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One of the first chapters of Jubilee—chapter five in a novel of fifty-eight chapters—is titled “Grimes:

‘Cotton is King!’” It’s about the everyday life of a white plantation driver, Ed Grimes. Like Du Bois’ approach

to the poor whites in Black Reconstruction, Walker’s in Jubilee is historical and political not psycho-cultural.

She has little interest in “whiteness” as either an attitude or a so-called “social construct.”

 

 

Books by Margaret Walker

On Being Female, Black and Free  / For My People: A Tribute  /  How I Wrote Jubilee and Other Essays on Life and Literature  / 

This Is My Country: New and Collected Poems  / Richard Wright: Daemonic Genius 

Poetic Equation: Conversations with Nikki Giovanni and Margaret Walker

How I Wrote Jubilee  /  Prophets for a New Day  / Jubilee / For My People

*   *   *   *   *

Conversations with Margaret Walker

Edited by Maryemma Graham

 

Remembering to Not Forget

A Reflection on Jubilee

By Jonathan Scott

 

Next year is the fortieth anniversary of the original publication of Margaret Walker’s masterpiece Jubilee. The book is a well-known work of American fiction, Walker’s magnum opus, and a lasting contribution to world literature, in particular to the genre of the historical novel. To find an equivalent, you have to leave America and go to the Russian masters such as Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, or to García Márquez.

A few years after its publication, the eminent African American literary scholar Sterling Brown put Jubilee on his list of the six greatest novels of the African American tradition, alongside Chesnutt’s The Marrow of Tradition, Bontemps’ Black Thunder, Wright’s Native Son, Ellison’s Invisible Man, and Baldwin’s Go Tell It On The Mountain. The book was, in 1966, a national bestseller and became instantly, for American readers in general and Alex Haley in specific, a rich new source of facts and information about the United States’ so-called “Peculiar Institution.” (Haley’s unacknowledged use of Jubilee in the construction of his Roots saga is filled with controversy, legal and otherwise; but let us put that to the side for now.) The new wealth of empirical knowledge about racial slavery offered in Jubilee was for readers of such compelling interest that Walker authored several years later a full explication of her research and writing methodology, a text called How I Wrote Jubilee (Third World Press, 1977).

Today Jubilee is surprisingly, even if you’re a hardcore cynic, not one of the cornerstone literary texts of American studies, nor is the novel the special focus of very many doctoral dissertations in English studies, African American studies, comparative literature, or cultural studies. Compared to, say, Morrison’s Beloved or Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!, Jubilee has the status of a minor work, which is not to say anything either way about these two great American novels. Rather, it is to recognize a frustrating problem in the critical treatment and aesthetic appreciation of Walker’s masterpiece: not only its benign neglect, which is strange enough, but also its omission by the dominant schools of the U.S. academy in their selection of the most important American novels of the twentieth century.

There are several ways to approach the problem but two in specific that could shed the most light: first, an identification of the main components of Walker’s classic narrative which, apparently, cannot be easily accommodated or assimilated by the dominant U.S. schools; and second, an analysis of the ideology of these critical establishments by which their “Jubilee blindspot” could be better understood and critiqued. The two tasks are interconnected and therefore need to be attempted not singly but together.

Much like W.E.B. Du Bois’ own magnum opus Black Reconstruction, Jubilee begins with a startling revelation: the poor whites are major players in the story of U.S. racial slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. You can bracket white ethnics, such as American Jews, Italian-Americans, and Polish-Americans—no disrespect intended—whose lineage in the U.S. goes back no more than three of four generations, for the myth of the U.S. “immigrant society” is shattered the moment we enter Walker’s story. Here we find the salt of the American earth: African American workers and the poor whites, surviving generation after generation, beginning in the early 1600s down to the 1840s when Jubilee starts, on the same fertile soil, each feeling it as their own despite barely subsisting on it in conditions of abject poverty.

Yet one group of the poor and propertyless has allowed themselves to be adopted into a white social order, set up by the slave-owning class, the capitalist planters, in which they choose to play the role of overseer: brutal enforcers of the super-exploitation of black labor by the planter elite. If a poor white refuses, he or she is considered by the ruling class to be no less dangerous—often even more so—than a free black such as the character Randall Ware, who plays a pivotal role in Walker’s novel. (Ware is based on Walker’s own maternal great-grandfather, while the story’s protagonist, Vyry Brown, is based on her maternal great-grandmother.)

