• ALEXANDER DEFENSE COMMITTEE
• FAIR PLAY FOR CUBA COMMITTEE
• COMMITTEE TO COMBAT RACIAL INJUSTICE
• COMMITTEE TO AID THE MONROE DEFENDANTS
• COMMITTEE ON NEW ALTERNATIVES IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Collection Number: HLL-1
HOLT LABOR LIBRARY
SAN FRANCISCO, CA
The Berta Green Langston Papers were given to the Holt Labor Library in 2005, 2003, and 2002.
Collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been assigned to the Holt Labor Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director for forwarding. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Holt Labor Library as the owner of the physical items, and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
Number of containers: 1 carton, 1 volume
Linear Feet: 1.25
[Identification of item], Berta Green Langston Papers, HLL-1, Holt Labor Library
• Pamphlet files: Fair Play for Cuba Committee, Committee to Aid the Monroe Defendants, Williams, Robert F.
• Archives: Asher Harer Papers, Paul Colvin Papers
• Socialist Workers Party bulletins and related publications
Berta Green was born July 22, 1926, on the Lower East Side of New York City. She joined the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) at age 19 or 20. For a brief time in the 1960s she was a member of the Party’s National Committee. She remained active in the SWP until 1983, when she was expelled, along with numerous other long time members. She immediately went on to help form Socialist Action, to which she belonged for several years.
In 1957/1958, she moved to Detroit and began working for the SWP full time. Her Party name was Berta Graham. One of her first tasks was to help organize a tour in Michigan for Harold Davies, a British Labour Party Member of Parliament.
In December of 1958 the “kissing case” broke in North Carolina. At that time, the SWP was deeply involved in regroupment; orienting the Party’s work toward reaching disillusioned Communist Party (CP) members following the Twentieth Congress and Khrushchev revelations. Langston was a member of a small minority that felt the CP members were burned out and would abandon politics. Instead Langston’s group thought that participation in the growing civil rights movement would offer them greater opportunities. As such, Langston volunteered to work on the Committee to Combat Racial Injustice nine-day tour of Michigan by Robert Williams, beginning her work on various defense committees. During this time, she worked under the name Berta Green.
As the Cuban Revolution was underway, Langston moved back to New York City, where she participated in Cuban defense activity and was elected Secretary of the New York branch of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC). Later she became the de-facto National Executive Secretary of the national group.
When the SWP national office decided to move away from Cuba work (which Langston protested), she was re-assigned from the FPCC to the Committee to Aid the Monroe Defendants (CAMD), where she served as Secretary.
In the late 1960s, Langston became involved in organizing activities with the Alexander Defense Committee (ADC), which had been formed to aid victims of South African apartheid.
In the early 1970s, under the name Berta Langston, she was active in the Committee on New Alternatives in the Middle East (CONAME) along with her husband Robert Langston.
Berta Langston currently lives in Connecticut, where she continues to be politically active.
The Berta Green Langston Papers 1958-2005 consist of a selection of correspondence, newsletters, newspaper articles, and miscellaneous writings and memorabilia concerning the Alexander Defense Committee, Committee to Combat Racial Injustice, the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC), the Committee to Aid the Monroe Defendants (CAMD), and the Committee on New Alternatives in the Middle East (CONAME), organizations in which the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) was active in the United States during the 1960’s and 1970’s.
Correspondents of note in the collection include James Baldwin, Robert F. Kennedy, Robert F. Williams, Albert Perry, Dave Dellinger, William Worthy, Pete Seeger, Noam Chomsky, and Arie Bober, as well as officials in the United States Department of Justice, Congress, and the Attorney General’s office. Memorabilia in the collection include issues of the CAMD newsletter The Crusader and the FPCC newsletters Fair Play, Student Council, and Cuban Press Survey. Some legal papers concerning the trial of the Monroe Defendants are included, as is one black and white photograph of the defendants. Other memorabilia includes a draft of Van Gosse’s 1993 book Where the Boys Are, newspaper clippings, press releases, event announcements, conference and symposia documents, and benefit concert information.
SERIES 1: ALEXANDER DEFENSE COMMITTEE, 1965 - 1971
Carton 1, folders 1 - 2
Contains correspondence from Alexander Defense Committee members to various individuals, including Congressman William Ryan, Assistant Attorney General J. Walter Yeagley, and President Lyndon Johnson. Press releases, notices, and brochures relating to the committee are also included.
SERIES 2: FAIR PLAY FOR CUBA COMMITTEE, 1958 – 2002
Carton 1, folders 3 – 14 and 1 volume
Contains correspondence, announcements, press releases, notices, and minutes from the Fair Play for Cuba Committee and its chapters. Information about the FPCC’s first national conference and their December, 1960 Cuba tour is included. Newsletters make up one sub-series (containing copies of Fair Play, Student Council, and Cuban Press Survey). A second sub-series for the Socialist Worker’s Party contains correspondence and documents from the Political Committee and the National Executive Committee. Materials relating to the Eastland Committee Hearings, newspaper clippings, and a scrapbook (1 volume) containing Political Committee minutes and documents are also included.
