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Sojourner Truth Organization

Michael Staudenmaier


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The Sojourner Truth Organization (STO) was a small revolutionary group that emphasized participation in mass struggles, opposed Stalinism as both politic and method, and contributed greatly to the development of the theory of white skin privilege, which it identified as the central impediment to the development of successful movements for social change within the United States. The organization was founded in late 1969 and existed until the mid–1980s, paralleling the historical trajectory of many larger and better-known radical groups that developed in the aftermath of the new left. STO's unique contributions to revolutionary theory and strategy separate it from other outfits of the era. The movements of the 1960s, especially in the student arena and the black freedom struggle, faced hard times as the decade ended. The collapse of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and the violent state response to groups like the Black Panthers forced many radicals to rethink their understandings of revolution. In Chicago, a small coterie, veterans of SDS, the Panthers, the women's movement, labor struggles, and old left parties, founded the Sojourner Truth Communist Organization (the word “Communist” was abandoned early on), and began intervening in popular struggles in both community and workplace contexts. Two theoretical innovations marked STO's contribution to the revolutionary left. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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