×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Ghosts of Jim Crow: Ending Racism in Post-Racial America
     

Ghosts of Jim Crow: Ending Racism in Post-Racial America

4.5 2
by F. Michael Higginbotham
 

See All Formats & Editions

A provocative, and timely, solution for ridding America of the traces of Jim Crow policies to create a truly post-racial landscape When America inaugurated its first African American president, in 2009, many wondered if the country had finally become a "post-racial" society. Was this the dawning of a new era, in which America, a nation nearly

Overview

A provocative, and timely, solution for ridding America of the traces of Jim Crow policies to create a truly post-racial landscape When America inaugurated its first African American president, in 2009, many wondered if the country had finally become a "post-racial" society. Was this the dawning of a new era, in which America, a nation nearly severed in half by slavery, and whose racial fault lines are arguably among its most enduring traits, would at last move beyond race with the election of Barack Hussein Obama?   In Ghosts of Jim Crow, F. Michael Higginbotham convincingly argues that America remains far away from that imagined utopia. Indeed, the shadows of Jim Crow era laws and attitudes continue to perpetuate insidious, systemic prejudice and racism in the 21st century. Higginbotham’s extensive research demonstrates how laws and actions have been used to maintain a racial paradigm of hierarchy and separation—both historically, in the era of lynch mobs and segregation, and today—legally, economically, educationally and socially.   Using history as a roadmap, Higginbotham arrives at a provocative solution for ridding the nation of Jim Crow’s ghost, suggesting that legal and political reform can successfully create a post-racial America, but only if it inspires whites and blacks to significantly alter behaviors and attitudes of race-based superiority and victimization. He argues that America will never achieve its full potential unless it truly enters a post-racial era, and believes that time is of the essence as competition increases globally.  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Challenging the notion that history has finally produced a post-racial America, University of Baltimore law professor Higginbotham (Race Law: Cases, Commentary, and Questions) contributes an indispensable perspective on an enduring “racial paradigm” in contemporary American society, while insisting, with concrete proposals, that true racial equality remains within reach. Despite undeniable progress and real gains for African-Americans (and other minorities) since 1954’s landmark Brown v. Board decision, the author points to the “astonishing” socioeconomic gap persisting between whites and blacks. Dismissing conservative arguments that devolve responsibility for the lasting socioeconomic gap solely onto blacks themselves, Higginbotham’s historical analysis (resting on legal case histories and an extensive secondary literature) describes an interdependent set of structural and cultural factors: false beliefs of white superiority on the one hand, black victimization on the other, sustained by notions of racial hierarchy. With the aim of ending the paradigm, Higginbotham recommends several reasoned, if familiar, liberal panaceas, including expanding successful affirmative action strategies, acknowledging racism publically, and issuing reparations for its historically harmful effects. These may well prove the most contentious aspects of his narrative, but the solutions are put forward in a preliminary manner, inviting further discussion. His preceding careful analysis is the more concrete offering, and makes clear the necessity of such discussions. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
"Higginbotham's extensive research demonstrates how laws and actions have been used to maintain a racial paradigm of hierarchy and separation - both historically, in the era of lynch mobs and segregation, and today - legally, economically, educationally, and socially....Using history as a roadmap, Higginbotham arrives at provocative solution for ridding the nation of Jim Crow's ghost, suggesting that legal and political reform can successfully create a post-racial America, but only if it inspires whites and blacks to significantly alter behavior and attitudes of race-based superiority and victimization. He argues that America will never achieve its full potential unless it truly enters a post-racial era, and believes that time is of the essence as competition increases globally."- Philadelphia Tribune ,Bobbi Booker

"Rarely do Americans have the chance to speak freely about race to people beyond their own group. Higginbotham’s analysis provides a clear understanding of what it will mean to have a truly post-racial society in America, and what Americans of all races will need to do to bring about such a society. Ghosts of Jim Crow also provides an excellent foundation for robust dialogue among Americans about issues involving race and racism, from notions about racial superiority and inferiority to the unfortunate, continuing separation of the races, and victimization of African Americans. Higginbotham’s work reflects a level of honesty one rarely encounters because it challenges Americans, regardless of point of view, to look in the mirror and think about preconceived notions."-Freeman A. Hrabowski, III,President, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

