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Jeffrey B. Perry Blog

Hubert Harrison, "Poetry of Claude McKay" “Negro World” (May 21, 1921) and Claude McKay’s “Harlem Shadows”

Hubert Harrison, "Poetry of Claude McKay," “Negro World” (May 21, 1921) and Electronic Text of McKay’s “Harlem Shadows.” The text of this Harrison article is available in Jeffrey B. Perry's “A Hubert Harrison Reader” (Middleton, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2001) To read the Harrison article and "Harlem Shadows"
CLICK HERE
For articles, audios, and videos by and about Hubert Harrison CLICK HERE

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On May 1, 1912, International Workers Day Hubert Harrison Spoke Before 50,000 People at the May Day Rally at Union Square, New York City

105 Years Ago -- On May 1, 1912, International Workers Day, Hubert Harrison, one of the featured English language speakers of the Socialist Party, spoke at the May Day rally at Union Square (New York City) which, according to the New York Times, was attended by "some 50,000 organized workers, men and women, wearing the bright red of socialism as the world wide band of labor."
For information on Harrison’s life see “Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918” (Columbia University Press). For comments on that work by scholars and activists CLICK HERE

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Extremely Insightful, May 20, 2004, interview (on the centrality of struggle against white supremacy) with a then 84-year-old Theodore W. Allen

For an extremely insightful, May 20, 2004 interview (on the centrality of struggle against white supremacy) with a then 84-year-old Theodore W. Allen, LISTEN HERE
The interview was conducted by Chad Pearson.

For additional information on Allen and his work
CLICK HERE


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Hubert Harrison: 134 Year Birthdate Anniversary (April 27) Founder of First Organization and First Newspaper Of the Militant “New Negro Movement”

Hubert Harrison: 134 Year Birthdate Anniversary (April 27); Founder of First Organization and First Newspaper Of the Militant “New Negro Movement” in “Black Star News” CLICK HERE

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Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” Friday, April 28, 2017, 6:00 p.m. Washington Project for the Arts 2124 8th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001

Washington, DC, This Friday April 28 -- Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” Slide Presentation/Talk by Jeffrey B. Perry on Friday, April 28, 2017, 6:00 p.m. Washington Project for the Arts, 2124 8th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001
For more information CLICK HERE


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

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

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

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

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“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)



“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)
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Do-it-yourself scholars: No backing from the ivory tower Plenty of gritBy Merrell Noden Discusses Work of Jeffrey B. Perry on Hubert HarrisonPrinceton Alumni Weekly, April 22, 2009


"Do-it-yourself scholars:
No backing from the ivory tower.
Plenty of grit."
By Merrell Noden ’78
in "Princeton Alumni Weekly"
April 22, 2009 Issue
To read the article CLICK HERE
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Letter to the editor on the proposed Woodrow Wilson Marker at Princeton University by Jeffrey B. Perry in "Princeton Alumni Weekly"


Letter to the editor
on the proposed Woodrow Wilson Marker
at Princeton University
by Jeffrey B. Perry
in "Princeton Alumni Weekly"
March 1, 2017

CLICK HERE
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Theodore W. Allen on “whiteness,” the “white race” and “white race” privilege



Theodore W. Allen on “whiteness,” the “white race” and “white race” privilege


Theodore W. Allen put the word “whiteness” in quotes because he shied away from the term. As he explained, “it’s an abstract noun, it’s an abstraction, it’s an attribute of some people, and 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.”

To Theodore W. Allen there was nothing positive in the “white race” ruling class social control formation or in identifying as “white,” and in his personal and political life he tried not to think or act “white.” He explained that “the white race is now, and always has been nothing other than a bourgeois social control formation in this country” and he considered it “the special obligation of the European-American worker” to act by “resigning from the white race, joining the human race as, if you will, a born-again proletarian free of the incubus of the ‘white’ identity.” He added that ‘resigning . . . does not entail . . . entering some other ‘racial’ or nationality category; such a European-American remains a European-American.”

As he developed the “white race” privilege concept, Allen emphasized that for the European-American workers 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 emphasized “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!’”

For more on these issues and on the development of Theodore W. Allen’s thought see “The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy” available in PDF format as the first link on the by clicking HERE
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