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This book maps the changing conditions of black political practice and experience from Emancipation to Obama with excursions into the Jim Crow era, Black Power radicalism, and the Reagan revolt. Here are essays, classic and new, that define historically and conceptually discrete problems affecting black Americans as these problems have been shaped by both politics and scholarly fashion. A key goal of the book is to come to terms with the changing terrain of American life in view of major civil rights court decisions and legislation.
Analyzes the key movements, institutions, and individuals that shaped the lives of black Americans from the time of the Jim Crow era to Barack Obama's election.
Brings together leading scholars from a variety of disciplines to cast a critical eye on common assumptions about race and black identity.
Provides original introductions to each part of the book to put the chapters in context for students and general readers.
Introduction Adolph Reed Jr. Kenneth W. Warren vii
Part I Emancipation, Reconstruction, and Retrenchment
1 Frederick Douglass's Life and Times: Progressive Rhetoric and the Problem of Constituency Kenneth W. Warren 3
2 “Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others”: The Political Economy of Racism in the United States Judith Stein 19
Part II The Jim Crow Era
3 How Black “Folk” Survived in the Modern South: Industrialization, Popular Culture, and the Transformation of Black Working-Class Leisure in the Jim Crow South William P. Jones 53
4 An Inevitable Drift? Oligarchy, Du Bois, and the Prospect of Democracy Between the Wars Kenneth W. Warren 80
5 The Educational Alliance and the Urban League in New York: Ethnic Elites and the Politics of Americanization and Racial Uplift, 1903-1932 Touré F. Reed 95
6 The Chicago School of Human Ecology and the Ideology of Black Civic Elites Preston H. Smith II 126
7 “What a Pure, Healthy, Unified Race Can Accomplish”: Collective Reproduction and the Sexual Politics of Black Nationalism Michele Mitchell 158
8 Black Power Nationalism as Ethnic Pluralism: Postwar Liberalism's Ethnic Paradigm in Black Radicalism Dean E. Robinson 184
Part III The Post-Jim Crow Era
9 The Postmodern Moment in Black Literary and Cultural Studies Madhu Dubey 217
10 The “Color Line” Then and Now: The Souls of Black Folk and the Changing Context of Black American Politics Adolph Reed Jr. 252
Conclusion Adolph Reed Jr. Kenneth W. Warren 304
About the Authors 323