Eben Miller of Lewiston, who teaches at Southern Maine Community College, has written a book about major players at the 1933 Amenia Conference, considered a milestone in the nation’s lengthy pursuit of civil equality.
In “Born Along the Color Line,” Miller illustrates how economist Abram Harris, youth activist Juaniuta Jackson, Harlem organizer Moran Weston and other conference participants worked to build an economic movement that went beyond the color lines to challenge the nation’s existing capitalist system.
In the two decades after the turn of the 20th century, varying laws of segregation drew crisscrossed color lines across the United States. Some African Americans thought it best to simply accept and ascribe to the Jim Crow laws and forgo the full rights enjoyed by any other American citizens. But on Aug. 18, 1933, a new generation of African American leaders convened at the New York home of Joel Springarn, president of the board of directors of the NAACP.
Miller, a historian, offers a glimpse into this little-known event and profiles the young activists who disseminated word about their cause through writing and by organizing in African American communities through the country, which progressed their fight for racial equality even in the darkest economic times.
“Born Along the Color Line” is available as a 368-page hardcover ($29.95) and ebook from Oxford University Press of New York.