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Jeffrey B. Perry Blog

Video on Theodore W. Allen's
The Invention of the White Race
Passes 95,000-Viewers Mark
If You Are Interested in "Race" and Class
Study and Share Allen's Work

August 7, 2016

Tags: The Invention of the White Race, Theodore W. Allen, ruling class social control formation, Kazembe Balagun, #theodorewallen, #tedallen, #huberthharrison, #hubertharrison, #jeffreybperry, #jeffperry, principal historic guarantor of ruling class domination, Stella Winston, Verso Books, divide and conquer, Tim Wise, 3 11 16, Columbia University Press, Wesleyan Univerity Press, Diasporic Africa Press, Sean Ahern, Nuriel Tillinghast, whiteness, racism, white race identity problem, slavery, indentured servitude, Hubert Harrison, The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, Jeffrey B. Perry, Ted Allen, Hubert H. Harrison, The Father of Harlem Radicalism, slavery, enslaved Black Laborers, Proletarians, chattel bond servants, Bacon's Rebellion, no white people, Jamestown, Virginia, historical materialism, Governor Berkeley, Nathaniel Bacon Jr., Thomas Grantham, class struggle, women, Native Americans, Powhatan, John Punch, Elizabeth Key, slavery, capitalism, Governor Gooch, white skin privilege, white privilege, Lerone Bennett Jr., Winthrop D. Jordan, Edmund S. Morgan, Ireland, England, Barbados, Jamaica, Haiti, Scotland, anti white supremacy, #privilege, #whiteidentity, #whiteprivilege, #whiteness, #whiteskinprivilege, three crises, radicalism, Social Control, Origin of Racial Oppression, Anglo-America, Anglo-Caribbean, Fred Nguyen, Fansmiles Productions, Brecht Forum, #blacklivesmatter, U.S. History, Colonial Virginia, national oppression







95,000 Views – Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of White Race” - Presentation by Jeffrey B. Perry. This video of a slide presentation/talk on Allen’s “Invention” (2 vols.; Verso Books, new expanded edition, 2012), which opens with some insights from the life and work of Hubert Harrison (“The Father of Harlem Radicalism”), has just passed the 95,000 -Viewers Mark. See HERE

See also “Theodore W. Allen and ‘The Invention of the White Race’” video of slide presentation/talk by Jeffrey B. Perry at a June 2016 “Multiracial Organizing Conference” against white supremacy in Greensboro, NC
HERE
(Slides in this video are very clear).

Harrison and Allen are two of the twentieth century’s most important thinkers on "race" and class and they are growing in importance in the 21st century.

You are encouraged to watch the video at your leisure (the use of slides makes it possible to stop for awhile and then pick up where you left off). You are also encouraged to share this video with others – particularly younger activists. As one long-time activist wrote, Allen’s work “will change your life and outlook forever. You simply can't understand America and who we are without this book.”

Theodore W. Allen explained “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.” Allen based his statement on twenty-plus years of research and examination of 865 county years of pattern-setting Virginia’s colonial records. Allen makes clear that the “white race" did not exist in early colonial Virginia.

He then documents and develops three major themes:

1. 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).

2. A system of racial privileges was deliberately instituted by the late-17th/early- 18th-century Anglo-American bourgeoisie in order to define and establish the "white race” and to establish a system of racial oppression.

3. The consequence was not only “ruinous” to the interests of the African Americans, but was also "disastrous" for European-American workers. Their “position vis-á-vis the rich and powerful was not improved, but weakened by the white-skin privilege system.”

Theodore W. Allen (pioneer of class struggle-based “white skin privilege” analysis in the 1960s and author of “The Invention of the White Race” in the 1990s) and Hubert Harrison (“The Father of Harlem Radicalism”) are two of the most important thinkers on issues of "race" and class of the 20th century. They offer a tremendous amount of insights to people struggling today for a more just and radically changed society. Those concerned with issues of "race" and class are strongly urged to become familiar with their work and to share information by and about them with others.

This slide presentation / talk by Jeffrey B. Perry was hosted by the “Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen Society” at the Brecht Forum in Manhattan. Long-time activist Muriel Tillinghast chaired the event and long-time activist Sean Ahern assisted with the slides. Kazembe Balagun helped to arrange the event.

The video was shot by Fred Nguyen and made available Courtesy of Fansmiles Productions.

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 “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 “Summary of the Argument of The Invention of the White Race” Part 1 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

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

For a video interview with Theodore W. Allen on “The Invention of the White Race” conducted by Stella Winston and viewed by over 104,000 people see HERE

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

For information on "A Hubert Harrison Reader" (Wesleyan University Press) see HERE

For information on the new, expanded, Diasporic Africa Press edition of Hubert H. Harrison's “When Africa Awakes: The 'Inside Story’ of the Stirrings and Strivings of the New Negro in the Western World” see HERE

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

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

Video on Theodore W. Allen's
The Invention of the White Race
Passes 90,000-Viewers Mark
Has Many Insights for Today
Study and Share Allen's Work

June 12, 2016

Tags: The Invention of the White Race, Theodore W. Allen, ruling class social control formation, #theodorewallen, #tedallen, #huberthharrison, #hubertharrison, #jeffreybperry, #jeffperry, principal historic guarantor of ruling class domination, Stella Winston, Verso Books, divide and conquer, Tim Wise, 3 11 16, Columbia University Press, Wesleyan Univerity Press, Diasporic Africa Press, Sean Ahern, Nuriel Tillinghast, whiteness, racism, white race identity problem, slavery, indentured servitude, Hubert Harrison, The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, Jeffrey B. Perry, Ted Allen, Hubert H. Harrison, The Father of Harlem Radicalism, slavery, enslaved Black Laborers, Proletarians, chattel bond servants, Bacon's Rebellion, no white people, Jamestown, Virginia, historical materialism, Governor Berkeley, Nathaniel Bacon Jr., Thomas Grantham, class struggle, women, Native Americans, Powhatan, John Punch, Elizabeth Key, slavery, capitalism, Governor Gooch, white skin privilege, white privilege, Lerone Bennett Jr., Winthrop D. Jordan, Edmund S. Morgan, Ireland, England, Barbados, Jamaica, Haiti, Scotland, anti white supremacy, #privilege, #whiteidentity, #whiteprivilege, #whiteness, #whiteskinprivilege, three crises, radicalism, Social Control, Origin of Racial Oppression, Anglo-America, Anglo-Caribbean, Fred Nguyen, Fansmiles Productions, Brecht Forum, #blacklivesmatter, U.S. History, Colonial Virginia, national oppression





90,000 viewers -- Theodore W. Allen (pioneer of class struggle-based “white skin privilege” analysis in the 1960s and author of “The Invention of the White Race” in the 1990s) and Hubert Harrison (“The Father of Harlem Radicalism”) are two of the most important thinkers on issues of race and class of the 20th century.

They offer a tremendous amount of insights to people struggling today for a more just and radically changed society. Those concerned with issues of race and class are strongly urged to become familiar with their work and to share information by and about them with others.

This video presentation on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of White Race,” which opens with some insights from the life and work of Hubert Harrison, has just passed the 90,000-Viewers Mark.

This slide presentation / talk by Jeffrey B. Perry was hosted by the “Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen Society” at the Brecht Forum in Manhattan. Long-time activist Muriel Tillinghast chaired the event and long-time activist Sean Ahern assisted with the slides.

The video was shot by Fred Nguyen and made available Courtesy of Fansmiles Productions.

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) CLICK 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 I: “Racial Oppression and Social Control" (including comments from scholars and activists, Table of Contents, and an overview of the volume) CLICK 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 CLICK HERE
and for Part 2 CLICK HERE

For additional writings by and about Theodore W. Allen CLICK 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 CLICK HERE
or at “Cultural Logic” CLICK HERE
Note: Important Allen insights on class struggle, the origin [note singular] of racial oppression in Anglo-America, "whiteness," "racism," and white privileges are offered

102,000 Viewers -- For a video interview with Theodore W. Allen on “The Invention of the White Race” conducted by Stella Winston and viewed by over 102,000 people 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 information on "A Hubert Harrison Reader" (Wesleyan University Press) CLICK HERE
For information on the new, Diasporic Africa Press expanded edition of Hubert H. Harrison's “When Africa Awakes: The 'Inside Story’ of the Stirrings and Strivings of the New Negro in the Western World” 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


Video on Theodore W. Allen's
The Invention of the White Race
Passes 85,000-Viewers Mark
Has Many Insights for Today
Study and Share Allen's Work

April 17, 2016

Tags: The Invention of the White Race, Theodore W. Allen, ruling class social control formation, #theodorewallen, #tedallen, #huberthharrison, #hubertharrison, #jeffreybperry, #jeffperry, principal historic guarantor of ruling class domination, Stella Winston, Verso Books, divide and conquer, Tim Wise, 3 11 16, Columbia University Press, Wesleyan Univerity Press, Diasporic Africa Press, Sean Ahern, Nuriel Tillinghast, whiteness, racism, white race identity problem, slavery, indentured servitude, Hubert Harrison, The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, Jeffrey B. Perry, Ted Allen, Hubert H. Harrison, The Father of Harlem Radicalism, slavery, enslaved Black Laborers, Proletarians, chattel bond servants, Bacon's Rebellion, no white people, Jamestown, Virginia, historical materialism, Governor Berkeley, Nathaniel Bacon Jr., Thomas Grantham, class struggle, women, Native Americans, Powhatan, John Punch, Elizabeth Key, slavery, capitalism, Governor Gooch, white skin privilege, white privilege, Lerone Bennett Jr., Winthrop D. Jordan, Edmund S. Morgan, Ireland, England, Barbados, Jamaica, Haiti, Scotland, anti white supremacy, #privilege, #whiteidentity, #whiteprivilege, #whiteness, #whiteskinprivilege, three crises, radicalism, Social Control, Origin of Racial Oppression, Anglo-America, Anglo-Caribbean, Fred Nguyen, Fansmiles Productions, Brecht Forum, #blacklivesmatter, U.S. History, Colonial Virginia, national oppression





85,000 viewers -- Theodore W. Allen (pioneer of class struggle-based “white skin privilege” analysis in the 1960s and author of “The Invention of the White Race” in the 1990s) and Hubert Harrison (“The Father of Harlem Radicalism”) are two of the most important thinkers on issues of race and class of the 20th century.

They offer a tremendous amount of insights to people struggling today for a more just and radically changed society. Those concerned with issues of race and class are strongly urged to become familiar with their work and to share information by and about them with others.

This video presentation on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of White Race,” which opens with some insights from the life and work of Hubert Harrison, has just passed the 80,000-Viewers Mark.

This slide presentation / talk by Jeffrey B. Perry was hosted by the “Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen Society” at the Brecht Forum in Manhattan. Long-time activist Muriel Tillinghast chaired the event and long-time activist Sean Ahern assisted with the slides.
The video was shot by Fred Nguyen and made available Courtesy of Fansmiles Productions.

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) CLICK 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 I: “Racial Oppression and Social Control" (including comments from scholars and activists, Table of Contents, and an overview of the volume) CLICK 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 CLICK HERE
and for Part 2 CLICK HERE

For additional writings by and about Theodore W. Allen CLICK 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 CLICK HERE
or at “Cultural Logic” CLICK HERE
Note: Important Allen insights on class struggle, the origin [note singular] of racial oppression in Anglo-America, "whiteness," "racism," and white privileges are offered

97,000 Viewers -- For a video interview with Theodore W. Allen on “The Invention of the White Race” conducted by Stella Winston and viewed by over 97,000 people 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 information on "A Hubert Harrison Reader" (Wesleyan University Press) CLICK HERE
For information on the new, Diasporic Africa Press expanded edition of Hubert H. Harrison's “When Africa Awakes: The 'Inside Story’ of the Stirrings and Strivings of the New Negro in the Western World” 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


Video on Theodore W. Allen's
The Invention of the White Race
Passes 80,000-Viewers Mark
Has Many Insights for Today
Study and Share Allen's Work

March 6, 2016

Tags: The Invention of the White Race, Theodore W. Allen, ruling class social control formation, principal historic guarantor of ruling class domination, Stella Winston, Verso Books, divide and conquer, Tim Wise, 3 11 16, Columbia University Press, Wesleyan Univerity Press, Diasporic Africa Press, Sean Ahern, Nuriel Tillinghast, whiteness, racism, white race identity problem, slavery, indentured servitude, Hubert Harrison, The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, Jeffrey B. Perry, Ted Allen, Hubert H. Harrison, The Father of Harlem Radicalism, slavery, enslaved Black Laborers, Proletarians, chattel bond servants, Bacon's Rebellion, no white people, Jamestown, Virginia, historical materialism, Governor Berkeley, Nathaniel Bacon Jr., Thomas Grantham, class struggle, women, Native Americans, Powhatan, John Punch, Elizabeth Key, slavery, capitalism, Governor Gooch, white skin privilege, white privilege, Lerone Bennett Jr., Winthrop D. Jordan, Edmund S. Morgan, Ireland, England, Barbados, Jamaica, Haiti, Scotland, anti white supremacy, #privilege, #whiteidentity, #whiteprivilege, #whiteness, #whiteskinprivilege, three crises, radicalism, Social Control, Origin of Racial Oppression, Anglo-America, Anglo-Caribbean, Fred Nguyen, Fansmiles Productions, Brecht Forum, #blacklivesmatter, U.S. History, Colonial Virginia, national oppression





80,000 viewers -- Theodore W. Allen (pioneer of class struggle-based “white skin privilege” analysis in the 1960s and author of “The Invention of the White Race” in the 1990s) and Hubert Harrison (“The Father of Harlem Radicalism”) are two of the most important thinkers on issues of race and class of the 20th century.

