Prof. Tony Martin
Blacks and Jews at Wellesley News
Broadside Number Three • March, 1995
Critical Acclaim for THE JEWISH ONSLAUGHT: Despatches from the Wellesley Battlefront
by Tony Martin
The Jewish attack on Black progress reached Wellesley College in 1993, when more Jewish organizations than you could shake a stick at issued a call for the dismissal of Dr. Tony Martin from his tenured professorship at the elite women’s college. His crime?: including readings on Jewish involvement in the African slave trade in an African American history course. With rare insight and biting wit, Martin replies to his detractors and offers a historian’s analysis of the escalating Jewish onslaught against Black people.
Best Book of The Year
The Jewish Onslaught was named “Best Book of the Year, 1994” at the annual Black Literary Awards held in Hampton, Virginia. The awards are sponsored by UB and US Communications Systems.
Jewish Onslaught is #1 Bestseller
The Jewish Onslaught spent several months in 1994 at the top of the Black book industry’s bestseller list. The list is compiled monthly by Your Black Books Guide, the most widely circulated publication of the Black Books Movement. The book is the fastest-selling title published by The Majority Press to date (though not the biggest seller in absolute terms). From the Wellesley College Bookstore to after-lecture sales around the United States, The Jewish Onslaught has been a massive seller everywhere.
Best Polemic Since David Walker’s Appeal
Dr. Molefi Kete Asante, Temple University
“Occasionally one reads a monograph that establishes a genre of literature, or at least makes the reader feel that he or she is in the presence of a new literary event. On reading Tony Martin’s The Jewish Onslaught: Despatches from the Wellesley Battlefront, one senses the incredible power of the writer to defend himself against those who would limit his freedom of speech while expanding theirs. This is a polemic of the highest order and it might be considered the best such example of an African answering critics since David Walker’s preemptive Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World.
“…it is only by reading The Jewish Onslaught that one can fully appreciate the brilliant mind of Tony Martin. His defense of his right to free speech and academic freedom will certainly become one of the best known documents in the history of African people’s intellectual self defense.”
—from The Journal of Black Studies, XXV, 1, Sept. 1994
Compared to DuBois’ Souls of Black Folk
Professor Raymond A. Winbush, Vanderbilt University
“Tony Martin’s book, The Jewish Onslaught, should only be read by two groups of persons—those who want to understand the politics of teaching Afrocentricity at either the college or university level, and those who wish to understand the intellectual issues at stake between Blacks and Jews….
“Martin describes the reaction of various Jewish organizations, most notably Hillel and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith, on the use of the Nation of Islam’s book, The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, in his class on African American history at Wellesley. In what can only be described as an onslaught, Jewish organizations waged a campaign of intimidation that eclipses the Leonard Jeffries case at City University of New York. Martin details circumstances that should be viewed as ominous by all Black scholars in that news organizations, particularly newspapers, have excoriated him and provided only rare opportunities for rebuttal and/or op-ed pieces.
“What is paradoxical about the Jewish onslaught to Martin’s book, the Jeffries case and other attacks on Afrocentricity, is that some of these same organizations and individuals claim to be avid defenders of the First Amendment. Mary Lefkowitz, in a recent issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education (January 19, 1994), called for a holy war against “false theories in the classroom.” Her hysterical article all but advocated a repeal of the First Amendment when it comes to dealing with what she perceives as the false claims of Afrocentricity.
“Martin’s chapter entitled ‘Afrocentricity’ deals directly with the reasons why such vitriol is being heaped on Afrocentricity, and is probably the most important chapter in the book. His analysis of Martin Bernal’s Black Athena series is a brilliant analysis of the politics of Jewish organizations’ pressures to suppress scholarly inquiry into African history.
“Professor Martin at long last deals with the Henry Gates/Cornel West attacks on Afrocentricity. Many Blacks have talked about, but few have written anything on, the rise of the ubiquitous Henry “Skip” Gates and Cornel West as a function of their being used in denouncing Afrocentricity. Martin provides a solid analysis of the historical use of Blacks by whites to discredit original Black thought deemed unacceptable by non-Blacks….
“I compare The Jewish Onslaught to the classic third chapter of DuBois’ The Souls of Black Folk entitled “Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others.” That essay dealt with a specific issue concerning Black leadership, but is timeless in terms of its application to current events in the Diaspora. I believe that Martin has written a book that years from now will be considered a classic in terms of understanding the historical relationships between Blacks and Jews. It is simply a must reading on a controversial subject that needs greater airing than some of the more timid political attempts of recent years.”
—from The Voice of Black Studies, XVIII, 5, Winter 1994
A Balanced Jewish Perspective
Steve Bloom, New York
“Wellesley, Massachusetts, is a peaceful New England town, home of Wellesley College—a prestigious women’s institution that is among the most academically acclaimed of this nation’s small liberal arts colleges. It hardly seems like the setting for a confrontation in the ‘Black-Jewish conflict.’ And yet, as the title of this book suggests, that is precisely what took place there beginning in early 1993.
“At the center of the controversy is Tony Martin, a Black scholar whose academic achievement and reputation would seem to make him a natural choice for an institution such as Wellesley….He is widely acknowledged as the world’s foremost authority on the life and work of Marcus Garvey and is the author of eleven books. In addition to his duties at Wellesley he has been a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota, Brandeis University, Brown University, and The Colorado College.
“Then, one day in January, Martin’s class on African American History was monitored for a single period by three officers of the Wellesley Hillel Club. The visit was prompted when Jewish students noticed that a book published by the Nation of Islam, entitled, The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, was on a reading list for the class. Based on that single visit, and that single fact, the campus Hillel Club launched an attack on Professor Martin for disseminating what its spokeswomen characterize as “hate literature.” The Secret Relationship, they say, is an anti-Semitic work.
