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115,000 VIEWS
This Video on Theodore W. Allen’s
“The Invention of White Race”
Has Just Passed the 115,000-Views Mark
Please View and Share It!

November 12, 2017

Tags: Theodore W. Allen, #theodorewallen, Hubert Harrison, Hubert H. Harrison, Sean Ahern, Muril Tillinghast, Kazembe Balagun, Racial Oppression and Social Control, The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America, The Father of Harlem Radicalism, Columbia University Press, Wesleyan University Press, A Hubert Harrison Reader, When Africa Awakes, The Inside Story of the Stirrings and Strivings of the New Negro in the Western World, Fusion Films, Brecht Forum, Dudley Public Library, St. Croix Landmark Society, Diasporic Africa Press, #hubertharrison, #huberthharrison, The Invention of the White Race, Jeffrey B. Perry, #jeffreybperry, #inventionofthewhiterace, #whiteprivilege, white privilege, #Blackhistory, Black History, anti-racism, #anti-racism, "whiteness", #whiteness, Verso Books, #versobooks, chattel bond-servitude, racial slavery, #racialslavery, Bacon’s Rebellion, #Bacon’sRebellion, Nell Painter, Gerald Horne, Wilson J. Moses, Gregory Meyerson, Audrey Smedley, Joe Berry, Fred Nguyen, Mark Solomon, Carl Davidson, #jeffreybperry





115,000 VIEWS
This Video on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of White Race”
Has Just Passed the 115,000-Views Mark.


115,000 VIEWS -- This Video on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of White Race” Has Just Passed the 115,000-Views Mark. It opens with some insights from the life and work of Hubert Harrison.

Please take time to watch the video, to share it with friends, and to call the work of Theodore W. Allen and Hubert Harrison to the attention of others.

Theodore W. Allen’s “Invention of the White Race” has been referred to as a “classic” by historians Nell Painter, Gerald Horne, Wilson J. Moses, and Gregory Meyerson and by social anthropologist Audrey Smedley.

Labor historian Joe Berry says it “is one of the most important books of U.S history ever written.”

Historian Mark Solomon of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, Harvard University, says, “The profound insights in ‘The Invention of the White Race’ are essential both to understand the origins and destructiveness of white supremacy and to provide the means to conduct struggle against it. Allen’s study is mandatory reading for everyone concerned with justice, equality and the liberation of all from the binds of white supremacy.”

Long time activist Carl Davidson emphasizes that “You simply can’t understand America and who we are without this [“The Invention of the White Race”] book.”

Special thanks to those who contributed to the book launch event that was the basis of this video on Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” – including filmmaker Fred Nguyen; Muriel Tillinghast and Sean Ahern of “The Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen Society”; Kazembe Balagun, Max Uhlenbeck, and Liz Mestres of the Brecht Forum; and Jessica Turner of Verso Books.

A second video on “The Invention of White Race,” recently filmed at a “multi-racial” worker organizing conference in Greensboro, NC, has exceptionally clear slides and is also attracting increased attention – see HERE Special thanks to organizer Ben Wilkins, who coordinated the two-day conference, and to Eric Preston (and Fusion Films) for work on the video.

For information on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” Volume I: “Racial Oppression and Social Control" (including comments from scholars and activists, Table of Contents, and an overview of the volume) see HERE Note – the new, expanded Verso Books edition of this volume includes new introductions and notes, an expanded index, and a lengthy and detailed internal study guide.

For information on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” Volume II: "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo America" (including comments from scholars and activists, Table of Contents, and an overview of the volume) see HERE Note – the new, expanded Verso Books edition of this volume includes new introductions and notes, an expanded index, and a lengthy and detailed internal study guide.

For information on Theodore W. Allen’s “Summary of the Argument of The Invention of the White Race” Part 1 see HERE and for Part 2 see HERE

For additional writings by and about Theodore W. Allen see HERE

For an in-depth treatment of the development of the work of Theodore W. Allen see “The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy” in PDF format at the TOP LEFT at HERE
or at “Cultural Logic” at HERE

For a video interview with Theodore W. Allen on “The Invention of the White Race” conducted by New York City schoolteacher Stella Winston and viewed by over 105,000 people see HERE

For information on “Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918” (Columbia University Press, 2008) see HERE

For information on “A Hubert Harrison Reader” (Wesleyan University Press, 2001) see HERE

For information on Hubert H. Harrison, “When Africa Awakes: The ‘Inside Story’ of the Stirrings and Strivings of the New Negro in the Western World,” New Expanded Edition (Diasporic Africa Press, 2015) see HERE

For a video on Hubert Harrison based on a presentation at the Dudley Public Library in Roxbury, Massachusetts – see -- HERE
Special thanks to Mimi Jones, Friends of the Dudley Library, Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia, Massachusetts Global Action. Mirna Lascano, Umang Kumar, and Charlie Welch for making the event possible and to Boston Neighborhood News TV's "Around Town" -- Channel: Comcast 9 / RCN 15 -- Justin D. Shannahan, Production Manager, Ted Lewis, cameraman, and Laura Kerivan, copy editor, Nia Grace (Marketing and Promotions Manager), and Scott Mercer for helping to make the video available.

For a recent video on Hubert Harrison done at the St. Croix Landmarks Society, Estate Whim, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands – see Be the first to comment

Theodore W. Allen’s Work On Centrality of Struggle Against White Supremacy
Growing in Importance on 98th Anniversary of His Birth

by Jeffrey B. Perry

August 23, 2017

Tags: The Invention of the White Race, Theodore W. Allen, Ted Allen, #antiwhitesupremacy, #whitesupremacy, labor, chattel bond labor, cpitalism, capitalists, Jeffrey B. Perry, no white people, great white assumption, Bacons's Rebellion, strategy, racial slavery, enslaved Black labor, Virginia, pattern setter, white supremacy, white privilege, white race privilege, @whiteprivilge, #whiteskinPrivilege, #white supremay, proletrians, proletarian, anti-white supremacist, working class intellectual and activist, pioneering class struggle, white skin privilege, Racial Oppression and Social Control, scholars, activists, Table of Contents, The Invention of the White Race, The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America, Verso Books, The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights from Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy

Theodore W. Allen

Theodore W. “Ted” Allen (1919-2005) was an anti-white supremacist, working class intellectual and activist. He developed his pioneering class struggle-based analysis of “white skin privilege” beginning in the mid-1960s; authored the seminal two-volume The Invention of the White Race in the 1990s; and consistently maintained that the struggle against white supremacy was central to efforts at radical social change in the United States.

Born on August 23, 1919, in Indianapolis, Indiana, he grew up in Paintsville, Kentucky and Huntington, West Virginia (where he graduated from high school), and then went into the mines and became a United Mine Workers Local President. After hurting his back in the mines he moved to New York City and lived his last fifty-plus years in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn.

The Invention of the White Race

Allen's two-volume The Invention of the White Race (1994, 1997: Verso Books, new expanded edition 2012) with its focus on racial oppression and social control is one of the twentieth-century's major contributions to historical understanding. It presents a full-scale challenge to what he refers to as "The Great White Assumption" -- the unquestioning acceptance of the "white race" and "white" identity as skin color-based and natural attributes rather than as social and political constructions. Its thesis on the origin, nature, and maintenance of the "white race" and its understanding that slavery in the Anglo-American plantation colonies was capitalist and enslaved Black laborers were proletarians, contain the basis of a revolutionary approach to United States labor history.

On the back cover of the 1994 edition of Volume 1, subtitled Racial Oppression and Social Control, Allen boldly asserted "When the first Africans arrived in Virginia in 1619, there were no 'white' people there; nor, according to the colonial records, would there be for another sixty years." That statement, based on 20-plus years of primary research in Virginia's colonial records, reflected the fact that Allen found no instance of the official use of the word "white" as a token of social status prior to its appearance in a Virginia law passed in 1691. As he later explained, "Others living in the colony at that time were English; they had been English when they left England, and naturally they and their Virginia-born children were English, they were not 'white.' White identity had to be carefully taught, and it would be only after the passage of some six crucial decades" that the word "would appear as a synonym for European-American."

In this context he offers his major thesis -- that the "white race" was invented as a ruling class social control formation in response to labor solidarity as manifested in the latter (civil war) stages of Bacon's Rebellion (1676-77). To this he adds two important corollaries: 1) the ruling elite deliberately instituted a system of racial privileges to define and maintain the "white race" and to implement a system of racial oppression, and 2) the consequence was not only ruinous to the interest of African Americans, it was also disastrous for European-American workers.

In Volume II, on The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America, Allen tells the story of the invention of the “white race” and the development of the system of racial oppression in the late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Anglo-American plantation colonies. His primary focus is on the pattern-setting Virginia colony, and he pays special attention to the reduction of tenants and wage-laborers in the majority English labor force to chattel bond-servants in the 1620s. In so doing, he emphasizes that this was a qualitative break from the condition of laborers in England and from long established English labor law, that it was not a feudal carryover, that it was imposed under capitalism, and that it was an essential precondition of the emergence of the lifetime hereditary chattel bond-servitude imposed upon African-American laborers under the system of racial slavery.

Allen describes how, throughout much of the seventeenth century, the status of African-Americans was indeterminate (because it was still being fought out) and he details the similarity of conditions for African-American and European-American laborers and bond-servants. He also documents many significant instances of labor solidarity and unrest, especially during the 1660s and 1670s. Of great significance is his analysis of the civil war stage of Bacon’s Rebellion when thousands of laboring people took up arms against the ruling plantation elite, the capital (Jamestown) was burned to the ground, rebels controlled 6/7 of the Virginia colony, and Afro- and Euro-American bond-servants fought side-by-side demanding an end to their bondage.

It was in the period after Bacon's Rebellion that the “white race” was invented as a ruling-class social control formation. Allen describes systematic ruling-class policies, which conferred “white race” privileges on European-Americans while imposing harsher disabilities on African-Americans resulting in a system of racial slavery, a form of racial oppression that also imposed severe racial proscriptions on free African-Americans. He emphasizes that when free African-Americans were deprived of their long-held right to vote in Virginia and Governor William Gooch explained in 1735 that the Virginia Assembly had decided upon this curtailment of the franchise in order "to fix a perpetual Brand upon Free Negros & Mulattos," it was not an "unthinking decision." Rather, it was a deliberate act by the plantation bourgeoisie and was a conscious decision in the process of establishing a system of racial oppression, even though it entailed repealing an electoral principle that had existed in Virginia for more than a century.

Key to understanding the virulent racial oppression that develops in Virginia, Allen argues, is the formation of the intermediate social control buffer stratum, which serves the interests of the ruling class. In Virginia, any persons of discernible non-European ancestry after Bacon's Rebellion were denied a role in the social control buffer group, the bulk of which was made up of laboring-class "whites." In the Anglo-Caribbean, by contrast, under a similar Anglo- ruling elite, "mulattos" were included in the social control stratum and were promoted into middle-class status. This difference was rooted in a number of social control-related factors, one of the most important of which was that in the Anglo-Caribbean there were “too few” poor and laboring-class Europeans to embody an adequate petit bourgeoisie, while in the continental colonies there were '’too many’' to be accommodated in the ranks of that class.

In The Invention of the White Race Allen challenges what he considers to be two main ideological props of white supremacy -- the argument that "racism" is innate (and it is therefore useless to challenge it) and the argument that European-American workers “benefit” from "white race" privileges and white supremacy (and that it is therefore not in their interest to oppose them). These two arguments, opposed by Allen, are related to two master historical narratives rooted in writings on the colonial period. The first argument is associated with the “unthinking decision” explanation for the development of racial slavery offered by historian Winthrop D. Jordan in his influential White Over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro, 1550-1812. The second argument is associated with historian Edmund S. Morgan’s influential American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia, which maintains that in Virginia, as slavery developed in the eighteenth century, “there were too few free poor [European-Americans] on hand to matter.” Allen points out that what Morgan said about “too few” free poor was true in the eighteenth century Anglo-Caribbean, but not in Virginia.

“white race” privilege

The article "The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy" (Cultural Logic, 2010) describes key components of Allen's analysis of "white race" privilege. The article explains that as he developed the "white race" privilege concept, Allen emphasized that these privileges were a "poison bait" (like a shot of “heroin”) and he explained that they "do not permit" the masses of European American workers nor their children "to escape" from that class. "It is not that the ordinary white worker gets more than he must have to support himself," but "the Black worker gets less than the white worker." By, thus "inducing, reinforcing and perpetuating racist attitudes on the part of the white workers, the present-day power masters get the political support of the rank-and-file of the white workers in critical situations, and without having to share with them their super profits in the slightest measure."

As one example, to support his position, Allen provided statistics showing that in the South where race privilege "has always been most emphasized . . . the white workers have fared worse than the white workers in the rest of the country."

Probing more deeply, Allen offered additional important insights into why these race privileges are conferred by the ruling class. He pointed out that "the ideology of white racism" is "not appropriate to the white workers" because it is "contrary to their class interests." Because of this "the bourgeoisie could not long have maintained this ideological influence over the white proletarians by mere racist ideology." Under these circumstances white supremacist thought is "given a material basis in the form of the deliberately contrived system of race privileges for white workers."

Thus, writes Allen, "history has shown that the white-skin privilege does not serve the real interests of the white workers, it also shows that the concomitant racist ideology has blinded them to that fact."

Allen added, "the white supremacist system that had originally been designed in around 1700 by the plantation bourgeoisie to protect the base, the chattel bond labor relation of production" also served "as a part of the 'legal and political' superstructure of the United States government that, until the Civil War, was dominated by the slaveholders with the complicity of the majority of the European-American workers." Then, after emancipation, "the industrial and financial bourgeoisie found that it could be serviceable to their program of social control, anachronistic as it was, and incorporated it into their own 'legal and political' superstructure."

Allen felt that two essential points must be kept in mind. First, "the race-privilege policy is deliberate bourgeois class policy." Second, "the race-privilege policy is, contrary to surface appearance, contrary to the interests, short range as well as long range interests of not only the Black workers but of the white workers as well." He repeatedly emphasized that "the day-to-day real interests" of the European-American worker "is not the white skin privileges, but in the development of an ever-expanding union of class conscious workers." He emphasized, "'Solidarity forever!' means 'Privileges never!'" He elsewhere pointed out, "The Wobblies [the Industrial Workers of the World] caught the essence of it in their slogan: 'An injury to one is an injury to all.'"

Throughout his work Allen stresses that "the initiator and the ultimate guarantor of the white skin privileges of the white worker is not the white worker, but the white worker's masters" and the masters do this because it is "an indispensable necessity for their continued class rule." He describes how "an all-pervasive system of racial privileges was conferred on laboring-class European-Americans, rural and urban, exploited and insecure though they themselves were" and how "its threads, woven into the fabric of every aspect of daily life, of family, church, and state, have constituted the main historical guarantee of the rule of the 'Titans,' damping down anti-capitalist pressures, by making 'race, and not class, the distinction in social life.'" That, "more than any other factor," he argues, "has shaped the contours of American history -- from the Constitutional Convention of 1787 to the Civil War, to the overthrow of Reconstruction, to the Populist Revolt of the 1890s, to the Great Depression, to the civil rights struggle and 'white backlash' of our own day."

Strategy

Allen also addressed the issue of strategy for social change. He emphasized, “The most vulnerable point at which a decisive blow can be struck against bourgeois rule in the United States is white supremacy.” He considered “white supremacy” to be “both the keystone and the Achilles heel of U.S. bourgeois democracy.”

Based on this analysis Allen maintained, “the first main strategic blow must be aimed at the most vulnerable point at which a decisive blow can be struck, namely, white supremacism.” This, he argued, was the conclusion to be drawn from a study of three great social crises in U.S. history – “the Civil War and Reconstruction, the Populist Revolt of the 1890s, and the Great Depression of the 1930s.” In each of these cases “the prospects for a stable broad front against capital has foundered on the shoals of white supremacism, most specifically on the corruption of the European-American workers by racial privilege.”

Groundbreaking Analysis Continues to Grow in Importance

Ted Allen died on January 19, 2005, and a memorial service was held for him at the Brooklyn Public Library where he had worked. Then on October 8, 2005, his ashes, as per his request, were spread in the York River (near West Point, Virginia) close to its convergence with the Pamunkey and Mattaponi Rivers – the location where the final armed holdouts, "Eighty Negroes and Twenty English," refused to surrender in the last stages of Bacon’s Rebellion.

