a
Though the ALD celebrations were to
co-ordinate with the annual
observation of the Organization of African Unity’s [OAU] founding date
of 25 May,
“organizers ultimately chose Saturday,
May 27, 1972 since a weekend date might allow for greater participation.”
Ron Daniels, one of the organizers, gave
this history of African
Liberation Day [ALD]:
historic meeting at Malcolm X Liberation University which
included, Cleve[land] Sellers, Haki R. Madhubuti,
Jamila Jones, Dowlu Gene Locke, Aleem Mshindi, Nelson Johnson and Ron
Owusu Sadaukai [Dr. Howard Fuller] shared the experiences of the trip
[in 1971] and outlined a proposal for a massive demonstration in
D.C. on May 25, 1972 [the last Saturday is May 27, but this
have been held on a Thursday], the first African Liberation Day, USA.
. . .
African Liberation Day, USA, where some 50,000 brothers
and sisters marched and rallied in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco
an end to colonial rule in Guinea-Bissau, Namibia, Angola, Zimbabwe
Mozambique and dismantling of apartheid in South Africa
was an awesome experience.
the initial concept caught fire, a decision was made to
mobilize demonstrations in the San Francisco Bay Area and Toronto,
addition to Washington, D.C.
“We Are An African People”
and waving Red, Black and Green Flags,
35,000 Black people gathered in Washington, D.C.
15,000 rallied in the Bay Area, 5,000 in Toronto and
hundreds in Grenada.
The first statistics from the 27 May,
1972, Washington, DC march,
as put out by the ALDCC, was 30,000 participants. The Washington
Post reported the presence of 10,000-15,000 persons.
Pan-Africanists plus U.S. elected Black officials, Congressman Charles
Jr. and Walter Fauntroy.
ALD marches took place on 25 May and 27
May 1972 in New Orleans,
San Francisco [with Walter Rodney among the speakers], Toronto,
Dominica and Grenada.
At the end of April 1972, Sadaukai visited
Grenada for three days.
formed the base for Grenada’s upcoming African Liberation Day on 27 May
Grenada, according to supporting documents.
In 2010, Professor Howard Fuller [Owusu
Sadaukai] appeared in the
film Waiting for Superman,
not listed in major credits. He spoke about education in Michigan in
By the 1960s and into the 1970s, a culture
of Dread had become
widespread, showing itself most prominently in reggae music—Bob
Marley’s Soul Rebel, Toots
& the Maytals Do the Reggay,
Count Ossie, Dennis
Brown, Burning Spear, Dillinger, Culture, Ras Michael & the
Sons of Negus,
the Mighty Diamonds, Third World, Bob Andy and Marcia Griffiths.
In the Great Britain of 1970, Jamaican
artist Desmond Dekker sang
the classic You Can Get It If You Really
Want. The song, written by Jimmy Cliff, reached No 2 in the
The part that Reggae and
Natty Dread music played in the formation of the lives of Grenadian
revolutionaries [and other revolutionaries] is a uniquely powerful
A root of Rastafari belief stems from a
1964 speech by Haile
until the philosophy, which holds one race superior and
another inferior, is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned.
until there are no longer first-class and second-class
citizens of any nation.
until the colour of a man’s skin is of no more
significance than the colour of his eyes.
until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to
all, without regard to race.
that day, the dream of lasting peace and world
citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a
illusion to be pursued, but never attained.
until the ignoble and unhappy regimes that hold our
brothers in Angola, in Mozambique and in South Africa in sub-human
have been toppled and destroyed.
bigotry and prejudice and malicious and inhuman
self-interest have been replaced by understanding, tolerance and
all Africans stand and speak as free beings, equal in
the eyes of the Almighty.
that day, the African continent will not know peace.
Africans will fight, if necessary and we know that we shall
win, as we are confident in the victory of good over evil.
April 28, 1964 - California.
JAH Ras Tafari, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Conquering
The formation of Rastafarianism was based
. . .
the convergence of the heritage of the Maroons, the
religious movement—called Ethiopianism—and the emergent Pan-African
which culminated in the U.N.I.A. [United Negro Improvement Association]
some of the forces which merged in the formation of Rastafari.
Since the definition of
the countries of the Caribbean
is variable, an attempt at identification of
them for this book is in order.
First are the
independent countries—Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba,
Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis,
Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad-Tobago. Often,
omitted from this group.
The territories that
have a historical relationship with metropolitan countries include the
Crown colonies of Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Turks
Islands, Cayman Islands and Montserrat; the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Dutch Antilles and Aruba and the French Overseas Departments of
Martinique, Saint Barthelemy, and Saint Martin. The territories related
United States are the commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the territory
Often the mainland
countries of French Guiana, Guyana [formerly British Guiana] and
Dutch Guiana] in South America, plus Belize in Central America are
of the Caribbean.
Some eliminate the
altogether and name the region as the Americas, or those countries in
Caribbean Sea [though some are outside of the Caribbean Sea], Middle
even Latin America.
All of Grenada’s
Caribbean neighbors were important to this history, and they are noted
Historian Rupert Lewis
made a summary observation about the Caribbean region:
is the beginning of the end of the Caribbean radicalism that really
the late 1960’s, rises to a high point in 1970 in Trinidad, and then
Manley period in Jamaica, and develops in most of the islands as
groupings and organizational activities and, which from a regional
view, has a sense of itself as having a common agenda for change, with
different groups having different ideological positions, but being all
a movement for change in the sixties and seventies.
ends quite definitely in Grenada in 1983.
A widely read journal
and with many pages turned, especially in the United States, the National Geographic magazine seemed to
be in every household; at the least in the basement or the local
If one wanted to see photos of the Americas, especially the Caribbean,
issues featured classic photos.
The December 1965 National Geographic magazine feature was
on the sailing vessel Finisterre winding
its way through the Windward Islands. It was written by Finisterre’s
Captain, Carleton Mitchell, with photographs by
National Geographic Society photographer Winfield Parks. The very long
is 46 pages of island descriptions and events from Grenada to Dominica.
The island of Grenada
was one island visited, among many. There is a fold–out to a very long
the Carenage and its inner harbor and the classic photo of the woman in
hat sorting nutmegs. Human fingers extended into a bunch of ripe
their ruby lattice–work of mace are shown in another photo, according
writer about the photos.
interest led him to Grenville and to what was then Seamoon Park and its
racing events. He also got an image of a woman “heading” a weight of
bananas, and a picture of one of Grenada’s former wooden buses - this
owner called Rolling Home with its
open windows and tarps ready to let down in case of rain.
Shown up close was a
cocoa pod on its way from being sliced open by a machete to make its
way to a
chocolate plantation “sweating shed” to ferment. 
There was the classic
swirling skirt dance photo by Dean Conger of the National Geographic
The photo was taken on a shoot at the “Big Drum Dance” in Carriacou. 
The National Geographic
Society published a hard–bound book in 1966 titled Isles
of the Caribbees and the text was by Carleton Mitchell.
The first chapter is
“Grenada: Gateway to the Windwards.” The first photo of a panoramic
the Inner Harbor is by Dean Conger, National
Boys walking donkeys on
Grand Anse Beach was a photograph by Fred Ward for Black Star. The
smile of a little girl in her white dress was taken by Winfield Parks.
Conger got a long shot
of fishermen on the Grand Mal Beach. A different racing photo was added
book, also taken by Winfield Parks. A Caribs Leap view from the water
Ward of Black Star [a stock photography service] and a stunning photo
of the Deep close out the article.
Some of the photos in
the book, Isles of the Caribbees appeared
in the February 1965 and also the December 1965 issues of National Geographic.
A review of the
literature, especially the studies of Michael Garfield Smith
shows the heritage of social stratification
in Grenada. From 1953, those citizens of Grenada of the Western
elite figured at less than 7%; the remainder of rural traditionalism
A high correlation
existed, and still exists in Grenada, between social status,
association and family. If one were to look at Grenada society
at the top would be the rich and white stratum, most of whom owned land
schooled in Britain. They followed the tradition of their fathers and
educational opportunity across the ocean on their legitimate children.
Categorized, this group
was termed the White Planter Group. They took little part in local
government or religious activities though the professional British
found themselves in positions in Grenada as administrators, priests and
Another group was the
larger, brown upper middle class who overlooked most commercial
were on official councils and committees, belonged to select groups and
organizations. If there was a beauty contest, the winner usually
the brown elite. Usually island scholarships were awarded to those of a
level, but elite, background.
There were oddities in
the broad generalization above; e.g. the fascinating S.A. “Bigs”
made his money in the USA before returning to Grenada,
or the four East Indian wealthy produce
Few people of black
origin were involved in the economic or administrative bodies of the
The dominant religion
of the Caribbean elite was Anglican; the religion of the folk was of
Catholic faith, according to M.G. Smith who acknowledged in his
African origin of some religious ceremonies. 
The number of political
parties grew in Caribbean countries, reflected in the global upsurges
political activity into the 1970s. Political activity centered in
with branches of the University of the West Indies [UWI]; namely
Jamaica and Trinidad-Tobago.
There was also political movement in Guyana, based in the capital city
The primary group in
Jamaica was first the Worker’s Liberation League [WLL] soon to become
Worker’s Party of Jamaica [WPJ] and similarly the Working People’s
[WPA] pre-party and official party in Guyana.
The formation of
Grenada’s New Jewel Movement [NJM] grew from the JEWEL and MAP
The Jamaican the Young
Socialist League [YSL], founded in 1963, included Robert Hill, Norman
and Hugh Small, among others, who worked within the People’s National
[PNP] to bring forth socialist orientation and discussions.
The history of Jamaican
politics is vastly larger that the tiny stabs at landmarks presented
took place in Trinidad- Tobago during what is known as the February
Many of the key figures
in the emergence of Caribbean Black Power were at the major Caribbean
The Institute of Social
and Economic Research [ISER], founded in 1949 at the University of the
Indies, published a journal titled Social
and Economic Studies. Economists Lloyd Best, George Beckford
Girvan published articles in this journal.
from the University of the West Indies [UWI] and the University of
joined in forming the New World Group in the 1960s. Interested in
academic papers, their first periodical out of Jamaica in 1965 was the New World Quarterly, published until
The publication was
organized by George L. Beckford of Jamaica, the late Lloyd A. Best of
& Tobago, Clive Y. Thomas of Guyana, Miles Fitzpatrick of
Guyana and the
late David DeCaires of Guyana.
An additional New World group member was
James Millette of Trinidad-Tobago.
Much was hinged on what
was known as the Caribbean Black Power Movement. In the period
1962-1969, the New
World Group grew to include other radical black intellectuals from
Caribbean and the United States.
An interpretation of
the New World Group position vs. Marxism and scientific socialism was
by David E. Lewis:
Best, et al. . . .
Marxism is little more than another European Church.
has a body of fixed doctrine and a hierarchy with pretentions of
much like the Roman Catholic Church.
these properties means, uncomfortable restrictions on the “independent thought”
Best would like to see in the Caribbean.
The goals of these
groups were generally ones of social transformation and the take-over
Groups developed out of
Black Power, Black Nationalism, Marxism, anti-imperialist nationalism,
socialism via Cuba and Ho Chi Minh, Fanonian liberationism, the Cuban
Revolution, Catholicism, Garveyism, and Rastafarianism.
Socialism was never
forgotten among Black radicals during the period of the early 1970s.
this from Rosie Douglas, writing from jail circa 1973:
with political independence, our people must begin to discuss the need
new type of state (socialist structure) and new form and concept of
– a form of government patterned to meet our local conditions and not
dividing the masses of our people and allowing them to participate in
once every five years as a so-called equal to the upper class when
there is no
village council must cease being a rubber stamp for the central
which itself is a rubber stamp of the upper class and “her majesty’s”
new form of government must seek to bring all our people into the
governmental decision-making and administration on matters of local and
national concern from the village council to the parish council, to the
council at the point of production, to the student council, to the
form of government will enable the people to govern themselves and
will reside democratically with the people.
collective decision of a percentage (i.e. 51%) of voters at the
or national levels would have the power to recall a representative who
acted outside of the authority delegated to him.
will have the effect of eliminating the presence of political
in effect then, we must assist our people
in leading themselves in all aspects of their lives.
realize that sovereignty is the complete independence of a people
deciding all questions, relating to its internal life and foreign
Marcus Garvey’s remains
were returned to Jamaica in 1965, becoming Jamaica’s First National
Garveyism, like the
Nation of Islam, was a large mass movement in the history of Blacks in
United States. Branches of both Black movements were found in towns of
Garveyites urged a
revolution towards the Black community to gain a mass following.
Manning Marable wrote
about the Garvey Movement:
power depended on activities that could restore both self–respect and a
of community—essentially the development of a united black culture.
Black Power in the
Caribbean was a political strategy similar to how it manifested itself
United States, but Caribbean Black Power presented itself as radical
activism—radical politics, radical economics and even radical culture
addition to personal dignity and self-respect.
Militant Black Power
evangelists were generally not receptive to analysis and discussion.
strategy tended towards confrontation over interaction as they felt
quo change was too slow.
West Indians who
figured prominently in the 1960s U.S. Black Power Movement were Stokely
Carmichael [Trinidad & Tobago], Roy Inness [Virgin Islands],
[lived in Trinidad] and Lincoln Lynch [Jamaica].
In general and
compared with the movement in America, Black Power in the Caribbean was
racial as it applied to melanin content of the skin. It was difficult
blackness in skin tone when Caribbean people were often multi-racial
own hierarchical figuring of skin color based on shades of brown; the
of the Brownocracy.
Caribbean Black Power
was riding on the trend in the States and using the movement to enlist
When racial overtones were used by Caribbean Black Power intellectuals,
discussion concerned neo-colonialism with capitalists and imperialists
white. There was the belief that poverty in the Caribbean was not
racism, but by capitalism and oppressive imperialist policies.
Information about these
parties and major events, like Haile Selassie’s visit to Jamaica in
1966 and Walter
Rodney’s expulsion from Jamaica in October 1968
and the February  Movement in Trinidad-Tobago,
spread throughout the region and major world cities by radio,
periodicals, pamphlets, university publications, conference
C.L.R. James attended
the 1st Regional Conference on Black Power in Bermuda, 10-13 July 1969.
of Black Power advocates gathering together was so unsettling that the
government sent a contingent of Royal Marines to watch over things.
C.L.R. James was
traveling extensively and added his weighty influence to the political
of the time. One theme of C.L.R. James was the idea of transformation.
change can be enabled by democratic actions of ordinary people.
James believed people joining together can
transform their existence.
Dr. Robert Millette
wrote at length on The Black Revolution
in the Caribbean.
The piece was first published by Moko
Enterprises, Trinidad & Tobago in 1971. His writing favored a
society, over a dependent one. Millette stated:
. . . in my mind the establishment of independence in an ex-colonial
society involves a revolutionary process.
it involves revolutionary consequences.
power potentially shifts from overseas
to “within the territory itself,” he
figured the world of possibility:
. . . one of the
being that political power can be seized by force.
Dr. R. Millette also cautioned:
. . .
that black men in power do not connote black power.
Once again, Black Power in the Caribbean was seen
as radical Black
The theoretical partner with nationalism was the
Writer George Lamming spoke to this in 1982 at the
Committee for Cultural Sovereignty at a conference in Grenada:
. . . sovereignty is
the collective power of
a people to exercise control and direction over their means of
the freedom to define and redefine all those processes, material and
which make up our social reality.
A telex on 27 March 1979 from Ambassador Frank Ortiz Jr. of the American Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados to the Secretary of State in Washington, DC plus embassies and security bodies, summarized security in the Caribbean at the end of a discussion on the matter. Ortiz wrote:
The rise of radical movements in wake of British withdrawal has changed the traditional security situation in the Caribbean.
Poorly-equipped security services are no longer sufficient.
But we must be aware too that even the best-equipped force will not save a leadership out of touch with citizens.
And many of these government are our of touch with the new generation which grows out of the Black Power movement of the sixties rather than the Inns of Court in London.
This generation provides the leadership and manpower for radical groups throughout the Caribbean.
Embassy will do its part in maintaining contact with these opposition groups and, wherever possible, nudging island leaders toward accommodation rather than confrontation with their political opponents, but ultimately existing governments of the area bear the primary responsibility for meeting the economic and political needs of their citizens.
Grenada has made them more aware of the possible consequences of failure.
Advocates of Caribbean Black Power felt
robbing their country. They were concerned the outside influence was
change their national culture and take over national institutions and
Consider the example of television. No one said
the company, brought television to a foreign country.
What usually happened were the highly paid
for the corporation located in the foreign country wanted to have
for their family, one of many luxury goods. These executives developed
means for the foreign country to receive television signals. Soon
imported as a consumer product. Soon most of the people in the country
watching television for lengthy periods.
Much of the imported television programs were the
North American programs and, as put by George Lamming, “unloaded
on a mesmerized and uncritical populace.”
Soon the styles and ways of the foreign country or
the desires of the citizens of the foreign country where the
based. Teenage boys
were seen with wide
After being inundated with luxuries like
kitchen appliances, the latest automobiles, carpeting, motorized lawn
[most all duty-free], the people of the foreign country felt an
their old ways when at the same time they yearned for the labor-saving
conveniences. They felt the “full weight
of imperialism,” as some would frame the matter, yet they
This dichotomous process is called “cultural
highly resented by many citizens feeling the pressures on their
An attitude of cultural imperialism plays itself
upon a smaller,
so-called less important nation as advancement. The expatriate
assumes a higher state of being over the “natives.”
The foreigner from a large nation like the United
its economic and military superiority acts as a representative of the
world knowing better than peoples of the “third-world.”
It was a particular thorn in the side of Black
Power advocates that
education in the Caribbean still carried remnants of colonial culture.
studied history of other countries miles away from their own and rarely
their own country or region. Students still took the test sent them
Students did not learn about the great African
fighters from the
Caribbean like Toussaint L’Ouverture, Edward Blyden,
René Maran, Aimé
Césaire, George Padmore, Frantz Fanon, Marcus Garvey, or C.L.R. James.
The corporations that were producing goods from the
the country were seen as maximizing profits and sending the gain to
owners, usually the United States. The profits were seen as going to an
or to boards of directors, stock brokers, stockholders with little
the host country. No one knew the amount of the profit, or how much was
or where the profit went.
Corporate executives were seen as deciding and
deals behind closed doors. These
bodies were seen as robbing the host country’s economy, including using
host country’s resources.
Multi-national corporations were seen to restrict
the foreign country and produce whatever might be needed in their own
Corporations which produced goods were seen to
export the higher
quality items and sell the lesser quality good to the local population.
The pay scale for white expatriates in the foreign
higher than black employees from the foreign country.
If there were pure nationalism, with a sovereign
right, the host
country would be allocated the profit. If done according to radical
the masses would participate in national decisions, including the
within which multi-national corporations operated.
For example, corporate profits would be reinvested
capital going to the foreign country.
Caribbean radicals stuck to the concept of
West Indians produced and processed the resources of their own country.
The salient factor was that radical nationalists
were of a mind
to place the blame for the corporate actions or inactions on the
From this blame to a solution, revolution or control of state power was
in the wings as an option.
In the situation of Prime Minister Eric Williams
and the 1970
government in Trinidad & Tobago, Caribbean Black Power
advocates put the
government between a rock and a very hard place.
If the government were looking to find solutions to
issues, the means for doing so were through parliamentary measures.
Parliamentary changes took time and some radicals felt they could not
They put the pressure on the government and its
through protests and demonstrations with violence at the outer fringes.
The constitutionally-elected government of all the
not see their rights jeopardized and the Trinidad-Tobago government
calling for two states of emergency in the February–April 1970 period.
Radicals were outraged, stating they knew all along
continuing exploitation of “metropolitan whites” proved the existence
neo-colonialism. Some radicals ratcheted up an argument of conspiracy
the CIA was involved.
In defense, some corporate executives would say
they had Black
employees. Statistics may have shown a preponderance of national
or equal to expatriate employees, but the radical critique was that
information was tightly held to the chest of the multi-national
The Caribbean Black Power people would come right
back with the
argument that those Blacks who were hired were sell-outs, black
Afro-Saxons, Black lackeys or Black Honkies because Black Power people
white power positions held by the corporations in foreign countries.
The primary defense of the multi-national
capitalism. The people of these corporate entities worked hard,
millions, and the company they owned lock, stock and barrel was not to
shared no matter the location.
In Jamaica one found the bauxite
companies with bauxite used as the source for making aluminum—Reynolds,
Kaiser, Also and others.
Trinidad had the oil refineries—Texaco and Shell—
company Tate & Lyle which formed the West Indies Sugar Company.
Booker Brothers, McConnell & Company,
popularly known as
Bookers, owned most of the sugar plantations in Guyana.
The tourist industry is a topic often discussed
tourist industry in the Caribbean uses foreign-made goods and is
enterprise owned by non-nationals. Tourists change the values in the
William Demas noted this about land:
Large tracts of land
have been permanently
alienated to foreigners.
Some of the best
beaches in some of the
islands become exclusive preserves of foreign (and local) Whites.
(food, drink and
recreation) of tourists influence the aspirations of the local
Foreign visitors wanted more and different goods as
foodstuffs and material goods, and services. Most of these were not
in the host country.
Tourists have the money to get what they want,
items the locals
cannot afford. In other words, tourists bring their own lifestyle. Many
tourists bring their own aspiration and means to live part of the year
host country; driving up property values.
The current argument goes that some islands have
in keeping with those of the United States leaving no place for the
sons and daughters to make their home in their own country.
One complaint was summarized by Owusu Sadaukai
speaking on the Caribbean situation in Toronto in April 1972:
Our lives are being
controlled by white
faces that are unseen behind the doors of the offices in which we work.
We are forced to live
in shanties while new
hotels and new housing development are being built for the white
the new Oxford-bred Black bourgeoisie.
Sadaukai furthered his talk outlining national
The purpose of a nation
should be to develop
production and institutions to meet the needs of all of its people—its
NOT somebody else.
[In the Caribbean]
under the imperialist
machine the resources are being used for the betterment of those who
have rather than those who have not.
The solution, according to Tapia
newsletter of 29 August 1971, was to cultivate a Caribbean tourism
boarding house lodgings with advertising to low income people who
take a Caribbean vacation, most of those being black Americans and
This identical issue was important during the time
development of a similar tourist strategy during the People’s
Government in Grenada.
Rosie Douglas commented:
Until we are able to
for local consumption, build and control hotels cooperatively and
technical training and employment for our people, the tourist industry
remain another device to serve the needs of the white boy, to put some
money into the hands of the upper class and perpetuate the second class
of the lower class.
An easy fix on the tourism industry may not take
the many expatriates who are hotel owners, who have made their home in
and become citizens in their new country, whose spouse is Caribbean,
family may have once been expatriate with diffusion over the years,
is to use local produce and products, who directs cooks to cook the
dishes from the host country and who hires local staff.
The issue of whether tourists bring capital to a
island continues to this day, especially regarding cruise ships. It is
to justify income from these tourists who are off the boat for one day
The cruise ship passengers eat their food on the
their lodging is on the vessel. They leave the ship when it is in dock
to buy goods most likely made in another country on the cheap. The
among them make it on to a tour van and get to pet the monkeys in a
It is important to note the concept of Caribbean
nationalism as interpreted by Dr. Anthony P. Maingot:
In the early 1970s,
Guyana took the
leadership in many radical reforms in the Caribbean Basin.
Its nationalization in
July 1971 of the
Demerara Bauxite Co. (DEMBA), a subsidiary of the Aluminum Company of
(ALCAN), contributed to legitimizing the idea of state ownership in the
Norman Girvan, who received his PhD in 1966 from
of London, was on the faculty of the University of the West Indies,
the early 1970s. He contributed his research and thoughts to many
being New World Quarterly. He was
Director of the Caribbean Centre for Corporate Research in Kingston,
and actively writes online.
Girvan wrote extensively about the issue of Third
Minerals: predominantly bauxite and oil. When the bauxite industry in
was nationalized, followed by the oil industry in Trinidad and Tobago
actions in the Jamaican bauxite industry, Girvan corroborated the
nationalist trend in the Caribbean for the first years of the 1970s:
. . . the
nationalization signaled the
initiation of a new wave of economic nationalism that is now sweeping
region from one end to the other.
The predominant religion in the Caribbean is Roman
with half the population of Grenada, for example, believing in the
Catholic faith. In
the larger scope,
Christianity is in the majority with Anglicans and Methodists
Other religions include the Afro-Caribbean Creolized religions and East
religions [usually showing up in Presbyterianism].
The 1960s saw organizations active in modernization
The themes of justice
and liberation were
given prominence during the sixties in international gatherings
the United Nations, the World Council of Churches and the Vatican.
These might be
identified as having a direct
impact on the Consultation [Trinidad in
1971], where both women and youth claimed and received
In the Sixties, there were symposiums at the United
Commission on Trade and Development [UNCTAD], no. 1 & 2;
Vatican II; the 4th
Assembly of the World Council of Churches [WCC]; and the World
Development  sponsored jointly by the WCC and the Vatican.
Important conclaves also included the 1966 World
Churches conference of church and society and the 16 March 1967 Papal
Encyclical on Development of Peoples.
The World Council of Churches, based in Geneva,
established in 1937.
Populorum progression is
the Papal Encyclical on Development of Peoples written by Pope Paul VI.
church letter also spoke of development and the world economy serving
mankind and not just the few.
The lives of some young Grenadian radicals saw
with religious groups. Starting with Pope John XXII on 11 October 1962
closing under Pope Paul VI on 21 November 1965,
the Second Vatican Council had an effect on the Caribbean and Caribbean
The four Constitutions of Vatican II are
Below they are outlined with the aid of the writings of Rev. Robert
The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy did away
religious services done in Latin and also encouraged the use of local
patterns and indigenous expressions.
The Constitution on Divine Revelation encouraged
the Church to
make access to the Scriptures more accessible.
The Constitution on the Church emphasized the
Church not as an
undisputed revelation, isolated within its own body, but as an
with a mission to embrace equality of all religions.
The Constitution on the Church in the Modern World
put the focus
on building justice and peace. Cuthbert noted:
Social action defined
as charity was
understood to be an inadequate interpretation of the Christian
In its place a new
definition of social action
was demanded and this called for a level of commitment that was total
part of the individual, best described by the word “solidarity”.
It was a call for ecumenism, for unity among all
praying together, making commitments, engaging in community service;
playing guitars during the church service.
Latin American radicals were drawn to matching the
thought of religion to Marxist philosophy in their branch of liberation
theology. More specifically, they linked Marxist interpretations of
Catholic theology with political activism—social justice, the
poverty, and human rights.
If the poor were the key to change, if the
exploited were the last inheritors of the earth, then it followed that
represented a living battleground for the future.
To put the matter another way, from a song by the
Central Park Sheiks:
If the people’s key is
the key of C
What is the key of the
George Lamming, in a 1983 speech, reminded
listeners of the
importance of religion in the Caribbean:
Religion continues to
be an important and
pervasive force in the lives of an overwhelming majority of Caribbean
Any Marxist of our
region who ignores or
underestimates this face commits a fatal error of judgement; he fails
recognize where he is and, therefore, misconceives the thought and
the people with whom he wants to communicate.
In the English-speaking Eastern Caribbean, West
continued as the rhythm of Carnival and was centered on the talent of
Slinger, known as the Mighty Sparrow.
Born in Grenada, Slinger went to Trinidad-Tobago
when he was a
year old, and there his talent grew. He aided the growth of the
medium through his rising career as the dominant figure of the style.
known as a member of the Young Brigade.
The Mighty Sparrow’s social commentary was biting
innovative, writing lyrics filled with wit and irony.
Consider his thrust against colonial education from Captain James
Oliver Cutteridge’s West Indian Readers in Dan
is the Man. Cutteridge was
an education officer in
Sparrow singing his 1963 hit Dan
is de Man [about what was learned in colonial education] is
an online video.
humpty dumpty sat on a
humpty dumpty didn’t
Goosey Goosey Gander
Where shall I wander?
Ding dong dell . . .
pussy in the well
Sparrow also sang another song in 1963 reflective
of the times
about Kennedy and Khruschev [The Cuban Missile Crisis]. The tune was
“Kennedy is the Man for Them.”
Another Grenadian was Clifton Ryan [1928- ], who also went
to Trinidad-Tobago in his
youth and made his mark. He was Calypso King there in 1964, known as
Mighty Bomber.” 
An interesting performer, born in the United States,
from the 1950s was “Calypso Gene, the Charmer.”
One song was a calypso-like tune using a title from
a saying by
Muslim pioneer Wallace Dodd Fard—White
Man’s Heaven is Black Man’s Hell? It was issued in 1958.
The young Calypsonian would play this song before
Malcolm X gave
a speech for the National of Island [NOI], speaking a rhetoric of
song from 1961 was Look at My Chains. This
was Minister Louis X, during his times as a professional Calypsonian in
and later in performances throughout the United States, then known as
was born Louis Eugene Walcott in the Bronx but moved with his mother to
West Indian community in the Roxbury section of Boston where he
Latin School. His mother was from Saint Kitts/Nevis; his absent father
Jamaican. The boy later returned to his given name, Louis Farrakhan.
Farrakhan’s career as a public personality, within
the Nation of Islam [NOI], continued past the year 2012.
The nation of Grenada embodies the island of
Grenada, the sister
island of Carriacou and smaller sister island of Petite Martinique.
Grenada’s major politicians came from, or had roots in the sister
Carriacou had its own airstrip, Lauriston, which
additional way to arrive on the island. Previously the ferries Starlight V and Miriam
B made the trips between Carriacou and Grenada, a 4-7 hour
one-way trip, depending on the weather.
The sister island Carriacou was known for its
maize, pigeon peas and shipbuilding tradition. The first established
Bishops College, was located in Hillsborough. Paule Marshall, writing
perspective of her West Indian roots, features Carriacou in her novel Praisesong for the Widow.
The political and labor history of the Caribbean
important role in studying the context of the Grenada Revolution.
Still another element was the condition of the
Caribbean in its
post-colonial growth and hierarchical struggles between the peoples of
class structures, including the separation between rural and city
M.G. Smith wrote of the intimate associations
between the people
in Grenada through kinship, family intermarriages and social groupings.
often inherited their occupation, stuck with people by way of immigrant
or origin, went to school locally or in another country, married within
same class. There was a hierarchical status structure and elites were
people who voted.
Gordon K. Lewis commented on race and class:
In a society like the
West Indian, still
full of rural poverty, in adequate housing, urban rootlessness, mass
and social insecurity, the havens of race, as much as class, frequently
the only known and available hiding place.