They offer a tremendous amount of insights to people struggling today for a more just and radically changed society. Those concerned with issues of race and class are strongly urged to become familiar with their work and to share information by and about them with others.

This video presentation on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of White Race,” which opens with some insights from the life and work of Hubert Harrison, has just passed the 80,000-Viewers Mark.

This slide presentation / talk by Jeffrey B. Perry was hosted by the “Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen Society” at the Brecht Forum in Manhattan. Long-time activist Muriel Tillinghast chaired the event and long-time activist Sean Ahern assisted with the slides.
The video was shot by Fred Nguyen and made available Courtesy of Fansmiles Productions.

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) CLICK 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 I: “Racial Oppression and Social Control" (including comments from scholars and activists, Table of Contents, and an overview of the volume) CLICK 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 CLICK HERE
and for Part 2 CLICK HERE

For additional writings by and about Theodore W. Allen CLICK 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 CLICK HERE
or at “Cultural Logic” CLICK HERE
Note: Important Allen insights on class struggle, the origin [note singular] of racial oppression in Anglo-America, "whiteness," "racism," and white privileges are offered

97,000 Viewers -- For a video interview with Theodore W. Allen on “The Invention of the White Race” conducted by Stella Winston and viewed by over 97,000 people 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 information on "A Hubert Harrison Reader" (Wesleyan University Press) CLICK HERE
For information on the new, Diasporic Africa Press expanded edition of Hubert H. Harrison's “When Africa Awakes: The 'Inside Story’ of the Stirrings and Strivings of the New Negro in the Western World” 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


Video Presentation on Theodore W. Allen's
The Invention of White Race
Passes 75,000-Viewers Mark
Two-volume work on Sale
from Verso Books

January 29, 2016

Tags: The Invention of the White Race, Theodore W. Allen, ruling class social control formation, principal historic guarantor of ruling class domination, Verso Books, Columbia University Press, slavery, indentured servitude, Hubert Harrison, The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, Jeffrey B. Perry, Ted Allen, Hubert H. Harrison, The Father of Harlem Radicalism, slavery, enslaved Black Laborers, Proletarians, chattel bond servants, Bacon's Rebellion, no white people, Jamestown, Virginia, historical materialism, Governor Berkeley, Nathaniel Bacon Jr., Thomas Grantham, class struggle, women, Native Americans, Powhatan, John Punch, Elizabeth Key, slavery, capitalism, Governor Gooch, white skin privilege, white privilege, Lerone Bennett Jr., Winthrop D. Jordan, Edmund S. Morgan, Ireland, England, Barbados, Jamaica, Haiti, Scotland, anti white supremacy, #privilege, #whiteidentity, #whiteprivilege, #whiteness, #whiteskinprivilege, three crises, radicalism, Social Control, Origin of Racial Oppression, Anglo-America, Anglo-Caribbean, Fred Nguyen, Fansmiles Productions, Brecht Forum, #blacklivesmatter, U.S. History, Colonial Virginia, national oppression





This Video on The Invention of the White Race
by Theodore W. Allen
Just Passed the 75,000-Viewers Mark on YouTube.
Interest in Allen’s work continues to grow.

This video on Theodore W. Allen’s The Invention of White Race has just passed the 75,000-Viewers Mark.

The video was shot by Fred Nguyen and made available Courtesy Fansmiles Productions.

Verso Books is having a Special Sale of each volume of the two-volume The Invention of the White Race for 50% off, with bundled e-book and free shipping.

Note: The new, expanded editions of the two volumes have internal study guides that are ideal for classroom and/or study group use.

People are encouraged to watch the video, to read the books, and to share this information with others.

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 CLICK 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) published by Verso Books see -- CLICK HERE

For information on Allen’s “Summary of the Argument of The Invention of the White Race” Part 1 see CLICK 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 at the top left at HERE or at “Cultural Logic” HERE

For a video of a Slide Presentation/Talk on Hubert Harrison see 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 articles, audios, and videos by and about Hubert Harrison see CLICK HERE

“’White Race’ Privileges,
‘The Invention of the White Race,’
and the Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy
-- Insights From the Work of
Theodore W. Allen”

December 20, 2015

Tags: white skin privilege, white privilege, white identity, The Invention of the White Race, Theodore W. Allen, ruling class social control formation, principal historic guarantor of ruling class domination, Verso Books, Columbia University Press, slavery, indentured servitude, Hubert Harrison, The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, whiteness, Jeffrey B. Perry, Ted Allen, Hubert H. Harrison, The Father of Harlem Radicalism, slavery, enslaved Black Laborers, Proletarians, chattel bond servants, Bacon's Rebellion, no white people, Jamestown, Virginia, historical materialism, Governor Berkeley, Nathaniel Bacon Jr., Thomas Grantham, class struggle, women, Native Americans, Powhatan, John Punch, Elizabeth Key, slavery, capitalism, Governor Gooch, white skin privilege, white privilege, Lerone Bennett Jr., Winthrop D. Jordan, Edmund S. Morgan, Ireland, England, Barbados, Jamaica, Haiti, Scotland, anti white supremacy, #privilege, #whiteidentity, #whiteprivilege, #whiteness, #whiteskinprivilege, three crises, radicalism, Social Control, Origin of Racial Oppression, Anglo-America, Anglo-Caribbean, Fred Nguyen, Fansmiles Productions, Brecht Forum, #blacklivesmatter, U.S. History, Colonial Virginia, national oppression



This video – “’White Race’ Privileges, ‘The Invention of the White Race,’ and the Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy -- Insights From the Work of Theodore W. Allen” is from an October 25, 2014, slide presentation/talk by Jeffrey B. Perry filmed by Enaa Doug Greene at the Center for Marxist Education, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

For a longer version of this video including the question and answer discussion period after the presentation see the video “Insights From the Work of Theodore W. Allen on White Skin Privilege” at https://youtu.be/9isoZY5VkEYThis video -- “Insights From the Work of Theodore W. Allen on White Skin Privilege” is from an October 25, 2014, slide presentation/talk by Jeffrey B. Perry entitled ‘“Insights From the Work of Theodore W. Allen on White Skin Privilege, ‘The Invention of the White Race,’ and the Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy.”
The video was filmed by Enaa Doug Greene at the Center for Marxist Education in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

For a video on "The Invention of the White Race" by Theodore W. Allen This video on Theodore W. Allen’s The Invention of White Race was shot by Fred Nguyen and made available Courtesy Fansmiles Productions.

People are encouraged to watch the videos, to read the books, and to share this information with others.

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
CLICK 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) published by Verso Books see -- CLICK HERE

For information on Allen’s “Summary of the Argument of The Invention of the White Race” Part 1 see CLICK 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 at the top left at HERE or at “Cultural Logic” HERE

For a video of a Slide Presentation/Talk on Hubert Harrison see 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 articles, audios, and videos by and about Hubert Harrison see CLICK HERE


Video on Theodore W. Allen's
The Invention of White Race
Passes 70,000-Viewers Mark
Two-volume work on Special Sale
from Verso Books

December 18, 2015

Tags: The Invention of the White Race, Theodore W. Allen, ruling class social control formation, principal historic guarantor of ruling class domination, Verso Books, Columbia University Press, slavery, indentured servitude, Hubert Harrison, The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, Jeffrey B. Perry, Ted Allen, Hubert H. Harrison, The Father of Harlem Radicalism, slavery, enslaved Black Laborers, Proletarians, chattel bond servants, Bacon's Rebellion, no white people, Jamestown, Virginia, historical materialism, Governor Berkeley, Nathaniel Bacon Jr., Thomas Grantham, class struggle, women, Native Americans, Powhatan, John Punch, Elizabeth Key, slavery, capitalism, Governor Gooch, white skin privilege, white privilege, Lerone Bennett Jr., Winthrop D. Jordan, Edmund S. Morgan, Ireland, England, Barbados, Jamaica, Haiti, Scotland, anti white supremacy, #privilege, #whiteidentity, #whiteprivilege, #whiteness, #whiteskinprivilege, three crises, radicalism, Social Control, Origin of Racial Oppression, Anglo-America, Anglo-Caribbean, Fred Nguyen, Fansmiles Productions, Brecht Forum, #blacklivesmatter, U.S. History, Colonial Virginia, national oppression





This Video on The Invention of the White Race
by Theodore W. Allen
Just Passed the 70,000-Viewers Mark on YouTube.
Interest in Allen’s work continues to grow.

This video on Theodore W. Allen’s The Invention of White Race has just passed the 70,000-Viewers Mark.

The video was shot by Fred Nguyen and made available Courtesy Fansmiles Productions.

Verso Books is having a Special Sale of each volume of the two-volume The Invention of the White Race for 50% off, with bundled e-book and free shipping.

Note: The new, expanded editions of the two volumes have internal study guides that are ideal for classroom and/or study group use.

People are encouraged to watch the video, to read the books, and to share this information with others.

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 CLICK 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) published by Verso Books see -- CLICK HERE

For information on Allen’s “Summary of the Argument of The Invention of the White Race” Part 1 see CLICK 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 at the top left at HERE or at “Cultural Logic” HERE

For a video of a Slide Presentation/Talk on Hubert Harrison see 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 articles, audios, and videos by and about Hubert Harrison see CLICK HERE

Theodore W. Allen
Draws from Lerone Bennett Jr.
in Treatment of White Supremacy and Racial Slavery

December 9, 2015

Tags: Theodore W. Allen, Lerone Benett Jr., white supremacy, Racial Slavery, Winthrop D. Jordan, Handlins, Oscar, Mary, Handlin, Edmund S. Morgan, T. H. Breen, Shaping of Black America, Barbados, The Road Not Taken, Ebony Magazine, British West Indies, Barbados, bond-servants, white supremacy, ruinous to the interest, white worker, Afro-American workers, labor solidarity, Africans, Indians, deliberate choice, Jamaica, lifetime servitude, intermarried, bourgeoisie, petite bourgeoisie, Providence Islnd, social control formation, Bacon's Rebellion, racial privileges, white race, unthinking decision, psycho-culturals, socio-economic, Modern Tensions and the Origins of American Slavery

Which came first, racism or slavery? In the post-World War II era of national liberation upsurge, a related controversy has occupied much attention of American historians. One side, the "psycho-cultural" side, holds that white supremacy is "natural", the result of an "unthinking decision"; that it derives from human attributes not subject to effective eliminative social action. The other side, the "social" side, believes that racism arises from socio-economic, rather than natural, conditions; that (at least by implication) it is susceptible of elimination by social action.

Evidence of early instances of enslavement of Afro-Americans is stressed by the "psycho-cultural" school as proof of the "natural antipathy" of white and black. On the other hand, as Jordan (foremost of the "psycho-culturals") puts it, "Late and gradual enslavement undercuts the possibility of natural and deep-seated antipathy towards Negroes . . . if whites and Negroes could share the same status of half freedom for forty years in the seventeenth century, why could they not share full freedom in the twentieth." (Winthrop D. Jordan, "Modern Tensions and the Origins of American Slavery," Journal of Southern History, vol. 28 [1962], pp. 19-30, loc. cit., p. 20.)

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 comparative study of the systems of social control in the various slave-labor plantation colonies in the Americas, combined with a study of Bacon's Rebellion, its origin and aftermath, can contribute much to the resolution of the question, in favor of "deliberate choice" and against "unthinking decision." In the continental plantation colonies (Virginia was the pattern-setter) the Anglo-American ruling class drew the color line between freedom and slavery on race lines; any trace of African ancestry carried the presumption of slavery. The same Anglo-American ruling class drew the freedom-slavery line differently in Jamaica and Barbados (as did other European ruling classes elsewhere in the Americas). The poor white became not only economically, but politically and socially, marginal in the British West Indies generally. In the southern continental colonies the bourgeoisie came to base their system of social control upon the white proletarian and semi-proletarian and subsistence agricultural classes. In the southern plantation colonies the free person of any degree of African ancestry was forced into an illegal or semi-legal status, as a general rule. The same Anglo-American ruling bourgeoisie deliberately created and nurtured this group as a petit-bourgeois buffer-control stratum in the Caribbean island societies. These are all decisive differences which cannot be explained on the basis of "psychology" or "English cultural heritage."

Finally, and more important, while the Anglo-American bourgeoisie had, by their prior experience in Providence Island and Barbados, learned the profitability of equating, or seeking to equate, "Negro" and "slave," the masses of European (at that stage almost all English) bond-servants in Virginia had not accepted that point of view. Instead, they intermarried, conspired, ran away, and finally revolted in arms together with African bond-servants. Racial slavery could not have existed, and did not exist, under those circumstances. Under such circumstances, to attempt to solve the "labor problem" by increasing the number of African bond-servants, reducing them to hereditary lifetime servitude, and making them the main productive labor base of the society would have been like trying to put out the Jamestown fire with kerosene.

