Last Chance: The Political Threat to Black America [NOOK Book]

Overview

In the twentieth century, a broad consensus to fight racial discrimination linked black Americans of all social classes, and gave birth to a movement that paved the way for black political power.

Now, however, Black America is facing a moment of crisis. Despite the spectacular successes of some black Americans, such as Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey, many of the hopes of the Civil Rights Movement have not been realized. Crime still disproportionately afflicts black ...

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Last Chance: The Political Threat to Black America

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Overview

In the twentieth century, a broad consensus to fight racial discrimination linked black Americans of all social classes, and gave birth to a movement that paved the way for black political power.

Now, however, Black America is facing a moment of crisis. Despite the spectacular successes of some black Americans, such as Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey, many of the hopes of the Civil Rights Movement have not been realized. Crime still disproportionately afflicts black neighborhoods, and more black males are in prison than in college. The National Urban League and the NAACP have become calcified and passé; and the GOP has effectively abandoned any pretense of offering blacks a political home.

Black America is at a turning point, though. The Democratic victories of 2006, the collapse of the Republican Party, and the galvanizing impact of the Obama candidacy are all signs of hope that the momentum of its decline into political insignificance can be reversed. The 2008 Election is Black America's last chance.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
"The more things change, the more things stay the same," observes former New York Times and Washington Post reporter Daniels in this modern take on the ills of inequality. He frames his argument around the candidacy of Barack Obama, the biracial Democrat whose unlikely success in the quest for the presidency has resurrected a long-dormant discussion about race in America. Daniels places special emphasis on a paradox of relatively recent development: Unprecedented achievement by high-profile blacks like Obama has overshadowed the poverty in which the majority of African-Americans still struggle. The author doesn't cover much new territory, but his updates of oft-discussed troubles are particularly relevant in this historic election year. Among the issues he revisits and reconsiders: affirmative action, black identity and a failure of the traditional sources of African-American leadership. He bombards the reader with statistics and data seemingly without end but weaves them skillfully into the text with a literary aplomb. His exploration of the Republican Party's failure to integrate black politicians or woo an African-American constituency is particularly engaging. Conspicuously missing from this otherwise balanced text, however, is an equally substantial investigation of the Democrats' flaws. Daniels's frank discussion of the failure of black civil society shines brightest. The editor for ten years of the National Urban League's flagship publications, he takes both his former employer and the NAACP to task for failing to provide a cohesive national platform. Their ineffectiveness stems, he argues, from diversifying and delegating too many responsibilities to smaller organizations and areluctance to embrace the new tool of social organizing-the Internet. Daniels also weaves into his theme such recent notes as the Jena Six, the University of Michigan's affirmative-action policies and Obama's degree of blackness. Re-conceives the dialogue about race in America, which is too often reduced to glib generalities due to a false sense of propriety and desire for harmony at any price. Agent: Sarah Lazin/Sarah Lazin Books
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786721559
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 6/10/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 528
  • File size: 345 KB

Meet the Author

Lee Daniels was until 2005 the editor of the National Urban League's public-policy journal The State of Black America. He was for twenty years a reporter for The New York Times and The Washington Post. Born in Boston, he now lives in New York City.
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Table of Contents

1 Can We Talk? America's Proper Obsession with Race and Color 1

2 Never Had It So Good...But 31

3 Black America's Modern Migration 55

4 No Choice: Blacks and the GOP 89

5 Blacker than Who? The Furious Debate over Black Identity 125

6 Telling the Stories That Have Not Been Told: Reconstructing Black Civil Society 159

Acknowledgments 197

Notes 201

Index 211

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