Drawing primarily on the US #blacklivesmatter movement, contributors to this issue come to terms with the crisis in the meaning of black politics during the post–civil rights era as evidenced in the unknown trajectories of black protests. The authors' timely essays frame black protests and the implications of contemporary police killings of black people as symptomatic of a crisis in black politics within the white limits of liberal democracy.
Topics in this issue include the contemporary politics of black rage; the significance of the Ferguson and Baltimore black protests in circumventing formal electoral politics; the ways in which centering the dead black male body draws attention away from other daily forms of racial and gender violence that particularly affect black women; the problem of white nationalisms motivated by a sense of white grievance; the international and decolonial dimensions of black politics; and the relation between white sovereignty and black life politics.
Despite being characterized as a “nation of immigrants,” the United States has seen a long history of immigrant rights struggles. In her timely book Against the Deportation Terror, Rachel Ida Buff uncovers this multiracial history. She traces the story of the American Committee for the Protection of the Foreign Born (ACPFB) from its origins in the 1930s through repression during the early Cold War, to engagement with “new” Latinx and Caribbean immigrants in the 1970s and early 1980s.
Functioning as a hub connecting diverse foreign-born communities and racial justice advocates, the ACPFB responded to various, ongoing crises of what they called “the deportation terror.” Advocates worked against repression, discrimination, detention, and expulsion in migrant communities across the nation at the same time as they supported reform of federal immigration policy. Prevailing in some cases and suffering defeats in others, the story of the ACPFB is characterized by persistence in multiracial organizing even during periods of protracted repression.
By tracing the work of the ACPFB and its allies over half a century, Against the Deportation Terror provides important historical precedent for contemporary immigrant rights organizing. Its lessons continue to resonate today.
The political and social impact that Albert A. Peña Jr. had on the lives of Mexican Americans, and later Chicanos, is by all counts immeasurable. However, in part because Chicano biography has traditionally been a neglected research area among academics generally and Chicano Studies scholars specifically, his life’s work has not featured prominently in any biographical work to date, making this volume the first of its kind. It provides a richly detailed documentation of Peña’s life and career, from blue collar worker to judge and essay writer, spanning nearly ninety years. Readers will find that at the heart of his story is a focus on grassroots organizing and politics, sharing leadership, and a commitment to social justice.
In the first book-length study of Storer College, Dawne Raines Burke tells the story of the historically black institution from its Reconstruction origins to its demise in 1955. Established by Northern Baptists in the abolitionist flashpoint of Harpers Ferry, Storer was the first college open to African Americans in West Virginia, and it played a central role in regional and national history. In addition to educating generations of students of all races, genders, and creeds, Storer served as the second meeting place (and the first on U.S. soil) for the Niagara Movement, a precursor to the NAACP.
An American Phoenix provides a comprehensive and extensively illustrated history of this historically black college, bringing to life not just the institution but many of the individuals who taught or were educated there. It fills a significant gap in our knowledge of African American history and the struggle for rights in West Virginia and the wider world.
Questions of human rights are among the most pressing and intractable matters at this historical moment. If claims to human rights are by definition universal, the formulation, legislation, and implementation of them tend to be significantly less than universal. And Justice for All? a special issue of SAQ, examines the idea and the reality of human rights and their attendant discourses. The essays gathered here—from academics and activists working in law, philosophy, political theory, literature, medicine, and ngos—collectively interrogate these universal claims to human rights and the political justice that may or may not follow from them.
Grappling with the philosophical and theoretical questions at the heart of human rights, these essays take into consideration current political configurations such as sovereignty, genocide, humanitarian intervention, and the neglected domain of cultural rights (the right to a cultural identity). Drawing on Enlightenment thinking about human rights at the same time that they analyze the central concepts at work there—including the “humanity of man” and the nature of rights or of law—the contributors make a necessary intervention in a world system that Enlightenment thinkers could scarcely have envisioned.
Contributors. Etienne Balibar, Rony Brauman, Wendy Brown, Rebecca Comay, Jacques Derrida, Paul Downes, Werner Hamacher, Thomas Keenan, Susan Maslan, Jacques Rancière, Bruce Robbins, Avital Ronell, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Elsa Stamatopoulou, Slavoj Zizek
We all know what happened at Wounded Knee . . . don't we?
