Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Rebellion or Revolution?

Rebellion or Revolution?

Harold Cruse
Forward by Cedric Johnson
Copyright Date: 1968
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 280
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Rebellion or Revolution?
    Book Description:

    Rebellion or Revolution? collects reviews and essays Harold Cruse wrote between 1950 and 1966 and contains a number of significant writings not available elsewhere. Now this work emerges as both an essential document from a crucial moment in African American history and a road map to the origins and evolution of Cruse’s critical thought, asserting its importance in today’s debates on race in America._x000B_

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6803-8
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. 1-6)
    Cedric Johnson

    I fell in love with the work of Harold Cruse during the 19905. Like so many other black youth coming of age amid the crack cocaine epidemic, rising street violence, and the neoconservative reaction of the Reagan-Bush years, I was captivated by the pointed critique of ruling class hypocrisy and strident calls for self-determination offered by the Black Panther Party and Malcolm X and popularized through the music of Boogie Down Productions and Public Enemy. For many living through this period such identification with black radical politics was short-lived and faddish, but for others this initial infatuation grew into deeper...

  4. Introduction
    (pp. 7-28)
    Harold Cruse

    Very often a writer’s first published work does not represent his first fledgling efforts, but a matured reflection of those efforts. So it was with my first revealed book,The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual.I chose this title after much deliberation. Many of the young “black militants” would have much preferred “Black Intellectual” because they have succeeded in casting the term “Negro” out oftheirvocabulary as a semantic symbol of the “Afro-American’s” slave status wherein we suffered the ignominy of having a pejorative name imposed on us.(German-Americans come from Germany, Italian-Americans come from Italy, Jewish-Americans come from italy)...

  5. 1 Purblind Slant on Africa
    (pp. 29-32)

    Countee Cullen, the Negro poet, now dead, once wrote a long and beautiful lyric called “Heritage.” It began like

    What is Africa to me:

    Copper sun or scarlet sea,

    Jungle tar or jungle track

    Strong bronzed men, or

    regal black

    Women from whose loins

    I sprang

    When the birds of Eden sang?

    One three centuries removed

    From the scenes his

    fathers loved,

    Spicy grove, cinnamon tree,

    What is Africa to me?

    But to Hollywood’s MGM, Africa was and still is the “dark continent” of cannibals on the one hand, or docile primitives always on hand to make up safaris for...

  6. 2 Negro Soldier Sequences Censored in “Call Me Mister”
    (pp. 33-35)

    Call Me Mister,the musical hit of Broadway, 1946, which glorified the army men and women, and set their overseas experiences and their post-war dreams to fancy steps and facile lyrics and music, has been to Hollywood and back.

    The original had some meaty, progressive social content, but most of it has been purged. The film version at the Roxy is an ineffectual ghost of its former self.

    From this reviewer’s point of view the only sequence that had any vitality was the satire on the army air corps which did manage to wake up the audience with its originality....

  7. 3 Salute to Josephine Baker, Magnificent Negro Artist
    (pp. 36-40)

    The name of Josephine Baker when mentioned has always conjured up many facts, real and imagined, relating to the career of this famous Negro artist of the international entertainment world.

    To those in the United States who knew her personally, she is a friend, fellow artist, colleague. Between them there exist close bonds that have endured twenty years or more and are yet as strong as ever in spite of the fact that she, long, long ago, became a citizen of France. Her first appearance in France was in the 1925 Folies Bergère. To others in our country who never...

  8. 4 “Green Pastures” Twenty Years Ago and Today
    (pp. 41-47)

    Twenty years after the first heavenly hosts of Mare connelly’sGreen Pastureswere introduced to the theater public and world at large, we find the Broadway Theater in 1951 emphasizing its steady descent into the lower regions of barrenness and uncreative sterility by inflicting on us again this dramatized collection of fables on alleged Negro religious folklore.

    Green Pastures is based on a book of fictionalized “folk stories” by Roark Bradford, a southern white writer, entitledSouthern Sketches,Ol’Man Adam an’ His Chillun.

    The fact thatGreen Pasturesmakes much of the theme of heavenly virtues as opposed to...

  9. 5 An Afro-American’s Cultural Views
    (pp. 48-67)

    For Africans at home and abroad, the cultural situation of the American Negro might seem vague and incomprehensible amidst the general civil rights struggle in this country. For the simple reason that American Negroes are part of the colored peoples of the world, it is easy for one to make the error of assuming that we Negroes here in the United States have a cultural outlook in terms of race, nationality, history and traditions similar in racial uniqueness to other colored nations the world over who are rising out of colonialism to national independence. When one speaks of a culture...