Allen’s historical work has profound implications for American History, African-American History, Labor History, Left History, American Studies, and “Whiteness” Studies and it offers important insights in the areas of Caribbean History, Irish History, and African Diaspora Studies. With its meticulous primary research, equalitarian motif, emphasis on the class struggle dimension of history, and groundbreaking analysis his work continues to grow in influence and importance.

Additional Information

For writings, audios, and videos by and about Theodore W. Allen and his work see HERE

For information on The Invention of the White Race Vol. I: Racial Oppression and Social Control [Verso Books] (including comments from scholars and activists and Table of Contents) see HERE

For information on The Invention of the White Race Vol. II: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo America (including comments from scholars and activists and Table of Contents) see HERE

For the fullest treatment of the development of Theodore W. Allen’s thought see “The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights from Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy” (Cultural Logic, 2010)
HERE


Lerone Bennett, Jr.
on The Shaping of Black America
and Theodore W. Allen
on The Invention of the White Race

July 30, 2017

Tags: Lerone Bennett Jr., Theodore W. Allen, The Invention of the White Race, The Shaping of Black America, The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo America, Verso Books, Racial Oppression and Social Control, white identity, Bacon's rebellion, white privilege, white skin privilege, class struggle, ]



“Back there, before Jim Crow, before the invention of the . . . white man, and the words or concepts to describe them, the Colonial population consisted largely of a great mass of . . . [European American and African American] bondsmen, who occupied roughly the same economic category and were treated with equal contempt by the lords of the plantation and legislatures. Curiously unconcerned about their color, these people worked together and relaxed together. They had essentially the same interests, the same aspirations, and the same grievances. They conspired together and waged a common struggle against their common enemy – the big planter apparatus and a social system that legalized terror against . . . bondsmen. No one says and no one believes it was a Garden of Eden in Colonial America. But, the available evidence . . . suggests that there were widening bonds of solidarity . . . And the same evidence indicates that it proved very difficult indeed to teach white people to worship their skin.”

Lerone Bennett Jr.
The Shaping of Black America, Chapter 3, “The Road Not Taken,” 1975.

See also Theodore W. Allen, “The Invention of the White Race” Vol. II: "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo America" [Verso Books] (including comments from scholars and activists and Table of Contents) HERE

Theodore W. Allen’s "The Invention of the White Race," with its focus on racial oppression and social control, is one of the twentieth-century’s major contributions to historical understanding. This two-volume classic, first published in 1994 and 1997, presents a full-scale challenge to what Allen refers to as “The Great White Assumption” – “the unquestioning, indeed unthinking acceptance of the ‘white’ identity of European-Americans of all classes as a natural attribute rather than a social construct.” Its thesis on the origin and nature of the “white race” contains the root of a new and radical approach to United States history, one that challenges master narratives taught in the media and in schools, colleges, and universities. With its equalitarian motif and emphasis on class struggle it speaks to people today who strive for change worldwide. Its influence on our understanding of American, African American, and labor history will continue to grow in the twenty-first century.

Readers of the first edition of "The Invention of the White Race" were startled by Allen’s bold assertion on the back cover: “When the first Africans arrived in Virginia in 1619, there were no ‘white’ people there; nor, according to the colonial records, would there be for another sixty years.” That statement, based on twenty-plus years of research of Virginia’s colonial records, reflected the fact that Allen found “no instance of the official use of the word ‘white’ as a token of social status” prior to its appearance in a Virginia law passed in 1691. As he later explained, “Others living in the colony at that time were English; they had been English when they left England, and naturally they and their Virginia-born children were English, they were not ‘white.’ White identity had to be carefully taught, and it would be only after the passage of some six crucial decades” that the word “would appear as a synonym for European-American.”

Allen was not merely speaking of word usage, however. His probing research led him to conclude – based on the commonality of experience and demonstrated solidarity between African-American and European-American laboring people, the lack of a substantial intermediate buffer social control stratum, and the indeterminate status of African-Americans – that the “white race” was not, and could not have been, functioning in early Virginia.

It is in the context of such findings that he offers his major thesis -- the “white race” was invented as a ruling class social control formation in response to labor solidarity as manifested in the later, civil war stages of Bacon's Rebellion (1676-77). To this he adds two important corollaries: 1) the ruling elite, in its own class interest, deliberately instituted a system of racial privileges to define and maintain the “white race” and establish a system of racial oppression and 2) the consequences were not only ruinous to the interests of African-Americans, they were also “disastrous” for European-American workers.

In developing these theses Allen challenges the two main ideological props of white supremacy – the notion that “racism” is innate, and it is therefore useless to struggle against it, and the argument that European-American workers benefit from “white race” privileges and that it is in their interest not to oppose them and not to oppose white supremacy.

His challenge to these ideological props of white supremacy is both historical and theoretical. Allen offers meticulous use of sources, probing analysis of “Racial Oppression and Social Control” (the sub-title of this volume), and important comparative study that includes analogies, parallels, and differences between the Anglo-American plantation colonies, Ireland, and the Anglo-Caribbean colonies. He chooses these examples, all subjected to domination by Anglo ruling elites, in order to show that racial oppression is a system of social control not based on phenotype (skin color, etc.) and to show that social control factors impact how racial oppression begins, is maintained, and can be transformed.

"The Invention of the White Race" is Allen’s magnum opus – he worked on it for over twenty years. Its second volume, subtitled "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America," rigorously details the invention of the “white race” and the development of racial slavery, a particular form of racial oppression, in late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Virginia. He claimed, with justification, that the second volume “contains the best of me.”

In Volume II, on "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America," Allen tells the story of the invention of the “white race” in the late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Anglo-American plantation colonies. His primary focus is on the pattern-setting Virginia colony, and he pays special attention to the reduction of tenants and wage-laborers in the majority English labor force to chattel bond-servants in the 1620s. In so doing, he emphasizes that this was a qualitative break from the condition of laborers in England and from long established English labor law, that it was not a feudal carryover, that it was imposed under capitalism, and that it was an essential precondition of the emergence of the lifetime hereditary chattel bond-servitude imposed upon African-American laborers under the system of racial slavery. Allen describes how, throughout much of the seventeenth century, the status of African-Americans was indeterminate (because it was still being fought out) and he details the similarity of conditions for African-American and European-American laborers and bond-servants. He also documents many significant instances of labor solidarity and unrest, especially during the 1660s and 1670s. Most important is his analysis of the civil war stage of Bacon’s Rebellion when "foure hundred English and Negroes in Arms" fought together demanding freedom from bondage.

It was in the period after Bacon's Rebellion that the “white race” was invented as a ruling-class social control formation. Allen describes systematic ruling-class policies, which conferred “white race” privileges on European-Americans while imposing harsher disabilities on African-Americans resulting in a system of racial slavery, a form of racial oppression that also imposed severe racial proscriptions on free African-Americans. He emphasizes that when African-Americans were deprived of their long-held right to vote in Virginia and Governor William Gooch explained in 1735 that the Virginia Assembly had decided upon this curtailment of the franchise in order "to fix a perpetual Brand upon Free Negros & Mulattos," it was not an "unthinking decision." Rather, it was a deliberate act by the plantation bourgeoisie and was a conscious decision in the process of establishing a system of racial oppression, even though it entailed repealing an electoral principle that had existed in Virginia for more than a century.

The key to understanding racial oppression, Allen argues, is in the formation of the intermediate social control buffer stratum, which serves the interests of the ruling class. In the case of racial oppression in Virginia, any persons of discernible non-European ancestry after Bacon's Rebellion were denied a role in the social control buffer group, the bulk of which was made up of laboring-class "whites." In the Anglo-Caribbean, by contrast, under a similar Anglo- ruling elite, "mulattos" were included in the social control stratum and were promoted into middle-class status. For Allen, this was the key to understanding the difference between Virginia’s ruling-class policy of “fixing a perpetual brand” on African-Americans, and the policy of the West Indian planters of formally recognizing the middle-class status “colored” descendant and other Afro-Caribbeans who earned special merit by their service to the regime. This difference, between racial oppression and national oppression, was rooted in a number of social control-related factors, one of the most important of which was that in the West Indies there were “too few” poor and laboring-class Europeans to embody an adequate petit bourgeoisie, while in the continental colonies there were '’too many’' to be accommodated in the ranks of that class.

The references to an “unthinking decision” and “too few” poor and laboring class Europeans are consistent with Allen's repeated efforts to challenge what he considered to be the two main arguments that undermine and disarm the struggle against white supremacy in the working class: (1) the argument that white supremacism is innate, and (2) the argument that European-American workers “benefit” from “white race” privileges and that it is in their interest not to oppose them and not to oppose white supremacy. These two arguments, opposed by Allen, are related to two master historical narratives rooted in writings on the colonial period. The first argument is associated with the “unthinking decision” explanation for the development of racial slavery offered by historian Winthrop D. Jordan in his influential, White Over Black. The second argument is associated with historian Edmund S. Morgan’s similarly influential, American Slavery, American Freedom, which maintains that, as racial slavery developed, “there were too few free poor [European-Americans] on hand to matter.” Allen’s work directly challenges both the “unthinking decision” contention of Jordan and the “too few free poor” contention of Morgan.

Allen convincingly argues that the “white race” privileges conferred by the ruling class on European-Americans were not only ruinous to the interests of African-Americans; they were also against the class interest of European-American workers. He further argues that these “white-skin privileges” are “the incubus that for three centuries has paralyzed” the will of European-American workers “in defense of their class interests vis-à-vis those of the ruling class.”

110,000 VIEWS
This Video on Theodore W. Allen’s
“The Invention of White Race”
Has Just Passed the 110,000-Views Mark
Please View and Share It!

July 19, 2017

Tags: Theodore W. Allen, #theodorewallen, Hubert Harrison, Hubert H. Harrison, Racial Oppression and Social Control, The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America, The Father of Harlem Radicalism, Columbia University Press, Wesleyan University Press, A Hubert Harrison Reader, When Africa Awakes, The Inside Story of the Stirrings and Strivings of the New Negro in the Western World, Fusion Films, Brecht Forum, Dudley Public Library, St. Croix Landmark Society, Diasporic Africa Press, #hubertharrison, #huberthharrison, The Invention of the White Race, Jeffrey B. Perry, #jeffreybperry, #inventionofthewhiterace, #whiteprivilege, white privilege, #Blackhistory, Black History, anti-racism, #anti-racism, "whiteness", #whiteness, Verso Books, #versobooks, chattel bond-servitude, racial slavery, #racialslavery, Bacon’s Rebellion, #Bacon’sRebellion, Nell Painter, Gerald Horne, Wilson J. Moses, Gregory Meyerson, Audrey Smedley, Joe Berry, Mark Solomon, Carl Davidson, #jeffreybperry





110,000 VIEWS
This Video on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of White Race”
Has Just Passed the 110,000-Views Mark.


110,000 VIEWS -- This Video on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of White Race” Has Just Passed the 110,000-Views Mark. It opens with some insights from the life and work of Hubert Harrison.

Please take time to watch the video, to share it with friends, and to call the work of Theodore W. Allen and Hubert Harrison to the attention of others.

Theodore W. Allen’s “Invention of the White Race” has been referred to as a “classic” by historians Nell Painter, Gerald Horne, Wilson J. Moses, and Gregory Meyerson and by social anthropologist Audrey Smedley.

Labor historian Joe Berry says it “is one of the most important books of U.S history ever written.”

Historian Mark Solomon of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, Harvard University, says, “The profound insights in ‘The Invention of the White Race’ are essential both to understand the origins and destructiveness of white supremacy and to provide the means to conduct struggle against it. Allen’s study is mandatory reading for everyone concerned with justice, equality and the liberation of all from the binds of white supremacy.”

Long time activist Carl Davidson emphasizes that “You simply can’t understand America and who we are without this [“The Invention of the White Race”] book.”

Special thanks to those who contributed to the book launch event that was the basis of this video on Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” – including filmmaker Fred Nguyen; Muriel Tillinghast and Sean Ahern of “The Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen Society”; Kazembe Balagun, Max Uhlenbeck, and Liz Mestres of the Brecht Forum; and Jessica Turner of Verso Books.

A second video on “The Invention of White Race,” recently filmed at a “multi-racial” worker organizing conference in Greensboro, NC, has exceptionally clear slides and is also attracting increased attention – see HERE Special thanks to organizer Ben Wilkins, who coordinated the two-day conference, and to Eric Preston (and Fusion Films) for work on the video.

For information on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” Volume I: “Racial Oppression and Social Control" (including comments from scholars and activists, Table of Contents, and an overview of the volume) see HERE Note – the new, expanded Verso Books edition of this volume includes new introductions and notes, an expanded index, and a lengthy and detailed internal study guide.

For information on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” Volume II: "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo America" (including comments from scholars and activists, Table of Contents, and an overview of the volume) see HERE Note – the new, expanded Verso Books edition of this volume includes new introductions and notes, an expanded index, and a lengthy and detailed internal study guide.

For information on Theodore W. Allen’s “Summary of the Argument of The Invention of the White Race” Part 1 see HERE and for Part 2 see HERE

For additional writings by and about Theodore W. Allen see HERE

For an in-depth treatment of the development of the work of Theodore W. Allen see “The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy” in PDF format at the TOP LEFT at HERE
or at “Cultural Logic” at HERE

For a video interview with Theodore W. Allen on “The Invention of the White Race” conducted by New York City schoolteacher Stella Winston and viewed by over 105,000 people see HERE

For information on “Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918” (Columbia University Press, 2008) see HERE

For information on “A Hubert Harrison Reader” (Wesleyan University Press, 2001) see HERE

For information on Hubert H. Harrison, “When Africa Awakes: The ‘Inside Story’ of the Stirrings and Strivings of the New Negro in the Western World,” New Expanded Edition (Diasporic Africa Press, 2015) see HERE

For a video on Hubert Harrison based on a presentation at the Dudley Public Library in Roxbury, Massachusetts – see -- HERE
Special thanks to Mimi Jones, Friends of the Dudley Library, Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia, Massachusetts Global Action. Mirna Lascano, Umang Kumar, and Charlie Welch for making the event possible and to Boston Neighborhood News TV's "Around Town" -- Channel: Comcast 9 / RCN 15 -- Justin D. Shannahan, Production Manager, Ted Lewis, cameraman, and Laura Kerivan, copy editor, Nia Grace (Marketing and Promotions Manager), and Scott Mercer for helping to make the video available.

For a recent video on Hubert Harrison done at the St. Croix Landmarks Society, Estate Whim, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands – see Be the first to comment

Theodore W. Allen, The Invention of the White Race
Super Special Sale, 40% off with bundled e-book

July 14, 2017

Tags: <font size="5"><center> Super Special Sale, 40% off with bundled e-book, Theodore W. Allen, Jeffrey B. Perry, The Invention of the White Race, Racial Oppression and Social Control, The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo America

Super Special Sale of 40% off and free bundled e-book for Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” (for each of 2 vols.). The new editions from Verso Books have much supplemental front and back matter including internal study guides. Help to spread the word!

For info on “The Invention of the White Race” Vol. I: “Racial Oppression and Social Control" see HERE
and HERE


For information on “The Invention of the White Race” Vol. II: "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo America" see HERE
and
HERE


For information on Theodore W. Allen’s “Summary of the Argument of The Invention of the White Race” Part 1 see HERE
and for Part 2 see HERE

For an in-depth treatment of the development of the work of Theodore W. Allen see “The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy” by Jeffrey B. Perry in PDF format at the TOP LEFT at HERE

or at “Cultural Logic” at HERE


People may also be interested in the video of a slide presentation/talk on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” (2 vols., Verso Books) at HERE

“You have to work to get through these two volumes, but once you do, it will change your life and outlook forever. You simply can't understand America and who we are without this book.”

On March 17th
people are encouraged to read
Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race”
especially Vol. 1's discussion of Irish people
in Ireland and the United States

March 17, 2017

Tags: Theodore W. Allen, March 17, St. Patick's Day, Sea-Change, abolition, racial slavery, equal rights, Adrican-Americans, The Invention of the White Race, Racial Oppression and Social Control, Irish history, religio-racial oppression, national oppression, Ireland.

