Leith Mullings

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Leith Mullings


Leith P. Mullings is the daughter of Hubert Mullings and is one of triplets with Pauline Mullings and Sandra Mullings. In she was appointed as a Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the City University of New York Graduate Center.

Leith Mullings is married to Manning Marable.

Education

At Queens College Leith Mullings satisfied the two-year liberal arts component of a five-year Bachelor's in nursing from Cornell-New York Hospital. Subsequently, she went on to the University of Chicago, where she earned a Master's and a Ph.D. in anthropology, then taught at Yale and Columbia. Leith justified her CUNY fate admirably in the end, however, by moving to City College in 1981. In 1988 she moved full-time to the Graduate Center, where she recently received her appointment as a Presidential professor in the anthropology program[1].

National Anti-Imperialist Conference in Solidarity With African Liberation

Leith Mullings of Yale University, Chairperson, Continuations Committee, 10th World Youth Festival 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.[2]

Peoples School of Marxist Studies

In 1986, Leith Mullings was a lecturer at the Communist Party USA dominated Peoples School of Marxist Studies, in New York.[3]

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.[4]

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.

What was also striking about Valdez was his physical appearance — phenotypically the brother was clearly an "African." The Minister of Labor declared that "racial discrimination is not abolished by a decree, but by the actual performance of a society—access to schools, medical assistance, and the full exercise of political democracy without regard to race."

Socialist Scholars 1997

The Democratic Socialists of America sponsored 1997 Socialist Scholars Conference was held March 28- 30 at the Borough of Manhattan Community College in New York[5].

Speakers included: Mimi Abramovitz, Daniel Singer, Harry Magdoff, Istvan Meszaros, Barbara Epstein, Ruth Sidel, Carlos Vilas, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, L. A. Kauffman, Leo Panitch, Hector Figueroa, David Abdulah, Louise Merriweather, Ngugi wa Thiongo, Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Alexandr Buzgalin, Leith Mullings, Axel Queval, Pap Ndale, Jean-Pierre Page, and "dozens more..."

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[6].

In March 1998 “Endorsers of the Call” to found a Black Radical Congress included Leith Mullings, Professor of Anthropology, City University of New York Graduate School; Ida B. Wells-W.E.B Du Bois Network[7].

“Forging a Black Liberation Agenda for the 21st Century”

10th Anniversary Meeting of the Black Radical Congress, “Forging a Black Liberation Agenda for the 21st Century” Black Radical Congress, June 20-22, 2008, St. Louis, Missouri.

Endorsers for the Congress included Leith Mullings, Distinguished Professor in Anthropology Department-City University of NY COBRA Executive Committee.[8]

Feminists for Peace and Barack Obama

In early 2008 Leith Mullings, of Graduate Center/CUNY signed a petition circulated by Feminists for Peace and Barack Obama[9].

In the coming elections, it is important to remember that war and peace are as much \"women\'s issues\" as are health, the environment, and the achievement of educational and occupational equality. Because we believe that all of these concerns are not only fundamental but closely intertwined, this Tuesday we will be casting our vote for Senator Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.

Black Commentator

As of 2009 Leith Mullings was listed on the Editorial Board for the Black Commentator.[10]

CUNY invasion

In the late 1970s Eric Wolf, along with several co-thinkers and ex-students, moved to the City University of New York (CUNY), where he led an in-gathering of anthropology's most important leftists. A center of student activism with one of the largest non-white student bodies in the world, CUNY in the 1980s came to be the U.S. and possibly world center for Marxist anthropology.

Attracting radical scholars of his generation—such as communist gender studies pioneer Eleanor Burke Leacock, anthropology of work theorist and chronicler of Bolivian Trotskyist trade unionism June Nash, as well as radicals and Marxists of the 1968 generation such as Leith Mullings, Gerald Sider, Shirley Lindenbaum and Jeremy Beckett —Wolf became the standard bearer for a prominent center of radical anthropology in New York City in the 1980s.

Throughout the 1980s and `90s the CUNY anthropology program was a mecca for Marxist graduate students with connections to U.S. organizations as diverse as Solidarity, International Socialist Organization, Communist Party USA, Committees of Correspondence and the Revolutionary Communist Party, as well as active and former militants from foreign workers' parties and political organizations.[11]

From every region mentioned in Wolf's Europe and the People Without History—from the Southern tip of Chile to Northern Canada and from Portugal to Korea—radical students came to CUNY to learn from Eric Wolf and help develop the Marxist anthropology he pioneered. They were sometimes disappointed by Wolf's cautious approach to organized Marxism, but never by his intellectual rigor and commitment to a working-class university that included idealistic doctoral students and immigrant accounting majors.
His final book, Envisioning Power: Ideologies of Dominance and Crisis, published only months before his death, is a dark and disturbing portrait of the relationship between culture and power in an environment of crisis. Comparing Nazi Germany's Judeocide, Aztec sacrificial brutality and the Kwakiutl potlach, Wolf presents a final message about the consequences of unchallenged power.
Though apocalyptic in form, the content of this final work is filled with the hope, possibility and humanism of a half century working in the Marxist liberatory tradition. Those of us who knew Eric Wolf—or were influenced by his powerful use of Marxism to shape academic inquiry—have suffered the loss of an important comrade who committed a life to dissolving those “fixed boundaries.”

Science & Society

In 2009, the Editorial Board of Science & Society, a New York based "journal of Marxist Thought and Analysis", consisted of:[12];

Left Labor Project Presents: What Happened? What Now?

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Left Labor Project Presents: What Happened? What Now? Tuesday, December 20, 2016 at 6 PM - 9 PM, 310 W 43rd St, New York.

A converastion with Bill Fletcher, Jr., international activist and co-author of Solidarity Divided: The crisis in organized labor and a new path toward social justice.

This event is Co-sponsored by: Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, Committees of Correspondence Education Fund, Democratic Socialists of America, Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

RSVPS included Leith Mullings.

References