“This accusation is made on the grounds that The Secret Relationship documents Jewish involvement in the African slave trade (using predominantly Jewish historical sources to do so)….
“Martin shows that he has been the victim of a vicious slander campaign by those who use a Jewish identity demagogically, insisting that because they are Jews all others must uncritically accept their denunciation of Martin, or anyone else.
“Exposing this reality is Martin’s purpose in writing The Jewish Onslaught, and it seems to this reader that he adequately makes his case….
“The perception that Jews are somehow better than other groups of whites in their relationship to Blacks…is simply false. Jewish establishment support to the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s flowed from its own material interest in helping to further open American society. That was achieved, and it helped to establish a substantial ‘Black middle class’ of professionals and small proprietors. But an even larger proportion of Jews were able to successfully ‘integrate’ themselves into the more privileged strata of U.S. society. And this ‘Jewish integration’ makes it quite outmoded to consider that Jews continue to be the victims of oppression in the U.S., in any sense of that term.
“But these two myths—of Jews as an oppressed people and a special ‘friend’ of Black liberation—nevertheless maintain a tenacious hold. They give a particular credibility to Jewish spokespeople’s denunciations of Black leaders for ‘anti-Semitism.’ This has, in fact, become a standard, and extremely effective, way to discredit Black activists.
“The question of Jewish involvement in the African slave trade represents a particularly imposing threat to the idea of an historic ‘Black/Jewish friendship.’ That is why a major campaign has been launched to make sure that this subject remains out of bounds. Once the accusation of anti-Semitism is raised, any reasoned debate or discussion becomes impossible….
“Finally, those Black intellectuals who do speak out against ‘Black anti-Semitism’ tend to echo the white power structure’s sweeping denunciations of honest inquiry as well as real prejudice. It seems reasonable to believe that this attitude is shaped by the desire to maintain relatively privileged positions in academic or political life. And this can only be done by pleasing the white establishment which remains master in these areas.
“…it would be wrong to simply dismiss Martin’s call on Jewish religious and cultural institutions today to renounce [the Hamitic Myth, the Talmudic notion that Africans were recipients of a Biblical curse.] If prominent Jewish scholars and religious institutions were to explicitly reject the Hamitic myth, that fact could play a positive role in opening up new possibilities for dialogue and overcoming the genuine anti-Black racism that exists among Jews….
“[The Jewish Onslaught] is compelling reading. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to better understand what creates the antagonism between Blacks and Jews, not only in Crown Heights but in Academia as well….”
—prepared for Third World Viewpoint (forthcoming)
A View from England
“…you don’t have to say or do anything specifically about the Jews for them to attack. All you have to do, like our great ancestor Marcus Garvey, is dare to have independent thought….
“A good example of this is the vicious attack on Tony Martin, the renowned Garvey biographer and teacher who was terrorized by these people non-stop…after using The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews in one of his courses.
“His experiences, recalled in the Jewish Onslaught, are an indictment on the despicable behavior of the Jews….”
—from Global Africa Pocket News (London), I, 5, May 1994
From Jamaica: Truth is a Hard Taskmaster
Carl Wint, Gleaner Associate Editor
“Truth is a hard task master, and this was to come home forcefully to Tony Martin….An expert on Marcus Garvey, he has written, compiled or edited eleven books and is highly regarded in academic and intellectual circles….
“Tony Martin has been forced to delve into the relationship between the Jews and Blacks and, in the process, he has distilled a work that is informative, fascinating and one which will heighten the consciousness of Black people everywhere.
“The role of Jews in the African slave trade foreshadowed, too, the manipulative role of the Jews in the American Civil Rights Movement of the Sixties….
“In The Jewish Onslaught, one is struck by the sensitivity of the Jews to their role in the affairs of Black people. And, this against the background of academic work put out for decades about the role other groups played.
“These groups ranged from whites to Black Africans. Where the conclusions drawn were in doubt, these were challenged, but certainly not with the vitriol and the paranoia the Jewish community seem to have exhibited in reaction to Black historians putting out academic work from their own perspective, and which deals with the Jewish role. This is a good read.”
—from the Sunday Gleaner (Jamaica), Feb. 6, 1994
Yusef Salaam, New York Amsterdam News
“By his dedication to Garvey scholarship…Martin has inherited the struggle to keep Garvey’s ideas alive and to continue the struggle against his historical enemies, Blacks and Whites, who are still in the forefront of destroying the progress of African people.
“Martin’s recent book, The Jewish Onslaught, is vitally important because it is the first published report that chronicles what happens when one dares to speak the truth—as one has researched and studied it—about Jews being among the criminals who had leading roles in the buying and selling of African people and in the genocide of at least 100 million of them during the holocaust of enslavement….
“The Jewish Onslaught offers frightening insight into the psychological pogrom that Jewish organizations conduct to instill fear, to break the mind and spirit, castrate the character and to kill the career of anyone whose ideas they deem to not be kosher.”
—from New York Amsterdam News, Feb. 12 & 19, 1994
The Official Voice of White Wellesley College Hatred
A Degraded Book
Diana Chapman Walsh – President, Wellesley College
“The increase in your salary for next year does not include a merit award….the recent degradation of your scholarship…warrant[s] a statement of disapproval and concern….
“…the lack of intellectual balance in The Jewish Onslaught, the polemic you wrote and continue to affirm as legitimate scholarship, has been communicated to you repeatedly.”
—from annual salary letter, Diana Chapman Walsh to Tony Martin, June 8, 1994
Purchase Prof. Tony Martin’s The Jewish Onslaught: Despatches from the Wellesley Battlefront
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