Invention of White Race
by Theodore W. Allen
Video by Jeffrey B. Perry
Passes 65,000-Viewers Mark
Watch, Study, Share, Discuss

October 24, 2015

Tags: The Invention of the White Race, Theodore W. Allen, chattel bond servitude, ruling class social control formation, principal historic guarantor of ruling class domination, Verso Books, Columbia University Press, slavery, indentured servitude, Hubert Harrison, The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, Jeffrey B. Perry, Ted Allen, Hubert H. Harrison, The Father of Harlem Radicalism, enslaved Black Laborers, Proletarians, "whiteness", chattel bond servants, Bacon's Rebellion, no white people, Jamestown, Virginia, Governor Berkeley, Nathaniel Bacon Jr., Thomas Grantham, class struggle, women, Native Americans, Powhatan, John Punch, Elizabeth Key, slavery, capitalism, Governor Gooch, white skin privilege, white privilege, Lerone Bennett Jr., Winthrop D. Jordan, Edmund S. Morgan, Ireland, England, Barbados, Jamaica, Haiti, Scotland, anti white supremacy, #privilege, #whiteidentity, #whiteprivilege, #whiteness, #whiteskinprivilege, three crises, radicalism, Social Control, Origin of Racial Oppression, Anglo-America, Anglo-Caribbean, Sean Ahern, Fred Nguyen, Fansmiles, Brecht Forum, #blacklivesmatter, U.S. History, Colonial Virginia, national oppression





This Video on The Invention of the White Race
by Theodore W. Allen
Just Passed the 65,000-Viewers Mark on YouTube.

65,000 VIEWS -- Hubert Harrison (“the father of Harlem radicalism”) and Theodore W. Allen (author of “The Invention of the White Race: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America”) are two of the most important thinkers on race and class in the 20th Century. Those who are interested in issues of race and class in America are encouraged to read them and to become familiar with their work. If you have not yet watched this video on Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race,” which opens with some comments on Hubert Harrison, please do watch it and please share it with friends and others. Allen’s rigorously documented “The Invention of the White Race” provides the basis for a radical, liberating understanding of U.S. history and helps to point the way forward for struggle. Allen and Harrison are that important!

This video of a slide presentation/talk on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” (2 vols., Verso Books) just passed the 65,000 viewer mark -- 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 and Table of Contents) see CLICK 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) published by Verso Books see -- CLICK HERE

For information on Allen’s “Summary of the Argument of The Invention of the White Race” Part 1 see CLICK 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 at the top left at HERE or at “Cultural Logic” HERE

For a video of a Slide Presentation/Talk on Hubert Harrison see 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 articles, audios, and videos by and about Hubert Harrison see CLICK HERE

The Invention of
The White Race

by Theodore W. Allen
Special One Week 50% Off Sale
Free Shipping and Bundled E-Book

September 2, 2015

Tags: The Invention of the White Race, Theodore W. Allen, Verso Books, Jeffrey B. Perry, Ted Allen, Jeff Perry, 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, slavery as 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

The Invention of
The White Race

by Theodore W. Allen
Special 50% Off
Free Shipping and Bundled E-Book
New Expanded Edition

Essential for Understanding "Race and Class" in the U.S.
A Wonderful Gift


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.

In an effort to assist readers and to encourage meaningful engagement with Allen’s work this new edition of The Invention Of the White Race includes new introductions, appendices, internal study guides, and expanded indexes.

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

For reader's comments, an introduction, the Verso Books discount offer, and a link to Volume 2: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America CLICK HERE

For further information on the work of Theodore W. Allen CLICK HERE

For an in-depth discussion of Allen's work 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” at the top left HERE and also at "Cultural Logic" HERE

For a video of a slide presentation/talk on Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” by Jeffrey B. Perry see



Invention of White Race
Video Passes 60,000-Viewers Mark
A "ruling class social control formation"
"principal historic guarantor of ruling class domination"

August 27, 2015

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





This Video on The Invention of the White Race
by Theodore W. Allen
Just Passed the 60,000-Viewers Mark on YouTube.

60,000 VIEWS -- Hubert Harrison (“the father of Harlem radicalism”) and Theodore W. Allen (author of “The Invention of the White Race: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America”) are two of the most important thinkers on race and class in the 20th Century. Those who are interested in issues of race and class in America are encouraged to read them and to become familiar with their work. If you have not yet watched this video on Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race,” which opens with some comments on Hubert Harrison, please do watch it and please share it with friends and others. Allen’s rigorously documented “The Invention of the White Race” provides the basis for a radical, liberating understanding of U.S. history and helps to point the way forward for struggle. Allen and Harrison are that important!

This video of a slide presentation/talk on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” (2 vols., Verso Books) just passed the 60,000 viewer mark -- 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 and Table of Contents) see CLICK 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) published by Verso Books see -- CLICK HERE

For information on Allen’s “Summary of the Argument of The Invention of the White Race” Part 1 see CLICK 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 at the top left at HERE or at “Cultural Logic” HERE

For a video of a Slide Presentation/Talk on Hubert Harrison see 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 articles, audios, and videos by and about Hubert Harrison see CLICK HERE

Facts of the current conjuncture . . .millions are suffering under the white supremacist shaping of this system, . . . .

August 25, 2015

Tags: economic situation worsens, The Developing Conjuncture, Hubert Harrison, Hubert H. Harrison, Theodore W. Allen, Ted Allen, Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy, Cultural Logic, poor and working people, U.S. capitalism, white supremacist shaping, Class and Racial Aspects, Economic Crisis, U.S. Workers, Wisconsin, St. Croix, Socialist Party, Southernism or Socialism, Race First and Class After, Class Consciousness, White Supremacy, Duty to Champion the Cause of the Negro, The Touchstone, Two-Fold Character of Democracy in America, Black Community, Capitalist Imperialism, Exclusion Walls of White Workers, The International Colored Unity League, White Skin Privilege, White Blindspot, Why No Socialism, SDS, The Main Retardant to Working Class Consciousness, Three Crises, Great Depression, Artful Dodges, The Invention of the White Race, Colonial Period, a perpetual Brand upon Free Negros, Political Economic Aspects, Racial Oppression, National Oppression, Racial Slavery, Slavery, Male Supremacy, Gender Oppression, Family, Slavery as Capitalism, Slaveholders as Capitalists, Enslaved as Proletarians, Class Conscious, Anti-White Supremacist, Counter Narrative, Winthrop D. Jordan, Edmund S. Morgan, Not Simply a Social Construct, But a Ruling Class Social Control Formation, David Roediger, White Race, White Race Privilege, Bifurcation of Labor History and Black History, National Question, Toward a Revolution in Labor History, Strategy, The Struggle Ahead, Epigraph, Addendum, Daedalus, Jeffrey B. Perry, Jeff Perry

As the economic situation worsens people are encouraged to read “The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy” at the TOP LEFT HERE or at Cultural Logic HERE

Harrison and Allen were two of the twentieth century’s most important thinkers on issues of race and class and they have much to offer for struggles ahead.

“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.”

Table of Contents

Epigraph
Introduction
Hubert Harrison
Theodore W. Allen
Harrison and Allen and the Centrality of the Struggle Against White-Supremacy
Some Class and Racial Aspects of The Conjuncture
Deepening Economic Crisis
U.S. Workers Faring Badly
White Supremacist Shaping
Wisconsin
Millions are Suffering and Conditions are Worsening
Insights from Hubert Harrison
Arrival in America, Contrast with St. Croix
Socialist Party Writings
“Southernism or Socialism – which?”
The Socialist Party Puts [the “White”] Race First and Class After
Class Consciousness, White Supremacy, and the "Duty to Champion the Cause of the Negro"
On “The Touchstone” and the Two-Fold Character of Democracy in America
Concentrated Race-Conscious Work in the Black Community
Capitalist Imperialism and the Need to Break Down Exclusion Walls of White Workers
The International Colored Unity League
Struggle Against White Supremacy is Central
Insights from Theodore W. Allen
Early Research and Writings and Pioneering Use of “White Skin Privilege” Concept
White Blindspot
Why No Socialism? . . . and The Main Retardant to Working Class Consciousness
The Role of White Supremacy in Three Previous Crises
The Great Depression . . . and the White Supremacist Response
Response to Four Arguments Against and Five “Artful Dodges”
Early 1970s Writings and Strategy
“The Invention of the White Race”
Other Important Contributions in Writings on the Colonial Period
Inventing the “White Race” and Fixing “a perpetual Brand upon Free Negros”
Political Economic Aspects of the Invention of the “White Race”
Racial Oppression and National Oppression
“Racial Slavery” and “Slavery”
Male Supremacy, Gender Oppression, and Laws Affecting the Family
Slavery as Capitalism, Slaveholders as Capitalists, Enslaved as Proletarians
Class-Conscious, Anti-White Supremacist Counter Narrative – Comments on Jordan and Morgan
Not Simply a Social Construct, But a Ruling Class Social Control Formation . . . and Comments on Roediger
The “White Race” and “White Race” Privilege
On the Bifurcation of “Labor History” and “Black History” and on the “National Question”
Later Writings . . . “Toward a Revolution in Labor History”
Strategy
The Struggle Ahead

Addendum [re “Daedalus”]

Contents
"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

August 2, 2015

Tags: Contents, Hubert Harrison, Hubert H. Harrison, Theodore W. Allen, Jeffrey B. Perry, Cultural Logic, Daedalus, Joseph G. Ramsey, David Siae, Labor, U.S. Labor History, W. E. B. Du Bois, C. L. R. James, David Roediger, Communist Party, Socialist Party, Black Lives Matter, White Privilege, White Skin Privilege, SDS, Winthrop D. Jordan, Edmund S. Morgan, Lerone Bennett, Jr., Class, Race, Economic Crisis, U.S. Workers, White Supremacy, Wisconsin, St. Croix, Socialist Party, Southernism, Socialism, Race First, Class After, Class Consciousness, Duty to Champion the Cause of the Negro, Touchstone, Why No Socialism, Werner Sombart, James S. Allen, John R. Commons, UMW, White Blindspot, The Invention of the White Race, whiteness, William Sylvis, National Labor Union, A. Philip Randolph, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., poison bait, an injury to one is an injury to all, solidarity forever, repudiate, Verso Books, Columbia University Press, Ted Allen, Jeff Perry, Black Reconstruction, Black worker, white worker



Table of Contents


Epigraph
Introduction
  Hubert Harrison
  Theodore W. Allen
  Harrison and Allen and the Centrality of the Struggle Against White-Supremacy
Some Class and Racial Aspects of The Conjuncture
  Deepening Economic Crisis
  U.S. Workers Faring Badly
  White Supremacist Shaping
  Wisconsin
  Millions are Suffering and Conditions are Worsening
Insights from Hubert Harrison
  Arrival in America, Contrast with St. Croix
  Socialist Party Writings
  “Southernism or Socialism – which?”
  The Socialist Party Puts [the “White”] Race First and Class After
  Class Consciousness, White Supremacy, and the "Duty to Champion the Cause of the Negro"
  On “The Touchstone” and the Two-Fold Character of Democracy in America
  Concentrated Race-Conscious Work in the Black Community
  Capitalist Imperialism and the Need to Break Down Exclusion Walls of White Workers
  The International Colored Unity League
  Struggle Against White Supremacy is Central
Insights from Theodore W. Allen
  Early Research and Writings and Pioneering Use of “White Skin Privilege” Concept
  White Blindspot
  Why No Socialism? . . . and The Main Retardant to Working Class Consciousness
  The Role of White Supremacy in Three Previous Crises
  The Great Depression . . . and the White Supremacist Response
  Response to Four Arguments Against and Five “Artful Dodges”
  Early 1970s Writings and Strategy
  “The Invention of the White Race”
  Other Important Contributions in Writings on the Colonial Period
  Inventing the “White Race” and Fixing “a perpetual Brand upon Free Negros”
  Political Economic Aspects of the Invention of the “White Race”
  Racial Oppression and National Oppression
  “Racial Slavery” and “Slavery”
  Male Supremacy, Gender Oppression, and Laws Affecting the Family
  Slavery as Capitalism, Slaveholders as Capitalists, Enslaved as Proletarians
  Class-Conscious, Anti-White Supremacist Counter Narrative – Comments on Jordan and Morgan
  Not Simply a Social Construct, But a Ruling Class Social Control Formation . . . and Comments on Roediger
  The “White Race” and “White Race” Privilege
  On the Bifurcation of “Labor History” and “Black History” and on the “National Question”
  Later Writings . . . “Toward a Revolution in Labor History”
Strategy
The Struggle Ahead

Addendum [re “Daedalus”]


This article originally appeared in the July 2010 issue of Cultural Logic edited by Joseph G. Ramsey with the assistance of David Siar.

To read the article CLICK HERE and go to top left,

or CLICK HERE.

To read the article without downloading a PDF CLICK HERE!

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

For writings by and about Hubert Harrison CLICK HERE

For a video presentation on Hubert Harrison, "The Father of Harlem Radicalism," who is discussed at the beginning of this video CLICK HERE

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




A Quick Guide to Sections of the Video on
Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race,”
(Presentation by Jeffrey B. Perry)

July 9, 2015

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



"Terbospeed," the screen name of a viewer of the video of Theodore W. Allen's "The Invention of the White Race," took the time to select some key points in the presentation and provide excerpts and links to the exact sections in the video where the points are discussed.

What "Terbospeed" has done can be very helpful for viewers and I draw from "Terbospeed's" outline here --

"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.”

