Against The Odds: Scholars Who Challenge

Overview

Over the course of the past century the struggle againstracism took many forms, from petitions and lawsuits to sit-ins and marches. This book records the testimony of eleven scholar-activists who challenged prevailing racial beliefs and practices while engaging in resistance and reform. Included in this group are nine African Americans (Kenneth B. Clark, St. Clair Drake, W. E. B. Du Bois, John Hope Franklin, John Glover Jackson, Hylan Lewis, Frank Snowden Jr., and Robert C. Weaver); one Sri Lankan who lives and ...
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Overview

Over the course of the past century the struggle againstracism took many forms, from petitions and lawsuits to sit-ins and marches. This book records the testimony of eleven scholar-activists who challenged prevailing racial beliefs and practices while engaging in resistance and reform. Included in this group are nine African Americans (Kenneth B. Clark, St. Clair Drake, W. E. B. Du Bois, John Hope Franklin, John Glover Jackson, Hylan Lewis, Frank Snowden Jr., and Robert C. Weaver); one Sri Lankan who lives and works in Britain (A. Sivanandan); and one white American (Herbert Aptheker).

Most of these men began their careers before World War II, in a time when biological conceptions of race dominated public policy and severely limited opportunities available to people of color. By struggling with these impediments to their personal and professional lives, each in his own way helped redefine race as the social and cultural construct it has always been.

To highlight both the similarities and the differences in their experiences, the editors asked each of the subjects the same set of general questions about formative influences, major obstacles, and principal accomplishments. These were followed by more narrowly focused queries about specific writings. Most of the responses were recorded on tape as interviews; several were submitted as written reminiscences; and one, the essay on Du Bois, was the shared recollection of two associates who had worked closely with him for many years.

"This collection of autobiographical and biographical essays, by a cross-section of scholars who challenged racism, is a rare jewel. . . . It would be an excellent supplementary text for courses on race relations, social inequality, institutional racism, and social movements and social change."—Contemporary Sociology

"A must for all libraries. . . . These interview-essays review scholarly lives in revealing detail. Readers discover much new about individual scholars; more importantly, we learn much about the racist history against which black scholars had to struggle with great difficulty. . . . [The editors] develop excellent opening and concluding overviews. . . .Summing up: Essential."— Choice

BENJAMIN P. BOWSER is professor of sociology and social services at California State University, Hayward.

LOUIS KUSHNICK is professor in race relations and director of the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Archive at the University of Manchester.

PAUL GRANT is a lecturer in sociology at the University of Wolverhampton.

A Choice Outstanding Academic Book.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
Provides life stories of 11 major scholars who profoundly shaped the character of 20th century scholarship on racial matters. These interview-essays review scholarly lives in revealing detail.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558494749
  • Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
  • Publication date: 11/3/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction : moving the race mountain 1
1 A world libertarian : John Glover Jackson 20
2 Portrait of a liberation scholar : John Henrik Clarke 27
3 A lifetime of inquiry : Frank Snowden, Jr. 41
4 Writing about African Americans in American history : the career of John Hope Franklin 63
5 Studies of the African diaspora : the work and reflections of St. Clair Drake 86
6 Blending scholarship with public service : Robert C. Weaver 111
7 Pursuing fieldwork in African American communities : some personal reflections of Hylan Lewis 123
8 An architect of social change : Kenneth B. Clark 147
9 Personal reflections on W. E. B. Du Bois : the person, scholar, and activist 158
10 Vindication in speaking truth to power : Herbert Aptheker 193
11 Catching history on the wing : A. Sivanandan as activist, teacher, and rebel 227
Conclusion : of Jim Crow old and new 243
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