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Prominent Negroes Condemn Negro Anti-semitism; Quit the ‘Liberator’

February 28, 1967
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Two prominent Negro intellectuals — James Baldwin, author, and Ossie Davis, actor and playwright — sharply condemned Negro anti-Semitism in letters published today by "Freedom ways, " a quarterly review of the Negro freedom movement. Both attacked also the Negro monthly, "Liberator, " and a writer for the latter magazine, Eddie Ellis, for an article in "Liberator" last year which, according to Mr. Baldwin and Mr. Davis, had virtually called for "a war against the Jews."

Mr. Baldwin and Mr. Davis had resigned from the advisory board of "Liberator" because of the Ellis article, and demanded that "Liberator" print their retorts. Having been refused such publication in the monthly, they sent their letters to "Freedom ways" and made the replies available in advance to the American Jewish Committee.

"I think it is distinctly unhelpful, and I think it is immoral, " wrote Mr. Baldwin, "to blame Harlem on the Jew." Mr. Davis assailed the "wild and unsupported contentions" in the article, "Semitism in the Black Ghetto, " stating; "Whatever Jews are guilty of exploiting Harlem are not guilty because they are Jews but because — along with many Catholics, Protestants, Negro and white — they are exploiters."

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