Author George Lamming in a 1980 lecture on
Culture” at UWI Cave Hill, Barbados campus graduation where he received
Honorary Doctor of Letters, wrote about the dominant class in Caribbean
countries and its persistent legacy:
A dominant class,
exclusively white, laid
the foundations of a cultural force that would influence all our lives.
It was the ideology of
racism; a morality
whose guiding principle was the exclusive privilege of the skin.
To be black was to be a
with the cheapest labour.
White was the symbol
and source of all
The priest and the
planter, school and
church, legislation and the law, all gave the weight of their authority
social and economic arrangement; and they did so in the name of
honour, and Christian democracy.
M.G. Smith termed this class as the dominant
included people involved with the government, justice, administration,
and development in their institutional form. The educated, those
formal religious bodies, the property owners—all wanted to maintain the
quo, keep their special privileged position.
In Grenada, the base of educated people was in
with the old families. They often carried a sense of entitlement which
contributed to the classic “town vs. country” division. The late Gordon
Lewis wrote about class in the West Indies: 
Skin colour determines
social class; but it
is not an exclusive determinant.
There are many
fair-skinned persons who are
not upper class, and many dark-skinned persons who are.
The real divisions of
the society are the
horizontal ones of social class rather than the vertical ones of colour
West Indian class structures evoked this
The well-known West
“pigmentocracy” generated a social structure in which class was closely
color, so that black, brown, and white were accurately reflected in
corresponding social and racial echelons.
That correlation, of
course, was the
heritage of slavery so that social respectability depended in large
each person’s racial ancestry.
The folk, according to M.G. Smith, were illiterate
poor, illegitimate, of low status, spoke primarily patois with social
institutions such as the maroon and susu.
During his 1980 lecture, upon receiving an Honorary
Letters degree, George Lamming spoke of education in the islands:
You are a minority; and
you are a minority
because education is scarce; [minority=educated] and was intended to be
scarcity so that it might serve as an instrument of continuing social
stratification, an index of privilege and status; a deformed habit of
Young Grenadian revolutionaries were generally the
fortunate within their society—children of the middle class,
fair-skinned, with basic educational opportunities primarily in the
capital of Saint
They looked to conquer the challenges of poverty,
lack of education, economic disparity, ill-health, inequality and the
legacy of British Colonialism.
One marking of a major attempt at change in the
the quest for unification through Federation, led in 1958 by Dr. Eric
of Trinidad & Tobago , Grantley Adams of Barbados and Alexander
of Jamaica. 
Officially the dates of the Federation were from 3
– 31 May 1962. The West Indian Federation, with the emergence of the
was formed as a unit of ten  Caribbean territories, acting
from Britain. The West Indian Federation concept failed because of
Failure of the West Indian Federation in 1962, did
visions of Caribbean integration. Rosie Douglas wrote of his view a
can only be meaningful
it is aims at destroying the present colonial economic and political
and building a new social order in which responsibility will be shifted
massed of the people.
Today, the liberation
of the Caribbean must
mean the total revolutionizing of its social structure.
. . . whether we live
in Belize, Aruba,
Antigua, Saint Kitts, Trinidad, Guyana, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Martinique,
Saint Thomas, Saint Vincent, Saint Lucia, Nevis, Puerto Rico, Anguilla,
and the Grenadines, Barbados, Jamaica, the Bahamas or Bermuda and we
English, French, Spanish or Dutch, we remain (except Cuba) territorial,
political, economic and cultural appendages of racist-imperialist North
In writing about class, Douglas stated:
To the lower class in
Dominica and the
Caribbean, unity means the collective development of the resources of
in order that we can put an end to the high cost of living, chronic
and under-employment, increasing crime rate, lack of cultural and
identity and insecurity in old age.
The unity of the masses
anti-imperialist unity, unity for world peace, unity for liberation and
economic independence and advance – with a single political direction.
The smaller islands were given, by Britain, the
Associated Statehood, including Grenada.
Independence of Grenada was formally achieved 7
External affairs and defense were the responsibility of Britain. The
Governor-General was responsible to the Queen and not the British
The Grenada Revolution cannot be discussed without
intellectual, cultural, political climate, ambience and morals of the
that time as it was absorbed into the psyche of this small island
What happened in the United States and Britain was
the Caribbean, and what was chosen for reportage was often a
summary of actual events.
Not to be forgotten was the British Broadcasting
[BBC] World Service. There was the pre-modern BBC radio on the
From 25 December 1976 - 25 March 2011, the BBC World Service brought
music to Grenadian listeners.
There was the isolation of Grenada so that a
parallel line of
world events had a delay in the Spice Isle. Still, it “reached,” as the
On the main island of Grenada, there were full cups
ingredients precipitating the growth of the New Jewel Movement; not the
of which was the regime of former Chief Minister Eric Gairy.
Intellectual agitation was in the air. Countries
independence and national liberation. Anti-colonial spirits ran high.
Gairy was causing Grenadian radicals to feel the devil’s riding crop.
The importance of the trait called charisma is not
diminished. The two primary leaders in Grenada, Eric Matthew Gairy and
Rupert Bishop, around whom our story unfolds, each possessed a
gained popular support because of their extraordinary knack and talent.
There is no on-point definition of charisma, but
you know it
when you see it. Charisma is a magnitude and a sense of largesse; a
a certain quality shown in the personalities of Fidel Castro, Che
Burnham, Michael Manley, Mao Tse-tung, Stokely Carmichael and Malcolm
Gairy and Maurice Bishop.
One outstanding trait that Eric Gairy and Maurice
Bishop had in
common was they were excellent orators. Their dress, manner, style,
vocal modulations, and silences accompanied their package of
personified their messages even when in a teaching mode.
In effect, they were selected as men worthy of
of the imagery of their total being. For some, Gairy and Bishop had
powers in their directness. It was Eric Matthew Gairy who called upon
mysteries of life.
For Maurice Bishop, everyone knew his father Rupert
killed in the “struggle” and most people in Grenada knew Rupert Bishop.
loss associated with Maurice Bishop’s family tragedy added a special
People, it is said, had a mix of subjective
feelings and impressions
upon seeing each of them give a speech. When Maurice Bishop raised his
above his head, the viewer followed along the trajectory, or when Eric
stood on a car top in his white suit, he was perceived by some as other
A charismatic authority is perceived as a visionary
his judgments on fairness and correctness with his invincibility and
The means by which the masses are wooed has a core of emotional appeal.
is the feeling the leader can get things done, skirt bureaucracy and
The effect of mobilization of the masses by a
populist leader is
that all classes and groups become united under one leader.
In Grenada, “Papa” Gairy was the sole leader;
“Brother” Bish was
the popular leader of revolutionary change through people’s
The emerging control of a central core like the NJM
the Central Committee began as early as the time Bishop returned to
1970. Throughout Leftist histories one can read of the struggles within
outside of a Central Committee.
Often, charisma works best in a crisis, real or
step towards further decolonialization in the attempt by Gairy to gain
independence as a solitary Grenadian state was one such crisis. The
the Gairy regime by the young radicals was another critical point in
Anton Allahar’s book on Caribbean charisma made
For populist claims
play on the peoples’
aspirations for democracy and economic leveling, and populist leaders
to present themselves as being above class, ethnic, regional or other
divisions in the society.
Indeed, both Gairy and Bishop felt they were one
people. Bishop especially raised the levels of expectations towards
hope of a
just and equal society, though there was no question Bishop rejected
independent capitalism in favor of socialism when Gairy was all along
the young rascals were Communists.
Frank J. McDonald wrote Grenada:
Eric Matthew Gairy and the Politics of Extravagance published
25 May 1969,
and Tales of Uncle Gairy, 10
1969. These articles were published by the Institute of Current World
Going into the 1970s, Gairy’s consolidation of
one-man rule of
his Party, the GULP, was evaluated in retrospect by Ewart Archer:
. . . it was this very
insistence on one-man
rule in the party which would make Gairy an extremely powerful man in
In that year, the GULP
was elected to office
only months after a constitutional change had granted Grenada full
self-government (autonomy) as an Associated State of the United
Although this was a
lesser status than full
independence, British control was now restricted to defence and foreign
and the locus of power had shifted from the representative of the
to the premier, as the leader of the majority party in the new House of
Representatives was now called.
From the time Gairy
assumed the premiership
in 1967 to his removal from office some 12 years later, he would
significant state decision in Grenada.
Grenada, going into the 1970s, saw Eric M. Gairy as
and Herbert Blaize as the Opposition Leader. Native Grenadian Dr. Hilda
was Governor General.
She was the first female governor in the British Commonwealth of
The late Joachim "Sonny" Mark wrote about one relationship
of Gairy and
Gairy was always lucky
to get others to
engage in buffoonery for him or in his behalf.
In 1969 his appointed
Governor Hilda Bynoe
demanded that Trevor Emmanuel, then a Roman Catholic priest, make a
apology to the Government for a sermon he had given on human rights
pulpit of the Saint George’s Cathedral.
The Firearms Act
1968 passed by the Grenada United Labour Party [GULP]
took away all firearms permits issued to members of the Opposition and
Gairy considered enemies and to impound personal weapons.  These
included citizens who for years had been
permitted to carry guns to protect their property. One was Johnny
of Douglaston Estate in Saint John’s, a Justice of the Peace, and a man
convictions for any offence.
Those who carried rifles on estates, for example,
used them for
a variety of protective reasons. According to DaBreo: 
Among those whose guns
were taken away were
Paul Kent, Eric Copland and Johnny Branch.
Johnny Branch, for
example, is one of the
owners of Douglaston Estate, in the parish of Saint John’s . . . Dr.
a onetime Political leader of the opposition Grenada National Party
had his licence revoked.
While these people’s
arms were being taken
away, guns were being liberally handed out to the untrained, roughnecks
Following the Firearms Act,
harassment of any opposition began to be carried out by Gairy’s
were beatings and searches, overt and tacit intimidation practices. One
example was when the homes of Dr. John Watts and Johnny Branch were
Nothing was found, and a pattern of searching homes and finding nothing
established, according to DaBreo.
The opposition groups to Gairy’s regime and union
farmer’s organizations – the Progressive Labour and General Workers
[PLGWU] led by Pope McLean and the Grenada Farmers Union [GFU] led by
Around the third week of May 1969, a spiteful fight
accusations and counter-accusations; a Gairy call for a strike,
incidents of threats,
arson and hooliganism. Because of the recent Firearms Act, those
weapons, even for practical reasons, were susceptible to government
One incident involved farmer and Senator Ben Jones
and his 40
hacked-down cocoa trees in Saint Patrick’s parish. Tensions were so
trend seemed to be towards armed resistance. Meanwhile, in Carriacou,
talk of a secessionist movement, continuing to this present day.
During 1969, flyers appeared in Grenada; an example
cannot take more!
NOW DECLARED WAR
ALL FARMERS AND ALL
Premier and President-General of his
Union he uses his position and
to frighten people into
Wants No Opposition!
are in Fear
cannot take more!
From Now on – “It’s an Eye for an Eye
A Tooth for a Tooth”
The Grenada National Bank was established by Eric
Gairy in 1969.
All sorts of mayhem at the bank resulted, according to Joachim Mark.
Constable Innocent Belmar was promoted to Corporal
By way of the Government Information Service [GIS],
Grenadians and others aware of his disdain of Associated Statehood and
of Independence for Grenada.
In a GIS statement of 21 February 1969, Gairy wrote
preparatory steps towards independence through the United Nations and
about plans to open a consul office in the United States.
The major event of 1969 was conceived by Gairy. The
was called Expo ’69.
The idea for Expo ‘69 was supposed to have been
sparked by Gairy’s
attendance at the 5 September 1967 “Grenada Day” celebration of the
Montreal Exposition. 
Gairy was masterfully in attendance at Expo ’69
wearing a white
shirt, white suit coat, white pants and white shoes. In his opening
Expo ‘69, he said:
Eighteen years ago I
had a dream, as it
were, eighteen years ago I had a vision that I could build Grenada and
Grenada a place of global repute and recognition;
eighteen years ago I
had a vision that I
could help build a West Indian Nation;
eighteen years ago I
the principle that the worker was a necessary, vital and integral part
industry or enterprise, knowing full well that I was incurring the
wrath of a
traditionally complexed and sophisticated society of false pride and
so, eighteen years ago, the British Government sent their battleships
to me and
eighteen years ago I
was confined behind
barbed wires, eighteen years ago I was given fifty-two police cases
Carifta Expo ‘69 was first international trade fair
held in the
Caribbean and it was held in Grenada. The fair was open from 5 April
1969 to 30
The Expo Office issued a 24-page booklet with an
by Her Excellency Dame Hilda Bynoe. The
grounds of the exposition were at a specially-designed complex in the
Beach Resort area in the southern part of Grenada. 
Those in charge of the exposition were Chairman
Dip. Arch., A.R.I.B.A. The board included Executive Secretary George
Marecheau; John Derek Neckles Knight; Senator Keith Alleyne, Q.C. and
George Frederick Hosten. Mrs. Margo Foister “was
nominated Secretary to the Central Committee.” Others who
worked on the project included Neville DaBreo, Chairman of the Grenada
Board and businessman Ben Davis.
Renwick, who was crowned Carnival Queen 1968 with her dazzling Crystal
Chandelier costume, had a role in Expo ‘69.
One writer at the Expo Office waxed eloquent about
the site description,
quoted here in part:
The Nutmeg Theatre
nestles on the lips of
Sandy Beach, beckoning to the gay abandon of the typical Carnival
artistes who would one day whisper — “I was there”.
Almost with a sense of
betrayal one tears
By June 1969, an
incident occurred regarding the Church and the late Father Trevor
Sunday, 16 June 1969, Fr. Emmanuel preached a sermon in the Saint
Roman Catholic Church – in part:
you hear that there is an attempt to obtain taxes fraudulently, what
the institutions of care for our sick are not adequate what will be
good people have been deprived of the means to protect themselves, and
great many people are unemployed, what should b your reaction?
you hear that those who are responsible for the public protection have
interfered with as to render them inefficient, while the hooligan
bolder in our society, what will be your reaction?
According to writer
Frank McDonald, Fr. Emmanuel equated the freedoms above with scripture
personal rights. The Governor-General Dame Hilda Bynoe was sitting with
congregation during that sermon. She was not pleased.
She invited Fr.
Emmanuel to Government House to discuss her displeasure and suggested
apology to the Premier was in order.
Fr. Emmanuel declined;
Gairy went on the radio shouting out Fr. Emmanuel’s name and charging:
. . . a considered effort here by a few people to damage the image of our isle of spice now aspiring for independence . . .
Their malice stems from their intense jealousy of (my) brain and proven achievements.
outburst, a group of the clergy sent a letter to Gairy on 7 July 1969.
letter was signed by ten  church leaders from the Roman Catholic,
Methodist and Presbyterian houses of worship in Grenada; the largest
denominations. They said Fr. Emmanuel had a right to speak out on all
including political ones, and noted that “Freedom
of speech is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
The year 1969 marked
the time of mysterious fires. Frank McDonald wrote of the consequences
public incident relating to Fr. Emmanuel’s sermon:
same week that the clergy met and sent Premier Gairy their reaction to
broadcast, Father Emmanuel’s school was burned down and there was an
arson of two other buildings attached to the Methodist Church in Saint
The fire at the old
George’s R.C. School included the steel band on 3 July 1969.
Father Trevor Emmanuel,
who later was involved in the New Jewel Movement, spoke out about
unity of existence has become one of my fundamental themes.
think that for a priest to be relevant today in the Caribbean he must
about social conditions.
poverty is a great hindrance to the full development of the human
this respect, Gairy knows why he should take up the challenge I made.
priorities are rather topsy-turvy.
would rather avoid the real problems, such as housing, and concentrate
glamorous aspects of tourism.
cigarettes, Blue Danube butter bread, Red Spot, Franco ice cream, blood
and one’s rum of choice? One does recall Chinatown, Tropical Inn, and
Bamboo Bar on the Esplanade, BBC nightclub, Portofino’s, the Lion’s Den
movies at the Empire Theatre. On 8 June 1968, the Grenada Zoo was opened; a Gairy project complete with engraved invitations for opening day.
Memories are found in
the writings of Anthony Wendell DeRiggs [Recollections
of an Island Man],
& Ole Talk];
Dr. Winston J. Phillips [The Grenada Boys
Secondary School Hostel]
and Lincoln Depradine [White Cloak &
The Time-Life Books
on Cooking of the Caribbean,
published in 1970, caught the eye of admirers
with its colorful photos of Grenada. Books published in the Caribbean
This cookbook may have been one’s first introduction to the Spice Isle.
The United States Peace
founded in the U.S. on 21 March 1961, was
in Grenada from 1966-1979 and started up again in 1985.
Among the seized Grenada Documents was one paper titled Secret Memorandum and the Peace Corps.
The author is Jack Vaughn. The date is unknown.
The memorandum on the
Peace Corps came from the files of the People’s Revolutionary
document reviewed and used as the source of selected quotations with
about the memorandum [see General Appendix]. 
“Extracts from a Secret
Memorandum issued by the U.S. State Department to Peace Corps
also be found at the end of Salkey’s Georgetown
Journal. [see General Appendix]
A note in Salkey’s
Appendix indicated the “Secret Memorandum” was first published as an
expose in Uhuru,  a
twice-monthly newspaper of the Black community in Montreal, Canada from
The memorandum was
reprinted in ASCRIA Drums (April
published monthly by ASCRIA, in Georgetown,
The “secret memorandum”
via then Peace Corps Director Jack Vaughn, issued to volunteers,
provided guidelines for volunteers to be righteous representatives of
quotations in the document filled two
typed pages. A selection is made of the more directive extracts:
all means and opportunities for strengthening the position of those
personalities and groups which support the ideas of the West.
their efforts in the field of political and social development to
the spread of Communist ideas and methods, foster and inculcate the
methods of private enterprise and personal initiative and demonstrate
is the only way in which the developing countries can expect the
of effective co-operation with the West.
countries where the leaders adhere to the principles of nationalism and
socialism, volunteers should cautiously but steadfastly oppose the
dissemination and acceptance of those theories.
concerned the individual volunteer:
Corps volunteers carry out their jobs in the country to which they are
in close contact with the US Embassy, USIA Missions and other US
US Ambassadors and Ministers, as heads of diplomatic missions abroad,
the activities of the Peace Corps volunteers in their respective
such contacts must be kept absolutely secret since any leakage would
undesirable reaction from public opinion and officials of the host
And then there was more
about the Communists:
Communists believe that time is on their side in the cold war, that
later the developing nations will turn Communist without a shot ever
fired, that history, social forces, poverty and the hatred for the
powers will tip the scale in their favour.
stand ready to match our volunteers against anything the Communists may
[devise; plan]. We doubt the challenge will be accepted.
This unknown author of
the documents summarized:
our people not forget that whatever may be the intention, the Peace
volunteers are functioning all over Asia and Africa and Caribbean under
instruction given to this top secret Memorandum.
that the instructions given in the Secret memorandum have been made
people have no more doubts as to the real motives behind the United
giving the Peace Corps assistance to our country.
Jack Hood Vaughn
was Director of the Peace Corps from March
1966–March 1969, appointed by U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson.
He had been Latin American Director from
October 1961–April 1964.
Grenada had three
anti-government newspapers and a radio network during 1970.
One was the West Indian, a daily newspaper that was
founded in 1915 by T.A. Marryshow, but later owned by the Gairy
Another was the Torchlight issued twice during the week.
The third was aligned
with the Grenada National Party [GNP]. It was titled the Vanguard, not
to be confused with the Vanguard newspaper
of Trinidad-Tobago run by editor-journalist Wally Look Lai for the
The radio network Windward Islands Broadcasting Service [WIBS]
had been founded in 1955. Old hands at WIBS include Leslie Seon, former
Director and former Government Information Service [GIS] director, and
historian John Lent related in text his May 1971 interview with Claude
Theobalds, former chief program officer of WIBS:
was administered by the West Indies Broadcasting Council, made up of
premiers of the islands [Saint Vincent, Saint Lucia, Dominica,
council meetings, the premier of Grenada acted on the council’s behalf.
left enormous power in Gairy’s hands.
From 1955-1971 [during
most of Gairy’s three elected five-year terms] the WIBS building was
WIBS was stopped in
1971, and by the first of January 1972 Radio Grenada was formed as a
radio station housed in the same building.
The use of British
libel law to protect an individual’s reputation was not ignored by
1969 and 1971, he [Gairy] threatened or brought suit against LOOK [magazine],
some London media, the Torchlight and the
A history of the
Grenada-Aruba connection was first printed in Caribbean
Week, October 1995. It was written by John Collins about
San Nicolas, Aruba. The site at caribbeanrunnings.com is unfortunately
as of November 2009.
1924 Standard Oil commenced construction of its Lago refinery in Aruba
. . .
The four Grenadian leaders with close Aruban connections were Sir Eric
. . Maurice Bishop . . . Herbert Blaize . . . and Ben Jones . . . [Ivan
Williams] said that the 1954 census revealed that Grenadians were the
largest group on the island after native Arubans.
In Grenada, Calypso
Monarchs were Lord “Whitey” Carleton “Mighty Hurricane” Mitchell 
Clozier, Saint John’s; the Mighty Dictator ; the Mighty Scaramouche
Mighty Unlucky  and Mighty Inspector .
Black Power came to Grenada by way of the usual paths
of osmosis. The movement of information from outside the Caribbean
into Grenada by way of newspapers, magazines, BBC radio, wire services,
returning University of the West Indies [UWI] students, Grenadians
back home among various means.
radicalization of Grenadians who primarily studied in the United
Kingdom and at the University of the West Indies had its origins in the
spoke similarly about the nemesis of Rastafarians, called “Babylon.”
These few took on the manner of arrogance, fearlessness, scorn and
the primary newspapers were the Trinidad Guardian
with most people purchasing the Sunday edition. The Guardian’s sister paper was The
The other newspaper was
the Express, managed by Ken
two papers were owned by Roy Thomson. Trinidadian newspapers were
regularly to Grenada to be sold at newsstands.
In broadcasting, Radio Trinidad and the Trinidad
& Tobago National Broadcasting
System was on the air with a majority it their programming
from outside the
Crick, Crack Monkey was
published in 1970.
A variety of Top
Calypso Hits (primarily from Trinibagonian artists) were available
including Child Training by Mighty
Composer (Fred Mitchell) in 1969; Severe
Licking by Baron (Timothy Watkins) in 1971; Black
is Beautiful by the late Duke (Kelvin Pope) in 1969; Mr. Walker by the Mighty Sparrow
(Slinger Francisco) in 1968, and Miss
Tourist by Lord Kitchener (Aldwyn Roberts) in 1968.
Black Stalin (Leroy Calliste) was part of
Lord Kitchener’s Kaiso Review in Trinidad-Tobago, starting in 1967 and
in the Monarch line-up.
parties of the Caribbean Left with news from Trinidad-Tobago was
situation in Trinidad-Tobago was summarized by Trinidadian Wally Look
journalist and activist:
. . . from February to April in 1970, for two full months, we had a mass
in Trinidad which hit the world headlines because the [Eric] Williams
government was almost overthrown when the Army mutinied in the middle
all, and U.S. and Venezuelan troops rushed to the scene to influence
outcome. The government survived the crisis . . .
Prime Minister Eric E.
book From Columbus to Castro: A History
of the Caribbean, 1492-1969 was published in 1970,
followed by his History of Trinidad &
Tobago in 1972. 
The Saint Augustine
campus of the University of the West Indies [UWI] was founded in 1960.
Starting in 1966, an Institute of
International Relations [IRR] was established on the Saint Augustine
which was in Trinidad-Tobago. The IRR was in partnership with the
Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland.
of individuals calling for change of existing structures, could be
found at the
National Joint Action Committee [NJAC], the Union of Revolutionary
Organizations [URO], and
members of the New Beginning Movement
American Black Power
came to Trinidad-Tobago by way of the usual paths of osmosis. The
information from outside the Caribbean filtered into Grenada by way of
newspapers, magazines, BBC radio, wire services, returning University
West Indies [UWI] students, and Trinidadians traveling back home.
Naipaul commented: 
Trinidad, with its 55 percent black population, with the Asian and
minorities already excluded from government, Black Power became
added something very old to rational protest: a mystical sense of race,
millenarian expectation of imminent redemption.
Augustine was interviewed in London by Cecil Gutzmore in the journal Black Liberator. He stated: 
you call the new style opposition groups
came about during the Trinidad upheavals of 1970.
any event there was a powerful influence.
the tendency in the Caribbean – we have already seen this – is that
popular movement starts anywhere, it tends to spread throughout the
is not anything as simple as imitation but rather a common economic and
political situation which is the cause of this.
all felt the impact of the Walter Rodney affair in Jamaica: there were troubles in Saint
Lucia and Saint
all was linked in some way to the explosion in the Black Liberation
also started a movement of young people, calling themselves Black Power.
Stokely Carmichael, who
changed his name to Kwame Touré in 1968, was to visit the country of
Trinidad-Tobago, during this unsettling time.
government warned the airlines against allowing Carmichael anywhere
airport. Carmichael was barred
Trinidad-Tobago in 1969.
Eventful in 1969 was
that students joined with the bus drivers in their strike in
Port-of-Spain. Protesters talked
about the charges against
West Indian students at Sir George Williams University in Montreal.
Other active groups
were the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union [OWTU] and students-faculty of
University of the West Indies (UWI), Saint Augustine campus.
Groups prominent in the
Black Power marches were the Afro Turf Limers, two chapters of the
Panther party, the National African Cultural Organisation, the National
Organization, the New World Group, the African Unity Brothers, the
Liberation Movement and the Tapia House Group.
Willy Look Lai
can be very ironic, but the day he [Sir Eric Williams] send to American
troops—April 21, 1970—was the very day—10 years ago, almost to the very
minute—April 21, 1960—when he led a great march of the people on the
naval base in Trinidad, demanding the return of the base to the people
withdrawal of the American military presence from Trinidad soil.
Much more happened
during the February Revolution in Trinidad-Tobago. The overview here is
One occurrence was during
Trinidad-Tobago Carnival in February 1970, when groups of young people
large photographs of American Black Power leader Stokely Carmichael,
Tse-tung, Eldridge Cleaver and Malcolm X.
Sometime between late
1969–April 1970, Bishop returned from his studies and work in London.
He was recounted to have passed through Trinidad–Tobago during the time
Between February 26 and
April 21, 1970, people took to the streets in Trinidad-Tobago every day
ever-increasing numbers in what is termed the “February Revolution.”
With roots purportedly
based in the violent Black Power struggles in the United States,
in 1970 was a nation of crippling strikes, a partial mutiny of the
a movement which posed a serious threat to the leadership of Sir Eric
On 4 March 1970 there
was a Black Power march of up to 10,000 people.
Black Power leader Geddes Granger [Makandal
Daaga], union leader president of the Transport & Industrial
Young, and George Weekes, president of the Oilfields Workers’ Trade
(OWTU), led 200 or more radical students from the Saint Augustine
Campus of the
University of the West Indies (UWI) in Trinidad on their march.
They were joined by
grassroots supporters under the banner of the National Joint Action
(NJAC). Dr. Ivar Oxaal described the events of the time as “the eruption of mass spontaneity in Trinidad
at the commencement of the seventies.”
Radical Black militant Michael
Abdul Malik; the former UWI Students’ Guild president Geddes Granger
Daaga]; Aldwin Primus (head of the Black Panthers); Russell Andalcio, a
and Dave Darbeau were among the participants.
At one point NJAC
formed their own People’s Parliament, an action that would be mirrored
members of the New Jewel Movement (NJM) in Grenada.
In the first days of
March 1970, a People’s Parliament forum was held in the main Woodford
and remained in session with protestors speaking continuously until
1970 these speeches included one by George Weekes on 23 March 1970.
The People’s Parliament
area was the location of the state funeral of Basil Davis. Davis was a
protestor, shot dead “by the police in
Independence Square” on 6 April 1970. Mahabir wrote that the
Trinidad Guardian reported the date
of 18 April
1970 when postmen spoke at the “People’s Parliament.”
Mahabir continued the
the morning of April 21, the state of emergency was declared.
Black Power leaders were arrested and detained.
People’s Parliament was padlocked shut.
a mutiny occurred in the Regiment.
Journalist Raoul Pantin
of the Trinidad Guardian reported
events in dispatches that included quotes and parts of speeches. Pantin later
interviewed Maurice Bishop in
1979. He also interviewed Bernard Coard in 2009 after Coard’s release
A name to figure in
Grenada’s revolutionary history is Trinidadian Karl Hudson-Phillips,
1933, who was leader of the prosecution team in the Maurice Bishop
of the 1980s.
During the 1970
February Movement in Trinidad–Tobago, Karl Hudson-Phillips’ severe
toward those protesting was manifest from his legal position in the
National Movement [PNM] in a calypso tune by Trinibagonian, the Mighty
Chalkdust. Ah Fraid Karl was about Hudson-Phillips.
Hudson-Phillips was the
Attorney General in Trinidad-Tobago active in negotiations during
Revolution period and chief prosecutor of Black Power detainees.
He was also the Attorney General in
Trinidad-Tobago during the Michael Abdul Malik murder trial in 1975.
The leader of the
mutinied soldiers during a dramatic phase of the February Revolution
Raffique Shah [born in 1946]. Shah
later became a trade union leader and op-ed columnist at the online
Center web site.
Fifty-two  people
were detained from 21 April and 12 May 1970 under a new detention
Most were Trinidadians.
A Trinidad-Tobago detainee,
Michael Als, played a role in the last days of Grenada’s People’s
Government. He was detained by the People’s National Movement [PNM] in
for seven  months because of his political activities.
Another detainee in
Trinidad-Tobago, the late Dr. Patrick Emmanuel, was Grenadian. He wrote
[Grenadian] Forum newsletter. His
column was published in Grenada during June 1970 even though he was
prison in Trinidad-Tobago until August 1970. He was a brother of Trevor
surrounding Trinidadian Michael DeFreitas [Michael X and Michael Abdul
wove a web of revolutionary fervor from the U.K. to Port of Spain.
From the United Kingdom
in February 1970, Trinidadian Michael X [Michael DeFreitas or Michael
Malik] flew to his home country and headed up a march [with himself at
head] of militant left-wingers in Port of Spain.
National Joint Action
The National Joint
Action Committee [NJAC] was formed in February 1970 to gather radicals
intellectuals, students and the unemployed into one group.
