Portrait of a Bounder

Antebellum South Carolina was different from the rest of the South. Else-where in the lower South and in Virginia the slaveholders held effective power, exercised impressive hegemony, and determined policy in all matters that concerned the foundation of their property rights in human beings, but they had to struggle constantly …

Getting to Know the Slaves

“De white folks was hard on us. Dey would whup us ’bout de leas’ li’l thang.” Mingo White, ex-slave from Alabama, could not remember his age, but, although he had been only a boy in slavery times, he could remember some other things. His parents had been separated by sale …

A Special Supplement: American Slaves and Their History

The history of the American lower classes has yet to be written. The ideological impact of the New Left, the intellectual exigencies of the black liberation movement, and the developing academic concern for the cultural aspects of politics and history have all converged to produce the expectation that this history …

The Education and the University We Need Now

A peculiar feature of neocapitalism in America is the presence of large groups which are excluded from production and which, because they are economically superfluous, must be kept in places of detention. The most important of these groups are the blacks and others of the new poor, young people, and …

Southern Exposure

One sometimes wonders what Americans would have done had the South not existed: what regional mysteries would there have been? Until the blacks themselves demonstrated that racism has been a national, not merely a sectional, disease and that Northern liberalism had little left to offer their liberation movement, the South …

Abolitionist

The publication, almost simultaneously, of both these books by Staughton Lynd provides an opportunity to assess his position both as a historian and as an ideologue of the New Left. Normally, it would be bad manners to confuse the two roles, but Lynd has argued forcefully that they ought not …

The Nat Turner Case

The praise given to William Styron’s current prize-winning, best-selling novel, The Confession of Nat Turner, has been followed by strong dissent and hostility from many members of the black intelligentsia. Black writers have denounced the novel in essays and public statements; black actors have threatened to boycott the film version.