Support The Center for Marxist Education


Dear Comrades,

You have made the Center possible for over four decades with your volunteer time and contributions. Today, January 1, 2017, we celebrate 42 years of solidarity with you in our constant struggles. Now that we’re facing greater oppression and potential attacks, it’s more important than ever that spaces like the CME thrive.

Our goal is to raise $5,000 to help support the operational costs of paying rent, stocking the shelves with new books, and hosting educational events.

Donate today because…
Education is imperative to spreading our movement.
Boston needs more local, national and international speakers to call us to action.
Comrades need a space to share, strategize and build solidarity.
The CME is a part of our history; a monument to our fight against capitalism.
EQUALITY can’t wait for tomorrow!
We hope we can count on your for a one-time or monthly donation – any amount helps!

Donate online here or by mailing a check to the Center for Marxist Education, P.O. Box 390459, Cambridge, MA 02139. Make checks payable to BookMarx. Please note that donations are not tax deductible.

Thank you so much for helping us reach our goal.

In Solidarity,
Center for Marxist Education Steering Committee

People of Color and Schools

Harvard President Drew Faust unveils a portrait of The Reverend Peter J. Gomes, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in The Memorial Church, 1974 – 2011. The portrait hangs in the Faculty Room of University Hall. The Honorable Deval Patrick and The Reverend Dr. Wendel “Tad” Meyer make remarks. Deval Patrick (from left), Drew Faust, Michael Smith, Tad Meyer, and artist Yuqi Wang unveil the painting. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer

Harvard President Drew Faust unveils a portrait of The Reverend Peter J. Gomes, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in The Memorial Church, 1974 – 2011. The portrait hangs in the Faculty Room of University Hall. The Honorable Deval Patrick and The Reverend Dr. Wendel “Tad” Meyer make remarks. Deval Patrick (from left), Drew Faust, Michael Smith, Tad Meyer, and artist Yuqi Wang unveil the painting. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer

Read the full article here

Being in New England, I am connected to some of the most prominent schools in the nation. As I visit peer schools — I often look at the pictures on their walls as I tour different campuses. I also notice the pictures hanging on the walls here at Brooks. Yes — most are white men. I get lucky at times and find a female. That makes me happy. But never a person of color. Recently the late great Peter Gomes’s picture was displayed in Harvard’s faculty room. What does it say to the world when there are no images of people that are not white hanging from walls? What about the fact that places have not figured out how to make people of color feel welcomed? We are not aliens. New England prep schools and Harvard will argue and make excuses. Most places will. But the truth is in the numbers. Are we not part of the club? Prep schools are easy places to feel displaced. Independent schools are this way in general. And the conservative schools will make you feel like an outsider if you are not of the population norm. Harvard has made that all too clear by just now hanging a picture of a person of color. I love the late Peter Gomes. Good for Harvard. Boy it took you long enough. What does your campus look like? Why? Why are there no people of color? Why do they leave? Do you care to know.

Jesus, Race, and Ideology Lecture and Book Review

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I am excited about my talk at the Center for Marxist Education in Cambridge. This talk draws from my research in developing my American Jesus course. The above announcement recently went out; I am hoping to have a great conversation with folks who attend. The last lecture I gave there saw 20 – 25 people who attended. Here is my description of the talk: The Black Christian Communist in America starts with an address by the now defunct Knights of Labor’s Constitution, which opened with a biblical verse from Genesis 3:19, “By the sweat of thy brow thou shalt eat bread.” The workers believed Jesus Christ’s teachings promoted a central socialist narrative of love and sacrifice for all people – not one against socialism, the poor, and marginalized, which has long been a construct of American Calvinists, who purported that Christ and his teachings were capitalist. The historical transformation of Christ, as a blond haired blue-eyed capitalist, will be juxtaposed to a darker skinned Christ, who was a socialist and thus marched with the poor, with sinners, and communists. This engaging discussion addresses the relationship of the American church and religion, its members, and the importance of race and socialism in eradicating societal inequalities dating back to the black power movement of the 1960s to ‪#‎blacklivesmatter‬ in the 21st century.


H-AmRel (History of American Religion) invited me to write a scholarly review for publication of the book “Black Power in the Bluff City: African-American Youth and Student Activism in Memphis, 1965 – 1975.” I am excited about finishing this work and grasping the complex historical narrative of Memphis — as presented by Shirletta J. Kinchen.

