Racecraft The Soul of Inequality in American Life

Author: Karen Fields
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 9781844679942
Release Date: 2012-10-09
Genre: Political Science

The election of Barack Obama was supposed to herald the dawn of a post-racial age in America—a meaningless term without a grasp of what "racial" means. Most people assume that racism grows from the perception of human difference: the fact of race gives rise to the practice of racism. In this myth-busting reflection, the sociologist Karen E. Fields and the historian Barbara J. Fields argue the opposite: the practice of racism produces the illusion of race, through what they call racecraft. And racecraft is intimately entwined with other forms of inequality in American life. So pervasive are the devices of racecraft in American history, economic doctrine, politics, and everyday thinking that the presence of racecraft itself goes unnoticed. That the post-racial age has not dawned, the Fieldses argue, reflects the failure of Americans to develop a legitimate language for thinking about and discussing inequality across the board. That failure should worry all who care about democratic institutions.

Racecraft

Author: Karen E. Fields
Publisher: Verso
ISBN: 1781683131
Release Date: 2014-02-24
Genre: Political Science

Challenges popular conceptions about racism to explain its pervasiveness in economic doctrine, politics and everyday thinking, arguing that America must develop a legitimate language for thinking about and discussing inequality in broad terms in order to achieve a post-racial society. Co-written by the author of Free at Last.

Racecraft

Author: Barbara J. Fields
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 9781844679959
Release Date: 2012-10-09
Genre: Social Science

Most people assume that racism grows from a perception of human difference: the fact of race gives rise to the practice of racism. Sociologist Karen E. Fields and historian Barbara J. Fields argue otherwise: the practice of racism produces the illusion of race, through what they call “racecraft.” And this phenomenon is intimately entwined with other forms of inequality in American life. So pervasive are the devices of racecraft in American history, economic doctrine, politics, and everyday thinking that the presence of racecraft itself goes unnoticed. That the promised post-racial age has not dawned, the authors argue, reflects the failure of Americans to develop a legitimate language for thinking about and discussing inequality. That failure should worry everyone who cares about democratic institutions.

Orfeo A Novel

Author: Richard Powers
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393242683
Release Date: 2014-01-20
Genre: Fiction

A Chicago Tribune 'Best Books of 2014' New York Times Bestseller Longlisted for The Man Booker Prize Longlisted for the National Book Award The National Book Award–winning author of The Echo Maker delivers his most emotionally charged novel to date, inspired by the myth of Orpheus. "If Powers were an American writer of the nineteenth century…he'd probably be the Herman Melville of Moby-Dick. His picture is that big," wrote Margaret Atwood (New York Review of Books). Indeed, since his debut in 1985 with Three Farmers on Their Way to a Dance, Richard Powers has been astonishing readers with novels that are sweeping in range, dazzling in technique, and rich in their explorations of music, art, literature, and technology. In Orfeo, Powers tells the story of a man journeying into his past as he desperately flees the present. Composer Peter Els opens the door one evening to find the police on his doorstep. His home microbiology lab—the latest experiment in his lifelong attempt to find music in surprising patterns—has aroused the suspicions of Homeland Security. Panicked by the raid, Els turns fugitive. As an Internet-fueled hysteria erupts, Els—the "Bioterrorist Bach"—pays a final visit to the people he loves, those who shaped his musical journey. Through the help of his ex-wife, his daughter, and his longtime collaborator, Els hatches a plan to turn this disastrous collision with the security state into a work of art that will reawaken its audience to the sounds all around them. The result is a novel that soars in spirit and language by a writer who “may be America’s most ambitious novelist” (Kevin Berger, San Francisco Chronicle).

City Trenches

Author: Ira Katznelson
Publisher: Pantheon
ISBN: 9780307833402
Release Date: 2013-10-02
Genre: Political Science

The urban crisis of the 1960s revived a dormant social activism whose protagonists placed their hoped for radical change and political effectiveness in community action. Ironically, the insurgents chose the local community as their terrain for a political battle that in reality involved a few strictly local issues. They failed to achieve their goals, Ira Katznelson argues, not so much because they had chosen their ground badly but because the deep split of the American political landscape into workplace politics and community politics defeats attempts to address grievances or raise demands that break the rules of bread-and-butter unionism on the one hand or of local politics on the other. A fascinating record of the encounter between today’s reformers—the community activists—and the powers they challenge. City Trenches is also a probing analysis of the causes of urban instability. Katznelson anatomizes the unique workings of the American urban system which allow it to contain opposition through “machine” politics and, as a last resort, institutional innovation and co-optation, for example, the authorities’ own version of decentralization used in the 1960s as a counter to a “community control.” Washington Heights–Inwood, a multi-ethnic working-class community in northern Manhattan, provides the setting for an absorbing close-up view of the historical evolution of local politics: the challenge to the system in the 1960s and its reconstitution in the 1970s.

Farewell to the Party of Lincoln

Author: Nancy Joan Weiss
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691101515
Release Date: 1983
Genre: History

Recounts the sudden shift of Black voters from the Republican to the Democratic party during the 1930s and suggests that economic considerations rather than racial concerns were the chief motivation

Rainbow s End

Author: Steven P. Erie
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520910621
Release Date: 1990-08-09
Genre: History

Unprecedented in its scope, Rainbow's End provides a bold new analysis of the emergence, growth, and decline of six classic Irish-American political machines in New York, Jersey City, Chicago, San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Albany. Combining the approaches of political economy and historical sociology, Erie examines a wide range of issues, including the relationship between city and state politics, the manner in which machines shaped ethnic and working-class politics, and the reasons why centralized party organizations failed to emerge in Boston and Philadelphia despite their large Irish populations. The book ends with a thorough discussion of the significance of machine politics for today's urban minorities.

Beneath the Surface of White Supremacy

Author: Moon-Kie Jung
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804795227
Release Date: 2015-05-06
Genre: Social Science

Racism has never been simple. It wasn't more obvious in the past, and it isn't less potent now. From the birth of the United States to the contemporary police shooting death of an unarmed Black youth, Beneath the Surface of White Supremacy investigates ingrained practices of racism, as well as unquestioned assumptions in the study of racism, to upend and deepen our understanding. In Moon-Kie Jung's unsettling book, Dred Scott v. Sandford, the notorious 1857 Supreme Court case, casts a shadow over current immigration debates and the "war on terror." The story of a 1924 massacre of Filipino sugar workers in Hawai'i pairs with statistical relentlessness of Black economic suffering to shed light on hidden dimensions of mass ignorance and indifference. The histories of Asians, Blacks, Latina/os, and Natives relate in knotty ways. State violence and colonialism come to the fore in taking measure of the United States, past and present, while the undue importance of assimilation and colorblindness recedes. Ultimately, Jung challenges the dominant racial common sense and develops new concepts and theory for radically rethinking and resisting racisms.

Racial Reconstruction

Author: Edlie Wong
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 9781479817962
Release Date: 2015-10-23
Genre: History

The end of slavery and the Atlantic slave trade triggered wide-scale labor shortages across the U.S. and Caribbean. Planters looked to China as a source for labor replenishment, importing indentured laborers in what became known as “coolieism.” From heated Senate floor debates to Supreme Court test cases brought by Chinese activists, public anxieties over major shifts in the U.S. industrial landscape and class relations became displaced onto the figure of the Chinese labor immigrant who struggled for inclusion at a time when black freedmen were fighting to redefine citizenship. Racial Reconstruction demonstrates that U.S. racial formations should be studied in different registers and through comparative and transpacific approaches. It draws on political cartoons, immigration case files, plantation diaries, and sensationalized invasion fiction to explore the radical reconstruction of U.S. citizenship, race and labor relations, and imperial geopolitics that led to the Chinese Exclusion Act, America’s first racialized immigration ban. By charting the complex circulation of people, property, and print from the Pacific Rim to the Black Atlantic, Racial Reconstruction sheds new light on comparative racialization in America, and illuminates how slavery and Reconstruction influenced the histories of Chinese immigration to the West.

The Problem of Race in the Twenty first Century

Author: Thomas C. HOLT
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674038754
Release Date: 2009-06-30
Genre: Social Science

"The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line," W. E. B. Du Bois wrote in 1903, and his words have proven sadly prophetic. As we enter the twenty-first century, the problem remains--and yet it, and the line that defines it, have shifted in subtle but significant ways. This brief book speaks powerfully to the question of how the circumstances of race and racism have changed in our time--and how these changes will affect our future. Foremost among the book's concerns are the contradictions and incoherence of a system that idealizes black celebrities in politics, popular culture, and sports even as it diminishes the average African-American citizen. The world of the assembly line, boxer Jack Johnson's career, and "The Birth of a Nation" come under Holt's scrutiny as he relates the malign progress of race and racism to the loss of industrial jobs and the rise of our modern consumer society. Understanding race as ideology, he describes the processes of consumerism and commodification that have transformed, but not necessarily improved, the place of black citizens in our society. As disturbing as it is enlightening, this timely work reveals the radical nature of change as it relates to race and its cultural phenomena. It offers conceptual tools and a new way to think and talk about racism as social reality.

