We shouldn’t reduce historical narratives solely to questions of black agency. It’s bad history — and can lead to even worse politics.
Even before the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified, enslaved women struggled for the passage of the Enlistment Act of 1865 and their own emancipation.
Frederick Douglass believed there was an alternative. So should we.
For over a century, black elites have pushed improved “race relations” instead of redistribution as the solution to inequality.
After the Civil War, workers struggled to make wage labor go the way of chattel slavery.
For many of its ideologues, a slaveholding Confederacy was meant to be a bulwark against radical politics of all stripes.
Why have so many films dealing with the Civil War embraced the Confederate struggle?
During Reconstruction, elites used racist appeals to silence calls for redistribution and worker empowerment.
Eric Foner on the abolitionists, Reconstruction, and winning “freedom” from the Right.
The Civil War inaugurated a titanic revolution that within years brought slavery to an end and broke the planter class.