Yuya Kiuchi is Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Michigan State University and the author of Struggles for Equal Voice: The History of African American Media Democracy, also published by SUNY Press.
Led by four of the most notable African American leaders of the time—journalist T. Thomas Fortune, Bishop Alexander Walters, educator Booker T. Washington, and Congressman George Henry White—the Council persevered for a decade despite structural flaws and external pressures that eventually led to its demise in 1908.
Author Benjamin R. Justesen provides historical context for the Council’s development during an era of unprecedented growth in African American organizations. Justesen establishes the National Afro-American Council as the earliest national arena for discussions of critical social and political issues affecting African Americans and the single most important united voice lobbying for protection of the nation’s largest minority. In a period marked by racial segregation, widespread disfranchisement, and lynching violence, the nonpartisan council helped establish two more enduring successor organizations, providing core leadership for both the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the National Urban League.
Broken Brotherhood traces the history of the Council and the complicated relationships among key leaders from its creation in Rochester in 1898 to its last gathering in Baltimore in 1907, drawing on both private correspondence and contemporary journalism to create a balanced historical portrait. Enhanced by thirteen illustrations, the volume also provides intriguing details about the ten national gatherings, describes the Council’s unsuccessful attempt to challenge disfranchisement before the U.S. Supreme Court, and sheds light on the gradual breakdown of Republican solidarity among African American leaders in the first decade of the twentieth century.
Frank, funny, and incisive, Some of My Best Friends Are Black offers a profoundly honest portrait of race in America. In a book that is part reportage, part history, part social commentary, Tanner Colby explores why the civil rights movement ultimately produced such little true integration in schools, neighborhoods, offices, and churches—the very places where social change needed to unfold. Weaving together the personal, intimate stories of everyday people—black and white—Colby reveals the strange, sordid history of what was supposed to be the end of Jim Crow, but turned out to be more of the same with no name. He shows us how far we have come in our journey to leave mistrust and anger behind—and how far all of us have left to go.
"In Member of the Club. [Graham writes of] heartbreaking ironies and contradictions, indignities and betrayals in the life of an upper-class black man." --Philadelphia Inquirer
"Lawrence Graham Surely knows about the pressures of being beholden to two very different groups." --Los Angeles Times
Lawrence Otis Graham is a popular commentator on race and ethnicity. The author of ten other books, his work has appeared in New York magazine, the New York Times and The Best American Essays.
Describing the ways anticommunism impaired the struggle for civil rights, James Zeigler reconstructs how Red Scare rhetoric during the Cold War assisted the black freedom struggle's demands for equal rights but labeled "un-American" calls for reparations. To track the power of this volatile discourse, Zeigler investigates how radical black artists and intellectuals managed to answer anticommunism with critiques of Cold War culture. Stubbornly addressed to an American public schooled in Red Scare hyperbole, black radicalism insisted that antiracist politics require a leftist critique of capitalism.
Zeigler examines publicity campaigns against Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s alleged Communist Party loyalties and the import of the Cold War in his oratory. He documents a Central Intelligence Agency-sponsored anthology of ex-Communist testimonials. He takes on the protest essays of Richard Wright and C. L. R. James, as well as Frank Marshall Davis's leftist journalism. The uncanny return of Red Scare invective in reaction to President Obama's election further substantiates anticommunism's lasting rhetorical power as Zeigler discusses conspiracy theories that claim Davis groomed President Obama to become a secret Communist. Long after playing a role in the demise of Jim Crow, the Cold War Red Scare still contributes to the persistence of racism in America.
While previous scholarship on African Americans and the media has largely focused on issues such as stereotypes and program content, Struggles for Equal Voice reveals how African Americans have utilized access to cable television production and viewership as a significant step toward achieving empowerment during the postCivil Rights and Black Power era. In this pioneering study of two metropolitan districtsBoston and DetroitYuya Kiuchi paints a rich and fascinating historical account of African Americans working with municipal offices, local politicians, cable service providers, and other interested parties to realize fair African American representation and media ownership. Their success provides a useful lesson of community organizing, image production, education, and grassroots political action that remains relevant and applicable even today.