The Lineaments of Wrath: Race, Violent Crime, and American Culture

Transaction Publishers
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Violence has marked relations between blacks and whites in America for nearly four hundred years. In The Lineaments of Wrath, James W. Clarke draws upon behavioral science theory and primary historical evidence to examine and explain its causes and enduring consequences.

Beginning with slavery and concluding with the present, Clarke describes how the combined effects of state-sanctioned mob violence and the discriminatory administration of “race-blind” criminal and contract labor laws terrorized and immobilized the black population in the post-emancipation South. In this fashion an agricultural system, based on debt peonage and convict labor, quickly replaced slavery and remained the back-bone of the region's economy well into the twentieth century.

Quoting the actual words of victims and witnesses―from former slaves to “gangsta” rappers―Clarke documents the erosion of black confidence in American criminal justice. In so doing, he also traces the evolution, across many generations, of a black subculture of violence, in which disputes are settled personally, and without recourse to the legal system. That subculture, the author concludes, accounts for historically high rates of black-on-black violence which now threatens to destroy the black inner city from within. The Lineaments of Wrath puts America's race issues into a completely original historical perspective. Those in the fields of political science, sociology, history, psychology, public policy, race relations, and law will find Clarke's work of profound importance.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Transaction Publishers
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Published on
Dec 31, 1998
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Pages
339
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ISBN
9781412837651
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Language
English
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Genres
Law / Criminal Law / General
Social Science / Discrimination & Race Relations
Social Science / Ethnic Studies / African American Studies
Social Science / Minority Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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For a nation that often optimistically claims to be post-racial, we are still mired in the practices of racial inequality that plays out in law, policy, and in our local communities. One of two explanations is often given for this persistent phenomenon: On the one hand, we might be hypocritical—saying one thing, and doing or believing another; on the other, it might have little to do with us individually but rather be inherent to the structure of American society.

More Beautiful and More Terrible compels us to think beyond this insufficient dichotomy in order to see how racial inequality is perpetuated. Imani Perry asserts that the U.S. is in a new and distinct phase of racism that is “post-intentional”: neither based on the intentional discrimination of the past, nor drawing upon biological concepts of race. Drawing upon the insights and tools of critical race theory, social policy, law, sociology and cultural studies, she demonstrates how post-intentional racism works and maintains that it cannot be addressed solely through the kinds of structural solutions of the Left or the values arguments of the Right. Rather, the author identifies a place in the middle—a space of “righteous hope”—and articulates a notion of ethics and human agency that will allow us to expand and amplify that hope.

To paraphrase James Baldwin, when talking about race, it is both more terrible than most think, but also more beautiful than most can imagine, with limitless and open-ended possibility. Perry leads readers down the path of imagining the possible and points to the way forward.

The chilling truth is that his story could have been mine. The tragedy is that my story could have been his.

Two kids named Wes Moore were born blocks apart within a year of each other. Both grew up fatherless in similar Baltimore neighborhoods and had difficult childhoods; both hung out on street corners with their crews; both ran into trouble with the police. How, then, did one grow up to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader, while the other ended up a convicted murderer serving a life sentence? Wes Moore, the author of this fascinating book, sets out to answer this profound question. In alternating narratives that take readers from heart-wrenching losses to moments of surprising redemption, The Other Wes Moore tells the story of a generation of boys trying to find their way in a hostile world.

BONUS: This edition contains a new afterword and a The Other Wes Moore discussion guide.

Praise for The Other Wes Moore

“Moving and inspiring, The Other Wes Moore is a story for our times.”—Alex Kotlowitz, author of There Are No Children Here
 
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