Robert Chrisman

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Robert Chrisman

Robert Chrisman is a poet and essayist who's been a visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley, Chair of the Black Studies Department of the University of Nebraska at Omaha until mid-2005 and the principal organizer of that department's Malcolm X Festival for three years[1].

The Black Scholar

In 1969, The Black Scholar: Journal of Black Studies and Research was founded by Dr. Robert Chrisman and is co-edited with Dr. Robert L. Allen[2].

Research interests/writing

Dr. Chrisman's current research interests include: the impact of modernism on Afro-American authors of the twentieth century; and works of the Afro-Cuban poets, Nicholas Guillen and Nancy Morejon. He published Pan-Africanism (1974), as co-compiler with Nathan Hare, Court of Appeal: The Black Community Speaks Out on the Racial and Sexual Politics of Thomas vs. Hill (1992), and Robert Hayden: Essays on the Poetry, as co-editor with Laurence Goldstein (2001). This lens has an Amazon module for Dr. Chrisman's books that are currently in print. Dr. Chrisman also was co-compiler (with Dr. Hare) of Contemporary Black Thought: The Best from The Black Scholar (1974), which is out of print[3].

Sponsors of the Founding Conference of the NAARPR

The list of "sponsors" of "A Call" for a founding conference of the Communist Party USA front National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression May 11-13, 1973, included Robert Chrisman from The Black Scholar.[4]

Cuba trip

According to Portia Siegelbaum, writing in the Communist Party USA's Daily World, Wednesday March 3, 1976 page 4, in late February, the Marxist-Leninist Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola and Angola government officials led a two-dav seminar in Havana to acquaint a large United States delegation with the struggle of the Angolan people.

A day and a half presentation by three Angolan leaders: Commandante Dibala, a member of the MPLA central committee and political commissar of the Eastern Front; Olga Lima, director of political affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Relations; and Pedro Zinga Baptista, a member of the Foreign relations department of the MPLA, was followed by a question and answer period. The MPLA spokesmen affirmed that MPLA doesn't believe that revolutions can be exported, but that it does believe that examples are followed.

Attending the seminar were 26 North Americans representing a wide range of organizations as well as several journalists.

Among the representatives were Marjorie Boehm from Women's International League for Peace and Freedom; James Bristol of the American Friends Service Committee; Robert Chrisman of the magazine Black Scholar: Henry Foner of the Fur and Leather Workers Joint Board; George Houser of the American Committee on Africa; Lee Johnson of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists; Brenda Jones of Freedomways Magazine: Willis Logan of the Africa Office, National Council of Churches; Anthony Monteiro of National Anti-Imperialist Movement in Solidarity with African Liberation ; Patricia Murray of National Conference of Black Lawyers; Antonio Rodriguez of Centra de Accion Social Autonomo (acasa), a Chicano organization and Jose Velazquez of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party.

A telegram sent to the gathering by Rep.Charles Diggs (D-Mich) expressed regret that he could not attend and offered his hope for a frank and fruitful meeting.

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.

Robert Chrisman of The Black Scholar magazine was a delegate at the conference.[5]

The Angola Support Conference came into existence to organize a conference to support the MPLA held in Chicago, May 28-30, 1976. The Conference supported the MPLA and opposed U.S. and South African intervention in Angola. The sponsors were organizations supporting the MPLA from around the country. After the Chicago conference, the organization continued its activities with Prexy Nesbitt serving as national coordinator. Sponsors were;

"Racism: A National Policy?"

Program for a conference held November 19, 1983 at Wilborn Temple in Albany. People listed on the program include E.F. Jeffries, Pastor, Wilborn Temple, United Church in Christ; E.J. Josey, President, Albany Branch, NAACP; Vera "Mike" Michelson, Chair, Capital District Coalition Against Apartheid And Racism; Michael Amon-Ra, President, N.Y. Chapter, National Black United Front (NBUF); Damu Smith, Founding Member, Black American Network for Disarmament, Peace, and Justice; Robert Chrisman, Editor, Black Scholar magazine; Lillie McLaughlin, First Vice President, Albany NAACP; Tony Scott; Carol Hausen; Kabili Tayor, National Black Independent Political Party; Vroman Wright, Executive Director, Phase-Out Re-Entry; Odell Winfield; Dr. Stephen Wasby, SUNYA Professor and civil liberties scholar; Mark Mishler, Esq., SUNYA Student Legal Services, National Lawyers Guild; Anita Thayer; Merton Simpson; Maggie Kirwin, Central American Solidarity Alliance; Karen Brammer, Non-Violence Project; Maria Muscarella, Capital District Committee For Palestinian Rights; Depak Kapur; Rev. Tyrone Pitts, Director, Racial Justice Commission of National Council of Churches; Maria Markovics, United Tenants of Albany; Hughes Williams, I.U.E. Local 301; and James McCoy. The program says the Minority Student Alliance of the Junior College of Albany will host a reception for conference participants.[7]

East Bloc visit

In 1985, a delegation of 16 Afro-American journalists traveled to the Soviet Union, German Democratic Republic and Czechoslovakia[8].

The delegation consisted of

The trip was organized by International Organization of Journalists executive Don Rojas, the American educated former press secretary to Grenada's late leader Maurice Bishop[10], in conjunction with the Black Press Institute, the National Alliance of Black Journalists and the National Newspaper Publishers Association-the US's largest organization of owners of black newspapers.

According to one of the tours leaders Alice Palmer[11];

The trip was extraordinary because we were able to sit down with our counterparts and with the seats of power in three major capitals-Prague, Berlin and Moscow. We visited with foreign ministers, we talked with the editors of the major newspapers in these three cities...
It was a very unusual trip because we were given access...Every effort was made to give us as much as we asked for...We came back feeling that we could speak very well about the interest of the socialist countries in promoting peace.
This was before the (Soviet nuclear test ban) moratorium, this was before the Reykjavik offers...It was very clear to us in our conversations and interviews with people at that time, that this was already something of concern and, something that would be promoted when the opportunity arose, as we can see that it has been.

Black Press Institute

In 1987 Robert Chrisman was on the Board of Directors of the Black Press Institute[12].


  4. Revolutionary Activities Directed Toward the Administration of Penal or Correctional Systems, Part 4, HISC, Hearings, July 25, 1973, in part, p. 1654 and additional sponsors, p. 1655, to "A Call to a Founding Conference for a National Defense Organization Against Racist and Political Repression"
  5. Letter to all persons who attended the Angola Support Conference, July 8, 1976
  6. Angola Support Conference Wisconsin State Historical Society]
  7. [Conference Program by Capital District Coalition Against Apartheid and Racism, NAACP Albany Branch Albany, New York November 1983]
  8. Peoples Daily World Dec 24 1986 p 10
  9. New Deliberations Spring 1986 pages 4/5
  11. Peoples Daily World Dec 24 1986 p 11
  12. Black Press Institute Letterhead October 5 1987