Adolph Reed

LeoCasey at LeoCasey at
Sun Oct 29 08:49:56 MST 1995

There is a history to Adoph Reed and I, for one, am not prepared to ignore
it. The notion that he has not constantly engaged in public attacks on other
radical African-American intellectuals, and has done so out of thinly
disguised envy, will simply not stand up to critical scrutiny. Within the
last year, he has seized upon the opportunity of the excreable attack on
Cornel West in _The New Republic_ to engage in a long Village Voice diatribe
which attacks every prominent African-American intellectual on the left for
this or that crime of insufficient left wing credentials.

Doug is not the only one with personal friends. Not only do I count Cornel
West as a friend of mine, but I have had other friends who have had to deal
on a very real basis with Reed's attempts to promote himself at the expense
of every other African-American left intellectual within sight. Gerry Watts,
whose work on Ralph Ellison has just bgeen published, had to deal with a very
vicious attempt by Reed to sabotage his Ph.D. dissertation on
African-American intellectual life at Yale -- a dissertation that met with
universal acclaim from every other quarter. Watts is also a friend of mine.
You can find a line of left African-American intellectuals who have had to
deal with the effects of self-promotion from a man who finds Booker T.
Washington lurking in everyone else.

And Reed's connection to _Telos_ was a little more substantial than writing
an article.

I don't know that there is any purpose to be served by trading personal
anecdotes on this matter, but I must make my dissent from the accolades for
Reed, and I must insist that this dissent has a basis in fact.

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