Harold Steven Rogers

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Harold Rogers

Harold Steven Rogers is chairman of the African-American Studies Department at Olive-Harvey College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago. He is married to Ayelet Haran, a Jewish medical student from Yemen.

Early life/education

Harold Rogers was born on December 25, 1942, in Cleveland. He attended John Adams High School in Cleveland before completing a B.A. at Kent State University in 1967. Rogers went on to study at the University of Chicago and earned his M.A. in 1973[1].


Rogers began his career in education at Antioch College, where he taught in the early 1970s. In 1973, he joined the faculty of the City Colleges of Chicago, where he has served as the chairman of the African American Studies Department for Olive-Harvey College since 1980.[1]

North Americans in Support of Angola

Angola conference.JPG

The Angola Support Conference ran from May 28 - 30, 1976 in Chicago. The event was sponsored by the U.S. Out of Angola Committee and the National Conference of Black Lawyers.

At the conference, Harold Rogers of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and African Agenda was selected to go on the National Steering Committee.[2]


Throughout his life, Rogers has been active politically. He served as a labor adviser for the state of Illinois for a number of years. And from 1987 to 1992, he worked as the district administrator for Congressman Charles Hayes. Rogers has been involved as well in numerous progressive organizations such as the Black Panther Party, the NAACP and Operation PUSH. He has served as an executive board member of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists since 1975.

From 1972 to 1993, he was the Chicago spokesperson for the African National Congress of South Africa. He was also instrumental in bringing Nelson Mandela to Chicago in 1993 and helped raise funds for Mandela's election the following April. Rogers participated in the U.S. delegation to South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994.

His areas of expertise include global trade and economics, multiculturalism in education, African history and African American history. Rogers is a much sought-after speaker and participant in international conferences, congressional panels and university symposia.

Recognized nationally for his gifts as an educator, Rogers has been president of Black Faculty in Higher Education since 1980, a member of President Bill Clinton's Committee on Higher Education, and a National Advisory Board member for the W.E.B. DuBois Foundation since 1990. And he has presided over the African American Studies Program since its inception in 1980.[1]

National Anti-Imperialist Conference in Solidarity With African Liberation

Harold Rogers, Editor of African Agenda was named as a sponsor of the Communist Party USA dominated National Anti-Imperialist Conference in Solidarity With African Liberation held at Dunbar Vocational High School, Martin Luther King Drive, Chicago, October 19 to 21 1973[3].

Claude Lightfoot Reception

A partial list of sponsors for a January 19, 1973 Reception in Chicago for Communist Party USA leader Claude Lightfoot included;

Linda Appelhans, Margaret Appelhans, Arnold Becchetti, Leon Beverly, Richard Criley, Reverend Martin Deppe, Ishmael Flory, Frances Gabow, Ben Green, Bill Hampton, FatherJohn Hill, Mrs. Christine Johnson, Jack Kling, Attorney Max Maiman, Margaret Palmer, John Pappademos, Ted Pearson, A. A. Rayner, Jr., Harold Rogers, Norman Roth, Attorney Irving Steinberg, Gil Terry, Robbylee Terry, Charles Wilson and Sylvia Woods[4].

African Agenda

Prexy Nesbitt, Harold Rogers and Otis Cunningham, together edited the Chicago-based newsletter African Agenda[5].

African-American Agenda

Prexy Nesbitt, Harold Rogers, Linda Rae Murray, Scottie Ray and Otis Cunningham put out a newsletter for seven years called the African-American Agenda.[6]

Supporting Timuel Black


In the late 1970s Rogers served on a "Citizen's Committee" supporting Timuel Black's unsuccessful campaign for State Representative in the 22nd District.

The "Citizen's Committee" included "former" communist Charles Hayes, radical journalist Don Rose, socialist Chicago Alderman Leon Despres, future Democratic Socialists of America members members Saul Mendelson (a former Trotskyist), Danny Davis and Milt Cohen (another former communist).

Harold Washington for Mayor of Chicago

Circa late 1982, members of the Citizens Committee/Harold Washington for Mayor of Chicago (in formation) included Harold Rogers.[7]

Committee in Support of Southern Africa

Committee in Support of Southern Africa was an anti-Apartheid group active in Chicago in the early 1980s.

Members of the committee iincluded[8];

Charles Hayes, Rep. Carol Moseley Braun, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Bob Simpson, Frank Rosen, Congressman Harold Washington, Harold Rogers, Rep. Monica Stewart, Jim Wright, Alderman Danny Davis, Alice Peurala, Lu Palmer, Milt Cohen, Timuel Black.

"Memorial Services for Karlin Flory"

In an article about the 1985 memorial service for Karlin Flory, son of "Ishmael Flory, former chairman of the Illinois District of the Communist Party USA, and the late Eloise Boone", he was identified as having been in "many activities for peace and equality" including protests at the South African Consulate, was a "Daily World supporter" who circulated the paper "in the early days of Operation Breadbasket, which later became Operation PUSH".

Among the speakers were:[9]

Ishmael Flory tribute

Illinois Communist Party USA leader Ishmael Flory was honored at Malcolm X College in Chicago, September 29, 1991, by more than 100 guests.

