Danny Duncan Collum, a Sojourners contributing writer, teaches writing at Kentucky State University in Frankfort, Kentucky. He is the author of the novel White Boy.
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I am a socialiast...but what does that mean?
An Interest In Equality
FROM THE TIME when slaveholder Thomas Jefferson failed to do the right thing at Monticello, on down to the very present, the relationship between white dissident movements and black America has been a tangled, complex, and often problematic one. Through the centuries of the American story, black interests have been consistent. But white interests have fluctuated, and white support for black aspirations has fluctuated with them. The history of these relationships has been especially shifty due to the very different interests of the different sorts of white people who have, at different times, either sought, or found themselves in, alliance with black America.
We, of all colors and classes, are inheritors of that history, and of its contradictions. Most white readers of this magazine will locate their forebears in that history of relationship and struggle in the historical stream epitomized by the white abolitionists of the mid-19th century. The abolitionists comprised a largely educated and affluent movement heavily concentrated in America's Northeast quadrant. Later successors of the white abolitionists were found among the Northern liberal whites who went south in support of the black freedom movement of the 1960s.
In both historical instances, relatively privileged whites publicly identified themselves with the defense of African-American human rights. This defense was stated in terms of detached moral judgment, or idealism, or conscience, to coin a catch phrase. These two interracial episodes, abolitionism and the civil rights movement, represent the historical ground that we white folks in the Christian peace and justice movement tend to claim as our precedents and to hold up as high-water marks in the development of a religiously rooted movement for social change in America. They comprise the grid through which we conceive politics, race, history, and our places in them.
Of Dissidents and Dissonance
Uncle Sam's Political Underground
Through the Wire
High Rollers On the Downside
How Drexel Burnham Lambert changed business in America
The Stuart Case Explains It All
Intersections of oppression
Windows of Possibility
The Situationists as artists
Under Bush's Thumb
Non-intervention can work best
The Omnivorous Y
Y-culture on the screen
The '60s to the 1990s
Decades turned upside down
Trick or Treat with Tricky Dick
On The Final Days and Halloween
The Art of Commerce
One of my buddies from college is a poet. He also writes advertising copy.
A Dream Come True
For the past eight years, the Solidarity-led opposition in Poland has carefully charted a course toward democracy and self-determination.
Black to the Future
As the folks at Mazda are always reminding us, the 1980s-going-on-'90s are really the 1950s.
There's something reassuring about the fact that the flag, the old Stars and Stripes, can still kick up so much popular controversy.
Nestle Boycott: The Sequel
As you might recall, in the late 1970s and early '80s, a broad international coalition of church, health-care, and community groups waged a 7-year-long campaign against Nestle S.A
Old Thinking and New Weapons
The month of August marks the 44th birthday of the nuclear age. On August 6, 1945, the United States dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
The Real Deal on Dope
The usual rap on TV cop shows is that they trivialize real life-and-death matters into a glossy package of sanitized violence designed to sell soap and soda pop.
Paying the Savings and Loan Bill
When Mr. Bush came back to Washington, the crisis in the savings and loan industry finally emerged on the public agenda.
The Last Dear Abbie Letter
For this future cultural analyst, the legendary '60s were an after-school special.