Dispatches from the Ebony Tower: Intellectuals Confront the African American Experience

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What constitutes black studies and where does this discipline stand at the end of the twentieth century? In this wide-ranging and original volume, Manning Marable - one of the leading scholars of African American history - gathers key materials from contemporary thinkers who interrogate the richly diverse content and multiple meanings of the collective experiences of black folk.
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Editorial Reviews

[Marable] has compiled a sophisticated collection that outlines the issues, organizes the history, and identifies the intellectual leaders who have guided black studies programs and the African American movement . . . Highly recommended for students and scholars of US history, upper-division undergraduates through professionals.
Robin D. G. Kelley
What an impressive gathering of minds! With political insight and intellectual acuity, Manning Marable has assembled key reflections, investigations and debates on Afro-America -and in doing so has produced one of the most profound statements on the contemporary United States in print. Representing a broad range of ideologies and opinions, Dispatches from the Ebony Tower will force us all to re-think the relationship between social struggles, scholarship, pedagogy, as well as the fundamental role race plays in modern American life.
Ethnic and Racial Studies
Marable has brought together incisive minds who display a willingness to be forhtright in their criticisms, yet who are clearly deeply invested in the future of African American Studies. . . . This collection is an essential read for those committed to maintaining a black racial presence on campuses in the US as well as elsewhere.
Margaret B. Wilkerson
As black studies scholars and programs celebrate three decades of scholarship and teaching, Manning Marable gives us a book that documents their history and intellectual achievements. Dispatches from the Ebony Tower is a rich compendium of essays that explores the global implications of this work, the taxonomy of these programs, the defining debates, and the relationship that this field, to its credit, insists upon maintaining with American life. This book is, quite simply, one that should be read by anyone who claims or wants to be informed about critical issues facing contemporary society and what leading intellectuals have to say.
George E. Curry
Dispatches from the Ebony Tower brings together an impressive array of intellectuals to examine the African American experience. The result is a lively and insightful debate that provides us with a framework for dealing with the last remnants of colonialism. In this unusual collection, Manning Marable and his colleagues provide us with an invaluable education while simultaneously honoring the rich legacies of W. E. B. Du Bois, Carter G. Woodson, and Ida B. Wells-Barnett. This is not a book anyone who purports to be well-informed can afford to miss.
Ethnic and Racial Studies

Marable has brought together incisive minds who display a willingness to be forhtright in their criticisms, yet who are clearly deeply invested in the future of African American Studies.... An essential read for those committed to maintaining a black racial presence on campuses in the US as well as elsewhere.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231114769
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 3/23/2000
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.29 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Manning Marable

Manning Marable is professor of history and political science and director of the Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University. He is the author of W.E. B. Du Bois: Black Radical Democrat; Speaking Truth to Power: Essays on Race, Resistance, and Radicalism; Race, Reform, and Rebellion: The Second Reconstruction in Black America, 1945-1990, and Black Leadership (Columbia, 1998).

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Black Studies and the Racial Mountain 1
Pt. 1 Theorizing the Black World: Race in the Postcolonial, Post-Civil Rights Era
1 Toward an Effective Antiracism 31
2 The Political Moment in Jamaica: The Dimensions of Hegemonic Dissolution 52
3 Sandoms and Other Exotic Women: Prostitution and Race in the Carribean 75
4 Race and Revolution in Cuba: African American Perspectives 90
5 The Fire This Time: Harlem and Its Discontents at the Turn of the Century 108
6 Crack Cocaine and Harlem's Health 121
Pt. 2 Mapping African American Studies
7 African American Studies and the "Warring Ideals": The Color Line Meets the Borderlands 141
8 The Future of Black Studies: Political Communities and the "Talented Tenth" 153
9 Black Studies and the Question of Class 158
10 Black Studies: A Critical Reassessment 162
11 Black Studies Revisited 171
12 Theorizing Black Studies: The Continuing Role of Community Service in the Study of Race and Class 177
13 A Debate on Activism in Black Studies 186
Pt. 3 Afrocentricity and Its Critics
14 Afrocentricity, Race, and Reason 195
15 Afrocentrics, Afro-elitists, and Afro-eccentrics: The Polarization of Black Studies Since the Student Struggles of the Sixties 204
16 Reclaiming Culture: The Dialectics of Identity 210
17 Afrocentrism, Cultural Nationalism, and the Problem with Essentialist Definitions of Race, Gender, and Sexuality 216
18 Afrocentricity and the American Dream 224
19 Multinational, Multicultural America Versus White Supremacy 236
Pt. 4 Race and Ethnicity in American Life
20 The Problematics of Ethnic Studies 243
21 Prophetic Alternatives: A Conversation with Cornel West 265
22 Race in American Life: A Conversation with John Hope Franklin 280
Contributors 301
About the Editor 309
Index 311
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