Key NJAC leaders included Geddes
Granger [Makandal Daaga], Clive Nunez, Dave Darbeau, university student
Andalcio, Kelshall Brodie, Errol Balfour and Michael Abdul Malik.
In February of 1970,
key leaders of NJAC were arrested, as well as George Weekes of the
Workers’ Trade Union [OWTU].
NJAC had no regular
but held meetings and rallies attracting thousands of demonstrators.
organization did published pamphlets.
One NJAC pamphlet was Why Black Power, published in April, 1970. Another
was Slavery to Slavery: NJAC on the
Economic System also published in 1970. Still others in 1971
were Conventional Politics or Revolution:
the Political System and a publication called Liberation.
The organization was
on radical populism through Black Power. NJAC demanded “ownership,
control and utilization of the island’s resources by the
Workers’ Trade Union [OWTU]
George Weekes was the
President of the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union. The trade union, first
in 1937, was organized to oppose the practices of the multi-national
companies. Its weekly newspaper was the Vanguard.
The first paragraph of its mission described its purpose:
been organized as a vanguard against capital, we recognize that a
on social justice and equity will only become a reality when the
social and political relations in our country are transformed in such a
that “those who labour hold the
Tapia House Group
The late Dr. Lloyd Best
was a professor of economics at the Mona, Jamaica campus of the
the West Indies. In
Tunapuna, Dr. Best formed the Tapia House Group upon his return to
in 1968. 
Best had been involved with the New World
group and its quarterly. In addition, there was a physical building
Tapia House and a bi-weekly periodical named Tapia.
(a name taken from a form of slave housing) was published by
Tapia House in Trinidad-Tobago as a newspaper every two weeks.
changed its name to The Trinidad &
Tobago Review and still survives.
The Tapia group refused to become a formal
Best was termed by some
a “middle class reformist,”
meaning he was for reform of existing
structures, according to Wally Look Lai, and was a member of the New
Movement [NBM]. Best was not for the overthrow of government.
Lloyd Best’s Tapia
House pamphlet Black Power and National
Reconstruction was issued in 1970. The pamphlet contained
the February Revolution 1970 in Trinidad-Tobago.
MOKO and the United
Independent Party [UNIP]
Moko is a disease of
plantains & bananas. Often the term refers to an African God
and the West
African heritage of stilt-walkers, “Moko Jumbies,”
appeared in Caribbean carnivals.
was first published by educators at the government-run Mausica Teachers
The first MOKO Review was printed at the Oilfields
Workers’ Trade Union [OWTU] press on 26 October 1968. 
The Walter Rodney 1968
story filled the first offering. By 28 March 1969, Moko
Review #11 was issued; the volume number reflecting its
After Walter Rodney was
“banned” from the University of the
Indies, Jamaica “following his
participation in the Congress of Black Writers in Montreal,”
protested in a speech at a rally at Sir George Williams University on
October 1968; and another rally in Ottawa a couple days later.
As the year advanced
into the 1970s, a belief was held by OWTU, MOKO and UNIP that the CIA
behind the struggle in Trinidad-Tobago, especially relating to oil,
were accusations that CIA operatives were working out of the American
and pushing American labor unions like the American Institute for Labor
Development [AIFLD] or those supported by AFL-CIO were out to destroy
movement in Trinidad. It was believed by radicals that U.S.
Texaco in Trinidad-Tobago would do anything to keep the oil and gas
and export prosperous; a profitable venture radicals did not favor.
group formed 20 February 1970
James C.V. Millette, was the United National Independent Party [UNIP].
Millette, a history professor at the University of the West Indies,
General Secretary that organization. Millette had previously been
with the New World group. UNIP advocated the Trinidadian petrol
under local ownership and control.
published a full book by James Millette in 1970 titled The
Genesis of Crown Colony Government: Trinidad, 1783-1810.
In 1971, the publication known as MOKO became
the official organ of
Millette’s United National Independence Party [UNIP].
Richard Jacobs, who figured later in
Grenadian politics, was also a member of UNIP.
Various pamphlets were
published by MOKO Enterprises of 14 Riverside Road, Curepe, Trinidad.
those booklets was titled George
Weekes: A Message
by George Weekes.
President General, Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union.
One small booklet of interest was Cuba since
1959: a commonsense view of
economic development, published in 1973.
Links to Grenada of
“the fearless MOKO” as a newsletter
of 11 May 1973 featured an article on Premier Gairy in Grenada. This
issue of MOKO also covered an
Strike at three major hospitals in Trinidad-Tobago.
A 1975 charge bill no.
1353 from MOKO Enterprises Ltd., 14, Riverside Road, Curepe, Trinidad,
New Jewel Movement, P.O. Box 167, Grenada listed NJM-bought leftist
There was a split
between NJAC and the New Beginning Movement [NBM], according to member
. . . ever since 1970, the major event has been the split between NJAC and
Beginning Movement, between the broad populist approach of NJAC and the
scientific socialist approach of the NBM.
On the other hand,
scholar Abrahams described the first issue of New
Beginning advocating “popular
assemblies and work with people in small groups.” 
The New Beginning
Movement [NBM] first published the first issue of their newspaper from
on 5 March 1971.
The full title was known as New Beginning
Towards a Caribbean
those Trinidadian nationals or those resident in Trinidad-Tobago and
with NBM were Bukka Rennie, Wally Look Lai, Franklyn V. P. Harvey and
author Earl Lovelace.
Later, in February 1974
it appeared that Documents of the
Caribbean Revolution, Vol. 1
was published by New Beginning. The
compendium had articles published by various
political groups, including New Beginning Movement [NBM]. One part of
Grenada section was an article on “People’s Assemblies.”
URO was “an
orthodox Communist organization” with
links to the Soviet Union and Cheddi Jagan in Guyana, according to a
interview with Wally Look-Lai. One
publication was the 1971 pamphlet The
about elections in Trinidad-Tobago.
East Indians in
Trinidad-Tobago were upping the balance of power between races. They
graduating from schools, going to university, joining the civil
property, starting businesses, raising families, separating into a
radial group in their newly found racial consciousness, becoming
aware; all when thriving upon the base of economic growth under the
Williams government’s modernization plan.
In Port of Spain,
a Consultation [from 15-22 November, 1971] was sponsored by the
Committee of the Caribbean Council of Churches (becoming established as
and the Joint Commission of the World Council of Churches [WCC] and the
Pontifical Commission of Justice and Peace [SODEPAX].
There were 260 churches
from 25 denominations of 16 territories.
Trinidadian Presbyterian Minister Roy Gilbert
Neehall was the associate general secretary of the conference.
Dr. Neehall wrote a conference publication booklet
from the 1971 Ecumenical Conference on Justice,
Liberation and the Christian Gospel.
Cuthbert explained in a
it [ecumenical] is generally used to indicate the process of
common mind on issues and the provision of a united witness.
Ecumenical Consultation for Development [CECD] concerned the issues of
nationalism and development. One tendency was for the church to
investments in multi-national corporations, as well as promote
apply Christian theology to national issues.
Rosie Douglas put it
fully support the position taken by the Caribbean Ecumenical
Development Conference recently (1971) held in Trinidad.
conference “urged public declaration by the Church of their real estate
holdings . . . and . . . put to the service of the poor underutilized
Many resolutions were
passed at the Ecumenical Consultation. One resolution marking a
was recognition of Cuba:
resolution that was passed on the subject called on Caribbean
governments to “move swiftly towards full
diplomatic relations with Cuba” and
Caribbean churches to “increase links with the
regarding education reflected change also:
schools, authoritarian teaching techniques, competitive examination
European-oriented curricula, an elitist bias and the denigration of
values were all identified as dehumanizing features in the prevailing
educational systems in the Caribbean.
An implication about
Grenada’s Presentation Brothers College [PBC], where Maurice Bishop was
[Consultation] resolution stated explicitly that “certain private high
run by the church cater chiefly to class-colour elite of the region”
called for the transformation of such schools so that “resources now
on them can be redeployed into schools that are more socially just and
Identity was discussed
by the late Prof. Rex Nettleford:
Nettleford, Professor of Extra-Mural Studies at the University of the
Indies, Jamaica, and a well-known creative artist, has observed that
question of cultural identity must inevitably be given high priority in
consideration of the issues of political independence, economic
self-sufficiency and decolonization.
Consultation acknowledged the scarcity of youth at the session, even
of the region’s people were under the age of 25 years old.
The attendees created
Resolutions on Caribbean media, freedom of the press, free expression,
with a Caribbean identity, issues of economic viability, agriculture
importance to the region, community action, using local resources,
local lifestyles, attempt to change class perceptions of churches; e.g.
Anglican Church for the political and economic elite, a decision-making
participation process made by those who are effected by a decision,
awareness, self-help, attacking the root causes of poverty, reduction
massive direct aid from the United States reduction of dependency of
Caribbean on the United States, Britain and Canada.
A conference newspaper
was published. The periodical was the first issue of Caribbean
Contact newspaper which was officially launched in
Cuthbert viewed the
mandate for the Caribbean Christian community:
consensus the clear mandate that emerged was that the solutions of the
Caribbean Ecumenical Consultation for Development and the pioneering
Christian Action for Development in the Eastern Caribbean should be
highest priority in the work of the Caribbean Conference of Churches.
In 1973, CADEC became
one section of the Caribbean Conference of Churches [CCC]. The start-up
within the time period of 1957-1977. The Caribbean Council of Churches
active to this day.
The head office was in Port of Spain.
Rupert Lewis wrote that
Walter Rodney had ties with the CCC, especially in their emphasis on
development and sovereignty.Dr.
Roy G. Neehall was the First General
Secretary of the CCC. He gave a speech on “The Significance of the
Revolution for the People of the Caribbean” at Howard University,
DC on 25 October 1984.
Writer and historian,
Cathy Sunshine stated the CCC came into being in 1973:
Caribbean Conference of Churches called for a regional Christian unity
would transcend the old colonial barriers.
Writer, participant and
historian Robert Cuthbert described the Caribbean Council of Churches
Caribbean Conference of Churches is distinguished by its ecumenical
geographic spread and its ideology.
is the first regional ecumenical conference of churches which the Roman
Catholic Church is a founding member.
That the Caribbean
Roman Catholic Church was a founding member of CCC is important to
history because of its majority in a mid-1980 population study
showed Grenada to have a Roman Catholic
population between 63.9-64.4%. The next major group was Protestants
The Christian Action
for Development in the Eastern Caribbean [CADEC], an ecumenical church
figured in the young lives of Grenadians George Louison and Jacqueline
George Louison, born in
1951, taught at the Saint John Anglican School and was a Youth
the Caribbean Council of Churches. He also led Grenada Assembly of
During the People’s Revolutionary Government he was Minister of
Louison was 20 years old during the Consultation in Trinidad-Tobago.
Jacqueline Creft, born
circa 1946-1947 attended Saint Joseph’s Convent School in Saint
later became Minister of Education. She was in Trinidad-Tobago during
where she had been working for CADEC. She returned to Grenada in 1971
was 24 years old.
Development in the Eastern Caribbean [CADEC]
CADEC was founded in
1969 by Church World Service, the development and disaster relief arm
National Council of Churches of the USA.
One 1970 CADEC program
education program was referred to as Education of Development and was
not only with a view to offering the clergy opportunities for
training, but for putting much emphasis on awareness-building, using
concept of conscientization made popular by Brazilian educator Paulo
Paulo Freire had a
major affect on Grenada’s educational system during the time of the
Revolutionary Government. Much revision of attitude and practice was
of understandings of his text Pedagogy of
the Oppressed, first
in English in 1970.
From Harvard University
in 1970, Freire moved to Geneva, Switzerland where he was special
advisor to the World Council of Churches [WCC]. A full critique of
be located on the internet.
In 1977, Robert J.
Neymeyer of the Inter-American Foundation wrote Evolution
of the Localization Effort of the CADEC Development
Neymeyer established a mail order business out of Parkersburg, Iowa,
catalog, by subscription, came from Caribbean Books. Bibliography
of the English-Speaking Caribbean was immensely useful
for research in Caribbean publications.
Michael X landed at
Port of Spain in his birth country Trinidad on 2 February 1971. He was
there in 1934
with his family home at McCarthy Lane,
His real name, possibly
on his passport, was Michael DeFreitas. His other names were Michael X
London; Michael Abdul Malik used in 1971 in Trinidad. He had moved back
from his stay in London.
As standard practice,
New Scotland Yard had sent a confidential file on Michael X to
because Michael X was a dynamic character in the time of Black Power
on charges in Britain.
By 15 February 1971,
Michael Abdul Malik had moved into 43 Christina Gardens with Stanley
Steve “Innocent” Yeates, both Trinidadians.
Rock stars Yoko Ono and
John Lennon showed up in Port of Spain visiting Malik and his wife
two days during this period.
By the middle of
December 1971, calling himself Michael Abdul Malik, he wrote for the BOMB newspaper of Cuerpe, Trinidad.
Joe Skerritt was
murdered in Trinidad on 8 February 1972. Michael Abdul Malik was
his murder. 
By 18 April 1972, the
Michael Abdul Malik murder case of Joe Skerritt and the separate Gale
case moved through the courts. 
For Michael Abdul
in the circumstance of the murder of Joe Skerritt, the jury returned a
of death; Stanley Abbott was given a 20-year jail sentence. It was the
The other death in the
case, the death of Gale Benson, involved a separate hearing. Ms. Benson
daughter of Conservative MP Leonard F. Plugge
in the U.K. She went by the name of Hale
Those named for the
separate hearing included Abbott and Edward Chadee, in addition to
Abdul Malik [who was not tried for the Benson murder since he was under
Michael X was hanged by
Trinidadian authorities after a court trial on 16 May 1975. His wife
had a souvenir program printed up for his execution.
There was a “Save Malik Committee”—Angela
Davis, William Kunstler [funded by John Lennon], Dick Gregory, Kate
The 1920 Pan–African
flag associated with the Universal Negro Improvement Association [UNIA]
Jamaican Marcus Garvey showed three colors in equal horizontal
and green. The flag became symbolically known under other names.
The greater legacy was
of Marcus Moriah Garvey—One God, One Aim, One Destiny, Love, Peace
Justice. Much of Garvey’s oeuvre and cultural style was adopted by
Garvey’s affect on the mindset of the Jamaican people left a lasting
that included the Caribbean.
Another legacy is that
Malcolm Little, aka Malcolm X was the son of Earl Little and Louise
Norton who were active members of the Universal Negro Improvement
[UNIA]. Louise Norton was from La Digue, Saint Andrew’s, Grenada.
Garvey attempted to
make change through his writings, teachings and programs. Who gave the
man power over you the black man? We were first in the world. Stand Up!
Garvey, it is said,
never spoke of hating white people, but he did ask the African blacks
to learn and know their roots—“Africa for the Africans.” Malcolm X
This shift in attitude,
from a downpressure mode to an uplifted straight-back mode was one the
beginnings of African nationalism, Black Pride and formed one base for
teachings of Walter Rodney.
Garvey is a Jamaican
National Hero. One could spend their remaining years studying Garvey
of Rights of the Black People of
the World was registered by the New York County Clerk on 15
August 1920. 
The Wikipedia entry,
packed with citations, links and referrals, should get one started
in combination with the writings of
scholars Tony Martin, Rupert Lewis, Robert Hill and the Marcus Garvey
In Jamaica, the
newspaper Abeng, edited by Richard
Small and published from 1 February 1969, through its dissolution by
following September, was a primary outlet for Black Power thought. By
1969 the first Black Power Conference in Montego Bay was held.
Michael Manley headed
up the Jamaican People’s National Party [PNP] a few months before his
Norman Manley’s death in 1969. Michael Manley became Jamaica’s Prime
in 1972, bringing his unique style of democratic socialism to Jamaica.
He was reelected
in 1976 and Manley was defeated in the elections of 1980 by Edward
In Jamaica, as early as
1971, the Worker’s Liberation League [WLL] was reading Lenin.
Out of the WLL grew the Worker’s Party of
Jamaica [WPJ]. It was founded 15 December 1978
as a Marxist-Leninist organization. The WPJ
was dissolved in 1992.
The University of the
West Indies was founded in 1948 with a campus at Mona, Jamaica.
In 1968, Prime Minister
Hugh Shearer sponsored the International Year for Human Rights at the
On 15 October 1968,
Hugh Shearer’s Jamaican Labour Party (JLP) declared Walter Rodney,
Guyanese lecturer on African history at the
University of the West Indies (UWI) campus there, persona
non grata. Rodney was banned from reentering Jamaica after
attending the Congress of Black Writers in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Riots in Jamaica
followed the ban on Walter Rodney the next day, 16 October 1968. The
disturbances and damage were called the “Rodney Riots.”
Walter Rodney had
presented a paper on 12 October 1968 at the Congress of Black Writers
entitled African History in the Service of
Liberation. News of what happened to “Brother Rodney” spread
Rodney had been
teaching African history on the Mona campus of the University of the
Indies [UWI] from the beginning of the academic year 1968-1969 and he
lectures to interested groups outside university grounds.
Rupert Lewis observed:
[Rodney] came into Jamaica at a time of growing black awareness and
the influence of Rastafarianism as well as the impact of the Black
movement in the United States.
And later Lewis wrote:
made the connection between African and Caribbean liberation in the way
Garvey had done.
Many of the talks
Rodney gave in Jamaica and Montreal from January 1968 into October 1968
published in 1969 under the title The
Groundings with my Brothers. 
Chapters in the 68-page
Statement of the Jamaican Situation
Black Power, a Basic Understanding
Black Power—Its Relevance to the West Indies
African History and Culture
African History in the Service of
The Groundings with My Brothers
The word “groundings”
is explained in this manner:
the discursive practice of Rastafari, when “grounds” became
meaning was layered.
only did it mean sociality—an equal meeting that breaks socially
barriers of race, class, and education—but the nature of such an
marked by “reasonings”—a form of discussion in which each person
equally to the discourse without any prior hierarchical claims of
When Rodney wrote about
Black Power, he said, in part:
. . . the white world defines who is white and who is black.
the U.S.A. if one is not white, then one is black; in Britain, if one
white then one is coloured; in South Africa, one can be white, coloured
black depending upon how white people classify you.
definition which is most widely used the world over is that once you
obviously white then you are black, and are excluded from power—Power
According to Rodney:
white power which is our enemy is that which is exercised over black
irrespective of which group is in the majority and irrespective of
particular country belonged originally to whites or blacks.
The culture of
Rastafari bloomed in Jamaica as early as the 1930s
and peaked in the 1960s. Rastafari is not a
religion per se, but more a way of
life with an emphasis on a cultural way of life and the Mystic Spirit.
The arrival of Haile
Selassie at Palisadoes Airport in Kingston, Jamaica
on 21 April 1966 caused a memorable commotion:
what amounted to religious frenzy Rastafarians converged on the tarmac
Selassie’s plane arrived and totally disrupted official protocol in
enthusiasm to meet the King of Kings.
was the eminent Rastafarian leader Mortimo Planno who parted the throng
the Emperor could descent with his entourage in safety.
Rasta ways, in many
ran counter to the prevailing culture. Hair was braided into
personal grooming was different, diet was ital—an
eating of foods that have a direct links
with the energy the earth. Rasta ital
practice, often, was no meats, no alcohol, no caffeine, no processed
no artificially infused foods.
No matter how
alternative their lifestyle, Rastas wanted their children to have a
education and not be ostracized from the classroom. They also wanted to
maintain a right to smoke [and harvest] the “Holy Herb.”
favored a rural lifestyle with plots of vegetables and patches of
Western culture was looked upon with disfavor – Babylon was its name.
did not have much tolerance for the machinery of the state. They were
unemployed in the formal sense. The majority were literate.
A profound cultural
change emerged worldwide in 1968 with reggae music:
was not only in France that 1968 was a year unlike any other.
social and political uprisings just as violent as in France if not more
Jamaica the word “reggae” was invented that year.
the natural choice of "Do the Reggay", the
hit by Toots and the Maytals and the first appearance of the word . . .
The rest of reggae’s
story is in the popular culture, most notably with the genius and
talents of Robert
Nesta Marley and the extensive album,concert and film promotion of reggae
Walter Rodney was born
in Georgetown, Guyana in 1942. His impact on the Caribbean and World
immense [see his Portrait].
British Guiana, gained its independence from the United Kingdom on 26
John Lent described the situation of
the 1970s, the government of the late Forbes Burnham virtually took
Guyanese mass media, purchasing newspapers, nationalizing broadcasting,
harassing the opposition with legislative, economic and physical
In the early 1960s,
Guyanese radicals were looking towards Africa. Eusi Kwayana [Sidney
organized the African Society for Cultural Relations with Independent
[ASCRIA] in 1963.
The movement continued into the early
What is known as the
Rodney Affair of 1968 had an influence throughout the Caribbean. The
issue on 26 October 1968 of MOKO
Trinidad–Tobago featured the news about the Guyanese national Dr.
banned by the Shearer government of Jamaica.
According to Sanford in
his book The New Jewel Movement:
October 1968 . . . tensions boiled to the surface when the government
Jamaica [the Hugh Shearer Jamaican Labour Party, JLP] declared Walter
left-wing Guyanese lecturer on African history at the University of the
Indies campus there, a prohibited immigrant.
waves of anger reverberated throughout the West Indies, particularly on
other campuses, and helped to touch off black power riots and a
mutiny that rocked the government of Trinidad.
was a newspaper established in 1969 by a group known as
Ratoon. Its members included Pansy Benn, Rickey Singh, Errol Fraser,
Dale, Bonita Harris, Clive Y. Thomas, Omowale and Josh Ramsammy.
The first CARIFESTA was
held Guyana in February 1970. It was known as the Caribbean Writers and
Conference and featured Andrew Salkey and Martin Carter.
As a Guyanese national,
journalist Rickey Singh was starting his career in 1970 at a time when
co-founder and president of the Guyana Institute of Journalists [GIJ].
organization later was the revived Guyana Press Association [GPA].
Singh was not unmindful
of union organizing and became the chairman of the journalists’ branch
Clerical and Commercial Workers Union [CCWU] of Guyana.
Singh, who moved to Barbados, will appear
in later volumes and closely followed on the Grenada Revolution.
Another group, ASCRIA,
sponsored a regional colloquium 24-26 February 1970 at Georgetown
Seminar of Pan-Africanist and Black Revolutionary Nationalists.
A group called Movement
Against Oppression [MAO] was formed in 1971 by Clive Y. Thomas and
One cannot ignore the
poetry of Guyana and the Caribbean’s greatest, Martin Carter:
you see me
at your hands
when you speak
in your ranks
do not sleep to dream,
dream to change the world
Antigua was the home of
the opposition newspaper Outlet.
paper was founded by the Antigua Caribbean Liberation Movement [ACLM]
and known for the essays of Tim Hector.
In Antigua, Tim Hector
published in his Fan the Flames
column a history of African Liberation Day: 
was Owusu Sadaukai [Dr. Howard Fuller] as an African-American leader,
wake of the decline of the Black Civil Rights movement in the United
who with ACLM [Antigua Caribbean Liberation Movement] leader, Tim
Antigua conceived the idea of African Liberation Day, to be observed on
last Saturday in May [27 May in 1972], when all Africans and partisans of
were asked to demonstrate, in support of the struggle against apartheid
South Africa and Southern Africa in particular – the liberation
Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau, and for independence “in each and every”
remaining colony be it in occupied Palestine,
or the POLISARIO on Morocco.
Hector went on to make
the point: 
is little known, or often forgotten, that African Liberation day began
Antigua and Barbuda.
was in Antigua and Barbuda that the first African Liberation Day as
was in Antigua and Barbuda, in 1972, led by ACLM, that there was the
per capita, mass demonstration for freedom in Southern Africa and for
Reuters, the first
international news service, began its Caribbean Desk in 1968 for news
region. Since 7 January 1976 the desk became the Caribbean News Agency
In the mid-1970s Reuters News Service had
Later in 1976, when CANA news was launched,
it played a part in the history of Grenada primarily through the focus
main correspondent in Grenada, Alister Hughes.
Roy Thomson owned the Barbados Advocate-News in the 1970s.
The newspaper Caribbean Contact was
started by the Caribbean Council of Churches
[CCC] in 1972. Rickey Singh became its third editor in 1974.
The campus of
University of the West Indies, Barbados, was founded at Cave Hill in
As a strategy to counter Black Power and
radical ideology becoming a university issue, Prime Minister Errol
through a Public Order Act in June 1970.
Barrow did permit Rosie
Douglas and [Stokely Carmichael] Kwame Touré to enter Barbados [though
was not given permission to speak]. The permission was granted even
Williams had banned Touré from Trinidad-Tobago for radical activity.
At the early part of
the 1970s, Rosie Douglas figured prominently on the leftist Caribbean
had graduated from Ontario Agriculture College in 1963 in Canada [now
University of Guelph] with an agriculture diploma. He went on to
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 1966 from Sir George Williams
University [now Concordia University]. He did postgraduate work in
science at McGill University in 1969. 
activity described in the Sir George Williams section of his book Change or Chains and also this volume,
he served a 2½ year sentence starting 28 June 1973 at a Canadian
After his release, he was deported.
Rosie Douglas was
banned by Canada from entering Trinidad-Tobago, Jamaica, Saint Vincent
Grenadines, Puerto Rico, and Grenada. In the other Caribbean islands,
allowed a restricted 48-hour visit with no public speaking engagements.
Black Power for Rosie
Douglas was encapsulated in this statement:
Power is the collective ownership, control and development of Dominican
and financial resources for the collective development of all the Black
of Dominica . . . full and independent development of all Dominicans
within the context of a genuinely independent Caribbean nation.
The part played by the
upper middle class liberation fighters, he wrote, must be for them to
the upliftment of the lower class.
He did not look favorably upon upliftment
from foreigners like Peace Corps volunteers, people from the U.K.’s
Service Overseas [VSO] or the Canadian University Students Overseas
Rosie Douglas wrote
about white power in his book Chains or
Change, written when he was in one of Canada’s prisons:
power (loosely speaking) has come to mean white people doing everything
their power to uplift and preserve domination of the white race over
people of the world.
power means Black people doing everything within their power to break
of white power to uplift the Black race.
The example of the
power of class was evidenced in Dominica, he said:
Dominica, it is not customary to see the police or defense force in
like “Pong” or “Lacon Phillip” protecting and helping poor people.
are always outside Astaphan shopping centre, Nassief, Geest, Dom Can
C.D.A., A.C. Shillingford, the hotels, etc. – defending the property of
Rosie Douglas, in his
prison writings, put this information about Barclay’s Bank in a
African historian and Black revolutionary Walter Rodney, in dealing
of the better known personalities involved today in imperialist
Africa and the Caribbean, points out that David and Alexander Barclay
profits accumulated from their involvement in the slave trade in 1766
to set up
Barclay’s Bank. /p>
[circa 1972] Barclay’s Bank (the largest bank in Dominica) faces
boycott even in Britain from white youth because of their economic
(like Alcan Aluminum, Canada, Ltd.) in the construction of the Cabora
in Mozambique by the fascist Portuguese government.
is hoped that this dam will provide the energy necessary for
industrialization of Northern Mozambique at the expense of continued
activity against African peasants in Southern Africa.
a British overseas territory,
played a minor but key role in this
narrative with its broadcast service, Radio Antilles, founded in 1963.
Cuba was a fascination.
A profound influence on radicals was the Cuban revolution of 1959 with
and writings of Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Argentina’s Che Guevara and
established, along with other revolutionaries, the 26 July Movement of
One of those aboard Granma was Che Guevara. Others aboard
were Fidel Castro and his brother Raúl, plus another revolutionary
Camillo Cienfuegos. The landing on 2 December 1956 was a tragedy.
people survived and took to the hills of the Sierra Maestra.
The year 1959 in the
history of Cuba was looked upon by Caribbean radicals as the
victory in breaking with U.S. imperialism which was seen as the main
the highest stage of capitalism and enemy of the peoples of the Third
During this era from
1959-1963 was the Bay of Pigs episode [April 1961], Operation Mongoose
[November 1961], the Cuban missile crisis [October 1962], and the JFK
assassination [22 November 1963].
The Fair Play for Cuba
Committee [FPCC], formed in April 1960,
sought to defend the Cuban Revolution and to
counter the CIA-FBI involvement in Cuba.
In July 1960, LeRoi
Jones, Robert F. Williams and Harold Cruse traveled to Cuba under the
of the FPCC. The alleged involvement of Lee Harvey Oswald in the FPCC
essentially brought the group down after the John F. Kennedy
22 November 1963. 
A time of intrigue,
double-dealing, covert propaganda, demonstrations, advertisements and
university meetings invite investigation of the period relative to the
continuous resentment against the Cuban Revolution by its opponents. A
highlight of Cuba’s history is covered in this truncated section. The
era is a
tangled history with contradictions and beyond the scope of this book,
worthy of study.
Caribbean writer George
Lamming looking back on the Cuban Revolution:
it was the triumph of the Cuban revolutionary response that alerted
many of us
to the fact that a new chapter had begun in the politics and cultural
the Caribbean people.
Cuba is an integral part of our historical reality.
1960 the economic and cultural boycott of that country was total.
1979 all the island parishes of the Caribbean met in Havana to
the Third Caribbean Festival of Arts.
One event of importance
was Fidel Castro’s visit to New York City in 1960. He talked at the
Nations during the United Nations General Assembly Session 19
October 1960. He and the Cuban delegation lodged at the Hotel Theresa
He met with Malcolm X for two hours
and got an attempted bear hug from Nikita
Khruschev on that Manhattan trip.
Shortly after that
Castro and his government accepted the residency of Robert E. Williams,
Black Power advocate from North Carolina.
broadcasting in English from his exile in Havana from 1961-1965 with an
Friday night program on Radio Progresso.
The program was called Radio Free Dixie. The
strongly-signaled program could be heard in the southern United States.
addition, tapes were sent to select North American radio stations.
his wife also published a monthly newsletter during his exile in Cuba,
called The Crusader, criticizing
capitalism and imperialism.
In early part of 1961,
Cuba began international broadcasts, forming Radio Habana Cuba in May
The Organization of
American States [OAS] expelled Cuba, one of its first members in 1948,
their organization. Cuba was not an OAS member from 21 January 1962 to
A partial embargo by
the United States against Cuba had been in effect since October 1960.
embargo was a near total one starting 7 February 1962.
of 100 revolutionary organizations was held 3-15 January 1966. Fidel
gave the closing address [available online] on 15 January in the
Theatre in the City of Havana.