In this powerful and essential work, Elizabeth Cook-Lynn confronts the politics and policies of genocide that continue to destroy the land, livelihood, and culture of Native Americans. Anti-Indianism in Modern America tells the other side of stories of historical massacres and modern-day hate crimes, events that are dismissed or glossed over by historians, journalists, and courts alike. Cook-Lynn exposes the colonialism that works both overtly and covertly to silence and diminish Native Americans, supported by a rhetoric of reconciliation, assimilation, and multiculturalism. Comparing anti-Indianism to anti-Semitism, she sets the American history of broken treaties, stolen lands, mass murder, cultural dispossession, and Indian hating in an international context of ethnic cleansing, "ecocide" (environmental destruction), and colonial oppression.
Cook-Lynn also discusses the role Native American studies should take in reasserting tribal literatures, traditions, and politics and shows how the discipline has been sidelined by anthropology, sociology, postcolonial studies, and ethnic studies. Asserting the importance of a "native conscience"--a knowledge of the mythologies, mores, and experiences of tribal society--among American Indian writers, she calls for the expression in American Indian art and literature of a tribal consciousness that acts to assure a tribal-nation people of its future.
Passionate, eloquent, and uncompromising, Anti-Indianism in Modern America concludes that there are no real solutions for Indians as long as they remain colonized peoples. Native Americans must be able to tell their own stories and, most important, regain their land, the source of religion, morality, rights, and nationhood. As long as public silence accompanies the outlaw maneuvers that undermine tribal autonomy, the racist strategies that affect all Americans will continue.
It is difficult, Cook-Lynn concedes, to work toward the development of legal mechanisms against hate crimes, in Indian Country and elsewhere in the world. But it is not too late.
Some of the most divisive contests shaping the quest for marriage equality occurred not on the culture-war front lines but within the ranks of LGBTQ advocates. Nathaniel Frank tells the dramatic story of how an idea that once seemed unfathomable—and for many gays and lesbians undesirable—became a legal and moral right in just half a century.
When Karl Lutze arrived in Oklahoma in 1945, he stepped into another world. A newly ordained clergyman born in Wisconsin, he was a young white man assigned to minister among Muskogee’s African American community. He soon found that in the South, crosses were as likely to be burned as revered. His recollections of postwar Oklahoma provide a compelling testament to the era’s racial conflict and some steps taken toward its resolution.
Awakening to Equality offers a unique perspective on an often-violent era that witnessed the gradual dismantling of segregation. Serving congregations in Muskogee and Tulsa, Lutze encountered a cross section of both communities—from the white and black power brokers to the most disempowered black and biracial families—and a stratified society buttressed by intimidation, cross burnings, and bombs. His activism in the Urban League and other local civil rights organizations gave him firsthand experience with forces moving toward change, as well as with the more entrenched forces resisting it.
Blending personal anecdotes and recollections of key players in this unfolding drama, Lutze puts a human face on historical and journalistic accounts of social change during the crucial early years of the civil rights movement. He takes readers back to small-town and urban Oklahoma in a time when African Americans were beginning to challenge segregation in Muskogee’s public transportation and a handful of liberal whites were trying to move their communities toward desegregation. Throughout this rich memoir, we meet actual people creating a future—one that involved the very redefinition of America.
More than a view of an earnest young clergyman trying to grow beyond the racial and social limitations of the church of his day, Awakening to Equality also depicts the struggles of Lutze’s own denomination to overcome its earlier accommodation of racism. Lutze’s success in his ministries made his achievements a model for mission work among African Americans and led to his appointment in 1959 first as field secretary and then shortly thereafter as executive director of the Lutheran Human Relations Association, a pioneering civil rights organization. Simultaneously, he taught classes as Associate Professor of Theology at Valparaiso University.
Lutze not only witnessed important events but also participated in them and found that his entire career was shaped by the experience. Awakening to Equality is a moving story that captures the real-life education of a prominent clergyman during a critical period in American life.
In March 2009, the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) was briefly taken over by a Christian faction. Their coup was overturned within a matter of weeks, but the episode highlighted a variety of issues, including the role of religion in civil society, sex education, homosexuality, state intervention and media engagement. Although the immediate issue was control of an activist group concerned with women's rights, it has implications for the agendas and concerns of NGOs, 'culture wars', the processes of citizenry mobilization, mass participation and noisy democracy, and liberal voices in contemporary Singapore.
In this book, academics and public intellectuals examine the AWARE saga within the context of Singapore's civil society, considering the political and historical background and how the issues it raised relate to contemporary societal trends. In addition to documenting a milestone event for Singapore's civil society, the authors offer provocative interpretations that will interest a broad range of readers.