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The Communist Hardcover – Bargain Price, July 17, 2012
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About the Author
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Growing Up Frank
FRANK MARSHALL DAVIS was born on December 31, 1905. He grew up in Arkansas City, Kansas, which he described as a “yawn town fifty miles south of Wichita, five miles north of Oklahoma, and east and west of nowhere worth remembering.”1 That was a charitable description, given the racism he endured in that little town.
In his memoirs, Frank began by taking readers back to his high-school graduation on a “soft night in late spring, 1923.” He was six feet one and 190 pounds at age seventeen, but “I feel more like one foot six; for I am black, and inferiority has been hammered into me at school and in my daily life from home.” He and three other black boys “conspicuously float in this sea of white kids,” the four of them the most blacks ever in one graduating class. “There are no black girls,” wrote Frank. “Who needs a diploma to wash clothes and cook in white kitchens?”2
Frank was rightly indignant at this “hellhole of inferiority.” He said that he and his fellow “Negroes reared in Dixie” were considered “the scum of the nation,” whose high-school education “has prepared us only to exist at a low level within the degrading status quo.” And even the education they acquired was often belittling. “My white classmates and I learned from our textbooks that my ancestors were naked savages,” said Frank, “exposed for the first time to uplifting civilization when slave traders brought them from the jungles of Africa to America. Had not their kindly white masters granted these primitive heathens the chance to save their souls by becoming Christians?”3
Frank would one day rise above the degrading status quo. For now, he lamented that he himself had fallen victim to this “brainwashing,” and “ran spiritually with the racist white herd, a pitiful black tag-a-long.”4
As Frank surveyed the sea of white classmates that soft spring evening, he was glad to know it would be the last time he would be with them. He could think of only three or four white boys who had treated him as an equal and a friend, and whom he cared to remember.5
One moment that was unforgettably seared into his soul was an incident when he was five years old. An innocent boy, Frank was walking home across a vacant lot when two third-grade thugs jumped him, tossed him to the ground, and slipped a noose over his neck. He kicked and screamed as the two devils prepared, in Frank’s words, “their own junior necktie party.” They were trying to lynch little Frank Marshall Davis.6
As the noose tightened, a white man heroically appeared, chasing away the two savages, freeing Frank, brushing the dirt from his clothes. He walked little Frank nearly a mile home, then simply turned around and went about his business. Frank never learned the man’s identity.7
Imagine if that kindly man could have known that that “Negro” boy he shepherded home would one day help mentor the first black president of the United States. It is a moving thought, one that cannot help but elicit the most heartfelt sympathy for Frank, even in the face of his later political transgressions.
Frank’s parents apparently informed the school of the attempted lynching, but school officials did not bother. “I was still alive and unharmed, wasn’t I?” scoffed Frank. “Besides, I was black.”
Frank rose above the jackboot of this repression, assuring the world that this was one young black man who would not be tied down. He enrolled in college, first attending Friends University in Wichita, before transferring to Kansas State University in Manhattan.8 At Kansas State from 1924 to 1926, Frank majored in journalism and practiced writing poetry, impressing students and faculty alike.
These colleagues were almost universally white. To their credit, some of them saw in Frank a writing talent and were eager to help.
Of course, that upturn did not end the racism in Frank’s life. Another ugly incident occurred in a return home during college break.9
A promising young man, Frank was working at a pool hall, trying to save money to put himself through school. It was midnight, and he was walking home alone. A black sedan slowly approached him. Out of the lowered window came a redneck voice: “Where’n hell you goin’ this time of night?”
Frank warily glanced over and saw two white men in the front seat and another in the back. Worried, he asked why it was their business.
“Don’t get smart, boy. We’re police,” snapped one of them, flashing a badge slightly above his holstered pistol. “I’m police chief here. Now, what th’ hell you doing in this neighborhood this time of night?”
A frightened Frank explained that this was his neighborhood. He had lived there for years, was home on college break, and was simply walking home from work.
“Yeah?” barked the chief. “Well, you git your black ass in the car with us. A white lady on th’ next street over phoned there was somebody prowling around her yard.”
Frank asked, “Am I supposed to fit the description?”
The chief found Frank’s question haughty: “Shut up an’ git in the car!”
They delivered Frank to the woman’s doorstep. “Ain’t this him?” said the hopeful chief.
The woman quickly said it was not. Frank looked nothing at all like the man she had spotted.
“Are you sure?” pushed the chief. “Maybe you made a mistake.”
The lady insisted that Frank was not the suspect, to the lawman’s great disappointment.
Frank suspected that the chief was keenly disappointed not to have the opportunity to work him over. “It wasn’t everyday they had a chance to whip a big black nigger,” said Frank, “and a college nigger at that.”
The chief told Frank to get back in the car, where he began interrogating him again, even though Frank was fully exonerated. The chief was not relenting. He was looking for blood.
“Where do you live?” the chief continued. Frank stated his address. The chief turned to his buddies: “I didn’t know any damn niggers lived in this part of town, did you?” One of the officers replied: “There’s a darky family livin’ down here somewhere.”
Frank was utterly helpless, at the mercy of men with badges and guns and “the law” behind them. He boiled inside, but could do nothing. He later wrote: “At that moment I would have given twenty years off my life had I been able to bind all three together, throw them motionless on the ground in front of me, and for a whole hour piss in their faces.”
