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Hubert Harrison
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Jeffrey B. Perry Blog

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

July 30, 2017

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

January 18, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


On Recent David Rosen Articles
in "Counterpunch" and "Black Star News"
and Theodore W. Allen's
Five-Stage Cycle

January 29, 2016

Tags: David Rosen, white skin privilege, white privilege, anti-white supremacist, working class struggle, class struggle, capitalism, Counterpunch, Black Star News, Theodore W. Allen, Five-Stage Cycle

Insights From Theodore W. Allen on the “five-stage cycle”


In recent articles, including pieces in “Counterpunch” and “Black Star News,” the author David Rosen addresses the themes of a “deepening social crisis gripping the U.S” and “that white skin privilege is being eroded.”

Theodore W. Allen, whose anti-white supremacist, class struggle-based, theoretical approach pioneered “white skin privilege” analysis in the mid-1960s offered important insights relevant to the currently developing American conjuncture. In an instructive 1974 talk on the economic situation, and in a 1997 update that he presented before the Union of Radical Political Economists, Allen suggested that “the history of class struggle in the U.S. could be interpreted as a five-stage cycle in which:

1) The normal course of capitalist events brings on a deterioration of the conditions of the laboring classes.
2) The substance of the white-skin privileges becomes somewhat drained away by increased insecurity and exploitation.
3) The laboring-class “whites” manifest, to a greater or lesser extent, a tendency to make common cause with laboring-class Blacks against capital.
4) The ruling class moves to re-substantiate the racial privileges of the white workers vis-à-vis the Blacks.
5) The white workers take the bait, repudiate solidarity with Black laboring people and submit themselves without radical protest to exploitation by the privilege-givers.”

Allen emphasized the crucial importance of anti-white supremacist, working class struggle at all stages, but particularly between phases 3 and 5. For Allen, this was an especially key period to challenge the re-substantiation of “white race” privileges and to heighten anti-white supremacist struggle.

For more on Allen’s discussion of the 5-stage cycle and the fullest IN-DEPTH TREATMENT of his forty-plus years of writings on “white skin privilege” and class struggle 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
For writings by and about Theodore W. Allen
CLICK HERE

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

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

Sample David Rosen discussing “white skin privilege” and the developing crisis can be found CLICK HERE and 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

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

January 19, 2016

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

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

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

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

December 29, 2015

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




“’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

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
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September 2, 2015

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The Invention of
The White Race

by Theodore W. Allen
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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
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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

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
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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…)

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

April 19, 2015

Tags: Theodore W. Allen, The Invention of the White Race, Theodore Alen, Ted Allen, White Privilege, Working Class, Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race, class struggle, Cultural Logic, Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America, Racial Opprssion and Social Control, Center for the Study of Working Class Life, State University of New York, Stony Brook, Facts for Working People, Black Agenda Report, Black Commentator, Privilege and the Working Class, #whiteprivilege, ruinous, poison bait, solidariy forever, privileges never, An injury to one is an injury to all, Jeffrey B. Perry





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

by
Jeffrey B. Perry


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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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


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

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



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

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

Probing more deeply, Allen offered an additional important insight into why these race privileges are conferred by the ruling class. He pointed out that "the ideology of white racism" is "not appropriate to the white workers" because it is "contrary to their class interests." Because of this "the bourgeoisie could not long have maintained this ideological influence over the white proletarians by mere racist ideology." Under these
circumstances white supremacist thought is "given a material basis in the form of the deliberately contrived system of race privileges for white workers."
Allen added, "the white supremacist system that had originally been designed in around 1700 by the plantation bourgeoisie to protect the base, the chattel bond labor relation of production" also served "as a part of the 'legal and political' superstructure of the United States government that, until the Civil War, was dominated by the slaveholders with the complicity of the majority of the European-American workers." Then, after emancipation, "the industrial and financial bourgeoisie found that it could be serviceable to their program of social control, anachronistic as it was, and incorporated it into their own 'legal and political' superstructure."

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

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

Throughout his work Allen emphasizes, "that the initiator and the ultimate guarantor of the white skin privileges of the white worker is not the white worker, but the white worker's masters" and the masters do this because it is "an indispensable necessity for their continued class rule." He describes how "an all-pervasive system of racial privileges was conferred on laboring-class European-Americans, rural and urban, exploited and insecure though they themselves were" and how "its threads, woven into the fabric of every aspect of daily life, of family, church, and state, have constituted the main historical guarantee of the rule of the 'Titans,' damping down anti-capitalist pressures, by making 'race, and not class, the distinction in social life.'"

That, "more than any other factor," he argues, "has shaped the contours of American history - from the Constitutional Convention of 1787 to the Civil War, to the overthrow of Reconstruction, to the Populist Revolt of the 1890s, to the Great Depression, to the civil rights struggle and 'white backlash' of our own day."
Based on his research Allen wrote, "history has shown that the white-skin privilege does not serve the real interests of the white workers, it also shows that the concomitant racist ideology has blinded them to that fact." He emphasized, "'Solidarity forever!' means 'Privileges never!'"


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


Noe: This article was published by Facts For Working People, Black Agenda Report, Black Commentator, and (under the title "Theodore Allen on Race and Privilege") at SocialistWorker.com.

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.

