Starting Date: 08-07-2015
Ending Date: 08-09-2015
Atlanta, Georgia 30301
United StatesThe South has a rich history of socialism and populism that is largely ignored and forgotten. Many are familiar with civil-rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., but few still know that he was a strong critic of capitalism who urged us to “move toward a democratic socialism.” Even fewer know about Louisiana Governor Huey Long’s cry to “share the wealth,” or the decades long history of fast food strikes in the south that have lasted from the 1970s to today. As the area was overwhelmed with conservative elected officials in recent decades, many northerners wrote off the South as a lost cause.
But many Southerners know that a strong socialist movement is perhaps more critical in the South than anywhere else, given how reactionary racist politics have been steadily exported to the rest of the country. Though the national political and cultural atmosphere moves every more to the right, we can look to the South for hope. The late Chokwe Lumumba left behind a movement for worker-owned cooperatives in Jackson, Mississippi, and nationally we are receiving increasing calls from Southerners wanting to start DSA and YDS chapters to build an openly socialist presence in their communities.
To strengthen our southern network we are holding our summer conference in radical Atlanta, hosted by Metro Atlanta DSA and YDS students from several schools in Georgia.
Geographical Scope: National