Black and White Working Class

I wrote this essay on the past and current struggles of the Black and white working class in the United States. I noted that:

Racism has long divided the working class, and today is no different. Many white working class people voted for Donald Trump. And much like 2008, race was a reason. While some will salute a strong economy, in truth, wages have flattened for the working class. Because of this, and because white workers have grown suspicious of the burgeoning black power call by Black Lives Matter, the search for solidarity continues to escape a racially divided country, as noted by the current political climate.

This essay was published by the Hampton Institute here.

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Brooks School Community Narratives

 

As part of a community narrative through portraits — conducted by an amazing graduating student, she reflects a number of narratives in the pictures she took. She lined Main Street with over 100 of them, where folks shared an unknown thing about themselves. I stated that I survived a brain aneurysm due to a benign brain tumor. My image reflects what W.E.B. Du Bois once stated — the problem of the [21st] century is mass incarceration of Black and Brown people. Hence, our color line matter is due, in part, to the New Jim Crow.

Social Thinking

“The Negro in America is a social and not a personal or human problem. To think of him is to think of statistics, slums, rapes, injustices, remote violence.” James Baldwin

Baldwin reflecting on the indictment and predicament of Jim Crow, another consequence of W.E.B. Du Bois’s color-line thesis. I think about all the brothers and sisters who are in jail due to societal ills, vice, and poverty. Education is the greatest savior for the Negro; however, he has been given a lie for years. It is not the Negro church that will save him, but the Negro mind.

Du Bois Lecture

I am pumped to be delivering the Annual W. E. B. Du Bois Lecture at Community Church of Boston on February 26 2017. Yep — the year is incorrect below. My lecture, “W.E.B. Du Bois: A Radical Savior of His People” brings Du Bois’s political and faith-based critique of suffering and the human condition to life, as it draws from his biblical interpretations and ideological framing of the color-line thesis. See more here

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African-American History Conference

I am working through my notes, reading my data and comparing conclusions by various historians. In the end, I am excited about the panel I am sitting on come March, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. You can see the conference program here.

Here is the panel, which will be chaired by Gerald Horne. This is a great historical society.

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African-American Plight

The Negro Speaks of Rivers

By Langston Hughes

I’ve known rivers:

I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.

I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.

I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.

I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset.

I’ve known rivers:

Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

Double-Consciousness

It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.

The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife — this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self. In this merging he wishes neither of the older selves to be lost. He does not wish to Africanize America, for America has too much to teach the world and Africa. He wouldn’t bleach his Negro blood in a flood of white Americanism, for he knows that Negro blood has a message for the world. He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of opportunity closed roughly in his face.

From W.E.B. Du Bois’s Souls of Black Folk