Main thesis 1) 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 2) a system of racial privileges was deliberately instituted by the late 17th century Anglo-American bourgeoisie in order to define and establish the white race, and establish a system of racial oppression 3) the consequences were not only ruinous to the interests of African-Americans, they were also disastrous for European-American workers

1:20 "[Hubert] Harrison Arrived in NY [from Caribbean] in 1900 and encountered a viscous white supremacy unlike anything he knew before" CLICK HERE

3:30 Contrast of Caribbean/US Slavery CLICK HERE

4:50 "Politically, the Negro is the touchstone of the modern democratic idea. The presence of the Negro puts our democracy to the test and reveals the falsity of it." (touchstone is black stone which tests the purity of gold) CLICK HERE

07:40 "This understanding of black labor as proletarian is essential to a whole new reinterpretation of US history" CLICK HERE

10:15 Originator -- "white skin privilege" concept, 1965 CLICK HERE

16:25 "Invention's" Main Theses CLICK HERE

23:00 "Three Major Crisis of US: 1870s, 1890s, 1930s" CLICK HERE

23:20 "Why no socialism in the US?" "Why was there a generally low level of class-consciousness in the US?" Review/criticism of left/labor/general historians - "Architects of Consensus" CLICK HERE

24:07 Six-pronged rational: (Consensus explaining low level of class consciousness) Early right to vote and other constitutional liberties Heterogeneity of the working class Free-land safety valve Higher wages Social mobility "Aristocracy of labor" Each is a myth, and needs to be reexamined in the light of Racism/White Supremacy CLICK HERE

37:50 'whiteness' - "the white race is an actual objective thing", "an abstract noun, an attribute of some people, not their role" it's a historically developed identity of European-Americans and Anglo-Americans and so has to be dealt with" CLICK HERE

38:22 "my book is not about, and does not pretend to be about `racism'" "it is about the white race, it's origin and method of functioning" "I stay way from using the word `racism' because of the ruinous ambiguity white supremacists have managed to give it" CLICK HERE

39:40 Slavery or Racism, which came first? CLICK HERE

40:55 "Look at some Howling Absurdities of ``Race''' CLICK HERE

43:45 "The Irish Mirror" "The reflector of Irish history affords insights into American racial oppression and white supremacy" Irish History "presents a case of racial oppression without reference to 'skin color' or, as the jargon goes, 'phenotype'." CLICK HERE

44:12 Core Argument - Comparative study of: 1) Anglo-Norman rule and 'Protestant Ascendancy' (1652-) in Ireland 2) 'white supremacy' in continental Anglo-America (in both its colonial and regenerate United States forms) CLICK HERE

44:55 Specific Examples of Racial Oppression 1) African Americans in the U.S. both pre/post emancipation 2) American Indians in the 19th century 3) Irish from early 13th century until 1315, and after 1652 CLICK HERE

45:08 Essential Elements of Discrimination (against Irish in Ireland and Afro-Americans) which gave these respective regimes the character of racial oppression, were those that: 1) Destroyed the original forms of social identity & 2) Excluded the oppressed group from admittance into the forms of social identity normal to the colonizing power. CLICK HERE

45:33 4 Defining Characteristics of Racial Oppression (Virginia 18th century) 1) de-classing legislation, directed at property-holding members of the oppressed group 2) deprivation of civil rights 3) illegalization of literacy 4) displacement of family rights and authorities The Hallmark of Racial Oppression: "the reduction of all members of the oppressed group to one undifferentiated social status, beneath that of any member of the oppressor group" CLICK HERE

46:04 Maximize Profit, Maintain Social Control "Where the option was for racial oppression, a successful policy was one that could maximize the return on capital investment, while assuring its perpetuation through an efficient system of social control" CLICK HERE

The Invention of the White Race
by Theodore W. Allen
Video Presentation by Jeffrey B. Perry
Passes 55,000-Viewers Mark
Please Share and Discuss
Theodore W. Allen and Hubert Harrison are Key

July 8, 2015

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



This Video on The Invention of the White Race
by Theodore W. Allen
Just Passed the 55,000-Viewers Mark on YouTube.

55,000 VIEWS -- Hubert Harrison (“the father of Harlem radicalism”) and Theodore W. Allen (author of “The Invention of the White Race: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America”) are two of the most important thinkers on race and class in the 20th Century. If you are interested in issues of race and class in (more…)

Video on The Invention of the White Race
by Theodore W. Allen
Passes 50,000-Viewers Mark
CRUCIAL FOR UNDERSTANDING U.S. HISTORY
Points Way Forward for Struggle

May 15, 2015

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



This Video on The Invention of the White Race
by Theodore W. Allen
Just Passed the 50,000-Viewers Mark on YouTube.

50,000 VIEWS -- Hubert Harrison (“the father of Harlem radicalism”) and Theodore W. Allen (author of “The Invention of the White Race: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America”) are two of the most important thinkers on race and class in the 20th Century. If you are interested in issues of race and class in (more…)

Video on The Invention of the White Race
by Theodore W. Allen
Passes 45,000-Viewers Mark
ESSENTIAL FOR UNDERSTANDING U.S. HISTORY
Points Way Forward for Struggle

March 15, 2015

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



This Video on The Invention of the White Race
by Theodore W. Allen
Just Passed the 45,000-Viewers Mark on YouTube.


Theodore W. Allen’s work provides an essential 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 read and to include Allen’s seminal work in their courses. They are also encouraged to utilize this video.

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

Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. 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 SHARE WITH OTHERS!

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

For “A Summary of the Argument of The Invention of the White Race” (in 2 parts) by Theodore W. Allen 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) published by Verso Books CLICK HERE

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 articles, audios, and videos by and about Theodore W. Allen 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 provides the fullest treatment of the development of Allen’s thought.

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


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.

The Invention of
The White Race

by Theodore W. Allen
Special E-Book Sale
90% off
$3 Each Volume
Print Copies for 50% Off

December 26, 2014

Tags: The Invention of the White Race, Theodore W. Allen, Verso Books, Jeffrey B. Perry, Ted Allen, Jeff Perry, 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, slavery as 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

The Invention of
The White Race

by Theodore W. Allen
Special 50% Off Print Copies
With Free Shipping and Bundled E-Book
or E-Books Alone for $3 Each
New Expanded Edition

Essential for Understanding "Race and Class" in the U.S.
A Wonderful Gift


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.

In an effort to assist readers and to encourage meaningful engagement with Allen’s work this new edition of The Invention Of the White Race includes new introductions, appendices, internal study guides, and expanded indexes.

For reader's comments, an introduction, and a link to Volume 1: Racial Oppression and Social Control CLICK HERE

For the Verso Books discount offers for Volume 1 CLICK HERE

For reader's comments, an introduction, and a link to Volume 2: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America CLICK HERE

For the Verso Books discount offers for Volume 2 CLICK HERE

For further information on the work of Theodore W. Allen CLICK HERE

For an in-depth discussion of Allen's work 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” at the top left HERE and also at "Cultural Logic" HERE

For a video of a slide presentation/talk on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” by Jeffrey B. Perry CLICK HERE

Video on The Invention of the White Race
by Theodore W. Allen
Just Passed 35,000-Viewers Mark
Offers Crucial Understanding for Struggle Today
Please View and Share

December 26, 2014

Tags: The Invention of the White Race, Theodore W. Allen, 35, 000-viewer mark, Verso Books, Columbia University Press, 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, slavery as 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



This Video on The Invention of the White Race
by Theodore W. Allen
Just Passed the 35,000-Viewers Mark on YouTube
Please take time to view it and share it. Allen’s work is extremely important!

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.

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 a super special discount offer 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 super special Verso Books discount offer, 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 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.


Theodore W. Allen
on Two Main Ideological Props of White Supremacy
Among Euro-American Workers

December 21, 2014

Tags: Theodore W. Allen, The Invention of the White Race, white privilege, white skin privilege, class struggle, white supremacy, Winthrop D. Jordan, White Over Black, Edmund S. Morgan, American Slavery, American Freedom, Bacon's Rebellion, racism is innate argument, white workers benefit argument, too few free poor to matter, unthinking decision




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 (since reprinted in new expanded form in 2012 by Verso Books) , and authored a number of other extremely important published and unpublished pieces.

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 (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 discusses how Allen’s work challenges two main ideological props of white supremacy among European-American workers -- the argument that "racism is innate" and the argument that European-American workers "benefit" from white supremacism and "white" privileges (Allen argues that the race privileges are a "poison bait," like a shot of heroin, and that the race privileges are ruinous to the interests of African Americans and of European-American workers).

As he argues –
“An Injury to One is an Injury to All!"
"Solidarity Forever, Means Privileges Never!"


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 and discusses this subject. For the article Click Here (at top left) or Click Here

For a longer Slide Presentation/Talk on Theodore W. Allen’s The Invention of the White Race at the Brecht Forum in New York City on January 31, 2013, see Click Here

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

For information on Jeffrey B. Perry Click Here

This segment was videoed on January 31, 2013, by Fred Nguyen of Fan Smiles.

Theodore W. Allen's "The Invention of the White Race"
Slide Presentation/Talk by Jeffrey B. Perry
The Commons, Brooklyn
December 10, 2014, 7:30 PM

December 9, 2014

Tags: The Invention of the White Race, Theodore W. Allen, Verso Books, Jeffrey B. Perry, Ted Allen, Jeff Perry, 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, slavery as 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

Brooklyn-based 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.

Allen pioneered his "white skin privilege" analysis in the 1960s, 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 authored Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918 (Columbia University Press, 2008); contributed new front and back matter to the new edition of Allen's The Invention of the White Race; and 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)

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

The Invention of
The White Race

by Theodore W. Allen
Special 50% Off
Free Shipping and Bundled E-Book

December 7, 2014

Tags: The Invention of the White Race, Theodore W. Allen, Verso Books, Jeffrey B. Perry, Ted Allen, Jeff Perry, 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, slavery as 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

The Invention of
The White Race

by Theodore W. Allen
Special 50% Off
Free Shipping and Bundled E-Book
New Expanded Edition

Essential for Understanding "Race and Class" in the U.S.
A Wonderful Gift


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.

In an effort to assist readers and to encourage meaningful engagement with Allen’s work this new edition of The Invention Of the White Race includes new introductions, appendices, internal study guides, and expanded indexes.

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

For reader's comments, an introduction, the Verso Books discount offer, and a link to Volume 2: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America CLICK HERE

For further information on the work of Theodore W. Allen CLICK HERE

For an in-depth discussion of Allen's work 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” at the top left HERE and also at "Cultural Logic" HERE

For a video of a slide presentation/talk on Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” by Jeffrey B. Perry see


This Video on The Invention of the White Race
by Theodore W. Allen
Just Passed the 30,000-Viewers Mark on YouTube
Allen's Work is of Great Importance

November 22, 2014

Tags: The Invention of the White Race, Theodore W. Allen, 25, 000-viewer mark, Verso Books, Columbia University Press, Hubert Harrison The Voice of Harlem Radicalsim, YouTube, Jeffrey B. Perry, Ted Allen, Jeff Perry, Hubert Harrison, 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, slavery as 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, #timwise



This Video on The Invention of the White Race
by Theodore W. Allen
Just Passed the 30,000-Viewers Mark on YouTube


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.

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 Vol. I: Racial Oppression and Social Control" (including comments from scholars and activists) published by Verso Books CLICK HERE
For articles, audios, and videos by and about Theodore W. Allen 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, HERE discusses their work in detail.


This Video on The Invention of the White Race
by Theodore W. Allen
Just Passed the 25,000-Viewers Mark on YouTube

October 7, 2014

Tags: The Invention of the White Race, Theodore W. Allen, 25, 000-viewer mark, YouTube, Jeffrey B. Perry, Ted Allen, Hubert Harrison, 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, John Punch, Elizabeth Key, slavery, capitalism, slavery as capitalism, Gooch, white skin privilege, white privilege, Lerone Bennett Jr., Winthrop D. Jordan, Edmund S. Morgan



This Video on The Invention of the White Race
by Theodore W. Allen
Just Passed the 25,000-Viewers Mark on YouTube


It 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.
You are encouraged to view and share this video and and discuss their work with others.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Gq77rOuZck

To 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, CLICK HERE

For a short video of Theodore W. Allen CLICK HERE

This video introduction to Hubert Harrison is part of a five-part presentation series on Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen. This segment was videoed on July 26, 2014 by Fred Nguyen of Fan Smiles.

For information on Theodore W. Allen CLICK HERE

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

For information on Hubert Harrison CLICK HERE
and CLICK HERE

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

For information on Jeffrey B. Perry CLICK HERE

Theodore W. Allen
Offers Key Writings for the Study of U.S. Labor History
by Jeffrey B. Perry

April 7, 2014

Tags: Labor History, working-class, Theodore W. Allen, The Invention of the White Race, Verso Books, Toward a Revolution in Labor History, 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, labor historians, African American, bond-laborers, proletarians, class-conscious, anti-white supremacist, counter-narrative, re-interpretation, white labor apology, slavery in Anglo-America as capitalism, slaveholders as capitalists, enslaved laborers as proletarians, capitalist, racial slavery, means of production, plantations, non-owners, alienation of labor power, commodities, capital, plantation bourgeoisie, slaves, proletarians, chattel bond-labor, W. E. B. Du Bois, Ulrich Bonnell Phillips, Lewis C. Gray, Roger W. Shugg, Hubert Harrison, David Roediger, Winthrop D. Jordan, Eric Williams, C. L. R. James, Caribbean, Karl Marx, surplus-value, Civil War, free wage-labor, Negroes, wage labor, labor-power, commodity, labor power, Abraham Lincoln, International Socialist Review, essentially proletarian, most throroughly exploited, proletariat, duty of the party, crucial test, Socialism, kernel and the meaning, labor movement, chattel bond-laborers, white blindspot, labor historians, heterogeneity, safety valve, homesteading, social mobility, relative shortage of labor, pure and simple trade unionism, classical consensus, Frederick Engels, proletarian revolution, Frederick A. Sorge, Frederick Jackson Turner, Richard T. Ely, Christian Socialist, Morris Hillquit, Socialist Party, John R. Commons, Selig Perlman, A Theory of the Labor Movement, Mary Beard, Charles A. Beard, William Z. Foster, communism, American exceptionalism, white-blindness, white supremacism, white skin privilege, main retardant, white supremacy, white race, majoritarian democratic facade, main barrier, incubus of white identity, European-American, free land safety valve theory, railroads, mining companies, land companies, speculators, homesteading, heterogeneity, industrial unions, workers party, language problem, Exodus of 1879, 1877, Haymarket, 1886, Pullman strike, 1894, Populists, the South, Middle Western farmers, sit down strikes, industrial unionism, workers and poor farmers, Free land, constitutional liberties, immigration, high wages, social mobility, aristocracy of labor, white skin privileges

Those studying of US Labor History would do well to include writings by and about the independent, working-class scholar Theodore W. Allen (1919-2005), especially as put forth in his The Invention of the White Race (2 vols., Verso Books, [1994, 1997], 2012) and his still-to-be-published “Toward a Revolution in Labor History” (2004). (See some of these writings can be found HERE.)

