Howard J. Ehrlich, 1932-2015
Howard J. Ehrlich, my friend and colleague for the past 20 years, died yesterday morning in his sleep.
He was a life-long anarchist, and tireless advocate for social justice and radical change. He founded the Prejudice Institute, a sociology think-tank that focused on the topic of ethnoviolence. From 1980 on, he published the journal Social Anarchism, which I had read in my college years. When I moved to Baltimore in the early 1990s, I realized I lived a mere 2 blocks from the Social Anarchism office, so I popped over to introduce myself. I soon found myself co-editor, and that began a relationship of camaraderie and weekly meetings that lasted two decades.
I'll miss his silly humor (he originally wanted to name the journal "Broccoli", which always appealed to my Dada nature), and his relentless struggle against the implements of oppression, be they physical or psychological.
I'm sad for me, sad for his friends, and mostly sad for the world that lost a valuable comrade.
Rest in peace with bread & roses, Howard.
An interview from February 16, 2011:
Some reflections on Howard, and the influence he had, from people and groups who knew him:
"Howard Ehrlich was one of my earliest mentors. He taught me that you can bring your radicalism to your academic pursuits and that your activism can incorporate a scholarly perspective. I am forever grateful for being able to work with him and consider him among my friends. This is truly a loss for Baltimore's radical community and the anarchist movement. He will be missed, but he will live on in my heart and in his work."
Assistant Professor - Sociology
University of Wisconsin - Whitewater
"I just wanted to send my condolences to some of the comrades in Baltimore at the recent loss of Howard. He was a super nice guy and at least one of his books was formative to my own politics. I liked him a lot and felt honored that he took a small amount of interest in some of my work."
Associate Professor of Sociology, Quinebach Valley Community College
The Accumulation of Freedom: Writings on Anarchist Economics,
Queering Anarchism: Addressing and Undressing Power and Desire
"The first edition of Rethinking Anarchy was incredibly influential on my politics. I can vividly remember where and when I found that book at the university bookstore at KU. I was like 'How the hell did this get here?' Bought it, took it home and devoured it. Still one of my most prized books in my collection today."
"A release party for that periodical at the not-quite-open Red Emma's was my first anarchist event ever! And he was so kind and supportive of my research when we co-presented at the NAASN conference so many years ago."
"I knew him personally and am so sorry to see him go. Many social anarchists are horrible to individualist anarchists but he was not one of them. He knew my views but I published two articles in Social Anarchism. A good man... He was also an anarcha-feminist and wrote a classic article about it... I organized an anarchist conference in NYC at Hunter College in the 70s. I invited him. Just about the only conference ever done with both social and individualist anarchists getting along. After that, correspondence by email. I've often cited his article on anarcha-feminism and there's an article of his in Free Voices, the mag that I edited till it stopped last year."
Feminist interpretations of Ayn Rand
Think for yourself!: questioning the pressure to conform
Exquisite rebel the essays of Voltairine de Cleyre: feminist, anarchist, genius
"As anyone who met him knows, Howard was a kind, generous, and humorous guy. He edited the journal Social Anarchism for 34 years. Prior to that, he was part of the collective that founded the nationally syndicated radio show The Great Atlantic Radio Conspiracy in 1972. He was an inspiring writer and editor who published a number of books, including The Best of Social Anarchism (See Sharp Press, 2013), Hate Crimes and Ethnoviolence: The History, Current Affairs, and Future of Discrimination in America (Westview Press, 2009), and Reinventing Anarchy, Again (AK Press, 2001).
"Howard did great work and directly or indirectly mentored many of us through our introduction to anarchism. He’ll be missed."
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