Out of the 1966
conference, a group was founded named Organization of Solidarity with
People of Asia, Africa and Latin America [OSPAAL].
OSPAAL went on to publish the Tricontinental magazine.
One attendee was George
Weekes from Trinidad:
was] attacked in the conservative Trinidad newspaper, the Guardian, and by
the government of Eric Williams for attending
the January 1966 Tricontinental Conference in Cuba.
A gathering of
revolutionary groups in Latin America met in Havana for the first
the Organization of Latin American Solidarity [OLAS] from 31 July-10
Members of the Students
for a Democratic Society [SDS] went back and forth to Havana during the
were watched carefully by U.S. intelligence. One member was in Havana,
wrote to Bernardine Dohrn on 26 January 1969; a letter intercepted by
Thirteen  members
of Students for a Democratic Society [SDS], including Bernardine Dohrn
from the United States traveled to Havana
in July 1969 to meet with the Vietnamese.
Assuming they traveled
together, the group went to Cuba by way of Mexico City on 4 July 1969.
returned to Canada on a Cuban vessel on 19 August 1969.
The Havana visit was
before the “Days of Rage” in Chicago, 8-11 October 1969—days of “direct
By the 1970s, the
Department of the Americas [DA] in Cuba was well-established. Vice
was in charge of the MINIT [Ministry of the
National Liberation Directorate [Spanish: Directorio
de Liberación Nacional-DLN].
In November 1974,
Piñero was Chief of the America Department [Spanish: Departmento
América – DA]. According to Rex A. Hudson:
is said to be a nephew of Cuba’s Communist poet Nicolas Guillén
Another Cuban from the
DA, Oscar Oswaldo Cárdenas Junquera is supposed to have worked with the
Grenada before the coup on 13 March 1979, but the citation for this
gives no source.
Fidel Castro was and is
a complex revolutionary leader. Because of the personable personalities
Fidel Castro and Maurice Bishop, the concentration in this outline is
amiable character of Fidel.
Both Castro and Bishop
used their charisma and charm to effect change. Both men had die-hard
loyalists. Both had close personal contacts with leaders of other
men were good listeners. Both men delivered speeches that had the
watching every gesticulation, hanging on to every word, feeling
inspired, and “feeling good about their
However, no head of
government could give a speech or interview longer than Fidel Castro
his nervous fiddling of the microphones and perhaps a cigar in his
Maurice Bishop could have spoken as long, but people say he needed a
Telescoping events, we
recall Fidel Castro’s trip to New York City on 15 April 1959 - his
The visit followed Castro’s triumphant
arrival in Havana, Cuba on 8 January 1959.
And we jump to 3 January 1961 when the
United States broke relations with Cuba.
John F. Kennedy began an assault against
Cuba on 15 April 1961 with the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion.
A return to the
personable aspects of Fidel finds other characteristics are added:
Castro certainly is a unique person (taller than most Cubans,
action oriented, lucky, perceptive, filled with energy, leading through
example, unusual memory, intense).
Biographer Peter Bourne
is in Fidel something of the grand seigneur.
is a European, Hispanic style in which he sees himself as the good and
benevolent ruler who, while secure in his right to permanent power,
deep moral obligation for the welfare of his humble subjects.
biographer, the late Tad Szulc wrote:
from pure politics, Castro inspires widespread loyalty on the basis of
immensely attractive and contagiously energetic man, he is an unmatched
On 1 January 1969,
Castro issued his call for a great sugar harvest. Members of SDS were
at the time. The way they could help was to get into the cane fields.
SDS delegation returned to the United States, they began organizing the
There were additional organizers out of New
Fidel Castro set a ten
million ton harvest goal of sugar cane by 1970.
The reason was for improvement in the Cuban
economy, but also to show the Soviets that the Cuban-Soviet economic
could be met. Off from a bad start of a harvest in 1960 of 4½ million
Fidel led the country on a drive involving
all the population in the back-breaking work of cutting cane, including
The target was not met,
and Castro publicly said so on the 17th anniversary of the Moncada
July 1970], according to Peter Bourne:
. . . Fidel . . . accepted blame not only for the failure of the harvest,
for the mess the entire economy was in.
a continuing posture of contribution he pointed out “the responsibility
which all of us, and I, in particular have for these problems . . . I
that we cost the people too much in our process of learning.”
then offered to resign, which the crowd predictably rejected uniformly.
Cuban-born Julián Rizo,
in New York City, organized the Venceremos Brigades there.
from the Cuban Interest Section in New York City was Alfredo Garcia
who was a Cuban intelligence officer. He
was stationed at the Cuban Mission to the United Nations in New York
was chief of the North American Section of the Americas Department.
At some point in Julián
Torres-Rizo’s career, he became a Senior Cuban DA [SPANISH: Departmento América]; America/s
Department intelligence officer and a member of the DGI [SPANISH: Dirección General de Inteligencia]
General Directorate of Intelligence, stationed in New York.
Julián Rizo was
appointed a member of Cuba’s delegation to the General Assembly of the
Nations for the 1968, 1970, 1973 and 1974 sessions. He was in a group
delegates to the World Youth Congress at the U.N. during the period of
July 1970.. Of
the twenty-one groups formally listed, none was from Cuba. These could
been umbrella groupings, including one for Cuban students like the
Young Communists [UJC] formed in 1962.
In late November 1969,
Rizo was director of the Cuban delegation to the Venceremos Brigade
intelligence job was to recruit members for the Brigade.
He remained attached
with the Venceremos Brigadistas from the first group through to the
One announcement for
joining up in the brigade contingents appeared in the Guardian
[NY] 25 October 1969:
deadline for applying to join the first contingent of the Venceremos
October 30 .
brigade will consist of 600 Americans—300 to leave at the end of
300 at the end of January-who will cut sugar for two months in Cuba,
with young Cubans at the Youth Centennial Column in Camaguey province.
Cuban government is inviting the U.S. youth to provide them with the
of working in a socialist country and to help harvest a record 10
of sugar cane.
this goal is reached, Cuba will have gone a long way toward economic
will consist of 200 black, 200 brown and 200 white North
class youth, students, dropouts, returned GIs.
political background is not a qualification for joining.
work will be very hard and home will be a tent in the field, so people
should be in good health.
should be prepared to accept the segregated (according to sex) housing
abstain from any use of drugs.
for breaking these two rules is to be sent back to the U.S.
round-trip cost will be from between $50—if leaving from the East
$150—if leaving from the West Coast.
should apply for a passport now, not waiting until the application is
applications and posters, write: Venceremos Brigade, P.O. Box 643,
Station, New York, N.Y., 10025.
participants, even from the First Venceremos Brigade, who attempted to
integrate their sexual orientation with their politics. Gay men and
the New Left and the Gay Liberation Front [GLF] joined the Second and
The Cuba of 1965 found
homosexual men and women directed to camps termed “Military
Units to Increase Production [UMAP].”  The camps were
closed in 1968. 
The participation of
gay volunteers for the Venceremos Brigades led to the Venceremos
National Committee in January 1972 to bar lesbians and gay men from
participation unless they were part of a tacit “don’t ask, don’t tell”
attitude. The document was titled “Venceremos Brigade Policy on Gay
Writing about the
denial of participation with the element of a special kind of “white
disease,” Ian Lekus stated:
those inspired by Marxist theory or by the machismo-tinged aesthetics
and Che Guevara, homosexuality represented either bourgeois decadence,
of capitalism that required eradication, or a joke worthy of derision,
dismissal, and harassment.
The First Venceremos
Brigade [VB] of 216 members left for Cuba 28 November 1969 from
arriving in December 1969. Following six  weeks of cutting cane,
couple weeks touring the island of Cuba, they returned by ship via
February 1970. 
A brigade of Vietnamese
arrived at the same time, for the same purpose—help in the
ten-million-ton zafra—referring to
the sugar cane
The Second Venceremos
Brigade group of 687 Americans left by airplane 13 February 1970 to
March 1970 to
Mexico and then on to Cuba by ship.
They returned 28 April 1970.
The Third Venceremos
Brigade of 405
left Saint John, Nova Scotia 25 August 1970
on a nine day ocean journey with its trials and tribulations. The older
was once a U.S. merchant marine ship [WWII], then a banana boat for
Fruit and lastly confiscated by the Cuban revolutionaries.
The group was scheduled
to arrive after the cane harvest was complete. The unit worked on the
Pines (Isle of Youth) picking citrus and planting seeds, plus other
The citrus crop was headed for the Soviet
Union like the sugar crop.
The Third group
by way of Canada on 29 October 1970.
The Third Wave, the
contingents were called “Waves” by some, saw troubles and alliances
strike surrounding homosexuality. Behavioral reactions to homosexuals
into racism. To top it off, it was discovered years later that a group
perpetrator of attacks was an FBI agent.
There were stories, from the American gay
liberation movement, commenting on the divisions of men vs. women,
Puerto Ricans, Chicanos vs. whites.
Some volunteers went
home early; others were sent home. The tensions of dreams dashed, the
of grinding work, the clashes of race and gender, the emerged conflicts
ideology, the assumptions of nationality caused challenges for the
workers.” Allowances were made by American Brigade organizers and Cuban
One member of the Third
Wave was Gail Reed.
Most likely it was through the Venceremos Third
Wave that Julián Torres-Rizo met his future wife Chicago-born Gail
A first-hand account of
the Third group’s experience was published in her memoirs by
The Fourth Venceremos
Brigade found Julián Torres-Rizo talking to the group on board the
cargo ship José Antonio Echeverria
upon their return to Canada. The speech by Julián Torres-Rizo was
Talk to the Fourth Contingent [see full text Appendix].
The Fourth contingent
served in Cuba from 22 March 1971 through 29 May 1971. There were 221
in the group.
The stay for the Fourth
Wave was two months, but in the middle of the contingents visit, Cuba’s
National Congress on Education and Culture positioned itself firmly. The pronouncement from the Congress
noted the removal of
all homosexuals from occupations where youth could be affected plus
restriction, but purges of homosexuals happened also where youth were
Communist Party put the collective welfare of Cuba over individual
Some veterans of the
Brigade in former years returned to Cuba in July 1971 when visiting the
[Spanish: Instituto Cubano de Amistad con
Los Pueblos] Cuban
Institute of Friendship
with Peoples [ICAP],
supposedly a cover for the head Cuban
Intelligence office [Spanish: Dirección
General de Inteligencia], the DGI.
A group of 27-28 left
Cuba in December 1971, and returned to the United States on a Cuban
the Camaguey. The ship arrived at
Saint John, New Brunswick on 21 January 1972, and entered the United
Calais, Maine on the same day. The U.S. government had a copy of the Camaguey’s passenger manifest with the
names of individuals.
In fact, the United States authorities had
the manifests [traveler information] of the first 5 Venceremos Brigades.
A letter, dated 21
January 1972, was intercepted and obtained by the U.S. Senate,
Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and other
Security Laws of the Committee on the Judiciary.
That letter of 21
January 1972, revealed that 27-28 North Americans returned to Cuba. For
their first trip had been with one of the earlier Venceremos Brigades.
were to learn on their second trip, according to the letter: 
objective of the trip was two-fold:
participate in a seminar on Latin America and to participate in the
construction of a housing project.
the seminar, we were able to learn in detail how the US government,
guise of foreign aid and joint business ventures, has been able to
the economy and major aspects of life in Latin America.
The Fifth Venceremos
Brigade left 6 March 1972 and returned 4 May 1972. There were 138
The Sixth Venceremos
Brigade left the spring-summer of 1973. One participant, who had been
Fifth Wave and returned in the Sixth Wave, stated the group built
houses in the
town called Las Naranjas.
The Seventh Venceremos
Brigade dates are unknown. The Eighth Venceremos Brigade left in March
returning to the United States in May 1975.
There were eight 
trips to Cuba under the Venceremos Brigade program up to May 1975. The
numbering of the “official” trips may be in error.
The groups continued.
44th Contingent is scheduled for Cuba the summer of 2012.
Brigade Director Julián
Rizo stayed separate from the dormitories in a wooden cottage with a
all around when he was in contact with the Brigade personnel in Cuba. 
Not simply did the
total of over 1300 American radicals work for two months cutting cane,
citrus and other tasks, but the intent was the growth of their
following education and discussion based on Marxism in its Leninist,
Later, in October 1979,
during the regime of the People’s Revolutionary Government, Rizo was
announced Cuban Ambassador to Grenada
with residency at the Cuban Embassy, Morne
Rouge. He lived in Grenada with his wife Gail Reed and their child. 
A Cuban defector, in
July 1983, gave the U.S. government information about the Brigades and
Cuban presence in the United States.
Directorate of the Integrated Revolutionary Organization [ORI] of Cuba
formed in 1961.
The new organization,
announced on 8 March 1962, included 25 leaders—Fidel Castro, Raúl
Guevara, Osvaldo Dorticós, Emilio Aragones, Blas Roca [head of the PSP
Partido Socialista Popular] from
Carlos Rafael Rodriguez, Augusto Martinez Sánchez, Anibal Escalante,
Ramiro Valdés, Haydée Santamaria, Severo Aguirre, Flavio Bravo, César
Escalante, Joaquin Ordoqui, Lázaro Peña, Manuel Luzardo, Ramón
Almeida, Armando Hart, Sergio del Valle, Guillermo Garcia, Osmani
and Raúl Curbelo. 
Eighteen days later,
still in 1962, Fidel Castro spoke to the nation on television,
Escalante essentially for his arrogance in doing as he wished with the
Anibal Escalante was
arrested on 10 December 1967. On 28 January 1968, Escalante was
the Party with eight others, accused of “microfactional
activities” and they were handed over to trial and
sentencing. K.S. Karol
explained the charges against the group:
were said to have disagreed with Castro’s domestic and foreign policy;
held “pseudorevolutionary” (i.e. pro-Soviet) views, to have established
faction made up of former members of the [Partido Socialista Popular]
to have tried to influence the attitude of such friendly countries as
U.S.S.R., East Germany, and Czechoslovakia.
Attention to this
history is important because the matter reappears later relative to
Bishop and what occurred October 1983. Escalante was an old Cuban hand
the Fidelistas captured the Cuban Communist Party. According to a
member of the
Communist Party U.S., he [Escalante] – 
sentenced to fifteen years in prison, according to the Cuban Communist
newspaper Granma, for such offenses as holding “meetings and study
where the Party line and the measures taken by the Revolution were
and revolutionary leaders maligned.”
According to former
Ambassador to the United Nations under the PRG, Caldwell Taylor,
. . . the Cubans were saying that what happened with Grenada was what
happened to them.
Fidel and the top Cuban leaders have referred to 1983 as Escalantism.
. . . between 1966 and spring 1968 Cuba stressed the need for armed
hemispheric revolution, in contrast to Moscow’s emphasis on peaceful,
parliamentary activity and détente.
The Cuban news agency
Latina, legal name Agencia de Noticias Latinoamericana S.A. (Latin
News Agency), is the official state news agency of Cuba, founded in
shortly after the Cuban Revolution
A book, later to be
used in study classes during the People’s Revolutionary Government was
in 1970 about Cuba – Guerrillas in Power:
the course of the Cuban Revolution.
A Pathfinder publishing company collection of speeches, in English,
by Fidel Castro, subtitled “Against
Bureaucracy and Sectarianism,” was issued in 1970.
of the Urban Guerrilla by
Carlos Marighella was written June 1969 and one version is online.
of the Urban Guerrilla was published in the November 1970
Cuban TRIcontinental Bulletin.
The guerrilla tactics
of the author Carlos Marighella, a Brazilian revolutionary, “reflect the personal experiences of a group
of people engaged in armed struggle in Brazil . . .”
One Cuban film, Soy Cuba/I am Cuba was made over a
two–year period by a production of Cuban and Soviet filmmakers. Soy Cuba was released in 1964. The
Soviet Director was Mikhail Kalatosov who worked with Cuban Director
The adolescent or youth culture was the
“new breed” of the
An overview is found below of the coalescence and rising importance of
adolescence, as a group, included their mark on society.
We were adolescents. We didn’t think
happened to our parents.
Youth had independent buying power and
retailers targeted their
interests. They loved their music.
Adolescents were innately in the turmoil
of their tendency
towards a state of rebellion. Rebellion at times increased into popular
with extremes - like juvenile delinquents or commies.
Adolescents were naturally in their states
of heightened sexuality
and in extremes found themselves bearing children, born out of wedlock.
Social relationships between black and
white Americans were
growing; in fact the introduction to diversity in American society
From childhood, white, privileged people who came
of age in the United
States and other countries between the 1950s-1970s were often raised
Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince,
C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the
Wardrobe, J.D. Salinger’s Catcher
the Rye, Tolkien’s The Hobbit plus The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
Many of those young people made it a point
to read books with a
reputation of having been banned such as D.H. Lawrence’s Lady
Chatterley’s Lover, Cleland’s Fanny
Hill, or Memoir of a Woman of Pleasure, and Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer. 
Joyce’s Ulysses was there on the
shelf ready to be tackled.
Some would grab anything published by
Olympia Press from France [and
briefly from the U.S.], including Burroughs’ Naked
by the Marquis De Sade.
was published in an uncensored version by the late Barney Rosset’s
The Grove Press started in 1951 as an alternative publishing company.
Grove Press’s periodical Evergreen
Review [1957-1973] had a second issue, for example, entitled
Francisco Scene” with writers from what was called the “Beat Generation. 
How did young people get the books they
liked from their local
bookstore or shop?
One method was select titles were ordered
Distributors in San Francisco, California from 1969-2003. Bookpeople
wholesaler and distributor of hard-to-find books.
Press Distribution [SPD] was formed in 1969.
The old-line book distributors Baker
& Taylor and Ingram were
in business with warehousing of select titles for New Left readers.
Significant popular books, published in
America by major
publishers from 1952-1969, included these selections:
Ellison, The Invisible Man
Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son
Mailer, The White Negro
Howard Griffin, Black
Jones, Blues People
Lewis, Children of Sanchez
McLuhan, Understanding Media
Brown, Manchild in the Promised Land
Clark, The Dark Ghetto
Wolfe, The Kandy Kolored Tangerine Flake Streamline Baby
Kohl, 36 Children
Thomas, Down These Mean Streets
Cleaver, Soul On Ice
Wright, Native Son
Books to reach the Afro-American community
could be found for
sale in Harlem at Lewis H. Michaux’s African National Memorial
Another man named Oscar Michaux made 35
major films between 1919
Una Mulzac opened her Liberation Bookstore
on W. 131st Street in
1967, which dissolved in 2007 due to her poor health.
In her bookstore front glass windows with
the entry door in the
middle, one once saw a sign on each side:
you don’t know, learn
you know, teach
The maxim above is similar to one used by
the People’s Revolutionary
Government in their education projects:
you know teach
you don’t learn
Many young people in the United States
were interested in the
philosophical meanings of Albert Camus’ writings. He was awarded the
Prize in Literature in 1975. Albert Camus died 4 January 1960 after an
The popular books written by Camus were
published in the United
States by Knopf. They included the novel The
novel The Plague,
The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays
and Resistance, Rebellion and Death.
The writings of Camus, a French Algerian,
were translated from the
French and editions in French were available in the United States.
works by Albert Camus included fiction, plays, essays, journals,
journalistic articles and diaries.
Not only were young people who read Camus
focused on the concepts
of the Absurd and Pacifism, they also knew Camus’ of opposition to
totalitarianism and his opposition to capital punishment.
Frantz Fanon’s books began to be published
in the 1960s. In
1961, Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth
first published by Grove Press. The book primarily dealt with the
Algeria with colonialism. Fanon was widely read, often interpreted and
generally accepted as the given wisdom about decolonialization.
Back in the days when Malcolm X was in
June 1953, the Socialist Worker’s Party [SWP] was close by. To get
speeches in print, George Breitman, a founding member of SWP in
organized the speeches for a Pathfinder 1965 publication titled Malcolm X Speaks.
Mao’s “Little Red Book” or Quotations
from Chairman Mao was approved for export in 1966.
The book publishing outlet for the
Socialist Workers Party [SWP]
was Pathfinder Press. The company published the complete works of
many of Fidel Castro’s speeches. Many of their books were sold at
After 1983 Pathfinder Press, and its
equivalents in Great Britain
and Australia, published transcriptions of Maurice Bishop’s speeches. The transcriptions were
primarily from originals issued as public documents from the Grenada
Information Service [GIS].
A book introducing the new decade was
published in 1970 in the
United States. This 752-page paperback was a collection of documents,
by Mitchell Goodman, aka “A Charter Member of the Great Conspiracy, in
of The Movement.” The full title is The
Movement toward a New America: the Beginnings of a Long Revolution.
Notable books of this history, published
in 1970, were Paulo
Freire’s Education for Cultural
Consciousness and Pedagogy of the
Oppressed; Joel Kovel’s White Racism
and also Schwartz & Disch’s White
Racism, Albert Murray’s The
Fanon’s Black Skins, White Masks.
An important compilation was The
Africa Reader: Independent Africa published with articles by
Jomo Kenyatta, Kwame Nkrumah, Albert Luthuli, Patrice Lumumba, Tom
Chinua Achebe, Julius Nyerere, among others. Nkrumah’s Class
Struggle in Africa was published in 1970.
Jamaican Marcus Garvey, Trinidadian C.L.R.
James [1901-1989], Trinidadian
Henry Sylvester Williams [Pan-African Congress of 1900],
Padmore, American W.E.B. Du Bois and others were studied along with
Those persons who were considered
anti-capitalist were studied. They included Frantz Fanon, Ho Chi Minh,
Cabral, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Malcolm X, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn,
Parsons, Simone De Beauvoir, Emma Goldman, Herbert Marcuse, Big Bill
Rosa Luxemburg, Antonio Gramsci, Bakunin, Lenin, Marx, and Engels.
Known Caribbean writers in the mid-1960s
included V.S. Naipaul,
Derek Walcott, George Lamming, Aimé Césaire, Edouard Glissant,
Fanon, Wilson Harris, Eric Williams, Maryse Condé,
known as The Mighty Sparrow and cricketers Gary Sobers
Periodicals were vital to the worldwide
radical movement. The
popular underground press, primarily political, was active with its
on-the-scene, alternative reportage, struggle-oriented journalism,
and leftist editorial voice. Unabashedly political were the
newspapers and magazines of the Left.
If you were a dutiful member of Methodist
Youth Fellowship in the
United States, you might get your hands on Motive
magazine, a publication of the Methodist Student Movement [MSM] from
From the issues you could follow on the
writers of articles like
Harvey Cox, David Halberstam, Corita Kent, and William Stringfellow.
Corita’s graphic artwork was featured in Motive.
lasting landmark of her work is her 1971 “Rainbow Swash” in the
neighborhood of Boston. The brilliantly decorated gas tank is highly
from the Southeast Expressway.
often one could read more of those writers listed in Motive
magazine at libraries or higher educational
Teens with money of their own to spend,
of their parents, went into buying magazines at the nearest drugstore.
were scrambling for their identity, petulant, angry, and hilarious and
desperately wanting to be free of what they were not quite sure.
Besides movie magazines, young people
caught on to Mad magazine in late
1952 and they read
it right up through their adolescence [even into adulthood].
According to MAD’s history:
E. Neuman, MAD's gapped-tooth moronic mascot, first ran
for President in 1960 and continues to be the preferred candidate of
"What, Me Worry?" Kid graces the front cover of
nearly every MAD issue and was once even featured in a "Got Milk" ad!
The slickest magazine of the time was Ramparts, a magazine
1962-1975. It included a subscription service that keep people in rural
aware of the current political and literary topics. Ramparts
magazine was revisited years later about its spurious
nonetheless, for many the magazine kept people in touch. The Wikipedia
Ramparts has no text citations,
though source citations are listed.
An interesting and long story about Sol
Stern’s days at Ramparts relayed
investigation of CIA ties to the Left.
The Village Voice
had been in place for New Yorkers with a quasi-alternative and locally
One paid for each copy of the Village
Voice and it was worth keeping up with the arts, news of the
One of the supposedly first of the “free
circulating in 1964. The paper was called “Freep” or The
Los Angeles Free Press;
followed by The Berkeley Barb.
In New York City, readers had The
East Village Other [EVO].
Those who did not live on either coasts of
the U.S. were
purchasing “underground” publications made for distribution in their
established in 1949 by Paul Sweezy and Leo Huberman was the origin of
required Marxist readings in New Jewel study groups.
came out of Puerto
Rico in June 1959.
Havana-based news service started in March 1959, had offices in New
George Breitman of the Socialist Workers
Party [SWP] was editor
of the Militant newspaper in November of 1963.
weekly newspaper was constantly offered for sale, person-to-person. One
main writers on Grenada in the early years was Osborne Hart; later the Grenada expert became Steve Clark.
on Latin America (NACLA) newsletter
published in February 1967. NACLA newsletter added to the over 50
publications out of New York.
of Black Studies and Research was founded in 1969, by Robert
Its first issue was vol. 1, no. 1, November 1969. The journal
featured Marxist pieces and its audience was the black community. The
celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2009 with Dr. Robert Chrisman,
editor-in-chief and Dr. Robert L. Allen, Senior Editor.
As early as 1970, there was an
Oakland-based Maoist group named “Line
of March.” The group quickly changed their name, but in the 1980s
Line of March journal. 
In the summer of 1970, the Underground
Press Syndicate was
formed, to be followed by Liberation News Service [LNS].
The periodicals, namely the Guardian
from the Black Liberators and La Raza, the Catholic
examples of those publications that were available and widely read.
The Guardian [United
States] reporters were on the scene, upfront and personal, covering
liberation movements, including Grenada. The
newspaper was publishing from 1948-1992. 
Periodicals reflecting political points of
view included the
weekly Intercontinental Press (IP)
Secretariat of the Fourth
International (USFI). Intercontinental
Press (IP) newspaper and
Press carried tacit ties to the Socialist Worker Party (SWP).
The Daily Worker
published by the Communist Party USA.
Another well-read periodical was Dave
Dellinger and A.J. Muste’s Liberation
Off Our Backs
radical feminist journal of the 1970s.
Out of Havana came TRIcontinental magazine (communication outlet of the
Organization of Solidarity of the People’s of Africa, Asia and Latin
[OSPAAL] and Granma, still being
published to this day, including a site online in English.
The support by SWP for the Grenada
Revolution was detailed and
The SWP, as a group, was not quiet when it came to publicity of favored
The publications of the United States
Socialist Worker’s Party
[SWP] are highlighted because of the part they played in commentary on
Grenada Revolution. Articles were reprinted in the Free
West Indian [FWI] newspaper and vice–versa.
The major magazine of the SWP was Intercontinental Press combined with Inprecor. Its main writer in the early times on
the Grenada Revolution was Ernst Harsch.
In later years, the main writers were
Ernest Harsch and Steve
Clark. Other writers were Jerry Hunnicutt, Diane Wang, Osborne Hart,
Pulley, Sam Manuel, Pat Kane, Malik Miah, Mimi Pichey, Nelson Gonzalez,
Percy, Alain Krivine, Coleen Lewis, and Fred Murphy. Some of these
Not taking much to poetry, our generation
did listen up when, in
1956, Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and Other
Poems was published by City Lights Bookstore in San
the time of the “beatniks” out there in California.
In June, 1960, Julian Bond published a
signature poem for his
too, hear America singing
But from where I stand
I can only hear Little Richard
And Fats Domino.
I hear Ray Charles
Drowning in his own
Relaxing at Camarillo
Or Horace Silver
Then I don't mind standing
a little longer.
The role music played in social change was
profound. We grew up
when rock and roll was emerging. The music shaped our lives in ways
different from our folks.
One listened to the uncanny Anthology
of American Folk Music [first issued in 1952] where the
artist and society
were directly integrated, and songs were the need of the people. Those
volumes of American roots music from the collection of Harry Smith were
of abounding history. The old songs were the counter to “How Much is
in the Window?” of the pop charts.
Songs and the folk music scene took off
from there, marked along
the way by folk singing in Washington Square, New York City and
last appearance of Woody Guthrie in 1961 in that very same park. Some
the credo that music was at the core of being an American. Woody
in 1967, the genuine American for many of us.
The key elements to the distribution of
music were radio play and
vinyl purchases of 45 rpm songs. At the time, there were radio stations
signals spread over a wide listening area. Teens would tune in at night
hear the sounds of rhythm and blues, rock and roll.
The basic traits of rhythm and blues
[R&B] music were the
dance rhythms, the emotive tone, explicit lyrics, and loud and harsh
vocalizations or sounds as opposed to pretty vocal toning. The dominant
instruments of these R&B tunes were guitar, drums, saxophone,
Youth were also aware of “covers” where,
in general, a song
recorded by a black group was reissued by a white singer or group and
way to the best-selling nationwide charts.
One example was “The Chords” with their
recording of “Sh-Boom”
1954 on Cat/Atlantic. “Sh-Boom” was covered immediately by the Crewcuts
Mercury in 1954 and hit the charts.
Another was the song “Sincerely” recorded
by the Moonglows in
1954 on Chess. It was “covered” by the recording of the McGuire Sisters
Dayton, Ohio, on Coral in 1955.
We heard the difference. We preferred the
original. We knew the
economics of the income gone to the “cover” record company and not to
original artist or record company. A peek into the economics of the
industry gave us one of our first lessons in hypocrisy.
Black culture increased its presence in
the music industry. After
1956, black singers were the feature of at least one fourth of the
Disk jockey Alan Freed produced two
programs called “Moondog’s
Rock and Roll Party,” at the Cleveland Arena in 1953. The arena could
10,000 people, but 30,000 people wanted to get in. For his first
two-thirds of the audience was white. 
Freed’s second program featured the Buddy
Johnson Orchestra, Joe
Turner, Fats Domino, the Moonglows, the Harptones, the Drifters, Ella
Dakota Staton, and Red Prysock.
Freed went on to have WINS radio show out
of New York City.
There grew a rejection of traditional
attitudes of superiority
toward black people, a crack opened because of music.
The new rock and roll music expressed
emotion. We will not forget
1952 and Johnny Ray reaching the point of tears.
Gillett summed it up about the time when
rock and roll began:
. . .
as a kind of music, rock ‘n’ roll did not make its
impact on the national popular music market until 1953, when “Crazy Man
a recording by Bill Haley and His Comets, became the first rock ‘n’
to make the best-selling lists on Billboard’s national chart.
Between 1954 and 1955, the music industry
saw a treble upturn in
Gillett got information from industry sales records and stated that
the vintage year for rock ‘n roll.
The height of Elvis Presley’s popularity
spanned eight years,
from 1956 to 1963.
Presley appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show three times in 1956.