Margaret Burroughs, a board member of the Chicago Park District MCed the event.

"Ishmael Flory is a man for all seasons...He never gives up", said State Senator Alice Palmer.

Alderman Jesus Garcia of Chicago's 22nd ward cited Flory's role in fostering African-American and Latino unity , and in building multi-racial coalitions for social progress.

Prof. Robert Starks of the Free South Africa Movement said "Ishmael has never failed to compliment me on my speeches, but at the same time he has never failed to pull me aside afterwards, too point out how I could have been a little more "progressive."

Tributes came from Communist Party USA chairman Gus Hall and Illinois organizational secretary Mark Almberg.

Other speakers included Crystal Bujol for the Flory family, long time friend Christine Johnson, Jack Spiegel of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union, Ronelle Mustin, peace activist Sarah Staggs, Harold Rogers, who brought greetings from Rep. Charles Hayes, Gerry Oliver, and Carl Bloice of the Peoples Weekly World.[10]

Committees of Correspondence connection

In 1994 Harold Rogers, Chicago, was listed on a "Membership, Subscription and Mailing List" for the Chicago Committees of Correspondence, an offshoot of the Communist Party USA[11]

Jack Siegel tribute

Chicago Committees of Correspondence held a tribute banquet to 88 year old member Jack Spiegel, on October 3, 19993, with 250 in attendance.

special guest included State Senator Jesus Garcia, Alderman Helen Shiller, Harold Rogers from the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Carole Travis from the UAW, Larry Reagan from the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union, Bernice Bild from the Coalition for New Priorities, Camille Odeh, from the Coalition of Palestinian Women and Meca Sorrentini from the Puerto Rican Socialist Party

Keynote speakers CoC co-chair Manning Marable. Illinois CoC co-chairs Sandy Patrinos and Mildred Williamson presented the awards. Maggie Brown sang songs, some written by her father Oscar Brown.[12]

Richard Criley Memorial

In 2000, Harold Rogers served on the welcoming committee for the Chicago Memorial Service for Richard Criley, a long-time activist with the Communist Party USA and a leader of the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights.[13]

Honoring Frank Wilkinson

Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights organized a "Celebration of the The Dynamic Life of Frank Wilkinson (1914-2006)" on Sunday October 29, 2006. Wilkinson had been a leader of the Communist Party USA, the New American Movement and Democratic Socialists of America[14].

Honoring Committee members included Harold Rogers .

CBTU/Ties with Cuba

Four Cubans being held in U.S. prisons should be released, according to a resolution passed by the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists at their 42nd Annual Convention, held in Orlando, Fla., in May 2013. Labor should take a stand on this question because labor has been an advocate for freedom and justice in this country and around the world, said Lew Moye, second vice president of CBTU's Executive Council.

The conference, which gathered 1,000 trade unionists, included among its business a comprehensive resolution on U.S. policy toward Cuba. That resolution called for repeal of the economic and political embargo against Cuba and opening of free travel to that country by Americans. The U.S. government currently prohibits its citizens from travelling to Cuba without government-issued licenses.

"Cuba should be totally removed from the terrorist list," Harold Rogers, the resolution's author, told peoplesworld. Rogers recalled that the African National Congress and its leader Nelson Mandela were also on the same list until well after Mandela's election as president of South Africa in 1994.

Rogers, national director of international affairs for the CBTU , said the American public must become more educated on Cuba and lobby Congress to repeal all laws embargoing trade and restricting travel. "We see only negative information on Cuba," Rogers stated, " But in reality this small island presents absolutely no military or economic threat."

The political difficulty, according to Rogers, is that the anti-Cuba lobby, based in Miami, is strong in D.C. That lobby leverages the fact that Florida, with 29 electoral votes, is key to any presidential candidate's success, and has had a large anti-communist Cuban exile community, to block changes in current policy.

Rogers says that the CBTU's resolution will be forwarded to the upcoming AFL-CIO convention through those who are leaders in both bodies.

"We will also use this resolution as a basis for educational work and mobilization in our local chapters," added Rogers.[15]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Biography
  2. Letter to all persons who attended the Angola Support Conference, July 8, 1976
  3. African activist archive
  4. Full text of "The nationwide drive against law enforcement intelligence operations : hearing before the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Ninety-fourth Congress, first session
  5. http://www.noeasyvictories.org/interviews/int08_nesbitt.php
  6. Chicago Committee in Solidarity with Southern Newsletter Spring/summer 1994
  7. Undated circa late 1982, HWAC Mayoral Campaign Records, Box 5, Folder 1
  8. CSSA supporters letter Sep. 4 1981
  9. "Daily World", January 11, 1985, p. 11
  10. PWW, Chicago tribute hails work of Ishmael FloryOctober 12, 1991, page 8
  11. Chicago CoC "Membership, Subscription and Mailing List" 10.14.94
  12. CoC newletter, Oct./Dec. 1993, page 5
  13. Memoriam Service Program, 2000
  14. http://www.ccdbr.org/events/wilkinson/Wilkinson_Committee.html
  15. Black trade unionists call for new Cuba policies, by: Roberta Wood July 10 2013