Timely—as the 2012 presidential election nears—and controversial, here is the first book by a major African-American public intellectual on racial politics and the Obama presidency. Renowned for his cool reason vis-à-vis the pitfalls and clichés of racial discourse, Randall Kennedy—Harvard professor of law and author of the New York Times best seller Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word—gives us a keen and shrewd analysis of the complex relationship between the first black president and his African-American constituency. Kennedy tackles such hot-button issues as the nature of racial opposition to Obama, whether Obama has a singular responsibility to African Americans, electoral politics and cultural chauvinism, black patriotism, the differences in Obama’s presentation of himself to blacks and to whites, the challenges posed by the dream of a postracial society, and the far-from-simple symbolism of Obama as a leader of the Joshua generation in a country that has elected only three black senators and two black governors in its entire history. Eschewing the critical excesses of both the left and the right, Kennedy offers a gimlet-eyed view of Obama’s triumphs and travails, his strengths and weaknesses, as they pertain to the troubled history of race in America. From the Hardcover edition.
A Harvard Law professor and best-selling author presents essays on the complex relationship between the 44th President and his African-American constituency, addressing such topics as Obama's responsibilities to citizens of different races and the nature of racial opposition to him.
A Harvard Law professor and best-selling author presents essays on the complex relationship between the 44th President and his African-American constituency, addressing such topics as Obama's responsibilities to citizens of different races and the nature of racial opposition to him. Reprint.
Eduardo Bonilla-Silva’s acclaimed Racism without Racists documents how, beneath our contemporary conversation about race, there lies a full-blown arsenal of arguments, phrases, and stories that whites use to account for—and ultimately justify—racial inequalities. The fifth edition of this provocative book makes clear that color blind racism is as insidious now as ever. It features new material on our current racial climate, including the Black Lives Matter movement; a significantly revised chapter that examines the Obama presidency, the 2016 election, and Trump’s presidency; and a new chapter addressing what readers can do to confront racism—both personally and on a larger structural level.
It’s “the nuclear bomb of racial epithets,” a word that whites have employed to wound and degrade African Americans for three centuries. Paradoxically, among many black people it has become a term of affection and even empowerment. The word, of course, is nigger, and in this candid, lucidly argued book the distinguished legal scholar Randall Kennedy traces its origins, maps its multifarious connotations, and explores the controversies that rage around it. Should blacks be able to use nigger in ways forbidden to others? Should the law treat it as a provocation that reduces the culpability of those who respond to it violently? Should it cost a person his job, or a book like Huckleberry Finn its place on library shelves? With a range of reference that extends from the Jim Crow south to Chris Rock routines and the O. J. Simpson trial, Kennedy takes on not just a word, but our laws, attitudes, and culture with bracing courage and intelligence.
Author: Gregory Howard Williams
Release Date: 1996-02-01
Genre: Social Science
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize “A triumph of storytelling as well as a triumph of spirit.”—Alex Kotlowitz, award-winning author of There Are No Children Here As a child in 1950s segregated Virginia, Gregory Howard Williams grew up believing he was white. But when the family business failed and his parents’ marriage fell apart, Williams discovered that his dark-skinned father, who had been passing as Italian-American, was half black. The family split up, and Greg, his younger brother, and their father moved to Muncie, Indiana, where the young boys learned the truth about their heritage. Overnight, Greg Williams became black. In this extraordinary and powerful memoir, Williams recounts his remarkable journey along the color line and illuminates the contrasts between the black and white worlds: one of privilege, opportunity and comfort, the other of deprivation, repression, and struggle. He tells of the hostility and prejudice he encountered all too often, from both blacks and whites, and the surprising moments of encouragement and acceptance he found from each. Life on the Color Line is a uniquely important book. It is a wonderfully inspiring testament of purpose, perseverance, and human triumph. “Heartbreaking and uplifting… a searing book about race and prejudice in America… brims with insights that only someone who has lived on both sides of the racial divide could gain.”—Cleveland Plain Dealer From the Trade Paperback edition.
Sheds new light on the issue of personal interracial intimacy, discussing such issues as sex in racial politics, race in sexual politics, racial boundaries, and arguments for and against interracial romance, sex, and family life.
Author: Patrick B. Miller
Publisher: Psychology Press
Release Date: 2004
The year 2003 marks the one-hundredth anniversary of W.E.B. Du Bois' "Souls of Black Folk," in which he declared that "the color line" would be the problem of the twentieth century. Half a century later, Jackie Robinson would display his remarkable athletic skills in "baseball's great experiment." Now, "Sport and the Color Line" takes a look at the last century through the lens of sports and race, drawing together articles by many of the leading figures in Sport Studies to address the African American experience and the history of race relations. The history of African Americans in sport is not simple, and it certainly did not begin in 1947 when Jackie Robinson first donned a Brooklyn Dodgers uniform. The essays presented here examine the complexity of black American sports culture, from the organization of semi-pro baseball and athletic programs at historically black colleges and universities, to the careers of individual stars such as Jack Johnson and Joe Louis, to the challenges faced by black women in sports. What are today's black athletes doing in the aftermath of desegregation, or with the legacy of Muhammad Ali's political stance? The essays gathered here engage such issues, as well as the paradoxes of corporate sport and the persistence of scientific racism in the athletic realm.
The Harvard Law School professor and author of the best-selling The Persistence of the Color Line presents an analysis of race in American society that explores its sharply divisive nature while tracing the history of affirmative action and offering insight into related pros and cons. (This book was previously featured in Forecast.) 30,000 first printing.
