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Erica (known to her friends
as Ricky) was born in New York City. She lived in Mexico and had a communist
German refugee governess from ages 5 to 9, ca. 1943-1947. She worked on a kibbutz from 1959-1960/61, where she learned Hebrew (details below).
Ricky studied with Herbert
Marcuse at UC San Diego in the 1970s. Herbert's second wife, Inge Neumann,
died in 1972, and Ricky and Herbert were married on June 21, 1976.
Herbert died in July 1979; Ricky died of cancer on December 15, 1988.
This page collects some of
the documents available on the web about Ricky and her work.
- Ricky was best known for the "Unlearning
Racism" workshops she developed and led in the Bay area
of California and nationally. The place on the web to go to for more
information about Ricky is UnlearningRacism.org
- It has a detailed, illustrated 1989
biographical article by Bettina Aptheker (page
3), which includes photos from Ricky's childhood and all phases
of her life right up until her death.
- The site also has the texts of many of Ricky's
writings about racism and activism, and welcomes submission
of personal stories about Ricky.
- Ricky's partner after Herbert's death, Kostas
Bagakis, still works in the movement.
- In August 2004, a conference was dedicated to Ricky and her work:
on Anti-Semitism and The Left", dedicated to Ricky Sherover-Marcuse
in the spirit of continuing development of her anti-oppression work.
- Ricky is mentioned by Hugh
Vasquez in this Sept. 1997 conversation published in TheInSite's
series of personal stories about people who work to create social
- factbite.com offers Ricky's
definition of "Oppression" (scroll, or do page search
Kellner's interviews with Ricky in 1984 are cited in footnote 6
of this 1984 paper he presented at the American Political Association
Ricky died on Dec. 15, 1988,
having been diagnosed with cancer less than two years earlier.
- Obituary from the Los Angeles Times, Sunday Dec. 25, 1988,
Erica Sherover-Marcuse; Created Workshops on Racism
Erica Sherover-Marcuse, 49, creator of workshops to help people overcome
racist attitudes. Miss Sherover-Marcuse, the widow of leftist political
philosopher Herbert Marcuse, developed the workshops for small groups
as well as large gatherings in institutional settings. They focused
on helping participants take pride in their own heritage as a means
of building alliances with racial minorities. In 1976, she married Herbert
Marcuse, a controversial political philosopher and professor at UC San
Diego. He died in 1979 at the age of 81. Miss Sherover-Marcuse led workshops
in Israel, Germany and the Netherlands as well as across the United
States. In 1985, she co-founded New Bridges, an Oakland-based multicultural
awareness group designed to spread her philosophy to teen-agers. In
Oakland on Dec. 15 of cancer.