Clarence Lusane

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Clarence Lusane

Clarence Lusane is a political science professor, columnist, activist, and journalist. He is a member[1]of the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Policy Studies and is Assistant Professor, School of International Service, American University[2].


Lusane received his Ph.D. in political science from Howard University.


Lusane has been a consultant to the World Council of Churches, the Congressional Black Caucus, and other non-profit and political organizations. He is the former chair of the National Alliance of Third World Journalists and an award-winning writer. He is on the Boards of Directors of the American Friends Service Committee (where he co-chairs the European Committee); Institute for Policy Studies; and International Possibilities Unlimited. Dr. Lusane worked in the U.S. House of Representatives for seven years as a staff aide to former D.C. Congressman Walter Fauntroy,.[3].


Dr. Lusane is the author of Race in the Global Era: African Americans at the Millennium, African Americans at the Crossroads: The Restructuring of Black Leadership and the 1992 Elections, Pipe Dream Blues: Racism and the War on Drugs and numerous other books and articles. He has taught and conducted research at the Institute for Research in African Americans Studies at Columbia University, the Du Bois-Bunche Center for Public Policy at Medgar Evers College, and the Center for Drug Abuse Research at Howard University[4].

Radical journalism

Lusane is the former Chairman of the Board of the National Alliance of Third World Journalists. As a journalist, Lusane has traveled to numerous countries to investigate the political and social circumstances or crises those nations faced including Haiti during its turbulent 1980s’ elections; Panama in the aftermath of the U.S. invasion; East Germany during the last months of its existence; and Zimbabwe as a delegate to the Congress of the International Organization of Journalists. Other nations that he has visited and reported on include Cuba, Egypt, Mexico, Jamaica, the Netherlands, North Korea, Italy, and South Africa[5].

Line of March

In the 1980s Clarence Lusane was a member of the Line of March.

Traveling the South


In 1984 Loretta Hobbs and Clarence Lusane traveled the South, reporting on the election campaign for Frontline.



In 1989 Dennis Desmond, a staff assistant to DC council member Hilda Mason, and Clarence Lusane, a staff assistant to Walter Fauntroy, were contributors to Frontline.


Spring 1988, page 2

Those helping prepare the Spring 1988 edition of The Rainbow Organizer included Jack O'Dell, Dorma Lippincott, Patricia McGurk, Frances Williams, Jorge Belgave, Ileana Matamoros, Mary Parks, Sabrina Clay.

Special thanks for helping with this issue were extended to Dennis Desmond, Clarence Lusane and Kurt Stand.

Photos Patrick Dreason and Greg Smith.

Malcolm X conference

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

The "Fighting the Plagues of Aids and Drugs" panel consisted of;



Forward Motion

In 1991 James Early, a cultural administrator, and Desmond M. Desmond, an activist and attorney with the DC City Council, and an editor of the publication of the National Rainbow Coalition, contributed an article "The meaning of the Marion Barry case"to Freedom Road Socialist Organization's Forward Motion. Clarence Lusane also helped with the article.[6]

Cuba visit

In June, 1996 Manning Marable led a delegation of fifteen prominent African Americans to the island of Cuba.

Members of the delegation included: Leith Mullings, Professor of Anthropology, City University of New York; writer/editor Jean Carey Bond; political theorist Clarence Lusane; Columbia University Chaplain Jewelnel Davis; and Michael Eric Dyson, Visiting Professor of African American Studies, Columbia University.

The delegation was hosted by the Center for the Study of the Americas in Havana to engage in a series of conversations about the future of Cuba and its relationship with Black America.[7]

The delegation identified four critical areas for examination: race relations and the status of Afro-Cuban people since the Cuban Revolution; the status of women and gender relations; the impact of economic liberalization and the introduction of private enterprise in Cuba since the end of the Cold War and issues of human rights, civil liberties and political freedom under the Castro government. The ground rules for our visit permitted us to travel anywhere in the island. We were encouraged to interview prominent leaders in government, culture and society.

