May 1, 2021
In this episode we interview Hy Thurman, founding member of the Young Patriots, and the Rainbow Coalition.
Our conversation focuses on his recently published memoir Revolutionary Hillbilly: Notes From The Struggle On The Edge Of The Rainbow.
We begin the conversation discussing growing up in a family of poor white farm workers in Appalachia and the conditions in Tennessee that lead to his migration to Chicago along with tens of thousands of other displaced Appalachians. We talk about how police harassment, bigotry and violence structured his adolescent years in both Tennessee and when he arrived in Chicago. And then he gets into various aspects of the conditions in Uptown, the Daley political regime in Chicago, and the extortive practices of the Chicago PD that gave rise to radical organizing and would eventually lead to the development of the Young Patriots Organization (YPO).
Hy talks about the organizing work of the YPO fighting gentrification, organizing health clinics, and touches on others aspects of their survival programs and organizing against police brutality. Ultimately Hy gets into conversations around their approach to questions of racism, class and gender. And we talk about their controversial use - and eventual denouncement - of the Confederate flag. And we discuss their 11 point program and their participation in the Rainbow Coalition. Along the way Hy shares memories of his interactions with Fred Hampton and Bobby Lee from the Black Panther Party, and shares his thoughts on Judas And The Black Messiah.
Finally Hy talks about his current work with the North Alabama School For Organizers.
Just a content notice there are discussions of state violence including murder and sexual assault by police.
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