Lez Edmond is an American philosopher, social activist, civil rights journalist, public intellectual author and academic primarily concerning the Civil rights movement (1865–1896).
Edmonds was a Seventh-day Adventist who initially attended Adelphi University for his BA and MA degree. He later earned his PHD from Union Institute. Edmonds stated in an interview that he was forced into Civil Rights while working for an electronic store. It was here that a German co-worker called him a "god-damn black nigger." When Edmonds reported this to HR, they stated he misheard this.
Edmons believed that "Democrats and Dixiecrats" are the same thing. Edmonds was a proponent of the use of the Schomburg Center in Harlem. He was a proponent of the Freedom Now Party. He was not a major fan of outside Civil Right leaders in his quote from 1964, he stated "to employ outside agitator rhetoric "is to imply that the [local] black community is neither capable nor has the desire to do anything like this"." Edmonds was a Civil Rights activist in Harlem. According to the book, Democracy with a Gun: America and the Policy of Force, Lez Edmond was an intellectual and friend of Malcolm X. He urged Malcolm X to stay in the background for a while to avoid danger but his efforts failed. He appeared in the Autobiography of Malcolm X and was an associate of Stokely Carmichael whom he set up interviews with. Following the death of Malcolm X, Edmonds kept in touch with Betty Shabazz. Edmond was a member and braintrust of the Organization of Afro-American Unity
He was the author of the book, African History: An Illustrated Handbook, along with Earl Sweeting. Edmonds covered the Harlem riot of 1964 via the Edmonds covered under the title "Harlem Diary:The Untold Story of the American Nightmare" for Ramparts (magazine). Edmonds covered the riots in great detail including police shootings. Edmonds had access to many areas and held a United Nations press credential. He appeared in the book "American Journalism, 1963-1973" He also appeared as a subject in "Rampart Magazine." Edmonds wrote "A Source Book of Karl Marx's Letters About Abraham Lincoln and His Strategic Goal in the Civil War: The Destratification of American Society" with Louis Gesualdi in 2014.
The book "Do Not Hold Doors" by Jeffrey Dessources was written by the influences of Ishmael Reed, Cornel West, Jean Michel Basquiat, Eddie Glaude, Lez Edmond, and John Lowney. He was also an influence in the making of The Souls of Black Girls, produced by Daphne S. Valerius.
Edmonds serves on the St. John's University (New York City) faculty. At St. John's he was a part of the Multicultural Advisory Committee. He engaged with many basketball players including Ron Artest. He expressed disappointment when Artest left early for the NBA. He was a professor of the African American Studies and was a proponent of its Black Solidarity Day. He was also an avid art collector.