In the United States, the Sixties witnessed the rise of the political New Left, the counterculture, and the interracial cooperation between white and African American youth activists. However, few scholars have examined the interracial coalition between the white New Leftist and Native Americans after the exclusion of white activists from the Student Nonviolence Coordinating Committee in the late 1960s. To address this gap, my research focused on the New Leftists’ participation in the occupation of Alcatraz by activists of Indians of All Tribes from 1969 to 1971. I used the occupation as a case study to answer the questions of how the New Leftists reorganized the interracial coalition with Native American activists in the post-SNCC period, and how this new interracial coalition shed a light on the relationship between the New Left and the counterculture and on the nature of New Left radicalism in the late 1960s. I argued that the New Leftists constructed a loosely-linked interracial coalition with American Indians on the common ground of political dissent and maintained the distinct political edge in the post-SNCC period. Lacking ideological and political cohesion, the new interracial coalition failed to consolidate a collective New Left political identity, which contributed to the New Left’s decline after the Vietnam War.
"A Failed Vision of Brotherhood: The New Left and the Occupation of Alcatraz,"
James Blair Historical Review: Vol. 9:
2, Article 5.
Available at: https://scholarworks.wm.edu/jbhr/vol9/iss2/5