Racial Boundaries: The Origin and Consequences of the Color Line in the USA

4-week reading and discussion group
The Revolutions Study Group

This group is for for anyone who wants to better understand why White and Black retain their significance in U.S. society for so many years after the abolition of slavery. W.E.B. DuBois’ groundbreaking Black Reconstruction, and the recent PBS documentary on the same subject are both useful for these discussions. However, we are now taking on two readings which are keys to unlocking the power of the color line in shaping the political economy our world and in shaping the lives of African Americans. Theodore Allen’s pamphlet “Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race,” from 1975, explores why and how skin color became the basis of a rigid caste system in the U.S. DuBois’ The Souls of Black Folk is his first important book, takes readers into the world of racial caste as uniquely experienced by African Americans.

Our four week reading sources will be: Theodore W. Allen, “Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race,” first published 1975, 34 pages, available as printed pamphlet and a downloadable PDF (http://readsettlers.org/settlers-data/ii/02_THEODOREWALLEN_ClassStruggleAndTheOriginsOfSlavery_Somerville1976_p34.pdf), and W.E.B Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk, 1903, available in all formats including free e-book, 189 pages, in the 1989 Bantam paperback, available in libraries

Admission is sliding scale. No one is turned away for inability to pay

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