  10. 6 Negro Nationalism’s New Wave
    (pp. 68-73)

    During the past fifteen years, there has been more noise in the United States about the Negro’s changing status than actual changes in that status. At the same time, the social changes taking place in the colonial world—especially in Africa and Latin America—have been more revolutionary than anything the American Negro has experienced since the post-Civil War period. By comparison with colored peoples elsewhere, Negroes in America have found that their own advance toward fuller freedom is lagging. And an uncomfortable awareness of the discrepancy has given rise to a new set of political and cultural values which,...

  11. 7 Revolutionary Nationalism and the Afro-American
    (pp. 74-96)

    Many of Western Marxism’s fundamental theoretical formulations concerning revolution and nationalism are seriously challenged by the Cuban Revolution. American Marxism which, since World War II, has undergone a progressive loss of influence and prestige, is challenged most profoundly. For while most American Marxists assert that the Cuban Revolution substantiates their theories of nationalism, national liberation and revolution, in fact the Cuban success is more nearly asucces de circonstance.Orthodox Marxists were unable to foresee it, and indeed opposed Castro until the last minute. One would hope that such a development might cause American radicals to re-evaluate their habitual methods...

  12. 8 Rebellion or Revolution ?-I
    (pp. 97-125)

    For the first time since the 1930’s Americans of more than ordinary social insight are openly discussing the possibility of social revolution in the United States. We know that during the 1930’s “revolution” implied the overthrow of capitalistic institutions—a real threat which the more enlightened wing of American bourgeois wealth successfully defeated by the implementation of the various New Deal policies. But unlike the 1930’s, when it was reported that some of the idle rich were so fearful of revolution that they had their yachts readied in the harbor for a fast getaway just in case, the talk of...

  13. 9 Rebellion or Revolution ?-II
    (pp. 126-138)

    Despite many new features of the present-day Negro rebellion, this movement has its roots in the accumulated experiences of the past fifty-odd years. But most of the younger, articulate “radical” elements of Negro leadership imagine themselves to be inspired by ideals whose existential relationships to the here-and-now need no other rationalizations. Thus the movement, while having many historical carryovers, is guided by individuals whose slogans revel little awareness of historical ingredients that have gone into the making of such a complex social force as is the Negro movement today. As a result, the Negro movement’s potential is compromised not only...

  14. 10 Marxism and the Negro
    (pp. 139-155)

    The fact that the Socialist Workers Party (Trotskyite) announced inThe New York Times,January 14, 1964, that it had nominated a Negro, Clifton DeBerry, to run for President allows us the opportunity to discuss in depth a question that has long been agitating many individuals, friends and foes, concerning the relationship of Marxism to the Negro movement in America today. We emphasize “today” because some years ago it was impossible to be objective about this, inasmuch as the Marxist movement as represented by the Communist Party was so indissolubly linked with practically everything Negroes attempted to do, it was...

  15. 11 The Economics of Black Nationalism
    (pp. 156-167)

    The great conflict between W. E. B. Du Bois and Marcus Garvey in the early 1920’s had its roots in the earlier leadership rivalry between Du Bois and Booker T. Washington that had agitated Negro leadership circles from the turn of the century until 1915 when Washington died. The basic underlying issues that gave rise to this Washington-Du Bois-Garvey continuum were fundamentally economic, although Negro historians do not tell the story this way. The historians, both Negro and white, have so distorted and confused the issues involving Washington, Du Bois, and Garvey that it is impossible for the present generation...

  16. 12 The Blacks and the Idea of Revolt
    (pp. 168-192)

    The nearest living contact I have ever had with French culture was in North Africa during World War II. I took part in the Anglo-American landings in Oran, Algeria, in November, 1942. During those fateful days few if any of us American were intellectually or politically prepared for what we encountered in French North Africa. We knew next to nothing of North Africa’s ethnic composition, history, or politics. Some of us were vaguely aware that North Africa and ,indeed, all Africa, was under European rule; but what this implied in human relationships was remote from our experiences. We learned things...

  17. 13 Behind the Black Power Slogan
    (pp. 193-260)

    Back in the middle fifties I severed my connections with the Marxist Socialist movement because I had come to the conclusion that its theory of the struggle for socialism did not apply to the real situation of the Negro in America. Even as a fledgling black radical of the late forties I was ill at ease with the Communist approach, which I felt was not tuning in on the Negro presence. The main reason I stayed in the movement as long as I did was to learn more thoroughlywhythe Marxists could be so dogmatically wrong about Negroes.


  18. INDEX
    (pp. 261-272)
  19. Back Matter
    (pp. 273-273)