A Word Warrior for Freedom
Word Warrior: Richard Durham, Radio and Freedom

John Woodford

Publisher:  Against the Current
Date Written:  01/03/2016
Year Published:  2016  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX21373

Book review of Sonja D. Williams' Word Warrior: Richard Durham, Radio and Freedom.



Alarmed by fascism and racism, and seeing the links between the two, Durham joined the Communist Party sometime in the late 1930s, Sonja Williams says, because he "likely found the party's aggressive attempts to stop housing evictions, organize workers and integrate labor unions to be what historian Mary Helen Washington called 'beacons of light' for Chicago's struggling Black population."

Although it's not clear how long he was in the CP, Williams notes that he retained a Marxist-Leninist point of view while focusing it on the particular needs and interests of African-Americans.

American progressives stressed the battle against the foreign champions of violence and hatred, and overlooked the fact, Durham wrote, that "[f]or Bronzeville inhabitants, fascism is not 'coming,' is already here and Negroes are looking for a time when it will 'leave.' The economic position into which [Black Americans] are forced makes a mockery of American democracy."
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