Frank escaped this incident physically unharmed, released to his home by the police. But he was hardly unscathed. Such injustice understandably fueled a lifelong resentment.
Frank’s upbringing, as told through his memoirs, is gripping. His writing is witty, engaging, sarcastic, at times delightful, leaving it hard not to like Frank, or at least be entertained by him. But the wonderful passages are tempered by Frank’s numerous ethnic slurs, mostly aimed in a self-deprecating manner at himself and his people, but also directed at others, such as “the Spanish Jew” (never named) whose restaurant he frequented in Atlanta, and, worst of all, by the many sexually explicit passages. One can see in Frank’s memoirs the author of Sex Rebel, and one can see a lot of sexism, with Frank making constant graphic references to women’s private parts (with vulgar slang terms) and referring to women as everything from “white chicks” to “a jane” to a “luscious ripened plum,” just for starters.10 In his memoirs, Frank devoted an inordinate amount of space to his sexual encounters. Sex Rebel must have been his chance to more fully indulge his lurid obsessions.
• • •
Of course, Frank also invested his writing talent in noble purposes: advancing civil rights by chronicling the persecutions of a black man. Interestingly, to that end, Frank’s memoirs are remarkably similar to Barack Obama’s memoirs; the running thread being the racial struggles of a young black man in America.
Frank’s memoirs reveal an often bitter man, one who had suffered the spear of racial persecution. His contempt for his culture and society also led to a low view of America. When America is acknowledged in his memoirs, it is not a pretty portrait: “The United States was the only slaveholding nation in the New World that completely dehumanized Africans by considering them as chattel, placing them in the same category as horses, cattle, and furniture.” That attitude, wrote Frank, was still held by too many American whites.11 Thus, his hometown of Arkansas City was “no better or worse than a thousand other places under the Stars and Stripes.”12
Again, that bitterness is understandable, a toxic by-product of the evil doings of Frank’s tormentors. Yet what is unfortunate about Frank’s narrative is the lack of concession, smothered (as it was) by resentment, that this same America, no matter the sins of its children, still pr...
Top Customer Reviews
Finally, a possible answer to that riddle has been discovered and documented by Paul Kengor in his new biography of Frank Marshall Davis. Who the heck is Frank Marshall Davis and why hasn't his identity and importance to Barack Obama been reported and analyzed by the media?
Obama mentions his mentor only briefly in his own autobiographies and wisely refers to that most important influence on him as "Frank." Why was that?
Frank Marshall Davis was a card-carrying member of the Communist Party USA. His card number was #47544. He was a lifetime pro-Soviet, pro-Red China Communist. "He edited and wrote for communist newspapers in both Chicago and Honolulu" and published the writings of noted Soviet Agents.
"Davis came into Barack Obama's life in the 1970s.... Frank Marshall Davis had a distinct influence on Obama during their years together in the 1970s. The exact extent of that influence will be one of the subjects analyzed in detail through this book."
To know some of Davis's hard-core Communist's beliefs, one only has to listen to the words of Barack Obama. Many of the phrases peppering his political speeches are almost direct quotes of the radical writings of Davis.
"Frank Marshall Davis is the closest thing that the adolescent Obama had to a mentor. The only competitor was Obamas's maternal grandfather, Stanley Dunham. Actually, 'competitor' is not a good word, give that Dunham introduced Frank to Obama for the purpose of mentoring."
In 21 chapters of meticulously detailed information, Kengor paints a picture of the man who may have had the single most influence on Barack Obama.Read more ›
With Election Day 2012 rapidly approaching, it is absolutely essential that the American people discover the truth about the man who is seeking a second term as President. There is no doubt in my mind that "The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis--The Story of Barack Obama Mentor" will play a pivotal role in helping many of the so-called "undecideds" make that choice.Read more ›
I consider myself a Moderate, But I feel many of the fans of this book would probable consider me a
Liberal. With That Being said I will now Give my thoughts on this book...
I didn't expect to like this book but to my surprise I found it to be a pretty good book
It's well written but it does have a tendency to be on the dry side.
The Reason that this book exists is best said by the author Himself...
''''The people who influence our leaders matter.'''
Whether we Like President Obama or we dislike him it still matters who he grew up around or was
influenced by in his youth or early adulthood.
Some people think that Davis had a major influrence on Obama and some think that he had little influence but either way there
should be no problem with an author taking a closer look at Mr. Davis's life.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
THE BOOK WAS VERY INTERESTING WHICH I ALREADY KNEW THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BARACK OBAMA AND FRANK MARSHALL DAVIS. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Hogan_62
Outstanding work exposing the far left in the USA Nd how far this despicable ideology has penetrated the highest halls of our government. Read morePublished 1 month ago by William E Benson
Well written and informative summary of the history of the communist party in the US and the influence on our current president. Read morePublished 1 month ago by James D. Lincoln
Excellent! This should have been known about Obama's mentor prior to the election. No thanks to the PROSTITUTE PRESS!Published 2 months ago by Dr. Mal Mauney
Gives you a lot of insight into Obama's actions and attitudes. This is the story of Frank Marshall Davis, an avowed Communist, who was very instrumental in influencing young... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Frankie1429
In Today's American Holocaust, Communism has melted into our social fabric. Not only is it there, it stands on the verge of erasing American doctrine. Read morePublished 3 months ago by MAX