A vision of enhancing racial equality—or simply lessening racial inequality—in America.
By African-American legal scholar Higginbotham’s account, it wasn’t until he entered a well-heeled private school that he encountered the N-word thrown his way. When it was, a white coach cracked down hard, issuing “a zero tolerance policy for racial epithets.” No more such epithets were forthcoming, though not necessarily out of any inborn kindness on the part of the man who cast that first stone. The takeaway for Higginbotham: Civil rights movements on the part of the oppressed are well and good, but “whites needed to stand up against racism in order for it to cease.” Things are better in some respects than in the 1960s, but, writes the author, the formula has changed. Blacks—and, to a greater or lesser extent, other nonwhite ethnic groups—are no longer judged and discriminated against strictly on the basis of race, but also on factors of class, education, income and access to political power, among others. For example, regarding sports: “Recruited black players could play in games, but ‘walk-on’ black players could not.” Against such broadband exclusion, Higginbotham mounts a spirited defense of affirmative action policies that is backed by good case law and by common sense—or at least a sense of fair play, for, as he notes, few complain about legacy students getting into a particular college, but people certainly do complain when the numbers of black—or Asian or Hispanic—students go up, particularly if there is a perception that they are somehow undeserving. America may be trending toward justice, but that trend is slow. Otherwise, Higginbotham asks elsewhere in this searching argument, why is there a disproportionate number of homeless blacks?
A book worthy of a wide audience and wide discussion.- Kirkus Reviews

"Using the fiftieth anniversary of the 1954 Brown decision as his focus, legal-scholar Higginbotham addresses the legacy of America’s racial past and its impact on race equity today. What he wants is a new conversation on race that acknowledges the old paradigm of whites at the top and blacks at the bottom of a racial hierarchy, a model that continues to this day. Higginbotham reviews the history of slavery and Jim Crow–legalized segregation and its contemporary adaptations, with the objective of dismantling the old model that is manifested in significant black separation. He focuses on false notions of white superiority, black separation and white isolation, and black victimization. Changes in the law now place proof of disparate impact over proof of intent and go beyond the employment arena, but Higginbotham argues that we must consider our racial history and legal practices that continue to reduce racial inequality. If the courts and the nation as a whole valued racial diversity as a compelling state interest, affirmative action would be seen as an active tool to reduce racial isolation, which undercuts the pursuit of racial equity."-Vernon Ford, Booklist Online

" Ghosts of Jim Crow is an important work at a crucial time for our nation. Higginbotham offers scholarly insight into how America's race problem was created with a compelling prescription for its elimination."-Benjamin Todd Jealous,President & CEO of the NAACP

"In Ghosts of Jim Crow , Higginbotham provides a thoughtful and perceptive discussion on the role of race in America today. His keen legal analysis and compelling narrative has resulted in a fascinating examination of how far we have come as a nation, but more importantly, of how far we have to go."-Barbara A. Mikulski,U.S. Senator for Maryland

"I suggest this book for everyone. It was interesting to see how the ghosts of Jim Crow are still lurking where they really shouldn't be."- Goodreads ,Patrice Hoffman

"The book largely succeeds in proving that a longstanding racial paradigm continues to prevent equal opportunities for blacks and other people of color in this country—and demonstrating how this paradigm has survived through almost four centuries based on different means of oppression. Higginbotham liberally cites statistics and court cases, making the book an excellent addition as required reading for a university course." - California Lawyer

" Ghosts of Jim Crow clearly understands that the most effective approach will dismantle both the cultural underpinnings of white superiority and black inferiority as well as the legal and structural cornerstones of racial inequality. If we are going to become 'one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,' and free ourselves of the ghosts of Jim Crow, we will need our common paths illumined by Higginbotham's capacious wisdom and compassion."-Alex Mikulich, National Catholic Reporter