To leave the poor whites out of the narrative, as so many U.S. historians had done, and continue to do, despite Du Bois’ magisterial work on this subject, is to distort badly not only the whole U.S. labor picture but also to invite cosmopolitan—i.e. white ethnic émigré, European, and also “Third World”—approaches and solutions to what is fundamentally a national American question.

Du Bois titled the second chapter of Black Reconstruction “The White Worker,” and placed it strategically in between chapter one, “The Black Worker,” and his third, “The Planter.” Right here, in the strategic arrangement of Du Bois’ first three electrifying chapters, is the kernel of a monumental idea, both in an explanatory sense, as he goes on to demonstrate systematically in his main argument, and politically, as he shows beginning in chapter four, “The General Strike.” This general strike is the great American political unconscious: it’s what all American workers desire, perhaps more so now than ever before, but are lost as to how to organize it, thanks to the sell-out leadership of the Democratic Party—the biggest white spoils system in the history of the nation.

Du Bois argued that the peculiar thing about the white identity is that, to establish the plantation monoculture economy, the big bourgeoisie consciously and deliberately positioned the poor European Americans in a buffer social control stratum, in between the African American bond labor working class and the ruling planter class; yet this new white “middle-class” position would not enable the poor whites any social mobility. In fact, it had the opposite effect. “The race element,” Du Bois wrote lucidly,

was emphasized in order that property-holders could get the support of the majority of white laborers and make it more possible to exploit Negro labor. But the race philosophy came as a new and terrible thing to make labor unity or labor class-consciousness impossible. So long as the Southern white laborers could be induced to prefer poverty to equality with the Negro, just so long was a labor movement in the South made impossible (680).

One of the first chapters of Jubilee—chapter five in a novel of fifty-eight chapters—is titled “Grimes: ‘Cotton is King!’” It’s about the everyday life of a white plantation driver, Ed Grimes. Like Du Bois’ approach to the poor whites in Black Reconstruction, Walker’s in Jubilee is historical and political not psycho-cultural. She has little interest in “whiteness” as either an attitude or a so-called “social construct.” Instead, she perceives the white identity objectively, that is, historically and politically, precisely as Du  Bois had done before her: as a necessary element of capitalist social control in the monstrous plantation system of mass production and meager consumption. As we begin our walk down Walker’s narrative path, it is blundering into its third century of inhuman existence.

One of the signal features of Walker’s novel, captured ironically in its title, is the overriding and always visible, yet also underlying and latent, feelings of doom and gloom written on every page: for the plantation monoculture of cotton, on the one hand, based on African American lifetime chattel slavery, and, on the other, the political prospects of black and white labor equality. Brilliantly, Walker punctuates each chapter in the blues mode, and a lot of the novel’s lugubrious blues has to do explicitly with the “white race” social control formation, embodied by the character Grimes who will persist like a deadly plague through all three parts of this historical novel. Thus it is crucial to dwell for a minute on Walker’s introduction of Grimes, and to then follow this singular phenomenon as it determines, again and again, the contours of U.S. history and society, as described perspicaciously in Walker’s epic form.

Most remarkable about Grimes as he first appears in the narrative, and even more so upon reflection at the novel’s close, is that of all the boldly contrastive characters in Walker’s epic only the poor white man Grimes has an interior monologue. Although the argument has not been made yet in the new discipline of whiteness studies,” Walker’s originary creation of a fully-formed, self-conscious, and dangerously deluded white worker could be considered, formally, the nation’s departure point for liberatory anti-white supremacist cultural resistance. For nowhere in American art and literature is there as persistent and positive an obsession, with white workers in direct social relation to black workers, and to the capitalist class who exploits them both, as that found in Walker’s Jubilee. To make the matter more politically explosive and enlivening, Walker’s African American protagonist Vyry has blonde hair and blue eyes.

Grimes’ interior monologue, as well as Vyry’s complexion, is disruptive of the American psycho-cultural senses mainly in terms of perception. First is the national “common sense” view that racial slavery is the country’s “Peculiar Institution”; second is the black cultural nationalist image of the white man as devil incarnate; and third is the liberal bourgeois perception that being “white” is a material advantage—that whites are enriched financially by their racially privileged social position in U.S. society and, by extension, through every U.S. imperial conquest abroad, such as this recent one in Iraq.

