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In a highly original and historic celebration of black Americans and their contributions to culture, the authors select 100 outstanding men and women and use their lives and accomplishments to create a fascinating portrait of the last century. Their selections are drawn from the worlds of politics and business, literature, sports, music, science, and cultural criticism. Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.
Selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic TitleTypically residing in areas of concentrated urban poverty, too many young black men are trapped in a horrific cycle that includes active discrimination, unemployment, violence, crime, prison, and early death. This toxic mixture has given rise to wider stereotypes that limit the social capital of all young black males.Edited and with an introductory chapter by sociologist Elijah Anderson, the essays in Against the Wall describe how the young black man has come to be identified publicly with crime and violence. In reaction to his sense of rejection, he may place an exaggerated emphasis on the integrity of his self-expression in clothing and demeanor by adopting the fashions of the "street." To those deeply invested in and associated with the dominant culture, his attitude is perceived as profoundly oppositional. His presence in public gathering places becomes disturbing to others, and the stereotype of the dangerous young black male is perpetuated and strengthened.To understand the origin of the problem and the prospects of the black inner-city male, it is essential to distinguish his experience from that of his pre-Civil Rights Movement forebears. In the 1950s, as militant black people increasingly emerged to challenge the system, the figure of the black male became more ambiguous and fearsome. And while this activism did have the positive effect of creating opportunities for the black middle class who fled from the ghettos, those who remained faced an increasingly desperate climate.Featuring a foreword by Cornel West and sixteen original essays by contributors including William Julius Wilson, Gerald D. Jaynes, Douglas S. Massey, and Peter Edelman, Against the Wall illustrates how social distance increases as alienation and marginalization within the black male underclass persist, thereby deepening the country's racial divide.
In this provocative and captivating dialogue, Hooks and West grapple with the dilemmas, contradictions and joys of Black intellectual life. Creating a spiritual, progressive, feminist, and ultimately organic definition of Black intellectuality. They passionately discuss issues ranging in subject matter from theology and the Left, to contemporary music, film and fashion. Speaking to the critically thinking masses inside and outside of academe, Hooks and West call for greater politicization and critical engagement in the process of transforming contemporary culture and politics.
Cornel West's audacious and hard-hitting sequel to his major bestseller and contemporary classic, Race Matters, is a brilliant and deeply moving call for the revival of our better democratic nature. Praised by The New York Times for his "ferocious moral vision," West returns to the analysis of what he calls the arrested development of democracy with a masterful diagnosis. He points to the rise of three antidemocratic dogmas that are rendering the energy of American democracy impotent-a callous free-market fundamentalism, an aggressive militarism, and an insidious authoritarianism -and argues that racism and imperial bullying have gone hand in hand in our country's inexorable drive toward world dominance (our current militaristic excesses). This impassioned and empowering call for the revitalization of America's democracy, by one of our most distinctive and compelling social critics, will reshape the raging national debate about America's role in today's troubled world.
Seizing the quintessentially American idea that everything is possible, Unger and West argue that we can stimulate economic growth and guarantee opportunity and sufficient resources for all citizens. They propose specific reforms in business, taxation, social security, and education, and their program is an image of American political and civic life as a vital, evolving, and hopeful arena for solving our collective problems. Theirs is an all-inclusive, bipartisan, business-friendly vision.
Almost one-hundred years ago, W.E.B. Du Bois proposed the notion of the "talented tenth," an African American elite that would serve as leaders and models for the larger black community. In this unprecedented collaboration, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Cornel West--two of Du Bois's most prominent intellectual descendants--reassess that relationship and its implications for the future of black Americans. If the 1990s are the best of times for the heirs of the Talented Tenth, they are unquestionably worse for the growing black underclass. As they examine the origins of this widening gulf and propose solutions for it, Gates and West combine memoir and biography, social analysis and cultural survey into a book that is incisive and compassionate, cautionary and deeply stirring. "Today's most public African American intellectual voices...West and Gates have made a valuable contribution."--Julian Bond, Philadelphia Inquirer"Brilliant...a social, cultural and political blueprint...that attempts to illumine the future path for blacks and American democracy."--New York Daily News"Henry Louis Gates., Jr., and Cornel West are among the most renowned American intellectuals of our time."--New York Times Book ReviewFrom the Trade Paperback edition.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Cornel West--two of Du Bois's most prominent intellectual descendants--reassess that relationship and its implications for the future of black Americans.
