Fwd: [BRC-ANN] Interview of Herbert Aptheker

Charles Brown CharlesB at CNCL.ci.detroit.mi.us
Mon Oct 2 09:34:51 PDT 2000

>>> dhenwood at panix.com 09/29/00 01:27PM >>>
Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2000 09:01:33 -0400 From: Art McGee <amcgee at igc.org>

The Journal of American History

June 2000 (Vol. 87, No. 1)

Interview of Herbert Aptheker (Interview)

By Robin D. G. Kelley <kelley at is2.nyu.edu>


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I think I was about twenty-one years old when I discovered that Herbert Aptheker was not black. By then I had known his name for well over half my life. Like many Harlem families rooted in the local intellectual traditions, we owned a tattered paperback copy of Aptheker's American Negro Slave Revolts and quite possibly one of his collections of essays on black history. I did not read American Negro Slave Revolts until high school and had left Harlem for an entirely different black community in southern California, but I had seen that book and his name so many times it found a permanent place in my memory. No one could have convinced me that he was not a black man - who else would write such a book?


CB: Aptheker himself tellls the story of how he once was lecturing in Detroit about John Brown dying trying to start a slave revolt. A young Black man said to Aptheker, "Did you say John Brown was white ? " ( yes) "That blows my mind !"

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