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radicalism



  • 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. 



  • The Great Black Radical You've Never Heard Of

    by Peter Cole

    The author of a new book on an understudied Black labor radical presents context for an exerpt of an interview Ben Fletcher gave to the New York Amsterdam News, a rare surviving case of the organizer telling his own story.



  • Aaron Sorkin Sanitizes the Chicago 7

    by Jeet Heer

    According to Jeet Heer, "Sorkin takes many liberties with the facts, most of which are designed to make both the New Left and its conservative opponents more palatable to contemporary liberal viewers."



  • Getting to Freedom City (Review)

    by Robin D.G. Kelley

    Historian Robin Kelley reviews Mike Davis and Jon Weiner's "Set the Night on Fire," which chronicles the growth of resistance to inequality and miltarized policing in 1960s Los Angeles.



  • Against State Capture

    by Austin McCoy

    Austin McCoy warns that the energy of today's protest movements, which demand deep changes to the organization of society, is at risk of being captured and contained by small-scale reforms. The challenge for "abolition democracy" is to involve people in deciding how to dismantle and replace repressive institutions.


  • Woody Guthrie's Communism and "This Land Is Your Land"

    by Aaron J. Leonard

    The author of a new book on the FBI's surveillance of folk musicians argues that Woody Guthrie did join the Communist Party, though he was at odds with leadership over discipline. The affiliation is reflected in the lyrics of his most famous song.