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Department of Philosophy pres.

Minorities and Philosophy MLK Day Lecture: Tommie Shelby (Harvard)

A Tale of Two Tenths: Race, Class, and Solidarity

A Tale of Two Tenths Tommie Shelby A Tale of Two Tenths Tommie Shelby
A Tale of Two Tenths Tommie Shelby
This talk tackles one of the biggest challenges to contemporary black political solidarity in the United States: class differences among blacks. Although they favor class-based solidarity, many Marxists are sharply critical of race-based solidarity and antiracist identity politics. They believe, for example, that this form of politics largely serves the interests of the black professional-managerial class. The black working class should, these leftists think, seek allies among the broader multiracial working class and in the labor movement. Such Marxists also maintain that race-based politics wrongly subordinates class to race rather than viewing race and class as inextricably related and fundamentally structured by capital-labor relations. I share some of the skepticism that thinkers on the left have toward identity politics and antiracist activism. But they often take their criticisms too far. I offer a partial vindication of black solidarity by responding to what I take to be the most powerful Marxist critiques of it.
A Tale of Two Tenths Tommie Shelby A Tale of Two Tenths Tommie Shelby
A Tale of Two Tenths Tommie Shelby

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