Offering openhearted wisdom for modern times, this courageous collection of quotations, speech excerpts, letters, and photographs is by the "New York Times"-bestselling author of "Democracy Matters".
Howard Zinn on Race is Zinn's choice of the shorter writings and speeches that best reflect his views on America's most taboo topic. As chairman of the history department at all black women's Spelman College, Zinn was an outspoken supporter of student activists in the nascent civil rights movement. In "The Southern Mystique," he tells of how he was asked to leave Spelman in 1963 after teaching there for seven years. "Behind every one of the national government's moves toward racial equality," writes Zinn in one 1965 essay, "lies the sweat and effort of boycotts, picketing, beatings, sit-ins, and mass demonstrations." He firmly believed that bringing people of different races and nationalities together would create a more compassionate world, where equality is a given and not merely a dream. These writings, which span decades, express Zinn's steadfast belief that the people have the power to change the status quo, if they only work together and embrace the nearly forgotten American tradition of civil disobedience and revolution. In clear, compassionate, and present prose, Zinn gives us his thoughts on the Abolitionists, the march from Selma to Montgomery, John F. Kennedy, picketing, sit-ins, and, finally, the message he wanted to send to New York University students about race in a speech he delivered during the last week of his life.
Imperium in Imperio (1899) is the story of two men--one black and one mulatto--who grow up in a racist America. The dark-skinned Belton, a conservative assimilationist, attends college, goes to Louisiana to advocate voting rights for blacks, and barely survives a lynch mob. The lighter-skinned Bernard is traumatized by the suicide of his beautiful black sweetheart, Viola, whose dying wish convinces Bernard to become a staunch nationalist and fight for a separation of the black and white races. Both men join a radical movement whose aim is to establish Texas as an all-black country, separate from the rest of the United States. The narrator, Berl Trout, tells the story of IMPERIUM IN IMPERIO ("a nation within a nation") on the eve of his own execution. Tomorrow, he will be put to death by his fellow nationalists for exposing their radical plot, and causing the uprising to fail.
Self-published in 1899 and sold door-to-door by the author, this classic African-American novel--a gripping exploration of oppression, miscegenation, exploitation, and black empowerment--was a major bestseller in its day. The dramatic story of a conciliatory black man and a mulatto nationalist who grow up in a racist America and are driven to join a radical movement dedicated to the creation of an all-black nation in Texas, Imperium in Imperio had a profound influence on the development of black nationalism. From the Trade Paperback edition.
This powerful collection of essays ranges widely across politics and philosophy in America, the role of the black intellectual, legal theory and the future of liberal thought, and the fate of African-Americans. In West's hands issues of race and freedom are inextricably tied to questions of philosophy and, above all, to a belief in the power of the human spirit. West situates the current position of African-Americans, tracing the genealogy of the "Afro-American Rebellion" from Martin Luther King to the rise of black revolutionary leftists. He explains both the opportunities and limitations of liberalism and nationalism, and offers strategies for a new generation of African-Americans. West insists that African-American oppression be understood within the larger crises of North Atlantic civilization. While maintaining the specificity of black identity and resistance, he provocatively suggests alliances with other intellectual and communal forms of American radicalism. Writing on "the new cultural politics of difference," the critical legal studies movement, American pragmatism, or race and social theory, West sustains the difficult balance between a subtly argued critique of the past and present, and a broadly conceived, daring vision of the future.
The New Jim Crow was initially published with a modest first printing and reasonable expectations for a hard-hitting book on a tough topic. Now, ten-plus printings later, the long-awaited paperback version of the book Lani Guinier calls "brave and bold," and Pulitzer Prize-winner David Levering Lewis calls "stunning," will at last be available. In the era of colorblindness, it is no longer socially permissible to use race, explicitly, as a justification for discrimination, exclusion, and social contempt. Yet, as legal star Michelle Alexander reveals, today it is perfectly legal to discriminate against convicted criminals in nearly all the ways that it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans. Once you're labeled a felon, the old forms of discrimination-employment discrimination, housing discrimination, denial of the right to vote, denial of educational opportunity, denial of food stamps and other public benefits, and exclusion from jury service-are suddenly legal. Featured on The Tavis Smiley Show, Bill Moyers Journal, Democracy Now, and C-Span's Washington Journal, The New Jim Crow has become an overnight phenomenon, sparking a much-needed conversation-including a recent mention by Cornel West on Real Time with Bill Maher -about ways in which our system of mass incarceration has come to resemble systems of racial control from a different era.
