Slavery

Trump and Charlottesville

Submitted by AWL on 23 August, 2017 - 11:29 Author: Dan Katz

After hundreds of far right activists marched on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville on 12 August US President, Donald Trump, condemned both sides. In other words he placed Nazi sympathisers who chanted antisemitic slogans on the same moral level as the anti-racist black and white youth who rallied against them.

Add new comment

Darcus Howe on Black Power

Submitted by Matthew on 26 April, 2017 - 11:53

A new TV drama — Guerilla — tells the story of the British Black Panthers. Long-time black and left activist Darcus Howe, who recently died, was a founder member of the group and consultant for the show. In this interview from 1995 Howe discussed the politics of “black power” with Dan Katz.


DH: The Panthers have been grossly misrepresented in political circles. They were an intensely revolutionary organisation, the largest non-establishment political party ever to exist in America — larger than the Communist Party or any left-wing group.

Add new comment

Challenging the “lost cause” mythMatthewWed, 29/03/2017 - 12:36

The American Civil War casts a long shadow over America history. Anyone doubting its pernicious legacy need only note that all of the states of the former Confederacy except Virginia voted for Trump. However it would be a mistake to believe that the white population of this region have alway acted en bloc as rabid racists.

Add new comment

A soundtrack for the movement against TrumpMatthewWed, 08/03/2017 - 11:41

Found dead people in the forest Tallahatchie River and lakes
The whole wide world is wonderin’
What’s wrong with the United States

What’s wrong indeed! Lyrics from the Staples Singer’s Freedom Highway recorded twenty five years ago still resonate. It’s now the closing track on the second solo album of Rhiannon Giddens.

Add new comment

Scapegoating Jews for the slave trade?

Submitted by AWL on 11 September, 2016 - 8:54 Author: Dan Katz

There was a lot of Jewish support for the US Civil Rights movement in the 1960s.

Martin Luther King spoke out against anti-Semitism:

“How could there be anti- Semitism among Negroes when our Jewish friends have demonstrated their commitment to the principle of tolerance and brotherhood…

“It would be impossible to record the contribution that the Jewish people have made toward the Negro’s struggle for freedom — it has been so great.” (1965)

Add new comment

Comments on the US Civil War

Submitted by Mark on 10 February, 2016 - 10:11 Author: Mark Osborn

Consider this sentence from an advert for a recent AWL public meeting on Sacha Ismail’s pamphlet, Workers Against Slavery: “When the war began, both sides, North and South, said they would preserve slavery. What changed? One thing was mass action by the slaves themselves, forcing their way into the conflict and helping to transform it into a battle against slavery.”

Comments

Submitted by Heartfield on Fri, 17/06/2016 - 17:04

I think perhaps Mark understates the extent of the meetings held in support of the Union in Lancashire. In his memoirs WE Adams records hundreds of meetings in all parts of the country, but that ‘of all these meetings, only one, I think, passed resolutions of sympathy with the South.’ When Philip Foner searched local newspapers for records of meetings in the 1980s, these records were not digitised, and he found a score or so. When I looked, with the advantage of a digital search, it bore out Adams' recollection - there were upwards of a hundred, and very lively meetings and societies formed out of them. These were the foundation of the First International in Britain. Marx said that British workers had saved the nation's honour by persuading it not to fight America. But not Marx alone. It was commonly said at the time, by the Radical Democrat Nicholay, and also by Gladstone. It should be understood that Russell and Palmerston did not just threaten war against the Union, they waged it, sending thousands of troops to Canada and arming the Confederacy with ships. It must be true of course, that the decision to back off was one that reflected the balance of power that had been recalibrated with the North's victories (though early in the war, these were few). On the other hand, all of English society was in favour of the war, and only gradually was that turned around. The people who persuaded Britons that Secession ought not to be supported were those around the radical working class movement.

Add new comment

“Bottom rail on top this time”: the American Civil War and after

Submitted by AWL on 14 April, 2015 - 5:02 Author: Sacha Ismail

9 April was the 150th anniversary of the surrender of the South in the American Civil War. In this speech given at recent AWL public meetings, Sacha Ismail explains why that war and what came after are so important.


The American Civil War is not dry, dusty history. It is relevant to the inspiring protests against racism going on in the United States now. The US of today — a capitalist democracy, but one deeply racist and unequal even by the standards of capitalism — was created by revolution, but also the betrayal of that revolution.

Add new comment

Black slavery in North AmericadalcassianSun, 24/08/2014 - 19:40

History is rich in examples of the revival of institutions appropriate to more primitive civilizations in advanced societies. Mankind is infinitely ingenious in adapting old cultural forms to new uses under the changed conditions of a new social order. Like a thrifty housewife, humanity hesitates to discard familiar acquisitions, however outmoded; it prefers to store them in attics or cellars in the hope of finding a use for them in the future. The history of economics, no less than the history of philosophy, religion, and politics, shows that such expectations are often realized.

Add new comment

Negro Slavery in North AmericadalcassianSun, 24/08/2014 - 19:40

History is rich in examples of the revival of institutions appropriate to more primitive civilizations in advanced societies. Mankind is infinitely ingenious in adapting old cultural forms to new uses under the changed conditions of a new social order. Like a thrifty housewife, humanity hesitates to discard familiar acquisitions, however outmoded; it prefers to store them in attics or cellars in the hope of finding a use for them in the future. The history of economics, no less than the history of philosophy, religion, and politics, shows that such expectations are often realized.

Add new comment

Negro Slavery in North AmericadalcassianSun, 24/08/2014 - 19:40

History is rich in examples of the revival of institutions appropriate to more primitive civilizations in advanced societies. Mankind is infinitely ingenious in adapting old cultural forms to new uses under the changed conditions of a new social order. Like a thrifty housewife, humanity hesitates to discard familiar acquisitions, however outmoded; it prefers to store them in attics or cellars in the hope of finding a use for them in the future. The history of economics, no less than the history of philosophy, religion, and politics, shows that such expectations are often realized.

Add new comment

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.