The Poston family : a history of Black Radicalism (Episode 9 of 14); Black power origins
The post I'm SO MANY know Ted posting up today through his columns in The New York Post and his appearances on radio and television news shows but few remember his role in left wing circles of the New Deal. Nor are many aware that three of his older brothers were important Garvie ites Ted was the baby of 11 Poston children his brothers Robert you listen Arthur were one thousand twenty two leading officers in the UN I and Robert the Association secretary general was known as the closest associate and confidante of Marcus Garvey during his imprisonment in 1923 Robert was part of a term for it having control of the organization. To Garvey ites Robert Postum was revered as their toast master general Darby speaking engagements post and was usually the man to introduce the leader and audiences came to know that when Robert Post and mounted the speaking platform the affair would soon reach its high pitch of excitement. In the opinion of younger brother Ted Robert was the most important and gifted member of the clan.
Of the many postings Robert Ulysses and Ted each have had their distinctive contribution to black militancy and will be treated here in turn. Critics of Darby as interpreted Robert postman's flowering speeches as unreflective worship of Garvey demagogy the critics rarely gave me credit for thinking or acting on their own. In the case of the garbage in the post and planned their commitment to the movement could well be traced to a family tradition of militant individual ism. The patriarch father it from Poston had been president of Kentucky State College for Negroes and had braved the wrath of the State Board of Education to publicize in the Louisville Courier-Journal the details of misplaced funds which were to have been used for his college. Honesty cost him his job. Robert had been influenced in choosing Darby's nationalism by bitter experiences while a student at Princeton University President Woodrow Wilson instituted segregation policies and entrance restrictions on race and an angered post and quit
school before graduating. It was some 40 years. Before another negro enrolled at Princeton. I'm not sure why they're Negra never has enrolled in Princeton. Sense Boston laughed as a Guard Lieutenant Robert postman's statements indeed showed adoration in respect of his leader. But there was more than simple worship to Robert Post and Garvey as well. For instance on the DuBois Garvie feud Poston provided a diplomatic viewpoint which mitigated the venomous Sgarbi tirades. To post then the fighting was quite unfortunate and he felt it should be said to the credit of Dr DuBois that he was not responsible for his position as a literary man as a lover and maker of books he is great. I often look upon it as a tragedy and a crime that this man should be trotted out from the holy sanctum of books
into the wild rush of the mob to assume any leadership doctor to boys is not rugged enough for the task. His very soul rebels against the thought. I firmly believe he has accepted leadership because some few misguided people have thrust it upon him and will not take it off him. But this has been done in the genial doctor sometimes feels called upon to justify himself before that public which expects it of him by attacking Marcus Garvey when to do this is to rebel against his own conscience. It was in 1919 that Robert and Ulysses pooled their resources to found a militant weekly in Detroit the contender and through their paper and community activities they became involved in Garvey as in one thousand twenty they left the Midwest for New York and work with the negro world. Later they would be editor of Garvey's short lived daily the negro times. Robert became the third highest ranking Darby ite another brother Arthur was Minister of and industries
and Ulysses held various offices in addition to his journalistic work. And meanwhile back home in Kentucky young Ted was just entering high school when World War 1 ended and never got involved in Garvey ism. Robert received some personal notoriety aside from his movement when he married the negro sculpture of Augusta Savage who was not much interested in Garvey ism and content to let her husband declare family politics. The UN convention of 19 22 was the scene of a major division among Garvey ites a division which split the postern family. Accusations of fiscal mismanagement and criticism of Garvey's apologetic remarks about the Ku Klux Klan had created a faction of association members determined to curb the powers of President Gen. Garvey Robert stuck with the leader while the Ulysses and Arthur chose to do battle and lost their positions in the hierarchy. But not without a fight. Ulysses remained on for some months with the Negril world in which he had published a word of
advice to Garvey that quote in your mad rush to serve your race in your mad rush to serve humanity. Paul's long enough to study yourself introspectively. Remember Napoleon was ambitious to serve his people and quote. In 1924 Robert postman headed a commission of Garvey ites sent on a diplomatic trip to Liberia to negotiate a possible emigration of American Negroes. Conservative Liberian officials were fearful of a takeover of their country and rebuffed the mission. Shortly after the group departed for home the Liberian head of the UN I was executed. Reason unknown. This was but a minor tragedy related to the Liberian trip Robert Poston fell ill while en route to America contracted complications of pneumonia and died at sea March 16th 924 at the age of 33. Word reached New York at the time of a mass meeting of Harlem Garvey
ites. And when the announcement was read many wept and a glorious tribute was arranged for the funeral. In the late 1920s Ulysses Poston distinguished himself as a leading black spokesman for the Democratic Party. He had been a supporter of Democrats census days in Detroit detached as it were from American social norms it was often easy for them to adopt politics different from traditional Negra Republicanism. One thousand twenty eight through friendship with Jim Farley Ulysses agreed to start a Democratic Party sponsored paper in Harlem which was named in a bit of Mr. Alger The Contender. The immediate aim of the paper was to promote Al Smith for the presidency fresh out of Tennessee and I young brother Ted came to New York to aid in putting out the paper. In fact I did most of the editing Ulysses busying himself in making political speeches and writing editorials urging Legros to take notice of the potential benefits to
