A Southern writer, teacher, and activist takes an original and hopeful approach to "race matters" by drawing on little-known episodes in history where black and white Americans have found common cause. Like many social critics Collum argues that America's racial divisions cannot be overcome until we recognize the crucial links between race and class, as racial animosities have historically kept poor and working class Americans apart. But Collum finds hope in stories from America's past. They show how ordinary Americans have crossed racial boundaries in the struggle for the common good. Beginning with an autobiographical account of his own roots in the Mississippi Delta in the era of school desegregation, Collum tells new American tales: of a revolt that united slaves and white indentured servants in colonial Virginia; of abolitionists in Kentucky who opposed slavery on the grounds that it was bad for poor whites as well as blacks; of populist rebellions in the Reconstruction Era. Continuing into our own century, there are the stories of the Southern Tenant Farmers Union; Martin Luther King and the Poor People's Campaign in the 60s; the "rainbow coalitions" in contemporary politics; and, blossoming even now, the new coalitions of church-based community organizations across the whole nation.