Black Fire: The Making of an American Revolutionary, a memoir of his years as a Black soldier in World War II, shows how a person becomes a revolutionary through life experience. His sequel, Black Radical, shows the WWII Black veterans as the organizing force in the Freedom Movement, the role of the revolutionary Left and the development of his family.
About Mr. Peery
Nelson Peery grew up in rural Minnesota, the son of a postal service worker in the only African-American family in the town. Hoboing across the Western United States supplemented his education during the depression. It was an experience that no school could teach about racism and the American economy. His book, “Black Fire,” describes these years as well as his years in the U.S. Army.
He wrote “Black Fire” because no one had ever told the story about the Black soldier during World War II and he wanted to set the record straight. He returned from the war determined to continue his political activity. He wanted to show how a person becomes a revolutionary from their life experience and the conclusions they come to about what must be done to make America live up to its promise.
In his new electrifying sequel, the author picks up where Black Fire ends. “Black Radical: The Education of an American Revolutionary,” begins with Nelson Peery’s integration back into civilian life following the war, and describes the development of his revolutionary consciousness as he attempts to move from first-class soldier to first-class civilian. The book offers a rare perspective and a new and fascinating vantage on the crucial historical period from 1946 through 1968, including the postwar, grassroots struggle for equality and democracy led by Black veterans, the battles of the Black Left and revolutionaries during the McCarthy inquisition and their role in the Freedom Movement, and the 1965 Watts rebellion in Los Angeles, where Peery and his family were living at the time. Above all, it is about the education of an American revolutionary, amid the continuing struggles to bring to life the ideals that Peery and so many others fought for in World War II.
Nelson Peery’s other works are: “The Future is Up to Us;” co-author of “Moving Onward From Racial Division to Class Unity,” a book that discusses the historical evolution of racism and what makes today different; a pamphlet, “African American Liberation and Revolution in the U.S.”; numerous essays such as “School Days,” in the book, “Teaching for Social Justice,” and “The Birth of a New Modern Proletariet,” in the book, “Cutting Edge,” and many more writings on African American liberation, the global economy and the vision of a new cooperative America.
Nelson Peery has over 60 years in the revolutionary movement. In his lectures, he discusses what makes our era different from all others, and how society can become an economic paradise for all.