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Granz & Gillespie – A Duo for Democracy

by Gary Ferdman THIS NOVEMBER MARKS the 50th anniversary of the presidential campaign of a candidate who was an advocate for nuclear arms control and an unwavering and outspoken supporter of civil rights even at the risk of his career. Master politician Lyndon Johnson? Nope. Try master musician John Birks (Dizzy) Gillespie, who would have […]

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July 2: Victor Rabinowitz, Radical Lawyer

Victor Rabinowitz, a founder of the National Lawyers Guild in 1937 and a defender of many left-wing heroes in American courts, was born in Brooklyn on this date in 1911. Rabinowitz was a long-time law partner with Leonard Boudin, and among their roster of clients were Paul Robeson, Alger Hiss, Benjamin Spock, Julian Bond, Philip […]

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August 12: The Night of the Murdered Poets

The Stalin regime murdered thirteen Jewish writers and cultural leaders on this date in 1952, known as “The Night of the Murdered Poets.” All of them had served on the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, established at the close of 1941, six months after the Nazi attack on the USSR, with the aim of soliciting material and […]

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December 27: Showboat and Paul Robeson

“Showboat,” considered to be the first modern Broadway musical, opened at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York on this day in 1927. The show was created by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II, based on a 1926 novel by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Edna Ferber. “Showboat” tackled controversial themes of interracial marriage and social repression. The […]

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A Tradition of Solidarity

Black-Jewish Relations in the Pages of Jewish Currents by Rokhl Kaffrisen I VOTED FOR OBAMA. If you’re reading Jewish Currents, you probably did, too. Throughout the past century, American Jews have voted overwhelmingly for Democrats, and in this election, more than three-quarters of American Jews did so. The surprising statistic is that my so-called peers, […]

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