Despite being heralded as the answer to racial conflict in the post–civil rights United States, the principal political effect of multiracialism is neither a challenge to the ideology of white supremacy nor a defiance of sexual racism. More accurately, Jared Sexton argues in Amalgamation Schemes, multiculturalism displaces both by evoking long-standing tenets of antiblackness and prescriptions for normative sexuality.
In this timely and penetrating analysis, Sexton pursues a critique of contemporary multiracialism, from the splintered political initiatives of the multiracial movement to the academic field of multiracial studies, to the melodramatic media declarations about “the browning of America.” He contests the rationales of colorblindness and multiracial exceptionalism and the promotion of a repackaged family values platform in order to demonstrate that the true target of multiracialism is the singularity of blackness as a social identity, a political organizing principle, and an object of desire. From this vantage, Sexton interrogates the trivialization of sexual violence under chattel slavery and the convoluted relationship between racial and sexual politics in the new multiracial consciousness.
An original and challenging intervention, Amalgamation Schemes posits that multiracialism stems from the conservative and reactionary forces determined to undo the gains of the modern civil rights movement and dismantle radical black and feminist politics.
Jared Sexton is assistant professor of African American studies and film and media studies at the University of California, Irvine.
America's Peacemakers: The Community Relations Service and Civil Rights tells the behind-the-scenes story of a small federal agency that made a big difference in civil rights conflicts over the last half century. In this second edition of Resolving Racial Conflict: The Community Relations Service and Civil Rights, 1964–1989, Grande Lum continues Bertram Levine’s excellent scholarship, expanding the narrative to consider the history of the Community Relations Service (CRS) of the U.S. Department of Justice over the course of the last three decades. That the Trump administration has sought to eliminate CRS gives this book increased urgency and relevance.
Covered in this expanded edition are the post–9/11 efforts of the CRS to prevent violence and hate crimes against those perceived as Middle Eastern. Also discussed are the cross-border Elián González custody dispute and the notable tragedies of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, both of which brought police interaction with communities of color back into the spotlight.
The 2009 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act substantially altered CRS’s jurisdiction, which began to focus on gender, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, and disability in addition to race, color, and national origin. Lum’s documentation of this expanded jurisdiction provides insight into the progression of civil rights. The ongoing story of the Community Relations Service is a crucial component of the national narrative on civil rights and conflict resolution. This new edition will be highly informative to all readers and useful to professionals and academics in the civil rights, dispute resolution, domestic and international peacemaking, and law enforcement-community relations fields.
Speaking wisely and provocatively about the political economy of race, Glenn C. Loury has become one of our most prominent black intellectuals—and, because of his challenges to the orthodoxies of both left and right, one of the most controversial. A major statement of a position developed over the past decade, this book both epitomizes and explains Loury’s understanding of the depressed conditions of so much of black society today—and the origins, consequences, and implications for the future of these conditions.
Using an economist’s approach, Loury describes a vicious cycle of tainted social information that has resulted in a self-replicating pattern of racial stereotypes that rationalize and sustain discrimination. His analysis shows how the restrictions placed on black development by stereotypical and stigmatizing racial thinking deny a whole segment of the population the possibility of self-actualization that American society reveres—something that many contend would be undermined by remedies such as affirmative action. On the contrary, this book persuasively argues that the promise of fairness and individual freedom and dignity will remain unfulfilled without some forms of intervention based on race.
Brilliant in its account of how racial classifications are created and perpetuated, and how they resonate through the social, psychological, spiritual, and economic life of the nation, this compelling and passionate book gives us a new way of seeing—and, perhaps, seeing beyond—the damning categorization of race in America.
"A sobering analysis of anti-Arab racism, from neo-conservative to liberal, rooted in America's settler colonial past and seeping into every corner of our lives. Steven Salaita takes the reader into the crisis of Arab-American communities in the wake of 9/11. Written with passion, this lucid account of the dangers of American imperialism paints a dark picture of the agenda of the Bush administration not only in the Arab world but also for people of color at home." Miriam Cooke, Professor, Duke University
"An impassioned and deeply compelling look at the origins, evolution, manifestations and implications of anti-Arab racism today. ... A tour-de-force." Lisa Suhair Majaj, co-editor, Etel Adnan: Critical Reflections on the Arab-American Writer and Artist and Intersections: Gender, Nation, and Community in Arab Women¹s Novels
"Salaita dives head-first into the heart of racism in America and uses his personal experiences to help readers understand the mechanics of racism as it applies to Arabs, Muslims and people who look Middle Eastern in the post-Sept. 11 world." Ray Hanania, journalist and filmmaker, author of I¹m Glad I Look Like a Terrorist: Growing up Arab in America and Arabs of Chicagoland
"A highly recommended read, not only for students of Middle East history, but for the average American who wants to know how we have become so intimately and yet so bitterly entwined with the people of the Middle East. ... Salaita has thoughtfully articulated a very regretful era of unabashed racism in American history." Ramzy Baroud, editor, Palestine Chronicle and author of Searching Jenin
Today is a difficult time to be both Arab and American. Since 9/11 there has been a lot of criticism of America¹s involvement in the middle east. Yet there has been little analysis of how America treats citizens of Arab or middle eastern origin within its own borders.
Steven Salaita explores the reality of Anti-Arab racism in America. He blends personal narrative, theory and polemics to show how this deep-rooted racism affects everything from legislation to cultural life, shining a light on the consequences of Anti-Arab racism both at home and abroad.
Uniquely, the book shows how ingrained racist attitudes can be found within the progressive movements on the political left, as well as the right. Salaita argues that, under the guise of patriotism, Anti-Arab racism fuels support for policies such as the Patriot Act.
Salaita breaks down the façade of Anti-Arab racism with an insightful analysis, arguing for the urgency of a commitment to openness and inclusion in today¹s political climate.
