Race Still Matters: The Reality of African American Lives and the Myth of Postracial Society

SUNY Press
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 Essays debunking the notion that contemporary America is a colorblind society.
More than half a century after the civil rights era of the mid-1950s to the late 1960s, American society is often characterized as postracial. In other words, that the country has moved away from prejudice based on skin color and we live in a colorblind society. The reality, however, is the opposite. African Americans continue to face both explicit and latent discriminations in housing, healthcare, education, and every facet of their lives. Recent cases involving law enforcement officers shooting unarmed Black men also attest to the reality: the problem of the twenty-first century is still the problem of the color line. In Race Still Matters, contributors drawn from a wide array of disciplines use multidisciplinary methods to explore topics such as Black family experiences, hate crimes, race and popular culture, residual discrimination, economic and occupational opportunity gaps, healthcare disparities, education, law enforcement issues, youth culture, and the depiction of Black female athletes. The volume offers irrefutable evidence that race still very much matters in the United States today.
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About the author

 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.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Nov 15, 2016
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Pages
412
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ISBN
9781438462745
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / 20th Century
History / United States / 21st Century
Social Science / Ethnic Studies / African American Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Broken Brotherhood: The Rise and Fall of the National Afro-American Council gives a comprehensive account of the National Afro-American Council, the first truly nationwide U.S. civil rights organization, which existed from 1898 to 1908. Based on exhaustive research, the volume chronicles the Council’s achievements and its annual meetings and provides portraits of its key leaders.

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.

During the early years of the Cold War, racial segregation in the American South became an embarrassing liability to the international reputation of the United States. For America to present itself as a model of democracy in contrast to the Soviet Union's totalitarianism, Jim Crow needed to end. While the discourse of anticommunism added the leverage of national security to the moral claims of the civil rights movement, the proliferation of Red Scare rhetoric also imposed limits on the socioeconomic changes necessary for real equality.

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.

From America’s preeminent columnist, named by the Financial Times the most influential commentator in the nation, a must-have collection of Charles Krauthammer’s essential, timeless writings.
 
A brilliant stylist known for an uncompromising honesty that challenged conventional wisdom at every turn, Krauthammer dazzled readers for decades with his keen insight into politics and government. His weekly column was a must-read in Washington and across the country. Don’t miss the best of Krauthammer’s intelligence, erudition and wit collected in one volume.
 
Readers will find here not only the country’s leading conservative thinker offering a pas­sionate defense of limited government, but also a highly independent mind whose views—on feminism, evolution and the death penalty, for example—defy ideological convention. Things That Matter also features several of Krautham­mer’s major path-breaking essays—on bioeth­ics, on Jewish destiny and on America’s role as the world’s superpower—that have pro­foundly influenced the nation’s thoughts and policies. And finally, the collection presents a trove of always penetrating, often bemused re­flections on everything from border collies to Halley’s Comet, from Woody Allen to Win­ston Churchill, from the punishing pleasures of speed chess to the elegance of the perfectly thrown outfield assist.
 
With a special, highly autobiographical in­troduction in which Krauthammer reflects on the events that shaped his career and political philosophy, this indispensible chronicle takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the fashions and follies, the tragedies and triumphs, of the last three decades of American life.
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