In April 1992, the world witnessed a renewal in South-Central Los Angeles of the urban violence that had exploded there over a quarter of a century earlier. As in the Watts rebellion of 1965, the spark that ignited the firestorm was Black rage over police brutality. But in both eras the tinder was prepared by decades of social neglect and political disenfranchisement that have left the predominantly non-white urban poor trapped and virtually without hope. Race, Politics, and Economic Development examines the underlying causes of Black urban poverty and recommends means to escape the seemingly endless cycle of retributive violence that it spawns. The book brings together Black activists and scholars, including two former mayors of American cities, to analyze the theoretical and practical problems facing the Black community in the United States. The essays argue that political influence, power and wealth are major factors in determining social welfare policies; that both liberal and conservative policies are no longer effective in alleviating a growing human service crisis among Blacks; and that political mobilisation of the Black community is absolutely critical in resolving the problem of poverty in urban America. Drawing on work in the social sciences, political theory and economics, and also on the contributors‘ activist experiences, these essays present an agenda for the participation of grassroots Black leaders in developing and implementing urban policy.
About the Author