Modernism s Other Work

Author: Lisa Siraganian
Publisher: OUP USA
ISBN: 9780199796557
Release Date: 2012-01-12
Genre: Art

Modernism's Other Work considers writings by Gertrude Stein, Wyndham Lewis, Elizabeth Bishop, Amiri Baraka, and others, to challenge deeply held critical beliefs about the meaning-in particular the political meaning-of modernism's commitment to the work of art as an object detached from the world.

Issues in African American Music

Author: Portia K. Maultsby
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781315472072
Release Date: 2016-10-26
Genre: Music

Issues in African American Music: Power, Gender, Race, Representation is a collection of twenty-one essays by leading scholars, surveying vital themes in the history of African American music. Bringing together the viewpoints of ethnomusicologists, historians, and performers, these essays cover topics including the music industry, women and gender, and music as resistance, and explore the stories of music creators and their communities. Revised and expanded to reflect the latest scholarship, with six all-new essays, this book both complements the previously published volume African American Music: An Introduction and stands on its own. Each chapter features a discography of recommended listening for further study. From the antebellum period to the present, and from classical music to hip hop, this wide-ranging volume provides a nuanced introduction for students and anyone seeking to understand the history, social context, and cultural impact of African American music.

The Education of Booker T Washington

Author: Michael West
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231503822
Release Date: 2006-02-22
Genre: History

In this major reconsideration of Booker T. Washington's life and thought, Michael Rudolph West explores why Washington's ideas resonated so strongly in the post-Reconstruction era and considers their often negative influence on the ongoing struggle for equality in the United States. According to West, Washington's "race relations" offered a "solution" to the problem of racial oppression in a nation professing its belief in democracy. In practice, though, his theories lent support to the supposition that African Americans could prosper under Jim Crow without the normal levers by which other Americans pursued their interests. West contends that Washington did not seek to end the segregationist policies of southern states. Instead, he offered an ideology that would obscure the injustices of segregation and preserve some measure of racial peace. By embracing Washington's views, white Americans could then resolve the contradictions raised by segregation in a supposedly democratic society. This was (and is) Washington's legacy: a form of racial analysis, at once obvious and concealed, that continues to prohibit the realization of a truly democratic politics.

More Beautiful and More Terrible

Author: Imani Perry
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 9780814767368
Release Date: 2011-02-28
Genre: Law

For a nation that often optimistically claims to be post-racial, we are still mired in the practices of racial inequality that plays out in law, policy, and in our local communities. One of two explanations is often given for this persistent phenomenon: On the one hand, we might be hypocritical—saying one thing, and doing or believing another; on the other, it might have little to do with us individually but rather be inherent to the structure of American society. More Beautiful and More Terrible compels us to think beyond this insufficient dichotomy in order to see how racial inequality is perpetuated. Imani Perry asserts that the U.S. is in a new and distinct phase of racism that is “post-intentional”: neither based on the intentional discrimination of the past, nor drawing upon biological concepts of race. Drawing upon the insights and tools of critical race theory, social policy, law, sociology and cultural studies, she demonstrates how post-intentional racism works and maintains that it cannot be addressed solely through the kinds of structural solutions of the Left or the values arguments of the Right. Rather, the author identifies a place in the middle—a space of “righteous hope”—and articulates a notion of ethics and human agency that will allow us to expand and amplify that hope. To paraphrase James Baldwin, when talking about race, it is both more terrible than most think, but also more beautiful than most can imagine, with limitless and open-ended possibility. Perry leads readers down the path of imagining the possible and points to the way forward.

American History A Very Short Introduction

Author: Paul S. Boyer
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199911653
Release Date: 2012-08-16
Genre: History

This volume in Oxford's A Very Short Introduction series offers a concise, readable narrative of the vast span of American history, from the earliest human migrations to the early twenty-first century when the United States loomed as a global power and comprised a complex multi-cultural society of more than 300 million people. The narrative is organized around major interpretive themes, with facts and dates introduced as needed to illustrate these themes. The emphasis throughout is on clarity and accessibility to the interested non-specialist.