In 1956 on the Okeh label Screamin’ Jay
[Jalacy] Hawkins sang “I
Put a Spell on You.
recording sold a million copies, but failed to make Billboard or
The popular music industry tried to reach
for calypso music after
the success of Harry Belafonte from 1956-57, but the American musicians
disfavored West Indian performers to the point of exclusion.
Harry Belafonte’s volunteer and
philanthropic efforts were put
towards the civil rights movement, the human rights movement and later
revolutionary government of Grenada.
starred in the 1957 film Island in the
primarily filmed in Grenada.
During the 1960s, Berry Gordy’s Motown
recordings with its
endless string of church influenced hits carried the beat for most of
record buying public with “an unparalleled
ten-year run in the singles market.”
Motown Records had its first #1 hit,
Postman," by the Marvellettes. Martha & the Vandellas’ song
Wave" was released.
The major artists of the Motown
Corporation were the Temptations,
the Miracles, the Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Junior Walker, Stevie Wonder,
Wells, Martha and the Vandellas and the Supremes.
The spirit of the times was often
reflected in the universal
language of music and radicals did not deny the culture of music.
STAX Records was growing strong in
Memphis, Tennessee during the
The house band for practically every artist’s recording to come out of
from 1962 through to around 1970, included Booker T. Jones, Lewie
Steve Cropper, and drummer Al Jackson, Jr. Besides the in-house backup
these four formed Booker T. & the M.G.’s [and had their own
The Staple Singers, Booker T. and the
M.G.s, Isaac Hayes, Carla
Thomas, Rufus Thomas, William Bell, Mel and Tim, Eddie Floyd, Johnny
King, Ollie and the Nightingales, the STAX studio people including
were artists who made their careers and homes at STAX records. Wilson
plus Sam & Dave and others were signed to Atlantic Records and
the STAX studios. Elvis Presley used the studios to record three albums
It was October 1962 that Otis Redding
caused jaws to drop in the
STAX studio. His smooth voice crooned the ballad “These Arms of Mine.”
was at his peak in the 10 December 1967 when he died in a plane crash
age of twenty-six.
Bob Dylan showed up in New York in January
1961. By February 1961
he began performing Greenwich Village, in October signed with Columbia
issued his first vinyl album 16 March 1962, and the rest of this
troubadour’s life is a legacy towards the voice of our generation.
One Dylan song, written in 1965, revealed
the internal anguish
many felt during those the times:
if my thought-dreams could be seen
probably put my head in a guillotine
it’s alright, Ma, it’s life, and life only
The band, called The Fugs , had
three core members—Ed
Sanders, Tuli Kupferberg and Ken Weaver. They played a kind of “freak
music with a pointed political and satiristic bent.
group went touring for anti-Vietnam protest gatherings.
In the late 1960s into the 1970s, many
public high schools had
music programs—choral groups, marching bands, concert bands and stage
One memorable stage band program was held
at Kashmere High School
in Houston, Texas. As usually is the case, the Director of a large
group was the guiding personality, as was the case at Kashmere High
with Director Conrad
The Kashmere Stage Band won all high
school competitions and
other awards with their massive funk sound. Collectors started
gathering up any
of the eight  albums they recorded. 
A reunion was held in 2008 with 30 of the
original band members
as a tribute to their elderly band and life leader Conrad O. Johnson.
scenes were filmed and made into the movie Thunder
What was called the “Black Woodstock”,
i.e. the Wattstax Concert
in California, drew a massive crowd and tickets were one dollar each.
Held on 20
August 1972 at the Los Angeles Coliseum, the event commemorated the
anniversary of the Watts riots.
The comedian Richard Pryor
the location of Watts, where there had been riots in August 1965, as
for his observations on race relations in America during his
During the concert, Jesse Jackson raised
his arm to lead the
crowd in a chant - 
The Velvet Underground
emerged in 1964 on the New York music. The mastery of the group, with
and John Cale, showed itself in a 1967 album of a classic recording
Lou Reed and sung by Nico. The song was “I’ll Be Your Mirror” by the
Underground and Nico.
called an Andy Warhol
as was the actress Viva.
To get the flavor of American music from
Gillett compiled a selected list which, in its way, tells the story of
music feeding many a young revolutionary:
Ballard and the Midnighters, “Work With Me, Annie”
Turner, “Shake Rattle and Roll”
Spaniels, “Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight
Presley, “That’s All Right”
Slim, “The Things I Used to Do”
Haley and His Comets, “Rock Around the Clock”
Diddley, “Bo Diddley”
Richard, “Tutti Frutti”
Perkins, “Blue Suede Shoes”
Presley, “Hound Dog”
Crickets, “That’ll Be the Day”
Lee Lewis, “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On
Berry, “Sweet Little Sixteen”
Charles, “What’d I Say?
Drifters, “There Goes My Baby”
Shirelles, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”
King, “Sweet Sixteen”
Parker, “Watch Your Step”
Beatles, “Love Me Do”
Dylan, “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” and “Blowin’ in
Redding, “Mr. Pitiful”
Brown, “Out of Sight”
Rolling Stones, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”
Dylan, “Like a Rolling Stone”
Lovin’ Spoonful, “Do You Believe in Magic”
Sledge, “When a Man Loves a Woman”
and Tina Turner, “River Deep, Mountain High
Franklin, “I Never Loved a Man”
Joe and the Fish, “Feel-Like-I’m-A-Fixin’-To-Die”
Band, “The Weight”
Joe White, “Polk Salad Annie”
Dylan, “Lay, Lady Lay”
and the Family Stone, “Thank You (Falettin Me Be Micelf
Clearwater, “Travellin’ Band”
One cannot remember the two decades before
remembering the automobiles of that time:
was motorvatin’ over the hill,
Maybellene in a Coupe-de-ville
rollin’ on the open road,
to outrun my V-8 Ford.
Arc Music Corp. Chuck Berry
You could drive those cars on highways due
to the Federal-Aid
Highway Act of 1956, known also as the National Interstate and Defense
Act, signed into law by President Dwight Eisenhower on 29 June 1956.
The $25 billion in Federal payments made
from 1957-1969 paid 90%
of the cost with the States taking on the remainder of the financial
The miles and miles of new construction in
the national plan
affected communities all over the nation. The Interstate Highway
expansions over the years, put in place before 1970 remains today.
Perhaps your father was hired as an
appraiser of land and
property because someone’s yard might very well be an off-ramp. You
construction company might be under contract for parts of the national
The expanded highway system brought
suburban communities closer
to the cities, and after World War II, returning members of the
part of purchasing home made by the growing home construction industry
outlying areas. It was possible to live outside the city because one’s
automobile could quickly arrive at other communities by driving on the
Who could not forget the Studebaker? Many
loved the design of the
Studebaker of our memory. The auto designs from Studebaker are ever
online. The car manufacturer had financial troubles and soon the
our “cool” car, was gone. It felt like a betrayal of our “modern”
Some of us knew of the electric car in
America used primarily as
a city car at the turn of the century. We also knew that into the early
oil and automobile industries killed the electric car companies by
means of the
process of pure short-term capitalism.
The U.S. sales, starting in 1955, of
replaced the fins of the cars of the time. U.S. sales hit 569,696 of
on the road in 1970.
The custom of Beetle maintenance was
do-it- yourself with the
help of a Volkswagen manual. The spiral bound book was not from
America, but issued from New Mexico and California in multiple forms
editions, some serial. One of the most popular was How
to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: a Manual of Step-By-Step Procedures
for the Compleat Idiot.
What was known as the “Hippie Bus” was
often the Volkswagen Type
The buses were ripped out inside and converted to custom use, and the
The most popular “Hippie Bus” was
“Further,” the 1939 International
Harvester school bus with its body covered with psychedelic art work.
was driven across the country in 1964 by author Ken Kesey and his Merry
Tom Wolfe’s Electric
Kool-Aid Acid Test was published in 1968, and featured the
trip in the bus named “Further.”
We could tap into a network of political
films. We could borrow
films from one of the Newsreel Offices, for example. New York Newsreel
distributed a film titled Venceremos,
filmed in Cuba 1970–1971.
Four films of the early 1950s brought
adolescents up short to
rethink styles of dress, speech, body movement, facial expressions and
These influential four films were The Wild One (1953), Blackboard
Jungle (1955), East of Eden
(1955) and Rebel Without a Cause
The Wild One featured
Marlon Brando with the snarl, the sideburns, the motorcycle jacket and
Triumph Thunderbird 6T motorcycle.
Glen Ford and Sidney Portier was at its core about no appreciation for
and juvenile delinquency, including an episode with a switchblade. Bill
and His Comets played “Rock Around the Clock” in the background of the
There was a plaintive comment in the film for those who respected education:
cares about teachers anyway?
The James Dean
of 1955, East of Eden and Rebel Without a Cause touched a chord
because in both films the character played by James Dean rebelled
uncounted as a person with rights. Behind being uncounted was the
James Dean died 30 September 1955 at the
age of 24 years old.
learned about the tragedy primarily by way of movie magazines.
It was those movie magazines that kept
promoting the idea that
James Dean was in love with various actresses. His androgynous
not considered anything other than being “sensitive” at that time,
confirmed Dean, by more than one person, to be a young homosexual. 
that was OK.
The powerful 1965-1966 Gillo
Pontecorvo-directed film Battle of Algiers
and the 1969 Costa-Gavras film Z
were two films sought out by those on the left.
Extending to 1973, film-goers saw a second
Costa-Gavras film State of Siege
where “revolutionary activities” were shown through tales of the
guerrillas in early 1970s Uruguay. The movie grew out of ex-CIA agent
Mitrione’s tale of U.S. interference in Uruguay’s affairs.
The Watts Concert was filmed for later
release in February 1973.
Wattstax was nominated for a Golden
Globe award for Best Documentary Film in 1974.
Does culture shape preferences or vice
The desire for a perfectly unified society
establishment pushed the Left towards an attitude of egalitarianism,
equality, classlessness and consensus. The youthful New Left felt they
odds with society; even at war. Out of this anti-establishment approach
the concept of participatory democracy outlined below.
New Left, like virtually all radical egalitarian
movements, looked to the oppressed for an indictment of the system, as
for an affirmation of their own preference for a noncoercive,
community outside the mainstream.
From the King James Version of the Bible,
Matthew 20:16 came the
basis for an attitude. The well-known verse was one that often
last three words:
the last shall be first, and the first last:
many be called, but
The rejection of hierarchical relations of
authority comes from a
fierce personal attitude that no one can make me do what I don’t want
to for I
can operate on the values of my conscience and principles. It does not
what others think or what is to be the consequence because I shall
People are naturally good. Didn’t I find
this confirmed by
reading Jean Jacques Rousseau? Didn’t I get my values from Sunday
school? I shall not
vacillate or waver or compromise
my righteous cause. I shall join the perfect fellowship; a beloved
am selfless and have no self-interest.
The collective action of the New Left was
taken by consensus
decision-making. People felt their hands were tied by a reactionary
like Robert’s Rules of Order, or
along parliamentary lines, or that their important position was negated
These strictures were dismantled in favor
democracy and anti-elitism. Long, long discussions could go into the
morning hours of inconclusive, rancorous debate. The subject matter
minor, multilayered or major.
It was a movement, in general, without
declaring leaders or
structure, though both may have been in the shadows all along.
Stern adherence to egalitarianism produced
extreme situations. A
cooperative restaurant found some people working; others not. Another
for all staff in a central office to share clerical duties. Nothing got
No one wanted to mop up or set up or take down or put away.
People would say egalitarianism is not the
problem; no, it is the
remnants of hierarchy and structure in your mind keeping the problem
viewpoint. But hold on, egalitarianism, as practiced by fallible human
was often not fair.
A conscientious person about the
restaurant or office had to work
extra time and perform disliked tasks when others chatted outside. An
egalitarian system of work distribution was particularly egregious when
salaries [capitalism] were involved.
The poor need be behind any longer, so
went the belief. They can
avenging angels against the inequalities of capitalism and
an alternate source of values to middle class consumerism.
The privileged Left looked to the poor and
oppressed, the common
people, as being somehow authentically noble because of their heritage
suffering. The disadvantaged were people with integrity; lived close to
earth; were informed, and were filled with native intelligence—”Mother
The disadvantaged were generous, honest,
and hard-working, so
most thought. It was supposed the underprivileged were angry at the
circumstances of their lives. Significantly, the deprived were
the system. There was faith from those of the Left that the rebellion
unfortunates was the key to a future society and they were prepared to
all the elements.
. . .
the New Left ended up ascribing to the poorest and most
downtrodden members of society the same transformative potential that
Engels had assigned the proletariat.
Taking the thrust farther, Ellis described
the New Left’s
their romance for the oppressed onto the Third
World, from Africa to Cuba, Vietnam, and China, the New Left often
excusing or explaining away repression and authoritarianism.
Doing without bureaucracy, structure, and
leadership, many on the
Left turned to an ideal of organizations that would simplify
promote democracy and an egalitarian community. It was assumed by many
Left that the rising tide of revolutionary groups had entertained
discussion, had open membership, and these groups were non-hierarchical
Pateman noted the last days of DeGaulle,
the British Skeffington
Report on planning, and the anti-poverty program in the United States
a provision for the “maximum feasible
participation” of those concerned.
Was not democracy like that—where people
would join with each
other? Were not New England town meetings based on such a democratic
It was not always true that democracy was
like that in real life.
Many groups were run on consensus vote. Robert’s Rules of Order was always
available as guidance, but oh so
rigid. Consensus became the way groups made decisions – often in the
of the morning.
is a phrase used loosely for there are debates about what “participation” is and what the nature of “democracy” entails.
The downside of so-called participatory
democracy was that a
handful of leaders took control and led the meeting. The others in the
“let” the leaders take them to consensus, often so they could go home
The rest, who were not inclined to work so
hard in that manner,
gave up their ideas to the articulation of the leaders. Issues were
under the guise of consensus and anti-bureaucracy. It was a
assent in a form without structure.
Many Left leaders were made popular by the
celebrities and were so-called spokespeople for “progressive”
causes. Most were, but they were from the privileged
Many leaders were talkers, not workers.
Pateman described negatives aspects of “participation,” taken from history:
collapse of the Weimar Republic, with its high rates of
mass participation, into fascism, and the post-war establishment of
totalitarian regimes based on mass participation, albeit participation
by intimidation and coercion, underlay the tendency for “participation” to
become linked to the concept of totalitarianism rather than that of
But you retort, Liberals meant something
else. Among the
intelligent, privileged Liberals of these programs, “participation”
worked out in theory.
In practice, it was found that program
managers may have
idealized participation, but the workers and members of any unit were
that interested in taking the time to participate, even if some of them
part of the program management board. They were looking for someone to
march, so to speak.
In further volumes we will see how the
“Assemblies of the People,”
markedly in Grenada, had no profit motive, but was founded on free
The People’s Assemblies had a schema on
psychologically energized because the first feelings of ownership and
strong; only to simply fall flat from generalized inactivity because of
who were reluctant to be a part of change.
For the Assemblies concept to take hold,
the potential for change
was obviously ideal, but the irrational elements of human behavior were
factored in as unintended consequences.
Belonging to an assembly was a partial
there was a coordinating body at the top of the chart.
The process and its effect on the worker
was something like being
part of a restaurant co-operative. Ideally everybody was in it
is—some people did all the work when others did nothing.
Transformation of society to include the
poor was one thing. What
was the reality of the culture of the poor and what did they want?
Besides the promising qualities the Left
saw in the poor, there
was the distaff side of reality. The poor had different values than
They were often distrustful of outsiders,
even hostile. They were
often disorganized and fragmented, too alienated, too apathetic, too
often with a fatalistic viewpoint.
What the Left did not want most of the
poor wanted; to join the
American middle class or to migrate to America. They wanted to buy into
American dream and believed this possible. For those left behind, if
not get themselves out of poverty, how could the Left have expected to
Dr. Barber warned:
as soon as others propose that they will do for the people
what the people refuse to do for themselves, we get, not justice, but
Ellis made an apt supposition:
not enough to declare an idea noble and one’s hands
clean; one needs to ask what will happen to that uplifting ideal when
behave not like angels but like fallible, biased human beings.
What if one found it workable to live
under a constitutional
government and have freedom of expression, assembly, and conscience?
one found justice with equality before the law, free and competitive
in a life where there were boundaries between one’s private and one’s
life. People who believed in these principles were often labeled
Reactionaries looked harshly at disregard
for civil liberties or
individual autonomy. They disliked authoritarian commandeering no
charming. They did not approve of state socialism. Even if there was a
voluntary cooperation and egalitarian fellowship, they didn’t buy it.
thought the world more complex than those with a Manichean view of
good and absolute evil.
They were not comfortable with conspiracy
or demonization, nor
did they give any form of assent to militarism or violence as a
means. They did not like their stated difference of opinion be evidence
deviancy that had to be halted.
When they disagreed that meant sinister
intent on their part –
disloyalty and betrayal threatening the future of a glorious
the aim was conversion to a world view, their disagreement came to be
Author Ellis pointed out that freedom
freedom in the name of unity (or equality) does
not eliminate the inevitable conflict of interests or values; it only
the legitimate expression of those conflicts, driving them underground,
they can silently fester or savagely erupt.
In their identity and solidarity with the
common people, there
was a subtle contempt, a dismissive disdain by radicals who looked at
ordinary lives of common people as ignorant, shallow, materialistic,
brain-washed since youth, selfish, mean and disinclined to learn, study
The common people were often looked down
upon by elites as
passive victims of the system or mindless dodos. The common people were
passive, distrustful and more diverse than one thought. The common
choices and those choices were a product of a false consciousness, of
people swallowing whole the preferences of the system.
A patronizing attitude remained after the
romanticized view of
the common people wore off.
The common people needed an enlightened
revolutionaries, to teach and rebuild the values of the people and turn
beliefs in a more politically correct direction. Was this path not
the Russian revolutionaries?
Two forces were at work – a love and a
loathing of the common
people they championed. Those common people were often called “workers.”
How could well-intentioned people who
worked long and hard hours
for the betterment of society embrace intolerance, welcome single
and preach righteous violence in the battle between good and evil as
Were Those Commies Up To?
There is the hackneyed saying that you
can't escape history. Let
us, as the current phrase goes, “walk the
The term "Cold War' first showed up in
1945 upon the
publication of the book Animal Farm
by George Orwell. President Reagan came of age under threat of the
Take you way back to October 1965, of
candidate for Governor of
California, an extracted quote of Ronald Reagan's basis for thinking in
relation to foreign policy:
silly talking about how many years we will have to spend
in the jungles of Vietnam when we could pave the whole country and put
stripes on it and still be home by Christmas.
During the period of the Bolshevik
Revolution in Russia, unions
and union organizers in the United States became tainted with dishonor
part of the "Red Terror." An interesting part of history in the
United States was being cast as a Commie sympathizer. The idea did not
rolling until after World War II.
In 1945, the House Un-American Activities
Committee published a
booklet. Its title was 100 Things You Should Know About
Communism in the
U.S.A. This pamphlet asked 100 questions; for example:
can a Communist be identified?
him to name ten things wrong with the United States.
ask him to name two things wrong with Russia.
The booklet goes on to comment:
answers will show him up even to a child. Communists will
denounce the President of the United States but they will never
In 1955, it was Rabbi Harold Kushner who
referred to his fellow
college graduates as "the last generation to trust our elders."
Within Kushner's lifetime began the generations of judgmental people so
and dear to us all. It looks like a whole bunch of us could be
Needless to say, you get the idea of the
100 things you should
know about Communism.
HUAC's document, among the many others
issued at the time by the
U.S. Government, set the foundation for our youthful and naive selves
thinking of Communism as some body of evil and out to “get” us in
The Big Daddy of it all was J. Edgar
Hoover, Director of the
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). In March 1958, Hoover wrote Masters
of Deceit: The Story of Communism in America and How to Fight It.
In Masters of Deceit,
we read not only of the wide variety
of occupations in which one would find different types of communists,
You did not want to become a dupe.
is a Communist?
[Original] Duck Test
What is a communist? US Ambassador
Patterson spoke about the
matter when he made a presentation before a Rotary Club group in
times it is impossible to prove legally that a certain
individual is a communist; but for cases of this sort I recommend a
method of detection - the “duck test.”
duck test works this way: suppose you see a bird walking
around a farm yard. This bird wears no label that says “duck.”
the bird certainly looks like a duck.
he goes to the pond and you notice that he swims like a
duck. Then he opens his beak and quacks like a duck.
by this time you have probably reached the conclusion
that the bird is a duck, whether he's wearing a label or not.
There you have it. Or, there you had it,
for this was the
slippery test used to identify communists in those days.
The word “communist” made one think that
they could be labeled as
such, that they were an unwitting victim of an international Godless
that could move upon one’s person in mysterious ways. One could be
contaminated. Worst of all, one might be a “dupe.” We might be caught
up in a
sudden fear when we heard or read about such things as secret
spies, agitators and undercover agents.
The word “communist” was an accusatory
epithet, and those accused
weren’t even near guilty. The word “communist” was so powerful as to
discussion and debate. “Communist” was a scare word, one used to weed
supposedly, un-American citizens of the United States.
During the Presidency of Harry S. Truman,
the Supreme Court on 10
April 1950 ruled that citizens, called before a congressional
compelled to state whether or not they "now or ever have been
An accusation was made by Senator Joseph
McCarthy at a Republican
Women's Club meeting 9 February 1959 that there were 205 employees in
Department who were "card-carrying members or certainly loyal
"Card-carrying" was the
code word with an "out"
just in case the "loyal" communist did not have an
card. By the way, in a later speech, McCarthy lowered the number to 57,
that's what he meant all the time.
Up in Anti-Communist Times
Many of us in the United States spent
their impressionable and
formative years from 1950-1959; the childhood years were previous to
neighbors and relatives seemed to have been in allied or armed services
World War II, and were striving to enhance their economic outlook and
for their families.
Our homes saw subscriptions to "Readers
and "Life" magazine, as well as the local newspaper,
with a morning and evening edition. We would read anything that came
house, including pamphlets by Norman Vincent Peale.
Admittedly, we were, as writer Edmund
White so aptly termed it, like
those Midwest "public-library intellectuals, magpies of
knowledge . . ."
Using the public library, even working there as a page, and reading
least gave us lots of extra credit in public school classes.
Essentially, we considered our REAL
education as an autodidactic
exercise where we would learn REAL things, and that information was in
and we got those books in the musty stacks of our main public library,
what White said about himself—“like most
autodidacts we were incapable of evaluating our sources.” 
Not only that, but we had conceived the
notion of the importance
of information-from-the-source. If such original source material was
embarrassing to the author, well too bad. Such spokespeople had hung
on their own petard. We didn't feel the need to publicly evaluate
perform an analysis. No, we would plainly put out to the public exactly
Politics Into the Home
In the 1950s, families started owning a
television. The first
mass-produced televisions were made by Radio Corporation of America
$1,000 and were first issued 25 March 1954.
We may have been news-hounds back then,
fed on the Edgar R.
Murrow programs. In 1951, Murrow hosted the CBS program "See
We also viewed the House Un-American Activity Hearings.
In the United States, 15 March 1951,
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
were convicted and sentenced to death for conspiracy to commit wartime
They were executed 19 June 1953.
TIME magazine featured
Senator Joseph McCarthy on its
cover for the issues of 22 October 1951 and 8 March 1954.
The House Un-American Activities Committee
Hollywood in 1952 and over in the Senate, the Senate Internal Security
Subcommittee, headed by William Jenner of Indiana was looking into the
goings-on at the United Nations, and also into public and private
By 9 July 1952, Senator Joseph McCarthy
was still at it.
Addressing the Republican National Convention, he declared:
one Communist in a defense plant is one too many.
Communist on the faculty of one university is one
Communist too many.
Communist among the American advisers at Yalta was one
Communist too many.
even if there were only one Communist in the State
Department, that would still be one Communist too many.
Three months after the death of Stalin in
1953, the Rosenbergs
were executed in the US. At the time, then President Eisenhower
times, to issue an order of executive clemency.
In the late 1990s, after the Soviet
archives were open to the
public, it was revealed that the Rosenbergs were guilty of passing
information about radar and sonar to their handler, but not atomic
McCarthy was at it again in February of 1953. He declared that 30,000
government overseas libraries were written by “Communist”
Ferber, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., W.H. Auden, Stephen Vincent Benet,
Hammett—you get the picture.
It is always amusing, even today, to read
the list of authors and
titles on “banned book lists.”
Edgar R. Murrow featured Senator Joseph
McCarthy in his 6 March
1954 broadcast - “A Report on Senator Joseph McCarthy.”
McCarthy was shown in a critical light.
From 22 April 1954 through 17 June 1954,
Americans could see
Senator McCarthy in action on the television in their home. The live
televised by ABC, NBC and the Dumont networks, enabled what is known as
Hearings open to all. "Point of Order!"
was the slogan of
Dan Wakefield in his book New
York in the 50s
told the story of author Rudolph Wurlitzer who wrote an editorial
National Library Week for his Army base newspaper. The authorities took
security clearance away for that.
Fear of the Red Menace, fear of being “un-American,”
that's what it was. In the hinterlands of America there was suspicion
York, the New York Times, the
Nations, the contents of libraries, the Voice of America, Easterners,
lefties, eggheads, faggots and beatniks [plus a favorite—those
intellectuals who don't know enough to come in out of the rain”].
The 4 October 1957 Soviet launch of the
I" - “fellow traveler of the Earth”-
caused enough uproar for public high schools to obtain funds for
scientific studies; for example, a Saturday program about nuclear
with radiation-detection devices.
The Sputnik launch and the level of
educational skills in the
U.S. were viewed as in a crisis in America.
On 3 November 1957 a second Sputnik was
launched - this time
carrying a dog named Laika. The US successfully launched its first
Explorer I, on 31 January 1958.
One interesting side description growing
out of the overall
concept of “Cold War” was the Report from
Iron Mountain on the Possibility and Desirability of Peace
published first in
1967 by popular publisher Dell in hardcover and paperback.
The Report from
Mountain on the Possibility and Desirability of Peace, from
editions, included the “Foreword” by Leonard C. Lewin dated June, 1967. In one of the first sections called
“Background Information,” we find L.C.L. tape recording interviews with
Doe,” and a letter of transmittal, signed-off 30 September 1966.
The copyright, usually signaling the
author of a book, was
registered to Leonard Lewin.
The full text of the Report
from Iron Mountain is online.
The aim of the report was to study what
would happen if the U.S.
entered a state of lasting peace. The secret commission investigating
question met secretly. Their conclusion was war is necessary.
At the time, those of us who were taken up
with getting a copy of
this Report from Iron Mountain not
only enriched the coffers of Dell Publishing Co., but we may have
in one of the greatest literary hoaxes of all time.
On the other hand, if we following on the
YouTube series Report from Iron Mountain,
thrown many red flags like “peace=socialism.” Conspiracy theorists hit
on a hot
one with these videotapes.
Our intent was to read Report
from Iron Mountain, but the “think-tank” style of government
writing put some of us off. Was this a highly refined satirical hoax?
write the book or not?
Lewin kept stating in print he wrote the
book. The authorship of
Leonard C. Lewin (2 October 1916-28 January 1999)
reported in Lewin’s New York Times
Obituary on 30 January 1999.
Whether those on the Left read the Report from Iron Mountain or not, it was
not a long leap for some
to the conclusion, especially during the Vietnam War time, that the U.S
responsible for war and would not look for peace because DOW chemical
longer make money; something like that.
On the other hand, some of those who
believed war was inevitable
got their suspicions about “peace” and institutions such as the United
from these times.
Worldwide the search by citizens for equal
rights under the law—their
civil rights—was a search that ran through each country’s history.
was an African-American movement towards civil rights back to 1896 in
United States law of Plessy vs Ferguson.
Many of those who were part of the Civil
Rights struggle in
American during the 1960s do not know the groundwork done by others in
1950s. Brown vs the Board of Education in 1954 comes to mind.
The ground-breaking civil rights work of
others in the 1950s
included Paul Robeson, Jackie Robinson, W.E.B. DuBois, Marcus Garvey
Scottsboro Boys. 
Robeson, for example, brought his charismatic presence to the screen,
with magnetic energy and righteous indignation.
One Margaret Bourke-White
which was published in Life
magazine’s issue of 15 February 1937, was widely reproduced during the
the early civil rights struggles.
Margaret Bourke-White saw her shot when a
line of Afro-Americans
walked in front of Alabama billboard in depression-era America [see
The original photo of the billboard by
Arthur Rothstein in February
1937 showed a distant view of a large sign. The billboard showed an
with white people as occupants. The proclamations on the Alabama
“World’s Highest Standard of Living” at the top and “There’s No Way
American Way” at the bottom.
Rothstein was a professional photographer and most likely a colleague
In one Bourke-White photo, the famous
photo, one can see
Americans of a darker hue in the Red Cross Relief line in front of that
originally photographed by Rothstein.
were black victims of the 1937 Louisville, Kentucky flood.
title of the photos in the series was “At the Time of the Louisville
The Afro-American Civil Rights Movement in
the United States
since 1955 has been widely chronicled and often stops on the day of the
assassination of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on 1968.
Claudette Colvin, at 15 years old,
single-handedly and on impulse
refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery city bus in Alabama, 2
She was immediately arrested and her case went to court.
Emmett Till’s murder on 28 August 1955 in
Money, Mississippi, caught
national attention, especially when his white killers were acquitted.
Another landmark event was 1 December 1955
when Rosa Parks
refused to give up her bus seat to a white man. Rosa Parks did have
training at the Highlander School
and her arrest and the boycott that followed was part of a larger plan.
The Montgomery Bus Boycott began on 5
December and carried
through until 21 December 1956.
When the Student Nonviolent Coordinating
Committee [SNCC] was
founded in April 1960 at Shaw College in Raleigh, North Carolina,
song We Shall Overcome
became the Movement’s anthem.
Harry Belafonte eased the arrangements for
eleven SNCC workers to
take a break and be the guests of the late Sékou Touré,
President of Guinea. They left 11 September 1964 for three weeks. The
included Julian Bond, James Forman, Prathia Hall, William Hansen,
Hamer, Donald Harris, Matthew Jones, John Lewis, Robert Moses, Donna
Ruby Doris Robinson.
As an organization, SNCC was one of the
first civil rights groups
with an international outreach, primarily to Africa. The SNCC example
one of the many instances when young people reached out
One outgrowth of the Movement, as it was
known, was in its music.
