Against a backdrop of widespread racism in the West, and colonialism and imperialism in the 'Third World', this group of activists, writers and political figures gathered to discuss the history and struggles of people of African descent and the meaning of Black Power.
In Styron's novel and in the response from 10 African-American writers, numerous questions concerning race, class, the rendering of historical presentation, claims on sectors of our shared history, etc. are raised. We will discuss as many of these questions as possible including having a careful read of James Baldwin’s essay concerning the work and subsequent controversy.
Northern workers “took up arms because they understood the importance of the conflict in shaping the future value of ‘free labor,’” and a “rolling strike of the slaves” in the South became “the great incontrovertible and irreversible fact of the war”.