Robert H. Zieger is the author of several books, including the award winning "CIO 1935-1955". He is professor of history at the University of Florida. Zieger lives in Gainesville.
When #BlackLivesMatter went viral in 2013, it shed a light on the urgent, daily struggles of black Americans to combat racial injustice. The message resonated with millions across the country. Yet many of our political, social, and economic institutions are still embedded with racist policies and practices that devalue black lives. Stay Woke directly addresses these stark injustices and builds on the lessons of racial inequality and intersectionality the Black Lives Matter movement has challenged its fellow citizens to learn.
In this essential primer, Tehama Lopez Bunyasi and Candis Watts Smith inspire readers to address the pressing issues of racial inequality, and provide a basic toolkit that will equip readers to become knowledgeable participants in public debate, activism, and politics.
This book offers a clear vision of a racially just society, and shows just how far we still need to go to achieve this reality. From activists to students to the average citizen, Stay Woke empowers all readers to work toward a better future for black Americans.
In 1988 several white managers of the Shoney’s restaurant chain
protested against the company’s discriminatory hiring practices,
including an order to blacken the “O” in “Shoney’s” on minorities’ job
applications so that the marked forms could be discarded. When the
managers refused to comply, they lost their jobs but not their
resolve—they sued the company. Their case grew into the largest racial
job discrimination class action lawsuit of its time. Shoney’s eventually
offered to settle out of court, and the nearly 21,000 claimants divided
a $132.5 million settlement, bringing to an abrupt end a landmark case
that changed corporate attitudes nationwide.
The Black O is a fascinating, behind-the-scenes story
populated with many unforgettable characters, including civil rights
lawyer Tommy Warren, the former college football star and convicted
felon who took the case; Ray Danner, the ironfisted former CEO who
developed the Shoney’s concept; and Justice Clarence Thomas, former head
of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which sat idly by for
years while complaints mounted against Shoney’s. The Black O
speaks to an issue that continues to have great urgency, serving as a
stark refutation that the civil rights movement eliminated systemic
discrimination from the workplace.
The history of slavery, segregation, and racism continue to impact African Americans and the rest of society. For the youth of today, born after the major gains of the Civil Rights Movement, this book will be valuable to see how much more progress is needed. They will find an historical overview of the issues, learn about the main players, and read about the different sides. Under the topical chapters, readers will be able to consider the fuller spectrum of news items, such as the basis of Kwanzaa, whether comic Bill Cosby's comments about African Americans are on target, and what can be done about the voting disenfranchising in our current political system. Current events will be made more meaningful with this authoritative information and the interactive debates and activities.