[Marxism] Sylvia Weinstein - FIGHTBACK!

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Thu Dec 21 11:31:51 MST 2006

When I was an up-and-coming young activist in New York City back in
the early 1960s, I began to learn that the entire world wasn't just
like myself. A rather typical New York Jew, not particularly religious
in those days and not at all religious these days, I spoke with that same
accent that I thought everyone else except radio and TV announcers
used. It wasn't terribly conscious, I just sort of unconsciously
assumed that. As a younger teen, I learned that there was another
kind of music than the rock 'n' roll I was used to as well, which
was known as country western.

When I first met Sylvia Weinstein, it really surprised me to hear
someone talking revolutionary socialist politics, filled with fire
and enthusiasm, but with a Southern accent. Really? There really
were white people with those politics who spoke that way? Quite a
shock. It wasn't until many years later when I heard the voice of
Nelson Blackstock, another southern white who was a revolutionary
activist to that I began to realize that not all southern whites
were reactionary. Oh, sure, I knew that intellectually, but to
see it in real people helped me to broaden my outlook on life

When I began coming around the Socialist Workers Party and the
Young Socialist Alliance, I got to meet Sylvia and her husband
Nat, who was the New York Branch Organizer of the SWP. Sylvia
was often a party speaker and candidate. Our paths crossed over
the years, from my days in the SWP, to my days after both of us
were no longer in the SWP. Somehow when we met were always
part of the same struggle, or something similar at the minimum.

Not long after Sylvia's death, her family and comrades decided to
put together a book of her writings. I contributed a photo which
captures Sylvia very much as I remember her, giving a speech in
support of some good thing or against some bad thing. She was
not one of those who sat around and just criticized. She was a
part of every struggle when I knew her. And her writings ran the
gamut as well. The publishers of the anthology of her writings
kindly sent me several of the chapters which are of the greatest
interest to me in my work, mostly related to Cuba solidarity and
I've put them together on a series of eight web-pages which can
give readers a sense of this remarkable working class woman and
her terrific ability to communicate essential ideas in a language
completely accessable to an ordinary public.

There are several items on Cuba, one each on Dorothy Day and
Adrienne Rich, and the transcript of a speech which contains an
unusual amount of autiobiographical material, things I'd never
known about her when she was alive and active. I think you
will enjoy taking a look at the material and would encourage
you to buy a copy of the book. Purchasing details on the page.
Hell of a bargain at $25.00 plus $5.95 shipping and handling.


Walter Lippmann
Los Angeles, California
December 21, 2006

More information about the Marxism mailing list