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Cruse, Harold Wright (8 Mar. 1916–25 Mar. 2005), radical writer and intellectual, was born in Petersburg, Virginia at the height of Jim Crow. His father was a railway porter, and an uncle an officer in one of the US Army’s black regiments. In the 1920s and 1930s he moved back and forth between New York and Virginia, attending school in both places. As a youth in Harlem during the Depression, he immersed himself in the world of black popular entertainment, eventually joining a YMCA theater group, and read widely at the Schomburg Library. Cruse’s immersion in urban African American culture shaped his later thinking about the potential for autonomous community development....