Important insights from Allen’s writings are found in 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 July 2010) available online HERE (top left) and HERE . (This article includes links to many writings by Allen.)

Allen contends, that “the beginning of wisdom for labor historians must be the recognition that from 1619 on the history of African American bond-laborers is a history of proletarians. From this all else follows.”

In his writings Allen seeks to lay the basis for a class-conscious, anti-white supremacist, counter-narrative of American history. He offers “the groundwork for a total re-interpretation of U.S. history” that he considers to be “unfettered by white labor apology which consistently locates Afro-Americans outside the working class.”

Of major importance is Allen’s analysis of slavery in Anglo-America as capitalism, slaveholders as capitalists, and enslaved laborers as proletarians. In describing “the capitalist development which motored the Anglo-American racial slavery system,” Allen’s historical work shows “that the means of production on the plantations were monopolized by one class,” that “non-owners were reduced to absolute dependence upon the owners and could live only by the alienation of their own labor power to the service of the owning class,” that “the products of the plantation took the form of commodities,” and “that the aim of production was the accumulation and expansion of capital.”

He emphasizes that “slaveholders were capitalists – a plantation bourgeoisie – and the slaves were proletarians.” He also points out that the “proposition that the United States plantation system based on chattel bond-labor was a capitalist operation is a widely recognized principle of political economy” and cites a disparate group of writers including W. E. B. Du Bois, Ulrich Bonnell Phillips, Lewis C. Gray, Roger W. Shugg, Hubert Harrison, David Roediger, and Winthrop D. Jordan who have taken this position, and he adds that Eric Williams and C. L. R. James “view Caribbean slavery in this light, as well.”

Allen calls special attention to the fact that Karl Marx invariably treated the American plantation economy as capitalist enterprise and quotes Marx that “The production of surplus-value is the absolute law of this [capitalist – TWA] mode of production.” He similarly quotes Marx that “The overworking of the Negro [bond-laborer – TWA] . . . was no longer a question of obtaining from him a certain quantity of useful products [as in ancient classical slavery – TWA]. It was now a question of the production of surplus-value itself.” Referring to circumstances where both rent and profit go to the owner-employer Marx explained, “Where capitalist conceptions predominate, as they did upon the American plantations, this entire surplus-value is regarded as profit.” Allen also quotes Marx before the Civil War discussing the nature of differential rent and commenting that while free wage-labor is the normal basis of capitalist production, still “the capitalist mode of production exists” in the Anglo-American plantation colonies based on “the slavery of Negroes.”

In the course of his work Allen addresses a question that might be raised – How can slavery be capitalist, since it is not based on wage labor? He responds, “What is historically significant about the wages system is that it is based on the general transformation of labor-power into a commodity, and that in turn is due to the fact that the producers have lost ownership of the means production, and therefore can live only by the sale of their labor power.” He cites Marx’s letter to Lincoln, that the African-American bond-laborer was “sold without his concurrence, while the European-American worker could ‘sell himself,’” and Marx’s statement that “‘the business in which slaves are used [in the United States] is conducted by capitalists,’ and for the same purpose, the accumulation of capital by the extraction of surplus value from the exploitation of commodity-producing labor.”

Allen notes, “the bond-labor form was a contradiction of the basic requisites of general capitalist development – a contradiction that was purged away in the Civil War,” but emphasizes that “[for] a time that form of labor was not a barrier to rapid capitalist accumulation, but its main engine.”

On the topic of slaveholders as capitalists and the enslaved laborers as proletarians Allen quotes from Hubert Harrison in the 1912 International Socialist Review that “The . . . Negroes of America form a group that is more essentially proletarian than any other American group.” Allen adds that in “a presumed reference to African American bond-laborers” Harrison wrote, “the Negro was at one period the most thoroughly exploited of the American proletariat.” After quoting Harrison’s statements that “the duty of the [Socialist] party to champion his [the African American’s] cause is as clear as day” and “this is the crucial test of Socialism's sincerity,” Allen concludes: “the study of class consciousness, ‘the working people’s consciousness of their interests and of their predicament as a class,’ should start with the recognition of that fact.”

Allen draws a similar conclusion from Du Bois’ discussion of the interests of “the laboring class, black and white, North and South.” Over his last forty years he would often cite, and add emphasis to, Du Bois’ seminal words that “the [white] labor movement, with but few exceptions, . . . never had the intelligence or knowledge, as a whole, to see in black slavery and Reconstruction, the kernel and the meaning of the labor movement in the United States.

For Allen, this insight expressed by Du Bois was “a basis . . . for understanding and applying the general Marxist principles in assessing the interests of American labor and the state of American labor’s consciousness of those interests.” As Allen explained:

"Given this understanding of slavery in Anglo-America as capitalism, and of the slaveholders as capitalists, it follows that the chattel bond-laborers were proletarians. Accordingly, the study of class consciousness as a sense the American workers have of their own class interests, must start with recognition of that fact. But historians guided by the white blindspot have, in effect, defined the United States working class as an essentially European-American grouping. In doing so they have ignored or, at best, marginalized the propertyless African-American plantation workers, the exploitation of whose surplus value-producing labor was also the basis of capital accumulation for the employers of those workers."

Also of great importance is Allen’s historical research in which he challenged (almost 50 years ago) what he described as the prevailing consensus among left and labor historians, a consensus that attributed the low level of class consciousness among American workers to such factors as the early development of civil liberties, the heterogeneity of the work force, the safety valve of homesteading opportunities in the west, the ease of social mobility, the relative shortage of labor, and the early development of “pure and simple trade unionism.”

He argued that the “classical consensus on the subject” was the product of the efforts of such writers as Frederick Engels, “co-founder with Karl Marx of the very theory of proletarian revolution”; Frederick A. Sorge, “main correspondent of Marx and Engels in the United States” and a socialist and labor activist for almost sixty years; Frederick Jackson Turner, giant of U.S. history; Richard T. Ely, Christian Socialist and author of “the first attempt at a labor history in the United States”; Morris Hillquit, founder and leading figure of the Socialist Party for almost two decades; John R. Commons, who, with his associates authored the first comprehensive history of the U.S. labor movement; Selig Perlman, a Commons associate who later authored A Theory of the Labor Movement; Mary Beard and Charles A. Beard, labor and general historians; and William Z. Foster, major figure in the history of U.S. communism with “his analyses of ‘American exceptionalism.’”

Allen challenged this “old consensus” as being “seriously flawed . . . by erroneous assumptions, one-sidedness, exaggeration, and above all, by white-blindness.” He also countered with his own theory that white supremacism, reinforced among European-Americans by “white skin privilege,” was the main retardant of working-class consciousness in the U.S. and that efforts at radical social change should direct principal efforts at challenging the system of white supremacy and “white skin privilege.”

As he further developed his analysis Allen would later add and emphasize that the “white race,” by its all-class form, conceals the operation of the ruling class social control system by providing it with a majoritarian “democratic” facade and that “the main barrier to class consciousness” was “the incubus of ‘white’ identity of the European-American.”

Allen discussed reasons that the six-point rationale had lost much of its force and focused on historical analyses. He noted that the free land safety valve theory had been “thoroughly discredited” for many reasons including that the bulk of the best lands were taken by railroads, mining companies, land companies, and speculators and that the costs of homesteading were prohibitive for eastern wage earners. He similarly pointed out that heterogeneity “may well . . . have brought . . . more strength than weakness to the United States labor and radical movement”; that the “rise of mass, ‘non aristocratic,’ industrial unions has not broken the basic pattern of opposition to a workers party, on the part of the leaders”; and that the “‘language problem’ in labor agitating and organizing never really posed any insurmountable obstacle.”

He then focused on what he described as “two basic and irrefutable themes.” First, whatever the state of class consciousness may have been most of the time, “there have been occasional periods of widespread and violent eruption of radical thought and action on the part of the workers and poor farmers, white and black.” He cited Black labor's valiant Reconstruction struggle; the Exodus of 1879; the “year of violence” in 1877 marked by “fiery revolts at every major terminal point across the country”; the period from “bloody Haymarket” in 1886 to the Pullman strike of 1894 during which “the U.S. army was called upon no less than 328 times to suppress labor's struggles”; the Populists of the same period when Black and white poor farmers “joined hands for an instant in the South” and when Middle Western farmers decided to “raise less corn and more hell!”; and the labor struggles of the 1930's marked by sit down strikes and the establishment of industrial unionism. Allen emphasized that in such times “any proposal to discuss the relative backwardness of the United States workers and poor farmers would have had a ring of unreality.” He reasoned, “if, in such crises, the cause of labor was consistently defeated by force and cooptation; if no permanent advance of class consciousness in the form of a third, anti capitalist, party was achieved . . . there must have been reasons more relevant than ‘free land’ that you couldn't get; ‘free votes’ that you couldn't cast, or couldn't get counted; or ‘high wages’ for jobs you couldn't find or . . . the rest of the standard rationale.”

His second, “irrefutable” theme was that each of the facts of life in the classical consensus had to be “decisively altered when examined in the light of the centrality of the question of white supremacy and of the white skin privileges of the white workers.” He again reasoned, “‘Free land,’ ‘constitutional liberties,’ ‘immigration,’ ‘high wages,’ ‘social mobility,’ ‘aristocracy of labor’” were “all, white skin privileges” and “whatever their effect upon the thinking of white workers may be said to be, the same cannot be claimed in the case of the Negro.”

The Invention of the White Race
by
Theodore W. Allen
Slide Presentation/Talk (Video)
by
Jeffrey B. Perry

March 7, 2014

Tags: Theodore W. Allen, The Invention of the White Race, Jeffrey B. Perry, video, Verso Books, The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America, The Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen Society, Fred Nguyen, white skin privilege, white privilege, Bacon's Rebellion, Lerone Bennett Jr., Winthrop D. Jordan, Edmund S. Morgan, racial slavery, chattel bond servitude, Africa, Ireland, Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina, St. Croix, Barbados, Jamaica, Haiti, white supremacy, white race, social control formation, social construct, national oppression, capitalism


Jeffrey B. Perry -- Slide Presentation/Talk on
The Invention of the White Race (Verso Books) by Theodore W. Allen
with special emphasis on Vol. II: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America.
Hosted by “The Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen Society”
Filmed by Fred Nguyen on January 31, 2013
Brecht Forum, New York City
.

Note -- On this cold January night in 2013 the Brecht Forum, when it was still located in lower Manhattan, had no heat. The standing room only audience is testimony to the interest in Theodore W. Allen's important work and the struggle against white supremacy. For more on Theodore W. Allen's The Invention of the White Race CLICK HERE!

Please mark this video for viewing and share with others!

Theodore W. Allen's Challenge
to the Historical Master Narratives
Associated with the Work of
Winthrop D. Jordan and Edmund S. Morgan

February 14, 2014

Tags: Theodore W. Allen, Winthrop D. Jordan, Edmund S. Morgan, The Invention of the White Race, White Over Black, American SlAvery, American Freedom

For anyone reading (or using in a class or study group) Edmund S. Morgan’s "American Slavery/American Freedom" and/or Winthrop D. Jordan's "White Over Black," I would encourage also reading something by Theodore W. Allen.

In particular, I would recommend either Allen's “The Invention of the White Race” (re-published in a new expanded edition by Verso Books in November 2012), his 1978 review of Morgan’s book in “Monthly Review,” his article “Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race” (available online at http://clogic.eserver.org/2006/allen.html Click Here ), or his "Summary of the Argument of 'The Invention of the White Race'" (available online at http://clogic.eserver.org/1-2/allen.html Click Here ).

Allen's work details the development of racial slavery and racial oppression in Anglo-America with special emphasis on social control and "the invention of the 'white race'" in late-17th century Virginia.

In the process, it seeks to challenge what Allen considers to be the two main arguments that undermine the struggle against white supremacy by European-American workers: (1) the argument that white supremacism is innate, and (2) the argument that European-American workers “benefit” from “white race” privileges and white supremacism -- that the privileges are in their class interest.

These arguments are respectively related to two historical master 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 Winthrop D. Jordan in "White Over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro, 1550-1812."

The second argument is related to Morgan’s contention that as racial slavery developed in Virginia, “there were too few free poor [European-Americans] on hand to matter.”

