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Soul on Ice - Eldridge Cleaver



Soul on Ice by the brilliant and radical Eldridge Cleaver is a classic memoir that shocked, outraged, and ultimately changed the way many looked at the Black American experience through a genuine and introspective voice of anger in a White-ruled system, and is heralded as having had a tremendous impact on the intellectual class, civil rights movement, and our last period of major social unrest. Cleaver, much like his seminal work, was and is a controversial character. From having become a main figure head within revolutionary organizations to splitting from those beliefs years later, he was a legendary activist that fundamentally challenged the status quo and intellectual laissez-faire in order to force progress in our society. As one of the more quoted men of the civil rights movement, often attributed to others, Cleaver is famously known for his statements “If you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem,” to the poignant, “Respect commands itself and it can neither be given nor withheld when it is due,” and most importantly, “You don't have to teach people how to be have to teach them how to stop being inhuman.” With a preface by Ishmael Scott Reed, Soul on Ice is a political and philosophical work that should be read by anyone who wishes to see the world through that of a 20th century Black American in order to begin to comprehend and attempt to empathize with those unique circumstances. Writing with a discomforting revelation of emotions, frustration, and rationalization of conduct, Cleaver divulges those effects of a Black-experience reality with an unparalleled awareness. This is a signature work in our Literature for Liberty program, where we present texts with an historical context for an informed perspective relevant to current issues. Hence, all profits from our distribution of Soul on Ice will be donated to the NAACP that has endeavored for over 100 years to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race.


  • By Eldridge Cleaver
  • Martin Luther King Memorial Prize Winner (1970)
  • Paperback
  • 256 pages
  • IBSN 978-0-385-33379-5
  • Delta Publication by Penguin Random House
  • Profits Donated to NAACP


In the sixties, Cleaver became almost a mythical figure for thousands of young blacks and whites; but today, I believe, he is an authentic hero.

- Bayard Rustin

A collection of essays straight out of Dante’s with Malcolm X, Cleaver’s book is a spiritual autobiography. An odyssey of a soul in search of itself, groping toward a personal humanism which will give meaning to life...the book is important...the book is extraordinary.

- Shane Stevens

About The Library

With our Literature for Liberty program, we present texts with an historical context and informed perspective relevant to current issues that are on our own shelves; all profits of this program are directed toward charities related to the subject matter contained within. Division Road has one vision: a learned civil society that evolves through effective, constructive change. This can only be achieved through exhaustive study and reasoned reflection, followed by comprehensive dialogue and action. These selections are not boilerplate books; conversely, they have... View All The Library Products