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In this thought-provoking volume, David R. Roediger has brought together some of the most important black writers throughout history to explore the question: What does it really mean to be white in America?From folktales and slave narratives to contemporary essays, poetry, and fiction, black writers have long been among America's keenest students of white consciousness and white behavior, but until now much of this writing has been ignored. Black on White reverses this trend by presenting the work of more than fifty major figures, including James Baldwin, Derrick Bell, Ralph Ellison, W.E.B. Du Bois, bell hooks, Toni Morrison, and Alice Walker to take a closer look at the many meanings of whiteness in our society.Rich in irony, artistry, passion, and common sense, these reflections on what Langston Hughes called "the ways of white folks" illustrate how whiteness as a racial identity derives its meaning not as a biological category but as a social construct designed to uphold racial inequality. Powerful and compelling, Black on White provides a much-needed perspective that is sure to have a major impact on the study of race and race relations in America.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Colored White is a strong, jargon-free polemic that urges us to understand race as a formative part of American history. Roediger examines figures ranging from W.E.B. DuBois to Rush Limbaugh to show how we must understand race historically. He shows that racism is not merely a matter of demographics: it is political, and must be fought politically.
Explores how the idea of race was created and recreated in American history. From the late seventeenth century to the civil-rights movement and the emergence of the American empire, this book examines how race intersected all that was dynamic and progressive in US history, from democracy and economic development to migration and globalization.
A moving cultural biography of abolitionist martyr John Brown, by one of the most important African-American intellectuals of the twentieth century. In the history of slavery and its legacy, John Brown looms large as a hero whose deeds partly precipitated the Civil War. As Frederick Douglass wrote: "When John Brown stretched forth his arm ... the clash of arms was at hand." DuBois's biography brings Brown stirringly to life and is a neglected classic.
Combining classical Marxism, psychoanalysis, and the new labor history pioneered by E. P. Thompson and Herbert Gutman, David Roediger's widely acclaimed book provides an original study of the formative years of working-class racism in the United States. This, he argues, cannot be explained simply with reference to economic advantage rather, white working-class racisms underpinned by a complex series of psychological and ideological mechanisms that reinforce racial stereotypes, and thus help to forge the identities of white workers in opposition to Blacks. In a new preface, Roediger reflects on the reception, influence, and critical response to The Wages of Whiteness, while Kathleen Cleaver "insightful introduction hails the importance of a work that has become a classic.
At the vanguard of the study of race and labor in American history, David R. Roediger is the author of the now-classic The Wages of Whiteness, a study of racism in the development of a white working class in nineteenth-century America. In Working Toward Whiteness, he continues that history into the twentieth century. He recounts how American ethnic groups considered white today-including Jewish-, Italian-, and Polish-Americans-once occupied a confused racial status in their new country. They eventually became part of white America thanks to the nascent labor movement, New Deal reforms, and a rise in home-buying. From ethnic slurs to racially restrictive covenants--the racist real estate agreements that ensured all-white neighborhoods--Roediger explores the murky realities of race in twentieth-century America. A masterful history by an award-winning writer, Working Toward Whiteness charts the strange transformation of these new immigrants into the "white ethnics" of America today.
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