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Theodore W. Allen's The Invention of the White Race Slide Presentation/Talk by Jeffrey B. Perry June 11, 2015 Thursday, 6 PM

June 11, 2015
Thursday, 6 PM
Theodore W. Allen's The Invention of the White Race (Verso Books) especially Volume 2 The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America will be discussed by Jeffrey B. Perry in a slide presentation/talk at the Bogota Borough Public Library 375 Larch Ave. Bogota, NJ, 07063. Contact person Radwa Ali, Branch Director, 201-488-7185.
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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




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 America, you 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 let friends know about it. 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 50,000 viewer mark -- http://youtu.be/2Gq77rOuZck

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 http://www.jeffreybperry.net/_center__i__font_size__3__font_color__sepia___b_6__the_invention_of_the_br_white_116387.htm

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 -- http://www.jeffreybperry.net/_center__i__font_size__3__font_color__sepia___b_5__the_invention_of_the_br_white_116386.htm

For information on Allen’s “Summary of the Argument of The Invention of the White Race” Part 1 see http://clogic.eserver.org/1-2/allen.html and for Part 2 see http://clogic.eserver.org/1-2/allen2.html

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 http://www.jeffreybperry.net or at “Cultural Logic” at http://clogic.eserver.org/2010/2010.html

For a video of a Slide Presentation/Talk on Hubert Harrison see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heBKm1ytd5Q

For comments from scholars and activists on "Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918" (Columbia University Press) see http://www.jeffreybperry.net/disc.htm and see http://www.jeffreybperry.net/_center__font_size__3__font_color__green___b_3__hubert_harrison_br___center___fo_86150.htm

For articles, audios, and videos by and about Hubert Harrison see http://www.jeffreybperry.net/_center__font_size__3__font_color__green___b_1__hubert_harrison___i_the_voice_of_76560.htm
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“Theodore W. Allen On 'The Invention of the White Race,' ‘White Privilege,’ and the Working Class” by 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.

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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




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

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Theodore W. Allen Shied Away From The Term "whiteness"




Theodore W. Allen (1919-2005) did pioneering work on “white privilege” and “white skin privilege” from the mid-1960s until his death in 2005. He shied away from the term “whiteness.” As he explained:


“. . . it’s an abstract noun, it’s an abstraction, it’s an attribute of some people, it’s not the role they play. And the white race is an actual objective thing. It’s not anthropologic, it’s a historically developed identity of European Americans and Anglo-Americans and so it has to be dealt with. It functions . . . in this history of ours and it has to be recognized as such . . . to slough it off under the heading of ‘whiteness,’ to me seems to get away from the basic white race identity problem.”



The fullest treatment of the development of Theodore W. Allen’s work can be found in “The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy,” available in PDF format HERE (at the top left) and HERE.

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

For a video on Theodore W. Allen's "The Invention of the White Race" Click Here

For information on Theodore W. Allen’s Vol. II: "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo America" (including comments from scholars and activists) published by Verso Books with a new, internal study guide CLICK HERE.

For information on Theodore W. Allen’s Vol. I: “Racial Oppression and Social Control" (including comments from scholars and activists) published by Verso Books with a new, internal study-guide 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.
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Jeffrey B. Perry Open Letter in Response to “Challenging White Privilege From the Inside” by Kyle Spencer in the "New York Times," February 20, 2015



Unfortunately, the “New York Times” article on “Challenging White Privilege From the Inside” (February 20, 2015) totally ignores the seminal contributions of Theodore W. Allen (1919-2005) who did pioneering work on “white privilege” and “white skin privilege” from the mid-1960s until his death in 2005.

Also ignored is the fact that by June 15, 1969, Allen’s work, and that of others, had impacted Students for a Democratic Society so much that the organization’s national office was calling "for an all-out fight against 'white skin privileges.'” (Thomas R. Brooks, "The New Left is Showing Its Age," “New York Times,” June 15, 1969, p. 20.)

Allen’s important analysis of “white privilege,” which was developed into his two-volume “classic” “The Invention of the White Race,” should be of interest to “Times” readers.

After pointing out that the word “white” as a symbol of social status did not appear in any Virginia Colonial Records until 1691 and demonstrating that the “white race,” as we know it, did not exist in early 17th Century Virginia (the pattern-setting plantation colony), Allen develops the thesis that the “white race” was invented as a ruling class social control formation in response to labor solidarity as manifested in the later, civil war stages of Bacon's Rebellion (1676-77).

To this he adds two important corollaries: 1) the ruling elite, in its own class interest, deliberately instituted a system of “white race” privileges to define and maintain the “white race” and to 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, whose class interests differed fundamentally from those of the ruling elite. He describes these “white privileges” as a “poison bait” (like a shot of heroin) for European-American workers.

Allen’s work also challenges “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.”

In addition, Allen shied away from the term “whiteness.” As he explained, “it’s an abstract noun, it’s an abstraction, it’s an attribute of some people, it’s not the role they play. And the white race is an actual objective thing. It’s not anthropologic, it’s a historically developed identity of European Americans and Anglo-Americans and so it has to be dealt with. It functions . . . in this history of ours and it has to be recognized as such . . . to slough it off under the heading of ‘whiteness,’ to me seems to get away from the basic white race identity problem.”

Theodore W. Allen’s work is essential for understanding “white privilege” and the “white race.”

Here is a video on Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” and the development of the system of “white privileges”




The fullest treatment of the development of Theodore W. Allen’s work can be found in “The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy,” available in PDF format HERE (at the top left) and HERE.

For information on Theodore W. Allen’s Vol. II: "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo America" (including comments from scholars and activists) published by Verso Books with a new, internal study guide CLICK HERE.

For information on Theodore W. Allen’s Vol. I: “Racial Oppression and Social Control" (including comments from scholars and activists) published by Verso Books with a new, internal study-guide 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.
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Video on The Invention of the White Race by Theodore W. Allen Passes 40,000-Viewers Offers Foundation for Radical Critique of U.S. HistoryPoints Way Forward for Struggle




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.
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Cynthia McKinney and Jeffrey B. Perry Guests on Kevin Barrett's "Truth Jihad Radio" January 9, 2015 from 9-10 PM

Cynthia McKinney and Jeffrey B. Perry -- Guests on Kevin Barrett's "Truth Jihad Radio, " January 9, 2015 from 9-10 PM CLICK HERE
Cynthia McKinney is co-chair (with Dhoruba bin-Wahad) of the “National Coalition to Combat Police Terrorism.” Kevin Barrett is on the Editorial Board of "Veterans Today."
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The Invention of The White Race by Theodore W. Allen Special E-Book Sale 90% off $3 Each Volume Print Copies for 50% Off

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




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.
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