Steven Salaita is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin -Whitewater. He writes frequently about Arab America and the Arab World.
An immersive multigenerational memoir that recounts the hopes, injustices, and triumphs of a Black family fighting for access to the American dream in the twentieth century.
The late Chicagoan George Nesbitt could perhaps best be described as an ordinary man with an extraordinary gift for storytelling. In his newly uncovered memoir—written fifty years ago, yet never published—he chronicles in vivid and captivating detail the story of how his upwardly mobile Midwestern Black family lived through the tumultuous twentieth century.
Spanning three generations, Nesbitt’s tale starts in 1906 with the Great Migration and ends with the Freedom Struggle in the 1960s. He describes his parents’ journey out of the South, his struggle against racist military authorities in World War II, the promise and peril of Cold War America, the educational and professional accomplishments he strove for and achieved, the lost faith in integration, and, despite every hardship, the unwavering commitment by three generations of Black Americans to fight for a better world. Through all of it—with his sharp insights, nuance, and often humor—we see a family striving to lift themselves up in a country that is working to hold them down.
Nesbitt’s memoir includes two insightful forewords: one by John Gibbs St. Clair Drake (1911–90), a pioneer in the study of African American life, the other a contemporary rumination by noted Black studies scholar Imani Perry. A rare first-person, long-form narrative about Black life in the twentieth century, Being Somebody and Black Besides is a remarkable literary-historical time capsule that will delight modern readers.
A compelling insider's account of the fight for educational desegregation, from one of its most dedicated and outspoken heroes. A new afterword explains the author's controversial belief that the moment for litigating educational equality has passed, clear-sightedly critiquing his own courtroom strategies and the courts' responses, before closing with an assessment of the economic and social changes that he feels have already moved us "beyond busing."
"An extraordinarily informative and thoughtful book describing the process of bringing Brown [v. Board of Education] North and the impact this process had upon national attitudes toward desegregation."
--Drew S. Days III, Yale Law Journal
"An original analysis of a tough subject. A must-read for all who care about opportunity for all our children."
--Donna E. Shalala, President, University of Miami
"Paul Dimond remains a passionate and caring voice for inner-city students, whether in his advocacy of school desegregation, school choice plans, or school finance reform. He illuminates these issues as one who participated in the major education cases and as a perceptive scholar."
--Mark Yudof, Chancellor, The University of Texas System
"A must-read for anyone who wants to understand America's continued failure to give inner-city children a quality education or to do something about it!"
--Sheryll Cashin, Author of The Failures of Integration: How Race and Class Are Undermining the American Dream
"Dimond is particularly good at relating his slice of legal history to the broader developments of the 1970s, and his occasional remarks about trial tactics are amusing and instructive. Dimond's
honesty about both his successes and failures makes his book required reading for civil rights lawyers."
--Lawrence T. Gresser, Michigan Law Review
"A fascinating first-hand account of 1970s northern school desegregation decisions."
--Neal E. Devins, American Bar Foundation Research Journal
"Dimond reminds the liberal reader of the promise that lies in the empowerment of ordinary families to choose their own schools."
--John E. Coons, Professor of Law, Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley
Paul R. Dimond is counsel to Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, Michigan's largest law firm; chairman of McKinley, a national commercial real estate investment and management firm; and chairman or member of the board of trustees of numerous education, community, and civic organizations. He spent four years as President Clinton's Special Assistant for Economic Policy.
In Birthing Black Mothers Black feminist theorist Jennifer C. Nash examines how the figure of the “Black mother” has become a powerful political category. “Mothering while Black” has become synonymous with crisis as well as a site of cultural interest, empathy, fascination, and support. Cast as suffering and traumatized by their proximity to Black death—especially through medical racism and state-sanctioned police violence—Black mothers are often rendered as one-dimensional symbols of tragic heroism. In contrast, Nash examines Black mothers’ self-representations and public performances of motherhood—including Black doulas and breastfeeding advocates alongside celebrities such as Beyoncé, Serena Williams, and Michelle Obama—that are not rooted in loss. Through cultural critique and in-depth interviews, Nash acknowledges the complexities of Black motherhood outside its use as political currency. Throughout, Nash imagines a Black feminist project that refuses the lure of locating the precarity of Black life in women and instead invites readers to theorize, organize, and dream into being new modes of Black motherhood.
Beginning in 1803, the Ohio legislature enacted what came to be known as the Black Laws. These laws instituted barriers against blacks entering the state and placed limits on black testimony against whites. Basing his narrative on massive primary research, often utilizing previously unexplored sources, Stephen Middleton tells the story of racial oppression in Ohio and recounts chilling episodes of how blacks asserted their freedom by challenging the restrictions in the racial codes until the state legislature repealed some pernicious features in 1849 and finally abolished them in 1886.
The fastest-growing state in antebellum America and the destination of whites from the North and the South, Ohio also became the destination for thousands of southern blacks, both free and runaway. Thus, nineteenth-century Ohio became a legal battleground for two powerful and far-reaching impulses in the history of race and law in America. One was the use of state power to further racial discrimination, and the other was the thirst of African Americans and their white allies for equality under the law for all Americans.
Written in a clear and compelling style, this pathbreaking study will be required reading for historians, legal scholars, students, and those interested in the struggle for civil rights in America.
Other historians have tended to treat black urban life mainly in relation to the ghetto experience, but in Black Milwaukee, Joe William Trotter Jr. offers a new perspective that complements yet also goes well beyond that approach. The blacks in Black Milwaukee were not only ghetto dwellers; they were also industrial workers. The process by which they achieved this status is the subject of Trotter’s ground-breaking study.
