Undercurrents: Racial politics and US philanthropy

How did the politics of white supremacy emerge in early research on US race relations?

55 minute listen

Since its publication in 1944, many Americans have described Gunnar Myrdal’s An American Dilemma as a defining text on US race relations. Funded by the Carnegie Corporation, Myrdal’s research explored the socio-economic conditions experienced by much of the black population in the United States, and proposed policies which would encourage assimilation of those communities into white America.

Maribel Morey explores the origins of An American Dilemma in her new book, White Philanthropy: Carnegie Corporation’s An American Dilemma and the Making of a White World Order. Through extensive archive research she reveals the racial politics underpinning Myrdal’s work, and the concern of those involved for maintaining white domination of the United States. In this episode, Ben speaks to Maribel about her findings, in conversation with Inderjeet Parmar.