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Houston A. Baker Jr. condemns black intellectuals who, he believes, have turned their backs on the tradition of racial activism in America. In their literature, speeches, and academic and public behavior, Baker identifies a “hungry generation” eager for power, respect, and money.
Baker seeks to understand the shaping of these new public figures. He also revisits classical sites of African American literary and historical criticism and devotes chapters to the writing and thought of such black academic superstars as Cornel West, Michael Eric Dyson, and Henry Louis Gates Jr.; Hoover Institution senior fellow Shelby Steele; Yale law professor Stephen Carter; and Manhattan Institute fellow John McWhorter. Baker's provocative investigation exposes what he deems to be a tragic betrayal of the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. He urges black intellectuals to reestablish sacred and secular connections with local communities and rediscover the value of social responsibility.
— Erin Aubry Kaplan
— Lolis Eric Elie
— Hanes Walton Jr.
PrefaceIntroduction: Little AfricaJail: Southern Detention to Global LiberationFriends Like These: Race and NeoconservatismAfter Civil Rights: The Rise of Black Public IntellectualsHave Mask, Will Travel: Centrists from the Ivy LeagueA Capital Fellow from Hoover: Shelby SteeleReflections of a First Amendment Trickster: Stephen CarterMan Without Connection: John McWhorterAmerican Myth: Illusions of Liberty and Justice for AllPrison: Colored Bodies, Private ProfitConclusion: What Then Must We Do? Notes Bibliography Index
Columbia University Press