Allen's rigorously researched two-volume "classic" The Invention of the White Race challenges both these positions and it (along with his other writings) offers an important counter-narrative to the narratives of Jordan and Morgan.

It is a seminal contribution to U.S. history!

Jeffrey B. Perry

Theodore W. Allen
Offers Key Writings for the Study of U.S. Labor History
by Jeffrey B. Perry

October 30, 2013

Tags: Labor History, working-class, Theodore W. Allen, The Invention of the White Race, Verso Books, Toward a Revolution in Labor History, 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, labor historians, African American, bond-laborers, proletarians, class-conscious, anti-white supremacist, counter-narrative, re-interpretation, white labor apology, slavery in Anglo-America as capitalism, slaveholders as capitalists, enslaved laborers as proletarians, capitalist, racial slavery, means of production, plantations, non-owners, alienation of labor power, commodities, capital, plantation bourgeoisie, slaves, proletarians, chattel bond-labor, W. E. B. Du Bois, Ulrich Bonnell Phillips, Lewis C. Gray, Roger W. Shugg, Hubert Harrison, David Roediger, Winthrop D. Jordan, Eric Williams, C. L. R. James, Caribbean, Karl Marx, surplus-value, Civil War, free wage-labor, Negroes, wage labor, labor-power, commodity, labor power, Abraham Lincoln, International Socialist Review, essentially proletarian, most throroughly exploited, proletariat, duty of the party, crucial test, Socialism, kernel and the meaning, labor movement, chattel bond-laborers, white blindspot, labor historians, heterogeneity, safety valve, homesteading, social mobility, relative shortage of labor, pure and simple trade unionism, classical consensus, Frederick Engels, proletarian revolution, Frederick A. Sorge, Frederick Jackson Turner, Richard T. Ely, Christian Socialist, Morris Hillquit, Socialist Party, John R. Commons, Selig Perlman, A Theory of the Labor Movement, Mary Beard, Charles A. Beard, William Z. Foster, communism, American exceptionalism, white-blindness, white supremacism, white skin privilege, main retardant, white supremacy, white race, majoritarian democratic facade, main barrier, incubus of white identity, European-American, free land safety valve theory, railroads, mining companies, land companies, speculators, homesteading, heterogeneity, industrial unions, workers party, language problem, Exodus of 1879, 1877, Haymarket, 1886, Pullman strike, 1894, Populists, the South, Middle Western farmers, sit down strikes, industrial unionism, workers and poor farmers, Free land, constitutional liberties, immigration, high wages, social mobility, aristocracy of labor, white skin privileges

Those studying of US Labor History would do well to include writings by and about the independent, working-class scholar Theodore W. Allen (1919-2005), especially as put forth in his The Invention of the White Race (2 vols., Verso Books, [1994, 1997], 2012) and his still-to-be-published “Toward a Revolution in Labor History” (2004). (See some of these writings can be found HERE.)

Important insights from Allen’s writings are found in 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 July 2010) available online HERE (top left) and HERE . (This article includes links to many writings by Allen.)

Allen contends, that “the beginning of wisdom for labor historians must be the recognition that from 1619 on the history of African American bond-laborers is a history of proletarians. From this all else follows.”

In his writings Allen seeks to lay the basis for a class-conscious, anti-white supremacist, counter-narrative of American history. He offers “the groundwork for a total re-interpretation of U.S. history” that he considers to be “unfettered by white labor apology which consistently locates Afro-Americans outside the working class.”

Of major importance is Allen’s analysis of slavery in Anglo-America as capitalism, slaveholders as capitalists, and enslaved laborers as proletarians. In describing “the capitalist development which motored the Anglo-American racial slavery system,” Allen’s historical work shows “that the means of production on the plantations were monopolized by one class,” that “non-owners were reduced to absolute dependence upon the owners and could live only by the alienation of their own labor power to the service of the owning class,” that “the products of the plantation took the form of commodities,” and “that the aim of production was the accumulation and expansion of capital.”

He emphasizes that “slaveholders were capitalists – a plantation bourgeoisie – and the slaves were proletarians.” He also points out that the “proposition that the United States plantation system based on chattel bond-labor was a capitalist operation is a widely recognized principle of political economy” and cites a disparate group of writers including W. E. B. Du Bois, Ulrich Bonnell Phillips, Lewis C. Gray, Roger W. Shugg, Hubert Harrison, David Roediger, and Winthrop D. Jordan who have taken this position, and he adds that Eric Williams and C. L. R. James “view Caribbean slavery in this light, as well.”

Allen calls special attention to the fact that Karl Marx invariably treated the American plantation economy as capitalist enterprise and quotes Marx that “The production of surplus-value is the absolute law of this [capitalist – TWA] mode of production.” He similarly quotes Marx that “The overworking of the Negro [bond-laborer – TWA] . . . was no longer a question of obtaining from him a certain quantity of useful products [as in ancient classical slavery – TWA]. It was now a question of the production of surplus-value itself.” Referring to circumstances where both rent and profit go to the owner-employer Marx explained, “Where capitalist conceptions predominate, as they did upon the American plantations, this entire surplus-value is regarded as profit.” Allen also quotes Marx before the Civil War discussing the nature of differential rent and commenting that while free wage-labor is the normal basis of capitalist production, still “the capitalist mode of production exists” in the Anglo-American plantation colonies based on “the slavery of Negroes.”

In the course of his work Allen addresses a question that might be raised – How can slavery be capitalist, since it is not based on wage labor? He responds, “What is historically significant about the wages system is that it is based on the general transformation of labor-power into a commodity, and that in turn is due to the fact that the producers have lost ownership of the means production, and therefore can live only by the sale of their labor power.” He cites Marx’s letter to Lincoln, that the African-American bond-laborer was “sold without his concurrence, while the European-American worker could ‘sell himself,’” and Marx’s statement that “‘the business in which slaves are used [in the United States] is conducted by capitalists,’ and for the same purpose, the accumulation of capital by the extraction of surplus value from the exploitation of commodity-producing labor.”

Allen notes, “the bond-labor form was a contradiction of the basic requisites of general capitalist development – a contradiction that was purged away in the Civil War,” but emphasizes that “[for] a time that form of labor was not a barrier to rapid capitalist accumulation, but its main engine.”

On the topic of slaveholders as capitalists and the enslaved laborers as proletarians Allen quotes from Hubert Harrison in the 1912 International Socialist Review that “The . . . Negroes of America form a group that is more essentially proletarian than any other American group.” Allen adds that in “a presumed reference to African American bond-laborers” Harrison wrote, “the Negro was at one period the most thoroughly exploited of the American proletariat.” After quoting Harrison’s statements that “the duty of the [Socialist] party to champion his [the African American’s] cause is as clear as day” and “this is the crucial test of Socialism's sincerity,” Allen concludes: “the study of class consciousness, ‘the working people’s consciousness of their interests and of their predicament as a class,’ should start with the recognition of that fact.”

Allen draws a similar conclusion from Du Bois’ discussion of the interests of “the laboring class, black and white, North and South.” Over his last forty years he would often cite, and add emphasis to, Du Bois’ seminal words that “the [white] labor movement, with but few exceptions, . . . never had the intelligence or knowledge, as a whole, to see in black slavery and Reconstruction, the kernel and the meaning of the labor movement in the United States.

For Allen, this insight expressed by Du Bois was “a basis . . . for understanding and applying the general Marxist principles in assessing the interests of American labor and the state of American labor’s consciousness of those interests.” As Allen explained:

"Given this understanding of slavery in Anglo-America as capitalism, and of the slaveholders as capitalists, it follows that the chattel bond-laborers were proletarians. Accordingly, the study of class consciousness as a sense the American workers have of their own class interests, must start with recognition of that fact. But historians guided by the white blindspot have, in effect, defined the United States working class as an essentially European-American grouping. In doing so they have ignored or, at best, marginalized the propertyless African-American plantation workers, the exploitation of whose surplus value-producing labor was also the basis of capital accumulation for the employers of those workers."

Also of great importance is Allen’s historical research in which he challenged (almost 50 years ago) what he described as the prevailing consensus among left and labor historians, a consensus that attributed the low level of class consciousness among American workers to such factors as the early development of civil liberties, the heterogeneity of the work force, the safety valve of homesteading opportunities in the west, the ease of social mobility, the relative shortage of labor, and the early development of “pure and simple trade unionism.”

He argued that the “classical consensus on the subject” was the product of the efforts of such writers as Frederick Engels, “co-founder with Karl Marx of the very theory of proletarian revolution”; Frederick A. Sorge, “main correspondent of Marx and Engels in the United States” and a socialist and labor activist for almost sixty years; Frederick Jackson Turner, giant of U.S. history; Richard T. Ely, Christian Socialist and author of “the first attempt at a labor history in the United States”; Morris Hillquit, founder and leading figure of the Socialist Party for almost two decades; John R. Commons, who, with his associates authored the first comprehensive history of the U.S. labor movement; Selig Perlman, a Commons associate who later authored A Theory of the Labor Movement; Mary Beard and Charles A. Beard, labor and general historians; and William Z. Foster, major figure in the history of U.S. communism with “his analyses of ‘American exceptionalism.’”

Allen challenged this “old consensus” as being “seriously flawed . . . by erroneous assumptions, one-sidedness, exaggeration, and above all, by white-blindness.” He also countered with his own theory that white supremacism, reinforced among European-Americans by “white skin privilege,” was the main retardant of working-class consciousness in the U.S. and that efforts at radical social change should direct principal efforts at challenging the system of white supremacy and “white skin privilege.”

As he further developed his analysis Allen would later add and emphasize that the “white race,” by its all-class form, conceals the operation of the ruling class social control system by providing it with a majoritarian “democratic” facade and that “the main barrier to class consciousness” was “the incubus of ‘white’ identity of the European-American.”

Allen discussed reasons that the six-point rationale had lost much of its force and focused on historical analyses. He noted that the free land safety valve theory had been “thoroughly discredited” for many reasons including that the bulk of the best lands were taken by railroads, mining companies, land companies, and speculators and that the costs of homesteading were prohibitive for eastern wage earners. He similarly pointed out that heterogeneity “may well . . . have brought . . . more strength than weakness to the United States labor and radical movement”; that the “rise of mass, ‘non aristocratic,’ industrial unions has not broken the basic pattern of opposition to a workers party, on the part of the leaders”; and that the “‘language problem’ in labor agitating and organizing never really posed any insurmountable obstacle.”

He then focused on what he described as “two basic and irrefutable themes.” First, whatever the state of class consciousness may have been most of the time, “there have been occasional periods of widespread and violent eruption of radical thought and action on the part of the workers and poor farmers, white and black.” He cited Black labor's valiant Reconstruction struggle; the Exodus of 1879; the “year of violence” in 1877 marked by “fiery revolts at every major terminal point across the country”; the period from “bloody Haymarket” in 1886 to the Pullman strike of 1894 during which “the U.S. army was called upon no less than 328 times to suppress labor's struggles”; the Populists of the same period when Black and white poor farmers “joined hands for an instant in the South” and when Middle Western farmers decided to “raise less corn and more hell!”; and the labor struggles of the 1930's marked by sit down strikes and the establishment of industrial unionism. Allen emphasized that in such times “any proposal to discuss the relative backwardness of the United States workers and poor farmers would have had a ring of unreality.” He reasoned, “if, in such crises, the cause of labor was consistently defeated by force and cooptation; if no permanent advance of class consciousness in the form of a third, anti capitalist, party was achieved . . . there must have been reasons more relevant than ‘free land’ that you couldn't get; ‘free votes’ that you couldn't cast, or couldn't get counted; or ‘high wages’ for jobs you couldn't find or . . . the rest of the standard rationale.”

His second, “irrefutable” theme was that each of the facts of life in the classical consensus had to be “decisively altered when examined in the light of the centrality of the question of white supremacy and of the white skin privileges of the white workers.” He again reasoned, “‘Free land,’ ‘constitutional liberties,’ ‘immigration,’ ‘high wages,’ ‘social mobility,’ ‘aristocracy of labor’” were “all, white skin privileges” and “whatever their effect upon the thinking of white workers may be said to be, the same cannot be claimed in the case of the Negro.”

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


The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America
Vol. II of Theodore W. Allen's The Invention of the White Race
Presentation by Jeffrey B. Perry
Friday, March 8, 2013, 7:30PM
Brecht Forum, New York

March 3, 2013

Tags: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America, The Invention of the White Race, Theodore W. Allen, Brecht Forum, Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen Society, Jeffrey B. Perry, Winthrop D. Jordan, Edmund S. Morgan


The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America, the second volume of The Invention of the White Race (new edition, Verso Books, 2012) by Theodore W. Allen, will be discussed this Friday night, March 8, 2013 at 7:30 PM (and for the next four Fridays) by Jeffrey B. Perry at the Brecht Forum, 451 West St., NY in a program hosted by the Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen Society. Allen’s work details the invention of the “white race” and the development of racial slavery, a particular form of racial oppression, in late 17th and early 18th-century Virginia. People in the New York area are encouraged to attend. Please share this information with those who might be interested!


“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.”
Theodore W. Allen


That arresting statement, printed on the back cover of the first volume of The Invention of the White Race by Allen in 1994 reflected the fact that, after twenty-plus years of research in Virginia’s colonial records, he found “no instance of the official use of the word ‘white’ as a token of social status” prior to its appearance in a 1691 law. As he 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 The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America Allen elaborates on his findings in order to develop the ground-breaking 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 (1676-7). 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 establish the “white race” and establish a system of racial oppression, and 2) the consequences were not only ruinous to the interests of African-Americans, but was also “disastrous” for the European-American workers.

