- 1 Background
- 2 Education
- 3 LeftRoots
- 4 "A letter from the movement to the movement'
- 5 Left Forum Advisory Board
- 6 Ella Baker-Nelson Mandela Center
- 7 Spoke at Socialism 2016 Conference
- 8 Anti-Apartheid network
- 9 Malcolm X conference
- 10 African-American Women in Defense of Ourselves
- 11 Committees of Correspondence connection
- 12 Chicago Committee in Solidarity with Southern Africa
- 13 "African Americans and the 1996 Elections."
- 14 Black Radical Congress
- 15 Speaking with Ayers and Obama
- 16 "Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement"
- 17 Chicago Area Friends of SNCC
- 18 Crossroads Fund
- 19 MDS Board member
- 20 Open Letter to Obama on Iran
- 21 Race & Class
- 22 Ella's Daughters
- 23 Black Commentator
- 24 Communist front MC
- 25 Now What? Defying Trump and the Left's Way Forward
- 26 Women's March
- 27 References
Barbara Ransby is an associate professor of History and African American Studies at University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a writer, historian and longtime activist and author of a biography of Ella J. Baker. She has worked with the Black Radical Congress, Progressive Media Project, Crossroads Fund, Public Square, African American Women in Defense of Ourselves and other activist organizations.
She is closely associated with Freedom Road Socialist Organization.
She received her B.A. from the Columbia University and her M.A. and Ph.D in History from the University of Michigan. Barbara Ransby is currently a Professor of African American Studies, Gender and Woman’s Studies (director, 2008-2013), and History at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she directs the campus-wide Social Justice Initiative. She previously served as Interim Vice Provost for Planning and Programs (2011-2012).
Her highly acclaimed biography, Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision received eight national awards and recognitions. Professor Ransby is also winner of the prestigious Catherine Prelinger Prize for her contributions for her contributions to women’s history. Her most recent book is Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional life of Mrs. Paul Robeson (Yale University Press, 2013). Ransby has also published in numerous scholarly and popular publications and lectures widely. She serves on the editorial boards of the Black Commentator, (an online journal); the London based journal, Race and Class; the Justice, Power and Politics Book Series at the University of North Carolina Press; and the Scholar’s Advisory Commitee of Ms. Magazine, as well as the National Advisory Board of “Imagining America”. In the summer of 2012 she became the second Editor in Chief of SOULS, a critical journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society published quarterly since 1999. In addition to her scholarship, Professor Ransby is a public historian who works with many community based and activist organizations.
Barbara Ransby attended Columbia University in New York from 1980 to 1984.
In October 2019 Barbara Ransby was a LeftRoots compa.
"A letter from the movement to the movement'
In September 2019 Barbara Ransby was one of 100 black leaders, many affiliated with Liberation Road who signed A letter from the movement to the movement defending Maurice Moe Mitchell and Nelini Stamp of the Working Families Party for endorsing Elizabeth Warren instead of Bernie Sanders for the Democratic Party presidential nomination.
Left Forum Advisory Board
In 2009 the Left Forum Advisory Board included Gilbert Achcar, Tariq Ali, Ashanti Alston, Anthony Arnove, Robin Blackburn, Barbara Bowen, Jack Bratich, Rose Brewer, Renate Bridenthal, Michael Brie, Stephen Brier, Stephen Eric Bronner, Paul Buhle, Joseph Buttigieg, Luciana Castellina, Angela Dillard, Stephen Duncombe, Hester Eisenstein, Barbara Epstein, Deepa Fernandes, Hector Figueroa, Harriet Fraad, Josh Freeman, Barbara Garson, Heather Gautney, Marvin Gettleman, Arun Gupta, Jack Hammond, David Harvey, Gerald Horne, Boris Kagarlitsky, Robin D. G. Kelley, Christine A. Kelly, Peter Kwong, Joanne Landy, Jesse Lemisch, Michael Lowy, Nivedita Majumdar, Manning Marable, Randy Martin, Liz Mestres, Susan O'Malley, Cathy Mulder, Leo Panitch, Christian Parenti, Thomas Ponniah, Barbara Ransby, Michael Ratner, Jan Rehmann, Gerardo Renique, Rainer Rilling, Colin Robinson, Nan Rubin, Roger Salerno, Stephen R. Shalom, Neil Smith, Richard Smith, Meredith Tax, Eleni Varikas, Victor Wallis, Joseph Wilson.
