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Democracy's Critics

Colin Gordon Jacobin
You can't understand the modern right without understanding their fundamental contempt for democracy.

The Unexpected Afterlife of American Communism

Sarah Jaffe New York Times
The Communist Party U.S.A. had its greatest successes as the country reeled from the Depression. Today, as we are still picking our way out of the rubble left by the crash of 2008, left-wing ideas have gained new purchase.

books

To Remake the World: Slavery, Racial Capitalism, and Justice

Walter Johnson Boston Review
Not so much as a comprehensive weekly review of one unitary book, the following contribution is a synthetic culling of classics on white supremacy and racialism in the United States. We at Portside believe the essay is must reading, as are the books cited.

books

The Genius of James Brown

Geoffrey O'Brien New York Review of Books
Even in the era of the Beatles and Motown's roster of stars, the brilliant James Brown established a place that was his alone. His was not about magic, it was about power that could not be denied by anyone brought within its field of influence. What the book's author also finds is a wary solitariness that paradoxically found its fullest expression in Brown's ability to give himself so completely in performance to suggest a generosity approaching self-immolation.

The Significance of Simone Manuel's Swim is Clear if You Know Jim Crow

Kevin B. Blackistone Washington Post
There is a reason why 70 percent of black teenagers, like those who died in Shreveport, and 60 percent of Hispanic teenagers can’t swim. But it isn’t due to some genetic disorder, as some actually believe. It is because of abject irrational racism and Jim Crow and its vestiges.

What Can Be Learned from Hillary Clinton's Slurs Against Reconstruction

Ryan Cooper The Week
Monday night, Hillary Clinton butchered Reconstruction's history. It's a good opportunity to correct the record, and glean why Lincoln really was America's greatest president. Reconstruction in reality was a briefly successful attempt to build a true democracy in the South. Clinton implies that it was Southern anger at unjust Reconstruction policy that led them to institute Jim Crow, but Jim Crow was the goal from the very end of the war.

Targeted Surveillance, Civil Rights, and the Fight for Democracy

Malkia Cyril The Center for Media Justice
On October 13th 2015, Malkia Cyril, co-founder and Executive Director of the Center for Media Justice, gave a lunch speakers series keynote address, at the Computers, Freedom and Privacy Conference. Below is the transcript of her speech.

books

New Releases in African American Intellectual History

Chris Cameron African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS)
New books and research in African American history and culture. Recent or soon-to-be published books, which the African American Intellectual History Society feels would be of interest to readers. Regrettably the cost for some puts these out of reach of many - but there is always your public or school library. Suggest that these be ordered.

Emmett Till's Cousin: `Murder Never Crossed My Mind' After He Whistled

by Ryan Loughlin & Joie Chen Al jazeera America
On the 60th anniversary of Emmett Till's murder, his cousin says history still hasn't told the whole story. His cousin recalls the night he last saw him. It's been 60 years since the murder of Emmett Till, but his story remains unfinished. His death helped spark the civil rights movement and frame the ongoing debate over racism in America.
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