Remembering The Life Of Glen Ford
Glen Ford died last July 28 of lung cancer. I knew Glen the last seven years of his life. I first met him in 2014 after a speech that he gave at Harlem’s Riverside Church church on the occasion of the 7th anniversary of the Black Agenda Report of which he was the executive editor. The two other editors were Margaret Kimberley, who has taken over as the editor, and the late Bruce Dixon of Chicago who died two years ago. They were a formidable threesome. That night he spoke about what he called the Black misleadership class, a description he coined, and how it was an enemy of the movement. He said the Democratic party, which they populate, was not the lesser of two evils but the most effective of two evils. In particular, he zeroed in on New Jersey Senator Cory Booker. I kept in touch with Glen. He was a guest on Law And Disorder several times. I helped assemble a selection of his writings titled The Black Agenda which will very soon be published by OR books. Two months ago the publisher of OR books, Colin Robinson and I drove out to New Jersey to visit Glen.
He had just got out of the hospital where they took fluid out of his cancerous lung. He was somewhat frail but pretty chipper. We ate bagels and cream cheese at the dining room table and talked politics for two hours. As we left Colin remarked that it was a shame we hadn’t recorded our conversation. Glen was brilliant. Glen was the real thing. A Black nationalist and a socialist, as he described himself. He was a former Black Panther and usually wore a black beret when he spoke. He ended his speeches with his right arm held high in the air saying power to the people.
The Black Misleadership Class Versus the Movement and its Legacy
We go now to hear Glen Ford speaking at the Black Agenda Report 7th anniversary gathering at Harlem’s Riverside Church. The theme of the event was The Black Misleadership Class Versus the Movement and its Legacy. Ford gives strong criticism of newly elected New Jersey Senator Cory Booker as the essence of Black misleadership, showing the many ties of the current Newark mayor to corporate America.