In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics of Black America

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Overview

In this provocative book, Eddie S. Glaude Jr. makes an impassioned plea for black America to address its social problems by recourse to experience and with an eye set on the promise and potential of the future, rather than the fixed ideas and categories of the past. Central to Glaude's mission is a rehabilitation of philosopher John Dewey, whose ideas, he argues, can be fruitfully applied to a renewal of African American politics.

According to Glaude, Dewey's pragmatism, when attentive to the darker dimensions of life-or what we often speak of as the blues-can address many of the conceptual problems that plague contemporary African American discourse. How blacks think about themselves, how they imagine their own history, and how they conceive of their own actions can be rendered in ways that escape bad ways of thinking that assume a tendentious political unity among African Americans simply because they are black. Glaude seeks to dislodge such simplistic thinking and argues that only when black political leaders acknowledge complexity can the real-life sufferings of many African Americans be remedied, an argument echoed in the rhetoric and optimism of the Barack Obama presidential campaign.

In a Shade of Blue is a remarkable work of political commentary, and to follow its trajectory is to learn how African Americans arrived at this critical moment in their cultural and political history, as well as to envision where they might head in the twenty-first century.

About the Author:
Eddie S. Glaude Jr. is the William S. Tod Professor of Religion and African American Studies at Princeton University

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of the American Academy of Religion
An audacious attempt to wrestle with the significant theoretical and polit
— Corey D. B. Walker
Journal of the American Academy of Religion - Corey D. B. Walker

"An audacious attempt to wrestle with the significant theoretical and polit

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226298252
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 10/15/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Eddie S. Glaude Jr. is theWilliam S. Tod Professor of Religion and African American Studies at Princeton University. He is the author of Exodus! Religion, Race, and Nation in Early Nineteenth-Century Black America and editor of Is It Nation Time? Contemporary Essays on Black Power and Black Nationalism, both published by the University of Chicago Press.

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Table of Contents


Preface     ix
Acknowledgments     xiii
In a Shade of Blue: An Introduction     1
Tragedy and Moral Experience: John Dewey and Toni Morrison's Beloved     17
"Black and Proud": Reconstructing Black Identity     47
"Ethiopia Shall Stretch Forth Her Hands unto God": The Problem of History in Black Theology     66
Agency, Slavery, and African American Christianity     89
Explicating Black Nationalism     111
The Eclipse of a Black Public and the Challenge of a Post-Soul Politics     127
Epilogue: The Covenant with Black America     151
Notes     157
Index     177
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