By Jack O'Dell
This ebook collects for the 1st time the black freedom flow writings of Jack O'Dell and restores one of many nice unsung heroes of the civil rights move to his rightful position within the old checklist. Climbin' Jacob's Ladder places O'Dell's traditionally major essays in context and divulges how he contributed to shaping the civil rights move. From his early years within the Nineteen Forties nationwide Maritime Union, to his pioneering paintings within the early Sixties with Martin Luther King Jr., to his overseas efforts for the Rainbow Coalition throughout the Nineteen Eighties, O'Dell used to be instrumental within the improvement of the highbrow imaginative and prescient and the associations that underpinned a number of many years of anti-racist fight. He was once a member of the outlawed Communist celebration within the Fifties and persisted red-baiting all through his lengthy social justice profession. This quantity is edited by means of Nikhil good friend Singh and contains a long creation in line with interviews he carried out with O'Dell on his adolescence and later studies. Climbin' Jacob's Ladder presents readers with an organization clutch of the civil rights movement's left wing, which O'Dell represents, and illuminates a extra radical and worldwide account of twentieth-century US heritage.
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Extra resources for Climbin' Jacob's Ladder: The Black Freedom Movement Writings of Jack O'Dell
B. Du Bois. When O’Dell first met King, the younger man had not yet achieved the lofty status he would hold in a few short years, but O’Dell recognized King’s caliber straight away. In turn, steeped in trade unionism and knowledgeable about organizing in the South, O’Dell also knew that he had something to offer King. As a socialist and someone who had deeply considered the art and science of social change, O’Dell brought a historical and theoretical perspective to bear on the limited framework of legal and moral reform that informed the black community’s initial civil rights thrust.
102 In late 1971, the youthful and charismatic Jesse Jackson left SCLC to form a new organization, People United to Save Humanity, or PUSH. He turned to O’Dell, asking the older man to serve as his chief of staff and director of national expansion for the organization. O’Dell knew Reverend Jackson primarily from his leadership of Operation Breadbasket, SCLC’s 1960s economic empowerment program based in Chicago. ”103 The centerpiece of PUSH’s agenda in its early years was a program of civil economics that combined older traditions of black self-help and strategies of consumer activism with new emphases on developing black business enterprise and pressing for greater corporate support of job training and affirmative action.
At one meeting O’Dell attended on Long Island in New York, the FBI burst into the room to arrest his friend and mentor Ed Strong under the Smith Act. , in 1956. Co-founder of the White Citizens’ Council in his home state, Eastland embodied the intersection of the official red scare and white supremacy. Invoking his Fifth Amendment protection against selfincrimination, O’Dell refused to recognize the committee’s legitimate authority, accusing his accusers of violating his civil rights and civil liberties.