Speakers logo


Black Fire

The Future Is Up To Us





Black Radical

Movin On

Black Fire: The Making of
an American Revolutionary
and the new sequel,
Black 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.

What people are saying about Black Fire
"Black Fire" is a well-told scathing story and it resounds with a sense of justice."— The New Yorker

"In 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

Nelson 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.

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 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.

He 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.

In his 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.

Nelson 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 America.

Nelson 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 info@speakersforanewamerica.com.