Nelson Peery

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Thu Feb 7 08:52:30 MST 2002

Although "Joe Freemen" was very careful to hide his real identity, I
strongly suspect that he is none other than Nelson Peery, a well-known
African-American Marxist auto-worker in the Detroit area who was born in
1923. If Joe was Nelson Peery, that would explain Phil's perception that he
seemed "older" than the age he originally gave which was in his late 50s or
so. With all the games that go on in cyberspace with claims that Mohammad
couldn't really be 18, spectral figures like "boddhisatva" or Joan
Cameron's latest Halloween part 7 visitation as "mckinnon", it is sometimes
hard to figure out who is who.

In any case, if you go to:, you
will see a collection of Peery's articles, including "The Electronic
Revolution and the New Class of the Structurally Unemployed," which
contains the very themes that he harped upon here with such eloquence. It
is a shame that tensions were running so high on the list at the time that
I had to remove him. In general, I try to urge comrades to keep expressions
of their political and  personal animosities to a simmer, since the very
nature of our participation in this kind of forum is subject to explosive
differences. This, after all, is not a discussion about 18th century New
England collectibles that we are having here.

Peery is also the author of "Black Fire : The Making of an American
Revolutionary" that can be ordered online from or your better
bookstores. Here are some review blurbs from

The New Yorker:
"Black Fire is a well-told, scathing story, and it resounds with a sense of

Washington Post:
"Black Fire is sad and sweet and angry all at the same time, the memoir of
a black man who loved America, despite its flaws... Being black and an
American is like being involved in an unrequited love affair, and nothing
illustrates this so well as Nelson Peery's memoir."

Louis Proyect
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