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Independent Scholar

Hugh Murray

Hugh Murray, a son of New Orleans (b. 1938), is a widely published independent historian with a special interest in the Civil Rights Movement in which he participated. His involvement was noted in The Congressional Record for February 27, 2017.

Jerome Smith, a 21-year-old Hugh Murray, and others integrate Woolworth's counter during first New Orleans sit-in, September 9, 1960, (Below: same scene from a different angle.)

A sit-in at Woolworth's undertaken by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), September 9, 1960. Seated left to right: Jerome Smith; Ruth Despenza; Joyce Taylor; Hugh Murray; Archie Allen; William Harrell.  All were arrested. “We were all convicted of a felony,” Murray says, “and it took several years for the New Orleans sit-in cases to reach the U.S. Supreme Court, where the charges were thrown out.” (Murray, email to Flood, August 2, 2012)

At Tulane University, where his papers are now deposited, Murray wrote his Master's thesis on the Scottsboro Case.  For its documentary, Scottsboro: An American Tragedy, Public Broadcasting Service suggested three of his essays "For Further Reading." All three are available on this site.  (See bibliography below.)  The Study Guide for The Scottsboro Boys, the Broadway musical that opened at New York's Lyceum Theater on October 31, 2010, quotes twice (on page 16) from Murray's 1967 paper, "The NAACP versus the Communist Party: The Scottsboro Rape Cases, 1931-1932, text of which is also available on this site.

Earlier in the summer of 1960, Hugh Murray (above, right) and others were trained in the strategy and tactics of non-violent civil disobedience by Martin Luther King, Jr. (below) and other civil rights leaders (inclu-ding Jackie Robinson) at the Prince George Motel in Miami.  Murray recalls the time here.  [Photo scans courtesy of Hugh Murray.-A.F.]

Murray has taught at six universities: Dillard, Sou-thern, Edinburgh, Martin Luther, Leipzig, and Hebei Normal University in Shijiazhuang (the capital of Hebei Province). 

His essays, reviews, and letters have appeared in many scholarly and popular periodicals,* including a letter in the December 2006 Journal of American History critical of Professor Anthony S. Chen's "The Hitlerian Rule of Quotas" (JAH March 2006), to which Chen replies. (See also his "Some Are More Equal Than Others," his long review of Chen's The Fifth Freedom.) He related his experience of "affirmative action" in a letter to Commentary in 1991.  Visit his blog.

As Hugh and I worked for Herbert Aptheker on his several Du Bois projects in the early 1970s, it is a pleasure for me to provide this venue for his rich scholarship, something I doubt he'll ever get around to doing himself. 

Anthony Flood

November 11, 2008

(Updated August 2, 2012)




  • The Zionist-Nazi Connection.  Review of Francis R. Nicosia, The Third Reich and the Palestine Question.  New German Critique, Number 42, Fall 1987.   

  • DuBois and the Cold War.  Review of Gerald Horne, W. E. B. DuBois and the Afro-American Response to the Cold War, 1944-1963.  Journal of Ethnic Studies, 15:3, Fall 1987.

  • Paul Robeson: A Perspective.  Review of Martin Bauml Duberman, Paul Robeson.  Journal of Ethnic Studies, 18:2, Summer 1990.

  • Nazi Science.  Review-essay on Robert Proctor, Racial Hygiene: Medicine Under the Nazis; Benno Müller-Hill, Murderous Science: Elimina-tion by Scientific Selection of Jews, Gypsies, and Others, Germany: 1933-1945; and Robert Jay Lifton, The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide Polity, Vol. XXII, No. 3, Spring 1990.

  • Review of Zygmund Bauman, Modernity and the Holocaust in German Politics & Society, Spring 1991. 

  • The Case against Affirmative Action.  Review of Gertrude Ezorsky, Racism and Justice: The Case for Affirmative Action.  Telos 93, Fall 1992.

  • From Equal Opportunity to Preferential Treat-ment.  Review of Hugh Davis Graham, The Civil Rights Era: Origins and Development of National Policy, 1960-1972Over Here: Reviews in American Studies (Nottingham), Winter 1992.

  • Sean Dennis Cashman, African-Americans and the Quest for Civil Rights, 1900-1990.  Journal of Mississippi History, February 1993.

  • The Road to Olympism.  Review of Review of Allen Guttman, The Olympics: A History of the Modern Games.  From The Virginia Quarterly Review, 69:2, Spring 1993.

  • Race and Social Science.  Review-essay on Ste-phen Steinberg, Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy; Todd Gitlin, The Twilight of Common Dreams: Why America is Wracked by Culture Wars; and Dinesh D’Souza, The End of Racism: Principles for a Multiracial SocietyTelos 105, Fall 1995.

  • Race: An Ivory Tower ViewReview of Stephen Steinberg, Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy Journal of Social History, 30:2, Winter 1996.

  • From Communist Policy to “Affirmative Action”. Review of Earl Ofari Hutchinson, Blacks and Reds: Race and Class in Conflict, 1919-1990.  Telos, Number 108, Summer 1996.

  • A Quaker Activist.  Review of Jervis Anderson, Bayard Rustin: Troubles I’ve Seen, A BiographyVirginia Quarterly Review, Winter 1998, 185-190.

  • The Affirmative Action Hoax: Another View.  Review of Steven Farron's The Affirmative Action Hoax.  American Renaissance, May 2006. Critical of Thomas Jackson's review in the January 2006 issue of that periodical.

  • Some Are More Equal Than Others. Review of Anthony S. Chen. The Fifth Freedom: Jobs, Politics, and Civil Rights in the United States, 1941-1972.  Princeton University Press, 2009.


* E.g., American Historical Review, American Scholar, Barnes Review, Chronicles, Florida Historical Quarterly, Georgia Historical Quarterly, German Politics & Society, Journal of American History, Journal of Ethnic Studies, Journal of Libertarian Studies, Journal of Mississippi History, Labor History, Louisiana History, New German Critique, New York Times, New York Times Book Review, Over Here: Reviews in American Studies, Phylon, Polity, Science & Society, Virginia Quarterly Review, and Telos.