While sitting in a weird hotel room in Culver City in 2014, Professor Whit Strub interviewed Tom Hayden about Carl Wittman and Newark. Click HERE to listen to it!
“Tom Hayden (1939-2016) was a major figure in the New Left of the 1960s. A young white man from Michigan, he was physically attacked by racist white Southerners when he accompanied the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee on “freedom rides” in the South. He was also an early leader of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the flagshiporganization of the student left and anti-war movement. As the author of the famous 1962 SDS Port Huron Statement, he spoke for white middle-class activists, with the opening line, “We are people of this generation, bred in at least modest comfort, housed now in universities, looking uncomfortably to the world we inherit.”
Hayden was a straight man, but his importance to Queer Newark history stems from his fraught relationship with Carl Wittman, a gay man with whom Hayden co-authored the important 1963 SDS policy paper “An Interracial Movement of the Poor.”