Contempt and Pity: Social Policy and the Image of the Damaged Black Psyche, 1880-1996 [NOOK Book]

Overview

For over a century, the idea that African Americans are psychologically damaged has played an important role in discussions of race. In this provocative work, Daryl Michael Scott argues that damage imagery has been the product of liberals and conservatives, of racists and antiracists. While racial conservatives, often playing on white contempt for blacks, have sought to use findings of black pathology to justify exclusionary policies, racial liberals have used damage imagery primarily to promote policies of ...
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Contempt and Pity: Social Policy and the Image of the Damaged Black Psyche, 1880-1996

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Overview

For over a century, the idea that African Americans are psychologically damaged has played an important role in discussions of race. In this provocative work, Daryl Michael Scott argues that damage imagery has been the product of liberals and conservatives, of racists and antiracists. While racial conservatives, often playing on white contempt for blacks, have sought to use findings of black pathology to justify exclusionary policies, racial liberals have used damage imagery primarily to promote policies of inclusion and rehabilitation. In advancing his argument, Scott challenges some long-held beliefs about the history of damage imagery. He rediscovers the liberal impulses behind Stanley Elkins's Sambo hypothesis and Daniel Patrick Moynihan's Negro Family and exposes the damage imagery in the work of Ralph Ellison, the leading anti-pathologist. He also corrects the view that the Chicago School depicted blacks as pathological products of matriarchy. New Negro experts such as Charles Johnson and E. Franklin Frazier, he says, disdained sympathy-seeking and refrained from exploring individual pathology. Scott's reassessment of social science sheds new light on Brown v. Board of Education, revealing how experts reversed four decades of theory in order to represent segregation as inherently damaging to blacks. In this controversial work, Scott warns the Left of the dangers in their recent rediscovery of damage imagery in an age of conservative reform.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Provides a thought-provoking, new history of how the "experts• have "depicted the personalities of black folk.'

American Historical Review

[A] wide-ranging history of how liberals as well as conservatives have used 'damage imagery' and the language of pathology.

Chronicle of Higher Education

[An] impressive and important book.

Alan Wolfe, New Republic

A consequential study that breaks new ground.

Choice

Scott's scholarship [is] thoughtful and insightful.

Journal of Southern History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807864425
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 5/12/1997
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 296
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Daryl Michael Scott is assistant professor of history at Columbia University.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 Amused Contempt and Pity: Exposing the Black Psyche in an Age of Racial Conservatism, 1880-1920 1
2 No Consensus, No Crisis, No Outrage: The Experts and Black Personality, 1919-1945 19
3 "Matriarchies" without Damaged Personalities: The Black Family in Social Science Imagery, 1928-1945 41
4 Of Pride and Scientism: Racial and Professional Ideologies and the Muted Image of the Damaged Black Psyche 57
5 Plumbing for Damage: The Black Psyche in Postwar Social Science 71
6 The Mark of Oppression: Liberal Ideology and Damage Imagery in Postwar Social Science 93
7 Justifying Equality: Damage Imagery, Brown v. Board of Education, and the American Creed 119
8 Beyond the American Creed: Damage Imagery and the Struggle for Race-Conscious Programs 137
9 Defining Pride and Redefining Racism: The Radical Assault on Liberal Damage Imagery, 1965-1980 161
10 The Resurgence of Damage Imagery: Representations of the Black Psyche in an Age of Conservative Reform, 1981-1996 187
Notes 203
Index 261
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