An Interracial Movement of the Poor?

This 1963 mimeographed article was written by Carl Wittman and Tom Hayden based on observations of their work in poor neighborhoods in Newark, NJ organizing around issues of housing, jobs, and discrimination. It is a detailed analysis of which issues are economic and potentially cross race and class lines, and which were about racism and classism. At the same time, there is a respect for self determination for the people struggling to overcome oppression. For instance, the authors thought that jobs would be the most important issue for residents, but in fact, housing–rats, lack of heat, broken windows–were prioritized. As was the murder of a young man in the neighborhood by police. It is a clear eyed analysis of what is, not what the ideology might indicate. The question mark in the title suggests that an interracial movement may not be possible, due to the lack of commitment from enough white people.