Aug 8, 2014
During my early years as a graduate student in history, I took a course at the CUNY Graduate Center called "From Civil Rights to Black Power," taught by Professor Clarence Taylor. The readings for the course, along with Professor Taylor's radical approach to American racial politics, completely rearranged my perceptions about race and American society, and helped set me on a path to becoming a radical historian myself. His most recent book, Reds at the Blackboard: Communism, Civil Rights, and the New York City Teachers Union (Columbia University Press, 2011), historicizes the complex interaction between the radical Left and the wider politics of education. In this conversation, he talks about his years in New York City's public high school system and his evolving views on liberalism, conservatism, and the direction of radical politics in the age of Obama.