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Columbia University Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Publishes Finding Aid for the
Leo H. Downes Papers

July 28, 2017

Tags: Tony Martin, First World Alliance, African Experience Creates a Pan-African Philosophy, Caribbean Unity, Pan African Perspective, Marcus Garvey, James Baldwin, Amiri Baraka, Maulana Karenga, National Afrocentric Institute, Langston Hughes, The Dream Keeper, Molefi K. Asante, Preparing Our Children for the Challenges of the 21st Century, Ebonics, Bobby Seale, Cheikh Anta Diop, Donald Clark, Richard King, Wade Nobles, Liberating Our African Consciousness, Herbert Aptheker, W. E. B. Du Bois, Dr. Ben Jochannon, John Henrik Clarke, Ashra Kwesi, African Civilization, Asa G. Hilliard, Cultural Genocide as a Tool of Armed Warfare, Harlem, Lerone Bennett Jr., Dred Scott, Jose Pimienta-Bey, The History and Impact of the Moors in Spain, Chancellor Williams, Leonard Barrett, Jewish Influence, Slavery, Frances Cress Welsing, White Supremacy, Cornel West, Tim Wise, Race, Racism, James Small, Religion, Culture, Nicholas, Bynum, Illumanati, Noam Chomsky, WBAI. Palestine, Jews, Race and Social Political Construction, Black Culture, James Turner, Kelly Perkins, CCNY, Black Radical Congress, Richard Rene Laremont, South Africa, USA, Brazil, Barbados, Slave Economy, African Women, Indigenous American People, African American, Samori Marksman, Struggle in the Congo, Sierra Leone, Gullah, Bundo Island, Rice, Liberia, Michael Parenti, Ivan Van Sertima, African Presence in Early America, Howard Dodson, Evans, Mackey, Bobby Wright, Psychopathic Racist Personality, Edward Scobie, Brazil, Quilombo, Martin Luther King Jr., Nile Valley, Zulu, Black Resistance, Amos Wilson, Educating the Black Child, Jacob H. Carruthers, Kemetic, Slave Narrative, Leonard Jeffries, African Re-Emergence in World History, Rosalind Jeffries, Arthur Schomburg, Hubert Harrison, Hubert H. Harrison, C.L.R James, Jazz, Melanin, ISMA EL-JAMAAL, Winston James, Caribbean Radicalism, Jesse Jackson, Harlem Renaissance, St. John the Divine, Booker T. Coleman, The Creative Genius of Africans in World History, The Pharaohs of Egypt, Kawaida, Sankofa, Calvin Butts, Gil Noble, Like It Is, Lewis Gordon, Frantz Fanon, University of Memphis, Sartre, Brecht Forum, O'Mealy, Rare Book and Manuscript Library Columbia University, Diana Greenidge, Julie Siestreem, Patrick Lawlor, Thai Jones, African American Heritage Week, Kirk Franklin, God's Property, Zariab Gatar, JAN CAREW, Bruce Wright, Racial Politics, Media, Prison Papers, Black Inventors, African World, Gwendolyn Brooks, Guggenheim, African American Oral Traditions, Poets House, Bilal Abdullah, Paul Robeson, Henry Louis Gates, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Sister Marimba Ani, The Spiritual Healing of our African Race, Jeffrey B. Perry, Return to African Spirituality, Purging Ourselves, Sister Ann Brown, The African Community, Adelaide Sanford, Kofi Asare Opoku, Wade Nobles, LeRoi Jones, John G. Jackson, African Origin of Christianity, Jeremy Scahill, Amy Goodman, Blackwater, Democracy Now, WBAI, Malcolm X, Lorraine Hansbury, Colonization, Edward Said, Bill Moyers, George Bush, Afghanistan Osama Bin Laden, Imperialism, Zionism, Iraq war, Manning Marable, Multi Culturism, Black Liberation, Columbia, NYU, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Cuba, Immigration Act, Leo H. Downes, Pinderhughes, Black History, Abolition, John Brown, The Inner City Black, Phil Valentine, Mwalimu Baba Shango, Spirit of Africa, James Shenton, Irish, Ali Mazrui, SWAPO, Azania, Third World Newsreel, Freedom, United Nations, Africans At the Crossroads, Humanism, Black Intellectual

