Established 1826 — Oldest College Newspaper West of the Alleghenies

Humans of Oxford | Comrade of Oxford: Jacob Bryant

By Elizabeth Hansen, Assistant Culture Editor

A spectre is haunting Miami University -- the spectre of Jacob Bryant.

His alarm sounds at 3 a.m. He wakes up and heads to Laws Hall where he works as a janitor.

After he clocks out at noon, he heads to class.

Jacob Bryant, a sophomore employee and student, is a worker and a Communist.

"If I'm going to brand myself with anything, I'm going to brand myself with something I believe is productive and what will at least forward the interest of the working class," Jacob said.

Jacob grew up in Eaton, Ohio and has been working since he turned 15. At one point, he was working 80 hours a week as a manager at KFC and Walmart so he could afford school.

After enduring intense work conditions and borderline abuse, Jacob found Communism.

"Lenin teaches us that you don't come to communism through theory. You come to communism through being inside the struggle."

In high school, Jacob saw his struggle as teen angst. As he grew older, he realized his struggle could be represented through Communist ideals.

"Authority all throughout high school was just not my thing ... I kind of put it into a more mature theory, kind of like a parameter which I consider Marxism," he said.

Today, his shirts are covered with pins of Communist leaders and the many unions he is involved with.

Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter

"I mean, maybe I'm a walking billboard, but at least I'm not a billboard for capitalist interests. This is Mao Zedong, the great chairman," he said, pointing to the historical 1968 pin his comrade brought him back from China.

China, Jacob believes, is the perfect communal society.

"I have never felt as a part of a family as I have when I'm with the Chinese people," he said. "They are actually like the best friends I could ever imagine."

He plans on spending the rest of his life in Guangzhou, China after graduation, teaching English and enjoying a country that accepts his opinions.

But for now, as a member of a minority political party, Jacob loves the challenge.

"That's why I wear ridiculous things. That's why I have a big sticker of Stalin on my computer," Jacob said. "These sorts of things, I find them to be cynical, but at the same time, [they] shock people into a conversation."