Ronald W. Walters and the Fight for Black Power, 1969-2010

Ronald W. Walters and the Fight for Black Power, 1969-2010

by Robert C. Smith

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Combines history and biography to interpret the last half century of black politics in America as represented in the life and work of a pivotal African American public intellectual.

From his leadership of the first modern lunch counter sit-ins at age twenty to his work on African American reparations at the time of his death at age seventy-two, Ronald W. Walters (1938–2010) was at the cutting edge of African American politics. A preeminent scholar, activist, and media commentator, he was founding chair of the Black Studies Department at Brandeis, where he shaped the epistemological parameters of the new discipline. Walters was an early strategist of congressional black power and a longtime advocate of a black presidential candidacy. His writings on the politics of race in America both predicted the constraints on President Obama in advancing African American interests and anticipated the emergence of the white nationalism found in the Tea Party and Donald Trump insurgency. In this fascinating book, Robert C. Smith combines history and biography to offer an overview of the last half century of black politics in America through the lens of the life and work of the man often described as the W. E. B. Du Bois of his time.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781438468686
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Publication date: 02/08/2018
Series: SUNY series in African American Studies
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 354
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Robert C. Smith is Professor of Political Science at San Francisco State University. His many books include African American Leadership, coauthored with Walters, and What Has This Got to Do with the Liberation of Black People? The Impact of Ronald W. Walters on African American Thought and Leadership (coedited with Cedric Johnson and Robert G. Newby), both also published by SUNY Press.

Table of Contents


1. Wichita to Washington

2. Black Power

3. Black Studies

4. Brandeis

5. Howard

6. Paradoxes of Black Power: Community, Culture, and Ideology

7. White Power, White Nationalism

8. Leadership in Search of Black Power

9. Black Power and Presidential Politics

10. Asking for the Moon: Black Power and Reparations

11. Black Power and Democracy in America: The Ultimate Paradox

12. Ronald Walters and the Long Black Intellectual Tradition

13. Fighting for the Black Perspective

Epilogue Ndaba
Note on Sources and Research
Selected Bibliography
About the Author

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