Historical Thinking Skills Text

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I am excited to receive our text in the mail today. John and I spent a great deal of time thinking about the historical thinking skills teachers and students will be able to explore in their classes with this work. It does a great job forcing historical content to drive the needed skills. I dedicated it to my parents, brother, and wife — Janette Carson​. I am a lifelong teacher who spends hours thinking about my students ad how I can help them. I am not perfect — but man do I try.

Here are some reviews:

“One of the biggest problems teachers will face in teaching the redesigned AP European History course is finding quality resources to reinforce information and to get students to think and make connections. There are numerous examples in this book and I think it will only enhance student learning. Historical thinking skills can be challenging for students and this breaks it down and makes it much simpler for students to understand so that they will be more successful in both the course and on the AP Exam itself.”

Tina Gentry, History Teacher, Spring High School

“Carson and Irish provide an excellent resource in helping students master the historical thinking skills needed to reach their full potential in AP European History. It provides educators with numerous resources to help implement and build these skills with their students.”

Tara Gruber, AP World History, AP European History, Allen High School

“This new workbook doesn’t just explain the required historical thinking skills necessary for success on the AP European History exam. It shows the student and teacher how to apply those skills effectively throughout the four periods of the course curriculum. Using specific examples and clear graphic organizers, the authors have revolutionized the way study skills can be taught, giving the student a clear idea of how to use each skill and how the skills interrelate with and complement one another.”

Pamela Wolfe, History Department Chair, Yeshiva of Greater Washington, Former member of the European History Development Committee

“A workbook, such as this, would prove incredibly invaluable to those AP students looking to demonstrate, refine and improve their expertise. I am confident in saying this workbook will do an exceptional job at addressing the new AP European History curriculum and what it entails.”

Michael J. Poirier, Social Studies Teacher, Nashoba Regional High School

“An invaluable and practical teaching tool that covers all the important Historical Thinking Skills for AP European History. An enormously valuable guide from two highly regarded veteran AP European History teachers.”

Jay Harmon, AP History Teacher, Houston Christian High School

The Small Skills

There are a lot of skills taught in schools. Sure, a residential school like Brooks requires students to own their day-to-day schedule and to balance their time. Think about the skills schools teach that we often take for granted. Often it is the small things that determine if a student can leave home and cope in a university environment or work place. Case in point:
there is something to be said about a student who looks at your syllabus in order to visit you during office hours. I had a young female student who took a VERY mature position in expressing her concerns about the volume of work I assign and the demands of my course. We met and I promised her that she could do it; we looked at the objectives and she discussed them fully. I stated to her that she will crush my impending essay. She left happy and full of confidence — as she should be. She thanked me for my time and stated that she was excited about the rigor and expectations. I loved her comfort in visiting me and having a very focused conversation about her and academic work. This is one of the many small things taught in schools that we take for granted. I think she was elated to see on the syllabus that things are about to get much easier.

Mark Elrod and UCA

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I have written and posted about professor Mark Elrod before, thus this post is not a surprise. I am excited that he will be joining the Political Science department at the University of Central Arkansas. After being on faculty at Harding University for some 26 years, I support his desire to seek a new challenge. Academic diversity is what makes academic life so great. He was by far one of my favorite instructors. If you are not lazy, you will love him; if you are lazy, you will still love him, but you will find that he holds high expectations. So, for the folks at UCA, here are just a few things to expect:

1. A brilliant man.
2. A person who will listen and value your thoughts and opinions, regardless if he disagrees with you.
3. He will challenge you to articulate why you think the way you think about any purported theory or fact
4. Hard worker. ME, as he is called, always arrives to class ready to engage students. He will model scholarship. I just hope to serve on another panel with him or get a chance to co-author a paper with him.
5. Tough classes. Feel free to avoid reading your text, writing those papers, and showing up to class; if you do, bring the drop card ASAP. His exams are thought provoking and difficult — as they should be.
6. Participate. Unlike too many folks who like to hear themselves talk, particularly those at Harding, ME welcomes dialogue.
7. He is in demand. He was by far one of the most popular people at Harding University. Thus, when you can, go by his office and just talk. Better yet, he is a big coffee drinker.
8. If you make a mistake, just apologize and move on. He is great when it comes to second chances.
9. Most important, he is a VERY good man. He is human like all of us, but he is a great person.

I and many others are Mark Elrod fans.