This essay places the emergence in the 1960s and 1970s of the historian and sociologist George Rawick as a leading student not only of race but also of class in the context of his coming into contact with African American social movements and with transnational black intellectuals. Working especially through C. L. R. James and the Facing Reality revolutionary tendency in Detroit and in London, Rawick abandoned the orthodox and vanguardist Marxism of his youth for a far more open-ended political and intellectual praxis characterized by a commitment to listening to the voices of slaves and rank-and-file workers historically and to participants in freedom movements in the 1960s. The results, far from producing organizational victories for Facing Reality, transformed Rawick as a thinker and bespoke a neglected theme of Black Power acting to transform and energize, rather than to marginalize, white intellectuals.
Research Article|April 01 2010
David R. Roediger; A White Intellectual among Thinking Black Intellectuals: George Rawick and the Settings of Genius. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 April 2010; 109 (2): 225–247. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-2009-033
Download citation file: