Black Reconstruction in America by W.E.B. Du Bois
Tue, March 2 @ 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
An event every week that begins at 6:30 PM on Tuesday, repeating until Tue, June 8, 2021
with Sean Ahern
On February 23, 1968, Martin Luther King, speaking in honor of W. E. B. Du Bois, had this to say about Black Reconstruction:
“…Black Reconstruction was six years in writing but was 33 years in preparation…To understand why his study of the Reconstruction was a monumental achievement it is necessary to see it in context. White historians had for a century crudely distorted the Negro’s role in the Reconstruction years. It was a conscious and deliberate manipulation of history, and the stakes were high…. Dr. Du Bois confronted this powerful structure of historical distortion and dismantled it. He virtually, before anyone else and more than anyone else, demolished the lies about Negroes in their most important and creative period of history. The truths he revealed are not yet the property of all Americans but they have been recorded and arm us for our contemporary battles.”
Black Reconstruction provides a basis for a much overdue revolution in US labor history. As Du Bois so eloquently and bluntly put in in 1935: “The South, after the war, presented the greatest opportunity for a real national labor movement which the nation ever saw or is likely to see again for many decades. Yet, the labor movement, with but few exceptions, never realized the situation. It never had the intelligence or knowledge, as a whole, to see in black slavery and Reconstruction, the kernel and meaning of the labor movement in the United States.” (p.353)
SEAN AHERN is a long-time New York City labor activist and anti-racist fighter. He has worked as a labor organizer in the USPS, the transit industry and jn education.
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