Podcast Episode: Interview with Authors of Dixie Be Damned on Insurrection in the American South

  • Posted on: 13 July 2015
  • By: Anonymous (not verified)

Listen to the episode here!

We're joined by Saralee Stafford and Neal Shirley, authors of "Dixie Be Damned: 300 Years of Insurrection in the American South." We talk insurrection in the American South, why radical histories matter, and the promise and failure of Fight for Fifteen.

For people in the area, a counterdemo is being organized to resist a KKK rally. Folks are getting together Saturday, July 18th in Columbia, SC to fight fascism.

Here's the publisher's description of the book:
“In 1891, when coal companies in eastern Tennessee brought in cheap convict labor to take over their jobs, workers responded by storming the stockades, freeing the prisoners, and loading them onto freight trains. Over the next year, tactics escalated to include burning company property and looting company stores. This was one of the largest insurrections in US working-class history. It happened at the same time as the widely publicized northern labor war in Homestead, Pennsylvania. And it was largely ignored, then and now.

Dixie Be Damned engages seven similarly “hidden” insurrectionary episodes in Southern history to demonstrate the region’s long arc of revolt. Countering images of the South as pacified and conservative, this adventurous retelling presents history in the rough. Not the image of the South many expect, this is the South of maroon rebellion, wildcat strikes, and Robert F. Williams’s book Negroes with Guns, a South where the dispossessed refuse to quietly suffer their fate. This is people’s history at its best: slave revolts, multiracial banditry, labor battles, prison uprisings, urban riots, and more.”

Listen to the episode here!

Visit akpress.org/dixie-be-damned.html for more.



Its a little unclear from the podcast what "promise" the interviewer is referring to- the authors are pretty strictly critical of the fight for fifteen wage campaign, selecting it as an example with which to criticize the making of demands generally. It seems more like the interview himself is just defensive about the campaign.

OK Mr. Shirley, I'm sorry I didn't agree with you.

-Fight Back

?... Seems like earlier comment was in reference to the rollover text on the picture.

This is a really great interview. Very interesting questions and inciteful answers. I read the Lowry Wars pamphlet which is an early draft of one of the chapters and loved it. Now I can't wait to read the book.

as it turns out, there were different rainbow colored wookies who fought in robeson county during the lowry conflict. crazy shit.

See, that's why I need to read the book, because that was totally not in the pamphlet. The talked about the Lowry gang being multi-ethnic, but no mention of wookies, let alone rainbow wookies. Always more research that can be done.

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