• Richard Wright and his Negro intellectual colleagues never realized the plain truth that no one in the United States understood the revolutionary potential of the Negro better than the Negro's white radical allies. They understood it instinctively, and revolutionary theory had little to do with it. What Wright could not see was that what the Negro's allies feared most of all was that this sleeping, dream-walking black giant might wake up and direct the revolution all by himself, relegating his white allies to a humiliating second-class status. The negro's allies were not about to tell the Negro anything that might place him on the path to greater power and independence in the revolutionary movement than they themselves had. The rules of the power game meant that unless the American Negro taught himself the profound implications of his own revolutionary significance in America, it would never be taught to him by anybody else. Unless the Negro intellectuals understood that in pursuit of this self-understanding, they would have to make their own rules, by and for themselves, nationalism would forever remain--as it was for Wright-- "a bewildering and vexing question

    Harold Cruse
  • In advanced societies it is not the race politicians or the "rights" leaders who create the new ideas and the new images of life and man. That role belongs to the artists and intellectuals of each generation. Let the race politicians, if they will, create political, economic or organizational forms of leadership; but it is the artists and the creative minds who will, and must, furnish the all important content. And in this role, they must not be subordinated to the whims and desires of politicians, race leaders and civil rights entrepreneurs whether they come from the Left, Right, or Center, or whether they are peaceful, reform, violent, non-violent or laissez-faire. Which means to say, in advanced societies the cultural front is a special one that requires special techniques not perceived, understood, or appreciated by political philistines

    Harold Cruse
  • In America, the materio-economic conditions relate to a societal, multi-group existence in a way never before know in world history. American Negro nationalism can never create its own values, find its revolutionary significance, define its political and economic goals, until Negro intellectuals take up the cudgels against the cultural imperialism practiced in all of its manifold ramifications on the Negro within American culture. But this kind of revolution would have to be predicated on the recognition that the cultural and artistic originality of the American nation is founded, historically, on the ingredients of a black aesthetic and artistic base

    Harold Cruse
  • The path to the ethnic democratization of American society is through its culture, that is to say through its cultural apparatus, which comprises the eyes, the ears, and the "mind" of capitalism and is twentieth-century voice to the world. Thus to democratize the cultural apparatus is tantamount to revolutionizing American society itself into the living realization of its professed ideas. Seeing the problem in another way, to revolutionize the cultural apparatus is to deal fundamentally with the unsolved American question of nationality--Which group speaks for America and for the glorification of which ethnic image? Either all group images speak for themselves and for the nation, or American nationality will never be determined

    Harold Cruse
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