I am Joanie a Recovering Afrikan amerikkkan and Representative from the Voices in the Margins.
I just recieved this post from the Blacklist and thought I'd share it here.
I imagine many folks are familiar with this brethren and have read his works. I have not and would love to get my hands on some of it. Please do not direct to potential sources, as, currently, i am financially unable to purchase. Maybe i'll see if any Tampa libraries (hahah) are holding any.
Anyway, any and all other feedback is of course invited.
Thanks for allowing me to Share.
Harold Cruse: Author, activist and U-M professor
BY NIRAJ WARIKOO
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
Harold Cruse, one of the most influential writers on African-American
politics, culture and history, died of heart failure Friday in the Sunrise
Assisted Living facility in Ann Arbor. He was 89.
Mr. Cruse is best known for his 1967 book, "The Crisis of the Negro
Intellectual," an analytical look at the ideas of black writers and artists.
Written during the tumult of the 1960s, the book urged black autonomy and
became a pioneering work that is widely read today in academia. A new
edition of the book was published last month, with an introduction written
by Stanley Crouch.
In 1968, Mr. Cruse became a professor at the University of Michigan in Ann
Arbor, where he taught African-American studies. He was key in starting
U-M's Center for Afroamerican and African Studies (CAAS) in 1970, and was
acting director in 1972-73.
He later became professor emeritus of history and African-American studies
at the university.
Mr. Cruse's life and writings encompassed the broad diversity of the black
and American experiences during the 20th Century. Communism, slavery,
nationalism, blues, Marxism, jazz, capitalism, civil rights -- all were
written about in his sharp prose.
"Cruse's legacy is awe-inspiring," the Library Journal wrote in a review of
the 2002 book "The Essential Harold Cruse," a collection of writings by and
Mr. Cruse was born in Petersburg, Va., in 1916, and moved with his family to
New York City as a young child.
After graduating from high school, he held a variety of jobs before serving
in the U.S. Army during World War II, according to the Robert F. Wagner
Labor Archives at Tamiment Library in New York City. In 1941 -45, he was
stationed in Italy, north Africa, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
After the war, Mr. Cruse briefly attended City College in New York, but
never graduated. "He was self-educated," said his significant other, Mara
Julius, an assistant research scientist emeritus at U-M's Department of
"He was an avid reader, spending much of his time in the library," she said.
"He rounded out his education in arts and music."
In 1947, Mr. Cruse joined the Communist Party, which was strongly pushing
for integration and racial equality. Mr. Cruse contributed drama and
literary reviews for its newspaper, the Daily Worker.
But his writing was not tied down by party doctrine. In fact, he was a sharp
critic of other black thinkers and artists for strictly adhering to
philosophies, like communism, that he felt could constrict the black
In the 1950s, Mr. Cruse wrote several plays, but concentrated mainly on
nonfiction. In a 1951 essay, he praised entertainer Josephine Baker for
returning to the United States from France and not losing her "native Negro
In his 1967 "Crisis" book, Mr. Cruse wrote about black figures such as Paul
Robeson, Lorraine Hansberry and James Baldwin, arguing that their rigid
politics restricted them.
The book also touched on "mass media and communism, black-Jewish relations,
and the revolutionary use of force," said the New York Review of Books.
And decades before critics assailed Vanilla Ice and Eminem for ripping off
black culture, Mr. Cruse wrote about white people in the 1920s making "music
that they literally stole outright from Harlem nightclubs."
Among his other books are "Rebellion or Revolution," "Marxism and the Negro
Struggle" and "Plural but Equal: A Critical Study of Blacks and Minorities
and America's Plural Society."
In "Plural but Equal," he faulted civil rights leaders for not learning from
the failures of the black struggle in the late 19th Century.
"There are some people who learn how to teach, and some people are born to
teach," said Julius. "He was born to teach."
Mr. Cruse also is survived by two half-sisters and a cousin.
Funeral arrangements have not been finalized. Mr. Cruse is to be cremated.
Copyright © 2005 Detroit Free Press Inc.