This second edition features a new preface and acknowledgments, an essay on African American urban history since 1985, a prologue on the antebellum and Civil War roots of Milwaukee’s black community, and an epilogue on the post-World War II years and the impact of deindustrialization, all by the author. Brief essays by four of Trotter’s colleagues--William P. Jones, Earl Lewis, Alison Isenberg, and Kimberly L. Phillips--assess the impact of the original Black Milwaukee on the study of African American urban history over the past twenty years.
For much of the twentieth century Brazil enjoyed an international reputation as a “racial democracy,” but that image has been largely undermined in recent decades by research suggesting the existence of widespread racial inequality. George Reid Andrews provides the first thoroughly documented history of Brazilian racial inequality from the abolition of slavery in 1888 up to the late 1980s, showing how economic, social, and political changes in Brazil during the last one hundred years have shaped race relations.
No laws of segregation or apartheid exist in Brazil, but by looking carefully at government policies, data on employment, mainstream and Afro-Brazilian newspapers, and a variety of other sources, Andrews traces pervasive discrimination against Afro-Brazilians over time. He draws his evidence from the country’s largest and most economically important state, São Paulo, showing how race relations were affected by its transformation from a plantation-based economy to South America’s most urban, industrialized society.
The book focuses first on Afro-Brazilians' entry into the agricultural and urban working class after the abolition of slavery. This transition, Andrews argues, was seriously hampered by state policies giving the many European immigrants of the period preference over black workers. As immigration declined and these policies were overturned in the late 1920s, black laborers began to be employed in agriculture and industry on nearly equal terms with whites. Andrews then surveys efforts of blacks to move into the middle class during the 1900s. He finds that informal racial solidarity among middle-class whites has tended to exclude Afro-Brazilians from the professions and other white-collar jobs.
Andrews traces how discrimination throughout the century led Afro-Brazilians to mobilize, first through the antislavery movement of the 1880s, then through such social and political organizations of the 1920s and 1930s as the Brazilian Black Front, and finally through the anti-racism movements of the 1970s and 1980s. These recent movements have provoked much debate among Brazilians over their national image as a racial democracy. It remains to be seen, Andrews concludes, whether that debate will result in increased opportunities for black Brazilians.
Throughout much of the twentieth century, Mexican Americans experienced segregation in many areas of public life, but the structure of Mexican segregation differed from the strict racial divides of the Jim Crow South. Factors such as higher socioeconomic status, lighter skin color, and Anglo cultural fluency allowed some Mexican Americans to gain limited access to the Anglo power structure. Paradoxically, however, this partial assimilation made full desegregation more difficult for the rest of the Mexican American community, which continued to experience informal segregation long after federal and state laws officially ended the practice. In this historical ethnography, Jennifer R. Nájera offers a layered rendering and analysis of Mexican segregation in a South Texas community in the first half of the twentieth century. Using oral histories and local archives, she brings to life Mexican origin peoples’ experiences with segregation. Through their stories and supporting documentary evidence, Nájera shows how the ambiguous racial status of Mexican origin people allowed some of them to be exceptions to the rule of Anglo racial dominance. She demonstrates that while such exceptionality might suggest the permeability of the color line, in fact the selective and limited incorporation of Mexicans into Anglo society actually reinforced segregation by creating an illusion that the community had been integrated and no further changes were needed. Nájera also reveals how the actions of everyday people ultimately challenged racial/racist ideologies and created meaningful spaces for Mexicans in spheres historically dominated by Anglos.
From the time the first tracks were laid in the early nineteenth century, the railroad has occupied a crucial place in America's historical imagination. Now, for the first time, Eric Arnesen gives us an untold piece of that vital American institution--the story of African Americans on the railroad. African Americans have been a part of the railroad from its inception, but today they are largely remembered as Pullman porters and track layers. The real history is far richer, a tale of endless struggle, perseverance, and partial victory. In a sweeping narrative, Arnesen re-creates the heroic efforts by black locomotive firemen, brakemen, porters, dining car waiters, and redcaps to fight a pervasive system of racism and job discrimination fostered by their employers, white co-workers, and the unions that legally represented them even while barring them from membership. Decades before the rise of the modern civil rights movement in the mid-1950s, black railroaders forged their own brand of civil rights activism, organizing their own associations, challenging white trade unions, and pursuing legal redress through state and federal courts. In recapturing black railroaders' voices, aspirations, and challenges, Arnesen helps to recast the history of black protest and American labor in the twentieth century.
