Angelo Herndon

African American labor organizer (1913-1997)

Angelo Braxton Herndon (May 6, 1913 – December 9, 1997) was an African-American labor organizer. He was arrested and convicted for insurrection after attempting to organize black and white industrial workers in common in 1932 in Atlanta, Georgia. The prosecution case rested heavily on Herndon's possession of "communist literature."


Let Me Live (1937)Edit

  • My father ... rarely smiled. Then I did not know why, but now I do know that it was overwork, under-nourishment and the burdens of daily living which had made a broken man out of him, although still so young in years. His eyes were perpetually inflamed by the coal dust which also gnawed away at his lungs and made him spit out black sputum.
    • p. 7
  • My father worked from ten to fourteen hours a day and sometimes during the night, for which he never received any extra pay. Every year that passed only increased the wretchedness of his condition and our way of living. Work as hard as he would, there seemed to be no way out for us.
    • p. 8
  • My father was miserably treated by the mining company, but he had imbibed the false humility and meekness that the oppressors of his race and class had hypocritically taught him. He sought consolation from his torment in a touching devotion to his church, distracting himself from the sordid realities of his life and that of his family with dreams of the Reward Hereafter.
    • p. 8

Quotes about Angelo HerndonEdit

  • Of what was Herndon "guilty"? He had led a demonstration of unemployed Negro and white workers to City Hall, had been found with a couple of Communist pamphlets in his possession, and possessed a firm and inspiringly defiant advocacy of the freedom of Negroes and of the liberation of the white masses from exploitation. The "dangerous" policy he then espoused as a Communist, was the unity of the Negroes in the South with the impoverished white workers and poor farmers.

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