Memorable songs came out of most events:
1955 - “We Are Soldiers in the Army”
, 1960 - “I’m Gonna Sit at the Welcome Table”
Rides, 1961 - “Which Side Are You On?”
Georgia, 1961-1962 - Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me
1963 - “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize”
March, 1963 - “Come by Here”
Movement, 1963 - “Mississippi Goddam”
Delta, 1961-1964 - “Woke Up This Morning”
1963-1965 - “Right! Right!
Pick ‘em up
and lay ‘em down
Pick ‘em up
and lay ‘em down
All the way
from Selma town
Meredith March, 1966
Times - “This Little Light of Mine” and “We Shall
The first Selma to Montgomery March was
called “Bloody Sunday,”
7 March 1965.
John Lewis said in the film Soundtrack
for a Revolution:
can take away everything else but they couldn’t take away
created a sense of solidarity
A song from the Birmingham Movement,
“Ninety-nine and a Half
Won’t Do,” brought this quote from Guy Carawan:
variety of singing to be heard at mass meetings in
Birmingham probably wasn’t matched in any other movement in the South.
off with an old-time prayer service in which the
older people sang and lined out the old-time spirituals and “Dr. Watts”
in a style which went back to slavery days, the meetings were then
to the songs of the movement’s sixty-voice gospel choir [the Birmingham
Movement Choir] accompanied by the organ player of its leader [Carlton
the church had rocked and spirits were jubilant, it was
time to hear from their leader, Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth.
Cleo Kennedy and organist Carlton Reese
led this plaintive song,
captured on YouTube, at a Birmingham mass meeting held at the 16th
Baptist Church in 1963.
Another memorable musical group, this time
from the Albany
Movement in 1962, was the SNCC Freedom Singers with Bernice Johnson
(contralto); Rutha Harris (soprano), Bertha Gober (soprano); Cordell
(Tenor) and Charles Neblett (baritone-bass). 
group eventually reorganized into an all male group with varying
The SNCC Freedom Singers performed all
over the country, often at
colleges and other gatherings like the 1963 Newport Folk Festival and
One song sung by the Freedom Singers was
“Dog, Dog,” written by
James Bevel and Bernard Lafayette in 1963. Bevel told the story:
know I lived next door to a man and he had a lot of
children, and so did my dad, but we weren’t allowed to play together
they were white.
we had two dogs. He had a dog and we had a dog.
our dogs would always play together . . . So we wrote this
W.E.B. Du Bois was eulogized by Martin
Luther King on 28 August
1963, at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Du Bois died 27
1963 in Ghana at 96 years of age.
The single mass demonstration, the 1963
March on Washington took
the civil rights struggle from being a Black cause in America to a
cause to protect the civil rights of all.
The landmark governmental action of the
period was the Civil
Rights Act of 1964.
events in the struggle for civil rights affected the youth of America,
“Freedom Summer” engaged many youth of the
country to volunteer
in Mississippi. The campaign was launched in June 1964. Many volunteers
first trained in nonviolence at Western College for Women in Oxford,
the course of the ten-week project:
four civil rights workers were killed (one in a head-on
collision), the three being Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner
least three Mississippi blacks were murdered because of
their support for the civil rights movement
people were critically wounded
Freedom Summer 
workers were beaten
and sixty-two people were arrested (volunteers
churches were bombed or burned
Black homes or businesses were bombed or burned
The emergence of Mississippi “Freedom
Schools” in 1964 was a part
of the Civil Rights Struggle in the United States.
In addition to the formation of the
Democratic Party [MFDP] with its leader Fannie Lou Hamer, the voter
registration drive and freedom schools, the benefit to the young
Where Do We Go
Chaos or Community was written by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
[Uncorroborated] Years later, political
people looked back and
noted this was a neglected book worthy of attention.
“Where Do We Go From Here,” was a speech
given by Dr. King at the
Southern Christian Leadership Conference [SCLC] in Atlanta on 16 August
full speech is available online.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was
assassinated in 1968.
Following Dr. King’s death, a songwriter
named Dick Holler signed
his song with Dion, American singer-songwriter. The title was “Abraham,
anybody here, seen my old friend Martin -
you tell me where he’s gone?
freed a lot of people, but it seems the good, they die
just looked around and he’s gone
“Abraham, Martin and John” was immediately
on the charts; then recorded
and performed by many other artists, confirming the soothing kind of
nation needed to hear.
One extensive history of the Nation of
Islam [NOI] and NOI member
Malcolm X was written by the late Manning Marable, who stated:
1953 and 1955, the Nation of Islam more than quadrupled,
from about twelve hundred [1,200] to nearly six thousand [6,000]
1956 until 1961, it would expand more than tenfold, to
between fifty thousand [50,000] and seventy–five thousand [75,000]
The major luminaries who emerged from the
NOI were Muhammad Ali
[Cassius Clay], Malcolm X [Malcolm Little], Louis Farrakhan [Louis
Wolcott] and others.
The convergence of the NOI, the early
civil rights movement, Adam
Clayton Powell and Malcolm X’s expanding views all formed the bedrock
growth of the civil rights movement.
During the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, the
Nation of Islam [NOI]
led by Elijah Muhammad.
The influence of NOI was profound and
within the U.S. Afro-American community.
NOI spokesmen taught Black pride,
discipline in dress, dietary
practices and no drugs, including alcohol and tobacco.
Self-owned businesses were the order of the day.
A major television event was the program
report, to the viewing
public in the United States, about the Nation of Islam.
The program, The
Hate Produced, is found online in video
ten  segments. The program was produced by Louis Lomax
narrated by Mike Wallace.
The Wallace-Lomax series appeared on
WNTA-TV out of New York City
in the middle of July of 1959 with a follow-up documentary on the
supremacy movement” a week later. Malcolm X was out of the country at
during the public reaction to the programs. 
Cassius Clay (soon to be Muhammad Ali)
knocked out heavyweight
champion Sonny Liston 25 February 1964 in Miami. Clay was widely
and quoted, and played his role to the hilt. His full life and
integrity are a
It was in Miami that Cassius Clay, Malcolm
X and Sam Cooke met up;
the time Cassius Clay joined the Nation of Islam [NOI]. 
was the same Sam Cooke who, as early as 1963, had an extensive black
library in his house.
Muhammad Ali’s life on 28 April 1967 took
on a political turn
when he refused to be inducted into the Vietnam draft effort. 
found guilty of draft evasion.
continued his boxing career.
Along the way, he became known for his
wise sayings—one from 1964:
ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong.
Viet Cong ever called me nigger.
Malcolm X was assassinated at the Audubon
Ballroom in New York
City on 21 February 1965.
Malcolm X, whose Yoruba name Omowale [“the son who has come home”],
calling them out as “white people.” He transmitted courage and pride to
many, only Malcolm X seemed to understand the depth of the
abyss separating the races.
The ties of the Nation of Islam [NOI] and
Malcolm X were formally
broken March of 1964. His visit to Mecca was in April where he became a
Muslim. In June 1964 he started the Organization of Afro-American Unity
Alex Haley and Malcolm X wrote The Autobiography of Malcolm X with an
original 1964 copyright by
Alex Haley and Malcolm X, but there were n=no printings in that year.
A first edition, first printing, dated 1965
from Grove Press in a
dust wrapper and cloth binding enclosing 455 pages of text and 32
brings a hefty price in the antiquarian book market of today. A popular paperback
edition was first
published in 1966.
The book was a widely-read
This author will not forget Alex Haley;
seeing him writing away
in the lower level connecting area between Countee Cullen Public Library and the
located in Harlem.
Despite travel schedules, from spring of
1963 until the final
drafts of the book in 1965, Haley was talking with Malcolm X about his
life. Together they
worked on the manuscript
between interruptions and different meeting locations.
Much of Malcolm X material is archived at
the Schomburg Center
for Research in Black Culture in Harlem.
The first book of Malcolm X’s speeches was
published in 1965.
The fame of Malcolm X
grew even greater after his death on 21 February 1965:
Malcolm has become a symbol, a dream, a hope, a
nostalgia for the past, a mystique, a shadow sometimes without
substance, “our shining
[taken from the eulogy by Ossie Davis] to whom we do obeisance, about
write heroic poems.
Malcolm X: a life
reinvention was published by the late Manning Marable in 2011.
Being revolutionary required much,
according to some: 
revolutionary can claim his life for himself.
life of the revolutionary belongs to the struggle.
In the United States, it was Integration
Time, Black Power Time
and Black Nationalism Time – the time of the Southern Christian
Conference [SCLC], Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., John Lewis, Malcolm X,
Baldwin, Robert F. Williams, James Forman, Stokely Carmichael, Leroi
Eldridge Cleaver, Huey Newton, and the Black Panthers.
Ed Brooke from Massachusetts was elected
Senator on the
Republican ticket in 1966. He served in the U.S. Senate for two terms.
Adam Clayton Powell Jr. served as the
member of the House of Representatives, from 1945-1971.
C. Henry was the first African-American Mayor of Springfield, Ohio,
1966. Carl Stokes, taking office in 1968, served as the first
Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio.
A National Conference on Black Power was
held 20-23 July 1967 in
Newark, New Jersey. The sole official document issued from that
a Black Power Manifesto
recommending international black congresses and also the struggle
colonialist and neo-colonialist control of Black
communities in America and many Black nations across the world by white
supremacists necessarily is detrimental and destructive to the
Over 1,000 delegates attended, including
Bermuda and Nigeria. The chair was the late Nathan Wright, Jr.
headed by Ossie Davis, James Farmer, Hoyt W. Fuller,
Maulana Ron Karenga,
Other national conferences were held in 1966 and 1968.
Tommie Smith and John Carlos extended
black-gloved fists into the
air when receiving their Olympic medals. The 1968 Summer Olympic Games
held in Mexico. They both stared downward during the singing of the Star Spangled Banner in a gesture
symbolizing, it was thought, black unity and power.
released Say It Loud - I’m Black and I’m
A highly popular song in August 1968, Brown claimed he was into Black
not Black Power.
Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver
his essay collection Soul on Ice.
Black Panther national treasurer Bobby Hutton, 17, was killed by
on 6 April 1968.
H. Rap Brown, [Jamil Abdullah al-Amin], of
the Student Nonviolent
Coordinating Committee [SNCC] disavowed non-violence and left SNCC in
1968. In the succeeding years, he received media attention and had
skirmishes with the law. H. Rap Brown is now serving a life sentence in
Federal prison in Colorado.
By this time, around 1968, berets,
shoulder ammo holders, the carrying
of weapons and charismatic oratory were the order of the day. This was
of Che who had been killed in Bolivia in 1967. It was a time of
known officially as the Manifesto to the
White Christian Churches and the Jewish Synagogues in the United States
America and All Other Racist Institutions was presented by
James Foreman of
the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
Forman’s speech was given in May 1969 to
the New York meeting of
the National Council of Churches [NCC]. 
The manifesto had been adopted 26 April
1969 by the National
Black Economic Development Conference in Detroit, Michigan. 
The manifesto was intended specifically
for the white Christian
churches and the Jewish synagogues in the United States of America and “all other racist institutions.” The
manifesto, which called for reparations, was presented by James Forman.
rhetoric not usually heard in the U.S., the manifesto said that: 
black people in this
country must understand that we are the Vanguard Force.
a vanguard force was prepared in a united and militant
way, in spirit at the minimum.
In further explanation –
say that there must be a revolutionary black Vanguard and
that white people in this country must be willing to accept black
for that is the only protection that black people have to protect
from racism rising again in this country.
in the U.S. is so pervasive in the mentality of whites
that only an armed, well-disciplined, black–controlled government can
the stamping out of racism in this country.
In the United States, the Revolutionary
Action Movement [RAM]
with its short-term life was known as the first Black Marxist
group, operating under Marxist–Maoist ideas dissolved in 1969.
Many people were intimidated by Black
Power advocates; their
bombastic and militant political rhetoric, their metaphors, their
language. Observers, especially behind the screen of the interpersonal
television, were fascinated.
Robert F. Williams [1925-1996]
wrote Negroes with Guns when in
Cuba. His book was
1963 had an imprint from Beijing.
His 1961 North Carolina confrontation with
authorities led to an
FBI Wanted notice for “unlawful
interstate flight to avoid prosecution of kidnapping.”
Williams and his wife fled the country in
1961 for Cuba and then
lived in China after 1966. In 1968, he was interviewed
demonstration against the U.S. policy in Vietnam at the American
Embassy in Dar
es Salaam, Tanzania.
Williams returned to the United States 12
September 1969. A trial
was held December 1975 and all charges were dropped. He died in 1996.
In 1964 Trinidadian-born Stokely
Carmichael graduated from Howard
University with a degree in philosophy.
In 1966, Stokely Carmichael [1941-1998],
chairman of the Student
Nonviolent Coordinating Committee [SNCC], and Willie Ricks [now Mukasa
also an organizer for SNCC, called for “Black Power” when working in
Though the Civil Rights Movement period is
the popularly known
time the term “Black Power” was used, it was not the first time the
Among previous users of the term “Black
Power” was Richard Wright
in his book Black Power, a record
his sojourn to the Gold Coast-Ghana, which was published in 1954.
Black Power: The
of Liberation in America was written by Stokely Carmichael
and Charles V.
Hamilton; published in October of 1967.
Black Power was described in the
Carmichael and Hamilton book
with an overview of the concept:
[Black Power] is a call for black people in this country to
unite, to recognize their heritage, to build a sense of community.
a call for black people to begin to define their own
goals, to lead their own organizations and to support those
a call to reject the racist institutions and values of
concept of Black Power rests on a fundamental premise:
a group can enter the open society, it must first close
a call to reject the racist institutions and values of
Carmichael and Hamilton also observed:
people] stand as colonial subjects in relation to the
institutional racism has another name: Colonialism
One of the many places where Stokely
Carmichael spoke was in
Seattle, Washington 19 April 1967 [audio available online].
Black Power Movements peaked in the United
States in the late
1960s and the Movement drew not solely on intellectual thought but upon
cultural change, even to the point of widespread popularity of Black
The Black Panther Party [BPP] was formed
15 October 1966 by Huey P.
Newton and Bobby Seale in Oakland, California.
Shortly after the party was established, Ronald Reagan was elected
A film history about the Black Panthers
was issued in 2006: What We Want; What We
Believe: Black Panther
Another film was issued in 2011, called The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975. The
documentary was shot by
Swedish journalists and film crews during the years of the Black
[BPP] showing archival footage of Angela Davis, Elaine Brown, Katherine
Cleaver, Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael, Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver
P. Newton and Lewis Michaux.
The Black Panther Party in the United
States has a full and
documented history. Highlights included the introduction of arms even
children’s lives - “Pick up the guns, pick up the guns.” The BPP
first school breakfast and lunch programs, provided clothes and legal
plus other features of community organizing.
At least six radical American Black
activists, called “Black
Liberation Martyrs” from the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee
and the Black Panther Party [BPP] were allegedly assassinated in 1970
the United States.
Author Dennis Cashman succinctly commented
on the movement in its
transition through the 1960s.
The BPP operated with a
nationalist Marxism mix from 1968-1971.
African-American protest movement had once been a mainly
southern and integrated, Christian and optimistic movement working for
it was a largely northern, urban, secular, and militant
movement favoring black power.
movement was now far more radical in purpose and militant
in tactics than anything envisioned only ten years earlier.
One radical, whose prison letters were
published in 1970, was
George Jackson [1941-1971]. Jackson spent eleven  years in prison.
Soledad Brother was widely
distributed, including published versions in England, France, Germany,
and Sweden. 
George Jackson wrote in a 24 March 1970
seize power for the people and relegate fascism to the
history books the vanguard must change the basic patterns of thought.
are going to have to study the principles of people’s
are going to have to study them where they took place and
interpret them to fit our situation here.
have yet to discover the meaning of people’s war, people’s
Activist, Angela Y. Davis was, according
to police, involved in a
shoot-out outside the San Rafael courthouse on 7 August 1970 when
was killed in an attempt to free the Soledad Brothers and his brother
The incident was known as the Marin County
Courthouse incident in
San Rafael, California.
Jonathan Jackson had brought three guns
registered to Angela Y.
Davis to the Courthouse. Not only did he die, but the Judge and two
Angela Davis went into hiding and was
arrested 13 October 1970 by
the FBI. She was charged on three counts: (1) accomplice to conspiracy;
kidnapping, and (3) homicide. .She
was acquitted on 4 June 1972 by an
all-white jury of all charges.
George Jackson was killed ruing a prison
escape attempt from San
Quentin Prison on 21 August 1971.
Angela Davis was a guest of the Grenada
Revolution in Grenada in
the 1980s, notably in March 1981 for a Caribbean Workers’ Conference,
1982, as speaker for International Women’s Day
again during the August Carnival of 1982.
One example of a trust-buster of a
authority was the 8 March 1971 break-in of a FBI field office, a
in the City of Media, Pennsylvania.
Informative and personal documents from
emptied file cabinets were
anonymously mailed to various newsrooms by the Citizens’ Committee to
Investigate the FBI. The newsrooms included the Washington
Post, the New
York Times, and the Los Angeles
Times, among others. Politicians
were also sent selected documents.
The highly studied break-in case, in which
some documents from
the Counter Intelligence Program [COINTELPRO] were taken, was never
story about the forced entry put the identity of the action this way:
underground women’s commando stole classified documents
that the FBI had compiled on activists.
activists stole: 
. . . more than 1,000
FBI documents that revealed years of systematic wiretapping,
media manipulation designed to suppress dissent.
COINTELPRO’s aim, starting 25 August 1967,
. . . “disrupt, misdirect,
discredit, and otherwise neutralize” the civil rights,
Puerto Rican independence, Native-American, antiwar, socialist, and New
movements of the 1960s and 1970s.
The COINTELPRO surveillance program was
started by J. Edgar
Hoover of the FBI and driven by anti-communism. It involved
bogus mail, black propaganda, disinformation, harassment arrests,
or agent provocateurs, “bad jacketing,”
fabrication of evidence and alleged assassinations.
“Bad-jacketing” segued easily into a
culture of rumors and
underground talk. For sure, we “knew” a person supposedly from the
Workers Party [SWP] who had infiltrated such and such a group.
Or surely that person was an undercover
To counter such spurious suspicions was a
near impossible task.
To accept the possibility of such suspicions was to live with paranoia
tempt you to leave the movement, possibly even to do yourself in.
Los Angeles Times
Jalon, quoting from a COINTELPRO memo, wrote:
. . .
the bureau worked to “enhance the paranoia endemic in
these circles to get the point across there is an FBI agent behind
One just kept on, keeping on. One tried,
years later, after
hearing clicks on their phone not to conclude the FBI was listening.
Protests did provoke change:
heightened sensitivity to inequality and injustice, even if
gratingly self-righteous or impossibly utopian, can be a useful spur in
side of a complacent or at least pragmatic polity.
One could say one’s view of resistance all
started on the steps
of the City Hall Rotunda in San Francisco in 14-16 May 1960. We saw
[Operation Abolition] of protestors at the meetings of the
House Un-American Committee [HUAC] being washed down the steps from the
of fire hose water.
Jump to the 1964-1965 start of the
academic school year and the
activities of the Free Speech Movement [FSM] at the University of
Ronald Reagan was elected Governor of the
State of California in
1966. It does not take a laborious exercise of the imagination to see
used the actions of the protestors in his election strategy.
Still focusing on Berkeley, the young and
privileged, those who
by all appearances seemed to have everything, got their heads into
they were oppressed owing to lack of freedom of speech; due to displays
masculinity, shall we say, by law enforcement actions upon their
and the reactionary response of many ordinary citizens.
At the same time, the radicals were
heartened by what they saw as
victories of the free speech and civil rights movements. There was the
that one person gathered with others could make important changes in
Herbert Marcuse’s One-Dimensional
Man was published in 1964. Essays
Liberation was published in 1969. Marcuse
studied by many.
The period 1960-1970 saw Black Power
advocates protesting within university
communities and not just about the War in Vietnam. Racial integration
in the U.S.
Armed Services was also a topic of concern for some Americans. Many
took place at Howard University in Washington, DC, most specifically in
push towards making Howard and its curriculum a Black one.
People had been through over a decade of
protests about the
military-industrial complex, the Vietnam War draft, the arms race,
nuclear testing to name primary topics.
A large number of Americans were part of
generation where no one outside their inner selves was going to tell
to do, much less compel them.
These American, usually young, formed
personal truths of freedom
of self-expression, egalitarianism, search for community and high moral
It often felt as if the rising generation had taken their Sunday school
to heart – feed the poor, house the homeless, thou shalt not kill. To
“freedom” was problematic whether under capitalism or socialism.
Student protests happened worldwide. The
concentration in this
chapter is on those protests in the United States, usually about
Overreaching all other issues, the War in
Vietnam was on the top
of most protest lists. From 1963 on - year by year - multiple
Claimed as the most widely read manifesto
from the New Left, the Port Huron Statement was
written primarily by Tom Hayden and presented at an SDS
convention on 15
By September 1963, word came down that SDS
students to organize the poor in the cities - white and black. Out of
Economic Research and Action Project [ERAP]
the paper by Tom Hayden and Carl Wittman called “Toward an Interracial
of the Poor?”
The urge for African American Departments
in universities was
pushed in the late 1960s. The first Department of Black Studies was in
September 1968 at San Francisco State University, after a protracted
Most students belonged to no political
party, nor did they have
Of the organized groups Students for a
Democratic Society [SDS],
a student activist group, was the largest. SDS was not known as a
party. The organization had a long history of fractious break-offs into
Middle class liberal organizations were,
for example, represented
by Women’s Strike for Peace (WSP) and the Organization for a Sane
policy (SANE) and the first Earth Day 22 April 1970.
Among the socialist organizations in the
United States were the
Socialist Workers Party (SWP),
the Socialist Labor Party (SLP],
the Young Socialist Alliance [YSA].
Historian of the period, Max Elbaum, wrote
about the SWP and its
difficulties and pointed out an important trend of the group:
main U.S. Trotskyist organization, the Socialist Workers
Party, was one of the first socialist groups to try to develop a
with Malcolm X and to publish his speeches in its [Pathfinder] press.
Those who are known to have been part of
or who are part of SWP
Clark, Raya Dunayevskaya,
Some United States Socialist Worker’s
Party [SWP] members were
circumspect about their membership, especially in relation to the
Revolution. A direct fraternal connection with the PRG or the NJM and
Socialist Workers Party has not been directly documented or confirmed.
of an SWP-Grenada connection are the many periodical articles and books
published by SWP.
In the larger cities there was a dazzling
array of major groups. Conflicts
within groups led not only to heated discussions, but to splintering
dissidents to the main group went off to form their own.
The Trotskyist groups included the
Spartacist League [US],
Militant Labor forum (MLF),
against War and Fascism [YAWF],
Committee for the Fourth International, (C4I),
the list of Trotskyist Internationals.
The Communist Party of the United States
viewed by the New Left to be ancient history with their defense of
Soviet and their attack on the “petty bourgeois radicalism” and the
which they distanced themselves away from Black Nationalism.
The Progressive Labor Party [PLP] which
grew out of the CPUSA was
part of the famous splintering off from SDS, and later claimed Maoist
In addition there was a sampling of
representing a wide range of opinion, such as the anarchists in the
the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation,
splinter groups focused on one subject or ideology.
The Vietnam War was America’s first Living Room War, the title of Michael J.
Arlen’s 1969 book.
Images, some of a horrific nature, were being viewed by American
home, starting in 1965.
The number of student demonstrations
against the Vietnam War at
U.S. universities was listed by the FBI at 1,785 protests against U.S.
participation in the conflict.
It was a time of J. William Fulbright,
Hayden, Students for a Democratic Society [SDS] and Vietnam Veterans
the War [VVAW].
The French pastor Jean Lasserre,
friend of Dietrich
urged Bonhoeffer towards a different approach to the Sermon on the
Mount – to
take the teachings as ethical guidelines. Young people were reading
of these theologians of World War II. Lasserre commented about the
the Mount: 
. . .
almost everything a man does in warfare is contraire to
gospel and ethics.
Warfare means conscription. Conscription
in the United States
meant one was headed for the Vietnam conflict. President Kennedy was
person in charge of the Armed Services draft lists where the names of
men with children were at the bottom of the call-up list for the draft.
the bottom were married men with no children.
Men of draft-eligible age were relatively
exempt during the early
part of the Vietnam War, but tacit exemptions were knocked off one by
President Lyndon Johnson, in the Selective
Service Act of 31 June
1967, cut down on the mass graduate student deferments, among other
Draft policies were unwritten, and complex
if known, and ever-changing.
university students exempt? Were medical doctors exempt? Do I move to
Apply for Conscientious Objector [CO] status?
was to be done with what some called “draft dodgers?”
In the late 1960s and early 1970s the
United States government
under the presidency of Richard Nixon sent troops and bombs into
maintaining troops in Vietnam.
One of the famous protest songs to come
out of the Anti-Vietnam
War effort was issued in 1965. The song was composed and sung by Phil
was called “I Ain’t Marching Anymore.”
Another Phil Ochs song written in 1963 was
given further prominence
when it was sung by Joan Baez in 1964. The song was “There But for
“For What It’s Worth” was issued by
Buffalo Springfield in 1967.
Music lore says the song, written by Steven Stills, was not a protest
about Vietnam, but soon became one and known by its first line “Stop
What’s That Sound?
“Teach-ins” were one method to educate
citizens about the Vietnam
War. The first anti-Vietnam War “teach-in” was organized by SDS and
held at the
University of Michigan 24-25 March 1965.
One of the largest nationwide
demonstrations was on 17 April 1965
when SDS and SNCC joined together to sponsor an event in Washington,
about 25,000 protesters.
Thich Quang Duc in 1963,
82 year-old Alice Herz on 26 March 1965
on 2 November 1965, Norman Morrison,
followed seven days later by Roger Allen LaPorte—all set themselves on
Norman Morrison committed his
self-immolating suicide under the
window of Defence Secretary Robert McNamara’s office to protest the
There were two self-immolations in 1967
against the Vietnam War;
one was Nhat Chi Mai,
female South Vietnamese in May, followed by American Florence Beaumont
Those who died by self-immolation by fire
could see no further
way to protest the War in Vietnam. The means was dousing yourself with
or having an accomplice bring a large gas can and pour it over your
lighting it and setting yourself on fire, and dying an excruciating
the middle of a public thoroughfare.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave a major
public speech condemning
the Vietnam War. The speech title was “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break
the date was 4 April 1967; the location at Riverside Church in New York
the event sponsored by the group Clergy and Laymen Concerned about
By this time, around 1967, the
Anti-Vietnam War protesters included
the building of a counter-culture into their activities.
Following the Spring Mobilization to End
the War in Vietnam
April 1967, the sponsoring group called itself the National
Mobilization to End
the War, or “the MOBE.”
the event emerged the group Vietnam Veterans Against the War [VVAW]
By summer 1967, another approach was made,
Summer.” It was an extension of a summer door bell campaign to teach
about the war.
In a different source, Ted Gold and other SDS activists at Columbia
were said to have organized “Vietnam Summer.”
The University of Wisconsin at Madison was
one symbolic location
of anti-war protest. The film Two Days in
October from the Public Broadcasting Service told about the
lives of young
men in Vietnam and young people at the University of Wisconsin with
protest of Dow Chemical, makers of napalm.
Out of the anti-war momentum came a
massive demonstration of over
100,000 people in Washington, DC on 21 October 1967. The event was
known as the
“March on the Pentagon.” One flavor of the four-day event, The Armies of the Night: History as a novel, the
novel as historywas
published in 1968 by Norman Mailer.
At some point, around 1968, a shifting of
attitudes happened. Everything
popped. The Tet
offensive in Vietnam on 30 January 1968 convinced the Left that Vietnam
worth fighting and was an unwinnable conflict.
The tactic of persuasive talk and mass
marches as shown in
teach-ins and demonstrations seemed ineffective. It became respectable
some people to be against the Vietnam War. Eventually many in the
Movement turned their thinking around. Their credo was to take action
of the My Lai Massacre
March 1968 began to be published in U.S. newspapers.
The largest anti-Vietnam War demonstration
took place across the
country on Vietnam Moratorium Day took place 15 October 1969 with a
Moratorium a year later.
The first Moratorium to End the War in
Vietnam was followed by a
second on 15 November 1969 in a specific location, Washington, D.C.,
Folksinger Pete Seeger led about half of
the demonstrators in
singing John Lennon's new song "Give Peace a Chance.” 
“The Whole World is Watching”
the chant 28 August 1968 at the Democratic National Convention in
Gil Scott-Heron in 1970 had poeticized and
sang the “The
Revolution Will Not Be Televised”
part of the overall revolutionary fervor in the United States was
there on the television screen in the homes of Americans during the
August 1968 Democratic National Convention.
Police battered demonstrators
the abuse was serious enough to be pointed out by reporters and inside
and on television. Police with gas masks, heavy military equipment,
billy clubs were shown on home television screens.
Norman Mailer published Miami
and the Siege of Chicago: An Informal History of the Republican and
Conventions of 1968.
The War Resisters League was established
by, and for, those who
were opposed to World War One. The group continues to this day. 
The radical pacifist magazine called Liberation, started in June 1956 by A.J.
Muste, Dave Dellinger and
Bayard Rustin. The War Resisters
League provided funding for the journal.
Muste was to die two years later on 11 February 1967.
On the other hand, focused peace activist
groups were formed—the
Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), the Student Peace Union (SPU), and
Catholic Peace Fellowship (CPF).
The New York City pacifist anti-war
movement was predominantly
middle class. There was even a Spartacist Committee for non-violent
(CNVA)—somewhat of a stretch on this group’s reputation for disrupting
The New York Workshop in Non-Violence
(NYWIN), and the Catholic Worker
(CW) newspaper and
Dorothy Day took the lead of what became known as radical pacifism.
Back in the 1950s through the 1970s, the
concept of conscientious
objection to war was keen on the minds of those subject to the draft
Vietnam War. Those who believed killing was against their principles
called “war resisters” or “conscientious objectors.”
Those young men who went through the
process of declaring their
conscientious objection [CO] to war during the Vietnam era needed
education and funding to work through the papers and steps of legality.
was a process. The process might involved the FBI visiting your folks
asking questions; maybe even telling them you don’t believe.
If the CO status was not granted to you
and you refused to be
drafted, you could go to prison. Many did go to prison; others went to
A National Committee for a Sane Nuclear
Policy [SANE], founded in
1957, was formed by people who believed everyone had the right to live
threat of nuclear weapons. Information, advertising, rallies, working
figures and political lobbying were hallmarks of SANE’s activities over
years. The group merged in 1993 with FREEZE, a nuclear disarmament
form a new group, Peace Action.
