Barbara Ransby

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Barbara Ransby


Barbara Ransby is an associate professor of History and African American Studies at University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a writer, historian and longtime activist and author of a biography ofElla J. Baker. She has worked with theBlack Radical Congress, Progressive Media Project, Crossroads Fund, Public Square, African American Women in Defense of Ourselves and other activist organizations[1].

Education

Barbara Ransby attended Columbia University in New York from 1980 to 1984.

Ella Baker-Nelson Mandela Center

Barbara Ransby was a co-founder of the Ella Baker-Nelson Mandela Center, Ann Arbor[2].

Malcolm X conference

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

The "Black Women and Black Liberation: Fighting Oppression and Building Unity" panel consisted of;

Chairperson:

Panel:

Committees of Correspondence connection

In 1994 Barbara Ransby, Oak Park, was listed on a "Membership, Subscription and Mailing List" for the Chicago Committees of Correspondence, an offshoot of the Communist Party USA[3]

Chicago Committee in Solidarity with Southern Africa

The 1994 Chicago Committee in Solidarity with Southern Africa board of directors consisted of Lisa Brock, Kay Burnett, Basil Clunie, Selena Derey, Michael Freedberg, Joan Gerig, Cheryl Harris, Prexy Nesbitt, Barbara Ransby, Rachel Rubin, Zeva Schub. [4]

"African Americans and the 1996 Elections."

In conjunction with the Chicago Chapter of the Committees of Correspondence, the University of Chicago Democratic Socialists of America hosted a panel discussion on "African Americans and the 1996 Elections." Panelists included Danny Davis, Cook County Commissioner and Democratic Party nominee for Illinois' 7th Congressional District, Barbara Ransby, Chair of the Center for African American Research at DePaul University, and Salim Muwakkil, columnist (for In These Times and the Chicago Sun-Times. Long-time political activist Timuel Black moderated.[5]

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 Barbara Ransby, Chicago[7].

In 2000 Barbara Ransby served on the Coordinating Committee of the Black Radical Congress.[8]

Speaking with Ayers and Obama

Bill Ayers and Barack Obama spoke together at a public gathering sponsored by The Center for Public Intellectuals & the University of Illinois-Chicago, April 19th-20th, 2002, at the Chicago Illini Union;

"Intellectuals: Who Needs Them?

IV. Intellectuals in Times of Crisis

Experiences and applications of intellectual work in urgent situations.

  • Bill Ayers, UIC, College of Education; author of Fugitive Days
  • Douglass Cassel, Northwestern University, Center for International Human Rights
  • Cathy Cohen, University of Chicago, Political Science
  • Barbara Ransby, UIC, African-American Studies (moderator)[9].

"Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement"

Ransby barbara bookella.jpg

In 2004 Barbara Ransby released a biography of radical black civil rights activist Ella J. Baker-"Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision"

Bernardine Dohrn wrote a favorable review for the socialist journal Monthly Review[10].

Chicago Area Friends of SNCC

In 2005 Chicago Area Friends of SNCC organized the "Tell the Story: The Chicago SNCC History Project, 1960-1965" Chicago Area Friends of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Chicago Civil Rights Movement, c. 1960-1965. The event was held October 21-22, 2005 Roosevelt University, Chicago, Illinois.

Members of the advisory committee included Barbara Ransby.[11]

Crossroads Fund

In 2005, the board of the leftist, Chicago based Crossroads Fund consisted of[12];

MDS Board member

On February 17, 2007, the Movement for a Democratic Society held a well attended conference[13]at New York City’s New School University.

The business portion of the meeting followed with each board nominee introducing themselves to the conference. The board, a very diverse group, was voted in by acclamation... Board nominees where were not able to attend the conference were included in the appointment by acclamation. The list included Elliott Adams, Panama Vicente Alba, Tariq Ali, Stanley Aronowitz, David Barsamian, Rosalyn Baxandall, John Bracey, Jr., John Brittain, Robb Burlage, Noam Chomsky, Jayne Cortez, Carl Davidson, Angela Davis, Bernardine Dohrn, Barbara Epstein, Gustavo Esteva, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Stephen Fleischman, Bill Fletcher Jr, Tom Hayden, Gerald Horne, Florence Howe, Mike James, Robin D G Kelley, Alice Kessler Harris, Rashid Khalidi, Mike Klonsky, Betita Martinez, Ethelbert Miller, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Barbara Ransby, Patricia Rose, Michael Rossman, Studs Terkel, Charlene Teters, Jerry Tucker, Immanuel Wallerstein, Cornel West, Leonard Weinglass and Howard Zinn.

Open Letter to Obama on Iran

In 2008 Barbara Ransby of Chicago, IL signed an online petition “A Open Letter to Barack Obama on Iran”.[14]

Race & Class

In 2009, the Editorial Working Committee of Race & Class, published on behalf of the UK based Institute of Race Relations, included John Berger, Lee Bridges, Victoria Brittain, Jan Carew, Jeremy Corbyn, Basil Davidson, Avery Gordon, Barbara Harlow, Saul Landau, Neil Lazarus, Manning Marable, Nancy Murray, Colin Prescod, Barbara Ransby, Cedric Robinson, Bill Rolston and Chris Searle[15].

Ella's Daughters

In 2009 Barbara Ransby was a member of Chicago based organization Ella's Daughters-A network of artists, scholars and writers working in the tradition of militant Civil rights activist Ella Baker[16].

We are a loose network of women who respect and admire Baker’s legacy, and are either interested in or already engaged in work that represents a continuation of her democratic, egalitarian humanistic tradition. We do not want to reinvent the wheel or duplicate or compete in any way with existing efforts. An argument can be made that the potential for a renewed progressive movement already exists and is embedded in the local trench work of organizers like Ella Baker.

Prominent members include Bernardine Dohrn, Tracye Matthews and Camille Odeh.

Black Commentator

As of 2009 Barbara Ransby was listed on the Editorial Board for the Black Commentator.[17]

Communist front MC

On April 18 2009 the Chicago branch of National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, a front first for the Communist Party USA, latterly for the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, awarded several local activists its highest honour.

According to a report from the Communist Party USA's People's Weekly World[18].

Human Rights awards were granted to honorees at the event whose work includes ending the death penalty, overturning wrongful convictions, the fight against racism and efforts to help victims of the prison industrial complex.

The honorees included;

Patricia Hill, executive director of the African American Police League; Jane Raley, senior staff attorney with the Northwestern Law School; Judith Stuart, an anti-prison activist, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, retired Pastor with the Trinity United Church of Christ; and Karen Yarbrough, Illinois state representative.

Dr. Barbara Ransby, a professor in the African American Studies Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago, emceed the award ceremony.

References