Series: The History of Black America

One of Socialist Worker's earliest features was a monthly series on the history of the African American struggle in the U.S., from slavery to the present day.
  • The roots of racist ideas

    Slavery was abolished in the 1860s, but its legacy of racism persists to this day because it is useful to the ruling class.

  • A system built on slavery

    From the beginning of European settlement in the Americas, slavery played an essential role in capitalism's development.

  • Who really freed the slaves?

    We're told that Abraham Lincoln "freed the slaves," but it's important to remember what slaves did to free themselves.

  • The Reconstruction era

    Contrary to the racist myths that live on today, Reconstruction was one of the greatest experiments in democracy the U.S. has ever seen.

  • The promise and failure of populism

    The Populist struggle brought together Blacks with poor whites in a challenge against the Southern elite.

  • American racism at home and abroad

    Racism at home has always been tied to racism abroad--so the fight against both forms of bigotry must be linked.

  • Booker T. Washington and Black capitalism

    Booker T. Washington's "self-help" philosophy argued against political action and for an accommodation with racism.

  • The politics of Marcus Garvey

    In the face of systematic racism, the "back to Africa" ideas of Marcus Garvey struck a chord in early 20th century America.

  • Causes of the 1919 race riots

    Blacks faced some of the most vicious aspects of the backlash against working-class militancy after the First World War.

  • The African Blood Brotherhood

    Militant organization grew out of Black veterans' experience of the First World War and the wave of racist violence they found back in the U.S.