Table of Contents:
1. Race in the First Century of American Railroading 2. Promise and Failure in the World War I Era 3. The Black Wedge of Civil Rights Unionism 4. Independent Black Unionism in Depression and War 5. The Rise of the Red Caps 6. The Politics of Fair Employment 7. The Politics of Fair Representation 8. Black Railroaders in the Modern Era
Conclusion Notes Acknowledgments Index
Reviews of this book: In this superbly written monograph, Arnesen...shows how African American railroad workers combined civil rights and labor union activism in their struggles for racial equality in the workplace...Throughout, black locomotive firemen, porters, yardmen, and other railroaders speak eloquently about the work they performed and their confrontations with racist treatment...This history of the 'aristocrats' of the African American working class is highly recommended. --Charles L. Lumpkins, Library Journal
Reviews of this book: Arnesen provides a fascinating look at U.S. labor and commerce in the arena of the railroads, so much a part of romantic notions about the growth of the nation. The focus of the book is the troubled history of the railroads in the exploitation of black workers from slavery until the civil rights movement, with an insightful analysis of the broader racial integration brought about by labor activism. --Vanessa Bush, Booklist
Reviews of this book: [An] exhaustive and illuminating work of scholarship. --Publishers Weekly
Reviews of this book: Arnesen tells a story that should be of interest to a variety of readers, including those who are avid students of this country's railroads. He knows his stuff, and furthermore, reminds us of how dependent American railroads were on the backbreaking labor of racial and ethnic groups whose civil and political status were precarious at best: Irish, Chinese, Mexicans and Italians, as well as African-Americans. But Arnesen's most powerful and provocative argument is that the nature of discrimination not only led black railroad workers to pursue the path of independent unionism, it also propelled them into the larger struggle for civil rights. --Steven Hahn, Chicago Tribune
In The Captive Stage, Douglas A. Jones, Jr. argues that proslavery ideology remained the dominant mode of racial thought in the antebellum north, even though chattel slavery had virtually disappeared from the region by the turn of the nineteenth century—and that northerners cultivated their proslavery imagination most forcefully in their performance practices. Jones explores how multiple constituencies, ranging from early national artisans and Jacksonian wage laborers to patrician elites and bourgeois social reformers, used the stage to appropriate and refashion defenses of black bondage as means to affirm their varying and often conflicting economic, political, and social objectives. Joining performance studies with literary criticism and cultural theory, he uncovers the proslavery conceptions animating a wide array of performance texts and practices, such as the “Bobalition” series of broadsides, blackface minstrelsy, stagings of the American Revolution, reform melodrama, and abolitionist discourse. Taken together, he suggests, these works did not amount to a call for the re-enslavement of African Americans but, rather, justifications for everyday and state-sanctioned racial inequities in their post-slavery society. Throughout, The Captive Stage elucidates how the proslavery imagination of the free north emerged in direct opposition to the inclusionary claims black publics enacted in their own performance cultures. In doing so, the book offers fresh contexts and readings of several forms of black cultural production, including early black nationalist parades, slave dance, the historiography of the revolutionary era, the oratory of radical abolitionists and the black convention movement, and the autobiographical and dramatic work of ex-slave William Wells Brown.
This innovative study examines the development of institutional childcare from 1878 to 1929, based on a comparison of two "sister" orphanages in Pittsburgh: the all-white United Presbyterian Orphan's Home and the all-black Home for Colored Children. Drawing on quantitative analysis of the records of more than 1,500 children living at the two orphanages, as well as census data, city logs, and contemporary social science surveys, this study raises new questions about the role of childcare in constructing and perpetrating social inequality in the United States.
An estimated 60,000 Chinese entered Mexico during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, constituting Mexico's second-largest foreign ethnic community at the time. The Chinese in Mexico provides a social history of Chinese immigration to and settlement in Mexico in the context of the global Chinese diaspora of the era.
Robert Romero argues that Chinese immigrants turned to Mexico as a new land of economic opportunity after the passage of the U.S. Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. As a consequence of this legislation, Romero claims, Chinese immigrants journeyed to Mexico in order to gain illicit entry into the United States and in search of employment opportunities within Mexico's developing economy. Romero details the development, after 1882, of the "Chinese transnational commercial orbit," a network encompassing China, Latin America, Canada, and the Caribbean, shaped and traveled by entrepreneurial Chinese pursuing commercial opportunities in human smuggling, labor contracting, wholesale merchandising, and small-scale trade.
Romero's study is based on a wide array of Mexican and U.S. archival sources. It draws from such quantitative and qualitative sources as oral histories, census records, consular reports, INS interviews, and legal documents. Two sources, used for the first time in this kind of study, provide a comprehensive sociological and historical window into the lives of Chinese immigrants in Mexico during these years: the Chinese Exclusion Act case files of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service and the 1930 Mexican municipal census manuscripts. From these documents, Romero crafts a vividly personal and compelling story of individual lives caught in an extensive network of early transnationalism.
The American West erupted in anti-Chinese violence in 1885. Following the massacre of Chinese miners in Wyoming Territory, communities throughout California and the Pacific Northwest harassed, assaulted, and expelled thousands of Chinese immigrants. Beth Lew-Williams shows how American immigration policies incited this violence and how the violence, in turn, provoked new exclusionary policies. Ultimately, Lew-Williams argues, Chinese expulsion and exclusion produced the concept of the “alien” in modern America.
The Chinese Must Go begins in the 1850s, before federal border control established strict divisions between citizens and aliens. Across decades of felling trees and laying tracks in the American West, Chinese workers faced escalating racial conflict and unrest. In response, Congress passed the Chinese Restriction Act of 1882 and made its first attempt to bar immigrants based on race and class. When this unprecedented experiment in federal border control failed to slow Chinese migration, vigilantes attempted to take the matter into their own hands. Fearing the spread of mob violence, U.S. policymakers redoubled their efforts to keep the Chinese out, overhauling U.S. immigration law and transforming diplomatic relations with China.
By locating the origins of the modern American alien in this violent era, Lew-Williams recasts the significance of Chinese exclusion in U.S. history. As The Chinese Must Go makes clear, anti-Chinese law and violence continues to have consequences for today’s immigrants. The present resurgence of xenophobia builds mightily upon past fears of the “heathen Chinaman.”
From the late nineteenth century to the 1930s, antichinismo --the politics of racism against Chinese Mexicans--found potent expression in Mexico. Jason Oliver Chang delves into the untold story of how antichinismo helped the revolutionary Mexican state, and the elite in control, of it build their nation. As Chang shows, anti-Chinese politics shared intimate bonds with a romantic ideology that surrounded the transformation of the mass indigenous peasantry into dignified mestizos. Racializing a Chinese Other became instrumental in organizing the political power and resources for winning Mexico's revolutionary war, building state power, and seizing national hegemony in order to dominate the majority Indian population. By centering the Chinese in the drama of Mexican history, Chang opens up a fascinating untold story about the ways antichinismo was embedded within Mexico's revolutionary national state and its ideologies. Groundbreaking and boldly argued, Chino is a first-of-its-kind look at the essential role the Chinese played in Mexican culture and politics.
