Chokwe Lumumba — lawyer, activist, Vice President of the Republic of New Afrika, and cofounder of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) — was elected mayor of Jackson, Mississippi on 4 June 2013 with 87% of the votes. Accounting for 80% of the population, Jackson is the second Blackest city in the United $tates. Mississippi […]
Bell hooks was a leading figure in establishing ‘third-wave feminism’: a philosophical and practical branch of feminism centered around the history, experience, and interests of ‘women of color.’ Her writings are directly critical of previous feminist movements which favored white middle-class women, and she is generally critical of the standard feminist framework while finding cause in altering the scope of its discourse. Her central thesis in Feminist Theory, from Margin to Center is that the objective of feminism is not simply for equality between sexes but for an end to sexist oppression and the broader “ideology of domination” which supports it. In the process, she gets many things right in regards to the struggle against oppression while bringing a lot of detail and nuance into the discussion. In some regards, her critiques of feminism are applicable to nominally left-wing movements in the US today. Yet her explicit understandings of larger economic questions are lacking. Though she raises many salient points, these ideas are best understood as part of a broader yet more incisive critique of general social practice and relations between classes and groups.
Recently, the question was posed to myself and other activists, “A lot of (white) people I know are asking about resources where they can educate themselves about antiracism and collective liberation. Got any website/book/podcast suggestions for beginners?”
Here is a slightly expanded version of my response:
As books go…
J. Sakai’s ‘The Mythology of the White Proletariat‘ is probably the quintessential historical narrative of US history from a non-white perspective. It attempts to find the origin of ‘racism’ in privilege and oppression vis a vis Capital (including land). It’s written from an unorthodox Marxist perspective as well, so it helps to have some background knowledge of Marxist terminology as well as US history.
‘False Nationalism, False Internationalism‘ (by E. Tani and Kaé Sera,) is considered the sequel to ‘Settlers’ and critically discusses the interplay between white allies and non-white communities during the struggles of the 60’s and 70’s.
‘Nightvision: Illuminating War and Class on the Neo-Colonial Terrain‘ (by Butch Lee and Red Rover) is considered the third book in the series, updates the ideas to the 90’s to include globalization, adds feminist ideas to the general gist of the series and discusses culture more. It should be noted that all three of these books challenge the idea that ‘races’ exist at all, instead using the term ‘nation,’ with the implication that shared history, common culture and definable relations with other nations is the essence of their constitution (and not something innate like genetics or biological features or even phenotype). I generally operate under this assumption and think it should be noted that the whole concept of ‘race’ was literally something created by Europeans to rationalize colonization. Continue reading