Kirkus Reviews
A vision of enhancing racial equality--or simply lessening racial inequality--in America. By African-American legal scholar Higginbotham's account, it wasn't until he entered a well-heeled private school that he encountered the N-word thrown his way. When it was, a white coach cracked down hard, issuing "a zero tolerance policy for racial epithets." No more such epithets were forthcoming, though not necessarily out of any inborn kindness on the part of the man who cast that first stone. The takeaway for Higginbotham: Civil rights movements on the part of the oppressed are well and good, but "whites needed to stand up against racism in order for it to cease." Things are better in some respects than in the 1960s, but, writes the author, the formula has changed. Blacks--and, to a greater or lesser extent, other nonwhite ethnic groups--are no longer judged and discriminated against strictly on the basis of race, but also on factors of class, education, income and access to political power, among others. For example, regarding sports: "Recruited black players could play in games, but ‘walk-on' black players could not." Against such broadband exclusion, Higginbotham mounts a spirited defense of affirmative action policies that is backed by good case law and by common sense--or at least a sense of fair play, for, as he notes, few complain about legacy students getting into a particular college, but people certainly do complain when the numbers of black--or Asian or Hispanic--students go up, particularly if there is a perception that they are somehow undeserving. America may be trending toward justice, but that trend is slow. Otherwise, Higginbotham asks elsewhere in this searching argument, why is there a disproportionate number of homeless blacks? A book worthy of a wide audience and wide discussion.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814760901
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
03/18/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
515,445
File size:
2 MB

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Rarely do Americans have the chance to speak freely about race to people beyond their own group. Higginbotham’s analysis provides a clear understanding of what it will mean to have a truly post-racial society in America, and what Americans of all races will need to do to bring about such a society. Ghosts of Jim Crow also provides an excellent foundation for robust dialogue among Americans about issues involving race and racism, from notions about racial superiority and inferiority to the unfortunate, continuing separation of the races, and victimization of African Americans. Higginbotham’s work reflects a level of honesty one rarely encounters because it challenges Americans, regardless of point of view, to look in the mirror and think about preconceived notions."-Freeman A. Hrabowski, III,President, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

"In Ghosts of Jim Crow, Higginbotham provides a thoughtful and perceptive discussion on the role of race in America today. His keen legal analysis and compelling narrative has resulted in a fascinating examination of how far we have come as a nation, but more importantly, of how far we have to go."-Barbara A. Mikulski,U.S. Senator for Maryland

"Ghosts of Jim Crow is an important work at a crucial time for our nation. Higginbotham offers scholarly insight into how America's race problem was created with a compelling prescription for its elimination."-Benjamin Todd Jealous,President & CEO of the NAACP

A vision of enhancing racial equality—or simply lessening racial inequality—in America. By African-American legal scholar Higginbotham’s account, it wasn’t until he entered a well-heeled private school that he encountered the N-word thrown his way. When it was, a white coach cracked down hard, issuing “a zero tolerance policy for racial epithets.” No more such epithets were forthcoming, though not necessarily out of any inborn kindness on the part of the man who cast that first stone. The takeaway for Higginbotham: Civil rights movements on the part of the oppressed are well and good, but “whites needed to stand up against racism in order for it to cease.” Things are better in some respects than in the 1960s, but, writes the author, the formula has changed. Blacks—and, to a greater or lesser extent, other nonwhite ethnic groups—are no longer judged and discriminated against strictly on the basis of race, but also on factors of class, education, income and access to political power, among others. For example, regarding sports: “Recruited black players could play in games, but ‘walk-on’ black players could not.” Against such broadband exclusion, Higginbotham mounts a spirited defense of affirmative action policies that is backed by good case law and by common sense—or at least a sense of fair play, for, as he notes, few complain about legacy students getting into a particular college, but people certainly do complain when the numbers of black—or Asian or Hispanic—students go up, particularly if there is a perception that they are somehow undeserving. America may be trending toward justice, but that trend is slow. Otherwise, Higginbotham asks elsewhere in this searching argument, why is there a disproportionate number of homeless blacks? A book worthy of a wide audience and wide discussion.-Kirkus Reviews

Meet the Author

F. Michael Higginbotham is Dean Joseph Curtis Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore School of Law. He is the author of Race Law: Cases, Commentary, and Questions.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Ghosts of Jim Crow: Ending Racism in Post-Racial America 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
WilliamBT More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book that F. Michael Higginbotham has put together. I recommend this book for everyone to read as it relates to Race Relations in the United States. This is a most read for all. F. Michael Higginbotham went all the way in explaining how African Americans face racism during the Jim Crow error. All African Americans need to read this book. A great job. William B. Turner Author
Anonymous More than 1 year ago