In Colonial Lives of Property Brenna Bhandar examines how modern property law contributes to the formation of racial subjects in settler colonies and to the development of racial capitalism. Examining both historical cases and ongoing processes of settler colonialism in Canada, Australia, and Israel and Palestine, Bhandar shows how the colonial appropriation of indigenous lands depends upon ideologies of European racial superiority as well as upon legal narratives that equate civilized life with English concepts of property. In this way, property law legitimates and rationalizes settler colonial practices while it racializes those deemed unfit to own property. The solution to these enduring racial and economic inequities, Bhandar demonstrates, requires developing a new political imaginary of property in which freedom is connected to shared practices of use and community rather than individual possession.
In this wide-ranging second edition, Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic bring together the finest, most illustrative, and highly accessible articles in the fast-growing legal genre of Critical Race Theory. In challenging orthodoxy, questioning the premises of liberalism, and debating sacred wisdoms, Critical Race Theory scholars writing over the past few years have indelibly changed the way America looks at race.
This edition contains treatment of all the topics covered in the first edition, along with provocative and probing questions for discussion and detailed suggestions for additional reading, all of which set this fine volume apart from the field. In addition, this edition contains five new substantive units -- crime, critical race practice, intergroup tensions and alliances, gay/lesbian issues, and transcending the black-white binary paradigm of race. In each of these areas, groundbreaking scholarship by the movement's founding figures as well as the brightest new stars provides immediate entre to current trends and developments in critical civil rights thought.
Critical Race Theory has become a dynamic, eclectic, and growing movement in the study of law. With this third edition of Critical Race Theory, editors Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic have created a reader for the twenty-first century-one that shakes up the legal academy, questions comfortable liberal premises, and leads the search for new ways of thinking about our nation's most intractable, and insoluble, problem-race.
The contributions, from a stellar roster of established and emerging scholars, address new topics, such as intersectionality and black men on the "down low." Essays also confront much-discussed issues of discrimination, workplace dynamics, affirmative action, and sexual politics. Also new to this volume are updated section introductions, author notes, questions for discussion, and reading lists for each unit. The volume also covers the spread of the movement to other disciplines such as education.
Offering a comprehensive and stimulating snapshot of current race jurisprudence and thought, this new edition of Critical Race Theory is essential for those interested in law, the multiculturalism movement, political science, education, and critical thought.
Its opponents call it part of "the lunatic fringe," a justification for "black separateness," "the most embarrassing trend in American publishing." "It" is Critical Race Theory.
But what is Critical Race Theory? How did it develop? Where does it stand now? Where should it go in the future? In this volume, thirty-one CRT scholars present their views on the ideas and methods of CRT, its role in academia and in the culture at large, and its past, present, and future.
Critical race theorists assert that both the procedures and the substance of American law are structured to maintain white privilege. The neutrality and objectivity of the law are not just unattainable ideals; they are harmful actions that obscure the law's role in protecting white supremacy. This notion—so obvious to some, so unthinkable to others—has stimulated and divided legal thinking in this country and, increasingly, abroad.
The essays in Crossroads, Directions, and a New Critical Race Theory—all original—address this notion in a variety of helpful and exciting ways. They use analysis, personal experience, historical narrative, and many other techniques to explain the importance of looking critically at how race permeates our national consciousness.
Diversity these days is a hallowed American value, widely shared and honored. That’s a remarkable change from the Civil Rights era—but does this public commitment to diversity constitute a civil rights victory? What does diversity mean in contemporary America, and what are the effects of efforts to support it?
Ellen Berrey digs deep into those questions in The Enigma of Diversity. Drawing on six years of fieldwork and historical sources dating back to the 1950s and making extensive use of three case studies from widely varying arenas—housing redevelopment in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood, affirmative action in the University of Michigan’s admissions program, and the workings of the human resources department at a Fortune 500 company—Berrey explores the complicated, contradictory, and even troubling meanings and uses of diversity as it is invoked by different groups for different, often symbolic ends. In each case, diversity affirms inclusiveness, especially in the most coveted jobs and colleges, yet it resists fundamental change in the practices and cultures that are the foundation of social inequality. Berrey shows how this has led racial progress itself to be reimagined, transformed from a legal fight for fundamental rights to a celebration of the competitive advantages afforded by cultural differences.
Powerfully argued and surprising in its conclusions, The Enigma of Diversity reveals the true cost of the public embrace of diversity: the taming of demands for racial justice.
An intensely personal, and philosophical, account of why white America’s racial unconscious is not so unconscious
An Essay for Ezra is a critique of terror that begins but by no means ends with the presidency of Donald J. Trump. A father addresses his son and a boy shares his observations in a dynamic dialogistic exchange that is a commentary of and for its time, taking the measure of racial terror and of white supremacy both in our moment and as a historical phenomenon.
Framed through the experiences of the author’s biracial son, An Essay for Ezra is intensely personal while also powerfully universal. Drawing on the social and political thought of James Baldwin and Martin Luther King, Grant Farred examines the temptation and the perils of essentialism and the need to discriminate—to engage the black mind as much as the black body. With that dialectic as his starting point, Farred engages the ideas of Jameson, Barthes, Derrida, Adorno, Kant, and other thinkers to derive an ethics of being in our time of social peril. His antiessentialist racial analysis is salient, especially when he deploys Dave Chappelle as a counterpoint to Baldwin—and Chappelle’s brilliant comic philosophic voice jabs at both racial and gender identity.
Standing apart for its willingness to explore terror in all its ambivalence, this theoretical reflection on racism, knowledge, ethics, and being in our neofascist present brings to bear the full weight of philosophical inquiry and popular cultural critique on black life in the United States.
