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Jeffrey B. Perry Blog

First Class on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race" (New expanded edition from Verso Books) Postponed From Feb. 8 to Feb. 15, 2013

The Brecht Forum will be closed on Friday, Feb 8, 2013--because of the “blizzard conditions” in the New York area. The class on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race" (New expanded edition from Verso Books) will now begin on Friday, February 15, 2013, at 7:30 PM at the Brecht Forum, 451 West St. in New York.

The suggested reading for the first session is the article “The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights from Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy" available HERE (at the top left). Read More 
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"The Invention of the White Race": Dr. Jeffrey Perry Discusses the New Expanded Edition of Theodore William Allen's The Invention of the White Race (Verso Books, 2012). Interview by Gary Glennell Toms, January 29, 2013.

On January 29, 2013, two days before the book launch for the new expanded edition of Theodore W. Allen's The Invention of the White Race (Verso Books, 2012), I was interviewed by Gary Glennell Toms regarding Allen's work, the struggle against white supremacy, and the upcoming book launch. The interview is listed as "The Invention of the White Race." To listen to it CLICK HERE. The book launch is being hosted by The Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen Society and will be held at the Brecht Forum, 451 West St., New York, NY, 10014 on Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 7:30 PM. Read More 
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The Invention of the White Raceby Theodore W. AllenBook Launch and Slide Presentation/Talk by Jeffrey B. Perryfor the New Expanded Edition (Verso Books)Thurs., Jan. 31, 2013, 7:30 pm Brecht Forum, NYC

The Invention of the White Race
by Theodore W. Allen
Book Launch and Slide Presentation/Talk by Jeffrey B. Perry
for the New Expanded Edition (Verso Books, November 2012)
Hosted by the Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen Society
Thursday, January 31, 2013, 7:30 pm
Brecht Forum
451 West St. (between Bank and Bethune Sts.)
New York, NY 10014



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 ruinous to the interests of African-Americans and “disastrous” for 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.

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

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

The work should be of special interest to students of U.S. History, Labor History, African-American History, Irish History, Caribbean History, African Diaspora Studies, American Studies, Race and Ethnicity, Political and Economic History, Sociology and Anthropology, and "White Privilege" and “Whiteness” Studies.

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 .

Background

“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)


The above 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.

The Invention of the White Race, especially Volume 2, The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America, tells that story. For a Table of Contents for Volume 2 CLICK HERE For a Table of Contents for Volume 1 CLICK HERE
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Fri. 9/30/11, 7:30 PM Hubert Harrison-Theodore W. Allen Society hosts Jitu Weusi

Harrison-Allen Society
Presents Jitu Weusi
Friday, September 30





On Fri., Sept. 30, 2011, at 7:30 PM the Hubert Harrison-Theodore W. Allen Society will host a Presentation by long-time community and education activist Jitu Weusi at the Brecht Forum, 451 West St. (Between Bank and Bethune), NY, NY.
Jitu will discuss struggles he has been involved in for the past 50 years and offer thoughts on the struggles ahead.
We encourage you to attend and to spread the word on this event to friends. Read More 
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Discussion of Theodore W. Allen's "The Invention of the White Race" Vol 2 "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America" Brecht Forum, 451 West St. (btwn Bank and Bethune), NYC, Thurs, June 9, 7:30pm Public transport: C,A or E to 14th St. and 8th Ave;

Discussion of Theodore W. Allen's "The Invention of the White Race" Vol 2 "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America," Brecht Forum, 451 West St. (btwn Bank and Bethune), NYC, Thurs, June 9, 7:30 pm. Public transport: C,A or E to 14th St. and 8th Ave; #1,2,or 3 to 14th and 7th Ave (exit at 12th St.)
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Suggested Readings for “Hubert Harrison, Theodore W. Allen & the Continuing Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy"

Suggested Readings for “Hubert Harrison, Theodore W. Allen & the Continuing Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy" See http://brechtforum.org/readings-harrison-allen
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Class -- "Hubert Harrison, Theodore W. Allen & the Continuing Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy" -- Brecht Forum Class, Thursdays, 7:30 PM, May and June 2011

Class -- "Hubert Harrison, Theodore W. Allen & the Continuing Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy." Brecht Forum, Thursdays, 7:30 PM, May-June 2011. See http://brechtforum.org/civicrm/event/info?id=11873&reset=1
451 West St. (between Bank and Bethune Sts.), New York, NY, 10014.
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2 Hubert Harrison, 1 Theodore W. Allen -- Events on Thursday, October 28

Thurs., Oct. 28, 12 noon Bernard White will interview Jeffrey B. Perry on "Hubert Harrison" for WBAIX, live internet radio, at livestream.com/wbaix. On Thurs. at 7:30 PM there will be a class on "Hubert Harrison, Theodore W. Allen, and the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy" at the Brecht Forum, 451 West St., New York, NY.
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Hubert Harrison, Theodore W. Allen & the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy" -- 4 Sesion Class

Hubert Harrison, Theodore W. Allen & the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy"

4-SESSION CLASS BEGINS Thursday, October 7, 2010, 7:30 - 9:30 PM
Classes on October 7, 14, 21, 28
Brecht Forum
451 West St. (between Bank and Bethune Sts.), New York, NY, 10014

Hubert Harrison, Theodore W. Allen & the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy
with Jeffrey B. Perry
This course will focus on Hubert H. Harrison (1883-1927) and Theodore W. Allen (1919-2005), two autodidactic, anti-white supremacist working class intellectuals and two of the twentieth century's most important writers on race and class.

The St. Croix, Virgin Island-born, Harlem-based Harrison was the leading Black activist and theoretician in the Socialist Party, the founder of the "New Negro Movement," the major radical influence on both A. Philip Randolph and Marcus Garvey, an influential Afro-Caribbean activist, and a self-described "radical internationalist." J. A. Rogers described Harrison as "the foremost Afro-American intellect of his time" and A. Philip Randolph and others referred to him as "The Father of Harlem Radicalism."

The Midwest-born, Brooklyn-based Allen originated the "white skin privilege" concept in 1965, authored Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race, in 1975, authored the two-volume The Invention of the White Race in 1994 and 1997, and was a leading critic of the "white race," which he described as a ruling class social-control formation, invented in the latter-part of the 17th century and maintained by "white race" privileges that are contrary to the interests not only of African Americans, but European American workers as well. Information on, and writings by, Harrison and Allen can be found HERE

Jeffrey B. Perry is an independent, working class scholar and long-time labor and community activist. Dr. Perry preserved and inventoried the Hubert H. Harrison Papers (now at Columbia University's Rare Book and Manuscript Library), edited A Hubert Harrison Reader (Wesleyan University Press, 2001), and authored Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918 (Columbia University Press, 2008). He is also preserving and inventorying the Theodore W. Allen Papers. Information on Perry can be found HERE .

For more information CLICK HERE

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