The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Culture Corner:
American Uprising & Malice Green

Jul 1, 2024

Book: American Uprising: The Untold Story of America’s Largest Slave Revolt by Daniel Rasmussen, 2011

This is a deeply researched telling of the large slave revolt outside New Orleans in 1811. The author first creates a picture of the times, including the slave revolt in Haiti, the many renegade communities of escaped slaves and Native Americans hiding in the swamps, and the tortuous life of a slave on a profit-driven sugar plantation. The author takes what snippets of history he can find to fictionalize the day-by-day momentous events of the largest slave uprising in American history. The book truly enables one to see these events as they unfold, and to see the violence the slave owners had to use to force people back into chattel slavery.

Film: Malice Green, Portrait inJustice, streaming on YouTube and WDIV, 2024

This is a full-length documentary of events that occurred 30 years ago: the murder of a black man by police which resulted for the first time in charges and a guilty verdict. It was produced by years of investigative work by WDIV’s Paula Tutman.

Malice Green was an unemployed steelworker who was beaten and killed by two Detroit police officers, November 5th, 1992. The two police officers Nevers and Butzel were infamous for their abusive behavior in this neighborhood, cruising in their unmarked car and harassing residents. Malice Green was pulled over and refused to open his hand. The two cops struck him 14 times on his head with a police-issued large flashlight and killed him. As the film shows, numerous neighbors witnessed it, and bravely testified at the trial.

The film goes on to document the murder of unarmed black men and women by police since then. The film is a sobering comprehensive study of systemic abuse.