Linda Burnham

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Linda Burnham


Linda Burnham is a Bay Area activist and founder and director of the Women of Color Resource Center.

Early life

Linda Burnham (born 1948) grew up in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of prominent black Communist Party USA member Dorothy Burnham. She graduated from Reed College in 1968.

Political Activism

As a journalist and activist[1], Burnham has traveled to Cuba with the Venceremos Brigades, worked with the the Third World Women's Alliance, the Alliance Against Women's Oppression, the Angela Davis Defense Committee, Black Women United and the Maoist organization Line of March. Burnham was active in San Francisco in the 1960s, New York in the 1970s and the Bay Area in the 1980s, where she founded the Women of Color Resource Center in Oakland in 1989.

Linda Burnham is the author[2]of "Has Poverty Been Feminized in Black America?" and the coauthor of Towards a Communist Analysis of Black Oppression and Black Liberation. In the late 1980s Burnham was a frequent contributor to Frontline newspaper and was active in the southern Africa solidarity movement in the Bay area.

Burnham has worked as a consultant on organizational and board development, strategic planning and staff development with a wide range of organizations, including Atlantic Philanthropies, Center for Community Change, Community Coalition, The Black Scholar, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, Family Values at Work, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Southern Human Rights Organizing Network and Urgent Action Fund.

She is also the National Research Coordinator for the National Domestic Women’s Alliance and was a co-founder and former executive director of the Women of Color Resource Center. She was a leader in the Third World Women’s Alliance, an organization that grew out of a women’s caucus of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and that, early on, challenged the women’s movement to incorporate issues of race and class into the feminist agenda. Burnham has written extensively on topics of Black politics and women’s rights. In 2009, she edited the anthology, “Changing the Race: Racial Politics and the Election of Barack Obama.” She is a frequent featured speaker on college campuses and to community groups, addressing issues of women’s rights, racial justice, human rights and peace. [3]

DSA Feminist Commission

In 1985[4] and 1986,[5] Linda Burnham of California was listed as a member of the Feminist Commission of the Democratic Socialists of America.

Racism Research Project

The Racism Research Project was a group of people who had been studying various historical and theoretical questions concerning racism, especially its formative period in the seventeenth century.

The Project was not a formal organization. Racism Research Project is an identifying name chosen for the convenience of publication.

The Critique of the Black Nation Thesis grew out of unpublished articles written by Harry Chang during the 1970s. The following people were involved in one way or another in the development of the present article:

Gary Achziger, Bruce Occena, Linda Burnham, Smokey Perry, Harry Chang, Barbara Pottgen, Neil Gotanda, Pat Sumi, Paul Liem, Bob Wing, Belvin Louie.[6]

Call for a Conference on Racism and National Oppression

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Call for a Conference on Racism and National Oppression was a 1980 call by Marxist-Leninists of The Trend, most of whom were Line of March activists, for a national conference on "Racism and National Oppression" to be held in the summer of 1981 in New York or the Bay Area.

Signers from the San Francisco Bay Area were;

Origins of Line of March

Leading the initial effort to found the rectification network in December 1976 were Union of Democratic Filipinos leaders Bruce Occena and Melinda Paras and Max Elbaum, then a leader of the Northern California Alliance. Soon thereafter, Third World Women’s Alliance leader (TWWA) Linda Burnham joined the group. Believing that the organizational side of party building needed to be conducted mainly in secret, the network was initially clandestine and had no formal name, its members and supporters becoming known loosely as “rectificationists.”

In 1978, rectification leaders built close ties with two members of the Guardian staff – Executive Editor Irwin Silber and former Third World Women’s Alliance leader Fran Beal who were subsequently recruited into the rectification network. At their urging, other network members joined the just-being-formed Guardian Clubs. And Silber – who had authored many of the Guardian’s ideological polemics – began to propound key elements of the rectification perspective in his Guardian columns and in debates in the Club Network.