Allen focuses on the pattern-setting Virginia colony in the late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Anglo-American plantation colonies. He discusses the reduction of tenants and wage-laborers to chattel bond-servants in the 1620s and explains 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 in this respect 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 [in Virginia] 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. The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America has profound implications for American History, African-American History, Labor History, American Studies, and “Whiteness” Studies and it offers important insights in the areas of Caribbean History and African Diaspora Studies. Its influence will continue to grow in the twenty-first century.

For information on The Invention of the White Race vol. 2 The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America (including a Table of Contents of the volume) CLICK HERE

For information on the Brecht Forum series CLICK HERE

Table of Contents for "The Developing Conjuncture and Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen On the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy," by Jeffrey B. Perry

November 30, 2012

Tags: Hubert H. Harrion, The Developing Conjuncture and Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen On the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy, Jeffrey B. Perry, Fixing a perpetual Brand, Racial Oppression, National Oppression, Racial Slavery, Slavery, Male Supremacy, Gender Oppression, Family, Slavery as Capitalism, Slaveholders as Capitalists, Enslaved as Proletarians, Class-Conscious, Anti-White Supremacist, Counter Narrative, Winthrop D. Jordan, Jordan, Edmund S. Morgan, Social Construct, Ruling Class Social Control Formation, David Roediger

Table of Contents
for
"The Developing Conjuncture and Insights From
Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen
On the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy"


By Jeffrey B. Perry
( For a link to the article CLICK HERE and go to top left)


Epigraph
Introduction
    Hubert Harrison
    Theodore W. Allen
    Harrison and Allen and the Centrality of the Struggle Against White-Supremacy
Some Class and Racial Aspects of The Conjuncture
    Deepening Economic Crisis
    U.S. Workers Faring Badly
    White Supremacist Shaping
    Wisconsin
    Millions are Suffering and Conditions are Worsening
Insights from Hubert Harrison
    Arrival in America, Contrast with St. Croix
    Socialist Party Writings
    “Southernism or Socialism – which?”
    The Socialist Party Puts [the “White”] Race First and Class After
   Class Consciousness, White Supremacy, and the "Duty to Champion the Cause of the Negro"
    On “The Touchstone” and the Two-Fold Character of Democracy in America
    Concentrated Race-Conscious Work in the Black Community
    Capitalist Imperialism and the Need to Break Down Exclusion Walls of White Workers
    The International Colored Unity League
    Struggle Against White Supremacy is Central
Insights from Theodore W. Allen
   Early Research and Writings and Pioneering Use of “White Skin Privilege” Concept
   White Blindspot
   Why No Socialism? . . . and The Main Retardant to Working    Class Consciousness
   The Role of White Supremacy in Three Previous Crises
   The Great Depression . . . and the White Supremacist Response
   Response to Four Arguments Against and Five “Artful Dodges”
   Early 1970s Writings and Strategy
   “The Invention of the White Race”
   Other Important Contributions in Writings on the Colonial Period
   Inventing the “White Race” and Fixing “a perpetual Brand upon Free Negros”
   Political Economic Aspects of the Invention of the “White Race”
   Racial Oppression and National Oppression
   “Racial Slavery” and “Slavery”
   Male Supremacy, Gender Oppression, and Laws Affecting the Family
   Slavery as Capitalism, Slaveholders as Capitalists, Enslaved as Proletarians
   Class-Conscious, Anti-White Supremacist Counter Narrative –    Comments on Jordan and Morgan
   Not Simply a Social Construct, But a Ruling Class Social    Control Formation . . . and Comments on Roediger
   The “White Race” and “White Race” Privilege
   On the Bifurcation of “Labor History” and “Black History” and on the “National Question”
   Later Writings . . . “Toward a Revolution in Labor History”
Strategy
The Struggle Ahead

Theodore W. Allen's Challenge to the Historical Master Narratives Associated with the Work of Winthrop D. Jordan and Edmund S. Morgan

August 28, 2012

Tags: Theodore W. Allen, Winthrop D. Jordan, White Over Black, The Invention of the White Race, Edmund S. Morgan, American Slavery/American Freedom

For anyone reading (or using in a class or study group) Edmund S. Morgan’s "American Slavery/American Freedom" and/or Winthrop D. Jordan's "White Over Black," I would encourage also reading something by Theodore W. Allen.

In particular, I would recommend either Allen's “The Invention of the White Race” (which is being published in a new edition by Verso in November 2012), his 1978 review of Morgan’s book in “Monthly Review,” his article “Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race” (available online at http://clogic.eserver.org/2006/allen.html Click Here ), or his "Summary of the Argument of 'The Invention of the White Race'" (available online at http://clogic.eserver.org/1-2/allen.html Click Here ).

Allen's work details the development of racial slavery and racial oppression in Anglo-America with special emphasis on social control and "the invention of the 'white race'" in late-17th century Virginia.

In the process, it seeks to challenge what Allen considers to be the two main arguments that undermine the struggle against white supremacy by European-American workers: (1) the argument that white supremacism is innate, and (2) the argument that European-American workers “benefit” from “white race” privileges and white supremacism -- that the privileges are in their class interest.

These arguments are respectively related to two historical master 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 Winthrop D. Jordan in "White Over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro, 1550-1812."

The second argument is related to Morgan’s contention that as racial slavery developed in Virginia, “there were too few free poor [European-Americans] on hand to matter.”

Allen's rigorously researched two-volume "classic" challenges both these positions and it (along with his other writings) offers an important counter-narrative to the narratives of Jordan and Morgan.

It is a seminal contribution to U.S. history!

Jeffrey B. Perry

Slavery as Capitalism, Slaveholders as Capitalists, Enslaved as Proletarians

January 19, 2012

Tags: Slavery as Capitalism, Slaveholders as Capitalists, Enslaved as Proletarians, Theodore W. Allen, W. E. B. Du Bois, Ulrich Bonnell Phillips, Lewis C. Gray, Roger W. Shugg, Hubert Harrison, David Roediger, Winthrop D. Jordan, Eric Williams, C. L. R. James

In his writings [Theodore W.] Allen sought to lay the basis for a class-conscious, anti-white-supremacist, counter narrative of American history. He offered “the groundwork for a total re-interpretation of U.S. history” that he felt was “unfettered by white labor apology which consistently locates Afro-Americans outside the working class.” This “new and consistent interpretation of colonial history and the origin of racial slavery” would, he believed, have significant implications “for interpreting all subsequent periods” of United States history.

Of major importance in this counter-narrative is Allen’s analysis of slavery as capitalism, slaveholders as capitalists, and the enslaved as proletarians. In describing “the capitalist development which motored the Anglo-American racial slavery system,” Allen’s historical work shows “that the means of production on the plantations were monopolized by one class,” that “non-owners were reduced to absolute dependence upon the owners and could live only by the alienation of their own labor power to the service of the owning class,” that “the products of the plantation took the form of commodities,” and “that the aim of production was the accumulation and expansion of capital.” He emphasizes that “slaveholders were capitalists – a plantation bourgeoisie – and the slaves were proletarians.” He also points out that the “proposition that the United States plantation system based on chattel bond-labor was a capitalist operation is a widely recognized principle of political economy,” he cites a disparate group of writers including “view Caribbean slavery in this light, as well.”

Allen calls special attention to the fact that Karl Marx invariably treated the American plantation economy as capitalist enterprise and quotes Marx that “The production of surplus-value is the absolute law of this [capitalist – TWA] mode of production.” He similarly quotes Marx that “The overworking of the Negro [bond-laborer – TWA] . . . was no longer a question of obtaining from him a certain quantity of useful products [as in ancient classical slavery – TWA]. It was now a question of the production of surplus-value itself.” Referring to circumstances where both rent and profit go to the owner-employer Marx explained, “Where capitalist conceptions predominate, as they did upon the American plantations, this entire surplus-value is regarded as profit.” Finally, Allen quotes Marx before the Civil War discussing the nature of differential rent and commenting that while free wage-labor is the normal basis of capitalist production, still “the capitalist mode of production exists” in the Anglo-American plantation colonies based on “the slavery of Negroes.”

In the course of his work Allen addresses a question that might be raised – How can slavery be capitalist, since it is not based on wage labor? He responds, “What is historically significant about the wages system is that is based on the general transformation of labor-power into a commodity, and that in turn is due to the fact that the producers have lost ownership of the means production, and therefore can live only by the sale of their labor power.” He cites Marx’s letter to Lincoln, that the African-American bond-laborer was “sold without his concurrence, while the European-American worker could ‘sell himself,’” and Marx’s statement that “‘the business in which slaves are used [in the United States] is conducted by capitalists,’ and for the same purpose, the accumulation of capital by the extraction of surplus value from the exploitation of commodity-producing labor.” He notes, “the bond-labor form was a contradiction of the basic requisites of general capitalist development – a contradiction that was purged away in the Civil War,” but emphasizes that “[for] a time that form of labor was not a barrier to rapid capitalist accumulation, but its main engine.”

(For more on this topic, including footnotes, 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) by Jeffrey B. Perry at http://www.jeffreybperry.net/works.htm (top left)

"In Memoriam: Theodore William Allen (1919-2005)"
by Jeffrey B. Perry
(re-posted after the fourth anniversary of his death)

February 25, 2009

Tags: Theodore W. Allen, Invention of the White Race, Bacons' Rebellion, Can White Radicals Be Radicalized?, white race, Lerone Bennett, Jamestown, foure hundred English and Negroes in Arms, bond-laborers, social control, American Exceptionalism, Provisional Organizing Committee to Reconstitute the Communist Party (POC), Communist Party, white blindspot, Esther Kusick, Noel Ignatin, Noel Ignatiev, Linda Vidinha, white-skin privilege, SDS, Radical Education Project, The Kernel and the Meaning, The Peculiar Seed, The Genesis of the Chattel-Labor System in Anglo-America, Radical America, Class Sturggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race, Winthrop D. Jordan, Edmund S. Morgan, Ed Peeples, Marsha Rosenthal, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Public Library, Essex County College, postal mail handler, Toward a Revolution in Labor History, Summary of the Argument of the Invention of the White Race

       Theodore W. Allen, a working class intellectual and activist and author of the influential two-volume history The Invention of the White Race (Verso:1994, 1997), died on January 19, 2005, surrounded by friends in his apartment at 97 Brooklyn Avenue in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. He was 85. The cause of death was cancer, which he had battled for 15 years. Announcement of the death was made by his close friend Linda Vidinha.
       
Allen, an ardent opponent of white supremacy, spent much of his last forty years researching the role of white supremacy in United States history and examining records of colonial Virginia as he documented and analyzed the development of the "white race" in the latter part of the seventeenth century. His main thesis, that the "white race" developed as a ruling class social control formation in response to labor unrest as manifest in Bacon's Rebellion of 1676-77, was first articulated in February 1974 in a talk he delivered at a Union of Radical Political Economists meeting in New Haven. Versions of that talk were published in 1975 in Radical America
       
In the 1960s "Ted" Allen significantly influenced the direction of the student movement and the new left with an article entitled "Can White Radicals Be Radicalized?" which developed the argument that white supremacy, reinforced among European Americans by the "white skin privilege," was the main retardant of working class consciousness in the United States and that efforts at radical social change should direct principal efforts at challenging the system of white supremacy and urging "repudiation of white skin privilege" by European Americans.

       
Allen was in the forefront in challenging phenotypical (physical appearance-based) definitions of race, in challenging "racism is innate" arguments, in challenging theories that the working class benefits from white supremacy, in calling attention to the crucial role of the buffer social control group in racial oppression, in documenting and analyzing the development of the "white race" in the latter part of the seventeenth century, and in clarifying how "this all-class association of European-Americans held together by 'racial' privileges conferred on laboring class European-Americans relative to African-Americans--[has served] as the principal historic guarantor of ruling-class domination of national life" in the United States. These contributions differentiate his work from many writers in the rapidly growing white race as "a social and cultural construction" ranks, which his writings helped to spawn.

       
In The Invention of the White Race Allen focused on Virginia, the first and pattern-setting continental colony. He emphasized that "When the first Africans arrived in Virginia in 1619, there were no white people there" and he added that he found "no instance of the official use of the word 'white' as a token of social status before its appearance in a Virginia law passed in 1691." He also found, similar to historian Lerone Bennett, Jr., that throughout most of the seventeenth century conditions for African-American and European-American laborers and bond-servants were very similar. Under such conditions solidarity among the laboring classes reached a peak during Bacon's Rebellion: the capitol (Jamestown) was burned; two thousand rebels forced the governor to flee across the Chesapeake Bay and controlled 6/7 of Virginia's land; and, in the latter stages of the struggle, "foure hundred English and Negroes in Arms" demanded their freedom from bondage.

       
To Allen, the social control problems highlighted by Bacon's Rebellion "demonstrated beyond question the lack of a sufficient intermediate stratum to stand between the ruling plantation elite and the mass of European-American and African-American laboring people, free and bond." He then detailed how, in the period after Bacon's Rebellion the white race was invented as "a bourgeois social control formation in response to [such] laboring class unrest." He described systematic ruling class policies, which extended privileges to European laborers and bond-servants and imposed and extended harsher disabilities and blocked normal class mobility for African-Americans. Thus, for example, 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," Allen emphasized that this was not an "unthinking decision"! "Rather, it was a deliberate act by the plantation bourgeoisie; it proceeded from a conscious decision in the process of establishing a system of racial oppression, even though it meant repealing an electoral principle that had existed in Virginia for more than a century."