European Others offers an interrogation into the position of racialized communities in the European Union, arguing that the tension between a growing nonwhite, non-Christian population and insistent essentialist definitions of Europeanness produces new forms of identity and activism. Moving beyond disciplinary and national limits, Fatima El-Tayeb explores structures of resistance, tracing a Europeanization from below in which migrant and minority communities challenge the ideology of racelessness that places them firmly outside the community of citizens.
Using a notable variety of sources, from drag performances to feminist Muslim activism and Euro hip-hop, El-Tayeb draws on the largely ignored archive of vernacular culture central to resistance by minority youths to the exclusionary nationalism that casts them as threatening outcasts. At the same time, she reveals the continued effect of Europe’s suppressed colonial history on the representation of Muslim minorities as the illiberal Other of progressive Europe.
Presenting a sharp analysis of the challenges facing a united Europe seen by many as a model for twenty-first-century postnational societies, El-Tayeb combines theoretical influences from both sides of the Atlantic to lay bare how Europeans of color are integral to the continent’s past, present, and, inevitably, its future.
What does it mean to be an Asian-American in the United States today? Are Asian-Americans considered "honorary whites" or forever thought of as "foreigners?"
Mia Tuan examines the salience and meaning of ethnicity for later generation Chinese- and Japanese-Americans, and asks how their concepts of ethnicity differ from that of white ethnic Americans. She interviewed 95 middle-class Chinese and Japanese Californians and analyzes the importance of ethnic identities and the concept of becoming a "real" American for both Asian and white ethnics. She asks her subjects about their early memories and experiences with Chinese/Japanese culture; current lifestyle and emerging cultural practices; experiences with racism and discrimination; and attitudes toward current Asian immigration.
Continuous expansion of executive power is igniting national debate: Is the administration authorized to detain people without charges or access to counsel, due process, or a fair trial? Is torture acceptable as long as it doesn't happen on U.S. soil? In a new study of the use of plenary power - the doctrine under which U.S. courts have allowed the exercise of U.S. jurisdiction without concomitant constitutional protection - Natsu Taylor Saito puts contemporary policies in historical perspective, illustrating how such extensions of power have been upheld by courts from the 1880s to the present.
From Chinese Exclusion to Guantánamo Bay also provides a larger context for understanding problems resulting from the exercise of plenary power. Saito explains how the rights of individuals and groups deemed Other by virtue of race or national origin have been violated under both the Constitution and international law. The differing treatment of José Padilla and John Walker Lindh - both Americans accused of terrorism - provides an example of such disparate approaches. Such executive actions and their sanction by Congress and the judiciary, Saito argues, undermine not just individual rights but the very foundations of our national security - democracy and the rule of law.
From Chinese Exclusion to Guantánamo Bay will interest readers concerned with the historical background of constitutional protection in times of war and peace and will provide fascinating new material for scholars, teachers, and students of law, history, and ethnic studies
Americans believe strongly in the socially transformative power of education, and the idea that we can challenge racial injustice by reducing white prejudice has long been a core component of this faith. How did we get here? In this first-rate intellectual history, Leah N. Gordon jumps into this and other big questions about race, power, and social justice.
To answer these questions, From Power to Prejudice examines American academia—both black and white—in the 1940s and ’50s. Gordon presents four competing visions of “the race problem” and documents how an individualistic paradigm, which presented white attitudes as the source of racial injustice, gained traction. A number of factors, Gordon shows, explain racial individualism’s postwar influence: individuals were easier to measure than social forces; psychology was well funded; studying political economy was difficult amid McCarthyism; and individualism was useful in legal attacks on segregation. Highlighting vigorous midcentury debate over the meanings of racial justice and equality, From Power to Prejudice reveals how one particular vision of social justice won out among many contenders.
Perhaps more than any other Supreme Court ruling, Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 decision declaring the segregation of public schools unconstitutional, highlighted both the possibilities and the limitations of American democracy. This collection of sixteen original essays by historians and legal scholars takes the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of Brown to reconsider the history and legacy of that landmark decision. From the Grassroots to the Supreme Court juxtaposes oral histories and legal analysis to provide a nuanced look at how men and women understood Brown and sought to make the decision meaningful in their own lives.
The contributors illuminate the breadth of developments that led to Brown, from the parallel struggles for social justice among African Americans in the South and Mexican, Asian, and Native Americans in the West during the late nineteenth century to the political and legal strategies implemented by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (naacp) in the twentieth century. Describing the decision’s impact on local communities, essayists explore the conflict among African Americans over the implementation of Brown in Atlanta’s public schools as well as understandings of the ruling and its relevance among Puerto Rican migrants in New York City. Assessing the legacy of Brown today, contributors analyze its influence on contemporary law, African American thought, and educational opportunities for minority children.
Contributors Tomiko Brown-Nagin Davison M. Douglas Raymond Gavins Laurie B. Green Christina Greene Blair L. M. Kelley Michael J. Klarman Peter F. Lau Madeleine E. Lopez Waldo E. Martin Jr. Vicki L. Ruiz Christopher Schmidt Larissa M. Smith Patricia Sullivan Kara Miles Turner Mark V. Tushnet
Historian Gilad Margalit eloquently fills a tragic gap in the historical record with this sweeping examination of the plight of Gypsies in Germany before, during, and since the era of the Third Reich. Germany and Its Gypsies reveals the painful record of the official treatment of the German Gypsies, a people whose future, in the shadow of Auschwitz, remains uncertain. Margalit follows the story from the heightened racism of the nineteenth century to the National Socialist genocidal policies that resulted in the murder of most German Gypsies, from the shifting attitudes in the two Germanys in 1945 through reunification and up to the present day.
Drawing upon a rich variety of sources, Margalit considers the pivotal historic events, legal arguments, debates, and changing attitudes toward the status of the German Gypsies and shines a vitally important light upon the issue of ethnic groups and their victimization in society. The result is a powerful and unforgettable testament.