By late 1978 differences over the Clubs’ direction and the party-building line of the Guardian led to a split, with the Guardian Club membership – supported by Silber and Beal – breaking away to form the National Network of Marxist-Leninist Clubs (NNMLC) in March 1979. This new group enabled the rectificationists to go public and publish the first comprehensive statements of the rectification line. But as Max Elbaum notes, the NNMLC’s “public attacks on the Guardian were extremely harsh, as were its broad-stroke criticisms of the OCIC. This did not auger well for the Rectificationists’ capacity to establish friendly relations with communists who held differing views.”.[7]

Nairobi

Loretta Hobbs and Linda Burnham wrote a report in Frontline September 16, 1985 on their participation in the women's conference in Nairobi.

Frontline Forum

Frontline October 26 1987

Four participants in the recent Rainbow Coalition convention held a Frontline Forum in New York. 29th October "Jesse Jackson, and '88: what's at stake?".

Line of March

In 1990 Linda Burnham was a member of the National Executive Committee of the Line of March political organization and the chair of its Black Liberation Commission.[8]

The Line of March theoretical journal was simply named - Line of March:A journal of Marxist-Leninist Theory and Politics. It was published by the Institute for Social and Economic Studies, PO Box 2809, Oakland California.

In 1980 the Line of March editorial board consisted of co-editors Bruce Occena and Irwin Silber, managing editor Margery Rosnick and Linda Burnham, Max Elbaum, Melinda Paras and Bob Wing. [9].

In 1987 the Line of March editorial board consisted of Linda Burnham, Max Elbaum, Bruce Occena, Melinda Paras, Irwin Silber and Cathi Tactaquin.[10]

National Question Project

In 1981 Linda Burnham, Bob Wing, Michael Downing, Phil Gardiner, Phil Hutchings, Trinity Ordona were members of the Line of March Racism/National Question Study Project.[11]

Black Liberation

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In 1984 Linda Burnham and Phil Gardiner were members of the Line of March Black Liberation Commission.

Line of March leader

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In 1988 Linda Burnham, Max Elbaum, Arnoldo Garcia, Miriam Louie, Irwin Silber, Cathi Tactaquin, Bob Wing represented the Line of March National Executive Committee and National Board.

Malcolm X conference

A conference, Malcolm X: Radical Tradition and a Legacy of Struggle was held in New York City, November 14 1990.

The "Black Liberation and Social Revolution: U.S.A. Perspectives" panel consisted of;

Chairperson:

Panel:

Institute for Social and Economic Studies/CrossRoads

In the mid 1990s served on the Board of Directors of Oakland based Institute for Social and Economic Studies- sponsor of CrossRoads magazine, which sought to promote dialogue and building new alliances among progressives and leftists... and to bring diverse Marxist and socialist traditions to bear while exploring new strategies and directions for the progressive political movements.[12]

Committees of Correspondence 2002 Conference

At the Committees of Correspondence National Conference and Convention, July 25-28, 2002 San Francisco State University, the Plenary Panel and Discussion on Economic Justice and Globalization included; Manning Marable, with Linda Burnham, Mike Prokosch, a representative of Cuba Alternatives to corporate domination of globalization today [13]

Black Radical Congress

In March 1998 “Endorsers of the Call” to found a Black Radical Congress included Linda Burnham, Women of Color Resource Center, Berkeley, CA.[14]

Sacramento Marxist School

On Feb 21 2001 Linda Burnham lectured at the Sacramento Marxist School on Marxism and Feminism.[15]

War Times

In January 2002, a group of San Francisco leftists, mainly former Maoists or involved with STORM or Committees of Correspondence, founded a national anti-Iraq War newspaper War Times.[16]

The pilot issue of War Times, a new biweekly newspaper opposing the "war on terrorism," will roll off the press on February 14... Featuring an exclusive interview with Danny Glover and a letter to President Bush from Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu, the premier of this bilingual, free publication will be distributed in several dozen cities across the country.

Serving on the War Times Organizing Committee were;

Radfest 2003

On Saturday evening, there was a second plenary panel, titled “The State of Black Politics.” The panelists were Linda Burnham (Women of Color Resource Center), Theresa El-Amin (Southern Anti-Racism Network, Solidarity), Bill Fletcher, Jr. (TransAfrica Forum), and Salim Muwakkil(Chicago Tribune, In These Times).