Work Place Organizing
Against White Supremacy
Influenced by
Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen

December 21, 2014

Tags: Hubert Harrison, Hubert H. Harrison, touchstone, centrality of struggle against white supremay, The Invention of the White Race, Jeffrey B. Perry, class struggle, white supremacy, Theodore W. Allen, The Invention of the White Race, white privilege, white skin privilege, class struggle, white supremacy, post office, postal workers, postal strik, postal reorganization, LIUNA, National Alliance of Postal and Federal Employees, Bulk Mail Center, PATCO. workplace organizing



Work Place Organizing Against White Supremacy
Influenced by Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen


In this interview segment Jeffrey B. Perry discusses organizing work among postal workers that was influenced by insights from two former postal workers and two of the twentieth century’s most important thinkers on race and class – Hubert Harrison (1883-1927) and Theodore W. Allen (1919-2005)

Background on the important work of Harrison and Allen can be found in the article “The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights from Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy” by Jeffrey B. Perry can be found Here (at top left) or Here

For information on Hubert Harrison Click Here and Click Here, Click Here , and
Click Here .

For a video of a Slide Presentation/Talk on “Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism” at the Dudley Public Library in Roxbury, Mass.
Click Here

For a briefer video see Hubert Harrison: “The Father of Harlem Radicalism” – A Brief Introduction – Video Presentation by Jeffrey B. Perry at Click Here

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

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

For information on Jeffrey B. Perry Click Here

This video is drawn from Jeffrey B. Perry Discusses Theodore W. Allen on "The Invention of the White Race," Labor History, and the Centrality of Labor Struggle Against White Supremacy in Excerpts from an interview conducted with Caeser Pink and staff of Arete Living Arts Center (Brooklyn, NY) on Saturday, June 8, 2013, at the Labor and Working Class History Association (LAWCHA) National Conference, at Brooklyn - CUNY Center for Worker Education, 25 Broadway, 7th floor, New York, NY, 10004
Available Here

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

December 18, 2014

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

For information on Jeffrey B. Perry Click Here

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.


"An Introduction to Theodore W. Allen” by Jeffrey B. Perry

October 5, 2014

Tags: Theodore W. Allen, Ted Allen, white skin privilege, white race privilege, invention of the white race, Jeffrey B. Perry, anti-white supremacy, class consciousness, socialism, radicalism, class struggle, affirmative action



"An Introduction to Theodore W. Allen” by Jeffrey B. Perry


Theodore W. Allen (1919-2005) was an independent, anti-white supremacist, working class intellectual and activist and one of the twentieth century's most important writers on race and class. He was a former coal miner and local union president who, after hurting his back in the mines, moved to Brooklyn where he taught, worked in the post office, and worked at the Brooklyn Public Library.

Allen originated his "white skin privilege" analysis in 1965, authored “Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race,” in 1975, and authored the two-volume “The Invention of the White Race” – Vol. 1: “Racial Oppression and Social Control” and Vol. 2: “The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America” (1994, 1997; Verso Books: New Expanded Edition, 2012).

For information on Theodore W. Allen see CLICK HERE

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

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

For information on Hubert Harrison CLICK HERE

and CLICK HERE

For videos of Slide Presentation/Talks on Hubert Harrison CLICK HERE
and
CLICK HERE

For information on Jeffrey B. Perry CLICK HERE



"Theodore W. Allen’s The Invention of the White Race
Presents a Full-Scale Challenge to
'The Great White Assumption'”

September 2, 2013

Tags: Theodore W. Allen, The Invention of the White Race, The Great White Assumption, white identity, class struggle, radical history, equalitarian motif






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

For more on Theodore W. Allen's The Invention of the White Race CLICK 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 Invention of the White Race (Verso Books) by Theodore W. Allen, especially Vol. II: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America. Video of Slide Presentation/Talk by Jeffrey B. Perry, Jan. 31, 2013, Brecht Forum

March 17, 2013

Tags: Theodore W. Allen, The Invention of the White Race, class struggle, racial opprssion, social control, white skin privilege, white race, white race privilege, Hubert Harrison, Jeffrey B. Perry, Verso Books, Brecht Forum



“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
(Written after searching through 885 county-years of Virginia’s colonial records)


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 (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.

The Invention of the White Race 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.

Jeffrey B. Perry contributed new introductions, back matter, internal study guides, and expanded indexes to Verso Books’ new expanded edition of The Invention of the White Race. For more information on Dr. Perry and his work on Hubert Harrison “the father of Harlem radicalism” (1883-1927) and Theodore W. Allen (1919-2005).

CLICK HERE

The Invention of the White Race (Verso Books) by Theodore W. Allen, especially Vol. II: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America. Slide Presentation/Talk by Jeffrey B. Perry hosted by The Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen Society on January 31, 2013, at the Brecht Forum in New York City.

“Theodore W. Allen’s The Invention of the White Race is one of the twentieth-century’s major contributions to historical understanding."

December 26, 2012

Tags: Theodore W. Allen, The Invention of the White Race, major contribution, white race, Great White Assumption, equalitarian motif, class struggle, radical, American History, African Ameican History, Labor Historu

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

From New “Introduction” to Theodore W. Allen, The Invention of the White Race, Vol. 1: Racial Oppression and Social Control (1994; Verso Books: New Expanded Edition, November 2012).

For more information CLICK HERE

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

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