Ella Baker-Nelson Mandela Center
Spoke at Socialism 2016 Conference
Some of our Speakers at Socialism 2016 included:
- Adam Blueford
- Jeralynn Blueford
- Gilbert Achcar
- Mike Davis
- Barbara Ransby
- Sharon Smith
- Anthony Arnove
- Ian Angus
- Sam Farber
- Eli Friedman
- Justin Akers Chacon
- Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
- Paul D'Amato
- Khury Petersen-Smith
- Amy Goodman
- Neil Davidson
- Lester Spence
- Jesse Hagopian
- Tithi Bhattacharya
- Brian Jones
- Alan Maass
- Nicole Colson
- Scott McLemee
- Donna Murch
- Bill Mullen
- Danny Katch
- Jennifer Roesch
- Jon Soske
- Ahmed Shawki
- Charlotte Bence
- John Riddell
- Bhaskar Sunkara
- Sherry Wolf
- Dave Zirin
- Dan Georgakas
- Marvin Surkin
Joe Iosbaker December 5, 2013 ·
This plaque is among my most treasured possessions. Remember Nelson Mandela! Continue the struggle against apartheid in Israel! Victory to the liberation struggles of oppressed nations!
— with Dennis O'Neil, Lester Dragstedt, Lynne Adrian, Tracy Van Quaethem, Carol DeProsse, Richard Berg, Jim Potter, John A. Smith, Daniel Hughes, Mike Ascroft, Bob Hearst, Andrew Harvey, Josef Ignatious Fortier, Amy Kratz, Bob Cotter, Craig Perrin, Mike Price, Michael Turnure, Patrick Kearns, Kris Penniston, Stephanie Weiner, Judith Mentzer, Chris Iosbaker, Joe Burns, Bridgette Sheridan, Prexy Nesbitt, Tomas de Bourgha, Kit Bonson, Brenda Barton, Anne Evens, Juliet Holt Klinger, Michael Harvey, Saed Abu-Hijleh, Chip Young, John Stonebarger, Robin Potter, Barbara Ransby, Keith L. Perry, Mick Kelly, Tom Wilson, Beau Barry, Amy Smith, Lj Yanney, Richard Saks, Bruce Nestor, Hermalee Webb and Bethany McIvor.
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 Women and Black Liberation: Fighting Oppression and Building Unity" panel consisted of;
- Barbara Ransby, Ella Baker - Nelson Mandela Center
African-American Women in Defense of Ourselves
Rhonda Williams, Department of African-American Studies, and Economics, University of Maryland contributed an article to Freedom Road Socialist Organization's Forward Motion, March 1992 issue, in which she stated that Barbara Ransby, Elsa Barkley-Brown and Deborah King, had esblished the African-American Women in Defense of Ourselves.
Committees of Correspondence connection
Chicago Committee in Solidarity with Southern Africa
The 1994 Chicago Committee in Solidarity with Southern Africa board of directors consisted of Lisa Brock, Kay Burnett, Basil Clunie, Selena Derey, Michael Freedberg, Joan Gerig, Cheryl Harris, Prexy Nesbitt, Barbara Ransby, Rachel Rubin, Zeva Schub. 
"African Americans and the 1996 Elections."
In conjunction with the Chicago Chapter of the Committees of Correspondence, the University of Chicago Democratic Socialists of America hosted a panel discussion on "African Americans and the 1996 Elections." Panelists included Danny Davis, Cook County Commissioner and Democratic Party nominee for Illinois' 7th Congressional District, Barbara Ransby, Chair of the Center for African American Research at DePaul University, and Salim Muwakkil, columnist (for In These Times and the Chicago Sun-Times. Long-time political activist Timuel Black moderated.
Black Radical Congress
In 1996, five veteran activists and scholars - Abdul Alkalimat, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Manning Marable, Leith Mullings, and Barbara Ransby - initiated a round of discussions among themselves regarding the political and social state of affairs facing African Americans and other oppressed communities in the United States. Though the five brought different experiences and political frameworks to these talks, they all located themselves within the broad school of black radicalism. Those discussions would soon port to a larger pool of activists who agreed that not only did a crisis exist, but black radicals also had a responsibility to do something about it.
