Black Fire: The Making of
an American Revolutionary
and the new sequel,
Radical: The Education of
an American Revolutionary
With great sadness, we announce that Nelson Peery passed away in September of 2016. His contribution to the struggle for a new society lives on in his books listed on this page.
people are saying about Black Fire
Fire" is a well-told scathing story and
it resounds with a sense of justice."— The New Yorker
places the book is Wolfean or Whitmanesque, suffused with an awareness
and an optimism that have become unfashionable in American
writing."—The Washington Post
"The sections of the book
on his military experiences are among the
best in the annals of African-American autobiographics.." — Quarterly
Black Review of Books
"Peery writes with intelligence, grace,
and humor. His autobiography
provides not only a portrait of a fascinating life but a history of
twentieth-century Black radicalism. —Kirkus Reviews
About Mr. Peery
Peery is the author of "Black Fire: The
Making of an American Revolutionary," a memoir that won first prize in
the Midwest Authors Award for Biography. He has been interviewed by
journalists, radio and television hosts, and spoken on campuses
throughout the country. His books, essays and articles raise profound
questions for everyone fighting for social change.
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 U.S. 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.
wrote "Black Fire" because no one had 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.
new electrifying sequel, Nelson Peery picks up where Black
Fire ends. "Black Radical: The Education of an American
Revolutionary," begins with the author's integration back into
civilian life following the war. It 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.
Peery's other works include: "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
Peery has over 60 years in the revolutionary movement. In his works,
he discusses what makes our era different from all others, and how
society can become an economic paradise for all.
For information about Nelson Peery call 800-691-6888.
For information on his books, email firstname.lastname@example.org.