SERIES 3: COMMITTEE TO COMBAT RACIAL INJUSTICE, 1958 - 1959
Carton 1, folders 15 – 16
Contains newspaper clippings about the North Carolina “Kissing Case” and the involvement of Robert F. Williams, President of the North Carolina National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) during the case in which two young boys were arrested and charge for kissing a white girl. Correspondence, notices, and announcements about the case and other Committee affairs are also included.
SERIES 4: COMMITTEE TO AID THE MONROE DEFENDANTS, 1959 – 2001
Carton 1, folders 17 – 33
Contains a sub-series for correspondence, which includes letters to and from Albert Perry, Dave Dellinger, William Worthy, Mae Mallory, Conrad Lynn, Calvin Hicks, Robert F. Williams, and James Baldwin. Also included is correspondence concerning the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the Southern Conference Educational Fund (SCEF), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the NAACP, as well as to the United States Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Attorney General. Other documents include newsletters (The Crusader), bulletins, summary reports, financial statements, and conference and symposium information. Of particular note is a black and white photo of the Monroe Defendants. A second sub-series contains newspaper clippings concerning the Monroe Kidnap Case and Robert F. Williams and the Monroe Defendants.
SERIES 5: COMMITTEE ON NEW ALTERNATIVES IN THE MIDDLE EAST, 1969 – 2005
Carton 1, folders 34-38
These documents primarily concern the American speaking tour of Arie Bober, an anti-Zionist Israeli and member of the Israeli Socialist Organization, which CONAME sponsored in spring and summer of 1970. A sub-series for correspondence includes substantial correspondence with Bober, as well as letters to and from sponsors of the committee (including Arthur Miller, Noam Chomsky, and Pete Seeger) and various media and press outlets. Newspaper clippings, press releases, publicity materials, Bober’s biography, copies of speeches, tour reports, schedules, and financial statements are also included. Of note is correspondence with Doubleday concerning publication terms of Bober’s book The Other Israel. One issue of ISRAC, the Israeli Revolutionary Action Committee newsletter, is also included.
SERIES 1: ALEXANDER DEFENSE COMMITTEE, 1965 – 1971
Container Folder Contents Dates
Ctn. 1 1 Correspondence 1965 – 1971
2 Press Releases, Notices, Brochures 1965 – 1966
SERIES 2: FAIR PLAY FOR CUBA COMMITTEE, 1958 - 2002
3 Correspondence 1960 –2002
4 Announcements, Press Releases, Ads,
Notices and receipts 1960 – 1962
5 Eastland Committee Hearings 1960 – 1961
6 V. Gosse Draft Dissertation 1991
7 Newspaper Clippings 1958 – 1959
8 First National Conference and Cuba Tour 1960 – 1961
9 New York Chapter & Banquet 1961
10 Other Chapters (Correspondence, Notices,
NEWSLETTERS, 1960 – 1963
11 Fair Play Newsletter 1960 – 1961
12 Student Council Newsletter 1960 – 1961
13 Cuban Press Survey Newsletter 1961 – 1963
SOCIALIST WORKER’S PARTY, 1960 – 1963
14 Political Committee (PC) and National Executive
Committee (NEC) 1961 – 1963
Vol. 1 Scrapbook (PC Minutes, Correspondence,
and Misc.) 1960
SERIES 3: COMMITTEE TO COMBAT RACIAL INJUSTICE, 1958 – 1959
Container Folder Contents Dates
Ctn. 1 15 Newspaper Clippings 1958 - 1959
16 Correspondence and Announcements 1959
SERIES 4: COMMITTEE TO AID THE MONROE DEFENDANTS, 1959 - 2001
17 Press Releases, Form Letters, Fact Sheets 1961 – 1964
18 Information Bulletins, Summary Reports,
Financial Statements 1961 – 1964
19 Histories (Mayfield, Williams, Weissman,
Helms, Lavan) and Photograph 1962 – 2001
20 Symposium and Conferences 1962 - 1963
21 Benefit Concerts and Other Events
(Includes Pete Seeger Correspondence) 1962 - 1963
22 Newsletters (Crusader, Monroe
Non-Violent Action Committee,
Voice of Action) 1959 – 1964
CORRESPONDENCE, 1961 – 1987
23 A. Perry, D. Dellinger, W. Worthy and Misc. 1961 – 2003
24 Robert F. Williams 1961 – 1963
25 Attorneys, DOJ, FBI, Legal Briefs 1961 – 1987
26 Internal SWP and CAMD (C. Lynn, C. Hicks,
M. Mallory) 1961 – 1964
27 James Baldwin 1963 – 1964
28 Chapters (Boston, Ohio, Calif, etc.) 1961 – 1964
29 NAACP 1961 – 1962
30 ACLU 1962
31 SNCC, CORE, SCEF 1961 – 1963
Container Folder Contents Dates
Ctn. 1 NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS, 1961 – 1969
32 Newspaper Clippings 1961 – 1963
33 Newspaper Clippings 1961 – 1969
SERIES 5: COMMITTEE ON NEW ALTERNATIVES IN THE MIDDLE EAST,
Container Folder Contents Dates
Ctn. 1 34 Newspaper Clippings, Press Releases,
Publicity and Marketing 1970
35 Arie Bober Tour 1970-2005
36 Media and Press 1970
37 Committee Sponsors and Arie Bober 1969-1970
38 Arie Bober Tour 1970