On March 17th ("St. Patrick's day") people are encouraged to become familiar with Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” (especially Vol. 1: “Racial Oppression and Social Control”), which offers profound insights into Irish history paying special attention to religio-racial oppression and national oppression in Ireland.
Very importantly -- In Chapter VII on “The Sea-Change” Allen looks at “an absolutely unique historical phenomenon associated with the massive Irish immigration into the ant-bellum struggle between racial slavery and freedom in the United States.” He is referring to the process by which “subjects of a history of racial oppression as Irish Catholics, are sea-changed into ‘white Americans,’ and opponents of abolition of racial slavery, and of equal rights of African-Americans in general.” (p. 159)

Table of Contents
The Invention of the White Race
Volume One
Racial Oppression and Social Control
by Theodore W. Allen

Acknowledgements
Introduction to the Second Edition [by Jeffrey B. Perry]
Introduction
1. The Anatomy of Racial Oppression
2. Social Control and the Intermediate Strata: Ireland
3. Protestant Ascendancy and White Supremacy
4. Social Control: From Racial to National Oppression
5. Ulster
6. Anglo-America: Ulster Writ Large
7. The Sea-change
8. How the Sea-change was Wrought
Appendices
Appendix A: (see Introduction, note 46 [re intermarriage])
Appendix B: (see Introduction, note 46 [re “cheaper labor” rationale])
Appendix C: (see Chapter 1, note 58 and Chapter 2 note 51 [re Africans’ strength as a limit to English colonization])
Appendix D: (see Chapter 2, notes 42 and 73 [re English Plantations in Ireland as “response to rebellion”])
Appendix E: (see Chapter 2, note 58 [re England on threshold of its career as a world colonial power, with Ireland as its first objective”])
Appendix F: (see Chapter 2, note 77 [re Mountjoy’s “starvation strategy” for Ireland])
Appendix G: (see Chapter 2, note 108 [re “social control policies of the Western colonizing powers”])
Appendix H: (see Chapter 3, note 8 [re “Scottish slavery”])
Appendix I: (see Chapter 3, note 46 [re relative cost differential of English and Irish common labor greater than differential between wage-labor and bond-labor in continental Anglo-America])
Appendix J: (see Chapter 4, note 107 [re “Daniel O’Connell’s views regarding revolutionary violence in Ireland”])
Appendix K: (see Chapter 7, note 62 [re “The Slave” by Leander (John Hughes)])
Appendix L: (see Chapter 7, note 80 [re “Address from the people of Ireland to their Countrymen and Countrywomen in America”])
Editor’s Appendix M: A Brief Biography of Theodore W. Allen
Editor’s Appendix N: Notes to Encourage Engagement with Volume I
Chronological Finding Aid for Users of this Volume
Notes
Index [Newly Expanded]

See HERE




Twelve Years Ago
on January 19, 2005
Theodore W. Allen Died
Learn From His Work
Keep His Memory Alive!

January 18, 2017

Tags: January 19, 2005, Theodore W. Allen, Brooklyn, cancer, class struggle, white skin privilege, #whiteskinprivilege, white privilege, #whiteprivilege, white supremacy, racial oppression, Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery, SUNY Center for the Study of Working Class Life, The Invention of the White Race, Verso Books, Racial Oppression and Social Control, The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America, West Point, Virginia, foure hundred English and Negroes in Arms, Bacon’s Rebellion, Census, Hispanics, Roediger

Theodore W. Allen
(1919-2005)
Twelve years ago, on January 19, 2005, Theodore W. Allen died at age 85 in Brooklyn, NY after a fifteen-year battle with cancer.

Allen, one of the twentieth century’s most important writers on class and race, and the struggle against white supremacy, pioneered his class struggle based analysis of “white skin privilege” in 1965 and offered seminal writings on class struggle, white supremacy, and racial oppression such as “Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race” ([1974; SUNY Center for the Study of Working Class Life, 2006) and the two-volume “classic” “The Invention of the White Race” (1994, 1997; Verso Books, 2012), Vol. I “Racial Oppression and Social Control” and Vol. II: ”The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America.”

After his death his ashes (as per his request), were spread over that area "three miles up country" from West Point, Virginia where the "foure hundred English and Negroes in Arms" demanded their freedom in Bacon’s Rebellion (1676-77).

Shortly thereafter, an “In Memorium: Theodore W. Allen” Tribute was published online at HERE

Writings, videos, and audios by and about Theodore W. Allen are available at HERE

For a presentation viewed by over 104,000 people on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race,” at the Brecht Forum in New York see HERE

For a recent presentation on “Theodore W. Allen and ‘The Invention of the White Race’” at a “Multiracial Organizing Conference” in Greensboro, NC see
HERE

For the fullest treatment of the development of Allen’s thought see Jeffrey B. Perry, “The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy,”
Cultural Logic HERE

For information on “The Invention of the White Race” Vol. I: “Racial Oppression and Social Control" (including comments from scholars and activists and Table of Contents) see HERE

For information on “The Invention of the White Race” Vol. II: "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo America" (including comments from scholars and activists and Table of Contents) see HERE

For some background information on how the U.S. Census uses “race” in regard to “Hispanics” see Theodore W. Allen’ "’Race’ and ‘Ethnicity’: History and the 2000 Census” at HERE

For Allen’s important review on “Roediger’s ‘Wages of Whiteness’” see HERE

People are encourage to become familiar with the work of Theodore W. Allen and to share this information with others as we continue to struggle for a better world.

104,000 VIEWS
This Video on Theodore W. Allen’s
“The Invention of White Race”
Has Just Passed the 104,000-Views Mark
Please View and Share It!

January 10, 2017

Tags: Theodore W. Allen, #theodorewallen, Hubert Harrison, Hubert H. Harrison, Racial Oppression and Social Control, The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America, The Father of Harlem Radicalism, Columbia University Press, Wesleyan University Press, A Hubert Harrison Reader, When Africa Awakes, The Inside Story of the Stirrings and Strivings of the New Negro in the Western World, Fusion Films, Brecht Forum, Dudley Public Library, St. Croix Landmark Society, Diasporic Africa Press, #hubertharrison, #huberthharrison, The Invention of the White Race, Jeffrey B. Perry, #jeffreybperry, #inventionofthewhiterace, #whiteprivilege, white privilege, #Blackhistory, Black History, anti-racism, #anti-racism, "whiteness", #whiteness, Verso Books, #versobooks, chattel bond-servitude, racial slavery, #racialslavery, Bacon’s Rebellion, #Bacon’sRebellion





104,000 VIEWS
This Video on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of White Race”
Has Just Passed the 104,000-Views Mark.


104,000 VIEWS -- This Video on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of White Race” Has Just Passed the 104,000-Views Mark. It opens with some insights from the life and work of Hubert Harrison.

Please take time to watch the video, to share it with friends, and to call the work of Theodore W. Allen and Hubert Harrison to the attention of others.

Theodore W. Allen’s “Invention of the White Race” has been referred to as a “classic” by historians Nell Painter, Gerald Horne, Wilson J. Moses, and Gregory Meyerson and by social anthropologist Audrey Smedley.

Labor historian Joe Berry says it “is one of the most important books of U.S history ever written.”

Historian Mark Solomon of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, Harvard University, says, “The profound insights in ‘The Invention of the White Race’ are essential both to understand the origins and destructiveness of white supremacy and to provide the means to conduct struggle against it. Allen’s study is mandatory reading for everyone concerned with justice, equality and the liberation of all from the binds of white supremacy.”

Long time activist Carl Davidson emphasizes that “You simply can’t understand America and who we are without this [“The Invention of the White Race”] book.”

Special thanks to those who contributed to the book launch event that was the basis of this video on Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” – including filmmaker Fred Nguyen; Muriel Tillinghast and Sean Ahern of “The Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen Society”; Kazembe Balagun, Max Uhlenbeck, and Liz Mestres of the Brecht Forum; and Jessica Turner of Verso Books.

A second video on “The Invention of White Race,” recently filmed at a “multi-racial” worker organizing conference in Greensboro, NC, has exceptionally clear slides and is also attracting increased attention – see HERE Special thanks to organizer Ben Wilkins, who coordinated the two-day conference, and to Eric Preston (and Fusion Films) for work on the video.

For information on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” Volume I: “Racial Oppression and Social Control" (including comments from scholars and activists, Table of Contents, and an overview of the volume) see HERE Note – the new, expanded Verso Books edition of this volume includes new introductions and notes, an expanded index, and a lengthy and detailed internal study guide.

For information on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” Volume II: "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo America" (including comments from scholars and activists, Table of Contents, and an overview of the volume) see HERE Note – the new, expanded Verso Books edition of this volume includes new introductions and notes, an expanded index, and a lengthy and detailed internal study guide.

For information on Theodore W. Allen’s “Summary of the Argument of The Invention of the White Race” Part 1 see HERE and for Part 2 see HERE

For additional writings by and about Theodore W. Allen see HERE

For an in-depth treatment of the development of the work of Theodore W. Allen see “The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy” in PDF format at the TOP LEFT at HERE
or at “Cultural Logic” at HERE

For a video interview with Theodore W. Allen on “The Invention of the White Race” conducted by New York City schoolteacher Stella Winston and viewed by over 105,000 people see HERE

For information on “Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918” (Columbia University Press, 2008) see HERE

For information on “A Hubert Harrison Reader” (Wesleyan University Press, 2001) see HERE

For information on Hubert H. Harrison, “When Africa Awakes: The ‘Inside Story’ of the Stirrings and Strivings of the New Negro in the Western World,” New Expanded Edition (Diasporic Africa Press, 2015) see HERE

For a video on Hubert Harrison based on a presentation at the Dudley Public Library in Roxbury, Massachusetts – see -- HERE
Special thanks to Mimi Jones, Friends of the Dudley Library, Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia, Massachusetts Global Action. Mirna Lascano, Umang Kumar, and Charlie Welch for making the event possible and to Boston Neighborhood News TV's "Around Town" -- Channel: Comcast 9 / RCN 15 -- Justin D. Shannahan, Production Manager, Ted Lewis, cameraman, and Laura Kerivan, copy editor, Nia Grace (Marketing and Promotions Manager), and Scott Mercer for helping to make the video available.

For a recent video on Hubert Harrison done at the St. Croix Landmarks Society, Estate Whim, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands – see Be the first to comment

“The Invention of the White Race”
Volume 2: “The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America”
by Theodore W. Allen
Special Sale for 50% Off

December 19, 2016

Tags: Super Special Sale, Verso Books, 50% off, free shipping, bundled e-book, Theodore W. Allen, The Invention of the White Race, Racial Oppression and Social Control, The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo America

“The Invention of the White Race,” Volume 2: “The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America” by Theodore W. Allen is available in a Special Sale for 50% off, with bundled e-book and free shipping from Verso Books till January 1, 2017. This new expanded edition has an internal study guide, a new editor’s introduction, and supplemental notes that are ideal for classroom and/or study group use. See HERE

In Volume II, on "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America," Allen tells the story of the invention of the “white race” in the late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Anglo-American plantation colonies. His primary focus is on the pattern-setting Virginia colony, and he pays special attention to the reduction of tenants and wage-laborers in the majority English labor force to chattel bond-servants in the 1620s. In so doing, he emphasizes that this was a qualitative break from the condition of laborers in England and from long established English labor law, that it was not a feudal carryover, that it was imposed under capitalism, and that it was an essential precondition of the emergence of the lifetime hereditary chattel bond-servitude imposed upon African-American laborers under the system of racial slavery. Allen describes how, throughout much of the seventeenth century, the status of African-Americans was indeterminate (because it was still being fought out) and he details the similarity of conditions for African-American and European-American laborers and bond-servants. He also documents many significant instances of labor solidarity and unrest, especially during the 1660s and 1670s. Most important is his analysis of the civil war stage of Bacon’s Rebellion when "foure hundred English and Negroes in Arms" fought together demanding freedom from bondage.

It was in the period after Bacon's Rebellion that the “white race” was invented as a ruling-class social control formation. Allen describes systematic ruling-class policies, which conferred “white race” privileges on European-Americans while imposing harsher disabilities on African-Americans resulting in a system of racial slavery, a form of racial oppression that also imposed severe racial proscriptions on free African-Americans. He emphasizes that when African-Americans were deprived of their long-held right to vote in Virginia and Governor William Gooch explained in 1735 that the Virginia Assembly had decided upon this curtailment of the franchise in order "to fix a perpetual Brand upon Free Negros & Mulattos," it was not an "unthinking decision." Rather, it was a deliberate act by the plantation bourgeoisie and was a conscious decision in the process of establishing a system of racial oppression, even though it entailed repealing an electoral principle that had existed in Virginia for more than a century.

The key to understanding racial oppression, Allen argues, is in the formation of the intermediate social control buffer stratum, which serves the interests of the ruling class. In the case of racial oppression in Virginia, any persons of discernible non-European ancestry after Bacon's Rebellion were denied a role in the social control buffer group, the bulk of which was made up of laboring-class "whites." In the Anglo-Caribbean, by contrast, under a similar Anglo- ruling elite, "mulattos" were included in the social control stratum and were promoted into middle-class status. For Allen, this was the key to understanding the difference between Virginia’s ruling-class policy of “fixing a perpetual brand” on African-Americans, and the policy of the West Indian planters of formally recognizing the middle-class status “colored” descendant and other Afro-Caribbeans who earned special merit by their service to the regime. This difference, between racial oppression and national oppression, was rooted in a number of social control-related factors, one of the most important of which was that in the West Indies there were “too few” poor and laboring-class Europeans to embody an adequate petit bourgeoisie, while in the continental colonies there were '’too many’' to be accommodated in the ranks of that class.

The references to an “unthinking decision” and “too few” poor and laboring class Europeans are consistent with Allen's repeated efforts to challenge what he considered to be the two main arguments that undermine and disarm the struggle against white supremacy in the working class: (1) the argument that white supremacism is innate, and (2) the argument that European-American workers “benefit” from “white race” privileges and that it is in their interest not to oppose them and not to oppose white supremacy. These two arguments, opposed by Allen, are related to two master historical narratives rooted in writings on the colonial period. The first argument is associated with the “unthinking decision” explanation for the development of racial slavery offered by historian Winthrop D. Jordan in his influential, White Over Black. The second argument is associated with historian Edmund S. Morgan’s similarly influential, American Slavery, American Freedom, which maintains that, as racial slavery developed, “there were too few free poor [European-Americans] on hand to matter.” Allen’s work directly challenges both the “unthinking decision” contention of Jordan and the “too few free poor” contention of Morgan.

Allen convincingly argues that the “white race” privileges conferred by the ruling class on European-Americans were not only ruinous to the interests of African-Americans; they were also against the class interest of European-American workers. He further argues that these “white-skin privileges” are “the incubus that for three centuries has paralyzed” the will of European-American workers “in defense of their class interests vis-à-vis those of the ruling class.”

With its meticulous primary research, equalitarian motif, emphasis on the class struggle dimension of history, and groundbreaking analysis The Invention of the White Race is a recognized classic. Allen felt that its theory on the origin and nature of the “white race” contains the root of a new and radical approach to United States history. Readers will find that it has profound implications for American History, African-American History, Labor History, American Studies, and “Whiteness” Studies and that it offers important insights in the areas of Caribbean History, Irish History, and African Diaspora Studies. Its influence will continue to grow in the twenty-first century.

For a Table of Contents and comments by scholars and activists see HERE

For a slide presentation/talk viewed by over 103,000 people on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race,” at the Brecht Forum in New York see HERE

For a recent presentation on “Theodore W. Allen and ‘The Invention of the White Race’” at a “Multiracial Organizing Conference” in Greensboro, NC see HERE


“The Invention of the White Race”
Volume 1: “Racial Oppression and Social Control”
by Theodore W. Allen
Special Sale for 50% Off

December 19, 2016

Tags: Super Special Sale, Verso Books, 50% off, free shipping, bundled e-book, Theodore W. Allen, The Invention of the White Race, Racial Oppression and Social Control, The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo America

“The Invention of the White Race,” Volume 1: “Racial Oppression and Social Control” by Theodore W. Allen is available in a Special Sale for 50% off, with bundled e-book and free shipping from Verso Books till January 1, 2017. This new expanded edition has an internal study guide, a new editor’s introduction, and supplemental notes that are ideal for classroom and/or study group use. See HERE

Theodore W. Allen’s The Invention of the White Race, with its focus on racial oppression and social control, is one of the twentieth-century’s major contributions to historical understanding. This two-volume classic, first published in 1994 and 1997, presents a full-scale challenge to what Allen refers to as “The Great White Assumption” – “the unquestioning, indeed unthinking acceptance of the ‘white’ identity of European-Americans of all classes as a natural attribute rather than a social construct.” Its thesis on the origin and nature of the “white race” contains the root of a new and radical approach to United States history, one that challenges master narratives taught in the media and in schools, colleges, and universities. With its equalitarian motif and emphasis on class struggle it speaks to people today who strive for change worldwide. Its influence on our understanding of American, African American, and labor history will continue to grow in the twenty-first century.