Speaking with Ayers and Obama
Bill Ayers and Barack Obama spoke together at a public gathering sponsored by The Center for Public Intellectuals & the University of Illinois-Chicago, April 19th-20th, 2002, at the Chicago Illini Union;
"Intellectuals: Who Needs Them?
IV. Intellectuals in Times of Crisis
Experiences and applications of intellectual work in urgent situations.
- Bill Ayers, UIC, College of Education; author of Fugitive Days
- Douglass Cassel, Northwestern University, Center for International Human Rights
- Cathy Cohen, University of Chicago, Political Science
- Barack Obama, Illinois State Senator
- Barbara Ransby, UIC, African-American Studies (moderator).
"Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement"
In 2004 Barbara Ransby released a biography of radical black civil rights activist Ella J. Baker-"Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision"
Chicago Area Friends of SNCC
In 2005 Chicago Area Friends of SNCC organized the "Tell the Story: The Chicago SNCC History Project, 1960-1965" Chicago Area Friends of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Chicago Civil Rights Movement, c. 1960-1965. The event was held October 21-22, 2005 Roosevelt University, Chicago, Illinois.
Members of the advisory committee included Barbara Ransby.
- Ali Abuminah
- Bill Barclay, Co-Chair
- Harry Chandler
- Demetris Giannoulias
- Neena Hemmady, Co-Chair
- Barbara Kemmis, Board Development Chair
- Omar McRoberts (on leave)
- Chirag Mehta, Program Chair
- Lisa Marie Pickens, Strategic Planning Chair
- Barbara Ransby
- Gabe Rodriguez, Development Chair
- Ellen Schumer
- K. Sujata, Treasurer
- Tom Wilson, Secretary
- Martha Wright
- Susana Vasque
MDS Board member
The business portion of the meeting followed with each board nominee introducing themselves to the conference. The board, a very diverse group, was voted in by acclamation... Board nominees where were not able to attend the conference were included in the appointment by acclamation. The list included Elliott Adams, Panama Vicente Alba, Tariq Ali, Stanley Aronowitz, David Barsamian, Rosalyn Baxandall, John Bracey, Jr., John Brittain, Robb Burlage, Noam Chomsky, Jayne Cortez, Carl Davidson, Angela Davis, Bernardine Dohrn, Barbara Epstein, Gustavo Esteva, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Stephen Fleischman, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Tom Hayden, Gerald Horne, Florence Howe, Mike James, Robin D G Kelley, Alice Kessler Harris, Rashid Khalidi, Mike Klonsky, Betita Martinez, Ethelbert Miller, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Barbara Ransby, Patricia Rose, Michael Rossman, Studs Terkel, Charlene Teters, Jerry Tucker, Immanuel Wallerstein, Cornel West, Leonard Weinglass and Howard Zinn.
Open Letter to Obama on Iran
Race & Class
In 2009, the Editorial Working Committee of Race & Class, published on behalf of the UK based Institute of Race Relations, included John Berger, Lee Bridges, Victoria Brittain, Jan Carew, Jeremy Corbyn, Basil Davidson, Avery Gordon, Barbara Harlow, Saul Landau, Neil Lazarus, Manning Marable, Nancy Murray, Colin Prescod, Barbara Ransby, Cedric Robinson, Bill Rolston and Chris Searle.
In 2009 Barbara Ransby was a member of Chicago based organization Ella's Daughters-A network of artists, scholars and writers working in the tradition of militant Civil rights activist Ella Baker.
- We are a loose network of women who respect and admire Baker’s legacy, and are either interested in or already engaged in work that represents a continuation of her democratic, egalitarian humanistic tradition. We do not want to reinvent the wheel or duplicate or compete in any way with existing efforts. An argument can be made that the potential for a renewed progressive movement already exists and is embedded in the local trench work of organizers like Ella Baker.
Communist front MC
On April 18 2009 the Chicago branch of National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, a front first for the Communist Party USA, latterly for the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, awarded several local activists its highest honour.
- Human Rights awards were granted to honorees at the event whose work includes ending the death penalty, overturning wrongful convictions, the fight against racism and efforts to help victims of the prison industrial complex.
The honorees included;
Patricia Hill, executive director of the African American Police League; Jane Raley, senior staff attorney with the Northwestern Law School; Judith Stuart, an anti-prison activist, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, retired Pastor with the Trinity United Church of Christ; and Karen Yarbrough, Illinois state representative.
Dr. Barbara Ransby, a professor in the African American Studies Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago, emceed the award ceremony.
Now What? Defying Trump and the Left's Way Forward
Now What? Defying Trump and the Left's Way Forward was a phone in webinar organized by Freedom Road Socialist Organization in the wake of the 2016 election.
- Now what? We’re all asking ourselves that question in the wake of Trump’s victory. We’ve got urgent strategizing and work to do, together. Join Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson of the Movement for Black Lives and Freedom Road, Calvin Cheung-Miaw, Jodeen Olguin-Taylor of Mijente and WFP, Joe Schwartz of the Democratic Socialists of America, and Sendolo Diaminah of Freedom Road for a discussion of what happened, and what we should be doing to build mass defiance. And above all, how do we build the Left in this, which we know is the only solution to the crises we face?
- This event will take place Tuesday November 15, 2016 at 9pm Eastern/8pm Central/6pm Pacific.
Those invited, on Facebook included Barbara Ransby.
- Women of America: we're going on strike. Join us so Trump will see our power... The ‘lean-in’ variety of feminism won’t defeat this administration, but a mobilization of the 99% will. On 8 March we will take to the streets.
- The massive women’s marches of 21 January may mark the beginning of a new wave of militant feminist struggle. But what exactly will be its focus? In our view, it is not enough to oppose Trump and his aggressively misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic and racist policies. We also need to target the ongoing neoliberal attack on social provision and labor rights....
- Let us join together on 8 March to strike, walk out, march and demonstrate. Let us use the occasion of this international day of action to be done with lean-in feminism and to build in its place a feminism for the 99%, a grassroots, anti-capitalist feminism – a feminism in solidarity with working women, their families and their allies throughout the world.
"Black Women in Defense of Ilhan Omar"
Activist Angela Davis and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) joined numerous other black women activists and members of Congress in a rally Tuesday April 30 2019 rally to support Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).
Davis and Barbara Ransby, a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and adviser to the Movement for Black Lives, told Democracy Now they planned the event, called Black Women in Defense of Ilhan Omar, in response to escalating attacks against the freshman Democrat, who said death threats against her spiked after conservatives accused her of minimizing the 9/11 attacks and President Trump tweeted a video interspersing her words with images from the attacks.
Trump, Davis said, “uses this bizarre logic of fungibility, where one Muslim represents the worst—or all Muslims, rather, represent the worst deeds that any Muslim has ever conducted,” a logical process she said was “at the heart of racism.”
“Trump has been vitriolic toward so many groups, but I think there’s a particular venom when it comes to black women,” Ransby added, citing both his attacks on Omar and his frequent taunts of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and his 2017 feud with Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.), who accused him of making a Gold Star widow cry by telling her that her late husband, Sgt. La David Johnson, “knew what he signed up for.”
“I am changing the things I can no longer accept, and from R. Kelly to Donald Trump, what we can no longer accept is the silencing of black women,” Pressley, who, like Omar, was elected to Congress in 2018, said at the event. “We are reclaiming our rightful place.”
- Freedom Summit 2014 speakers list
- https://www.socialismconference.org/ Join us at Socialism 2017!, accessed December 30 2016
- Chicago CoC "Membership, Subscription and Mailing List" 10.14.94
- Chicago Committee in Solidarity with Southern Newsletter Spring/summer 1994
- Dem. Left May/June 1996
- From Crisis to Congress: Assessing the Black Radical Congress, Clarence Lusane; Social Justice, Vol. 25, 1998
- BRC Today, Volume 1, Issue 4, Winter 2000-01, page 9
- Open Letter to Obama on Iran
- Race & Class, Vol 51 2009
- The Hill Angela Davis, Ayanna Pressley lead rally in support of Ilhan Omar BY ZACK BUDRYK - 04/30/19 03:09 PM EDT