Hillbilly Nationalists with James Tracy

by Black Sheep Radio on October 15, 2013


Alright, well only after recording the interview saying #17 did I check and realize that its actually the 16th episode. Woops.

hillbilly_nationalistsAnyway, this episode is an interview with James Tracy, co-author of the book Hillbilly Nationalists: Urban Race Rebels and Black Power with Amy Sonnie. I made a note of it in the intro, but we had originally planned to have both James and Amy talk with us together, but last minute there was a snag and Amy wasn’t able to join us.

Hillbilly Nationalists came about a couple years ago, but its one of those books that’s been on my list of “should-reads”, so it was cool to get the opportunity to look over the book and talk with the authors to get a good picture of what story(s) they were trying to tell. And a lot of the book could really be said to be stories: the preface begins with a strong narrative history by the great Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, which sets the tone and lays out a kind of theoretical approach the lets the book take off running.

James and Amy did a lot of interviews with activists, so they often have the reader follow stories of groups and individuals that reads very much like a conversation. Peggy Terry of Jobs or Income Now (JOIN) probably gets some of the most detailed accounts, but there’s great stuff detailing the work of the Young Patriots Organization, Rising Up Angry and White Lightening. 

All of this is an interesting companion history to other books about “The Sixties”. I often refer people to Max Elbaum’s Revolution in the Air: Sixties Radicals Turn to Lenin, Mao and Che, which looks at the Third World Communists’ party-building efforts in the 60′s and 70′s, and as a result draws rather heavily on the student/anti-war New Left. Hillbilly Nationalists instead writes about the organizations of poor whites who emulated the Black Panther Party and created radical organizations in coalition with the Panthers, the Young Lords and others. Dunbar-Ortiz rather harshly accuses the student New Left of class hatred towards poor and working whites, and while the book doesn’t seem to position itself quite so aggressively the thread that ties the history together is really questioning the common sense that poor white people are somehow more invested in white supremacy than middle or upper class whites. All this makes for a pretty cool interview.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

gratis October 10, 2016 at 9:18 am



Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: