Gerald Meyer Remembers Peter Roman

Gerald Meyer

From the Fall 1978 to 1984, Peter Roman served two terms as PSC Chair. Under his leadership, he negotiated an agreement with then President Flora Edwards to limit the class size in all developmental courses. He also played a key role in the successful campaign to prevent the firing of Prof Pat Oldham. (Peter succeeded Gerald Meyer’s two-term leadership of the Hostos PSC Chapter, and was succeeded by Eugenio Barrios.)

Prior to becoming Chapter Chair, Peter played a major role in saving the lives of Chilean refugees by working with the Hostos administration to arrange commitments of employment for them at Hostos. He also did this work outside of Hostos, by helping find refuge for Brazilians whose lives were
threatened by the junta there. He played the key role in obtaining an appointment for Dr. Herbert Aptheker, a renowned historian of African-American history and the literary executor of his close colleague W. E. B. Du Bois.

Peter consistently supported the campaigns of the five-year-long movement to Save Hostos. He wrote letters on behalf of this struggle to public officials and twice had letters published in The New York Times that made Hostos’ case to its wide readership.

After stepping down as Chapter Chair, Peter Roman supported the Hostos Solidarity Coalition and other progressive initiatives. Over time, his major energies shifted to lecturing and publishing about Cuba. In so doing, he became a recognized scholar/spokesperson for Cuba’s democratic features, which brought democratic practices, unavailable to their counterparts in “democratic” countries, to the Cuban workers and peasants into their communal and occupational experiences.