Voices Radio: Eric Mann and Channing Martinez in Conversation with Mary Louise Patterson


This week on Voices Radio: The Podcast is this incredibly important interview with Mary Louise Patterson.

She spoke with Eric Mann, Channing Martinez, and Barbara Lott-Holland about her book that she co-authored with Evelyn Louise Crawford, Letters From Langston; From the Harlem Renaissance to the Red Scare and Beyond!

This interview is very moving. Mary tells us how she became aware of who her parents were in the world as she, herself,  grew into the world. At different times her father was imprisoned and Mary was VERY grateful to have such political heavyweights in her life as extended Auntie’s and Uncle’s; Langston Hughes, Paul Robeson, W.E.B. De Bois, Altheus Huntons, James Jackson, Luis Bernum, etc. They were the best in the Black radical tradition who were comrades, friends, and extended family who were very close to Mary as she was growing into the world. As a Black person myself with a seemingly unlimited amount of “extended” (but we don’t call them extended) Auntie’s and Uncle’s, I/we know very well how important every last one of our Auntie’s and Uncle’s are in our lives, which makes us whole!!! Mary had some of the most prolific and monumental Black revolutionaries!

”At some point in one’s childhood or early adolescence, as one is intellectually maturing and becoming socially and politically conscious, one is faced with the need to accept or reject being or becoming like one’s parents. One can either accept or reject one’s parents place in history. I chose to accept mine, and in so doing, I was admitting a profound indebtedness to their major contribution to who and what I became—to whom I am today.” – MaryLouise Patterson

Give this episode a complete listen, comment, and email us at eric@voicesfromthefrontlines.com and kiyana@voicesfromthefrontlines.com. We would love to hear what you think. We will be doing a lot more work with Mary and many other Black revolutionaries, past present, and future! JOIN US, the fight for liberation isn’t over!!!


If you know that MaryLouise’s parents, William L Patterson and Louise Thompson Patterson are legendary Black communist organizers, and Matt N. Crawford, Evelyn “Nebby” Graves, communist friends of Langston, and of the collective family they built you must listen to this podcast. And if you don’t, all the more reason to listen.

If you want to learn about Robin D.G. Kelley’s and Eric Mann’s historic frame of the Black communist experience and the brutal post-war sabotage of the communists and Soviet Union as U.S. imperialism re-aligned with Nazi German and Fascist Japan, you must listen to this podcast.

If you teach Black Studies, women’s studies, Third World Studies, anti-imperialist studies, social justice studies the conversation with MaryLouise Patterson is priceless (literally) and should be used in your classroom.

And if you want to hear the melodious, haunting, powerful voice of MaryLouise Patterson reading from her own essay in Letters from Langston, her memories and observations about growing up in the Red Scare and the chilling effect of the U.S. murder of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for being Jews and Communists, her family’s endless surveillance from the FBI and in the face of that, heroic resistance, you must listen to this podcast.


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