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  • NYS Writers Institute

Alice Green & Leon Van Dyke: Fighting injustice and racism since the 1960s

"Have we really had any change here in this country?" Dr. Alice Green

In today's post, NYS Writers Institute Director Paul Grondahl talks with Dr. Alice Green and Leon Van Dyke about the protests across America following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and their perspective on the history of disappointment and righteous anger that black Americans feel toward the police.

Dr. Alice Green is executive director of the Center for Law and Justice, a civil rights organization she founded in 1985. She has earned several degrees from the University at Albany: a doctorate in criminal justice, three master’s degrees – in education, social work, and criminology -- and a bachelor's degree in African-American studies.

With UAlbany Professor Frankie Bailey, she co-authored the book Law Never Here: A Social History of African American Responses to Issues of Crime and Justice, ( 1999 Greenwood Press).

Leon Van Dyke (Times Union archive)
Times Union archive

Leon Van Dyke fought against racial inequality and job discrimination in Albany as a leader of the 1960s militant black group The Brothers, formed after he and other black laborers tried to get hired on the South Mall construction site but were passed over day after day while dozens of white laborers were hired.

The group published a newspaper, The Albany Liberator from 1967 to 1971.

Archival material documenting The Brothers, including original copies of The Albany Liberator, original writings, memos, and correspondence, are preserved at UAlbany's M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives. (link)

Read this recent story about Leon by Paul Grondahl: Homecoming of love for leader of The Brothers


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