March 9, 2007 – Eric Mann: “Katrina’s Legacy: Racism in the Post-Civil Rights Era”

Friday, March 9 / 2 PM / Humanities 210

The Critical Race Studies Cluster is sponsoring the first of two events focusing on racism in the post-Civil Rights era. The post-Civil Rights era has witnessed the effects of shrinking investments in public goods such as affordable housing, public transportation, living wages and fair labor practices, public education, and social welfare. These effects have disproportionately affected working-class communities of color. The crises and contradictions of the post-Civil Rights era were illuminated during Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, when new forms of racism and disenfranchisement were added to already existing, intergenerational structures of oppression.

Please join us in a discussion with activist and scholar, Eric Mann, about his new book, Katrina’s Legacy: White Racism and Black Reconstruction in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast (Frontlines, 2006). We will attempt to merge academic and activist perspectives to establish discourses that identify the complexities of racism in the post-Civil Rights era, as well as think through strategies that challenge contemporary forms of oppression.

Eric Mann is the director of the Labor/Community Strategy Center in Los Angeles and sits on the Bus Riders Union Planning Committee. He has been a civil rights, anti-Vietnam war, labor, and environmental organizer with the Congress of Racial Equality, the Students for a Democratic Society, the League of Revolutionary Struggle (ML), and the United Auto Workers, including eight years on auto assembly lines. In 2001 he was a delegate to the U.N. World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa, where he participated in the protests against the U.S. government’s walk-out. He returned to South Africa in 2002 as part of a Strategy Center delegation to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. He is the co-host of the weekly radio show “Voices from the Frontlines” on KPFK Pacifica in Los Angeles. His books include Comrade George: An Investigation into the Life, Political Thought, and Assassination of George Jackson (Harper and Row, 1974), Taking on General Motors: Insurgency in a United Auto Workers Local (Center for Labor Research and Education, 1987), L.A.’s Lethal Air: New Strategies for Environmental Organizing (Labor/Community Strategy Center, 1991), The 2004 Presidential Elections: A Turning Point for the U.S. Left (Progressives and Independents to Defeat Bush, 2001), and Dispatches from Durban: Firsthand Commentaries on the World Conference Against Racism and Post-September 11 Movement Strategies (Frontlines, 2002).

Sponsored by the Critical Race Studies Research Cluster