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Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels, and Black Power: Community Organizing in Radical Times

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  126 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews

The historians of the late 1960s have emphasized the work of a group of white college activists who courageously took to the streets to protest the war in Vietnam and continuing racial inequality. Poor and working-class whites have tended to be painted as
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 16th 2011 by Melville House (first published January 1st 2011)
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Dan Sharber
Sep 27, 2012 Dan Sharber rated it it was amazing
i really enjoyed this book a lot. i am a huge fan of movement history and this is a great companion to many other good books on the 60's. i had read books that dealt with sds's foray into poor white communities in its erap project but nothing that went into any detail about the groups and projects they were involved in. i think, as the authors state, there are real lessons to be learned by these experiences. paradoxically, when sncc moved to a black only organization and the black panthers becam ...more
Paul Oliver
Sep 29, 2011 Paul Oliver rated it it was amazing
An important and timely history of poor white activists working to bridge racial and economic barriers in the prime of the civil rights movement.

It's hard to imagine a time where impoverished and geographically displaced Appalachian whites were able to set-aside centuries of institutionalized racism in order to work alongside groups like the Black Panthers and the Puerto Rican Young Lords.

Hillbilly Nationalists is thoroughly researched and annotated, yet still provides exactly the kind of inspir
Victoria Law
Oct 28, 2011 Victoria Law rated it it was amazing
Given today's various "occupy" movements and the overwhelming amount of White privilege (and perhaps class privilege), a book on Whites organizing against both racism and classism is really sorely needed.
Oct 26, 2012 Angela rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended! I learned a ton about 60s and 70s activism that focused on class, in addition to race and gender, issues. Chicago peeps, did you know Uptown was known as Hillbilly Harlem and considered one of the city's most dangerous post-WWII slums? If you have even the slightest interest in social justice but have never heard of Peggy Terry, Dovie Coleman, or Mike James (as I had not), you gotta read this.
Oct 27, 2011 m.bryan.welton rated it liked it
This was great, and fills a pretty critical vacuum. But it felt rushed at times, and I feel like I finished wanting a similar-length book that could be focused just on the history and internal dynamics Rising Up Angry.
Mar 19, 2012 Lisa rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book, not least because it provides a history of white working-class radical organizing across racial divides - but also because it was, by and large, situated in Chicago, although the book also discusses organizing that went on in Kensington, PA, Oregon, and to a lesser extent, New York. Uptown was the home of the Patriots and JOIN (Jobs or Income Now!), both of which formed alliances with the Young Lords and the Black Panthers, and centered around Uptown's at that time vi ...more
Eliot Fiend
Aug 03, 2016 Eliot Fiend rated it it was amazing
I found this book on recommendation about works that articulate connections between racism and classism in America and found so much more--Sonnie and Tracy's well-researched history of community organizing that united working-class people with undermining racism in the 60s and 70s. This history of the Young Patriots, JOIN, White Lightning, Rising Up Angry, and October 4th Organization is def recommended reading for contemporary organizers, dreamers, and folks working for social justice. Helped m ...more
Dec 29, 2014 Mitch rated it really liked it
You won't get this stuff anywhere else. You can tell a lot of research went into it.
Jan 12, 2014 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
amazing. One of the most important books I have read in a long time.
Dec 13, 2011 Daniel rated it really liked it
Really interesting topic, organizations that came out of poor, white communities and dedicated themselves to educating whites on racism and connecting them to a larger class struggle against war and imperialism, against police brutality, hunger and in-access to medicine. The authors have them taking their cues from Stokely Carmichael who kept insisting that the best way for whites to participate in the civil rights movement was for them to take care of their own backyard, deal with their own com ...more
Alan Mills
Sep 04, 2013 Alan Mills rated it liked it
This is really two books. The first 3/4 of the book os a detailed examination of attempts to organize poor white people living in the Uptown neighborhood on the north side of Chicago for a few years in the late 60's and early 70's. The last section is a much briefer, less detail rich account of similar work in New York and Philadelphia at about the same time. These latter sections lack the rich local detail of the first part of the book, and the reader gets the feeling that the authors did not h ...more
Cary Miller
Oct 14, 2014 Cary Miller rated it really liked it
This book was very interesting and very welcome in the ways that it expands and complicates histories of the late 60s-early 70s. Inspiring, also, to know that people have wrestled with questions and challenges that I also struggle with. Particularly interesting were the documentation of police/FBI repression, the discussion of how particular issues were used as foundations for the larger strategic organizing goals, the ideological alternative to Alinsky-style organizing, and the very honest desc ...more
Apr 21, 2014 TJ rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
A history I had never heard before- how poor whites from Appalachia combined with the Black Panthers to combat racism. And based mostly in Chicago. Awesome and well written
Feb 22, 2015 Jessan rated it really liked it
Very interesting history that I had not learned before.
Jesse Lehrer
Aug 15, 2016 Jesse Lehrer rated it it was amazing
A great, informative take on a very ignored segment of history. Important for any white activist interested in seeing how white people successfully did radical organizing with the Black Panthers, Young Lords, and other organizations. This period in time was the turning point in american politics - from all the progression of the 40s, 50s, and 60s in economic and then racial and gender justice, to severe repression and murder by the US government during the 70s and the turn towards conservatism t ...more
Alan Gray
Jul 29, 2013 Alan Gray rated it really liked it
Interesting account of white working class organisation. A little too much a history from the outside: more accounts from the activists themselves would have been interesting
Nov 05, 2011 Mike rated it liked it
Cool book released at a good time
Feb 09, 2015 Andrew rated it it was amazing
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