I have a book review of Amy Sonnie and James Tracy’s Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels and Black Power: Community Organizing in Radical Times (Melville House, 2011) in the Spring 2012 issue of the newsletter of the New England Historical Society (NEHA). Sonnie and Tracy explore, through oral history and archival research, the history of working-class white activism, primarily in the Chicago area, during the 60s and 70s, with an emphasis on the alliances between poorer whites and non-whites to work for social change.
The co-authors of Hillbilly Nationalists have taken on the ambitious project of researching and describing the under-documented efforts of white, working-class community organizers in the urban North during the 1960s and 70s. Sonnie is an educator, librarian, and author who co-founded the Center for Media Justice; Tracy is a social justice organizer in the San Francisco Bay area who focuses on issues of poverty, racism, and the environment. Drawing on extensive archival research and over sixty oral history interviews, these two practiced scholars map out the short-term politics and long-term effects of inter-racial community organizing in the era of Black Power.
Read the rest in the PDF newsletter, which you can download from the NEHA website.