Ronald W. Walters and the Fight for Black Power, 1969-2010

SUNY Press
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 Combines history and biography to interpret the last half century of black politics in America as represented in the life and work of a pivotal African American public intellectual.

From his leadership of the first modern lunch counter sit-ins at age twenty to his work on African American reparations at the time of his death at age seventy-two, Ronald W. Walters (1938–2010) was at the cutting edge of African American politics. A preeminent scholar, activist, and media commentator, he was founding chair of the Black Studies Department at Brandeis, where he shaped the epistemological parameters of the new discipline. Walters was an early strategist of congressional black power and a longtime advocate of a black presidential candidacy. His writings on the politics of race in America both predicted the constraints on President Obama in advancing African American interests and anticipated the emergence of the white nationalism found in the Tea Party and Donald Trump insurgency. In this fascinating book, Robert C. Smith combines history and biography to offer an overview of the last half century of black politics in America through the lens of the life and work of the man often described as the W. E. B. Du Bois of his time.

“This book makes an invaluable contribution to our understanding of one of the most pivotal scholarly voices in global black politics of the twentieth century. Smith has done an excellent job capturing the personality, history, and the interpersonal affections and loyalties of this extraordinary man.” — Todd C. Shaw, author of Now Is the Time! Detroit Black Politics and Grassroots Activism

“Organizing Ron’s biography around the evolution of the black struggle is a really great and appropriate idea; the struggle and Ron were one.” — Mack H. Jones, author of Knowledge, Power, and Black Politics: Collected Essays
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About the author

 Robert C. Smith is Professor of Political Science at San Francisco State University. His many books include African American Leadership, coauthored with Walters, and What Has This Got to Do with the Liberation of Black People? The Impact of Ronald W. Walters on African American Thought and Leadership (coedited with Cedric Johnson and Robert G. Newby), both also published by SUNY Press.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Feb 1, 2018
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Pages
354
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ISBN
9781438468686
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Language
English
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Genres
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Political
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Political Advocacy
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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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The Rowley family's struggle began when Amy entered kindergarten and culminated five years later in a pivotal decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. In effect, the Court majority concluded that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act did not mandate equal opportunity for children with disabilities in classes with typical children; a disappointing decision for disability advocates.

The Supreme Court decided that schools were required only to provide enough help for children with disabilities to pass from grade to grade. The Court reversed the lower courts' rulings, which had granted Amy an interpreter, setting a precedent that could affect the quality of education for all individuals with disabilities.

From the time Amy entered kindergarten in Peekskill, New York, her parents battled with school officials to get a sign language interpreter in the classroom. Nancy and Clifford Rowley, also deaf, struggled with officials for their own right to a communications process in which they could fully participate. Stuck in limbo was a bright, inquisitive child, forced to rely on partial lipreading of rapid classroom instruction and interaction, and sound amplifiers that were often broken and always cumbersome.

R.C. Smith chronicles the Rowley family's dealings with school boards, lawyers, teachers, expert consultants, advocates, and supporters, and their staunch determination to get through the exhaustive process of presenting the case time after time to school adjudicative bodies and finally the federal courts. The author also documents his own "coming to awareness" about how the "able" see the "disabled."



In the series Health, Society, and Policy, edited by Sheryl Ruzek and Irving Kenneth Zola.

Virtually everyone supports religious liberty, and virtually everyone opposes discrimination. But how do we handle the hard questions that arise when exercises of religious liberty seem to discriminate unjustly? How do we promote the common good while respecting conscience in a diverse society? This point-counterpoint book brings together leading voices in the culture wars to debate such questions: John Corvino, a longtime LGBT-rights advocate, opposite Ryan T. Anderson and Sherif Girgis, prominent young social conservatives. Many such questions have arisen in response to same-sex marriage: How should we treat county clerks who do not wish to authorize such marriages, for example; or bakers, florists, and photographers who do not wish to provide same-sex wedding services? But the conflicts extend well beyond the LGBT rights arena. How should we treat hospitals, schools, and adoption agencies that can't in conscience follow antidiscrimination laws, healthcare mandates, and other regulations? Should corporations ever get exemptions? Should public officials? Should we keep controversial laws like the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or pass new ones like the First Amendment Defense Act? Should the law give religion and conscience special protection at all, and if so, why? What counts as discrimination, and when is it unjust? What kinds of material and dignitary harms should the law try to fight-and what is dignitary harm, anyway? Beyond the law, how should we treat religious beliefs and practices we find mistaken or even oppressive? Should we tolerate them or actively discourage them? In point-counterpoint format, Corvino, Anderson and Girgis explore these questions and more. Although their differences run deep, they tackle them with civility, clarity, and flair. Their debate is an essential contribution to contemporary discussions about why religious liberty matters and what respecting it requires.
This dynamic and comprehensive text from nationally renowned scholars continues to demonstrate the profound influence African Americans have had -- and continue to have -- on American politics. Through the use of two interrelated themes -- the idea of universal freedom and the concept of minority-majority coalitions -- the text demonstrates how the presence of Africans in the United States affected the founding of the Republic and its political institutions and processes. The authors show that through the quest for their own freedom in the United States, African Americans have universalized and expanded the freedoms of all Americans.

New to the Eighth Edition

A new co-author, Sherri L. Wallace, is renowned for her teaching, scholarship, and participation in APSA’s American government textbook assessment for coverage of race, ethnicity, and gender. She is the perfect addition following an election year that included female presidential candidates as well as candidates of color and issues focusing on racial tension and inequality.

Offers a new Media Integration Guide for the first time.

Provides the first overall assessment of the Obama administration in relation to domestic and foreign policy and racial politics in particular.

Updated through the 2016 elections, connecting the Obama years with the new administration. Looks at candidates Hillary Clinton and Ben Carson in particular in relation to the themes of the book.

Adds a new section on State Politics and Elections.

Includes new sections on intersectionality dealing with issues of race, gender and sexuality; LGBT issues as another manifestation of the struggle for universal freedom; a discussion of the "Black Lives Matter" movement; and a new section focusing on the changing character of black ethnicity as result of increased immigration from Africa and the Caribbean.

Discusses the way in which race contributed to the polarization of American politics; the connections to the Tea Party; and the Obama Presidency and the 2016 presidential campaign as the most polarized since the advent of polling.

Previews the impact of the Trump Administration on matters of race and ethnicity.

Written by two preeminent scholars of the subject, this book provides a panoramic view of the theory, research, and praxis of African American leadership. Walters and Smith offer a great deal to students of black leadership, as well as important strategy and policy recommendations for black leaders.

The book first presents a comprehensive assessment of the social science research literature on black leadership. It finds that older studies (1930s to 1960s) dealt with the nascent formation of leadership theory, where blacks were located predominantly in the context of southern politics and had to adopt a conservative to moderate leadership style. The authors also review and evaluate research on black leadership from the 1970s to the present and suggest attention be given to studies of leadership that involve community level leadership, female leaders, black mayors, and black conservatives.

African American Leadership also focuses on the practice of black leadership. It begins with an analysis of the roles of black leadership and historical analysis of strategies or “strategy shift.” The authors then provide illustrative case studies of the styles of black leadership. They examine the continued utilization of mass mobilization in the form of boycotts, direct action, and mass demonstrations and marches. The issue of collective black leadership or the framework of unity—an illusive but necessary form of community organization—is also explored, and serious attention is given to issues, recruitment, and deployment.
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