These three shibboleths of American national cultural identity, which are evident all through U.S. popular culture, from pro-war propaganda that links white freedom and democracy to the conquest of the Arab world, down to mainstream documentaries such as PBS’s recent “Slavery and the Making of America” series, where the poor whites are disappeared in order to tell a new cultural nationalist narrative, are torn to shreds by Walker in just one interior monologue. To ignore the poor whites’ integral relationship to ruling class domination, by means of the system of white racial oppression, will come at your own peril: this is one of the political lessons of Jubilee. You can be indifferent to the poor whites but so long as they stay white they’ll never be indifferent towards you.

The full force of her intervention in Jubilee is that she never wishes away, or attenuates, the centrality of the poor white problem in U.S. history. Instead, the poor white problem is, for Walker, the whole ordeal of America and the crux of the nation’s perpetual identity crisis. Will the poor white majority ever stand up for itself against its class oppressors who are white like them? Or will they keep blaming all the not-white victims and, by doing so, perpetuate their centuries-old class-collaboration, which has not exactly made them into the next Bill Gates?

Will they ever produce an authentic, organic national popular culture, one that is not stolen or borrowed from someone else, on par with what their African American cousins have already produced? These questions, which are strictly taboo in America, evoke a magnificent passage from Ishmael Reed’s novel Mumbo Jumbo. Imagining what this feeling would be like, Reed writes: “a great sigh of relief would go up through the land as if the soul was like feet resting in mineral waters after miles of hiking through nails, pebbles, hot coals and prickly things” (p. 97). In Reed’s view, one of the simple ways we would know that a real, not-white multicultural American national culture had finally arrived is when people are no longer “robbed of any concerns other than mundane ones” (p. 47).     

Analyze the problem in a contemporary context. Look at Michael Moore’s first film Roger and Me and ask the question: all those white workers who were fired and then evicted from their Flint, Michigan homes because GM moved their plants off-shore to make more money off cheap labor—why didn’t they burn those empty plants to the ground, or, better, take them over, and then charge CEO Roger Smith and his Board of Directors with treason? Isn’t this one the worst cases of anti-Americanism possible, firing American workers and making them homeless on behalf of, transparently, increasing profit margins for Wall Street investors? These U.S. CEOs should have their passports taken away. Instead, the white workers, as Moore documents, walked away from the plants with hat-in-hand and went straight to the nearest bar where they doubtless complained bitterly about affirmative action, the “Japs,” and all the environmentalists.

Du Bois had already explained in Black Reconstruction the white Flint autoworkers’ pathetic response to their termination and consequent immiseration:

But the poor whites and their leaders could not for a moment contemplate a fight of united white and black labor against the exploiters. Indeed, the natural leaders of the poor whites, the small farmers, the professional men, the white mechanic and the slave overseer, were bound to the planters and repelled from the slaves and even from the mass of the white laborers in two ways: first they constituted the police patrol who could ride with planters and now and then exercise unlimited force upon recalcitrant or runaway slaves; and then, too, there was always a chance that they themselves might also become planters by saving money, by investment, by the power of good luck; and the only heaven that attracted them was the life of the great Southern planter (p. 27).

Walker animates Du Bois’ theoretical rigor through the poor white’s interior monologue, which comes suddenly in the middle of chapter two. It’s understandable that many African Americans would have a negative view of the poor whites, to put it mildly, seeing that the poor whites have, 99 percent of the time, aligned themselves with the white government in power, always over and against black folk. Yet Walker is a great novelist who seeks to reveal the whole class structure of U.S. society; thus the interior monologue is neither cynical nor demeaning.

She’s a lady, Missy Salina Dutton is, a fine, good lady…She knows how to handle niggers and keep a big establishment; how to set a fine table, and act morally decent like a first-class lady. She’s a real Christian woman, a Bible-reading, honest-dealing, high-quality lady who knows and acts the difference between niggers and white people. She ain’t no nigger-loving namby-pamby like that s.o.b. pretty boy she’s married to. She knows how to lay the law down to niggers and keep her business to herself…Of course Janey [Grimes’ wife] has had a hard time. She come from the pine barrens and her folks is awful poor, so poor they eat dirt, and sometimes, like right now while Janey is expecting (this’ll be number eight), she craves dirt like her Maw done before her and that’s why she craves so much snuff. But Janey was once real nice-looking too, before all these younguns, and when her blonde hair was real light colored and not so stringy as it is now, and she wasn’t so careless, like walking around in a dirty dress with her feet barefooted like she come in the world. But they is one sure thing, by God, she is a true, good wife, and she don’t have no nigger-loving husband like that trashy John Morris Dutton…A lot of people think running a farm and handling nigras is nothing, but it ain’t so; it’s hard work. Managing a farm and keeping a pack of evil, black slaves in line ain’t no child’s play… Of course you got a lot of things against you, things to contend with like the weather, for an instance. Rain slows the work down and niggers always hollering, “more rain, more rest.” You got to keep a firm hand on niggers, else they won’t hit a lick of the snake. Half the time they make out like they sick and got the rheumatiz or the whooping cough or just plain misery, and half the time they is just putting on. You can’t pay them no mind, because they are the biggest liars God ever made—that is, if God made them (pp. 22-3).

This interior monologue is a fragment of the whole—the microcosm in which each major social and political problem in U.S. society can be understood in its totality. Hence, to continue this appreciation of Jubilee we need to return to the three shibboleths of U.S. national identity, objectified and then undermined by Walker’s great novel.

What’s peculiar about racial slavery is not that African American labor was exploited to the fullest, through the basest form of oppression, chattel slavery; in fact, this is the hallmark of any radical capitalist class: the quick accumulation of capital by any means of labor exploitation necessary. People forget that the English/British capitalists had already tried out chattel slavery on the Catholic Irish in Ireland, through the Protestant Ascendancy, yet nobody is calling that “peculiar.”

The peculiar thing is the “white race,” illuminated on every page of Jubilee. Here is a white worker whose wife is forced to eat dirt to survive and whose children are dying of starvation, a situation imposed directly by his own employer. Yet the white worker Grimes does not blame his slave-owning employer for this immiseration, as the starving Irish Catholic poor had blamed the English planters. Instead he is angry with his white boss for being a too “liberal” slave master and capitalist planter. Grimes’ working-class rage is twisted into a murderous white social psychosis that is transferred on to all African Americans and any white person who rejects white supremacy. As Jubilee unfolds, rivers overflow with the blood of Grimes’ many victims, none of whom is from the exploiting class: they are all workers just like Grimes—black workers.

Is it peculiar for poor people to carry out genocidal murder against other poor people? Under oligarchies ruled by a military dictatorship, definitely not, in which desperately poor people receive housing, money, education, and food in exchange for their service in the oligarchy’s army. But in a civil society, without any social mobility in return? When in world history has that ever happened?

In terms of the second shibboleth, if the white man is the devil incarnate, monopoly capitalism is let off the hook. Langston Hughes expressed this awareness poignantly in his scintillating poem “White Man”:

Sure, I know you!

You’re a White Man.

I’m a Negro.

You take all the best jobs

And leave us the garbage cans to empty and

The halls to clean.

You have a good time in a big house at

Palm Beach

And rent us the back alleys

And the dirty slums.

You enjoy Rome—

And take Ethiopia.

White Man! White Man!

Let Louis Armstrong play it—

And you copyright it

And make the money.

You’re the smart guy, White Man!

You got everything!

But now,

I hear your name ain’t really White Man.

I hear it’s something Marx wrote down

Fifty years ago—

That rich people don’t like to read.

Is that true, White Man?

Is your name in a book

Called the Communist Manifesto?

C-A-P-I-T-A-L-I-S-T?

Are you always a White Man?

Huh?

(Published originally in New Masses, December 1936; reprinted in Good Morning Revolution: Uncollected Writings of Langston Hughes, edited by Faith Berry, 1973.)

In the same vein, Amiri Baraka has rejected the term “white devil” as too limited. Instead, “It’s like monsters roaming the earth…who sting to live, who know no better. Who, like wild animals, might sing, or make a sound some way, that might pretend, imitate, a human cry, the sweet rationality of love” (From his poem “Heathens Think Fascism is Civilization,” in Transbluesency, p. 216).

