Episode 05: Purging Socialists of Color From American History

On Episode 5, we explore the history of the media erasing socialists of color from the history books and present day discourse––A tactic that serves to both commodity and water-down black radicalism and pawn off leftwing politics as a uniquely white or middle class enterprise.

The books discussed in today’s program are as follows:

The Guests

Robert Greene II is a Ph.D. candidate in History at the University of South Carolina. His research covers American intellectual history, the history of the United States South since World War II, and political history since Reconstruction. Mr. Greene has a book chapter coming out as part of the Southern Studies collection Navigating Souths: Transdisciplinary Explorations of a U.S. Region, forthcoming from UGA Press, along with essays published by Scalawag, The Nation, Jacobin, Dissent, and Politico. He has also
published the essay “South Carolina and the Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement” in the journal Patterns of Prejudice, and is a blogger and book review editor for the Society of U.S. Intellectual Historians.

Roqayah Chamseddine is a Lebanese-American writer, published poet, and editor in chief of Wanderings. Magazine. Along with Kumars Salehi, she co-hosts “Delete Your Account,” a weekly podcast covering politics and pop culture. She is a staff writer at Shadowproof, contributing writer at Paste Magazine, and Mondoweiss, and former researcher for Abby Martin’s The Empire Files on TeleSur English.

Show Notes

Here’s some stuff mentioned or referenced during the show, or related to the topic in general. You know, in case you wanted to dig deeper.

A Letter from Huey Newton to the Revolutionary Brothers and Sisters about the Women’s Liberation and Gay Liberation Movements

Huey Newton| Ausust 15, 1970| The Black Panther

The Socialism of the Black Panthers

Robert Greene II | March 15, 2016 | Jacobin

The Black Panthers was an organization built on socialist principles and ideology. Its “Ten Point Program,” put forth in 1967, outlined the party’s basic precepts for a wide audience. Economic progressivism, long an important part of the twentieth-century African-American freedom struggle, pervades the document.

Struggling and Stammering to Disappear Socialists of Color

Roqayah Chamseddine | July 22, 2017 | Medium

There is something almost cathartic about watching members of the commentariat unravel at the slightest push back, to follow along as their fraudulence is laid bare. You’re able to witness them struggle and stammer, in real time, when confronted by those they regularly make invisible. And yet, despite this short-lived relief, the erasure and marginalisation continues.

How ‘Communism’ Brought Racial Equality To The South

Robin Kelly & Michel Martin | February 16, 2010 | NPR

The Communist Party was prominent in the fight for racial equality in the south, specifically Alabama, where segregation was most oppressive. Many courageous activists were communists. Tell Me More host Michel Martin speaks with historian Robin Kelley about his book “Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression” about how the communist party tried to secure racial, economic, and political reforms.

It’s not about you, white liberals: Why attacks on radical people of color are so misguided

Brittney Cooper | April 8, 2014 | Salon

With anti-racism politics flaring up on the left, too many are making it personal — when it’s really about policy.


“Identity politics”?


Who’s Talking?

Citations Needed is hosted by Adam Johnson and Nima Shirazi. It is produced by Florence Barrau-Adams.

Adam H. Johnson is a media analyst for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. His writing has been featured in The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, Alternet and elsewhere.

Nima Shirazi is an editor for Muftah, a digital foreign affairs magazine. His political analysis has appeared in Salon, Truthout, Mic, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting and Al Jazeera English, among other outlets.

Florence Barrau-Adams has over 20 years of experience working in audio/video media. She is an instructor at both New York University and Ramapo College of New Jersey.