One notable action on 1 November 1961
combined those women
against resumption of nuclear tests and pacifists into a gathering of
demonstrations around the country. Out of this gathering, Women Strike
Peace was organized.
A Lyndon Johnson campaign advertisement in
1964 was created for
the purpose of implying LBJ’s opposition Barry Goldwater would start a
war in Vietnam, so it was written. The ad ran on television only once
September 1964. The Johnson camp pulled it. It was known as the “Daisy
run on news programs in full and caused much discussion.
Greenpeace, on 15 September 1971, launched
its own ship to the
Aleutians to try to prevent nuclear testing.
The United Nations was ever present as the
international organization for world peace and human rights.
Many a public high school across the
country, managed to send
Juniors and Seniors on class trips to New York City to visit the United
building, some went two times.
Students might have peeled off to see
Lotte Lenya in The Three Penny Opera
original Broadway show West Side Story with
its dance choreography by Jerome Robbins.
side trips taken by students did not negate their interest in world
People were educated in the formal concept
of “human rights” of
which the United Nations formed a base for international protection.
Universal Declaration of Human Right [UDHR] was adopted by the General
There were the Geneva Conventions.
The Organization of American States
Inter-American Committee on Human Rights [IACHR] in 1959. The base of
operations of OAS and IACHR was in Washington, D.C.
One early group known to the generation
coming of age in the
1960s was Amnesty International [AI] which was formed in the United
The non-governmental organization,
Amnesty, followed on the
detainee situation in Grenada. AI also was involved with the “Grenada
President Lyndon Johnson started off 1964
with a vision of a
“Great Society” in the United States. First up was attacking the
which was at 19% of the total population.
The overt efforts to try to reduce poverty
lasted through the
1960s with Head Start,
non-profit legal services and Volunteers in Service to America [VISTA]
The War on Poverty was administered by the
Office of Economic
Opportunity [OEO], headed by Sgt. Shriver, Bertrand Harding and Donald
The first International Women’s Day [IWD]
was observed on 28
February 1909, but soon became a harbinger of the spring season and
every March 8th.
One analysis of the position of women in
the world had been
published in France. The book was the
Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir which reached the United
States in 1953.
Re–activated radical developments in
feminism, starting in the
1960s, turned towards a class-based, anti-imperialist and anti-racist
The National Organization for Women [NOW]
was founded in 30 June
The group was an outgrowth of a Washington, DC conference on the status
women. Founders were Betty Friedan,
and Shirley Chisholm.
In late 1967-early 1970s, especially in
women’s groups, one heard
a new term – “consciousness-raising.”
Consciousness-raising referred to the
latent consciousness that
all women have about their oppression, according to one belief.
needed to draw it out because the “personal was political.”
Consciousness-raising became a political movement. 
Valerie Solanas printed her version of the
Reworking Otis Redding’s hit song Respect, Aretha Franklin,
laboring under domestic abuse in her personal life, released her own
the song. Respect was an even bigger hit in 1967,
serving as one landmark of
the modern women’s movement.
The 7 September 1968 Miss America beauty
pageant in Atlantic City
brought feminist protests against the celebration of the
women despite the official identification as a “scholarship pageant.”
Cheryl Adrienne Browne a student in Iowa
from Jamaica, New York
was the first African-American contestant in the Miss America pageant
The late Shirley Chisholm
represented New York’s 12th Congressional District from 1969-1983. She
reticent and spoke her mind. In her 1970 autobiography Unbought
she wrote of her British education in Barbados and lauded her early
In 1972, she was a strong Democratic Presidential candidate in the
Chisholm was the first major-party black
candidate for this
highest office in America, and the first woman to run for the
presidential nomination. She once remarked she felt more discrimination
woman than being black.
A re–awakening of a national awareness of
the rights of women was
brought into sharp focus during the early 1970s after years of being
behind men, usually cleaning up.
One example of feminist work was the
Southern Female Rights Union
First a speech given by Jo Freeman in May 1970 in Mississippi, the
Tyranny of Structurelessness,” written by Jo Freeman
Some women were exploring karate, Tae Kwan
Do and other
self-defense tactics. Some women were anti-men and anti-family. As a
style, it became prevalent for women to wear pants in the early 1970s.
was out of fashion. Some women were not only feminists, but championed
lesbian cause in America.
Germaine Greer published her book The Female Eunuch in the United Kingdom.
New York City staff of Rat, a
underground newspaper was taken over by staff women in January 1970.
1971 was a “must-have” book for those American women coming into the
consciousness of their very personal health. Many women were moved by
Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique;
Robin Morgan’s Sisterhood is Powerful plus
Shulamith Firestone’s analysis of 1970, The
Dialectics of Sex.
Helen Reddy’s women’s liberation song I Am Woman was released in 1972.
The Joy of Sex
published in 1972, followed by the hilarious Harvard Lampoon edition of
the Job of Sex in 1974.
Black women’s books, authored by Black
women, were increasingly published
in the 1970s.
her poetry published by Random House. She also wrote plays,
reminiscences, personal essays, screenplays and children’s books.
Culinary historian, poet, and writer
Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor’s Vibration cooking,
or, the travel notes of a
Geechee girl was first published in 1970 by Doubleday.
The book is known for its autobiographical
in South Carolina, as well as its Gullah recipes. The out-of-print Thursdays and Every Other Sunday Off, a “domestic rap” by
published in 1972 by Doubleday, about the role of domestics in the
Toni Morrison’s first book, The
Bluest Eye, was published in 1972.
Not until the popular Ms.
Magazine was published in July 1972 did the message of
get popularized. Gloria Steinem was placed in the spotlight of the mass
communication media. Women were aligned in spirit due to publicity.
The first African-American woman from a
southern state was
elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1972. She was the late
Jordan and she was from Texas.
In 1973 during her first term in Congress
developed multiple-sclerosis [MS], but kept this condition low-key and
let her disability stop her. She served in Congress until 1979 with
considering her a silent, but stalwart, example of a woman’s mark on
Rowe vs. Wade, the controversial law about
a woman’s right to an
abortion, passed in favor in the U.S. Supreme Court of 1973.
The international women’s movement of the
1960’s and the 1970s
influenced women throughout Canada and the Caribbean.
One location at Simon Fraser University in
Canada was the
publication of a student, Margaret Bentson. Bentson wrote a 14-page
the September 1969 Monthly Review
out of New York City. The article was titled “The Political Economy of
Liberation.” The basic point of her essay being women’s energies into
housework had been overlooked. It was a fusion of Marxism and feminism.
One organizing women’s unit in the
Caribbean was the Women and
Development Unit (WAND) at the University of the West Indies in
established in 1978.
The concerns of women were pushed front
and center by the leading
female leaders of the NJM and PRG.
There is a drag on the timeline of the
women’s movement as the
challenge to change gender cultures moved at a snail’s pace.
In California, the National Farm Workers
Union, led by César Chávez,
went on strike against thirty-three  California grape ranches on 16
September 1965. Much publicity was given to the strikers and the
Elbaum reported on a little known action
in New Mexico in June of
1967 that was dangerously (officials believed) close to the Los Alamos
. . . twenty members of
the Alianza Federal de Mercedes (later called the Alianza Federal de
Libres/Alliance of Free Peoples) led by Reies López Tijerina conducted
takeover of the county courthouse in Tierra Amarilla [New Mexico].
action was part of a long campaign to win recognition of
land grants and regain thousands of acres stolen from New Mexicans of
The American Indian Movement [AIM]
founded in 1968. The voices of Native Americans reached into the
with the publication in the same year of Vine DeLoria’s Custer
Died for your Sins and Dee Brown’s classic Bury
My Heart at Wounded Knee; both published
The siege at Pine Ridge Reservation in
February-March 1973 in South
Dakota was a highlight in the history of the struggles of the Native
A couple of documentary films were made
about the siege 30 or
more years later.
Information about the Native American
Movement was found in the
periodical Akwesasne Notes (Voices
from Wounded Knee), published in 1973.
A dramatic moment occurred in the U.S.
House of Representatives
on 1 March 1954 when four  Puerto Rican nationalists entered the
chamber, unfurled the Puerto Rican flag and fired weapons. The result
five  Congressmen were wounded.
The history of opposition to the
relationship between Puerto Rico
and the United States is a long and detailed one.
early 1900s, Puerto Ricans were made citizens of the United States.
The Young Lords Party
of the well-known groups advocating independence for Puerto Rico from
and support for Puerto Ricans in the United States. The group had
Chicago, and formed the New York Chapter in 26 July 1969. The Young
said to have been based on the Black Panther Party.
A new style of education emphasized
egalitarian, informal, ad hoc,
experiential methods of learning. The idea of the “community free
movement” meant teachers, adults, and children were involved in
ways of becoming educated.
Black Power advocates involved themselves
Black-focused centers within the university, special Black Studies
liberation schools, community theater, political action groups; all to
and teach for an outcome of Black pride. The aim was for educational
Black Power pluralists wanted
schools, getting rid of Dick and Jane readers
it characters from lily-white suburbia.
The new educators looked towards local
school boards replaced by
parents, stake-holders in the rearing of Black children; even
inclusion of students on the school board. The point observed by one
had to recognize that schools which promoted
cultural homogeneity could not adequately meet the needs of students
in a multi-cultural society.
A Free University of New York was founded
in 1965, and continued
until 1968. Its first year or two were the years which included a wide
courses such as leftist politics and history, even astrology and
drugs with a faculty teaching courses such as:
History of the American Left (Staughton Lynd); History of
Movement (Stanley Aronowitz);
the New York Times is Funnier than Mad Magazine (Paul Krassner),
Today; training in non-violent tactics, and History of the National
On the other hand, some colleges and
universities were getting
rid of certain members of their staff who showed a leftist orientation.
The Alternative School Movement
its start in the early 1970s in Canada (Toronto and British Columbia),
within the United States through the writings of John Holt [How Children Fail]
and Jonathan Kozol [Death at an Early Age].
Influential also were books written by George Denison
As far as child-rearing techniques, some
were keen on learning
them because the decision to have children, in some cases, was prompted
temporary kind of assurance that your name would be at the bottom of
list. And then you went and had babies.
Many parents had a paperback copy of Dr.
Benjamin Spock’s Baby and Child Care. Nothing
revolutionary could be found in that 1946 best-seller, but every parent
recall one crucial piece of advice that smoothed their anxiety.
Dr. Spock became an activist in the New
Left and Anti-Vietnam
movements during the years 1960 throughout the Vietnam War. Wikipedia
refers to the William Sloane Coffin Jr. Project Committee information:
1968, he [Dr. Spock] and four others (William
Sloane Coffin, Marcus
Goodman, and Michael
singled out for prosecution by then Attorney General Ramsey
charges of conspiracy to counsel,
aid, and abet resistance to the draft.
and three of his alleged co-conspirators were convicted,
although the five had never been in the same room together. His
sentence was never served; the case was appealed and in 1969 a federal
set aside his conviction.
Some parents studied techniques of child
revolution in the history of child-rearing in the United States was the
on 10 November 1969 of the PBS weekday television program for children
called Sesame Street.
program was a daily pre-school education for children and their parents
their own home.
Dr. Rudolph Dreikurs, who not only was the
author of books, was
on his television series sponsored by Vermont Educational television.
Leftist parents needed a guide to child discipline. Natural and logical
consequences entered our vocabulary.
One could learn how to cook from the WGBH
television show The French Chef
with Julia Child.
Education was happening as if it was a
newly discovered concept.
Experiments and innovations in educating
others were tried such
as teaching a subject you knew well in your own home—like a short class
American music given by your neighbor. It was one path of the start of
education outside of formal schools.
Child daycare became more commonplace.
Monica Clyne, Chief
Nursing Officer in 1970 was writing about Daycare in Grenada
in a journal Cajanus issued by the
Caribbean Food and
The Head Start Program in the United
States had started in 1965,
and continues to this day under the Department of Health and Human
The alternative/new/free schools were
experiments in education
which brought forth various ideas used later by the Grenadian and
Internationalists educators in Grenada during the People’s
Government [1979-1983]. Brazilian educator Paolo Freire was brought in
Grenada for consultations.
The very first Whole
Catalog: access to tools was publishing in the fall 1968. Every
“tool” seemed a unique opportunity to learn.
An education prototype of the Whole
Earth Catalog was the equally over-sized Big
Rock Candy Mountain: resources for our education published by
the Portola Institute the winter of 1970. The major categories were
Learning, Educational Environments, Classroom Materials and Methods,
Learning and Self Discovery. Outward Bound is listed.
Remember the Raspberry
Exercises, Maslow’s Toward a
Psychology of Being, oriental religions and diets, and two
ventures from Canada: This Magazine is
about Schools and the Free School Press?
Another over-size prototype was G. Howard
Poteet’s Tom Swift and his Electric English
from 1974, a catalog of how to use media to teach English.
Floyd McKissick, director of the Congress
of Racial Equality
[CORE] started a movement in 1969 to develop a new town called Soul
Warren County, North Carolina. The Federal funding was cut from the
but inhabitants continued organizing in this historically
There were “hippie” communities,
intentional and co-operative,
often called communes. These were generally back-to-the-land
popular during the 1960s and through 1970s. Northern California seemed
to be a
magnet for the larger, more isolated communities. An especially
visual visit to one Oregon commune was laid out in full color in Life magazine, 1969.
Often and originally,
the counter-culture communes were started
by well-educated, primarily affluent, young whites. Their alienation
from various sources – the War in Vietnam, racism and sexism, their
political manipulation by “The System,” their abhorrence of the bland
materialism of their suburban upbringing.
They were going to do
things different. They would live simple,
with dignity and love for one another. Theirs was a radical change in
self-subsistence was too hard to live in reality. The
communes became over-run with drugs, drifters, runaways and people
craziness was too much for the highly tolerant group of people living
Eventually, the reality
of close group living and group dynamics
with few rules, with superficially shared beliefs, without privacy,
people doing all the work and often without a group leader because
was the norm, caused such communes to disintegrate.
Birth control pills were widespread and
their use growing in the
1960s. The U.S.
Food and Drug
Administration [FDA] approved “the Pill” which was the first widespread
Various dates marked the history, but the approval by the Food
Administration for the popular Enovid 10 was completed 23 June 1960.
By 1963, 2.3 million American women were
“on the Pill”, as the
with widespread use, it was on the cover of TIME magazine 7 April 1967.
In 1968 McGill University’s Student
Society published a Birth Control Handbook.
Despite modern contraceptives, the
attitude toward sex remained
on the Puritan side, not only at small religious schools, but also at
Universities took measures to prevent sex
As a student, one could not live in their own apartment, and if they
lived in a
house the inhabitants were of the same gender. Gay sex was off the
whispered. One could like in a dormitory of women, for example, but it
were too many occurrences of coming home after curfew, one was in
Remember the three foot rule? This did not
mean persons of the
opposite sex had to be three feet apart. It meant that when sitting
three feet had to be on the floor.
Social changes were spreading from peer to
peer. Where it had
been a norm in the 1960s of universities to follow the principle of in loco parentis now was a time of
Illegal abortions could send you to
Bellevue Hospital. Going back
to the home of your parents might land you to live in a home for un-wed
mothers. Most knew nothing of sexually transmitted infections like the human papilloma virus [HPV].
Oh, imperious one, you thought you could play games with abandon. It was a time of “I
right just like any man.” It was a time of plain–old “I have a right.” Contraceptive methods
were called by some, the
Swinging, partner-sharing, open sex, free
love, group sex became
popularized and reported in the mass media during the 1960s into the
1969 film Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice
seemed one climax of the sexual revolution in the popular media.
Public nudity, especially public nude
beaches, occurred with a
frequency unknown to the previous generation. Studies, like the 1966
and Johnson’s The Human Sexual Response,
were issued in mass market paperback form. Not to be forgotten were the
novels Fanny Hill, Lady Chatterley’s Lover,
and Tropic of Cancer.
Non-fiction sex manuals began to be
published like the Joy of Sex and
books about achieving
Heterosexual serial monogamous physical
relationships – short or
long-lasting – were accepted by many couples, whether married or not.
We knew of "queers," and that meant
We had heard of the lesbian and male
homosexual early organized
formations in California. The
Society for gay men was founded in Los Angeles in 1950.
of Bilitis, the first lesbian rights group was formed in San Francisco
Our prejudices and the untruths we knew
slowly disappeared. Soon
homosexual relationships were coming out of the “closet” with enough
pride” to strut one’s stuff. The infamous Stonewall Rebellion took
June 1969 in New York City.
Unfortunately, it was not until later
years the dark side of “free”
sexual relationships took their toll with HIV-AIDs, death, the
papillomavirus [HPV] and other sexually-transmitted diseases, abortions
unexpectedly huge expenses later in life. Sadness of the heart remained
with sweet memories.
Whatever it led to, for the millions who
learned it, the Prayer
of St. Francis of Assisi was read and said by even those who did not
make me an instrument of your peace.
there is hatred, let me sow love.
there is injury, pardon.
there is doubt, faith.
there is despair, hope.
there is darkness, light.
there is sadness, joy.
that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to
understood, as to understand;
loved, as to love.
it is in giving that we receive.
in pardoning that we are pardoned,
it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
In the United States Roman Catholic
Church, the Latin Mass was
dropped and all parts of the service were in English. Music began to
from the once quiet alter; drum beats entered the hallowed walls of the
guitars provided the background to some Roman Catholic Church weddings.
and nuns resigned from the Church.
Some nuns preferred jeans and bandanas, or
at minimal, as relaxed
a habit as they could wear in the change from the traditional tunic to
dress suit. Priests and nuns ventured out of their home parish to work
poor, as they always had, but especially after Vatican II.
These changes came about following the
Second Vatican Council of
with its liturgy reform, its acceptance of laity within the Church, and
responsibility to world affairs.
Pope Paul VI on 26 March 1967 gave out a
call for struggle
against hunger, poverty and social injustice.
Social injustice was the primary topic of
the August 1968, 29th
Eucharistic World Congress.
The shift towards social justice with the
teachings of the church
took some of its thought starting with the 1968 Medellin [Columbia]
of Latin American Catholic Bishops and the Latin American Episcopal
Father Daniel Berrigan, a Jesuit priest,
and Father Philip Berrigan,
a former Josephite priest, plus seven  other Catholic activists
files using napalm outside the Catonsville, Maryland draft board. The
took place on 17 May 1968, and the group was known as the Catonsville
Known as the Camden 28 in a later action,
story was told in an excellent documentary film of the same name.
The Camden 28 activists
plotted to destroy-remove draft records for category-A potential
raid group included two priests and one minister. The Camden action on
August 1971 was interrupted by arrests. A friend of some in the group
betrayed the others to an informant because he felt the group was
The resulting court case brought acquittal
for each of the 28 members
of the Camden raid group. More significantly it questioned the
of the FBI with U.S. government participation in supplying the means
supplies for the raid. The court case also brought to public attention
question of the war in Vietnam especially since the action focused on
records affecting the households of ordinary citizens. 
One defense allowed was the showing of
slides. A slide of burned
out houses in Camden, New Jersey from the August 1971 riots and
a slide of the burned out war situation in Vietnam. The sequence of the
made the point of the waste of funds for weapons when a glaring need
the American soil for spending for peaceful needs.
The over-riding issue of the time for
protestors was the division
between law and justice —one may have broken a rock-ribbed law, but
took precedence in the opinion of many.
The U.S. Roman Catholic Left was a strong
social movement in the
1970s; primarily an anti-war movement with the Catholic Worker
its publications being primary movers.
In 1971, the Peruvian Dominican order
priest Gustavo Gutiérrez
wrote about “liberation theology”
Marxist interpretation of the Roman Catholic faith in his book A Theology of Liberation.
interpretations of “liberation theology” differ within and without the
If one followed on the ecumenical World
Federation [WSCF], the prominent member names of influence to Grenada
are Julius Nyerere, Kwame Nkrumah, Steve Biko and Oliver Tambo.
A theory of beliefs grew out of Christian
called “situational ethics.” In a broad view, one’s belief about
most moral when it was most loving. The theory was developed in the
then Episcopal priest Joseph Fletcher. The “ends
justifies the means” was one popular interpretation.
In Europe and the United States, the
enlightenment movements were the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and
Meditation, Zen Buddhism and I.G. Gurdjieff along with his one-time
The immensely popular book by Carlos
The Teachings of Don Juan, was
After different books from Castenada,
years later in 1974, the
nation was captivated by Robert Pirsig’s
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance:
An Inquiry into Values.
Prisoner defiance rose up in the Queens
House of Detention, then at
Folsom prison in November of 1970.
Black Power news spread quickly.
the morning of 22 August,  hundreds of Attica State prisoners
tied their black shoelaces around their arms as a mark of respect, and
breakfast as a symbolic fast in [George] Jackson’s memory.
Insubordination of prisoners was caused by
incidents at Soledad
prison relating to George Jackson,
at San Quentin Prison, and at the major civil, prisoner and human
struggle within Attica Prison, began 9 September 1971 at Attica
Facility in New York State.
These uprisings had a Black Power subtext;
e.g. The Folsom Prisoners’ Manifesto of
and Anti-Oppression Platform.
Each had their own
context for complaint.
At Attica, 1,200 inmates took over half
the prison and hostages
were taken. In the morning on 13 September, 1971, Governor Nelson
ordered a helicopter assault on the prison compound with tear gas and a
500 state troopers. The final death count was 29 inmates and 10
killed. Nine guards were killed by gunfire.
A remaining question arose from the Attica
Uprising - Do
prisoners have human rights?
An unknown, but vast number of
counterculture people experimented
with, while others were obsessed by, drugs. Conversely, one could say
addiction, in some, became their affliction.
These drugs include nicotine, caffeine,
alcohol, cannabis, LSD,
mushrooms, cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, meth and Ecstasy.
“Experimentation” with psilocybin
mushrooms in the early 1960s
led to what was called “psychedelic drug use.”
The “Summer of Love” in 1967 found
thousands of kids getting to
San Francisco in some manner. They were on a quest and they had a
the drug of innocence appeared to be marijuana. LSD came to the front
anticipated highs during 1967 California. The song “San Francisco” sung by the late Scott McKenzie
reach all of us; beckoning to go West:
you're going to San Francisco,
sure to wear some flowers in your hair.
Things turned bad; drug dealers moved in
and by September it seems
most people had gone home.
From 1970-1972 the rise of heroin use “in
powder” was found in
the New York “quarter” buy. The New York kingpin of the heroin trade
was Leroy Nicky
and the business got rough with Mr. Big Stuff.
By 1974, drug dealing was a major activity
in large cities. Soldiers
came back from Vietnam with serious drug problems.
Black Power advocates in the U.S. worked
for community narcotic
and alcoholic treatment facilities. This was a start in the recognition
Possession of pot was illegal in the U.S.,
U.K. and throughout
most of Europe, same with its consumption. Social use of marijuana was
widespread, as easy as knocking on the door of a neighboring
Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol
was a given. A jolt of
caffeine to prop up one’s day did the trick for countless people. One
go to a movie without seeing someone on the screen light up or handle a
Children went on road trips with their parents who were smoking in the
seat, drinking cocktails when they got back home completely at ease in
For What It’s
the Buffalo Springfield, written by Stephen Stills in 1966, was like a
murmur of things to come. The song “Dear Landlord” from Bob Dylan’s
album John Wesley Harding of 1968
discussion on the identity of the landlord, personified in real or
By 1969, though, commercialism of rock
stars, their recordings
and their performances, began to irritate their fans, especially those
revolutionary bent. Who
are you to tell
us, you record companies, you media, you psychedelic merchandisers, you
promoters, what is going on if we will consume your product/s? The
continued buying what was out there.
Major artists and tunes in 1970 were Oh Happy Day performed by the Edwin
Hawkins Singers; Peggy Lee’s Is
That All There Is?; Brook Benton’s Rainy
Night in Georgia; Johnny Taylor’s I
Am Somebody; the Impressions Check
Out Your Mind, the Fifth Dimension’s
Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In; Simon
& Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled
Waters; Ringo Star appeared on U.S. television’s Laugh-In.
“The Last Poets” first album came out in
the spring with their
featured street poetry and strong message: Wake
Not to be forgotten from
1970 is the late Gil Scot-Heron’s Small
Talk at 125th and Lenox album featuring The
Revolution Will Not Be Televised, rerecorded
in different versions.
The lyrics are:
Revolution Will Not be Televised
will not be able to stay home, brother.
will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip,
out for beer during commercials,
the revolution will not be televised.
revolution will not be televised.
revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
parts without commercial interruptions.
revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
a bugle and leading a charge by John
General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat
maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary.
revolution will not be televised.
revolution will not be brought to you by the
Award Theatre and will not star Natalie Wood and
Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia.
revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal.
revolution will not get rid of the nubs.
revolution will not make you look five pounds
because the revolution will not be televised,
will be no pictures of you and Willie Mays
that shopping cart down the block on the dead run,
trying to slide that color television into a stolen
will not be able predict the winner at 8:32
report from 29 districts.
revolution will not be televised.
will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
in the instant replay.
will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
in the instant replay.
will be no pictures of Whitney Young being
out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process.
will be no slow motion or still life of Roy
strolling through Watts in a Red, Black and
liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving
just the proper occasion.
Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Hooterville
will no longer be so damned relevant, and
will not care if Dick finally gets down with
on Search for Tomorrow because Black people
be in the street looking for a brighter day.
revolution will not be televised.
will be no highlights on the eleven o’clock
and no pictures of hairy armed women
and Jackie Onassis blowing her nose.
theme song will not be written by Jim Webb,
Scott Key, nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom
Johnny Cash, Englebert Humperdink, or the Rare Earth.
revolution will not be televised.
revolution will not be right back after a message
a white tornado, white lightning, or white people.
will not have to worry about a dove in your
a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet
revolution will not go better with Coke.
revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad
revolution will put you in the driver’s seat.
revolution will not be televised, will not be televised,
not be televised, will not be televised.
revolution will be no re-run brothers;
revolution will be live.
The album the
Best of the
Wailers was released in the United States. Layla
by Derek & the Dominoes, James Brown Sex
Message from a Black Man; Willie
Hightower’s Time Has Brought About a
Change; Funkadelic’s Free Your Mind
and Your Ass Will Follow, Sweet
James by James Taylor; Syl Johnson’s Concrete
Reservation; The Last Poets Run,
Nigger; Gil Scott-Heron with Small
Talk at 125th and Lenox were favorites.
A major cultural influence in America was
Babatunde "Baba" Olatunji [1928-2003] who taught on the mysteries of
drumming with his record albums and his “Drums of Passion Performing
had graduated from Morehouse College and New York University Graduate
One institution he founded in the 1960s was in Harlem; the Olatunji
African dance was right behind with the
performances of Trinidadian Pearl Primus [1919-1994]. When in graduate
she came across modern dance teachers, the alluring idea of body
engaged in studies of African dance.
She eventually earned a
Ph.D. in anthropology and sociology.
Primus formed her own
company in 1959. Her dancing and choreography influenced generations of
Comedy albums were popular and black
comedy performers were led
by Bill Cosby. Cosby won Best Comedy Recording Grammy Awards from
with the album To Russell, My Brother,
Whom I Slept With in 1968.
Other recordings were by Richard Pryor,
LaWanda “Aunt Esther”
Page, Jackie “Moms” Mabley, Redd Foxx, George Carlin, Bob Newhart and
A hit television program starting in the
1971-1972 season was Sanford and Son;
series reruns are still showing on U.S. television. The series was
based on the
British TV program Steptoe and Son.
One influence of Sanford and Son
a calypso of the same name by The Mighty Sparrow.
Ernie sang about his Rubber
Duckie on Sesame Street,
on American Bandstand in February 1970, the late Michael Jackson and
his four 
brothers, The Jackson 5, taught about ABC.
Musical group break-ups in 1970 include
the Beatles and the
partnership of Simon & Garfunkel.
Otis Spann, Lonnie Johnson and Slim Harpo,
all blues musicians,
died from natural or accident-related causes. Soul singer Tammi
Terrell, at 24
years old, died from a malignant brain cancer. After singing duets with
their duet legacy was missed. Otis Redding died in a fatal plane crash
The deaths of Jimi Hendrix on 18 September
unclear, but barbiturate-suspected, circumstances, and Janis Joplin on
October 1970 by way of
alcohol-heroin overdose, gave a
somber warnings of the damage done by drugs, continued with pop star
Houston’s death in 2012.
In early 1970, there was a Weatherman
Songbook with new lyrics set to familiar tunes. One song was
to the tune of
the Maria song from West
just met a Marxist Leninist named Kim Il Sung,
suddenly his line seems so correct and so fine . . .
it soft and there’s rice fields flowing,
it loud and there’s a people’s war growing.
The motion picture Watermelon
Man by Melvin Van Peebles opened in the United States in May
of 1970. Woodstock,
Comes to Harlem, The
Garden of the Finzi-Continis, Five
Easy Pieces, Zabriskie Point,
Mash were popular with young
The aims of the writings of Karl Marx and
Vladimir Illich Lenin
fit the highly principled aspirations for mankind of many on the Left.
tried to tackle and study the writings of Marx, Lenin, Trotsky and Mao.
more of them, looked on the interpretations of what Marx and Lenin and
and Mao had to say. One could usually study them all within a Marxist
group. Often these groups morphed into a Marxist organizing collective.
Within the context of the history
the New Left in the United States, a drift was noticed:
close of the 1960s, moreover, saw SDS’ early commitment to
participatory democracy give way to vanguard fantasies.
far from condemning oppression wherever they found it,
many in the New Left went to great lengths to excuse and sometimes even
glorify repressive political regimes around the world.
The old way was a slow process and
required too much input of
energy and sacrifice. Frustration and impatience came to a head.
wanted a change.
One explanation for this shift in
point-of-view is defended as
caused by repression and violence of state and society.
The worn-out strugglers could name the
defeats — the Harlem Riot of
and the Watts Riot of 1965,
other city riots, the invasion of the Dominican Republic, police
university campuses, the murders of SNCC workers in 1964, the unseating
Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party [MFDP] at the 1964 national
the assassinations of John F. Kennedy on 22 November 1963,
Martin Luther King on 4 April 1968,
Robert Kennedy on 6 June 1968,
Malcolm X on 21 February 1965.
the continued war in Southeast Asia.
No matter the reason for these
catastrophic events, the events
all felt like overwhelming loss. People
were angry about the setbacks and looked for political reasons why
struggle was not working.
The late political activist Carl Oglesby
made a speech as the new
President of Students for a Democratic Society on 27 November 1965
the years to come. It was titled “Let Us Shape the Future” and in
Oglesby’s presentation was given at the
March on Washington for
Peace in Vietnam, sponsored by the Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy
the National Coordinating Committee to End the War in Vietnam, Women
Peace and SDS.
Overhanging all issues was the War in
Vietnam. People despaired
and marched and were dejected and marched and gave up hope and marched
By 8 October 1969, the Chicago “Days of
volumes on the state of mind of many youth. Soon the argument grew that
and common sense gets one sidetracked from acting for change. People
The old style of radicalism from being
open, inquiring, being
satisfied with provisional answers, experimentation and plain language
slowly to tighten up. Old radicals wanted answers.
They wanted to see the end of class
underdevelopment, racial discrimination and the hegemony of the United
The word “hegemony” started turning up in
left literature in a
familiar, ubiquitous, and nagging fashion. A definition:
is the political, economic, ideological or cultural power
exerted by a dominant group over other
groups, regardless of the explicit consent of the latter.
The zeal for goodness operated under the
broad umbrella of
religious and dutiful belief. Away from any M-L [Marxist-Leninist]
can see this play out in our time.
For example, a missionary group goes to a
country which has
experienced massive tragedies. Those in the group wish to help. Their
benevolent. The zeal of the leadership is strong enough to convince
join in an action which is illegal in that country. Capturing children
their own good, as happened during the earthquake in Haiti 2010,
not see the dark side of benevolence.
Dr. Benjamin R. Barber commented on the
idealism of Marxism:
communist idealism of the kind represented by Marx is
dangerous because it calls us to a standard of liberty—one rooted in
equality— that we cannot meet.
The result of the new style favored firm
concepts, easy answers,
accountability, arbitrary assessments, a swift division of issues into
evil, categorizations, rigor and rigidity, discipline, a central
organization structure, a delving deeply into the impenetrable language
There was the assumption that serious
disappeared when all peoples were under a socialist economic system and
the wealth. It was the purge of the charismatic, media-chosen leader in
of the hard liner who got things done.
Then there emerged the notion that a
righteous cause justified the
tactic of violence and arbitrary deeds:
more ominous America became in the eyes of the New Left,
the more irresistible became the arguments in favor of violence, the
righteous the movement, the easier to sanction its use of almost any
The demonization of “the system,”
corporations, capitalism and the status quo went into full flower.
Seen from the purity of one’s
point-of-view, there was the mind’s
quick slide to ridding the world of the powers that be. “They” had
destroyed people. If their laws were a cover for maiming and torturing
murdering civilians, should not “the people” take the law into their
At this point some could not make the jump
into that manner of justification
Institutions were built outside the
mainstream. One saw the use
of the word “alternative.” There
freedom schools, free schools and universities, co-ops grocery stores
intentional communities. Within the enclosed egalitarianism
communes, egalitarianism works well with small groups of people who
The newly popularized term “hegemony”
emerged when it was reasoned that if the oppressed could not respond,
because they were in the grip of a system of authority. If the
peoples of the world could not make revolution on their own, then
revolutionaries could make changes to the benefit of their lives.
. . .
Leninism gave would-be theorists the most honored of
perverse brilliance it preserved the anarchist task for
the small groups and welded it to a time-honored strategy for
vanguard was the gang transmuted into the Party.
The Cuban Revolution was the shining star
– inspiring and
romantic. It was the saga of a downtrodden people who were aided by the
Fidelistas. There was a sense, taken from one version of Cuba’s history
everyone was in the same fight, primarily against Batista-like
for a new society.
From far away, the Cuban Revolution looked
participatory democracy with flair. The people were running their own
revolution in brotherhood with each other.
Could egalitarianism raise up the
oppressed when competitive
individualism and hierarchy vanish? Rationalization and explaining away
the defense of the Cuban Revolution. Those outside Cuba have no right
Western, capitalist standards on a Third World Culture, so it was
Did not reporting suspicious actions of
your Cuban neighbors to
local officials mean support of the Revolution and not totalitarian
were a little odd and sent away to a training camp to help your return
What? No elections? Some commented they
did not vote in the
United States, for example. Why vote if someone like Lyndon Baines
on the ticket?
Castro’s voice was the voice of the
It became easy for many radicals to
overlook, excuse and explain
away repression in countries like Cuba because the poor people there
usually correct and if there were any crimes such offenses were to be
because they were small law-breaking events compared to what the former
oppressors of the Cuban populace had done to them. The victims of
There were hints of political
authoritarianism in Cuban
government arrangements. The controversy about life in Cuba exists to
In 1967, the SDS National Secretary called
leadership and 1968 saw the emergence of Marxist-Leninist
of revolutionary communists. The Marxist-Leninist groups broke into
the Weathermen, the Revolutionary Youth Movement and Progressive Labor.
A version of Leninism for Third World
Movements was given meaning
by the Chinese, Cuban, and Vietnamese Communist parties. The key
Third World Liberation Marxist-Leninist Movements were
the revolutionary body to carry the
struggle be of the working class.
Racism was seen as the main obstacle to
working class unity. The
world movements of those against imperialist powers in the 1970s
in Cuba, China, Guinea-Bissau & Cape Verde, Mozambique and
Angola, or those
championing their cause.
The concept of Marxism-Leninism grew from
the writings of Karl
Marx which became, through the writings of Lenin, an expanded concept
conditions; ergo, that of imperialism and its defeat through
Consider Elbaum’s interpretation of what
was important about
Leninism to the Third World:
all the traditions within Marxism, it was Leninism that
placed the most emphasis on the imperialist nature of twentieth-century
Capitalism, on the revolutionary potential of national liberation
the legitimacy of armed struggle, and on the primacy of building
with oppressed peoples.
Code words and thoughts were put into
practice often in the sense
of correct lines of thought and firm principles. One could find a
the massive amount of writing from these political philosophers to
specific view. Like a fundamentalist Bible reader, many on the Left
word of Lenin, for example, on faith.
Although volumes have been written on what
Lenin believed, a good
many of those written by Lenin himself [including his massive Collected Works], it is not within the
scope of this section to even extract a fraction of Lenin or his
summary of what activists studied follows:
delved into study of the labor theory of value and
other central components of Marxist political economy; philosophy and
“scientific method” of dialectical and historical materialism; and
communist doctrine concerning the vanguard party and the dictatorship
A couple of choice quotes from Lenin’s
writing of 1901-1902
selected below inform the reader by suggestion:
that no revolutionary movement can endure without a stable
organization of leaders that maintains continuity;
that the wider the masses spontaneously drawn into the
struggle, forming the basis of the movement and participating in it,
urgent the need for such an organization, and the more solid this
must be (for it is much easier for demagogues to side-track the more
sections of the masses);
that such an organization must consist chiefly of people
professionally engaged in revolutionary activity;
that in an autocratic state, the more we confine the
membership of such an organization to people who are professionally
revolutionary activity and who have been professionally trained in the
combating the political police, the more difficult will it be to wipe
an organization; and
will be the number of people of the working class and of
the other classes of society who will be able to join the movement and
active work in it.
Lenin called for demarcation:
revolutionary Social-Democrats, on the contrary, are
dissatisfied with this worshipping of spontaneity, i.e., worshipping
what is “at the present
demand that the tactics that have prevailed in recent years
declare that “before we can unite, and in order that we may
unite, we must first of all draw firm and definite lines of
And Lenin wrote of opportunism:
revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary
thought cannot be insisted upon too strongly at a time
when the fashionable preaching of opportunism goes hand in hand with an
infatuation for the narrowest forms of practical activity.
The arguments that the vanguard party was
far more effective than
a loose structure like “assemblies of the
people” or “participatory democracy”
became the shift taken by the worldwide Left in the early 1970s. The
between these two points-of-view often played itself out in draining
battles. The clash was termed “ultra-leftism”
by Lenin, about when theorists lost the relationship of their
connectedness of their ideologies and fell into destructive in-fighting
lost all sense of democratic centralism.
Democratic centralism was defined via
Lenin by Elbaum:
. . .
meaning that once open debate and then a vote had
produced a party position, all members had to maintain unity in action.
Marxism-Leninism established that a move
forward was based on the
working class and oppressed minorities. The need was for a
The vanguard party comprised professional
revolutionaries with a
hierarchy of top-down leadership. These leaders were self-sacrificing,
knowledgeable, learning about their ideology in study groups – always
and going forward.
There was an elected Central Committee and
those who did not pay
dues or work or submit work plans were excluded. The effect was
supposed to be
cohesive and focused. The potential for growth kept the movement alive.
The vanguard was to lead the revolutionary
wing of the party.
Critics of Marx’s stance on what was known
as the dictatorship of the proletariat
it was elitist, highly centralized, undemocratic, contemptuous of
example of totalitarianism, upheld the virtue of monolithic unity with
leaders being a substitute for the party, and subordinated the workers
to the agenda of the upper levels of the party.
We will see in later volumes about the
Government that many of the issues outlined in this section emerged as
issues for the New Jewel Movement.
A chapter within Lenin’s treatise What is to be Done? discussed his “plan”
for an all-Russian
political newspaper. Maurice Bishop’s viewed of the importance of a
as vital to the struggle. Most movements had a printed document outlet.
An important shift to Marxism-Leninism was
in the Guardian
newspaper’s issue of 18 October 1972.
The editorial in that issue of the on its 25th year of the
explained the shift to a socialist revolution of the working class.
those who read the newspaper regularly had no clue as to its political
orientation other than being Leftist. The swing towards M-L in the Guardian newspaper was a printed
manifestation of the general shift in politics from the New Left to
Marxism-Leninism with its adaptation and integration of Maoist thought.
From a Canadian jail, Rosie Douglas from
Dominica saw his vision
of an ideology not foreign to other radicals of this time:
(short and long term) political and economic objectives;
it must be
based on a correct interpretation of our history and finally it must be
this framework any relevant ideology in the Caribbean
must deal with the three basic problems faced by the masses of
people—that is, we are 1) landless, 2) victims of capitalism and 3)
racism. Our ideology therefore must deal with 1) land, 2) class and 3)
Fraternal links were important to Rosie
Douglas. There were links
with the Pan-African struggle and the Third World Marxist struggle.
The difficulties of the ideology Douglas
espoused were explained:
cannot expect governments and an economic elite who are
committed to capitalism and class oppression within their national
support scientific socialism and a redistribution of income through the
collective development on a regional level.
Caribbean bourgeoisie provides a bridge for continued
imperialist and neo-colonialist domination and exploitation.
bridge must be broken up permanently, and, as Malcolm X
said, “by any means
can only be achieved through organized lower class
(proletarian) solidarity assisted by the Black Power movements . . .
Points of view and attitudes were similar,
but not universal.
Radical actionists generally had the belief that those who held the
filled with greed. The “imperialists”
questionable moral integrity. The multi-national corporations were
untrustworthy and would not move from their position.
The feeling of self-righteousness and
though not identified by others or the self, saw one’s cause as pure
with virtue. One’s perceptions were absolute and true. Many times other
saw a “more-revolutionary-than-thou”
attitude. One held firm and took bold action. One held concrete
against weighty odds.
The capsulated analysis of society’s needs
was seen as an ideal.
One could state the case, but often could not put the solutions into
or suggest actions that would work. Frequently these attitudes were a
a simplistic diagnosis of the world’s problems, and those causing the
usually those holding power, were the bad guys.
The feeling was, for many on the Left,
that a life or death
struggle was the priority and one better move quick.
Within the Leftist Movement during the
early 1970s one saw a
shift towards self-defense by way of violent means, [Spanish: La lucha armada]—armed struggle.
One 42-page booklet on how to make weapons
was published in
December 1969, with a second printing May 1970. It was produced by
Liberation School, 
with the help of the Red Mountain Tribe under the title firearms
& self-defense: a handbook for radicals, revolutionaries
and easy riders.
The very first page is a photo of Huey
Newton with the caption “Free Huey – Free All
The flyleaf page stated:
The second page of firearms
& self-defense is an example of the mode of
reasoning taken: 
DEFENSE OF SELF DEFENSE
has a long tradition of vigilante paramilitary
violence. Usually it had been directed against blacks and Third World
poor whites and dissident political groups.
the last several years some of us have come under this type
of vigilante attack because of our politics and our life styles.
have been killed in movement offices in Texas, New
York, and Detroit.
radical professor was almost knifed to death in his office
by an assailant.
the Easy Rider situation is all too true in many parts of
such cases of paramilitary right wing violence have not
happened in extremely large numbers, they have occurred often enough to
worthwhile to acquire some familiarity with firearms.
many situations it is possible to defend yourself
successfully. While the legal system is biased against us, nevertheless
is very much stacked in favor of self defense.
example, if an intruder enter your house with “harmful intent” you
are within your legal rights to kill him.
of a gun and knowledge of how to use it is
sometimes a deterrent in itself.
people still view hippies and white movement youth as
pacifists who don’t fight back and can be beaten and attacked with
must be made to realize that flower children can grow
many parts of the country the paramilitary right wing is
not very active.
everywhere, the main physical threat has come from the
most situations involving confrontations with pig forces
armed self defense has not been feasible, since oppression has come
through the courts.
the pigs come to the door to arrest you, most people will
go along, since armed self defense in this case might mean death, or, a
higher level of oppression in the ensuing court case.
the assailant at your door happens to be an agent of the
state, all your legal rights of self defense vanish, and if you employ
self defense you will be tried for murder or attempted murder.
as the system becomes more repressive the pigs begin to
go beyond their “normal” role of arresting people who are then dealt
through the courts, and instead, begin go function as executioners in
attack is direct and physical, and their goal in many
cases is to kill.
these conditions armed self defense becomes necessary.
the stakes are increased, the risks of armed self defense
are preferable to submission that means death.
and Third World people have, through their history in
this country, been subject to this sort of direct, fascistic, physical
instances, from Robert F. Williams in 1961 to the L.A.
Panthers just recently, attest to the fact that armed self defense can
carried out successfully.
seems clear that if Robert Williams had not had a gun, he
would have been lynched by whites; if the L.A. Panthers had meekly
at 5 am, at least some of them would have been executed on the spot.
of the outcomes, of course, is exile or repression in the
courts, but it must be understood that death in the streets is the
more important than survival, perhaps, is the fact that
these instances of successful defense have made a tremendous political
in the black community—demonstrating the possibility of resistance and
type of fascist police attack with intent to kill has
been very rare against whites, but as the contradictions of our society
more acute, we can expect more of this against whites, and the same
people say that guns in the movement are bullshit,
because “no one is
ready to use them,” so that it becomes just one more case
rhetoric outstripping reality, making people see us as fraudulent.
true that there is a lot of talk about guns, armed self
defence, armed revolution, etc., in the radical movement, with very
practice along these lines.
this does not mean that we should disavow or ignore the
question of guns; rather we should become familiar with them and
realistic attitudes about their use.
many people have a sort of death trip approach to
guns—they assume that if you acquire a gun, and aren’t bullshitting
you should prove your convictions via a suicidal shootout in the
is a misconception—self defense and guns can become part
of revolutionary violence, a more serious movement that develops many
struggle and resistance.
should also become adept at other forms of self defense,
such as karate, judo, etc., which allow a person to defend himself in
confrontations, and we should acquire medical knowledge as well.
the short run many of us have options available we don’t
have to participate in a radical movement, take risks, get arrested,
of us, especially whites, can back off, and not feel the
in the slightly longer run, this is impossible.
around the world who are engaged in armed struggle against
the U.S. Leviathan will surely grow and be victorious, and inexorably
all be drawn in—either as “part
of the solution or part of the problem.”
sympathize with this worldwide struggle, and consider
their fight to be our fight, then we should begin now to relate to the
Most all the booklet was filled with
detailed and illustrated gun
information—ballistics, how to read ballistics tables, rifles,
rifles, handguns, shotguns, buying a used gun, sights and sighting,
laws, cleaning, gun definitions, and legal first aid [a pocket lawyer]. 
The back cover is a photo of the white
fellow with his fizzed out
hair holding a weapon with an ammunition bandolier across his chest.
him is his white companion carrying a gun, but also her baby on her hip. 
Such a vision was appealing like a frontiersman with his rifle and his woman with a baby on her hip. One example of the reasoning to move
towards violence is taken
from the New Orleans of the summer of 1970 when police pressure on a
union actively organizing women became too much. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
a week of police surveillance, we decided to arm
think we were well aware that it was a practical rather than
a political act, something we needed for self-defense in order to
not at all embracing armed struggle for our group.
knew that law enforcement authorities would think twice
about attacking us if they knew we were armed.
reality, we were joining a trend in the movement across the
country, and once armed, our minders changed to match the new reality.
was a gradual process, but it was the beginning of a
profound shift in our consciousness and our activities.
Indeed, the above is a narrative of the
acquisition of a thought
pattern that guns are acceptable. With some groups who took a political
of armed struggle, the thought process included guns and explosives and
The believed self-defense needs of the New
Orleans office above
was fulfilled by attending a local gun show where the participants
for $100 with clips; military surplus ammunition, plus a Mossburg 500
police special riot gun and buckshot shells. Later they bought four 
Winchester .22, a .30-30 with a scope, and a riot shotgun. 
Eventually, the group owned a snub-nosed
Smith and Wesson .357; a
S&W long-barreled .38; a Walther PPK 9mm; a Colt .45, a Beretta
automatic, and each had their favored Browning 9mm automatics.
No paperwork, no cash and many guns was
their way of life. They
also joined a shooting gallery for practice, studied state and federal
laws, and paid for membership in the National Rifle Association [NRA].
Ms. Dunbar-Ortiz ends her chapter on this
phase of the movement
with these words:
. . .
we had clearly fallen under the spell of guns, as had
many other radicals.
relationship to them had become a kind of passion that was
in appropriate to our political objectives, and it ended up distorting
One often lived vicariously by following
the exploits of the
Weathermen. The Left seemed to take on the idea that self-criticism
were important. No one wanted a member who did not think right. The
Collective supported a wide variety of liberation movements. Serious
about the need and right time for outright violence were debated.
A historian of the period wrote:
. . .
over time sectarianism, unrealistic strategies and
tactics, and antidemocratic practices sapped cadre morale, repelled
supporters and allies, and produced numerous organizational splits.
During the period of the 1970s, things
that mattered from the
1960s seemed to be spinning out of their usual orbit. Hostility
aspects of the culture—anger and mistrust abounded toward government,
and about corporate influence on the White House.
Surely the shattered remains of the grief
from the murders of
Malcolm X, Dr. King, and Bobby Kennedy, followed by the Vietnam
off by Nixon’s Watergate break-in tore at the psyche of many Americans.
Having just come off the violence and
deaths at The Altamont Free
with 250,000 in the audience on 6 December 1969, the Rolling Stones’
Sympathy for the Devil
seemed an ominous sound for the year 1970 to come—bad drugs, bad vibes.
man was killed by the Hell’s Angels doing “security.” 
Three radical Weathermen blew themselves
up by accident with
their own explosive devices on 6 March 1970 in a Greenwich Village
news of this tragedy brought many opinions and, though tragic, judgment
was harsh when they turned away from politics.
A story emerged to give relief of this
period and show how the
ideal progress of a political action in New York City played itself
out. On 7
June 1971 occurred a NYC Municipal Employees Strike. When the
workers walked off the job, they left 28 of 29 bridges in the open
Not so many times were such actions successful.
In Britain the age of majority in 1970 was
lowered to 18 years of
age from 21.
Events in the U.K. paralleled the movement
towards revolution in
the United States. Music and the youth movement encased in Black Power
crossed over the waters and back.
Pan-Africanism in the British Empire
included racially mixed
non-whites including those termed “coloured” in South Africa, for
On 8 August 1983, the Great Train Robbery,
the Royal mail train,
[Uncorroborated] Strachan Phillip, a
Grenadian national, had been
on mail train duty and involved in the robbery that was never solved.
[Uncorroborated] Strachan Phillip’s
generosity to old people and
his friends, sealed with ten dollars, was known as well as his
In 1968, the late M.P. Enoch Powell was “advocating a clampdown on colored immigration and a
scheme to encourage
one in fifty colored immigrants to return to their homelands .
Powell gave a speech known as the “Rivers
of Blood” speech in
Birmingham [England] on 20 April 1968.
The West Indian
newspaper of Great Britain was first published in 1969 serving the West
In London, the
Caribbean Arts Movement, launched in 1966 by late author Andrew Salkey who was born in Panama
and raised in
Jamaica; author Barbadian Edward [Kamau] Brathwaite, and Trinidadian
John La Rose, set a base from which these three, and other Caribbean
emerged. The year 1966 was the second time “Kamau” Brathwaite set foot
Britain—this time as a writer.
On 30 August 1976, the
last day of the Notting Hill Carnival in London, ended in a riot. The first riot which
formed the Standing
Conference of West Indian Organizations occurred during the summer of
1958. Junior “Soul” Murvin’s
high falsetto voice
set a background with his song Police
In September 1963,
the age of 19, Maurice Bishop left the Spice Island to follow a legal
London studying law at the Holborn College of Law, London University.
His father Rupert, who was believed to be
his hero, provided
support for his only son:
the success of his gas station and his other businesses
Rupert was not only able to finance Maurice’s study in England, but
a new house in the same yard as the old one and move the family into
Bishop reserved the former family home for his son to
settle with his family when he returned from his studies.
Bishop’s father also made the necessary financial
preparations to sponsor Maurice to open a private practice when he
Interested in his La Grenade heritage,
Maurice Bishop researched
the history of Captain Louis La Grenade Sr. at the British Museum and
in Paris when
he was studying in London. He also found a portrait of Capt. La Grenade
British library and had a copy made for his family back home.
There were many activities outside his
university studies. He was
active in his earlier London years, during the 1960s, in a group called
Standing Conference of West Indian Organizations. 
A year or so after Maurice Bishop’s
arrival in London, on 5
December 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King, the youngest person at age 35 to
the Nobel Peace Prize, stopped in London on his way to Oslo where he
accept the honor on 10 December, 1964.
The day after Dr. King was awarded the
prize, on the 11th
December, soul singer Sam Cooke, who looked so much like Maurice
shot dead at age 33.
Millions were devastated by Cooke’s death as millions were proud of Dr.
Dr. King’s visit, according to historian
Ben Heineman, inspired
the idea of an organization for all “coloured people” in Britain. 
A group began operations in December, 1964
under the name of the
Campaign Against Racial Discrimination [CARD].
A first conference was
held the following July in 1965.
Bishop was active in CARD, located in
CARD was a multi-racial
[Indian, Pakistani and West Indian] organization.
CARD’s 1965 Chairman was Dr. David Thomas
Pitt from North London,
Hampstead constituency, the son of Cyril SL Pitt and Gertrude Redhead
When a youngster in Saint George’s, Dr.
David Pitt attended the
Grenada Boys’ Secondary [GBSS] school and graduated in 1932. An island
he received a scholarship to attend medical school at the University of
Edinburgh. He returned to the West Indies, residing in Trinidad-Tobago.
Dr. Pitt had been active in Trinidadian
politics, “central to the founding of the West
National Party in Trinidad, a descendent of Dr. Eric William’s People’s
National Movement [PNP].”
Other officers of CARD included Selma
secretary, and Jamaican Richard Small, press officer.
Small was a law
student, a former officer in the West Indian Student Union, and aide to
James. Selma James was married to C.L.R. James
and a strongly influential
personality in her own right.
The Campaign included groups which had
been active in race
relations—the Indian Workers Association-Great Britain [IWA-GB], the
Indian Standing Conference [WISC] and the National Federation of
1969 CARD was breaking up over disputes about ideology and white
Scholar Ron Walters placed the Campaign: 
the comparison was made between CARD and the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People [NAACP] in the United
it is more appropriate to compare CARD to the Leadership Conference on
Rights, an interracial civil rights coalition of more than a hundred
Bishop was employed in the British Civil
Service as a Surtax
Examiner from 1966-1970.
Bishop was invited on 4 February 1966 to
speak at the Welfare of
Overseas Students Course to be held on 23 April 1966. Others invited to
participate in this course were Mr. [Keith] Scotland and Mr. [Richard]
Mr. McIntyre chaired the session held at King’s College.
A major lifetime event happened for
Maurice Bishop in 1966 when he
married a nurse who practiced at Queen Mary’s Hospital in Stratford,
Redhead was from an old family in Grenada. She had arrived in London
In a letter to Maurice Rupert Bishop,
Esq., LL.B. at his home in
Chatsworth Gardens, the University of London’s Academic Department
as of October 1966, the following:
. . .
I have to inform you that on complying with the
Regulations you have been registered as an Internal Student for the
Postgraduate Diploma in Law and examined by means of a dissertation
. . . Date of
Registration: October 1966;
or Institution: King’s College.
will be regarded as a full-time student and you will be
required to follow a course of study extending over not less than one
Bishop’s post-graduate work at the
University of London, King’s
College, was in the field of Grenada’s constitutional development.
He was registered with the University of
London, King’s College, Faculty
of Laws 1966-1967 with course studies towards an Academic Diploma. He qualified as
a barrister at Lincolns Inn
At University of London, Maurice Bishop
was President of the West
Indian Students’ Society.
at the West Indian Students’ Centre, a fellow student of the period was
later Prime Minister of Barbados. Putting his legal studies into
was a co-founder of a London West Indian Legal Aid Clinic at Notting
A son, John Bishop, was born to Mr. and
Mrs. Maurice Bishop in
Maurice Bishop returned to the Inns of
Court in 1969 to
successfully complete his Bar Finals examination.
Hughes wrote that Bishop qualified as a barrister at Gray’s Inn in
return to studies at the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn, University
London, was in 1969. Gray’s
Inn is one
of the four  Inns of Court which admit students wishing to become
barristers. His law studies were complete by November 1969.
[Uncorroborated] Maurice Bishop was not
able to complete his
[Uncorroborated] Sandford stated that
during Bishop’s time when
based in the United Kingdom, Maurice Bishop traveled briefly to
and East Germany.
[Uncorroborated] Sandford also stated that
Bishop read, according
to the quote:
Marx, Friedrich Engels, Vladimir Lenin, Josef Stalin, Mao
Tse-tung and C.L.R. James (an influential Trinidadian Trotskyite).
Bishop was most likely influenced by
Julius Nyerere’s Arusha Declaration
issued in 1967 and
the Tanzanian socialist leader’s book Ujamaa—Essays
on Socialism published in 1968 by Oxford University Press.
The interest in
Nyerere was evidenced later in Bishop’s interest in people’s
Maurice Bishop returned to Grenada by way
of Trinidad-Tobago in
David Franklyn noted Bishop’s return: 
his way home, in 1970, Maurice passed through Trinidad
where the Black Power movement, as manifested there, had created a
crisis, with mass demonstrations in the streets, riots, and social and
political insecurity which threatened the People’s National Movement
Government of Dr. Eric Williams.
Caribbean Pan-Africanist Walter Rodney
received his Ph.D. in
History at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London
University, on 7 July 1966 at the age of 24.
During his time in London, Rodney was
involved with a study group
which met with C.L.R. James and his wife Selma.
Members of that group included Rodney,
plus “Richard Small, Norman Girvan, Orlando
Patterson, Adolph Edwards, Joan
French, John Maxwell, Margaret Carter Hope, Stanley French and Walton
David Austin received the names of those in the group from scholar
Walter Rodney gave public speeches in Hyde
Park. He held meetings
with fellow Caribbeans in London. He lectured on
African history. He gave a
series of talks to a class at the Oxford University Delegacy for
In 1969, Rodney went to Tanzania for five  years.
W. Richard Jacobs was studying at Oxford
University in 1968 by
way of a scholarship he received during his term at the University of
One wonders if Maurice Bishop could have
known Walter Rodney or
W. Richard Jacobs during the time they both were in London.
Did Maurice Bishop meet with or attended
any event when Malcolm X
was visiting London; or C.L.R. James for that matter?
Malcolm X’s first trip to Europe was to
Paris where he arrived on
18 November 1964. 
He held news conferences, visited cafes frequented by Africans and
Afro–Americans, talked with groups throughout his week’s stay.
Malcolm X gave a major speech in Paris on
23 November 1964,
leaving the next day for New York.
address was sponsored by Présence Africaine
held at Maison de la Mutualité.
Lebert Bethune, who was present, described
the event: 
delivered his speech to a capacity audience consisting
mainly of Africans, Afro–Americans, and French students, and including
of French workers, intellectuals and even some of the staid French
come to hear the man billed by the French press as ‘l’avocat de la violence.’
When in Paris, he was interviewed by
American filmmaker Melvin
and others after his public address.
Carlos Moore and Lebert Bethune took in
his statements and put
them on film.
film was shot in the home of Madame Siné, wife of the French cartoonist
That interview was filmed to become a
movie Malcolm X—Struggle for Freedom,
according to Lebert Bethune who was
one of those present.
Bethune, who was born in Jamaica, left
there early on with his
family to live in New York. Besides his academic career, his extensive
travels and his writing of poetry, he was a film maker for the
Carlos Moore was an Afro-Cuban, who fled
Cuba in 1963. He was
critical of Cuban race relations.
the time of the interview with Malcolm X, Moore was in exile in Paris.
A second visit was made by Malcolm X to
Europe. This time
he went to London on 1 December 1964
for a four-day stopover.
He stayed at the
Mount Royal Hotel off Marble
According to Chris Searle’s memoir:
Malcolm X came on a speaking tour to London in 1964,
there was the twenty year old Maurice sitting in the front row and
Bernard telling him about it.
Jamaican Anthony Abrahams, president of
the Oxford Union, invited
Malcolm X to debate the president of the Cambridge Union;
other words to take part in the annual Oxford Union debate which took
a Thursday, 3 December 1964.
The debate was filmed by the BBC and is
partially available on
The topic of the debate was to explore the question: 
in the Defense of Liberty Is No Vice,
in the Pursuit of Justice Is No Virtue
The motion of the debate above was drawn
the 1964 Republican Presidential candidate.
favor of the motion were Hugh MacDiarmid,
and Malcolm X.
A few days later, Malcolm X’s presentation
was at the University
of London to a primarily Muslim audience, according to Manning Marable.
returned to the United States from this second trip to Europe on 6
Journalists reprinted what he said publicly and many made their own
The third visit to Europe in February 1965
found Malcolm X in
London for a 3-day speaking engagement at the Council of African
On his next European stop, across the
channel, Malcolm X tried to
enter France on 9 February 1965,
declared a prohibited immigrant and denied entry.