Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought

Princeton University Press
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What is the best way to understand black political ideology? Just listen to the everyday talk that emerges in public spaces, suggests Melissa Harris-Lacewell. And listen this author has--to black college students talking about the Million Man March and welfare, to Southern, black Baptists discussing homosexuality in the church, to black men in a barbershop early on a Saturday morning, to the voices of hip-hop music and Black Entertainment Television.

Using statistical, experimental, and ethnographic methods Barbershops, Bibles, and B.E.T offers a new perspective on the way public opinion and ideologies are formed at the grassroots level. The book makes an important contribution to our understanding of black politics by shifting the focus from the influence of national elites in opinion formation to the influence of local elites and people in daily interaction with each other. Arguing that African Americans use community dialogue to jointly develop understandings of their collective political interests, Harris-Lacewell identifies four political ideologies that constitute the framework of contemporary black political thought: Black Nationalism, Black Feminism, Black Conservatism and Liberal Integrationism. These ideologies, the book posits, help African Americans to understand persistent social and economic inequality, to identify the significance of race in that inequality, and to devise strategies for overcoming it.

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About the author

Melissa Victoria Harris-Lacewell is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Jun 14, 2010
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Pages
368
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ISBN
9781400836604
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Political Ideologies / General
Social Science / Ethnic Studies / African American Studies
Social Science / Popular Culture
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Today, black-owned barber shops play a central role in African American public life. The intimacy of commercial grooming encourages both confidentiality and camaraderie, which make the barber shop an important gathering place for African American men to talk freely. But for many years preceding and even after the Civil War, black barbers endured a measure of social stigma for perpetuating inequality: though the profession offered economic mobility to black entrepreneurs, black barbers were obliged by custom to serve an exclusively white clientele. Quincy T. Mills traces the lineage from these nineteenth-century barbers to the bustling enterprises of today, demonstrating that the livelihood offered by the service economy was crucial to the development of a black commercial sphere and the barber shop as a democratic social space.

Cutting Along the Color Line chronicles the cultural history of black barber shops as businesses and civic institutions. Through several generations of barbers, Mills examines the transition from slavery to freedom in the nineteenth century, the early twentieth-century expansion of black consumerism, and the challenges of professionalization, licensing laws, and competition from white barbers. He finds that the profession played a significant though complicated role in twentieth-century racial politics: while the services of shaving and grooming were instrumental in the creation of socially acceptable black masculinity, barbering permitted the financial independence to maintain public spaces that fostered civil rights politics. This sweeping, engaging history of an iconic cultural establishment shows that black entrepreneurship was intimately linked to the struggle for equality.

Collected here in this 4-in-1 omnibus are the most important books ever written on the art of war. The Art of War By Sun Tzu translated and commented on by Lionel Giles, On War by Carl von Clausewitz, The Art of War by Niccolò Machiavelli, and The Art of War by Baron De Jomini. These four books will give you as complete a view on the art of war as you can attain. This is the most important book ever written about warfare and conflict. Lionel Giles' translation is the definitive edition and his commentary is indispensable. The Art of War can be used and adapted in every facet of your life. This book explains when and how to go to war, as well as when not to. Learn how to win any conflict whether it be on the battlefield or in the boardroom. Although Carl von Clausewitz participated in many military campaigns, he was primarily a military theorist interested in the examination of war. On War is the West's premier work on the philosophy of war. Other soldiers before him had written treatises on various military subjects, but none undertook a great philosophical examination of war on the scale of Clausewitz's. On War is considered to be the first modern book of military strategy. This is due mainly to Clausewitz' integration of political, social, and economic issues as some of the most important factors in deciding the outcomes of a war. It is one of the most important treatises on strategy ever written, and continues to be required reading at many military academies. Niccolo Machiavelli considered this book his greatest achievement. Here you will learn how to recruit, train, motivate, and discipline an army. You will learn the difference between strategy and tactics. Machiavelli does a masterful job of breaking down and analyzing historic battles. This book of military knowledge belongs alongside Sun-Tzu and Clausewitz on every book shelf. Antoine-Henri Jomini was the most celebrated writer on the Napoleonic art of war. Jomini was present at most of the most important battles of the Napoleonic Wars. His writing, therefore, is the most authoritative on the subject. "The art of war, as generally considered, consists of five purely military branches,-viz.: Strategy, Grand Tactics, Logistics, Engineering, and Tactics. A sixth and essential branch, hitherto unrecognized, might be termed Diplomacy in its relation to War. Although this branch is more naturally and intimately connected with the profession of a statesman than with that of a soldier, it cannot be denied that, if it be useless to a subordinate general, it is indispensable to every general commanding an army." -Antoine-Henri Jomini
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