The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere represents a rare opportunity to experience a diverse group of preeminent philosophers confronting one pervasive contemporary concern: what role does--or should--religion play in our public lives? Reflecting on her recent work concerning state violence in Israel-Palestine, Judith Butler explores the potential of religious perspectives for renewing cultural and political criticism, while Jürgen Habermas, best known for his seminal conception of the public sphere, thinks through the ambiguous legacy of the concept of "the political" in contemporary theory. Charles Taylor argues for a radical redefinition of secularism, and Cornel West defends civil disobedience and emancipatory theology. Eduardo Mendieta and Jonathan VanAntwerpen detail the immense contribution of these philosophers to contemporary social and political theory, and an afterword by Craig Calhoun places these attempts to reconceive the significance of both religion and the secular in the context of contemporary national and international politics.
The articles include political commentary, cultural critique, literary analysis, extended book reviews, and even a short story by West. All of these are held together by a prophetic Afro-American Christian perspective.
The fundamental litmus test for American democracy-its economy, government, criminal justice system, education, mass media, and culture-remains: how broad and intense are the arbitrary powers used and deployed against black people. In this sense, the problem of the twenty-first century remains the problem of the color line. --from the new PrefaceFirst published in 1993 on the one-year anniversary of the L.A. riots, Race Matters was a national best-seller, and it has since become a groundbreaking classic on race in America. Race Matters contains West's most powerful essays on the issues relevant to black Americans today: despair, black conservatism, black-Jewish relations, myths about black sexuality, the crisis in leadership in the black community, and the legacy of Malcolm X. And the insights that he brings to these complicated problems remain fresh, exciting, creative, and compassionate. Now more than ever, Race Matters is a book for all Americans, as it helps us to build a genuine multiracial democracy in the new millennium.From the Hardcover edition.
The relationship between art and politics, and the possibility of hope among African-Americans today. Defining the crucial issues of our times, they offer a transformative vision of the next century for black and white Americans alike.
Record unemployment and rampant corporate avarice, empty houses but homeless families, dwindling opportunities in an increasingly paralyzed nation - these are the realities of 21st-century America, land of the free and home of the new middle class poor. Award-winning broadcaster Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West, one of the nation's leading democratic intellectuals, co-hosts of Public Radio's "Smiley & West", now take on the 'P' word - poverty. "The Rich and the Rest of Us" is the next step in the journey that began with 'The Poverty Tour: A Call to Conscience.' Smiley and West's 18-city bus tour gave voice to the plight of impoverished Americans of all races, colors, and creeds. With 150 million Americans persistently poor or near poor, the highest numbers in over five decades, Smiley and West argue that now is the time to confront the underlying conditions of systemic poverty in America before it's too late. By placing the eradication of poverty in the context of the nation's greatest moments of social transformation - such as the abolition of slavery, woman's suffrage, and the labor and civil rights movements - ending poverty is sure to emerge as America's 21st -century civil rights struggle. As the middle class disappears and the safety net is shredded, Smiley and West, building on the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., ask us to confront our fear and complacency with 12 poverty changing ideas. They challenge us to re-examine our assumptions about poverty in America - what it really is and how to eliminate it now.
A collection of 21 recent essays on subjects including Jews in the slave trade, the contributions of Jews to the NAACP and the National Urban League, Jews and Blacks in the American Left, Black nationalism, and African Americans and Jews in Hollywood. For anyone interested in contemporary American culture and race relations.
Sylvia Ann Hewlett and Cornel West, a white woman and a black man, join to address the burning social issue of our time: the virtual abandonment of parents-poor and middle class-by America's business, political, and cultural elites. In what is both a visionary and intimate book, Hewlett and West present a blueprint for parent empowerment, which they call the Parents' Bill of Rights for the 21st century, which gives new value and dignity to the parental role and restores America's commitment to the well-being of children. With candor and hope for the future, the authors seek to unite America's 62 million parents behind an agenda that spans the divides of race, gender, and class.
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