Detroit, I Do Mind Dying

Detroit, I Do Mind Dying

Detroit, I Do Mind Dying

Detroit, I Do Mind Dying


Since its publication in 1975, Detroit: I Do Mind Dying has been widely recognized as one of the most important books on the black liberation movement and labor struggle in the United States.

Detroit: I Do Mind Dying tells the remarkable story of the Dodge evolutionary Union Movement, based in Detroit, and the League of Revolutionary Black Workers, two of the most important political organizations of the 1960s and 1970s.

The new South End Press edition makes available the full text of this out-of-print classic -- along with a new foreword by Manning Marable, interviews with participants in the League, and reflections on political developments over the past three decades by Georgakas and Surkin.

The new edition includes commentary by Detroit activists Sheila Murphy Cockrel, Edna Ewell Watson, Michael Hamlin, and Herb Boyd. All of them reflect not only on the tremendous achievements of DRUM and the League, but on their political legacy -- for Detroit, for U.S. politics, and for them personally.


Detroit: I Do Mind Dying presents the extraordinary history of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers. Although most histories of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements give greater attention to formations such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Black Panther Party, the League was in many respects the most significant expression of black radical thought and activism in the 1960s. At a time when even reactionary politicians such as Richard Nixon were embracing the slogan "Black Power," the League represented a militant black perspective calling for the fundamental socialist transformation of U.S. society. the League took the impetus for Black Power and translated it into a fighting program focusing on industrial workers.

The League itself was a product of the growing radicalization of the Black Freedom Movement. With the achievement of the destruction of legal segregation and the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, the focus of the black struggle shifted from the largely rural South to the urban ghettos of the Northeast, Midwest, and West Coast. Greater emphasis was placed on issues such as economic justice and police brutality. Martin Luther King, Jr., for example, increasingly called for more radical economic measures and was assassinated in Memphis during his involvement in a strike of black sanitation workers. Several months after King's death, King lieutenants Andrew Young, Ralph Abernathy, and Hosea Williams were arrested for leading a protest of black sanitation workers in Atlanta.

By 1968, more than 2.5 million African Americans belonged to the AFL-CIO. Yet the vast majority of black workers were marginalized and . . .

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