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radicalism



  • Thoroughly Modern Maxie: Robespierre and His Legacy for Democracy Today

    by Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall

    "If Robespierre was not by nature a murderous despot, who was he and what does he have to teach us – especially at a time, like that of the French Revolution, when progressives and liberals are divided about how to prioritize the rights of minoritized groups?"



  • Milbank: January 6 Roots Begin with Gingrich, Not Trump

    While relatively little of Newt Gingrich's "Contract With America" became law, the House Speaker who rose to power in 1994 set the tone for the Republican Party's rigid partisanship and demonization of the opposition, a stance that justifies antidemocratic steps to keep power. 



  • Fanaticism May be Alarming, but It's Not New

    by Zachary R. Goldsmith

    The term "fanatic" evolved from a value-neutral name for participants in Roman religious cults to describe someone with dangerous and erroneous beliefs in religion and then in modern politics. Philosophers from Kant to Burke show the need to pull back from such absolute judgments of our adversaries. 



  • Americans Misunderstand the Radical Vision of even the Young MLK

    by Victoria W. Wolcott

    Long before the escalation of the war in Vietnam, urban unrest and national battles for fair housing that animated King's late work, he expressed a vision of justice that demanded systemic transformation of American society. His wife Coretta was a profound influence. 



  • What are Frantz Fanon's Lessons for Today?

    by Pankaj Mishra

    Taken at the moment of the Algerian fight for independence and other colonial liberation movements, "The Wretched of the Earth" was first seen as a beacon of liberatory thought. A new edition frames the ambivalences in Fanon's work on freedom.



  • The Real Black Panthers

    Historian Donna Murch joins NPR's The Throughline to discuss the Black Panther Party's agenda and its targeting by J. Edgar Hoover's FBI. 


  • Don't Erase Women's Leadership in the Berkeley Free Speech Movement

    by Robert Cohen

    Historians have yet to fully examine the role of women in leadership and at the grass roots of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement. Even some of the best and most insightful accounts of the FSM treat it as a movement of men and ignore the key roles of Jackie Goldberg, Bettina Aptheker and others. 



  • The Deep South Has a Rich History of Resistance, as Amazon Is Learning

    Columnist Jamelle Bouie draws on the work of historians Michael W. Fitzgerald, Paul Horton, Robin D.G. Kelley, and Robert Widell, Jr. which shows that Alabamians, and Black Alabamians in particular, have organized to fight both racial oppression and labor exploitation.



  • The Campaign to Free the Wilmington 10 Holds the Key to Successful Activism Today

    by Kenneth Janken

    A campaign to free 10 racial justice protesters in 1972 worked because it connected the cause to the problems with police, poverty, and racism experienced by a broad cross section of the community, and "recognize[d] racism not as separate from history but as part of historical processes and political economy."



  • The Retrograde Quest for Symbolic Prophets of Black Liberation

    by Adolph Reed, Jr.

    The prevailing pattern of invoking activist or intellectual figures from Black history as prophetic exemplars of moral and political authority takes those figures out of their historical contexts and discourages consideration of how racism connects to multiple systems of economic and political power in contemporary crises like COVID-19. 



  • Law Enforcement’s Double Standards for Black Radical Activists

    by Denise Lynn

    Those puzzled at the FBI's inability to monitor white supremacist and right-wing extremist groups like those involved in the Capitol rioting should consider how the bureau has historically worked to surveil and harass radical Black organizations like the Sojourners for Truth and Justice. 



  • Why Black Marxism, Why Now?

    by Robin D.G. Kelley

    Robin D.G. Kelley places the work of Cedric Robinson in the context of Black radical traditions that have challenged the use of Marxism as a critique of power and politics.