Dark Thoughts: Race and the Eclipse of Society

Overview

In Dark Thoughts, eminent sociologist Charles Lemert dares to say, and explain, what everyone already knows - that the modern world was built on the need of white people to pretend they are not as dark as the next person.

Delving poignantly into the history and literature of domination, Lemert retells key moments of the twentieth-century by profiling figures like W.E.B. DuBois, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Anna Julia Cooper, Nella Larson, Malcolm X, and Muhammad Ali. In a rare and ...

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Overview

In Dark Thoughts, eminent sociologist Charles Lemert dares to say, and explain, what everyone already knows - that the modern world was built on the need of white people to pretend they are not as dark as the next person.

Delving poignantly into the history and literature of domination, Lemert retells key moments of the twentieth-century by profiling figures like W.E.B. DuBois, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Anna Julia Cooper, Nella Larson, Malcolm X, and Muhammad Ali. In a rare and unflinching look at his own complicated history, Lemert also explores his own racism, his struggle with the suicide of his oldest son, as well as growing up as the virtual son of a black mother and his life now as the real father of an African-American daughter. Dark Thoughts speaks to the most urgent social issues at the beginning of the twenty-first century: race relations, multiculturalism, and social justice.

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Editorial Reviews

Louise DeSalvo
A dazzling tour-de-force that will unsettle you, astonish you, make you think, and maybe make you weep...I came away thrilled and inspired.
Joe Feagin
No reader will leave this book unmoved. Writing with optimistic pessimism of this society's dark divisions, Charles Lemert is a one-of-a-kind sociological voice.
Immanuel Wallerstein
If you are ready to reflect on your values and your society in eclipse, then this book will be an invaluable help to you.
Judith Stacey
A work of shimmering beauty and originality.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415934459
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 8/28/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Lemert is Andrus Professor of Sociology at Wesleyan University and is the author of numerous books, most recently Social Things, and Postmodernism is Not What You Think.

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Table of Contents

Dark Days, September 11, 2001 1
Pt. I The Beginnings of a Millennium, 1990s
The Coming of My Last Born, April 8, 1998 19
The Eclipse of Society, 1901-2001 23
Blood and Skin, 1999 45
Whose We? Dark Thoughts of the Universal Self, 1998 49
A Call in the Morning, 1988 75
The Rights and Justices of the Multicultural Panic, 1990s 79
Pt. II The Last New Century, 1890s
Calling out Father by Calling up His Mother, 1947 99
The Colored Woman's Office: Anna Julia Cooper, 1892 105
Get on Home, 1949 137
Bad Dreams of Big Business: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 1898 141
All Kinds of People Gettin' On, 1954 165
The Color Line: W. E. B. Du Bois, 1903 169
Pt. III Between, Before and Beyond, 1873-2020
When Good People Do Evil, 1989 193
The Queer Passing of Analytic Things: Nella Larsen, 1929 197
What Would Jesus Have Done? 1965 221
The Race of Time: Deconstruction, Du Bois, and Reconstruction, 1935-1873 223
Dreaming in the Dark, November 26, 1997 247
Justice in the Colonizer's Nightmare: Muhammad, Malcolm, and Necessary Drag, 1965-2020 251
A Call in the Night, February 11, 2000 277
The Gospel According to Matt: Suicide and the Good of Society, 2000 281
Acknowledgments 297
Endnotes 299
Index 323
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