Readers of the first edition of The Invention of the White Race were startled by Allen’s bold assertion on the back cover: “When the first Africans arrived in Virginia in 1619, there were no ‘white’ people there; nor, according to the colonial records, would there be for another sixty years.” That statement, based on twenty-plus years of research of Virginia’s colonial records, reflected the fact that Allen found “no instance of the official use of the word ‘white’ as a token of social status” prior to its appearance in a Virginia law passed in 1691. As he later explained, “Others living in the colony at that time were English; they had been English when they left England, and naturally they and their Virginia-born children were English, they were not ‘white.’ White identity had to be carefully taught, and it would be only after the passage of some six crucial decades” that the word “would appear as a synonym for European-American.”

Allen was not merely speaking of word usage, however. His probing research led him to conclude – based on the commonality of experience and demonstrated solidarity between African-American and European-American laboring people, the lack of a substantial intermediate buffer social control stratum, and the indeterminate status of African-Americans – that the “white race” was not, and could not have been, functioning in early Virginia.

It is in the context of such findings that he offers his major thesis -- the “white race” was invented as a ruling class social control formation in response to labor solidarity as manifested in the later, civil war stages of Bacon's Rebellion (1676-77). To this he adds two important corollaries: 1) the ruling elite, in its own class interest, deliberately instituted a system of racial privileges to define and maintain the “white race” and 2) the consequences were not only ruinous to the interests of African-Americans, they were also “disastrous” for European-American workers, whose class interests differed fundamentally from those of the ruling elite.

In developing these theses Allen challenges the two main ideological props of white supremacy – the notion that “racism” is innate, and it is therefore useless to struggle against it, and the argument that European-American workers benefit from “white race” privileges and that it is in their interest not to oppose them and not to oppose white supremacy.

His challenge to these ideological props of white supremacy is both historical and theoretical. Allen offers meticulous use of sources, probing analysis of “Racial Oppression and Social Control” (the sub-title of this volume), and important comparative study that includes analogies, parallels, and differences between the Anglo-American plantation colonies, Ireland, and the Anglo-Caribbean colonies. He chooses these examples, all subjected to domination by Anglo ruling elites, in order to show that racial oppression is a system of social control not based on phenotype (skin color, etc.) and to show that social control factors impact how racial oppression begins, is maintained, and can be transformed.

A major purpose for his writing Volume I was to lay the conceptual groundwork for Volume II free of what he refers to as the “White Blindspot” -- the hindered vision caused by the “historically omnipresent factor of white supremacism in United States history” that W. E. B. Du Bois “warned us about in Black Reconstruction.” To work free of that blindspot Allen uses the approach in Volume I of “looking into an Irish mirror for insights into the nature of racial oppression and its implication for ruling-class social control in the United States.”

Allen begins his wide-ranging first volume by offering a critical examination of the two main historiographical positions on the slavery and racism debate. He addresses and strongly criticizes the psycho-cultural approach, and he seeks to free the socio-economic approach from certain weaknesses. He then proceeds, using that “mirror of Irish history,” to develop a definition of racial oppression in terms of social control; a definition that is “free of the howling absurdities of ‘phenotype,’ or classification by complexion.” In the process Allen offers compelling analogies between the oppression of the Irish in Ireland (under Anglo-Norman rule and under “Protestant Ascendancy”) and white supremacist oppression of African Americans and Indians. He also shows the relativity of race by examining the sea-change in which Irish haters of racial oppression in Ireland were transformed into “white American” defenders of racial slavery and racial oppression.

In the course of his treatment Allen emphasizes that maximizing profit and maintaining social control are two priority tasks of the ruling class. He also offers a comparison of the different outcomes of “Catholic Emancipation” (outside of Ulster) in Ireland and “Negro Emancipation” in America. The difference centers upon what group is the key component incorporated into the ruling class’s intermediate social control stratum to serve its interests. In Ireland (outside of Ulster) it was the Catholic bourgeoisie, in the United States it was the “white race,” composed primarily of laboring people who were not promoted out of their class. The first outcome, in which members of the oppressed group are incorporated into the social control stratum, he describes as national oppression. The second outcome, in which members of the oppressed group are excluded from the social control stratum and denied normal class mobility, he describes as racial oppression.

In discussing the topics of this volume’s subtitle, Racial Oppression and Social Control, Allen emphasizes that racial oppression is one form of ruling class response to the problem of social control; national oppression is another. . . .

With stunning international and domestic examples Allen shows how racial oppression (particularly in the form of religio-racial oppression) was developed and maintained by the phenotypically-similar British against the Irish Catholics in Ireland; how the phenotypically-similar Anglo bourgeoisie established national oppression in the Anglo-Caribbean and racial oppression in the continental Anglo-American plantation colonies; how racial oppression was transformed into national oppression due to ruling class social control needs in Ireland (while racial oppression was maintained in Ulster); how the same people who were victims of racial oppression in Ireland became “white American” defenders of racial oppression; and how in America racial oppression took the form of racial slavery, yet when racial slavery ended racial oppression remained and was re-constituted in new form.

For a Table of Contents and comments by scholars and activists see HERE

For a slide presentation/talk viewed by over 103,000 people on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race,” at the Brecht Forum in New York see HERE

For a recent presentation on “Theodore W. Allen and ‘The Invention of the White Race’” at a “Multiracial Organizing Conference” in Greensboro, NC see HERE

Super Special Sale -- 50% off
free shipping and bundled e-book
Theodore W. Allen’s
"The Invention of the White Race”

November 27, 2016

Tags: Super Special Sale, 50% off, free shipping bundled e-book, Theodore W. Allen, Jeffrey B. Perry, The Invention of the White Race, Racial Oppression and Social Control, The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo America

Super Special Sale till January 1 of 50% off (plus free shipping and free bundled e-book) for Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” (2 vols.). The new editions from Verso Books have much supplemental front and back matter including internal study guides. Help to spread the word! The sale is good through September 18, 2016.

For info on “The Invention of the White Race” Vol. I: “Racial Oppression and Social Control" see HERE
and HERE


For information on “The Invention of the White Race” Vol. II: "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo America" see HERE
and
HERE


For information on Theodore W. Allen’s “Summary of the Argument of The Invention of the White Race” Part 1 see HERE
and for Part 2 see HERE

For an in-depth treatment of the development of the work of Theodore W. Allen see “The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy” by Jeffrey B. Perry in PDF format at the TOP LEFT at HERE

or at “Cultural Logic” at HERE


People may also be interested in the video of a slide presentation/talk on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” (2 vols., Verso Books) at HERE

“You have to work to get through these two volumes, but once you do, it will change your life and outlook forever. You simply can't understand America and who we are without this book.”

100,000 VIEWS
This Video on Theodore W. Allen’s
“The Invention of White Race”
Has Just Passed the 100,000-Views Mark
Please View and Share It!

October 10, 2016

Tags: Theodore W. Allen, #theodorewallen, Hubert Harrison, Hubert H. Harrison, Racial Oppression and Social Control, The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America, The Father of Harlem Radicalism, Columbia University Press, Wesleyan University Press, A Hubert Harrison Reader, When Africa Awakes, The Inside Story of the Stirrings and Strivings of the New Negro in the Western World, Fusion Films, Brecht Forum, Dudley Public Library, St. Croix Landmark Society, Diasporic Africa Press, #hubertharrison, #huberthharrison, The Invention of the White Race, Jeffrey B. Perry, #jeffreybperry, #inventionofthewhiterace, #whiteprivilege, white privilege, #Blackhistory, Black History, anti-racism, #anti-racism, "whiteness", #whiteness, Verso Books, #versobooks, chattel bond-servitude, racial slavery, #racialslavery, Bacon’s Rebellion, #Bacon’sRebellion





100,000 VIEWS
This Video on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of White Race”
Has Just Passed the 100,000-Views Mark.


100,000 VIEWS -- This Video on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of White Race” Has Just Passed the 100,000-Views Mark. It opens with some insights from the life and work of Hubert Harrison.

Please take time to watch the video, to share it with friends, and to call the work of Theodore W. Allen and Hubert Harrison to the attention of others.

Theodore W. Allen’s “Invention of the White Race” has been referred to as a “classic” by historians Nell Painter, Gerald Horne, Wilson J. Moses, and Gregory Meyerson and by social anthropologist Audrey Smedley.

Labor historian Joe Berry says it “is one of the most important books of U.S history ever written.”

Historian Mark Solomon of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, Harvard University, says, “The profound insights in ‘The Invention of the White Race’ are essential both to understand the origins and destructiveness of white supremacy and to provide the means to conduct struggle against it. Allen’s study is mandatory reading for everyone concerned with justice, equality and the liberation of all from the binds of white supremacy.”

Long time activist Carl Davidson emphasizes that “You simply can’t understand America and who we are without this [“The Invention of the White Race”] book.”

Special thanks to those who contributed to the book launch event that was the basis of this video on Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” – including filmmaker Fred Nguyen; Muriel Tillinghast and Sean Ahern of “The Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen Society”; Kazembe Balagun, Max Uhlenbeck, and Liz Mestres of the Brecht Forum; and Jessica Turner of Verso Books.

A second video on “The Invention of White Race,” recently filmed at a “multi-racial” worker organizing conference in Greensboro, NC, has exceptionally clear slides and is also attracting increased attention – see HERE Special thanks to organizer Ben Wilkins, who coordinated the two-day conference, and to Eric Preston (and Fusion Films) for work on the video.

For information on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” Volume I: “Racial Oppression and Social Control" (including comments from scholars and activists, Table of Contents, and an overview of the volume) see HERE Note – the new, expanded Verso Books edition of this volume includes new introductions and notes, an expanded index, and a lengthy and detailed internal study guide.

For information on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” Volume II: "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo America" (including comments from scholars and activists, Table of Contents, and an overview of the volume) see HERE Note – the new, expanded Verso Books edition of this volume includes new introductions and notes, an expanded index, and a lengthy and detailed internal study guide.

For information on Theodore W. Allen’s “Summary of the Argument of The Invention of the White Race” Part 1 see HERE and for Part 2 see HERE

For additional writings by and about Theodore W. Allen see HERE

For an in-depth treatment of the development of the work of Theodore W. Allen see “The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy” in PDF format at the TOP LEFT at HERE
or at “Cultural Logic” at HERE

For a video interview with Theodore W. Allen on “The Invention of the White Race” conducted by New York City schoolteacher Stella Winston and viewed by over 105,000 people see HERE

For information on “Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918” (Columbia University Press, 2008) see HERE

For information on “A Hubert Harrison Reader” (Wesleyan University Press, 2001) see HERE

For information on Hubert H. Harrison, “When Africa Awakes: The ‘Inside Story’ of the Stirrings and Strivings of the New Negro in the Western World,” New Expanded Edition (Diasporic Africa Press, 2015) see HERE

For a video on Hubert Harrison based on a presentation at the Dudley Public Library in Roxbury, Massachusetts – see -- HERE
Special thanks to Mimi Jones, Friends of the Dudley Library, Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia, Massachusetts Global Action. Mirna Lascano, Umang Kumar, and Charlie Welch for making the event possible and to Boston Neighborhood News TV's "Around Town" -- Channel: Comcast 9 / RCN 15 -- Justin D. Shannahan, Production Manager, Ted Lewis, cameraman, and Laura Kerivan, copy editor, Nia Grace (Marketing and Promotions Manager), and Scott Mercer for helping to make the video available.

For a recent video on Hubert Harrison done at the St. Croix Landmarks Society, Estate Whim, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands – see Be the first to comment

Super Special Sale -- 50% off
free shipping and bundled e-book
Theodore W. Allen’s
"The Invention of the White Race”

September 9, 2016

Tags: Super Special Sale, 50% off, free shipping bundled e-book, Theodore W. Allen, Jeffrey B. Perry, The Invention of the White Race, Racial Oppression and Social Control, The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo America

Super Special Sale of 50% off (plus free shipping and free bundled e-book) for Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” (2 vols.). The new editions from Verso Books have much supplemental front and back matter including internal study guides. Help to spread the word! The sale is good through September 18, 2016.

For info on “The Invention of the White Race” Vol. I: “Racial Oppression and Social Control" see HERE
and HERE


For information on “The Invention of the White Race” Vol. II: "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo America" see HERE
and
HERE


For information on Theodore W. Allen’s “Summary of the Argument of The Invention of the White Race” Part 1 see HERE
and for Part 2 see HERE

For an in-depth treatment of the development of the work of Theodore W. Allen see “The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy” by Jeffrey B. Perry in PDF format at the TOP LEFT at HERE

or at “Cultural Logic” at HERE


People may also be interested in the video of a slide presentation/talk on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” (2 vols., Verso Books) at HERE

“You have to work to get through these two volumes, but once you do, it will change your life and outlook forever. You simply can't understand America and who we are without this book.”

Ten Years Ago, on January 19, 2005, Theodore W. Allen Died

January 19, 2016

Tags: Ten years ago, January 19, 2005, Theodore W. Allen, died, Brooklyn, cancer, class struggle, white skin privilege, white supremacy, racial oppression, Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery, The Invention of the White Race, SUNY Center for the Study of Working Class Life, The Invention of the White Race, Verso Books, Racial Oppression and Social Control, The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America, West Point, Virginia, foure hundred English and Negroes in Arms, Bacon’s Rebellion

Ten years ago, on January 19, 2005, Theodore W. Allen died at age 85 in Brooklyn, NY after a fifteen-year battle with cancer. Allen, one of the twentieth century’s most important writers on class and race, pioneered his class struggle based analysis of “white skin privilege” in 1965 and included among his many writings on class struggle, white supremacy, and racial oppression “Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race” ([1974; SUNY Center for the Study of Working Class Life, 2006) and the two-volume “classic” “The Invention of the White Race” (1994, 1997; Verso Books, 2012), Vol. I “Racial Oppression and Social Control” and Vol. II: ”The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America.” After his death his ashes (as per his request), were spread over that area "three miles up country" from West Point, Virginia where the "foure hundred English and Negroes in Arms" demanded their freedom in Bacon’s Rebellion (1676-77).

Writings, videos, and audios by and about Theodore W. Allen are freely available HERE People are encourage to become familiar with the work of Theodore W. Allen and to share this information with others as we continue to struggle for a better world.

Theodore W. Allen on
"The Invention of the White Race,"
"white privilege," and the working class

December 29, 2015

Tags: Theodore W. Allen, Ted Allen, Jeffrey B. Perry, Marx and Engels, Communist Manifesto, The Invention of the White Race, Racial Oppression and Social Control, The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America, white identity, no white people, Lerone Bennett Jr., poison bait, ruinpus to interests, great white assumption, Bacon's Rebellion, class struggle, white privilege, working class, SocialistWorker.org, Socialist Worker, ISO, International Socialist Organization

Theodore W. Allen on "The Invention of the White Race," "white privilege," and the working class. Published in Socialist Workerd, April 28, 2015. To read the article Click Here or see below --

“Theodore W. Allen
On The Invention of the White Race,
‘White Privilege,’ and the Working Class”
by
Jeffrey B. Perry


Interest in the work of Theodore W. Allen continues to grow and people increasingly inquire about his writings on The Invention of the White Race, “white privilege,” and the working class. In response to recent queries I offer this brief introductory paragraph followed by three passages that offer some of his thinking on these topics.

The independent, anti-white supremacist, working class intellectual Theodore W. Allen (1919-2005) is one of the most important thinkers on race and class of the twentieth century. His seminal two-volume classic “The Invention of the White Race” (Volume 1: Racial Oppression and Social Control and Volume 2: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America) was published in 1994 and 1997 by Verso Books and in 2012 was re-published by Verso in new expanded form (that includes internal study guides in each volume). Allen began his pioneering research on “white privilege” in 1965 and continued to write on the topic for forty years.

