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Jeffrey B. Perry Blog

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

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 http://findingaids.cul.columbia.edu/staging/ead/nnc-rb/ldpd_11359941/

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)
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Mark The Date! Saturday, November 28, 2015 at 10 AM WBAI 99.5 FM "City Watch" with Bill DiFazio and Jeffrey B. Perry on Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen

November 28, 2015
Saturday morning 10 AM
Host Bill DiFazio will interview guest Jeffrey B. Perry on "City Watch" on WBAI 99.5 FM New York City. The discussion will be on the life and work of Hubert Harrison (“The Father of Harlem Radicalism"), on the work of Theodore W. Allen (author of “The Invention of the White Race”), and on the centrality of the struggle against white supremacy. People can listen live at HERE
[Note -- The recorded interview begins at 33:26 in the hour-long November 28, 2015 "City Watch" show. To listen to it CLICK HERE]
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Michael G. Haskins Hosts Jeffrey B. Perry on WBAI July 18, 2014 at 7:30 AM

July 18, 2014
Friday, 7:30 AM, Upcoming 5-Session Course (Beginning Sat. July 26 at 10 am) on Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen at The Commons (388 Atlantic Avenue) in Brooklyn is discussed by Jeffrey B. Perry and host Michael G. Haskins on "Morning Show -- Wake Up Call," Radio Station WBAI (99.5 FM New York).

To listen live CLICK HERE.

For information on “Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918” (Columbia University Press) CLICK HERE

For writings by and about Hubert Harrison CLICK HERE

For a video presentation on Hubert Harrison, "The Father of Harlem Radicalism," who is discussed at the beginning of this video CLICK HERE

For information on Theodore W. Allen's "The Invention of the White Race" (Verso Books) CLICK HERE

For additional writings by and about Theodore W. Allen CLICK HERE

For a video presentation on Theodore W. Allen's "The Invention of the White Race," which draws insights from the life and work of Hubert Harrison CLICK HERE

For key insights from Theodore W. Allen on U.S. Labor History CLICK HERE

Go to the following link to read Jeffrey B. Perry, "The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy"


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"The "Invention of the White Race" -- 2 NYC Events Fri., April 5, 7 AM WBAI, 7:30 PM Brecht Forum

WBAI 7 AM

Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” (Verso Books, 1996 and 2012) and his “Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race” (1975; SUNY, Stony Brook, 2006) will be discussed this Friday morning, April 5, 2013, at 7:00 AM by Jeffrey B. Perry with host Felipe Luciano on “Wake UP Call” on radio station WBAI, 99.5 FM in New York.

For additional Allen writings CLICK HERE

To listen live CLICK HERE


Brecht Forum 7:30 PM

An overview of Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” will be offered this Friday night, April 5, 2013, at 7:30 PM by Jeffrey B. Perry at the Brecht Forum, 451 West St., NY (between Bank and Bethune Sts. off the West Side Drive) in a program hosted by the Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen Society. Perry’s presentation will be followed by a lengthy question and answer period with those in attendance.

Allen’s magnum opus (Vol. 1: "Racial Oppression and Social Control" and Vol. 2: "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America") details the invention of the “white race” and the development of racial slavery, a particular form of racial oppression, in late 17th and early 18th-century Virginia. Perry wrote the introductions, new back matter, internal study guides, and expanded indexes for the new, 2012, Verso Books edition of Allen’s “classic.”

People in the New York area are encouraged to attend.

Please share this information with those who might be interested!

For information on "The Invention of the White Race", vol. 1: "Racial Oppression and Social Control" including a Table of Contents of the volume) CLICK HERE

For information on the Brecht Forum series CLICK HERE  Read More 
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Jeffrey B. Perry WBAI Radio interview/discussion with host Hugh Hamilton on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” (Verso Books) and on Hubert Harrison “The Father of Harlem Radicalism”

Jeffrey B. Perry interview/discussion with host Hugh Hamilton on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” (Verso Books) and on Hubert Harrison “The Father of Harlem Radicalism.” WBAI Radio (99.5 FM, NYC) Broadcast, Thursday, March 14, 2013 from 4 to 5 PM. To listen please go HERE -- (to the second hour of the two-hour radio program) [Special thanks to Michael G. Haskins for his assistance with this program] Read More 
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Jeffrey B. Perry on “Talk Back” with Hugh Hamilton, WBAI Radio (99.5 FM New York) at 4 PM, Thursday, March 14, 2013 discussing Theodore W. Allen (particularly The Invention of the White Race - new edition, Verso Books, 2012) and Hubert Harrison

Jeffrey B. Perry will be on “Talk Back” with host Hugh Hamilton on Radio Station WBAI (99.5 FM New York) at 4 PM today, Thursday, March 14, 2013 discussing the work of Theodore W. Allen (particularly The Invention of the White Race - new edition, Verso Books, 2012) and Hubert Harrison. For more information and to listen online CLICK HERE Read More 
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Hubert Harrison Resonates Deeply Among the People

Events over the past few days have demonstrated how very deeply Hubert Harrison resonates among the people.
Yesterday afternoon Hugh Hamilton, a wonderfully knowledgeable and personable radio show host for WBAI's (99.5 FM in New York) "Talkback!," opened the airwaves for a full-hour to a discussion of Hubert Harrison. By last evening this website had received a record number of new visitor hits, most, presumably, coming from Hugh's politically-astute listener audience.
Following Hugh Hamilton and WBAI, Donna Fleming, the dedicated and community-oriented Coordinator of the Caribbean Literary and Cultural Center of the Brooklyn Public Library, hosted a slide presentation/book talk on Hubert Harrison at the African American Heritage Center in the Macon Library of the Brooklyn Public Library System in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. The meeting room was packed and it still saw a steady flow of new arrivals. The event extended beyond the library's closing and many discussions continued in the lobby and then on the street (Lewis Avenue) in front of the library for well-over an hour afterwards.
Last Friday, in Chicago, Brian Jones, a New York City school teacher and a bright and well-informed political activist, hosted a Harrison slide presentation/talk, along with the International Socialist Organization (ISO), as a featured session at the Socialism 2009 Conference. Again, the meeting room was fully packed beyond seating capacity, Q and A was lively and ran over, discussions continued well past the session and on through the weekend, and a new appreciation for Hubert Harrison's importance was commented on by a growing number of the committed activists in attendance.
After all three of the mentioned events people came forward offering new ways to help spread the word about Hubert Harrison, his ideas, and the issues he and others struggled for.
Hubert Harrison is out there, he resonates deeply among the people, and his long period of "unremembrance" (to borrow from Winston James) is ending.
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