The Columbia University Rare Book and Manuscript Library just published its Finding Aid for the Leo H. Downes papers (34 cassette boxes; 12 document boxes). It is a collection of great importance by an extraordinary individual (special attention should be paid to the audio cassettes). Many thanks to Diana Greenidge, Julie Siestreem, Thai Jones, and Patrick Lawlor for making this happen. See

Leo H. Downes was an independent and provocative intellectual based in Harlem. His interests covered a wide range of topics, including African-American history, neuroscience, psychiatry, psychology, philosophy, art, music, culture, sociology, theology, athletics, and education.
Downes was born July 15, 1933 in Coffee Gully, The Parish of St. Joseph on the island of Barbados. He was the only child of William Lionel Blackman and Adeline Ione Downes. His father was an engineer and, overseer. Leo graduated from St. Leonard's Boy's School in St. Michael Barbados West Indies in 1955. He attended the New School of Social Research in New York City from 1967 to 1970. He attended Columbia University School of General Studies from 1972 to 1974. He then attended New York Institute of Technology in Psychology in Westbury, New York.
Downes directed the Youth Opportunity Program for the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI) located in the Washington Heights neighborhood for 32 years, from 1971 to 2003. The YOP program was designed as a pairing of high school adolescents with doctors as mentors for 15 to 20 hours per week to work in each doctor's respective area of research. It was a valuable and critically successful support system that worked well for both the doctors and students. Downes received numerous awards for this outstanding work. A teacher, counselor and, rehabilitator, he worked with children and adults in the Reality Halfway House, Cornell's Children's Services, and New York City Model Cities Program. He worked one to one, with small groups and, large groups as needed. He taught ex-cons, ex-addicts, dropouts and, High School Equivalency Programs.
Downes had an insatiable thirst for knowledge, and consistently asked the most challenging questions of anyone on any given topic. Others sought him out frequently to attend their classes, lectures, discussion groups and, movies because, they knew he would come up with the best questions. For 35 years he moderated a monthly study group of the Society for the Study of African Philosophy. He was a part of the Institute for Research in African American Studies program at Columbia University from its beginning in 1993.
Downes was a member of the Harlem YMCA for 55 years. He was a competitive body builder from 1950 to 1974. He died on April 28, 2014 at the age of 80.

Tony Martin First World, 10/22/1988 (HF 90/Sony)

Dr. Tony Martin First World Alliance, 10/22/1988 (AV-90/TDK)

Brother Tony Martin Africa Experience Creates a Pan-African Philosophy #1, 3/6/1993 (dB 90/memorex)

Brother Tony Martin Africa Experience Creates a Pan-African Philosophy #2, 3/6/1993 (HF 60/Sony)

Brother Tony Martin Caribbean Unity and a Pan African Perspective, 3/1/1997 (HF 60/Sony)

Dr. Martin /Garvey Story, No date (FI 60/JVC)

T. Martin / Garvey Story, No date (HF 90/Sony)

James Baldwin / Speak, No date (HF 60/Sony)

James Baldwin / interview, No date (CHF 90/Sony)

James Baldwin Conf., 6/24/1989 (HF60/Sony)

James Baldwin, No date (HF90/Sony)

James Baldwin Conf., No date (DC 9/TDK)

James Baldwin/ Baraka at St. John Divine, No date (60 min./audio tech)

Dr. Maulana Karenga, Temple Univ. Nat. Afrocentric Institute, 5/9/1992 (60 min./ Greatronic)

"White People are Trapped in a History they Don't Understand"
James Baldwin

March 4, 2014

Tags: James Baldwin, Theodore W. Allen, Hubert Harrison

As a step toward understanding and challenging that history people may want to read Theodore W. Allen’s The Invention of the White Race

Vol. I: Racial Oppression and Social Control

Vol. II: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America

And Summary of the Argument of The Invention of the White Race

And the article “The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights from Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy” available HERE (at the top left)

Hubert Harrison:
The Voice of
Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918

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