Different White People

Radical Activism for Aboriginal Rights 1946-1972

By Deborah Wilson

The division between the right- and left-wing camps of the Cold War era is seemingly straightforward. Yet, local histories reveal deeply complex relationships between political and social groups that do not divide into easy alliances. Different White People is the story of one such relationship. Divided into three intimate narratives, historian Deborah Wilson traces the connections between Aborigines and left wing (usually communist) activists between 1946 and 1975. Following the campaigns from sheep stations, through deserts, to cattle stations, Wilson examines how the issues of such activism shifted as conflicts over worker and human rights were overwhelmed by modern battleground disputes about land and compensation. This important work highlights left-wing collaboration within a much broader pressure group of activists and organizations throughout Australia, working to advance the rights of Aboriginal people. Union support for Aboriginal rights variously ebbed and flowed during the period under investigation, but communists maintained vigorous solidarity throughout. Left-wing activism during the campaigns manifested in many forms, including provision of industrial advocacy and financial support, coordination of protest meetings and marches, hands on assistance for Aboriginal activist communities, and comprehensive publicity of the stories in leftwing newspapers and journals. The artistic representation of disputes was also featured in leftist poetry, drama, film, music, caricature, and literature. Inclusion of this activism in art adds color to a narrative based so centrally around the dark subject at the heart of the investigation: the intolerable treatment of Aboriginal peoples that these activists were determined to change. In June 2016, this book was shortlisted for the Chief Minister's Northern Territory History Book Award *** Librarians: ebook available on ProQuest and EBSCO [Subject: History, Aboriginal Studies, Politics, Australian Studies, Labor Studies]

Publication Date: 8/19/2015
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781742586656