Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

That’s Radical 

Wednesday, Sep 28 2011
The only people who can afford to work at the anarchist bookstore are trust-fund babies. Right or wrong, that illustrates a common complaint about activism: The people most likely to join political or social movements are young, idealistic, and without the burden of having to work for a living. Another assumption: such activists were the only white people who got involved in the civil rights movement, and that poor and working-class white folks were largely inert or even hostile toward changes in racial inequity. Questioning this assumption, James Tracy and Amy Sonnie interviewed activists from the civil rights movement and Vietnam War era for 10 years. They describe what they found in their book, Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels, and Black Power: Community Organizing in Radical Times. They profile groups like the Young Patriots Organization and Rising Up Angry, which led self-proclaimed hillbillies, Vietnam veterans, so-called “greasers,” and young feminists into a coalition with black and Puerto Rican activists. A group called White Lightning, meanwhile, fought for the rights of poor people and drug addicts by occupying hospitals and working with physicians. The JOIN Community Union mixed southern migrants and people on welfare with student radicals to fight for better housing and health conditions. Tracy and Sonnie show that it’s not just the aging white guy driving the BMW with a “Question Authority” bumper sticker who played a role in social change.
Tue., Oct. 4, 7 p.m., 2011

About The Author

Keith Bowers

Related Locations


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment


  • U2 @ SAP Center in San Jose
    Last night U2 performed the first U.S. date of it’s Innocence + Experience tour at SAP Center in San Jose. All four band members were present despite recent injuries sustained by both Bono and Edge. The sold out show took audience members on a walk down memory lane as the band revisited their roots. The innovative stage and lighting used gave the arena show an intimate feel, and engaged audience members in all sections of the venue. Photographs by Sugarwolf.
  • Bay to Breakers 2015 - NSFW
    The 103rd annual Bay to Breakers 12K race was packed on Sunday despite the cold weather. With a starting point a few blocks from The Embarcadero, people dressed as bananas, Elvis and everything in between ran west through the city and finished at the Great Highway where breakers crash onto Ocean Beach.

    Photographs by Christopher Victorio.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular