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Racial Justice Battles of the Forties & Fifties


Friday, June 24, 2011, 6:30 p.m. Join activist historian Mark Solomon for reflection on the racial justice battles of the 1940s and 50s - that great in-between period that provided the connective tissue between the great upsurges of the 1930s and powerful peace and justice movements of the 1960s. Going beyond mere generational analysis, this personal account integrates race, class and gender dimensions with a global perspective in an era when such transformative figures as Paul Robeson and W.E.B du Bois were still widely recognized and respected. In a period largely defined by the Cold War, other exciting processes ranging from epic national liberation struggles in the Global South to block-by-block tenant organizing in the US. Mark takes us back to that period and our discussion will help draw lessons for today's challenges. The event will be followed by a wine-and-cheese-style reception. 

 Bio:  Mark Solomon, Professor Emeritus of History at Simmons College, holds degrees from Wayne State University, the University of Michigan and Harvard University. He has written scores of articles on African American history, race and racism, U.S. foreign policy, globalization, and war and peace issues which have appeared in both scholarly and popular journals. Prof. Solomon has also traveled and lectured in Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean. Prof. Solomon has written or edited five books including The Cry Was Unity: Communists and African Americans, 1917-1936 (Univ. Press of Mississippi, 1998) and edited and wrote an Afterword for Victor Grossman’s memoir, Crossing the River: A Memoir of the American Left, the Cold War and Life in East Germany (University of Massachusetts Press, 2003). He is a past co-chair of the United States Peace Council, a former member of the Presidential Committee of the World Peace Council and is past National Co-Chair of The Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS). During 2010-2011 he was Sheila Biddle Ford Fellow at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, Harvard University.

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Optional Background Reading: Julie Gallagher (2009) "Building a More Just Society, One Struggle at a Time: Grassroots Activists in New York City, 1940 - 1960." Paper presented to the Congress of the Latin American Studies Association, July 11 - 14, 200964.94 KB
Event Flyer (PDF format, large download, ~2.5 Mb)2.48 MB