Often considered peculiarly American, lynching in fact takes place around the world. In the first book of a two-volume study, Michael J. Pfeifer collects essays that look at lynching and related forms of collective violence in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Understanding lynching as a transnational phenomenon rooted in political and cultural flux, the writers probe important issues from Indonesia--where a long history of public violence now twines with the Internet--to South Africa, with its notorious history of necklacing. Other scholars examine lynching in medieval Nepal, the epidemic of summary executions in late Qing-era China, the merging of state-sponsored and local collective violence during the Nanking Massacre, and the ways public anger and lynching in India relate to identity, autonomy, and territory. Contributors: Laurens Bakker, Shaiel Ben-Ephraim, Nandana Dutta, Weiting Guo, Or Honig, Frank Jacob, Michael J. Pfeifer, Yogesh Raj, and Nicholas Rush Smith.
Before Rosa Parks and the March on Washington, four African American women risked their careers and freedom to defy the United States Army over segregation. Women Army Corps (WAC) privates Mary Green, Anna Morrison, Johnnie Murphy, and Alice Young enlisted to serve their country, improve their lives, and claim the privileges of citizenship long denied them. Promised a chance at training and skilled positions, they saw white WACs assigned to those better jobs and found themselves relegated to work as orderlies. In 1945, their strike alongside fifty other WACs captured the nation's attention and ignited passionate debates on racism, women in the military, and patriotism. Glory in Their Spirit presents the powerful story of their persistence and the public uproar that ensued. Newspapers chose sides. Civil rights activists coalesced to wield a new power. The military, meanwhile, found itself increasingly unable to justify its policies. In the end, Green, Morrison, Murphy, and Young chose court-martial over a return to menial duties. But their courage pushed the segregated military to the breaking point ”and helped steer one of American's most powerful institutions onto a new road toward progress and justice.
Praise for the previous edition:
""Wry and imaginative, this gem of a book deconstructs the most famous building in Western history.""
–Benjamin Schwarz, The Atlantic
""In her brief but compendious volume [Beard] says that the more we find out about this mysterious structure, the less we know. Her book is especially valuable because it is up to date on the restoration the Parthenon has been undergoing since 1986.""
–Gary Wills, New York Review of Books
At once an entrancing cultural history and a congenial guide for tourists,
armchair travelers, and amateur archaeologists alike, this book conducts readers through the storied past and towering presence of the most famous building in the world. In the revised version of her classic study, Mary Beard now includes the story of the long-awaited new museum opened in 2009 to display the sculptures from the building that still remain in Greece, as well as the controversies that have surrounded it, and asks whether it makes a difference to the ""Elgin Marble debate.""
Finalist for the 2020 National Book Award in Nonfiction A Book of the Year pick from Kirkus, BuzzFeed, and Literary Hub
“The essays in this collection are restless, brilliant and short.…The brevity suits not just Walker’s style but his worldview, too.…Keeping things quick gives him the freedom to move; he can alight on a truth without pinning it into place.” —Jennifer Szalai, the New York Times
For the black community, Jerald Walker asserts in How to Make a Slave, “anger is often a prelude to a joke, as there is broad understanding that the triumph over this destructive emotion lay in finding its punchline.” It is on the knife’s edge between fury and farce that the essays in this exquisite collection balance. Whether confronting the medical profession’s racial biases, considering the complicated legacy of Michael Jackson, paying homage to his writing mentor James Alan McPherson, or attempting to break free of personal and societal stereotypes, Walker elegantly blends personal revelation and cultural critique. The result is a bracing and often humorous examination by one of America’s most acclaimed essayists of what it is to grow, parent, write, and exist as a black American male. Walker refuses to lull his readers; instead his missives urge them to do better as they consider, through his eyes, how to be a good citizen, how to be a good father, how to live, and how to love.
Inconvenient Strangers: Transnational Subjects and the Politics of Citizenship draws attention to how intersecting networks of power—particularly race and ethnicity, gender, and social class—marginalize transnational subjects who find themselves outside a dominant citizenship that privileges familiarity and socioeconomic and racial superiority. In this study of how neoliberal ideas limit citizenship for marginalized populations in Hong Kong, Shui-yin Sharon Yam examines how three transnational groups—mainland Chinese maternal tourists, Southeast Asian migrant domestic workers, and South Asian permanent residents—engage with the existing citizenry and gain recognition through circulating personal narratives.
Coupling transnational feminist studies with research on emotions, Yam analyzes court cases, interviews, social media discourse, and the personal narratives of Hong Kong’s marginalized groups to develop the concept of deliberative empathy—critical empathy that prompts an audience to consider the structural sources of another’s suffering while deliberating one’s own complicity in it. Yam argues that storytelling and familial narratives can promote deliberative empathy among the audience as both a political and ethical response—carrying the affective power to jolt the dominant citizenry out of their usual xenophobic attitudes and ultimately prompt them to critically consider the human conditions they share with the marginalized and move them toward more ethical coalitions.
Many scholars believe that the modern concentration camp was born during the Cuban war for independence when Spanish authorities ordered civilians living in rural areas to report to the nearest city with a garrison of Spanish troops. But the practice of spatial concentration—gathering people and things in specific ways, at specific places, and for specific purposes—has a history in Latin America that reaches back to the conquest. In this paradigm-setting book, Daniel Nemser argues that concentration projects, often tied to urbanization, laid an enduring, material groundwork, or infrastructure, for the emergence and consolidation of new forms of racial identity and theories of race. Infrastructures of Race traces the use of concentration as a technique for colonial governance by examining four case studies from Mexico under Spanish rule: centralized towns, disciplinary institutions, segregated neighborhoods, and general collections. Nemser shows how the colonial state used concentration in its attempts to build a new spatial and social order, and he explains why the technique flourished in the colonies. Although the designs for concentration were sometimes contested and short-lived, Nemser demonstrates that they provided a material foundation for ongoing processes of racialization. This finding, which challenges conventional histories of race and mestizaje (racial mixing), promises to deepen our understanding of the way race emerges from spatial politics and techniques of population management.
