In the early twentieth century, conservative “race leaders” like Booker T. Washington preached self-help and other accommodationist nostrums. William Monroe Trotter was different. A pioneering black editor, he worked closely with African-American workers to advance a liberatory black politics.
Keisha N. Blain is an associate professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh and president of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS). She is the author of the award-winning book Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom.
Over the last four hundred years, black workers have played a vital role in shaping the US’s political economy. In order to understand America, we have to understand the struggles of the black working class.
W. E. B. Du Bois died on this day in 1963. Few figures were more influential in shaping the struggle against colonialism.