Black nationalism and the labor movement

hoov hoov at
Thu Nov 25 09:01:26 MST 1999

> Dan Georgakas and Marvin Surkin. _Detroit:  I Do Mind Dying, A Study in
> Urban Revolution_. Updated Edition.
> Reviewed for H-Labor by Karen Miller <enzyme at>, University of
> Michigan
> Georgakas and Surkin's book focuses on black labor
> radicalism in Detroit from 1967-1974, examining the League of
> Revolutionary Black Workers and the cadre of black revolutionaries that
> worked at its core.  _Detroit: I Do Mind Dying_ remains one of the few
> monographs to take black labor radicalism seriously.
> Georgakas and Surkin clearly take sides in their discussion of the
> internal politics of the League, suggesting that those members who wanted
> to broaden the scope of the organization to include non-labor activism had
> the right idea.
> Louis Proyect

Interested listers might check out Ernest Allen's 1977 *Radical America*
(vol. 11, no. 1) review of above.  Allen, former LBRW activist, disagrees
with authors re. expansion over consolidation.  He also tempers his
generally positive assessment of book by suggesting that G&S's attention
to leaders rather than rank-and-file organization makes for too negative
consideration of black nationalism and overstatement of Marxist-Leninist
influence on League.

Miller's comment that _Detroit: I Do Mind Dying_ remains one of few
attempts to take black labor radicalism tragically underscores Allen's
more-than-two-decade old view that book was best, but by-no-means
exhaustive, treatment at the time of LRBW.     Michael Hoover

ps: Allen's piece also appears in the *Radical America* anthology
entitled _Workers Struggles: Past and Present_ edited by James

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