Race, Class and Crisis

The economic crisis that started in U.S. housing markets in 2007 quickly swept across the world market. A long period of stagnation and austerity now seems to be the order of the day. While all working class people have felt the impact of the crisis on their lives and work, the crisis has also been a ‘black depression’ for African-Americans. Adolph Reed has been at the centre of political debates on the economic impact of the crisis and the limits and failings of the Obama Administration. He has long lamented the paralysis of the U.S. left, arguing that the crisis of the U.S. left is not one of ideas, but of organizing. The challenges have been to move away from the doctrine of support ‘for the lesser evil,’ the left's shift to the right under Obama, and begin to explore new possibilities for the U.S. left.

Adolph Reed is a professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania specializing in American and African American politics and political thought, urban politics, and American political development. Reed is a regular contributor to The Nation, Monthly Review and The Progressive. He is author, among others, of:

  • The Perils of Obamamania (2010 – forthcoming);
  • Renewing Black Intellectual History: The ideological and material foundations of African American thought (2010);
  • Class Notes (2001);
  • Without Justice for All: The new liberalism and our retreat from racial equality (1999);
  • Stirrings in the Jug: Black politics in the post-segregation era (1999);
  • W.E.B. Du Bois and American Political Thought: Fabianism and the color line (1997);
  • The Jesse Jackson Phenomenon: The crisis of purpose in Afro-American politics (1986);
  • Race, politics, and Culture: Critical essays on the radicalism of the 1960s (1986).


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