The “Introduction” to Volume I of the new (Verso, 2012) edition of “The Invention of the White Race” explains that:

Theodore W. Allen’s The Invention of the White Race, with its focus on social control and the nature of racial oppression, is one of the twentieth-century’s major contributions to historical understanding. This two-volume work, first published in 1994 and 1997, and considered a “classic” by 2003, presents a full-scale challenge to what Allen refers to as “The Great White Assumption” -- the unquestioning acceptance of the “white race” and “white” identity as skin color-based and natural attributes rather than as social and political constructions. Its thesis on the origin and nature of the so-called “white race” contains the root of a new and radical approach to United States history, one that challenges dominant narratives taught in schools, colleges, universities, and the media. With its equalitarian motif and emphasis on the class struggle dimension of history it contributes mightily to our understanding of American, African American, and Labor History and it speaks to people desiring and struggling for change worldwide. Its influence can be expected to continue to grow in the twenty-first century.

Readers of the first volume of Invention were startled by Allen’s bold, back-cover assertion that “When the first Africans arrived in Virginia in 1619, there were no ‘white’ people there; nor, according to the colonial records, would there be for another sixty years.” That statement, based on twenty-plus years of primary research in Virginia’s colonial records, reflected the fact that Allen found no instance of the official use of the word “white” as a token of social status prior to its appearance in a Virginia law passed in 1691. As he later explained, “Others living in the colony at that time were English; they had been English when they left England, and naturally they and their Virginia-born children were English, they were not ‘white.’ White identity had to be carefully taught, and it would be only after the passage of some six crucial decades” that the word “would appear as a synonym for European-American.”

Allen was not merely speaking of word usage, however. His probing research led him to conclude that – based on the commonality of experience, the demonstrated solidarity between African-American and European-American laboring people, and the indeterminate status of African-Americans -- the “white race” was not, and could not have been, functioning in early Virginia.

It is in this context that he offers his major thesis -- that the “white race” was invented as a ruling class social control formation in response to labor solidarity as manifested in the latter (civil war) stages of Bacon's Rebellion (1676-77). To this he adds two important corollaries: 1) the ruling elite deliberately instituted a system of racial privileges to define and maintain the “white race” and to implement a system of racial oppression, and 2) the consequence was not only ruinous to the interests of the African-American workers, but was also disastrous for European-American workers.

In developing these theses Allen challenges the two main ideological props of white supremacy – the notion that “racism” is innate (and it is therefore useless to challenge it) and the argument that European-American workers benefit from “white race” privileges and white supremacy (and that it is therefore in their interest not to oppose them).

His challenge is both historical and theoretical. He counters these arguments through meticulous use of sources, through probing analysis of "Racial Oppression and Social Control” (the sub-title of this volume), and through important comparative study that offers analogies, parallels, and differences between the Anglo-American plantation colonies, Ireland, and the Anglo-Caribbean colonies. Allen chooses these examples, all subjected to domination by Anglo ruling elites, in order to show that racial oppression is a system of social control not based on phenotype, or skin color, and to show how social control factors impact how racial oppression begins and how it can be maintained, transformed, or ended.

The core theses in Allen’s analysis were evidenced in the early 1970s. Allen writes in his Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race (1975; reprinted with new Editor’s Introduction by “Cultural Logic” and by the Center for the Study of Working Class Life, State University of New York, Stony Brook, 2006), n. 63:

Of all the historians of the "social" school whose work I have read, only the black historian Lerone Bennett, Jr., in his article, "The Road Not Taken," Ebony, vol. 25 (1970), no. 10 (August), pp. 70-77, and in Chap. III of his new book The Shaping of Black America (Chicago, 1975), succeeds in placing the argument on the three essential bearing-points from which it cannot be toppled. First, racial slavery and white supremacy in this country was a ruling-class response to a problem of labor solidarity. Second, a system of racial privileges for white workers was deliberately instituted in order to define and establish the "white race" as a social control formation. Third, the consequence was not only ruinous to the interests of the Afro-American workers but was also "disastrous" (Bennett's word) for the white worker. Others (such as the Handlins, Morgan and Breen) state the first two points to some degree, but only Bennett combines all three.

Although I learned of Bennett's essay only in April 1975, the same three essentials have informed my own approach in a book I have for several years been engaged in writing (and of which this present article is a spin-off), on the origin of racial slavery, white supremacy and the system of racial privileges of white labor in this country.


The article The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy (Cultural Logic,” 2010) describes (with documentation) key components of Allen’s analysis of “white race” privilege:

As he developed the "white race" privilege concept, Allen emphasized that these privileges were a "poison bait" and explained that they "do not permit" the masses of European American workers nor their children "to escape" from that class. "It is not that the ordinary white worker gets more than he must have to support himself," but "the black worker gets less than the white worker." By, thus "inducing, reinforcing and perpetuating racist attitudes on the part of the white workers, the present-day power masters get the political support of the rank-and-file of the white workers in critical situations, and without having to share with them their super profits in the slightest measure." As one example, to support his position Allen would provide statistics showing that in the South where race privilege "has always been most emphasized . . . the white workers have fared worse than the white workers in the rest of the country."

Probing more deeply, Allen offered an additional important insight into why these race privileges are conferred by the ruling class. He pointed out that "the ideology of white racism" is "not appropriate to the white workers" because it is "contrary to their class interests." Because of this "the bourgeoisie could not long have maintained this ideological influence over the white proletarians by mere racist ideology." Under these
circumstances white supremacist thought is "given a material basis in the form of the deliberately contrived system of race privileges for white workers."

Allen added, "the white supremacist system that had originally been designed in around 1700 by the plantation bourgeoisie to protect the base, the chattel bond labor relation of production" also served "as a part of the 'legal and political' superstructure of the United States government that, until the Civil War, was dominated by the slaveholders with the complicity of the majority of the European-American workers." Then, after emancipation, "the industrial and financial bourgeoisie found that it could be serviceable to their program of social control, anachronistic as it was, and incorporated it into their own 'legal and political' superstructure."

Allen felt that two essential points must be kept in mind." First, "the race- privilege policy is deliberate bourgeois class policy." Second, "the race-privilege policy is, contrary to surface appearance, contrary to the interests, short range as well as long range interests of not only the Black workers but of the white workers as well." He repeatedly emphasized that "the day-to-day real interests" of the European American worker "is not the white skin privileges, but in the development of an ever-expanding union of class conscious workers."

Allen made clear what he understood as the "interests of the working class" and referred to Marx and Engels in The Communist Manifesto: "1. In the national struggles of the proletarians of the different countries they point out and bring to the front the common interests of the entire proletariat, independently of all nationality. 2. In the various stages of development which the struggle of the working class against the bourgeoisie has to pass through, they always and everywhere represent the interests of the movement as a whole." He elsewhere pointed out, "The Wobblies caught the essence of it in their slogan: 'An injury to one is an injury to all.'"

Throughout his work Allen emphasizes, "that the initiator and the ultimate guarantor of the white skin privileges of the white worker is not the white worker, but the white worker's masters" and the masters do this because it is "an indispensable necessity for their continued class rule." He describes how "an all-pervasive system of racial privileges was conferred on laboring-class European-Americans, rural and urban, exploited and insecure though they themselves were" and how "its threads, woven into the fabric of every aspect of daily life, of family, church, and state, have constituted the main historical guarantee of the rule of the 'Titans,' damping down anti-capitalist pressures, by making 'race, and not class, the distinction in social life.'" That, "more than any other factor," he argues, "has shaped the contours of American history - from the Constitutional Convention of 1787 to the Civil War, to the overthrow of Reconstruction, to the Populist Revolt of the 1890s, to the Great Depression, to the civil rights struggle and 'white backlash' of our own day."

Based on his research Allen wrote, "history has shown that the white-skin privilege does not serve the real interests of the white workers, it also shows that the concomitant racist ideology has blinded them to that fact." He emphasized, "'Solidarity forever!' means 'Privileges never!'"

It is hoped that these brief remarks will lead more people to explore the work of Theodore W. Allen.




A Response to Connor Kilpatrick
"Let Them Eat Privilege"
in "Jacobin Magazine," April 2015
by Jeffrey B. Perry

April 12, 2015

Tags: Developing Conjuncture, Hubert Harrison, Theodore W. Allen, Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy, Cultural Logic, capitalism, The Invention of the White Race, Racial Oppression and Social Control, Verso Books, The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo America, Summary of the Argument, White Supremacy in U.S. Labor History, Jeffrey B. Perry, Labor and Working Class History Association, Chad Pearson, A Response to Connor Kilpatrick, Let Them Eat Privilege, Jacobin Magazine, #ConnorKilpatrick, #whiteprivilege, #Jacobin

My posted response to Connor Kilpatrick, "Let Them Eat Privilege," in "Jacobin Magazine," April 2015, follows:

I encourage those interested in A CLASS STRUGGLE-BASED analysis of “white privilege” to read the work of Theodore W. Allen.

The fullest treatment of the development of Allen’s thought can be found in the article The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy,” available at the top left at www.jeffreybperry.net or at “Cultural Logic” HERE.

Among other things the article argues:
“Overall, the facts of the current conjuncture indicate that millions of poor and working people are suffering under U.S. capitalism, that millions are suffering under the white supremacist shaping of this system, that these conditions are inter-related, and that these conditions are worsening.”

For information on “The Invention of the White Race” Vol. I: “Racial Oppression and Social Control" (including comments from scholars and activists) published by Verso Books CLICK HERE

For information on “The Invention of the White Race” Vol. II: "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo America" (including comments from scholars and activists) CLICK HERE

Allen also offers an excellent “Summary of the Argument of The Invention of the White Race” (in 2 parts) CLICK HERE

This video on “The Invention of the White Race” (2 vols., Verso Books) by Theodore W. Allen provides important historic background CLICK HERE

For another video “On Theodore W. Allen, ‘The Invention of the White Race,’ and White Supremacy in U.S. Labor History” – An Interview with Jeffrey B. Perry at the Labor and Working Class History Association Conference in New York City CLICK HERE

For a two-part audio interview by Chad Pearson with Theodore W. Allen conducted on May 13 and May 20, 2004 CLICK HERE

Video on The Invention of the White Race
by Theodore W. Allen
Passes 40,000-Viewers
Offers Foundation for Radical Critique of U.S. History
Points Way Forward for Struggle

January 29, 2015

Tags: The Invention of the White Race, Theodore W. Allen, 40, 000 viewers, U.S. History, Colonial Virginia, Native Americans, women in colonial America, Verso Books, Columbia University Press, slavery, indentured servitude, Hubert Harrison The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, YouTube, Jeffrey B. Perry, Ted Allen, Jeff Perry, Hubert H. Harrison, The Father of Harlem Radicalism, slavery as capitalism, enslaved Black Laborers as Proletarians, chattel bond servitude, Bacon's Rebellion, no white people, Jamestown, Virginia, Berkeley, Thomas Grantham, class struggle, John Punch, Elizabeth Key, slavery, capitalism, Gooch, white skin privilege, white privilege, Lerone Bennett Jr., Winthrop D. Jordan, Edmund S. Morgan, Ireland, England, Barbados, Jamaica, Haiti, Scotland, anti white supremacy, #whiteprivilege, #whiteness, #whiteskinprivilege, three crises, radicalism, Racial Oppression and Social Control, Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America, Sean Ahern, Fred Nguyen, Fansmiles, Brecht Forum, LAWCHA, Labor and Working Class History Association



This Video on The Invention of the White Race
by Theodore W. Allen
Just Passed the 40,000-Viewers Mark on YouTube.
Allen’s work provides a foundation for a radical critique of U.S. history.

Its focus on the centrality of the struggle against white supremacy in the context of class struggle points the way forward for struggle in the 21st Century.

Those who teach classes are encouraged to include Allen’s seminal work in their courses.

The slide presentation/talk opens with some insights from Hubert Harrison, “The Father of Harlem Radicalism.”

Harrison and Allen are two of the most important writers and thinkers on "race" and class in the twentieth century and people are strongly encouraged to view and share this video and to discuss their work with others.

PLEASE VIEW AND PASS ON TO OTHERS!

(The Video was shot at the Brecht Forum in NYC by Fred Nguyen of Fansmiles)

For information on Vol. II: "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo America" (including comments from scholars and activists) published by Verso Books CLICK HERE

For information on special discount offers from Verso Books for Volume 2: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America CLICK HERE

For information on Vol. I: Racial Oppression and Social Control" (including comments from scholars and activists) published by Verso Books CLICK HERE

For reader's comments, an introduction, the special Verso Books discount offers, and a link to Vol. 1: Racial Oppression and Social Control CLICK HERE

For articles, audios, and videos by and about Theodore W. Allen CLICK HERE

For Sean Ahern’s review of Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” (Verso Books) in "Black Commentator" CLICK HERE

For another video “On Theodore W. Allen, ‘The Invention of the White Race,’ and White Supremacy in U.S. Labor History” – An Interview with Jeffrey B. Perry at the Labor and Working Class History Association Conference in New York City CLICK HERE

For comments from scholars and activists on "Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918" (Columbia University Press) CLICK HERE and CLICK HERE

For the Columbia University Press webpage on Hubert Harrison see CLICK HERE

For a video of a Slide Presentation/Talk on Hubert Harrison CLICK HERE

For articles, audios, and videos by and about Hubert Harrison CLICK HERE

The article “The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy,” by Jeffrey B. Perry, available at the top left HERE or at this site HERE discusses their work in detail.

Review of Theodore W. Allen’s
The Invention of the White Race
New Expanded Edition, Verso Books
by Sean Ahern
in Online University of the Left

January 11, 2015

Tags: Sean Ahern, Review, Theodore W. Allen, The Invention of the White Race, Jeffrey B. Perry, Verso Books, white privilege. white skin privilege, Racial Oppression and Social Control, The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America, Online University of the Left

Review of Theodore W. Allen’s The Invention of the White Race, New Expanded Edition, 2 Volumes, Vol. 1: Racial Oppression and Social Control; Vol. 2: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America; Verso Books, by Sean Ahern, in Online University of the Left CLICK HERE

Review of Theodore W. Allen’s
The Invention of the White Race
New Expanded Edition, Verso Books
by Sean Ahern
in Black Commentator

January 3, 2015

Tags: Sean Ahern, Review, Theodore W. Allen, The Invention of the White Race, Jeffrey B. Perry, Verso Books, Black Commentator, white privilege. white skin privilege, Racial Oppression and Social Control, The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America

Review of Theodore W. Allen’s The Invention of the White Race, New Expanded Edition, 2 Volumes, Vol. 1: Racial Oppression and Social Control; Vol. 2: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America; Verso Books, by Sean Ahern, in Black Commentator CLICK HERE


Theodore W. Allen
Theses on “The Invention of the White Race”
and Lessons from Three Crises
Presentation by Jeffrey B. Perry

December 18, 2014

Tags: Theodore W. Allen, The Invention of the White Race, New Expanded Edition, Verso Books, Jeffrey B. Perry, Racial Oppression and Social Control, The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America, white privilege, white skin privilege, Bacon's Rebellion, class struggle, economic crisis, developing conjuncture, white supremacy




Theodore W. Allen (1919-2005) pioneered his “white skin privilege” analysis in 1965, co-authored White Blindspot in 1967 and authored the accompanying “Can White Workers Radicals Be Radicalized?’” in 1969, wrote the ground-breaking Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race in 1974/1975, wrote the seminal two-volume The Invention of the White Race in 1994 and 1997, and authored a number of other extremely important published and unpublished pieces.

His "The Invention of the White Race," with its focus on racial oppression and social control, is one of the twentieth-century's major contributions to historical understanding. This two-volume classic (Vol. 1: "Racial Oppression and Social Control" and Vol. 2: "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America") details how the "white race" was invented as a ruling-class social control formation and a system of racial oppression was imposed in response to labor solidarity in the wake of Bacon's Rebellion (1676-77), how the "white race" was created and maintained through "white race" privileges conferred on laboring class European-Americans relative to African-Americans, how these privileges were not in the interest of African-Americans or laboring class European-Americans, and how the "white race" has been the principal historic guarantor of ruling-class domination in America.

This brief video presents three of Allen’s theses related to the invention of the “white race” and his important analysis of the white supremacy’s role in beating back struggles from below in three great crises in U.S. history.

The article “The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights from Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy” by Jeffrey B. Perry offers the fullest treatment of the development of his thought. Click Here (at top left) or Click Here

For A Slide Presentation/Talk on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” at the Brecht Forum in New York City Click Here

For information on Theodore W. Allen Click Here and Click Here

For information on Jeffrey B. Perry Click Here

"'The Invention of the White Race' by Theodore W. Allen"
Slide Presentation Talk by Jeffrey B. Perry

August 19, 2014

Tags: Hubert Harrison, Theodore W. Allen, Jeffrey B. Perry, Hubert H. Harrison, The Invention of the White Race, Verso Books, white skin privilege, Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery, Racial Oppression and Social Control, The Origin of Racial Opression in Anglo-America, Cost of Racism, White Privilege, Whiteness

"'The Invention of the White Race' by Theodore W. Allen"
Slide Presentation/Talk by Jeffrey B. Perry





Theodore William Allen (1919-2005), was an anti-white-supremacist, proletarian intellectual and an autodidact who pioneered his "white skin privilege" analysis in 1965, authored Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race, in 1975, and authored the two-volume The Invention of the White Race, (2 vols., Verso Books, 1994, 1997, new edition 2012) and "Summary of the Argument of The Invention of the White Race" (1978).

Jeffrey B. Perry is preserving and inventorying the Theodore W. Allen Papers. He edited and introduced Allen’s Class Struggle and Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race (1975; Center for the Study of Working Class Life, State University of New York, Stony Brook, 2006) and he has authored numerous other pieces on Allen including "The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy"(Cultural Logic, July 2010). Most recently he contributed new introductions, back matter, internal study guides, and expanded indexes for the new (Verso Books, November 2012) expanded edition of Allen's two-volume The Invention of the White Race. (Vol. 1: Racial Oppression and Social Control and Vol. 2: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America.)

See the following links –

For information on Theodore W. Allen's "The Invention of the White Race" Vol 1: Racial Oppression and Social Control (Verso Books) CLICK HERE and for Vol. 2: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America CLICK HERE

For additional writings by and about Theodore W. Allen CLICK HERE

For a video presentation on Theodore W. Allen's "The Invention of the White Race," which draws insights from the life and work of Hubert Harrison CLICK HERE

For key insights from Theodore W. Allen on U.S. Labor History CLICK HERE

Go to the following link to read Jeffrey B. Perry, "The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy"

For Videos of the Slide Presentation/Talks in the series “Hubert Harrison, Theodore W. Allen, and the Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy” by Jeffrey B. Perry see

1. "Hubert Harrison, Theodore W. Allen, and the Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy," by Jeffrey B. Perry, Slide Presentation/Talk at The Commons, Brooklyn NY, July 26, 2014

2. “Hubert Harrison, St. Croix, Early Years in New York, and Black Working Class Intellectual Circles (1883-1910)," by Jeffrey B. Perry, Slide Presentation/Talk at The Commons, Brooklyn NY, August 2, 2014

3. “Hubert Harrison, the Socialist Party, the Founding of the 'New Negro Movement,' and the Liberty Congress (1911-1918)," by Jeffrey B. Perry, Slide Presentation/Talk at The Commons, Brooklyn NY, August 9, 2014

4. “Theodore W. Allen, 'White Skin Privilege,' 'The Invention of the White Race,' and the Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy," [Part 1] by Jeffrey B. Perry, Slide Presentation/Talk at The Commons, Brooklyn NY, August 16, 2014

5. “Theodore W. Allen, 'White Skin Privilege,' 'The Invention of the White Race,' and the Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy," [Part 2] by Jeffrey B. Perry, Slide Presentation/Talk at The Commons, Brooklyn NY, September 6, 2014

"Theodore W. Allen, 'White Skin Privilege,' 'The Invention of the White Race,'
and the Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy
by Jeffrey B. Perry

August 19, 2014

Tags: Hubert Harrison, Theodore W. Allen, Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy, Jeffrey B. Perry, Hubert H. Harrison, The Commons, Verso Books, Columbia University Press, Wesleyan University Press, white skin privilege, Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery, The Invention of the White Race, Racial Oppression and Social Control, The Origin of Racial Opression in Anglo-America, Cost of Racism, White Privilege, Whiteness

"Theodore W. Allen, 'White Skin Privilege,' 'The Invention of the White Race,'
and the Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy"
by Jeffrey B. Perry
Slide Presentation/Talk at The Commons, Brooklyn NY, August 16, 2014





Theodore William Allen (1919-2005), was an anti-white-supremacist, proletarian intellectual and an autodidact who pioneered his "white skin privilege" analysis in 1965, authored Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race, in 1975, and authored the two-volume The Invention of the White Race, (2 vols., Verso Books, 1994, 1997, new edition 2012) and "Summary of the Argument of The Invention of the White Race" (1978).

Jeffrey B. Perry is preserving and inventorying the Theodore W. Allen Papers. He edited and introduced Allen’s Class Struggle and Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race (1975; Center for the Study of Working Class Life, State University of New York, Stony Brook, 2006) and he has authored numerous other pieces on Allen including "The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy"(Cultural Logic, July 2010). Most recently he contributed new introductions, back matter, internal study guides, and expanded indexes for the new (Verso Books, November 2012) expanded edition of Allen's two-volume The Invention of the White Race. (Vol. 1: Racial Oppression and Social Control and Vol. 2: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America.)

See the following links –

For information on Theodore W. Allen's "The Invention of the White Race" Vol 1: Racial Oppression and Social Control (Verso Books) CLICK HERE and for Vol. 2: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America CLICK HERE

For additional writings by and about Theodore W. Allen CLICK HERE

For a video presentation on Theodore W. Allen's "The Invention of the White Race," which draws insights from the life and work of Hubert Harrison CLICK HERE

For key insights from Theodore W. Allen on U.S. Labor History CLICK HERE

Go to the following link to read Jeffrey B. Perry, "The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy"

For Videos of the Slide Presentation/Talks in the series “Hubert Harrison, Theodore W. Allen, and the Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy” by Jeffrey B. Perry see

1. "Hubert Harrison, Theodore W. Allen, and the Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy," by Jeffrey B. Perry, Slide Presentation/Talk at The Commons, Brooklyn NY, July 26, 2014

2. “Hubert Harrison, St. Croix, Early Years in New York, and Black Working Class Intellectual Circles (1883-1910)," by Jeffrey B. Perry, Slide Presentation/Talk at The Commons, Brooklyn NY, August 2, 2014

3. “Hubert Harrison, the Socialist Party, the Founding of the 'New Negro Movement,' and the Liberty Congress (1911-1918)," by Jeffrey B. Perry, Slide Presentation/Talk at The Commons, Brooklyn NY, August 9, 2014

4. “Theodore W. Allen, 'White Skin Privilege,' 'The Invention of the White Race,' and the Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy," [Part 1] by Jeffrey B. Perry, Slide Presentation/Talk at The Commons, Brooklyn NY, August 16, 2014

5. “Theodore W. Allen, 'White Skin Privilege,' 'The Invention of the White Race,' and the Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy," [Part 2] by Jeffrey B. Perry, Slide Presentation/Talk at The Commons, Brooklyn NY, September 6, 2014

"Theodore W. Allen’s Work
on ‘White Skin Privilege’ and ‘The Invention of the White Race”
Slide Presentation/Talk by Jeffrey B. Perry
Saturday, August 16, 10 AM
The Commons

August 13, 2014

Tags: Hubert Harrison, Theodore W. Allen, Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy, Jeffrey B. Perry, Hubert H. Harrison, The Commons, Verso Books, Columbia University Press, Wesleyan University Press, white skin privilege, Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery, The Invention of the White Race, Racial Oppression and Social Control, The Origin of Racial Opression in Anglo-America, Cost of Racism, White Privilege

"Theodore W. Allen’s Work
on ‘White Skin Privilege’ and ‘The Invention of the White Race”
August 16, 2014
The Commons, Brooklyn




"Theodore W. Allen’s Work on ‘White Skin Privilege’ and ‘The Invention of the White Race”
Slide Presentation/Talk by Jeffrey B. Perry

Saturday, August 16, 2014
10:00 am --12 Noon
The Commons
388 Atlantic Avenue (between Hoyt and Bond)
Brooklyn, New York, NY, 11217

Mark the Date! Share the Information!

This course will focus on the relevance today of important insights from Theodore W. Allen (1919-2005) one of the twentieth century's most important writers on race and class.

The Brooklyn-based Theodore W. Allen originated his "white skin privilege" analysis in 1965, authored Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race, in 1975, and authored the two-volume The Invention of the White Race (1994, 1997; Verso Books: New Expanded Edition, 2012).

Jeffrey B. Perry is preserving and inventorying the Theodore W. Allen Papers. He edited and introduced Allen’s Class Struggle and Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race (1975; Center for the Study of Working Class Life, State University of New York, Stony Brook, 2006) and he has authored numerous other pieces on Allen including "The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy"(Cultural Logic, July 2010). Most recently he contributed new introductions, back matter, internal study guides, and expanded indexes for the new (Verso Books, November 2012) expanded edition of Allen's two-volume The Invention of the White Race. (Vol. 1: Racial Oppression and Social Control and Vol. 2: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America.)

See the following links –

For information on Theodore W. Allen's "The Invention of the White Race" (Verso Books) CLICK HERE

For additional writings by and about Theodore W. Allen CLICK HERE

For a video presentation on Theodore W. Allen's "The Invention of the White Race," which draws insights from the life and work of Hubert Harrison CLICK HERE

For key insights from Theodore W. Allen on U.S. Labor History CLICK HERE

Go to the following link to read Jeffrey B. Perry, "The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy"


“Hubert Harrison, Theodore W. Allen,
and the Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy"
by Jeffrey B. Perry (Introduction)

August 6, 2014

Tags: Hubert Harrison, Hubert H. Harrison, Theodore W. Allen, The Developing Conjuncture, J. A. Rogers, W. E. B. Du Bois, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Big Bill Haywood, Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy, Jeffrey B. Perry, race, class, St. Croix, Virgin Islands, Harlem-based, Black activist, theoretician, Socialist Party, writer, orator, editor; New Negro Movement, A. Philip Randolph, Marcus Garvey, radical internationalist, Father of Harlem Radicalism, white skin privilege, white privilege, Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery, The Invention of the White Race, Racial Oppression and Social Control, The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America, Verso Books, A Hubert Harrison Reader, Wesleyan University Press, The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, Columbia University Press, 2008, “Cultural Logic, When Africa Awakes, Diasporic Africa Press, Fight Against White Supremacy

“Hubert Harrison, Theodore W. Allen,
and the Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy"
by Jeffrey B. Perry (Introduction)



“Hubert Harrison, Theodore W. Allen, and the Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy” Introduction to 5-Session Class by Jeffrey B. Perry
July 26, 2014
at The Commons in Brooklyn, NY


This course focuses on the relevance today of important insights from Hubert H. Harrison (1883-1927) and Theodore W. Allen (1919-2005), two of the twentieth century's most important writers on race and class. The St. Croix, Virgin Island-born, Harlem-based Harrison was the leading Black activist and theoretician in the Socialist Party; a brilliant writer, orator, and editor; the founder of the "New Negro Movement," the major radical influence on A. Philip Randolph and Marcus Garvey, and a self-described "radical internationalist." He is known as "The Father of Harlem Radicalism."

Theodore William Allen (1919-2005), was an anti-white-supremacist, proletarian intellectual and an autodidact who pioneered his "white skin privilege" analysis in 1965, authored Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race, in 1975, and authored the two-volume The Invention of the White Race, (2 vols., Verso Books, 1994, 1997, new edition 2012) and "Summary of the Argument of The Invention of the White Race" (1978).

Jeffrey B. Perry edited “A Hubert Harrison Reader” (Wesleyan University Press, 2001) and authored “Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918” (Columbia University Press, 2008). Perry also contributed new front and back matter to the new edition of Allen's “The Invention of the White Race” and he authored "The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy" (“Cultural Logic,” 2010). He is currently working on a new edition of "When Africa Awakes" by Hubert Harrison for Diasporic Africa Press and Vol. 2 of the Hubert Harrison biography.

Dr. Perry is also preserving and inventorying the Theodore W. Allen Papers. He edited and introduced Allen’s Class Struggle and Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race (1975; Center for the Study of Working Class Life, State University of New York, Stony Brook, 2006) and he has authored numerous other pieces on Allen including "The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy"(Cultural Logic, July 2010). Most recently he contributed new introductions, back matter, internal study guides, and expanded indexes for the new (Verso Books, November 2012) expanded edition of Allen's two-volume The Invention of the White Race. (Vol. 1: Racial Oppression and Social Control and Vol. 2: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America.)

For the article “The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy,” by Jeffrey B. Perry, CLICK HERE

For information on Hubert Harrison --
CLICK HERE for reviews of "Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918"
and CLICK HERE for information on "A Hubert Harrison Reader"
and CLICK HERE for writings, audio, and video abour Hubert Harrison

For a video of a Slide Presentation/Talk on Hubert Harrison CLICK HERE

For a Slide Presentation/Talk on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” CLICK HERE

Also see the following links –

For information on Theodore W. Allen's "The Invention of the White Race" Vol 1: Racial Oppression and Social Control (Verso Books) CLICK HERE and for Vol. 2: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America CLICK HERE

For additional writings by and about Theodore W. Allen CLICK HERE

For a video presentation on Theodore W. Allen's "The Invention of the White Race," which draws insights from the life and work of Hubert Harrison CLICK HERE

For key insights from Theodore W. Allen on U.S. Labor History CLICK HERE

Go to the following link to read Jeffrey B. Perry, "The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy"

For information on Jeffrey B. Perry CLICK HERE

For Videos of the Slide Presentation/Talks in the series “Hubert Harrison, Theodore W. Allen, and the Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy” by Jeffrey B. Perry see


1. "Hubert Harrison, Theodore W. Allen, and the Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy," by Jeffrey B. Perry, Slide Presentation/Talk at The Commons, Brooklyn NY, July 26, 2014

2. “Hubert Harrison, St. Croix, Early Years in New York, and Black Working Class Intellectual Circles (1883-1910)," by Jeffrey B. Perry, Slide Presentation/Talk at The Commons, Brooklyn NY, August 2, 2014

3. “Hubert Harrison, the Socialist Party, the Founding of the 'New Negro Movement,' and the Liberty Congress (1911-1918)," by Jeffrey B. Perry, Slide Presentation/Talk at The Commons, Brooklyn NY, August 9, 2014

4. “Theodore W. Allen, 'White Skin Privilege,' 'The Invention of the White Race,' and the Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy,"[Part 1] by Jeffrey B. Perry, Slide Presentation/Talk at The Commons, Brooklyn NY, August 16, 2014

5. “Theodore W. Allen, 'White Skin Privilege,' 'The Invention of the White Race,' and the Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy," [Part 2] by Jeffrey B. Perry, Slide Presentation/Talk at The Commons, Brooklyn NY, September 6, 2014

5-Session Course - “Hubert Harrison, Theodore W. Allen,
and the Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy"

July 17, 2014

Tags: Hubert Harrison, Theodore W. Allen, Joel A. Rogers, Socialist Party, New Negro Movement, Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy, Jeffrey B. Perry, Hubert H. Harrison, The Commons. Verso Books, Columbia University Press, Wesleyan University Press, Harlem Radicalism, white skin privilege, Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery, The Invention of the White Race, Racial Oppression and Social Control, The Origin of Racial Opression in Anglo-America, Marcus Garvey, New Negro Movement, St. Croix, Vigtins Islands, A. Philip Randolph



“Hubert Harrison, Theodore W. Allen, and the Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy"

5-SESSION CLASS BEGINS Saturday, July 26, 2014, 10:00 am --12 Noon
Classes continue on August 2, 9, 16, 30 at 10 am
The Commons
388 Atlantic Avenue (between Hoyt and Bond)
Brooklyn, New York, NY, 11217

Mark the Dates! Share the Information!


This course will focus on the relevance today of important insights from Hubert H. Harrison (1883-1927) and Theodore W. Allen (1919-2005), two of the twentieth century's most important writers on race and class.

The St. Croix, Virgin Island-born, Harlem-based Harrison was the leading Black activist and theoretician in the Socialist Party; a brilliant writer, orator, and editor; the founder of the "New Negro Movement," the major radical influence on A. Philip Randolph and Marcus Garvey, and a self-described "radical internationalist." He is known as "The Father of Harlem Radicalism."

The Brooklyn-based Allen originated his "white skin privilege" analysis in 1965, authored Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race, in 1975, and authored the two-volume The Invention of the White Race (1994, 1997; Verso Books: New Expanded Edition, 2012).

Jeffrey B. Perry edited A Hubert Harrison Reader (Wesleyan University Press, 2001) and authored Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918 (Columbia University Press, 2008). Perry also contributed new front and back matter to the new edition of Allen's The Invention of the White Race and he authored "The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy" (Cultural Logic, 2010)

Saturday morning at 10:00 AM to 12 noon
5-Session Course at The Commons in Brooklyn
Session 1 -- July 26, 2014, 10 am
Class continues on August 2, 9, 16, and September 6 at 10 am
The Commons
388 Atlantic Avenue (between Hoyt and Bond)
Brooklyn, New York, NY, 11217


On this topic people may be interested in the following links --

Jeffrey B. Perry, "The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy"

A video of a Slide Presentation/Talk on Hubert Harrison

A video of a Slide Presentation/Talk on Theodore W. Allen’s The Invention of the White Race


For information on Hubert Harrison --
CLICK HERE for reviews of "Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918"
and CLICK HERE for information on "A Hubert Harrison Reader"
and CLICK HERE for writings, audio, and video abour Hubert Harrison

For information on Theodore W. Allen's "The Invention of the White Race" (Verso Books) CLICK HERE

For additional writings by and about Theodore W. Allen CLICK HERE

For key insights from Theodore W. Allen on U.S. Labor History CLICK HERE


“Hubert Harrison, Theodore W. Allen,
and the Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy"

June 29, 2014

Tags: Hubert Harrison, Theodore W. Allen, Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy, Jeffrey B. Perry, Hubert H. Harrison, The Commons. Verso Books, Columbia University Press, Wesleyan University Press, Harlem Radicalism, white skin privilege, Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery, The Invention of the White Race, Racial Oppression and Social Control, The Origin of Racial Opression in Anglo-America, Marcus Garvey, New Negro Movement, St. Croix, Vigtins Islands, A. Philip Randolph

“Hubert Harrison, Theodore W. Allen, and the Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy"
5-SESSION CLASS BEGINS Saturday, July 26, 2014, 10:00 am --12 Noon
Classes continue on August 2, 9, 16, 30 at 10 am
The Commons
388 Atlantic Avenue (between Hoyt and Bond)
Brooklyn, New York, NY, 11217

Mark the Dates! Share the Information!

This course will focus on the relevance today of important insights from Hubert H. Harrison (1883-1927) and Theodore W. Allen (1919-2005), two of the twentieth century's most important writers on race and class.

The St. Croix, Virgin Island-born, Harlem-based Harrison was the leading Black activist and theoretician in the Socialist Party; a brilliant writer, orator, and editor; the founder of the "New Negro Movement," the major radical influence on A. Philip Randolph and Marcus Garvey, and a self-described "radical internationalist." He is known as "The Father of Harlem Radicalism."

The Brooklyn-based Allen originated his "white skin privilege" analysis in 1965, authored Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race, in 1975, and authored the two-volume The Invention of the White Race (1994, 1997; Verso Books: New Expanded Edition, 2012).

Jeffrey B. Perry edited A Hubert Harrison Reader (Wesleyan University Press, 2001) and authored Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918 (Columbia University Press, 2008). Perry also contributed new front and back matter to the new edition of Allen's The Invention of the White Race and he authored "The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy" (Cultural Logic, 2010)

Saturday morning at 10:00 AM to 12 noon
5-Session Course at The Commons in Brooklyn
Session 1 -- July 26, 2014, 10 am
Class continues on August 2, 9, 16, 30 at 10 am
The Commons
388 Atlantic Avenue (between Hoyt and Bond)
Brooklyn, New York, NY, 11217

On this topic people may be interested in the following links --

Jeffrey B. Perry, "The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy"

A video of a Slide Presentation/Talk on Hubert Harrison

A video of a Slide Presentation/Talk on Theodore W. Allen’s The Invention of the White Race

Presentation on “The Invention of the White Race”
at the Brooklyn Public Library (10 Grand Army Plaza)
Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 4 PM
Please Help to Spread the Word!

December 1, 2013

Tags: Theodore W. Allen, The Invention of the White Race, Verso Books, The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America, Racial Oppression and Social Control, Jeffrey B. Perry, Brooklyn Public Library

I will discuss Theodore W. Allen's “The Invention of the White Race” (Verso Books) especially Volume 2, “The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America,” in a slide presentation/talk on Saturday, December 7, 2013, at 4 PM, at the Brooklyn Public Library, Dweck Center, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11238.

Theodore W. Allen was an independent working class scholar, long-time resident of Brooklyn (he lived at Brooklyn Ave. and Dean St.), and an employee of the Brooklyn Public Library.

“The Invention of the White Race” has been described as a “classic” and widely praised by scholars and activists for its seminal contributions to our understanding of race and class and for its extraordinary primary research (much of that primary research was done over a thirty-year period in Virginia archives and at the Brooklyn Public Library).

For the new 2012 edition of “The Invention of the White Race” I prepared new introductions, internal study guides, a biographical sketch, suggested readings, and expanded indexes

The event is free and people are encouraged to attend, to bring friends, and to share this announcement with those who might be interested. People who have heard of Allen’s important work and have not yet had a chance to read it are especially encouraged to attend.

The presentation will be followed by a question and answer period.

For information on the new expanded edition of Volume 1: “Racial Oppression and Social Control” CLICK HERE

For information on the new expanded edition of Volume 2: “The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America” CLICK HERE

For information on the Brooklyn Public Library Events Calendar CLICK HERE

For other writings by and about Theodore W. Allen CLICK HERE

To join the event on Facebook and to invite others via Facebook CLICK HERE

Brief Comments on the Importance of the Work of
Theodore W. Allen
author of
The Invention of the White Race
by Jeffrey B. Perry

September 25, 2013

Tags: Theodore W. Allen, The Invention of the White Race, Verso Books, The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America, Racial Oppression and Social Control, Carl Degler, Winthrop D. Jordan, Oscar and Mary Handlin, Eric Williams, Timothy Breen, Slavery, Racism, and Democracy, Edmund S. Morgan, American Slavery, American Freedom, The Wages of Whiteness, Cultural Logic, Jeffrey B. Perry, The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights from Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen On the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy, Frederick Engels, Frederick A. Sorge, Frederick Jackson Turner, Richard T. Ely, Morris Hillquit, John R. Commons, Selig Perlman, Mary Ritter Beard, Charles A. Beard, William Z. Foster, W. E. B. Du Bois, Ulrich Bonnell Phillips, Lewis C. Gray, Roger W. Shugg, Hubert Harrison, David Roediger, Winthrop D. Jordan, Edmund S. Morgan, Eric Williams, C. L. R. James, Norman Ware, Herman Schlueter, Philip S. Foner, Harry Heywood, James S. Allen, Sol Auerbach, Toward a Revolution in Labor History

I strongly encourage people who want to know what Theodore W. Allen’s The Invention of the White Race” is about to read it in the original.

His two-volume “classic” is approximately 800 pages including some 30% notes and appendices. It includes voluminous primary research conducted over thirty years and offers profound and compelling theses. He knows the contending arguments, he tries to treat those positions seriously and in their best light, and he refers readers back to detailed and specific sources so they can investigate for themselves. It is high quality and very principled scholarship.

Allen has also provided a very helpful Summary of the Argument of The Invention of the White Race

The new expanded 2012 Verso Books edition of The Invention of the White Race includes introductions to each volume, background on Allen and his work, internal study guides, and significantly expanded indexes (especially the index to vol. 2 on The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America).

Allen’s “Introduction” to Volume 1: Racial Oppression and Social Control discusses his work in relation to that of Carl Degler, Winthrop D. Jordan, Oscar and Mary Handlin, Eric Williams, Edmund S. Morgan, Timothy Breen, and others.

The following two reviews by Allen are particularly important --

1) Theodore William Allen, “Slavery, Racism, and Democracy," Review of Edmund S. Morgan, American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia (New York: W. W. Norton and Company, Inc., 1974). Monthly Review 29, no. 10 (March 1978): 57-63.
2) Theodore W. Allen, "On Roediger's Wages of Whiteness," Cultural Logic, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Spring 2001)

Strongly recommended for understanding the development of Allen’s thought is “The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights from Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen On the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy,” in "Cultural Logic" (2010) available in pdf format at the top left HERE and also available at Cultural Logic (2010), especially pages 1-6, 8-12, 26, 30-113.

"The Developing Conjuncture . . ." offers some of Allen’s thoughts on work by labor and left historians and writers on history including Frederick Engels, Frederick A. Sorge, Frederick Jackson Turner, Richard T. Ely, Morris Hillquit, John R. Commons, Selig Perlman, Mary Ritter Beard, Charles A. Beard, William Z. Foster, W. E. B. Du Bois, Ulrich Bonnell Phillips, Lewis C. Gray, Roger W. Shugg, Hubert Harrison, David Roediger, Winthrop D. Jordan, Edmund S. Morgan, Eric Williams, C. L. R. James, Norman Ware, Herman Schlueter, Philip S. Foner, Harry Heywood, and “James S. Allen” [Sol Auerbach]. Of particular interest are Allen’s thoughts from his unpublished “Toward a Revolution in Labor History.”

A number of additional writings by and about Allen can be found HERE!

Posting to Louis Proyect's "The Unrepentant Marxist" Website
on the Work of Theodore W. Allen
,

July 28, 2013

Tags: Louis Proyect, The Unrepentant Marxist, David Roediger, How Race Survived U.S. History: From Settlement and Slavery to the Obama Phenomenon, Verso Books, Bacon’s Rebellion, White Supremacy, Theodore W. Allen, The Invention of the White Race, Racial Oppression and Social Control, The Origin of Racial Oppressionin Anglo-America, class struggle, social control, radical history, Winthrop D. Jordan, Edmund S. Morgan

Regarding your comments on David Roediger’s How Race Survived U.S. History: From Settlement and Slavery to the Obama Phenomenon (Verso Books, 2008) and on Roediger’s treatment of Bacon’s Rebellion in his chapter 1 (“Suddenly White Supremacy”) – I offer the following:

For those interested in the subject matter of Roediger’s Chapter 1, I much prefer and strongly recommend the documentation and analysis in Theodore W. Allen’s two-volume The Invention of the White Race, (Verso Books, 1994, 1997, new expanded edition 2012) -- Vol. 1: Racial Oppression and Social Control and especially vol. 2: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America. [Allen uses “Origin” because it is “consistent with the argument of the book, which shows class struggle to have been the origin of racial oppression, rather than ascribing racial oppression to ‘natural’ and/or pre-American ‘prejudices.’"]

Allen’s work is extensively and meticulously footnoted unlike Roediger’s work, which doesn’t have a single footnote.

Allen’s The Invention of the White Raace, with its focus on racial oppression and social control, is one of the twentieth-century’s major contributions to historical understanding. It presents a full-scale challenge to what he refers to as “The Great White Assumption” – “the unquestioning, indeed unthinking acceptance of the ‘white’ identity of European-Americans of all classes as a natural attribute rather than a social construct.” With its rigorous documentation, equalitarian motif, emphasis on the class struggle dimension of history, groundbreaking analysis, and theory on the origin and nature of the “white race” Allen’s work contains the root of a new and radical approach to United States history.

Readers of the first edition of The Invention of the White Race were startled by Allen’s bold assertion on the back cover: “When the first Africans arrived in Virginia in 1619, there were no ‘white’ people there; nor, according to the colonial records, would there be for another sixty years.” That statement, based on twenty-plus years of research of Virginia’s colonial records, reflected the fact that Allen found “no instance of the official use of the word ‘white’ as a token of social status” prior to its appearance in a Virginia law passed in 1691. As he later explained, “White identity had to be carefully taught, and it would be only after the passage of some six crucial decades” that the word “would appear as a synonym for European-American.”

Allen was not merely speaking of word usage, however. His probing research led him to conclude – based on the commonality of experience and demonstrated solidarity between African-American and European-American laboring people, the lack of a substantial intermediate buffer social control stratum, and the indeterminate status of African-Americans – that the “white race” was not, and could not have been, functioning in early Virginia.

It is in the context of such findings that he offers his major thesis -- the “white race” was invented as a ruling class social control formation in response to labor solidarity as manifested in the later, civil war stages of Bacon's Rebellion (1676-77). To this he adds two important corollaries: 1) the ruling elite, in its own class interest, deliberately instituted a system of racial privileges in order to define and maintain the “white race” and established a system of racial oppression; 2) the consequences were not only ruinous to the interests of African-Americans, they were also “disastrous” for European-American workers.

In Volume II, on The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America, Allen tells the story of the invention of the “white race” in the late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Anglo-American plantation colonies. His primary focus is on the pattern-setting Virginia colony, and he pays special attention to the reduction of tenants and wage-laborers in the majority English labor force to chattel bond-servants in the 1620s. In so doing, he emphasizes that this was a qualitative break from the condition of laborers in England and from long established English labor law, that it was not a feudal carryover, that it was imposed under capitalism, and that it was an essential precondition of the emergence of the lifetime hereditary chattel bond-servitude imposed upon African-American laborers under the system of racial slavery. Allen describes how, throughout much of the seventeenth century, the status of African-Americans was indeterminate (because it was still being fought out) and he details the similarity of conditions for African-American and European-American laborers and bond-servants. He also documents many significant instances of labor solidarity and unrest, especially during the 1660s and 1670s. Most important is his analysis of the civil war stage of Bacon’s Rebellion when "foure hundred English and Negroes in Arms" fought together demanding freedom from bondage.

It was in the period after Bacon's Rebellion that the “white race” was invented as a ruling-class social control formation. Allen describes systematic ruling-class policies, which conferred “white race” privileges on European-Americans while imposing harsher disabilities on African-Americans resulting in a system of racial slavery, a form of racial oppression that also imposed severe racial proscriptions on free African-Americans. He emphasizes that when African-Americans were deprived of their long-held right to vote in Virginia and Governor William Gooch explained in 1735 that the Virginia Assembly had decided upon this curtailment of the franchise in order "to fix a perpetual Brand upon Free Negros & Mulattos," it was not an "unthinking decision." Rather, it was a deliberate act by the plantation bourgeoisie and was a conscious decision in the process of establishing a system of racial oppression, even though it entailed repealing an electoral principle that had existed in Virginia for more than a century.

In developing his analysis Allen's repeatedly challenges what he considered to be the two main arguments that undermine and disarm the struggle against white supremacy in the working class: (1) the argument that white supremacism is innate, and (2) the argument that European-American workers “benefit” from “white race” privileges and that it is in their interest not to oppose them and not to oppose white supremacy.

These two arguments, opposed by Allen, are related to two master historical narratives rooted in writings on the colonial period. The first argument is associated with the “unthinking decision” explanation for the development of racial slavery offered by historian Winthrop D. Jordan in his influential, White Over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro, 1550-1812. The second argument is associated with historian Edmund S. Morgan’s similarly influential, American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia, which maintains that, as racial slavery developed, “there were too few free poor [European-Americans] on hand to matter.” Allen’s work directly challenges both the “unthinking decision” contention of Jordan and the “too few free poor” contention of Morgan.

Allen also offers important comparative study that includes analogies, parallels, and differences between the Anglo-American plantation colonies, Ireland, and the Anglo-Caribbean colonies. He chooses these examples, all subjected to domination by Anglo ruling elites, in order to show that racial oppression is a system of social control not based on phenotype (skin color, etc.) and to show that social control factors impact how racial oppression begins, is maintained, and can be transformed.


For those who are interested, I also recommend Allen’s critical review “On Roediger’s Wages of Whiteness (Revised Edition),” Cultural Logic, IV, No. 2 (Spring 2001).

Finally, my article “The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy” (Cultural Logic, July 2010), esp. pp. 2, 10-11, 63, 74-88, 102, 109 discusses additional Allen comments on Roediger’s work.

