Black Reconstruction in America

February 19th, 2013 5:30 PM
Black Reconstruction in America
By W.E.B. DuBois
Tim Schermerhorn

Black Reconstruction is an essential and primary building block in understanding the culture and politics of the United States.  It is also an excellent (arguably the best) place to start understanding the workers movements in the U.S and the historical and current challenges to building a labor movement, and the relationship a real labor movement must have to democratic movements of the oppressed.
In fourteen weeks (skipping Christmas and New Years days) we will cover the 17 chapters of Black Reconstruction with a concentration on labor organization and the relationship to the fight against slavery, and the revolutionary democratic movement of African Americans.

People interested in this reading group, should get the book and try to read the first two chapters before the first session.

Week 1       Chapters 1-2       The context for writing Black Reconstruction;
                                                   The Black Worker; The White Worker
Week 2       Chapter 3             The Planter
Week 3       Chapter 4             The General Strike
Week 4       Chapter 5             The Coming of the Lord
Week 5       Chapters 6-7        Looking Backward & Forward
Week 6       Chapter 8             The Transubstantiation of White Workers
Week 7       Chapter 9             The Price of Disaster
Week 8       Chapter 10           The Black Proletariat in South Carolina
Week 9       Chapter 11           The Black Proletariat in Mississippi and Louisiana
Week 10     Chapter 12           The White Proletariat in Alabama, Georgia and Florida
Week 11     Chapter 13           The Duel for Labor in the Border Areas and Frontier
Week 12     Chapter 14           The Counter-revolution of Property
Week 13     Chapter 15           Founding the Public School
Week 14     Chapter 16-17     Back Toward Slavery, the Propaganda of History

Tim Schermerhorn is a 29-year transit worker and a rank-and-file-oriented organizer throughout that time. He was vice president of Local 100 and vice chairman (chief steward) for train operators. Tim is a founding member of the Black Workers Rank and File Network (at the 2008 Labor Notes Conference) and a Labor Notes Policy Committee Member.

Sliding scale: $95-$125
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