The third shibboleth is probably the most difficult to expose as U.S. capitalist fiction, that white workers benefit materially from white racism, since it appears counter-intuitive. The essence of white-skin privilege is the presumption of liberty; this is why whites are not racially profiled or redlined, and why they are always the first in line to be exploited by capitalist bosses. But not being racially profiled doesn’t translate into upward social mobility, as the latest economic analyses show convincingly: white male workers have seen a steady decline in their real wages for the past twenty years, despite increasing substantially their productivity; and this decline in their real wages has coincided exactly with the resegregation of U.S. society. From a political standpoint, if whites benefit from racial oppression and U.S. imperialism, then how could we ever end them? What would be the strategy besides moral suasion?

Instead, beginning with the homestead acts passed by Congress in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, white-skin privilege has been about lateral mobility not upward mobility. That’s the whole trick of the white supremacy racket. Walker dramatizes this fact in the third part of Jubilee, “‘Forty Years in the Wilderness’—Reconstruction and Reaction.”  Suffice it to say that the poor whites get some land for the first time but most of it is rocky soil the former slave-owning class doesn’t want anyway. So how did the former slave-owners keep their old land and acquire new land, and then re-impose slavery in the form of the vagrancy laws, the grandfather clause, chain-gang labor, the sharecropper system, and the Ku Klux Klan, despite being destroyed in the Civil War?

This is a great question yet white labor historians have never explored it. The conventional explanation is that land reform and African American civil rights under Reconstruction—i.e. the work of the Freedmen’s Bureau—were both betrayed by the northern bourgeoisie. But isn’t betraying workers standard practice? It’s in the nature of the beast. In other words, the white labor historians’ explanation is a neat tautology but not an analysis. Blaming the overthrow of Reconstruction on the rapacious bourgeoisie is the same as blaming famine in Africa on greedy imperialists. And what imperialist isn’t greedy?

Frantz Fanon and Amilcar Cabral each demonstrated in their work that to carry out a successful project of colonial capitalist conquest, the colonizers needed a native class of collaborators. Jubilee shows us the same thing: to overthrow Reconstruction the northern bourgeoisie needed, once again, their old partners in crime, the poor whites. In this way, Walker’s rendering of what Du Bois termed “the counter-revolution of property” stands alone in American literature in how she tells this untold story through the densely interconnected, everyday travails of ex-African American slaves and the lost, confused, and heavily armed poor whites. For those who haven’t read Jubilee, it would be bad form to give away the novel’s dramatic ending, which Walker leaves wide open to many interpretations.

But one fact is beyond interpretation. As we leave Vyry and her family, and Randall Ware, and the poor whites, we realize that our nation was never reconstructed after the ordeal of racial slavery, and this has ruined the fates of all American workers. Walker was not the first to call for a second reconstruction in America, on behalf of revolutionary democracy, but in her majestic prose and meticulous research technique Jubilee remains one of the most accessible and persuasive documents we have in support of the African American reparations movement, building an independent black political party, and seeing through to the end the American class project of national reconstruction along equalitarian lines.

There are several conclusions to draw from a reading of Jubilee. The first is that the poor whites are inhabited by an incubus: the white identity. You see this in Grimes’ interior monologue: where did his thoughts come from? Is he thinking them or is his slave-owning employer thinking them for him? Look at the question today: when white workers oppose affirmative action and African American reparations, is this their idea or Rush Limbaugh’s? Do they know the difference?

Whiteness is not phenotypic or biological; it’s political. To accept the white identity is to participate either directly or indirectly in the oppression of all not-whites. Thus for European American workers—the majority of U.S. society—there is a political path out of whiteness’ somnambulant fog. It is neither permanent nor easy. It will take a lot more for a European American to stop being “white” than merely declaring himself or herself not-white; but at the same time, there is nothing stopping any European American from refusing to participate in white racial oppression. This means protesting white supremacy wherever they see it: in their white-only neighborhoods, schools, churches, and places of work.

