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Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Role of White Activists in Movements for Racial Equality

"To many, the idea of white activists taking leadership and doing anti-racist organizing in white communities is a theoretical notion. However, the work of People Against Racism and People for Human Rights provides concrete examples of white anti-racist organizing."

In this paper, "The Role of White Activists in Movements for Racial Equality", written in 2008, Ted Cullinane discusses People Against Racism (PAR), in Detroit, and People for Human Rights (PHR), in Philadelphia, both offshoots of NSM.

Link to Ted Cullinane paper

1 comment:

  1. I had just come back from 3 years teaching in Turkey, and started a job as a secretary for the director of the Congregationalist's Division of World Ministries. I heard one day in late 1963 that a group called the Northern Student Movement was coming in to talk about their organization to anyone who was interested.

    I was interested - and after listening for 10 minutes I knew I had to quit my job for the church and join the movement. I didn't have any skills that were particularly helpful and being white was not helpful either. I swept the floors of our storefront office and listened ceaselessly to talk of tutoring in Harlem and bombing police stations. We were not in fact violent - we were spreading the word of the movement.

    At 21 I was as naive about race as a person could be. I knew nothing and was often joked with because of that. I tried to edit Bill Strickland's speeches so they wouldn't sound so erudite - but that was a lost cause.

    Ultimately I realized that I needed to get a teaching certificate and a real job. I taught in the ghettos of Los Angeles and Hartford and retired to become a psychotherapist here in Hartford. The Northern Student Movement changed the direction of my life in a way that I will be eternally grateful for. Pat Russell