       
For Allen, "The hallmark, the informing principle, of racial oppression in its colonial origins and as it has persisted in subsequent historical contexts, is the reduction of all members of the oppressed group to one undifferentiated social status, beneath that of any member of the oppressor group." The key to understanding racial oppression, he wrote, is the social control buffer -- that group in society, which helps to control the poor for the rich. Under racial oppression in Virginia, any persons of discernible non-European ancestry in colonial Virginia after Bacon's Rebellion were denied a role in the social control buffer group, the bulk of which was made up of working-class "whites." In contrast, Allen explained, in the Caribbean "Mulattos" were included in the social control group and were promoted into middle-class status. For him, this was "the key to the understanding the difference between Virginia 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)." The difference "was rooted in the objective fact that in the West Indies there were too few 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 1676 in Virginia, for example, there were approximately 6,000 European-American bond-laborers and 2,000 African-American bond-laborers.)

       
In 1996, on radio station WBAI in New York, Allen discussed the subject of "American Exceptionalism" and the much-vaunted "immunity" of the United States to proletarian class-consciousness and its effects. His explanation for the relatively low level of class consciousness was that social control in the United States was guaranteed, not primarily by the class privileges of a petit bourgeoisie, but by the white-skin privileges of laboring class whites; that the ruling class co-opts European-American workers into the buffer social control system against the interests of the working class to which they belong; and that the "white race" by its all-class form, conceals the operation of the ruling class social control system by providing it with a majoritarian "democratic" facade.


          Theodore William Allen, the third child (after a sister Eula May and brother Tom) of Thomas E. and Almeda Earl Allen was born into a middle-class family August 23, 1919, in Indianapolis, Indiana. His father was a sales manager and his mother a housewife. In 1929 the family moved to Huntington, West Virginia, where, Ted was, in his words, "proletarianized by the Great Depression." He attended college for a couple of days after high school, but, because he didn't believe that setting encouraged independent thought, he didn't think it was for him and didn't go back.

              At age 17 he joined the American Federation of Musicians (Local 362) and served as its delegate to the Huntington Central Labor Union, AFL. He continued work in the trade union movement as a coal miner in West Virginia for three years until he was forced to leave because of a back injury. During that period he belonged to United Mine Worker locals 5426 (Prenter, West Virginia), 6206 (Gary, West Virginia) where he was an organizer and Local President, and 4346 (Barrackville, West Virginia). He also was co-organizer of a trade union organizing program for the Marion County West Virginia Industrial Union Council, CIO.

       
In 1938 Allen married Ruth Voithofer, one of eleven children in a coal-mining family, whom he first met in 1934. Ruth was active in organizing and educational work among mining families and women and, beginning in 1942, was a prominent organizer for the United Electrical Workers Union. They separated in the mid-1940s and Ruth Newell (her name after re-marrying) died in 1999.

       
In 1948 Ted moved to New York. He had joined the Communist Party in the 1930s and, after coming to New York, he taught classes in economics at the Party's Jefferson School at Union Square in Manhattan (1949-56). He was also active in community, civil rights, trade union, and student organizing work; he worked in a factory, as a retail clerk, as a mechanical design draftsman, as an elevator operator, and as a junior high school math teacher at the Grace Church School in Greenwich Village.

       
In the 1950s Ted married Marie Strong, a poet, and became stepfather to her son, Michael. In the late 1950s the Communist Party went through major repression and internal struggle and Ted left the Party in order to help establish a new organization the Provisional Organizing Committee to Reconstitute the Communist Party (POC). In this period he wrote a number of economic and political articles on the economic situation in the United States and he argued that neither United States nor Latin American workers benefited from imperialism. In 1962 Marie died tragically and Ted, suffering greatly from her loss, discontinued work with the POC and traveled to England and Ireland.

       
By the mid 1960s, back in Brooklyn, and increasingly affected by the political climate marked by the growing civil rights movement, struggles for national liberation and socialism, and the Vietnam War, Allen set about taking a fresh look at the world and at his former beliefs. Nothing would be sacred. Though his formal education had ended with high school, he was a trained economist, he read widely in history, politics, literature, and the sciences, and he had a probing and analytical mind -- all of which would serve him well in the work ahead.

       
Drawing on the insights of W. E .B. Du Bois in Black Reconstruction on the blindspot of America, which he paraphrased as "the white blindspot," Allen began work on a historical study of three crises in United States history in which there were general confrontations of the forces of capital and those from below -- the crises of The Civil War and Reconstruction, the Populist Revolt of the 1890s, and the Great Depression of the 1930s. His work focused on the role of the theory and practice of white supremacy in shaping those outcomes. He worked together with his friend, the late Esther Kusic, and his work influenced another friend, Noel Ignatin [Ignatiev]. Together, Ignatin and Allen provided the copy for an influential pamphlet containing both "White Blindspot," under Ignatin's name, and Allen's article "Can White Radicals Be Radicalized."

       
Allen argued against what he referred to as the current consensus on U.S. labor history -- one which attributed the low level of class consciousness among American workers to such factors as the early development of civil liberties, the heterogeneity of the work force, the "safety valve" of homesteading opportunities in the West, the ease of social mobility, the relative shortage of labor, and the early development of "pure and simple trade unionism." He emphasized that each of these rationales had to be reinterpreted in terms of white supremacy, that white supremacy was reinforced by the white-skin privilege of white workers, and "that the white-skin privilege does not serve the real interests of the white workers."

       
The pamphlet, which issued a call to action -- "to repudiate the white-skin privilege" -- was published by the SDS-affiliated Radical Education Project and it had immediate effect on the left. It sharply posed the issues of how to fight white supremacy and whether, or not, that fight was in the interest of "white" workers. It also set the terms of discussion and debate for many activists within SDS.

       
Allen developed the analysis in his article into a still unpublished book-length manuscript entitled "The Kernel and the Meaning" (1972). It was then, in 1972, in the course of this work, that he became convinced that the problems related to white supremacy couldn't be resolved without a history of the plantation colonies of the 17th and 18th century. His reasoning was clear -- white supremacy still ruled in the United States more than a century after the abolition of slavery and the reasons for that had to be explained. He proceeded to search for a structural principle that was essential to the social order based on slave labor in the continental plantation colonies and still was essential to late twentieth-century America's social order based on wage-labor.

       
Over the next twenty years Allen did extensive primary research in colonial Virginia records (and his unpublished transcripts of this work, with his eye for the conditions of labor, are another of his important historical contributions). In this period he generated other unpublished book-length manuscripts including "The Genesis of the Chattel-Labor System in Continental Anglo-America" and "The Peculiar Seed," both of which dealt with the early 17th-century development of chattel bond-servitude in Virginia, under which workers could be bought and sold like property. (This chattelization of labor was done primarily among European American workers at first.)

       
When the first volume of The Invention of the White Race appeared it drew on, and challenged, the work of some of America's leading colonial historians including Winthrop Jordan and Edmund S. Morgan. It offered important theoretical and historical insights in the struggle against white supremacy when it challenged the two major arguments which tend to undermine the struggle against white supremacy in the working class -- the notion that racism is innate (as suggested by Jordan's "unthinking decision" explanation) and the notion that European-American workers benefit from racism (as suggested by Morgan's "there were too few free poor on hand to matter").

       
Allen challenged these ideas with his factual presentation and analysis, by providing a comprehensive alternate explanation, and by skillfully drawing on examples from Ireland (where a religio/racial oppression existed under the Protestant Ascendancy) and the Caribbean (where a different social control formation was developed based on promotion of "Mulattos" to petit-bourgeois status). He concluded that the codifications of the Penal Laws of the Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland and the slave codes of white supremacy in continental Anglo-America presented four common defining characteristics of those two regimes: 1) declassing legislation, directed at property-holding members of the oppressed group; 2) the deprivation of civil rights; 3) the illegalization of literacy; and 4) displacement of family rights and authorities. This understanding of racial oppression led him to conclude that a comparative study of "Protestant Ascendancy" in Ireland, and "white supremacy" in continental Anglo-America (in both its colonial and regenerate United States forms) demonstrates that racial oppression is not dependent upon differences of "phenotype."

       
While working on The Invention of the White Race Allen taught as an adjunct history instructor at Essex County Community College in Newark, NJ, and worked several years each on the staff of the Brooklyn Museum, as a postal mail handler in Jersey City, NJ, and as a librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library. Constantly at the edge of poverty his scholarship was remarkable for its dedication and tenacity in the face of great personal difficulties. During this period his research in Virginia was facilitated by the generosity of Ed Peeples and his family in Richmond and his work in Brooklyn was encouraged by his former companion and close friend Linda Vidinha, her family and her companion Marsha Rosenthal, and a number of other close friends and neighbors who supported his efforts in numerous ways. For over thirty years his research, writings, and ideas were shared and discussed with his close friend Jeff Perry.

       
As an individual, Ted Allen attracted a wide circle of friends. He presented himself in a humble and homespun way, he was thoughtful and generous in manner, he had a wonderful sense of humor, and he took time to undertake many daily acts of caring and consideration. He was true and loyal to his friends, but always in a principled and forthright way. In many respects, he was a model of the true working-class intellectual. He lived what he preached and he was rooted deep in the working class. He challenged the division between thinkers and laborers, his work was connected to labor and anti- white-supremacist activists and actions, he was disciplined and persistent in his intellectual work, and he was principled in his politics. His life was dedicated to radical social change and he remained true to the course.

       
Allen's The Invention of the White Race, as well as his other pamphlets, articles, letters, talks, and unpublished manuscripts on the theory and practice of white supremacy in United States history have influenced several generations of anti-white supremacist and labor scholars and activists. They have also impacted a wide range of academic fields including history, sociology, politics, and legal, cultural, and literary studies. His most recent work includes an almost completed book length manuscript, "Toward a Revolution in Labor History" and an article submitted for publication only weeks before his death which focused on the individual and the collective and addressed theoretical problems in the socialist movement.

       
Theodore Allen was pre-deceased by his elder sister Eula May of Harrisonburg, Va. He is survived by his elder brother Tom, his siblings' families, his stepson Michael Strong, his companion in the 1970s and close friend Linda Vidinha, and by many friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers, and people influenced by his work.

       
His literary works have been left to his literary executor, Jeffrey B. Perry, and plans are underway to publish and disseminate his writings and to place the Theodore W. Allen Papers with a repository.

       
A "Theodore W. Allen Scholar Program" has been established in honor of his "pioneering work" on race and class as a "politically engaged independent scholar and public intellectual." That program, under the auspices of the Center for Working Class Life of the Economics Department of the State University of New York, Stony Brook, 11794-4384, 631-632-7536 (Michael Zweig, Director), will support scholarship and public presentations exploring the intersections of race and class. Tax-deductible contributions to the Fund may be made out to "Stony Brook Foundation" and marked "for Theodore William Allen Scholar Program."

       
Two commemorative events are being scheduled in Ted Allen's memory. In the early spring, his ashes (as per his request) will be 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 1676.

             
The second activity, planned for June 18, 2005, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the community auditorium of the Brooklyn Public Library, Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, will commemorate Ted's life and work and include testimony from family and friends who desire to speak on his life, work, and influence.

             
A two-part "Summary of the Argument of The Invention of the White Race" by Theodore W. Allen can be found in Cultural Logic at "Summary of the Argument of The Invention of the White Race (Part 1) and "Summary of the Argument of The Invention of the White Race (Part 2).

             
Among Ted's many well wishers during his recent battle were:


              Sean, Donna, and Dylan Ahern

              Thomas E. Allen

              Thomas E. (Dobby) and Dorothy Allen

              Irving and Mildred Appelbaum

              Dennis and Ruth Blunt

              Peter Bohmer

              Evie, Gene, and Nadja Bruskin

              Florence, Remco, Uchenna, and Obina Van Capeleeven

              Rosemarie Cavagnaro

              Connie and Bill Coleman

              Gerry Colby

              Lynn and John Dambeck

              Durand, Priscilla, & Luke Daniel

              Carl Davidson

              Lee and May Davenport

              Barbara Denlinger

              Mary DiGregorio

              Dilmeran Dunham

              David Finkel

              Bill Fletcher

              Anamaria Flores

              Tami Gold

              Philip Harper

              Becky and Perri Hom

              Anne and Charles Johnson

             Barbara Johnson

             Stella Jones

             Bob Kirkman

              Beth Lyons

             Pamela McKenzie

              Leon Moultrie

             Gerry and Carolyn Mosseller

              Greg Myerson

              Maggie Paul

              Dennis O'Neil

             Kay Osborn

              Carol Patti

             Chad Pearson

             Eva and John Pellegrini

              Edward, Karen, and Camille Peeples

              Jeff Perry

              Greg and Linda Reight

              Cecily Rodriguez

              Gilberto Rodriguez

              Linda Roma

              Marcy Rosenthal

              Arlene and Spencer Rothenhauser

              Yvette, Christopher, and Gabriel Roussel

             Frank and Stacy Saavedra

             Andrea Schneer

              Jonathan Scott

              Vicki and Bob Shand

              Dave Siar

              David Slavin

              Christina Starobin

              Michael Strong

              Vivian Todini

              Chris Tsakos

              Linda Vidinha

              Mary Vidinha

              Stella Winston

              Joan Zimmerman

              Michael Zweig

Hubert Harrison:
The Voice of
Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918

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