A Dancer in the Revolution: Stretch Johnson, Harlem Communist at the Cotton Club 1st Edition, Kindle Edition

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Stretch Johnson's nickname honored his exceptional height and flexibility as a professional dancer, but also captured his rarer talent for reaching across cultural and political gaps. His effortlessly lively and rigorously honest memoir illuminates forgotten links between the Cotton Club and the Communist Party, the Harlem Renaissance and the early Black Studies scholarship that canonized it. A Dancer in the Revolution is radical life-writing that magnetically rejoins divided histories. (―William J. Maxwell Washington University in St. Louis, author of FB Eyes: How J. Edgar Hoover's Ghostreaders Framed African American Literature)

This is an excellent publication that provides an insider’s view of everyday life and culture in Harlem during the period in which the contemporary black community is being formed. (―Henry Louis Taylor Jr. University at Buffalo, SUNY)

Although this book touches on issues of race and class endlessly discussed by the US left for decades, it is primarily the story of one man's experience living in a nation whose history is defined by those issues. that life explains more than a thousand debates. (―Counterpunch)

In this vivid memoir, Howard “Stretch” Johnson shares his unforgettable journey from the dance floor of the Cotton Club to the top echelons of the Communist Party. With colorful tales of the nightlife of the Harlem Renaissance and insightful reflections on the American left and Black freedom struggle, A Dancer in the Revolution is hard to put down. Johnson tells his remarkable life story with wit and grace, sharing stories of pain and regret, but never-ending commitment to social justice. (―Martha Biondi author of To Stand and Fight: the Struggle for Civil Rights in Postwar New York City and The Black Revolution on Campus)

Howard “Stretch” Johnson’s life story, ably edited by Wendy Johnson, is a compelling drama of race, dance, and radical politics of the 1930s to 1960s. No other book offers so much deep personal insight in these areas, and this book deserves as many readers as Claude McKay’s Home to Harlem. (―Paul Buhle authorized biographer of C.L.R. James and retired Senior Lecturer, Brown University) --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

About the Author

Howard “Stretch” Eugene Johnson (1915–2000) was a former Communist Party leader, Cotton Club dancer, World War II veteran, and academic. His final years were spent as a professor of Black studies at SUNY New Paltz and as an ongoing activist in Hawai'i, where he helped achieve state recognition of Martin Luther King’s birthday as a bank holiday, marching until the age of 80 in Paris, France, and Harlem for causes he believed just. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

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