them in the pro labor trend of northern urban Democrats among Negra papers the contender in one thousand twenty eight was virtually alone in arguing for labor unity through the Democratic Party. Garvey's Nigro world and the California Eagle broke tradition of Republicanism to endorse Smith over Hoover but gave as their reasons Hoover's racist comments about Congolese Africans. And Hoover's role in aiding the Firestone rubber company to secure imperialist contracts for Liberia and rubber. Nineteen twenty nine The Contender figured heavily in the re-election of New York mayor Jimmy Walker and other Democrats in the city and in the campaign of 1930 and 30 to Ulysses traveled throughout the East and the Midwest promoting the new labor coalition. When other papers began to endorse Democrats there was little need for the strictly political contender and it folded after the 1032 elections. Ulysses then retired
from active politics to devote himself to real estate his vocation until his death in the late 1950s. It was one of the many little coincidences of black militancy that the offices of The Contender on 7th Avenue had formerly been used by Cyril Briggs in publishing the Crusader monthly of the radical Marxist African blood brotherhood. Young Brother Ted carried the family fortunes in politics from the 1930s on his major interest lay not in journalism but in poetry and prose which he submitted regularly to the Pittsburgh Courier and Amsterdam News. Short story contributions to The New Republic brought him recognition in the world of the white left. He was offered a chance in one thousand thirty two to be one of twenty six Negroes to go to the Soviet Union to make a feature length film on American racism. Likes to use Henry Lee moon and post on where to write the script. When the troupe assembled in Russia Ted was found to be the second darkest Negra
there. So it was decided that he should be an actor and play the hero. He was to have the honor of dying gloriously at the hands of a lynch mob. I have to honor so Negra a communist in the group objected to his getting the leading role. What is Ted Postol never done for the struggle to get the honor of being lynched I asked one of the communist. The question became academic However Stalin decided he might need American support in a fight with Hitler and the movie production was stopped lest it offend the rulers of racist America. The post then was one of four in the troop who signed a written denunciation of Stalin's action. The strongly worded statement called the Soviet action not only a sellout of American Negroes but of all the quote dark or exploited colonial peoples and quote. Upon his return to America post and became an ardent New Dealer in a traveling labor reporter his union experiences were made the basis of some of his newer public short
story fiction. The trials and tribulations of rank and file labor rights were experienced personally when he helped to lead a successful strike of the New York Amsterdam News. The strike destroyed a myth that Negroes would not strike a Negro paper and indirectly helped to raise wage standards in the Negril press in general. Post and support for the New Deal was rewarded during World War Two with a government position as a racial advisor to Elmer Davis in the Office of War Information. According to Roy quote the most picturesque member of the black cabinet was the noisy flamboyant Ted postman. As a government public relations man post and had the job of stimulating support of Negroes for the war effort there were objections to his optimistic accounts of Afro-American Unity with the cause. Some militant blacks considered his publicity noisy flamboyant white wash of Negro dissatisfaction over discrimination in defense plants and mistreatment of black troops in
a segregated armed forces. Post INS position during the war was a difficult one. Most factions of the New Deal and the left were in agreement that defeating Hitler as him came first and internal problems later and by the 1940s Poston was more a man of the New Deal than of the ghetto. The objections came from the get out many an average black man. Good see little difference between Dixie fascism and the European variety. Post them to had evidence upon which to draw distinction. He had experienced first hand the growth of nasy R.. He spent much of 1933 in Germany arriving there after the filmmaking affair in Russia. As for Ted Postol of the New York Post he first joined the paper as a reporter during the war. Later he was made a feature columnist ran a notable series on Harlem in 1956 and today is an important member of the editorial staff. The president is somewhat removed from the intricacies of black radicalism in
- Black power origins
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- KPFA (Radio station : Berkeley, Calif.)
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- Pacifica Radio Archives (North Hollywood, California)
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- Ted Vincent traces the family history of the Postons, from the patriarch Ephraim Poston through three leading Garveyites, Robert Lincoln Poston, Ulysses Grant Poston, and Arthur Poston, to a leading New Dealer and columnist for the New York Post, Ted (Theodore Roosevelt) Poston.
- Talk Show
- Universal Negro Improvement Association; Poston, Ephraim, 1865-1951; Poston, Arthur; Poston, Robert Lincoln, 1891-1921; Poston, Ulysses S., 1892-1955; Poston, Ted, 1906-1974; Garvey movement; African Americans--Civil rights--History
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Producing Organization: KPFA (Radio station : Berkeley, Calif.)
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Pacifica Radio Archives
Identifier: 15714_D01 (Pacifica Radio Archives)
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Pacifica Radio Archives
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- Chicago: “The Poston family : a history of Black Radicalism (Episode 9 of 14); Black power origins,” 1967-10-10, Pacifica Radio Archives, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 20, 2020, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-28-348gf0n280.
- MLA: “The Poston family : a history of Black Radicalism (Episode 9 of 14); Black power origins.” 1967-10-10. Pacifica Radio Archives, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 20, 2020. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-28-348gf0n280>.
- APA: The Poston family : a history of Black Radicalism (Episode 9 of 14); Black power origins. Boston, MA: Pacifica Radio Archives, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-28-348gf0n280