Jeffrey B. Perry


Theodore W. Allen's "The Invention of the White Race" -- Tonight “Racial Oppression and Social Control”

March 1, 2013

Tags: Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen Society, The Invention of the White Race, Verso Books, Brecht Forum, Racial Oppression and Social Control, Jeffrey B. Perry

The Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen Society is hosting a presentation by Jeffrey B. Perry on Theodore W. Allen's "The Invention of the White Race" (new expanded edition Verso Books, 2012) tonight Friday, March 1, 2013, 7:30 PM at the Brecht Forum, 451 West St., NYC. Tonight’s discussion will focus on Volume 1: “Racial Oppression and Social Control.” Come and bring a friend! Open to the public! For more information -- CLICK HERE

"Slavery in All But Name"

February 24, 2013

Tags: Slavery in All But Name, Theodore W. Allen, The Invention of the White Race, Racial Oppression and Social Control

“Slavery in All But Name”
from Theodore W. Allen
The Invention of the White Race
Vol. I: Racial Oppression and Social Control
(1994; Verso Books, Nov. 2012), p. 144


The Material Basis for the Abandonment of Reconstruction

Just as the British ruling class had come to accept the necessity of involving the Catholic bourgeoisie in Ireland in the maintenance of social control; so the Northern bourgeoisie, though only for a limited period of time as it turned out, “made him [the Negro] a part of the state,” as the investigative journalist Charles Nordhoff wrote. “If the North had not given the negroes suffrage,” a Southern Democrat confided to him, “it would have had to hold our states under an exclusively military government for ten years.” John Pool, a Republican Senator from North Carolina, said he “accepted the necessity of Negro suffrage only reluctantly, as the only means by which the country could be “nationalized.” The country was in fact in a material sense “nationalized” by other agencies. In 1867, Abilene, Kansas became the railroad loading point for cattle driven up the Chisholm Trail from Texas, intended for northern and eastern markets. Two years later, the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific railroads met at Promontory Point in Utah completing the transcontinental steel spine of United States industrial capitalism. Thus were doomed the hopes of the slave bourgeoisie beyond all appeals to ink or blood. The Northern bourgeoisie, its hegemony in national affairs thus undergirded, signified its acceptance of post-Emancipation racial oppression by abandoning Reconstruction. The subsequent white supremacist system in the South was established, not by civil means, but by nightrider terror and one-sided “riots” in order to deprive African-Americans of their Constitutional rights, reducing them again, by debt peonage and prisoner-leasing, to a status that was slavery in all but name.

Slide Presentation/Book Talk on "The Invention of the White Race, Social Control, and The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America” -- Talk by Jeffrey B. Perry based on the work of Theodore W. Allen

November 26, 2012

Tags: The Invention of the White Race, Racial Oppression and Social Control, The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America, Theodore W. Allen, Jeffrey B. Perry

Slide Presentation/Book Talk on
"The Invention of the White Race, Social Control, and The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America”
A presentation by Jeffrey B. Perry
based on the new, expanded edition of
Theodore W. Allen’s The Invention of the White Race
For information on hosting a slide presentation/book talk contact jeffreybperry@gmail.com

Theodore W. Allen’s The Invention of the White Race, with its focus on racial oppression and social control, is one of the twentieth-century’s major contributions to historical understanding. Its two volumes (Racial Oppression and Social Control and The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America) emphasize the centrality of struggle against white supremacy to efforts at social change and present a full-scale challenge to what Allen refers to as “The Great White Assumption” – “the unquestioning, indeed unthinking acceptance of the ‘white’ identity of European-Americans of all classes as a natural attribute rather than a social construct.”

Readers of the first edition of The Invention of the White Race (in 1994) were startled by Allen’s bold assertion on the back cover: “When the first Africans arrived in Virginia in 1619, there were no ‘white’ people there; nor, according to the colonial records, would there be for another sixty years.” That statement, based on twenty-plus years of research of Virginia’s colonial records, reflected the fact that Allen found “no instance of the official use of the word ‘white’ as a token of social status” prior to its appearance in a Virginia law passed in 1691. As he later explained, “Others living in the colony at that time were English; they had been English when they left England, and naturally they and their Virginia-born children were English, they were not ‘white.’ White identity had to be carefully taught, and it would be only after the passage of some six crucial decades” that the word “would appear as a synonym for European-American.”

Allen was not merely speaking of word usage, however. His probing research led him to conclude – based on the commonality of experience and demonstrated solidarity between African-American and European-American laboring people, the lack of a substantial intermediate buffer social control stratum, and the indeterminate status of African-Americans – that the “white race” was not, and could not have been, functioning in early Virginia.

It is in the context of such findings that he offers his major thesis – that the “white race” was invented as a ruling class social control formation in response to labor solidarity as manifested in the later, civil war stages of Bacon's Rebellion (1676-77). To this he adds two important corollaries: 1) the ruling elite deliberately instituted a system of racial privileges to define and maintain the “white race” and implement a system of “racial oppression” and 2) the consequences were not only ruinous to African-Americans, they were also “disastrous” for European-American workers.

In the course of discussing these topics Allen, in Volume I, reviews the history of the debate over "Which came first – racism or slavery?" He uses the mirror of Irish history for a definition of racial oppression and for an explanation of the phenomenon in terms of social control, rather than phenotype, or classification by complexion. Compelling analogies are presented between the oppression of the Irish, in Ireland, and white supremacist oppression of Indians and African-Americans. Examples are offered to show that racial oppression is a deliberate ruling-class social control policy that differs from national oppression in terms of the recruitment of the intermediate social control buffer. Examination of similarities and differences in the social control systems developed in the Anglo-American plantation colonies, the Anglo-Caribbean, and Ireland show how racial oppression may, or may not be, replaced by national oppression under the same ruling class. In addition, Allen shows the “relativity of race” in the “sea-change” by which Irish haters of racial oppression in Ireland were transformed into opponents of Abolitionism and supporters of racial oppression in America.

With the conceptual groundwork laid, free of the “White Blindspot,” Allen focuses, in Volume Two, on the plantation colonies of Anglo-America during the period from the founding of Jamestown to the cancellation of the original ban on slavery in the colony of Georgia in 1750. He pays particular attention to the pivotal events of Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676 and the 1705 revisal of Virginia laws, particularly the “Act concerning Servants and Slaves.” He also discusses the English background, the origin and peculiarities of Virginia’s original plantation labor supply, and the implications for the evolution of the bond-labor system in Anglo-America; why the Spanish example could not be followed in regard to the labor force; the consequence of the economic addiction to tobacco; the chattellization of labor; the oppression and resistance of the bond-laborers, African-Americans and European-Americans, together; the growing interest on the part of the Anglo-American continental plantation bourgeoisie in reducing African-Americans to lifetime, hereditary bond-servitude; the John Punch and Elizabeth Key cases; the divided mind of the English law on the enslavability of Christians; the sharpening class struggle - in the absence of a system of racial oppression - between the plantation elite on the one hand, and the debt-burdened small planters and the majority of the economically productive population, the bond-laborers, three-fourths English, one-fourth African-American; the dispute over “Indian policy” between “frontier” planters and the ruling elite; the eruption of the social contradictions in Bacon’s Rebellion, in which the main rebel force came to be made up of English and African-American bond-laborers, together demanding an end to bond-servitude; the defeat of the rebels, followed by a period of continued instability of social control; apprehension of a recurrence of rebellion; the social control-problem in attempting to exploit newly-gained African sources of labor by reducing African-Americans to life-time, hereditary bondage, especially considering the refuge available for escaping bond-laborers in the mountains at the back of the colonies, and in a continent beyond; the invention of the white race - as the solution to the problem of social control, its failure in the British West Indies, its establishment in the continental plantation colonies, signaled by the enactment of “Act concerning Servants and Slaves,” which formally instituted the system of privileges for European-Americans, of even the lowest social status, vis-à-vis any person of any degree of African ancestry, not only bond-laborers, but “free Negroes,” as well; the remolding of male supremacy as white-male supremacy as an essential element of the system of white-skin privileges; the creation of white male privileges with regard to African-American women; and how the “Ordeal of Colonial Virginia” gave birth to the Ordeal of America.

Invention’s thesis on the origin and nature of the “white race” and the origin of the system of racial oppression in Anglo-America contains the root of a new and radical approach to United States history, one that challenges master narratives taught in the media and in schools, colleges, and universities. With its egalitarian motif, focus on class struggle, and emphasis on the centrality of struggle against white supremacy it contributes significantly to our understanding of American History, African American History, and Labor History and speaks to people today who strive for change worldwide. Its influence will continue to grow in the twenty-first century.


Just Published -- The New Expanded Edition of "The Invention of the White Race" (2 vols.) by Theodore W. Allen. Introduction by Jeffrey B. Perry. From Verso Books.

November 10, 2012

Tags: New Expanded Edition, The Invention of the White Race, Theodore W. Allen, Racial Oppression and Social Control, The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America, Verso Books, Jeffrey B. Perry



To assist individual readers, classes, and study groups this new expanded edition of Allen’s seminal two-volume "classic" includes new introductions, new appendices with background on Allen and his writings, expanded indexes, and new internal study guides. The study guides follow each volume, chapter-by-chapter, and the indexes also include entries from Allen's extensive notes based on twenty years of primary research.

Please read the extraordinary praise from such scholars and labor, left, and anti-white supremacist activists activists as Audrey Smedley, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Tim Wise, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Gene Bruskin, Tami Gold, Muriel Tillinghast, Joe Berry, George Schmidt, Noel Inatiev, Carl Davidson, Mark Solomon, Gerald Horne, Dorothy Salem, Wilson Moses, David Roediger Joe Wilson, Charles Lumpkins, Michael Zweig, Margery Freeman, Michael Goldfield, Spencer Sunshine, Ed Peeples, Russell Dale, Gwen-Midlo Hall, Sean Ahern, Sam Anderson, Gregory Meyerson, Younes Abouyoub, Peter Bohmer, Dennis O’Neill, Ted Pearson, Juliet Ucelli, Stella Winston, Sean J. Connolly, Vivien Sandlund, Dave Marsh, Russell R. Menard, Jonathan Scott, John D. Brewer, Richard Williams, William L. Vanderburg, Rodney Barker, and Matthew Frye Jacobson. Click Here to read these comments

Table of Contents for Vol. 2
"The Invention of the White Race: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo America"


Introduction to the Second Edition [by Jeffrey B. Perry]

PART ONE: Labor Problems of the European Colonizing Powers
1. The Labor Supply Problem: England a Special Case
2. English Background, with Anglo-American Variations Noted
3. Euro-Indian Relations and the Problem of Social Control

PART TWO: The Plantation of Bondage
4. The Fateful Edition to “Present Profit”
5. The Massacre of the Tenantry
6. Bricks without Straw: Bondage, but No Intermediate Stratum

PART THREE: Road to Rebellion
7. Bond-Labor: Enduring . . .
8. . . . and Resisting
9. The Insubstantiality of the Intermediate Stratum
10. The Status of African-Americans

PART FOUR: Rebellion and Reaction
11. Rebellion – And Its Aftermath
12. The Abortion of the “White Race” Social Control System in the Anglo-Caribbean
13. The Invention of the White Race – and the Ordeal of America

Appendices
Appendix II-A: (see Chapter 1, note 64 [re “Maroon communities” in the Americas])
Appendix II-B: (see Chapter 2, note 6 [re Wat Tyler’s Rebellion])
Appendix II-C: (see Chapter 5, note 46 [re the “‘cheap commodity’ strategy for capitalist conquest and William Bullock])
Appendix II-D: (see Chapter 7, note 197 [re the bond-labor system])
Appendix II-E: (see Chapter 9, note 54 [re reduction in the supply of persons in England “available for bond-labor in the plantation colonies”])
Appendix F: (see Chapter 13, note 26 [re William Gooch and the discussion of white supremacy among the ruling classes in eighteenth-century Virginia])
Editor’s Appendix G: A Guide to “The Invention of the White Race” Volume II
Editor’s Appendix H: Select Bibliography on Theodore W. Allen

Notes
Index [Newly Expanded]

This new edition of "The Invention of the White Race" is essential reading for those interested in matters of race and class, for study groups, and for classes. The volumes make especially thoughtful gifts for loved ones, friends, and co-workers.

Please encourage public librarians and school librarians to order these new editions so they are available for others to read!

The volumes are available directly from Verso Books Click Here

They are also available on special discount (including both volumes shrinkwrapped) from Amazon Click Here

For the initial price for a shrinkwrapped set of both volumes at Barnes and Noble Click Here

Table of Contents for Volume I

“The Invention of the White Race: Racial Oppression and Social Control”


Acknowledgements
Introduction to the Second Edition [by Jeffrey B. Perry]
Introduction
1. The Anatomy of Racial Oppression
2. Social Control and the Intermediate Strata: Ireland
3. Protestant Ascendancy and White Supremacy
4. Social Control: From Racial to National Oppression
5. Ulster
6. Anglo-America: Ulster Writ Large
7. The Sea-change
8. How the Sea-change was Wrought
Appendices
Appendix A: (see Introduction, note 46 [re intermarriage])
Appendix B: (see Introduction, note 46 [re “cheaper labor” rationale])
Appendix C: (see Chapter 1, note 58 and Chapter 2 note 51 [re Africans’ strength as a limit to English colonization])
Appendix D: (see Chapter 2, notes 42 and 73 [re English Plantations in Ireland as “response to rebellion”])
Appendix E: (see Chapter 2, note 58 [re England on threshold of its career as a world colonial power, with Ireland as its first objective”])
Appendix F: (see Chapter 2, note 77 [re Mountjoy’s “starvation strategy” for Ireland])
Appendix G: (see Chapter 2, note 108 [re “social control policies of the Western colonizing powers”])
Appendix H: (see Chapter 3, note 8 [re “Scottish slavery”])
Appendix I: (see Chapter 3, note 46 [re relative cost differential of English and Irish common labor greater than differential between wage-labor and bond-labor in continental Anglo-America])
Appendix J: (see Chapter 4, note 107 [re “Daniel O’Connell’s views regarding revolutionary violence in Ireland”])
Appendix K: (see Chapter 7, note 62 [re “The Slave” by Leander (John Hughes)])
Appendix L: (see Chapter 7, note 80 [re “Address from the people of Ireland to their Countrymen and Countrywomen in America”])
Editor’s Appendix M: A Brief Biography of Theodore W. Allen
Editor’s Appendix N: Notes to Encourage Engagement with Volume I
Chronological Finding Aid for Users of this Volume
Notes
Index [Newly Expanded]

Theodore W. Allen’s "The Invention of the White Race," with its focus on racial oppression and social control, is one of the twentieth-century’s major contributions to historical understanding. This two-volume “classic” presents a full-scale challenge to what Allen refers to as “The Great White Assumption” – “the unquestioning, indeed unthinking acceptance of the ‘white’ identity of European-Americans of all classes as a natural attribute rather than a social construct.” Its thesis on the origin and nature of the “white race” contains the root of a new and radical approach to United States history, one that challenges master narratives taught in the media and in schools, colleges, and universities. With its egalitarian motif and emphasis on class struggle it speaks to people today who strive for change worldwide. Its influence will continue to grow in the twenty-first century.

Readers of the first edition of "The Invention of the White Race" were startled by Allen’s bold assertion on the back cover: “When the first Africans arrived in Virginia in 1619, there were no ‘white’ people there; nor, according to the colonial records, would there be for another sixty years.” That statement, based on twenty-plus years of research of Virginia’s colonial records, reflected the fact that Allen found “no instance of the official use of the word ‘white’ as a token of social status” prior to its appearance in a Virginia law passed in 1691. As he later explained, “Others living in the colony at that time were English; they had been English when they left England, and naturally they and their Virginia-born children were English, they were not ‘white.’ White identity had to be carefully taught, and it would be only after the passage of some six crucial decades” that the word “would appear as a synonym for European-American.”

Allen was not merely speaking of word usage, however. His probing research led him to conclude – based on the commonality of experience and demonstrated solidarity between African-American and European-American laboring people, the lack of a substantial intermediate buffer social control stratum, and the indeterminate status of African-Americans – that the “white race” was not, and could not have been, functioning in early Virginia.

It is in the context of such findings that he offers his major thesis -- the “white race” was invented as a ruling class social control formation in response to labor solidarity as manifested in the later, civil war stages of Bacon's Rebellion (1676-77). To this he adds two important corollaries: 1) the ruling elite, in its own class interest, deliberately instituted a system of racial privileges to define and maintain the “white race” and implement a system of “racial oppression” and 2) the consequences were not only ruinous to the interests of African-Americans, they were also “disastrous” for European-American workers.

Please share this information with others who might be interested!

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The Voice of
Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918

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