In this powerfully reasoned, lucidly written work, Harvard Law Professor Randall Kennedy takes on the highly complex issues of race, crime, and the legal system, uncovering the long-standing failure of the justice system to protect blacks from criminals and revealing difficult truths about these factors in the United States. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Michael K. Brown
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2003-09-18
Genre: Social Science
White Americans, abetted by neo-conservative writers of all hues, generally believe that racial discrimination is a thing of the past and that any racial inequalities that undeniably persist—in wages, family income, access to housing or health care—can be attributed to African Americans' cultural and individual failures. If the experience of most black Americans says otherwise, an explanation has been sorely lacking—or obscured by the passions the issue provokes. At long last offering a cool, clear, and informed perspective on the subject, this book brings together a team of highly respected sociologists, political scientists, economists, criminologists, and legal scholars to scrutinize the logic and evidence behind the widely held belief in a color-blind society—and to provide an alternative explanation for continued racial inequality in the United States. While not denying the economic advances of black Americans since the 1960s, Whitewashing Race draws on new and compelling research to demonstrate the persistence of racism and the effects of organized racial advantage across many institutions in American society—including the labor market, the welfare state, the criminal justice system, and schools and universities. Looking beyond the stalled debate over current antidiscrimination policies, the authors also put forth a fresh vision for achieving genuine racial equality of opportunity in a post-affirmative action world.
Author: Jennifer Lynn Stoever
Publisher: NYU Press
Release Date: 2016-11-15
Genre: Literary Criticism
Race is a visual phenomenon, the ability to see “difference.” At least that is what conventional wisdom has lead us to believe. Yet, The Sonic Color Line argues that American ideologies of white supremacy are just as dependent on what we hear—voices, musical taste, volume—as they are on skin color or hair texture. Reinforcing compelling new ideas about the relationship between race and sound with meticulous historical research, Jennifer Lynn Stoever helps us to better understand how sound and listening not only register the racial politics of our world, but actively produce them. Through analysis of the historical traces of sounds of African American performers, Stoever reveals a host of racialized aural representations operating at the level of the unseen—the sonic color line—and exposes the racialized listening practices she figures as “the listening ear.” Using an innovative multimedia archive spanning 100 years of American history (1845-1945) and several artistic genres—the slave narrative, opera, the novel, so-called “dialect stories,” folk and blues, early sound cinema, and radio drama—The Sonic Color Line explores how black thinkers conceived the cultural politics of listening at work during slavery, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow. By amplifying Harriet Jacobs, Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield, Charles Chesnutt, The Fisk Jubilee Singers, Ann Petry, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Lena Horne as agents and theorists of sound, Stoever provides a new perspective on key canonical works in African American literary history. In the process, she radically revises the established historiography of sound studies. The Sonic Color Line sounds out how Americans have created, heard, and resisted “race,” so that we may hear our contemporary world differently.
Author: Thomas BORSTELMANN
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2009-06-30
After World War II the United States faced two preeminent challenges: how to administer its responsibilities abroad as the world's strongest power, and how to manage the rising movement at home for racial justice and civil rights. The effort to contain the growing influence of the Soviet Union resulted in the Cold War, a conflict that emphasized the American commitment to freedom. The absence of that freedom for nonwhite American citizens confronted the nation's leaders with an embarrassing contradiction. Racial discrimination after 1945 was a foreign as well as a domestic problem. World War II opened the door to both the U.S. civil rights movement and the struggle of Asians and Africans abroad for independence from colonial rule. America's closest allies against the Soviet Union, however, were colonial powers whose interests had to be balanced against those of the emerging independent Third World in a multiracial, anticommunist alliance. At the same time, U.S. racial reform was essential to preserve the domestic consensus needed to sustain the Cold War struggle. The Cold War and the Color Line is the first comprehensive examination of how the Cold War intersected with the final destruction of global white supremacy. Thomas Borstelmann pays close attention to the two Souths--Southern Africa and the American South--as the primary sites of white authority's last stand. He reveals America's efforts to contain the racial polarization that threatened to unravel the anticommunist western alliance. In so doing, he recasts the history of American race relations in its true international context, one that is meaningful and relevant for our own era of globalization. Table of Contents: Preface Prologue 1. Race and Foreign Relations before 1945 2. Jim Crow's Coming Out 3. The Last Hurrah of the Old Color Line 4. Revolutions in the American South and Southern Africa 5. The Perilous Path to Equality 6. The End of the Cold War and White Supremacy Epilogue Notes Archives and Manuscript Collections Index Reviews of this book: In rich, informing detail enlivened with telling anecdote, Cornell historian Borstelmann unites under one umbrella two commonly separated strains of the U.S. post-WWII experience: our domestic political and cultural history, where the Civil Rights movement holds center stage, and our foreign policy, where the Cold War looms largest...No history could be more timely or more cogent. This densely detailed book, wide ranging in its sources, contains lessons that could play a vital role in reshaping American foreign and domestic policy. --Publishers Weekly Reviews of this book: [Borstelmann traces] the constellation of racial challenges each administration faced (focusing particularly on African affairs abroad and African American civil rights at home), rather than highlighting the crises that made headlines...By avoiding the crutch of "turning points" for storytelling convenience, he makes a convincing case that no single event can be untied from a constantly thickening web of connections among civil rights, American foreign policy, and world affairs. --Jesse Berrett, Village Voice Reviews of this book: Borstelmann...analyzes the history of white supremacy in relation to the history of the Cold War, with particular emphasis on both African Americans and Africa. In a book that makes a good supplement to Mary Dudziak's Cold War Civil Rights, he dissects the history of U.S. domestic race relations and foreign relations over the past half-century...This book provides new insights into the dynamics of American foreign policy and international affairs and will undoubtedly be a useful and welcome addition to the literature on U.S. foreign policy and race relations. Recommended. --Edward G. McCormack, Library Journal