Women of Color Resource Center

In 2006 the Women of Color Resource Center Board of Directors included[17]Caroline Acuna-Guilartes, Linda Burnham, Jung Hee Choi, Angela Davis, Derethia DuVal, Chris Lymbertos, Genevieve Negron-Gonzales, Margo Okazawa-Rey and Cindy Wiesner.

Committees of Corresondence conference

At the 6th National Convention of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS) at San Francisco's Whitcomb Hotel July 23-26 2009 a Symposium roundtable[18]conversation on "Building the Left and the Progressive Majority." featured CCDS leader Mildred Williamson, Judith LeBlanc of the Communist Party USA, Joseph Schwartz of Democratic Socialists of America, Michael Rubin of Solidarity, Jamala Rogers of Freedom Road Socialist Organization, and Linda Burnham. The panelists discussed the importance of building the left within the current upsurge, working for left unity in struggle against the right, and the tactical issues that arise in uniting the progressive majority.

Ad-Hoc Left Committee

POLITICAL HIGHS, ECONOMIC LOWS: MANAGING U.S. DECLINE

Featuring Gary Younge, Author of "No Place Like Home: A Black Briton's Journey Through the Deep South"

THURSDAY, APRIL 30 2009 St. John's Church, San Francisco

Like previous events sponsored by this Ad Hoc Committee, this program is aimed at fostering dialogue and debate among leftists who see themselves operating within the left-wing-of-the-Obama-motion political space. If there are people sharing this broad viewpoint who you believe would be interested in participating in this conversation, we encourage you to extend this invitation to them.

Ad-Hoc Left Committee: Carl Bloice, Linda Burnham, Max Elbaum, Michelle Foy, Juan Lopez, Calvin Miaw, Giuliana Milanese, Maria Poblet, Tim Thomas, Mei-ying Williams, Steve Williams.[19]

USSF

At the 2010 United States Social Forum in Detroit , a forum was held "Presente! Left Movement Veterans Discuss the Path to Power and the Role of the Left in the US" June 24th from 3:00pm to 5:00pm at Cobo Hall.

Description: Long-time activists Bill Gallegos, Lian Hurst Mann, Chokwe Lumumba, Jane Slaughter, Linda Burnham, and Pam Tau Lee join other Leftists that have plied their trade for over 30 years in an urgent discussion on the role of the left in today’s social movements. [20]

It was sponsored by the Freedom Road Socialist Organization/OSCL.[21]

"Third Reconstruction?"

August 2, 2013 Bob Wing published an article in Counterpunch, on organizing in the South "Rightwing Neo-Secession or a Third Reconstruction?"

Special thanks to my lifelong colleagues Max Elbaum and Linda Burnham and to Jon Liss, Lynn Koh, Carl Davidson, Ajamu Dillahunt, Raymond Eurquhart and Bill Fletcher, Jr. for their comments, critiques and suggestions.

Ear to the Ground Project

Ear to the Ground Project;

We would like to express our deep respect and appreciation for everyone who took the time to talk with us, and the organizations that generously hosted us during our travels. Interviews were confidential, but the following people have agreed to have their names listed for this publication:

Most of those listed were connected to Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

Linda Burnham was among those on the list. [22]

Lenoir and Associates

Lenoir and Associates collaborates with these and other consultants to provide a fuller range of services to their clients.[23]

Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing

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Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing, was a nationwide conference call organized by Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Sunday October 30, 2016.

What's the nature of this right-wing threat? What has this election cycle changed about the political terrain we're fighting on? How do we need to prepare for whats coming after the election? Hear about these crucial questions from our panel of top political strategists, including Nelini Stamp, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Linda Burnham, and Sendolo Diaminah.
Many of our movements and the Left have struggled to make sense of what a potential Trump victory might mean, or what are the implications of a new Clinton administration with a broadly activated far Right. What approach should the Left take towards these possibilities? How should we think about organizing, alliance building, and constructing independent political power? How can progressive and Left movements build upon the moment generated by the Bernie Sanders campaign, the Movement for Black Lives, the immigrant rights movement, and the womanist backlash against Trump's misogynism?

References