Nation of Cowards: Black Activism in Barack Obama's Post-Racial America [NOOK Book]

Overview

In a speech from which Nation of Cowards derives its title, Attorney General Eric
Holder argued forcefully that Americans today need to talk more—not less—about racism.
This appeal for candid talk about race exposes the paradox of Barack Obama’s historic rise to
the US presidency and the ever-increasing social and economic instability of ...

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Nation of Cowards: Black Activism in Barack Obama's Post-Racial America

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Overview

In a speech from which Nation of Cowards derives its title, Attorney General Eric
Holder argued forcefully that Americans today need to talk more—not less—about racism.
This appeal for candid talk about race exposes the paradox of Barack Obama’s historic rise to
the US presidency and the ever-increasing social and economic instability of African American
communities. David H. Ikard and Martell Lee Teasley maintain that such a conversation can take place
only with passionate and organized pressure from black Americans, and that neither Obama nor any
political figure is likely to be in the forefront of addressing issues of racial inequality and
injustice. The authors caution blacks not to slip into an accommodating and self-defeating
"post-racial" political posture, settling for the symbolic capital of a black
president instead of demanding structural change. They urge the black community to challenge the
social terms on which it copes with oppression, including acts of self-imposed
victimization.

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Editorial Reviews

Reiland Rabaka

"A clarion call to our nation's conscience. Free from overly academic jargon, but full of powerful wordplay and brilliant juxtapositions, this book is a fascinating tour de force from start to finish. Those seeking a clear and concise explanation of the state of African America and the ongoing need for a 'black agenda' during–and even after–the administration of the first African American president need look no further." —Reiland Rabaka, author of Forms of Fanonism; Against Epistemic Apartheid; and Hip Hop’s Amnesia

Vijay Prashad

"A smart and energetic book that unravels the political grammar of hesitancy around questions of race in the United States. It walks us through the political minefield, revealing what appears to be a 21st century debate between Booker Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois, around jeremiads for personal responsibility to structural analyses of systematic racism, between thrusting the blame for disparity on the poor to pointing fingers at the immense theft of social wealth by the rich. A thoughtful book that will be a useful guide in a divisive election year." —Vijay Prashad, author of Uncle Swami: South Asian in America Today

Jelani Cobb

"Nation of Cowards offers an analysis of the Obama administration is as thorough as it is compact. Here are the hard questions that must be asked of the first black presidency and an insightful draft of how history may regard it. Ikard and Teasley are well ahead of that curve." —Jelani Cobb, author of The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama & the Paradox of Progress

From the Publisher

"A smart and energetic book that unravels the political grammar of hesitancy around questions of race in the United States. It walks us through the political minefield, revealing what appears to be a 21st century debate between Booker Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois, around jeremiads for personal responsibility to structural analyses of systematic racism, between thrusting the blame for disparity on the poor to pointing fingers at the immense theft of social wealth by the rich. A
thoughtful book that will be a useful guide in a divisive election year." —Vijay Prashad,
author of Uncle Swami: South Asian in America Today

"A clarion call to our nation's conscience. Free from overly academic jargon, but full of powerful wordplay and brilliant juxtapositions, this book is a fascinating tour de force from start to finish. Those seeking a clear and concise explanation of the state of African America and the ongoing need for a 'black agenda' during–and even after–the administration of the first African American president need look no further." —Reiland Rabaka, author of Forms of Fanonism; Against Epistemic Apartheid; and Hip Hop’s Amnesia

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253007018
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2012
  • Series: Blacks in the Diaspora
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 1,244,598
  • File size: 579 KB

Meet the Author

David H. Ikard is Associate Professor of English at Florida State University and
author of Breaking the Silence: Toward a Black Male Feminist Criticism. His blog "Nation of
Cowards" (nationofcowards.blogspot.com) takes up contemporary racial topics and engages a wider
intellectual and activist community.

Martell Lee Teasley is Professor and Chair of
the Department of Social Work at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Is America a Nation of Cowards or Has Attorney General Eric Holder Lost
His Mind?
1. The Teaching Moment that Never Was: Henry Louis Gates, Barack Obama, and the
Post-Racial Dilemma
2. "I Know What’s in His Heart": Enlightened
Exceptionalism and the Problem with Using Barack Obama as the Racial Litmus Test for Black Progress
and Achievement
3. The Audacity of Reverend Wright: Speaking Truth to Power in the 21st
Century
4. Setting the Record Straight: Why Barack Obama and America Cannot Afford to
Ignore a Black Agenda
5. Pull Yourself Up by Your Bootstraps: Barack Obama, the Black Poor,
and the Problems of Racial Common Sense
Index

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