PRIMARY DOCUMENTS #CPUSA
I LOVE THE TITLE OF THIS PAMPHLET
"You cannot kill the working class,"
by Herndon, Angelo, 1913-1997.
a pamphlet by a CP activist who became a cause celeb when he was arrested in Georgia for "inciting insurrection"
Topics African Americans. Working class -- Southern States. Communism -- United States. Herndon, Angelo, 1913-1997.
Publisher [New York : International Labor Defense and the League of Struggle for Negro Rights,
ITS THE #BLM OF ITS TIME
Let Me Live! a book review
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Angelo Herndon was a great hero of the Afro-American people and of the United States working class. The fact that a hero as great as Angelo Herndon emerged in the South during the twenties and thirties is testimony to the high- level of struggle waged by the masses of Black and white people in the South.
We must encourage the study of past working class struggles in the United States and bring back to life the examples of past working class heroes such as Herndon. The U.S. ruling class has carried out a campaign to deny the masses of people in the United States their true heroes and their revolutionary history. Periods such as the twenties and thirties in this country are periods of class struggle that showed to the whole world and ourselves the great power, unity, and revolutionary spirit of the American working class. It is this revolutionary spirit and revolutionary history that the capitalists would have us forget.
Introduction by Marlon B. Ross
The passionate prison autobiography of Angelo Herndon, Communist union organizer of the 1930s
Series Class : Culture
Let Me Live tells the remarkable story of Angelo Herndon, a coal miner who worked as a labor organizer in Alabama and Georgia in the 1930s. Herndon led a racially integrated march of the unemployed in 1932 and was subsequently arrested when Communist Party literature was found in his bedroom. His trial made only small headlines at first, but eventually an international campaign to free him emerged, thanks to the efforts of the Communist Party and of labor unions interested in protecting the right to organize in the South. Herndon was finally set free by the U.S. Supreme Court, with the help of well-known leaders including C. Vann Woodward, Thurgood Marshall, A. Philip Randolph, and Whitney North Seymour, Sr.
MAY 4, 1998 | 12:00AM PT
This startling and abrasive prison drama by the author of "I Am a Man" (slated for future broadcast on HBO) is an impressive addition to the growing canon of an African-American playwright increasing in prominence and influence. Bleak and depressing themes, extensive onstage violence and raunchy language will doubtless limit future productions to those theaters with a taste for controversy and adventure. But this fictionalized treatment of the real-life experiences of Angelo Herndon in a 1932 Georgia jail is a searing piece of theater with the capacity to profoundly disturb even the most complacent audience member (and with the right ensemble of actors, it would make a startling movie).
The New York Public Library
Schomburg Center for Research In Black Culture
515 Malcolm Blvd.
New York, New York 10037
In 1936, Herndon became a member of the Executive Committee of the Youth Branch of the National Negro Congress. His autobiography, Let Me Live, was published by Random House in early 1937. Writing in the Harlem edition of the Communist Party newspaper, The Worker (July 14, 1949), Abner Berry called him “one of the most celebrated of American political prisoners... greeted by the President of the United States, [and] entertained on the White House lawn by Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt.” Herndon worked subsequently for the Daily Worker, co-edited the short-lived Negro Quarterly: a Review of Negro Life and Culture with Ralph Ellison (1942-1943), and was the editor-in-chief of The People’s Advocate, a biweekly newspaper published in 1944 by the Negro Publication Society of America. He left the Party shortly thereafter and relocated to the Midwest. He
apparently changed his name around 1937 to Eugene Braxton. He died in 1997. http://archives.nypl.org/…/col…/pdf_finding_aid/scmmg124.pdf
Posted on February 23, 2011 by David L. Hudson Jr.
During Black History Month, we should remember those who had the courage to face government opposition — even imprisonment — for their convictions.
Imagine, for example, the bravery of a young black man who traveled to the South to enlist members for the Communist Party in the early 1930s. The Chicago Defender called him a “young Communist martyr.”
Civil Rights & Modern Georgia, Since 1945
Angelo Herndon Case
Original entry by Edward A. Hatfield, New Georgia Encyclopedia, 08/14/2009
At Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angelo_Herndon
OF LET ME LIVE FROM 1937
As an African-American Communist in total dedication to the liberation of the working class and other oppressed peoples, Angelo Herndon’s 1937 autobiography, Let Me Live, brought a fresh perspective that challenged the traditional themes carried in both black slave and uplift narratives and white proletarian literature. Herndon’s story grants readers powerful insight into the many ways African-Americans experienced the Great Depression era, how they felt, thought, and interacted with the social and economic vagaries of American capitalism. In addition, the story of Angelo Herndon represents the emergence of a new experience for African-African organizers – political imprisonment. Yet, regardless of its unique contribution and power innovations, Let Me Live fell out of publication and into obscurity for decades. While Herndon’s story fallen has into obscurity, other accounts of black oppression have become standard history curriculum and part of popular consciousness. At the time, Herndon’s case received just as much attention as the case of the Scottsboro Boys, and, yet, today, the Scottsboro case is the approved representation of black victimization taught in “History” classes, while Herndon’s case remains largely unknown. However, the practice of only admitting certain parts of the past into institutional memory is no mystery. Angelo Herndon has not been incorporated into “History,” for his autobiography was and still is a subversion to several dominant American mythologies, including the mythologies of black male victimization, black male achievement, and the idea of black labor, which made it irreconcilable with the existing superstructure and a threat to the dominating systems of power.