Black Liberation: A Comparative History of Black Ideologies in the United States and South Africa / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 29%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 95%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (27) from $1.99   
  • New (7) from $25.81   
  • Used (20) from $1.99   


When George M. Fredrickson published White Supremacy: A Comparative Study in American and South African History, he met universal acclaim. David Brion Davis, writing in The New York Times Book Review, called it "one of the most brilliant and successful studies in comparative history ever written." The book was honored with the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize, the Merle Curti Award, and a jury nomination for the Pulitzer Prize. Now comes the sequel to that acclaimed work.
In Black Liberation, George Fredrickson offers a fascinating account of how blacks in the United States and South Africa came to grips with the challenge of white supremacy. He reveals a rich history—not merely of parallel developments, but of an intricate, transatlantic web of influences and cross-fertilization. He begins with early moments of hope in both countries—Reconstruction in the United States, and the liberal colonialism of British Cape Colony—when the promise of suffrage led educated black elites to fight for color-blind equality. A rising tide of racism and discrimination at the turn of the century, however, blunted their hopes and encouraged nationalist movements in both countries. Fredrickson teases out the connections between movements and nations, examining the transatlantic appeal of black religious nationalism (known as Ethiopianism), and the pan-Africanism of Du Bois and Garvey. He brings to vivid life the decades of struggle, organizing, and debate, as blacks in the United States looked to Africa for identity and South Africans looked to America for new ideas and hope. The book traces the rise of Communist influence in black movements in the two nations in the 1920s and '30s, and the adoption of Gandhian nonviolent protest after World War II. The story of India's struggle, however, was not to be repeated in either America or South Africa: in one nation, nonviolence revealed its limitations, encouraging splits in the civil rights movement; in the other, it failed, fostering an armed struggle against white supremacy. Fredrickson brings the story up through the present, exploring the divergence between African-American identity politics and the nonracialism that has triumphed in South Africa.
In a career spanning thirty years, George Fredrickson has won recognition as the leading scholar of the struggle over racial domination in the United States and South Africa. In Black Liberation, he provides the essential companion volume to his award-winning White Supremacy, telling the story of how blacks fought back on both sides of the Atlantic.

A revealing comparison of the struggles for black liberation in the U.S. and South Africa, Black Liberation brings to life a century of struggle against oppression. This companion volume to the award-winning White Supremacy shows how blacks of both nations looked across the Atlantic for hope and inspiration.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Fredrickson...has again found a rich field for comparative study."—The New York Times Book Review

"A superb sequel to his comparison of the two countries in White Supremacy, Fredrickson's Black Liberation compares the black responses to white oppression with equal brilliance."—C. Vann Woodward

Leonard Thompson
Unlike musicologists, psychologists, and many other scholars, historians usually concentrate on a specific period and place, and feel that they can never learn enough about them. Those who spend much of their lives comparing the histories of different societies are relatively rare and, of them, George Fredrickson is certainly one of the most distinguished....In "Black Liberation" and in "White Supremacy," his 1981 study of the history of white racial ideologies in America and South Africa, Fredrickson went beyond "a comparative perspective" -- i.e., the occasional use of comparative examples -- and attempted a more rigorous method, "cross-national comparative history." "White Supremacy" is a comparative history of the ideologies white Americans and South Africans used to support their racial prejudices and policies...."Black Liberation" takes up the story by comparing the ideological responses of black Americans and black South Africans to the theories and practices of white supremacy. -- Leonard Thompson, The New York Review of Books
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195109788
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/28/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.31 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Meet the Author

George M. Fredrickson, Edgar E. Robinson Professor of United States History at Stanford University, is President Elect of the Organization of American Historians. He is the author of nine books, including White Supremacy, which won the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize, the Merle Curti Award, and was a jury nominee for the Pulitzer Prize.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction 3
1 "Palladium of the People's Liberties": The Suffrage Question and the Origins of Black Protest 14
2 "Ethiopia Shall Stretch Forth Her Hands": Black Christianity and the Politics of Liberation 57
3 Protest of "The Talented Tenth": Black Elites and the Rise of Segregation 94
4 "Africa for the Africans": Pan-Africanism and Black Populism, 1918-1930 137
5 "Self-Determination for Negroes": Communists and Black Freedom Struggles, 1928-1948 179
6 "We Shall Not Be Moved": Nonviolent Resistance to White Supremacy, 1940-1965 225
7 "Black Man You Are on Your Own": Black Power and Black Consciousness 277
Epilogue 319
Notes 325
Index 367
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)