Always throughout our investigations, delegation members asked questions which had broader implications for Black folk not only in Cuba. but within the U.S.
We met with Alphonso Casanova, the Deputy Minister of Economic Planning, and the chief architect of Cuba’s economic transformation. Casanova explained that Cuba’s gross domestic product was cut in half after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of economic trade with socialist countries. Out of necessity, US. dollars were decriminalized and corporate investnent from Europe, Canada and Mexico was eagerly solicited. By 1997, there were over 300,000 Cubans who had registered as private entrepreneurs with the government. New resort hotels were constructed and a thriving tourist business developed. This year over one million tourists will visit Cuba.
Cuban economists believe that it is possible to adopt elements of capitalism and corporate investment into a socialist system. Casanova states. "Capitalism is a major failure as a socioeconomic and political project."

Nevertheless, the Cuban people had to devise ways to avoid economic collapse and to integrate their economy into world markets. "Throughout the Third World, ‘Cuba is the hope that things can be done differently," Casanova stated.

Safeguarding the interest of Cuban workers is Salvador Valdez Gonzalez, the Minister of Labor and social Security. The minister estimated that Cuba’s current unemployment rate is 6.5%. However, workers who were terminated from their jobs still receive a minimum of 60% of their former salaries. "Our main policy is to maintain the achievements of the Revolution," Valdez explained. Despite their current economic difficulties all healthcare in Cuba is still free, programs for the physically disabled were protected. No hospitals or universities were shut down. In fact, Cuba’s ratio of doctors to the general population, one out of seventy three, is by far the best of any Third World country, and better than many western societies.

Black Radical Congress

In March 1998 “Endorsers of the Call” to found a Black Radical Congress included Clarence Lusane, Professor of Political Science, American University, Washington, DC[8].

"Beyond Identity Politics"

"Beyond Identity Politics: Emerging Social Justice Movements in Communities of Color" by John Anner

"A long-awaited roadmap to the grassroots social justice movements of the 1990s and beyond. The strikingly diverse array of multiracial struggles presented here succeed, in various ways, by moving by simplistic identity politics. In an era when the right-wing seems to be winning all battles, Beyond Identity Politics presents a critical inside look at progressive victories.

Contributors were Clarence Lusane, Mark Toney, N’Tanya Lee, Don Murphy, Lisa North, Juliet Ucelli, Hoon Lee, Van Jones, Gary Delgado, David Bacon, Andrea Lewis.

IPS Africa event


In September 21 2012, Karen Bass and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, addressed the Africa Braintrust. Institute for Policy Studies' Director of Foreign Policy in Focus Emira Woods, featured on a panel about "Emerging Threats to Political Stability," in Africa. The day featured a distinguished keynote address, cultural performances, and other workshops with policymakers, academics, advocates and industry experts.

Other panelists included: Ambassador Johnnie Carson Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Amina Salum Ali Ambassador of African Union to the U.S. and the IPS's Dr. Clarence Lusane Professor, American University.[9]

"Where Do We Go From Here?"

Institute for Policy Studies' Phyllis Bennis joined a line up of special guests for an inter-generational teach-In on the triple evils of militarism, economic exploitation, racism, January 18 2016, 5th and K Busboys & Poets. Washington DC.

At this tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. the discussion will tease out the role of popular culture: 60s vs. now, the international implications of Dr. King’s Vision, and the links between economic exploitation and racism.

Participants included: Dr. Clarence Lusane, Joni Eisenberg, Rev. Graylan Hagler, Medea Benjamin, Phyllis Bennis, Dr. Vanessa Wills, Jeremiah Lowery, Dr. Maurice Jackson, Frank Smith, Dave Zirin, Jay Mills, Ayanna Gregory, In Process, and Live Audience Participation from Busboys!

Co-Moderators: Youth Activist Princess Black and Dr. Greg Carr, Howard University.[10]


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