Ulster's White Negroes is an invaluable work for those who wish to understand how a struggle for basic civil liberties in Ireland developed into an all-out revolutionary war: a war that has claimed more than 3,000 lives and has raged, with little respite, for more than a quarter of a century. The book outlines the early years of the civil rights movement, and the new wave of working class Catholics, in Derry and elsewhere, who were no longer willing to be treated as second-class citizens. It documents in detail the growing confrontation with the State, leading to the introduction of troops in 1969, the massacre in 1972 of thirteen unarmed demonstrators on Bloody Sunday, and the subsequent collapse of Stormont.
Ulster's White Negroes is not another academic textbook. As an activist within the Derry Unemployed Action Committee and the Derry Housing Action Committee and the cofounder of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association, Fionbarra O'Doctartaigh was, and is, an integral part of the struggle.