"revisiting united states history" / dr. gerald horne lecture at brecht forum


Dr. Gerald Horne, Professor of History & African-American Studies at the University of Houston, recently gave a 20-minute lecture at the Brecht Forum in Manhattan as the keynote speaker for the 75th anniversary celebration of Science & Society journal. I'm making a wild, non-judgemental guess that this journal on materialist thought and analysis is a majority-white institution. Malcolm X once wrote of an instance when a white woman stepped into his path and asked him what she could do to help his cause. He later admitted regretting that he told her that she could do nothing. Here, with immpecable timing, Dr. Horne steps into this space and speaks with relevance to the audience without sacrificing truth. He let's this audience know that what they can do is help disrupt the spectacle by shedding "light on the trajectory of imperialism and white supremacy" (emphasis added).

In general he notes, there must primarily be "an alternative to the creation myth of the United States", stressing that overlooking the importance of the creation myth while fighting modern battles over language and socialization is dangerous. In noting that the 1776 war was merely a War of Independence and not a Revolution in terms of property relations, he also addresses the moment the American colonies became more profitable than the "sugar" islands in the West Indies, African resistance to U.S. slavery prior to the war (including Africans who fought against their perceived primary enemy alongside the British), and imperialism as an economic outgrowth of slavery. "Learn from the central lesson of African-American history," Dr. Horne instructs. "Our rescue from slavery, then apartheid, other than our own struggles, was driven by the international community and transnational factors."

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