Julius Lester
From the Other Side of the Tracks

July 23, 1968 will have to go down in the history of the black revolutionary struggle as a day of even more importance than July 25, 1967 (Detroit) and August 11, 1965 (Watts). It was on Tuesday night, July 23, that a small group of black men set up an ambush for the police in the streets of Cleveland, Ohio. They set it well and carefully: “... there were telephone complaints about an abandoned, stripped white Cadillac left on Beulah St.,” wrote the New York Post’s Jimmy Breslin. “The police tow truck came up to the Cadillac, shots came from three directions. The driver was a civilian employee. He was not hit. He was doing what they wanted him to do, radio for help. They would use their aim later.”

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Julius Lester
From the Other Side of the Tracks

Reprinted from the National Guardian [New York City]

It is ironic to find the Pope’s recent encyclical on birth control to be in line with the statements of many black militants. The Pope, of course, tries to place his opposition to birth control on moral grounds-that is, he argues that to prevent a life from coming into being is as much an act against moral law as willfully to take a life. Some black militants oppose birth control because they see it as a genocidal weapon against the black community, which, in those instances of forced sterilization of welfare mothers, it is. However, both the Pope and those militants who oppose birth control are giving allegiance in their own ways to an old principle: there is strength in numbers.

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Julius Lester
From the Other Side of the Tracks

Reprinted with permission of The Guardian, independent radical weekly, NYC

The very different nature of the problems facing the white and black communities necessitated a white radical movement and a black radical movement. In no organic way could these two movements merge, although they were both fighting the same enemy. That situation still exists, except the black and white radical movements have a common problem for the first time, a problem which can be more effectively fought if the two movements formally align with each other.

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Julius Lester
From the other side of the tracks

There now exists a segment of the movement which officially considers itself Marxist-Leninist. Unfortunately it regards Marxism-Leninism more as a temple in which one must worship than a tool to be used creatively.

In speaking of this attitude, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania has pointed out: “...The works of Marx and Lenin are regarded as the holy writ in the light of which all other thoughts and actions of socialists have to be judged...Such people are refusing to think for themselves. They are saying that the perfect answer to the problems of many in society is already known and all we have to do is copy others...In their insecurity they look for a ‘certificate of socialist approval’ from the country or party which they believe has these answers.”

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Julius Lester
From the Other Side of the Tracks

Reprinted with permission of The Guardian, independent radical weekly, NYC

Brother Fred Ahmed Evans was scheduled to die in the electric chair of the Ohio State Prison on Sept. 23, but was granted a temporary reprieve at the last moment. The date of his execution has not been set.

If he dies, he will become the first black man to be tried, convicted and executed by the state for his role in the black liberation struggle. The state has no right to execute him, but it has the power.

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