When whites ask me, But what difference will it make? I answer, a lot. If you’re not fired, expelled, or pariahed, then that means you can begin to make your community into a place of anti-racist struggle and pride—your community can be a moral and political lightning rod, and people in the future will remember you well. In the event you get fired, expelled or pariahed, then what a relief to be free of all those narrow-minded racists who were just polluting your soul anyway. Either way you come out much better than you were before.

Another important conclusion to draw is that we need to be alert to what Fanon called “the pitfalls” of identity politics. If racial oppression is about social control not biology, then all the racialist arguments about “you’ve never experienced it so you wouldn’t understand,” and so on, should be approached with healthy skepticism. Fanon insisted on a transition from national consciousness to what he called “social consciousness.” Walker does the same.

Jubilee was written for many important reasons, detailed by Walker in How I Wrote Jubilee, and one of them was to take all Americans, including white folks, on an African American journey, to put them directly in the shoes of Vyry in particular, to feel all her hurts and joys as a daughter, a mother, a sister, a worker, a wife, and an everyday American hero. Cynical anti-humanists will argue that this is impossible. But if it’s impossible, then what’s the point of living any more in this society? To go for self? If that’s the honest answer, then you have to respect that the person wants to be a heathen. If it’s not, the cynic is being disingenuous and has no leg to stand on.

The other conclusion one can draw is that Walker’s concentrated emphasis on the interior life of the socially typical poor white is not only essential to the structure of a historical novel but also politically subversive. Published at the height of the African American civil rights movement and read by millions, Jubilee’s many white characters served then as different mirrors upon which white Americans could look closely at themselves. Just as there is the white racist murderer Grimes, there is also the white Quaker Bob Qualls who repudiates his white-skin privilege by helping African American slaves escape on the Underground Railroad. This is another unique feature of Jubilee, although it will be said that white writers such as Faulkner, Hemingway, Cather, and Steinbeck, among others, also do this in their fiction. However, the difference in Jubilee is the total scale of white representation, which cannot be said of the classic white novels in which the white characters’ lives are usually played out on a stage devoid of black people; or if there are black people present, their presence is “muted,” to use Toni Morrison’s terminology from her excellent monograph Playing in the Dark. In striking contrast, Walker’s white characters share the stage with her black characters and thus must define themselves in the face of African American male and female agency.

In this respect, Jubilee, as Professor Brown noted thirty years ago, is firmly in the revolutionary tradition of African American art and literature. The novel helps us to rediscover what it means to be a real American, even if it appears today that this authentic equalitarian American personality is far from being born, so why bother. But try telling that to Vyry.           

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Jonathan Scott is an Assistant Professor of English at the City University of New York, Borough of Manhattan Community College. He can be reached at jonascott15@aol.com

 *   *   *   *   *

Other scholarly work on Margaret Walker:

Maryemma Graham. Conversations with Margaret Walker (2002)

Maryemma Graham. Fields Watered with Blood: Critical Essays on Margaret Walker (Georgia, 2001).

Maryemma Graham. How I Wrote Jubilee and Other Essays on Life and Literature by Margaret Walker (1990).

Maryemma Graham. On Being Female, Black and Free: Essays by Margaret Walker, 1932-1992 (1997).

posted July 2005

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The Last Holiday: A Memoir

By Gil Scott Heron

Shortly after we republished The Vulture and The Nigger Factory, Gil started to tell me about The Last Holiday, an account he was writing of a multi-city tour that he ended up doing with Stevie Wonder in late 1980 and early 1981. Originally Bob Marley was meant to be playing the tour that Stevie Wonder had conceived as a way of trying to force legislation to make Martin Luther King's birthday a national holiday. At the time, Marley was dying of cancer, so Gil was asked to do the first six dates. He ended up doing all 41. And Dr King's birthday ended up becoming a national holiday ("The Last Holiday because America can't afford to have another national holiday"), but Gil always felt that Stevie never got the recognition he deserved and that his story needed to be told. The first chapters of this book were given to me in New York when Gil was living in the Chelsea Hotel. Among the pages was a chapter called Deadline that recounts the night they played Oakland, California, 8 December; it was also the night that John Lennon was murdered. Gil uses Lennon's violent end as a brilliant parallel to Dr King's assassination and as a biting commentary on the constraints that sometimes lead to newspapers getting things wrong. —Jamie Byng, Guardian / Gil_reads_"Deadline" (audio)

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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