Sunday, June 22, 2008

Frank Marshall Davis

I received this e-mail from Alan Maki. You may remember Alan sent out an e-mail about "Livin' the Blues" by Frank Marshall Davis. I checked it out from the Duluth Library last week and have been reading it everyday and sharing this with my kids.

I highly recommend and encourage everyone to read these two books. I also ordered two of his poetry books.

Frank Marshall Davis was a journalist and social activist of tremendous courage.

I want to point out that Frank Marshall Davis was not only a voice for civil and human rights; his voice was a solid voice for the rights of all working people.

I can remember back in the 1960's when young people like me were getting involved in trying to end the war in Vietnam. It was so hard to come by solid progressive information. The result was many young people turned to anarchism. Others turned to misguided "New Left" ideas. I see the same thing happening today. We need look no further than the anarchist and Troskyists involved in "planning" the protests around the Republican Party National Convention. They see just one aspect of the problem- the Republicans. There is so much more. These demonstrators should be focusing on the foreclosed homes and the bankers. They should be looking to demonstrate at the St. Paul Ford Plant. They should be looking to demonstrate at the State Capitol for universal health care. Because of misleadership, these demonstrations at the Republican Party National Convention will not be focused on the complete problem. This probably is not coincidental since we have been hearing many of the wealthier Democrats are funding these events around the Republican Party National Convention and it is in their interest not to focus attention to these other issues and the whole picture.

Getting people to read these writings might help them to see things more clearly.

Anyways this is the e-mail I received from Alan Maki.


-----Original Message-----

From: Alan Maki []

Sent: Sunday, June 22, 2008 9:07 PM

To:;;;; 'John Beck'; 'John Remington'; 'Robert Borosage'; 'Jim Bryant';;

Cc: 'David Shove';;;; 'William Oldfather';; 'Lydia Howell';;;;;;;;; 'Randy Furst';

Subject: "The Writings of Frank Marshall Davis; A Voice of the Black Press

I would encourage everyone to read the book: “The Writings of Frank Marshall Davis; A Voice of the Black Press” by Frank Marshall Davis edited with an introduction by John Edgar Tidwell; published by the University of Mississippi Press in 2007.

This, together with, “Livin’ the Blues” by Frank Marshall Davis, should be read by everyone as quickly as possible because right-wing organizations like the John Birch Society are already starting to inject a very racist, undemocratic, vicious, poisonous and pernicious atmosphere into the 2008 elections because Frank Marshall Davis has been identified as Barack Obama’s “mentor.” Whether or not one supports Barack Obama or the ideas of Frank Marshall Davis the right of people to freely write and speak their minds and for freedom of association has to be defended. An open discussion and dialogue concerning the views of Frank Marshall Davis is the only way to honestly resolve this problem in the making.

In my opinion, the views of Frank Marshall Davis offer an important contribution to the democratic process with a clear analysis, often as relevant today as when his words were originally written; Davis’s ideas are a breath of fresh air deserving of dialogue, discussion and debate.

Both books are well worth the purchase price and can be purchased via the Internet at pretty substantial bargains, at least “Livin’ the Blues.” Otherwise, get them from your local public or university library.

If we get enough people around the country reading these books and discussing these ideas, we will be well on our way to organizing a more coherent, unified progressive movement in this country--- something we desperately need.

We should be introducing people to these books at every opportunity in person to person conversations and communications via the Internet: e-mail and blogs. We should be introducing these books to the local “opinion-makers,” politicians at every level, clergy and teachers, instructors and professors--- students and youth, who form a big base of Obama’s network of support should be introduced to Davis’ writings as a way to bring progressive ideas, opinions, analysis, to this public discourse and debate--- which way America, neo-liberalism or progressivism?

This book should be discussed on community television and radio stations.

Unite for Change.

Yours in the struggle,


Alan L. Maki

58891 County Road 13

Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Phone: 218-386-2432

Cell phone: 651-587-5541


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Thoughts From Podunk