Help Tell the Story

What is your story? When did you first hear about NSM? What inspired you to join? What questions should we be asking to enrich our understanding of the history of the Movement?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Story of Freedom North

[T]he more I have thought about our past, the more excited I have become over its significance because... Before the Panthers, there was NSM. Before SNCC´s Atlanta project and before Stokely´s media-generated hysteria over "Black Power," there was NSM. Before all of these more recognized historical events, NSM had already initiated a race-conscious strategy to confront american racism.In fact Detroit NSM had formed probably the first
really constructive white organization to combat the monster: PAR,People Against Racism.

What I´ve come to realize is that the NSM story is not just our story. Rather it´s the story of urban organizing in the North...It´s the history of Bayard´s school boycott and the struggle against the racist NY teachers union under Al Shanker and the resultant community strugggle of Ocean Hill-Brownsville.It´s Julius Hobson in DC; the NAACP radical [Cecil Moore) in Philadelphia; and … Stanley Branche in Chester,Pa.  It´s the story of Jesse Gray´s rent strikes, Adam Clayton Powell´s first Black Power conference and of Malcolm´s last years.

Thus NSM is a window on this larger, neglected story of black struggle, the story of Freedom North,the other civil rights movement.It´s the missing chapter of the national struggle without which the history is not whole.

William Strickland
Executive Director, NSM

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