Jim Crow Guide documents the system of legally imposed American apartheid that prevailed during what Stetson Kennedy calls "the long century from Emancipation to the Overcoming." The mock guidebook covers every area of activity where the tentacles of Jim Crow reached. From the texts of state statutes, municipal ordinances, federal regulations, and judicial rulings, Kennedy exhumes the legalistic skeleton of Jim Crow in a work of permanent value for scholars and of exceptional appeal for general readers.
In the first comprehensive accounting of the U.S. Supreme Court’s race-related jurisprudence, a distinguished historian and renowned civil rights lawyer scrutinize a legacy too often blighted by racial injustice.
The Supreme Court is usually seen as protector of our liberties: it ended segregation, was a guarantor of fair trials, and safeguarded free speech and the vote. But this narrative derives mostly from a short period, from the 1930s to the early 1970s. Before then, the Court spent a century largely ignoring or suppressing basic rights, while the fifty years since 1970 have witnessed a mostly accelerating retreat from racial justice.
From the Cherokee Trail of Tears to Brown v. Board of Education to the dismantling of the Voting Rights Act, historian Orville Vernon Burton and civil rights lawyer Armand Derfner shine a powerful light on the Court’s race record—a legacy at times uplifting, but more often distressing and sometimes disgraceful. For nearly a century, the Court ensured that the nineteenth-century Reconstruction amendments would not truly free and enfranchise African Americans. And the twenty-first century has seen a steady erosion of commitments to enforcing hard-won rights.
Justice Deferred is the first book that comprehensively charts the Court’s race jurisprudence. Addressing nearly two hundred cases involving America’s racial minorities, the authors probe the parties involved, the justices’ reasoning, and the impact of individual rulings. We learn of heroes such as Thurgood Marshall; villains, including Roger Taney; and enigmas like Oliver Wendell Holmes and Hugo Black. Much of the fragility of civil rights in America is due to the Supreme Court, but as this sweeping history also reminds us, the justices still have the power to make good on the country’s promise of equal rights for all.
In Legal Fictions, Karla FC Holloway both argues that U.S. racial identity is the creation of U.S. law and demonstrates how black authors of literary fiction have engaged with the law's constructions of race since the era of slavery. Exploring the resonance between U.S. literature and U.S. jurisprudence, Holloway reveals Toni Morrison's Beloved and Charles Johnson's Middle Passage as stories about personhood and property, David Bradley's The Chaneysville Incident and Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man as structured by evidence law, and Nella Larsen's Passing as intimately related to contract law. Holloway engages the intentional, contradictory, and capricious constructions of race embedded in the law with the same energy that she brings to her masterful interpretations of fiction by U.S. writers. Her readings shed new light on the many ways that black U.S. authors have reframed fundamental questions about racial identity, personhood, and the law from the nineteenth into the twenty-first centuries. Legal Fictions is a bold declaration that the black body is thoroughly bound by law and an unflinching look at the implications of that claim.
Robert A. Williams Jr. boldly exposes the ongoing legal force of the racist language directed at Indians in American society. Fueled by well-known negative racial stereotypes of Indian savagery and cultural inferiority, this language, Williams contends, has functioned “like a loaded weapon” in the Supreme Court’s Indian law decisions.
Beginning with Chief Justice John Marshall’s foundational opinions in the early nineteenth century and continuing today in the judgments of the Rehnquist Court, Williams shows how undeniably racist language and precedent are still used in Indian law to justify the denial of important rights of property, self-government, and cultural survival to Indians. Building on the insights of Malcolm X, Thurgood Marshall, and Frantz Fanon, Williams argues that racist language has been employed by the courts to legalize a uniquely American form of racial dictatorship over Indian tribes by the U.S. government.
Williams concludes with a revolutionary proposal for reimagining the rights of American Indians in international law, as well as strategies for compelling the current Supreme Court to confront the racist origins of Indian law and for challenging bigoted ways of talking, thinking, and writing about American Indians.
Robert A. Williams Jr. is professor of law and American Indian studies at the James E. Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona. A member of the Lumbee Indian Tribe, he is author of The American Indian in Western Legal Thought: The Discourses of Conquest and coauthor of Federal Indian Law.
The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP) was the first national trade union for African Americans. Standard BSCP histories focus on the men who built the union. Yet the union's Ladies' Auxiliary played an essential role in shaping public debates over black manhood and unionization, setting political agendas for the black community, and crafting effective strategies to win racial and economic justice.
Melinda Chateauvert explores the history of the Ladies' Auxiliary and the wives, daughters, and sisters of Pullman porters who made up its membership and used the union to claim respectability and citizenship. As she shows, the Auxiliary actively educated other women and children about the labor movement, staged consumer protests, and organized local and national civil rights campaigns ranging from the 1941 March on Washington to school integration to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Chateauvert also sheds light on the plight of Pullman maids, who—relegated to the Auxiliary—found their problems as working women neglected in favor of the rhetoric of racial solidarity.
Inspired by a 1968 U.S. Commission on Civil Rights six-day hearing in San Antonio that introduced the Mexican American people to the rest of the nation, this book is an examination of the social change of Mexican Americans of Texas over the past half century. The San Antonio hearing included 1,502 pages of testimony, given by more than seventy witnesses, which became the baseline twenty experts used to launch their research on Mexican American civil rights issues during the following fifty years. These experts explored the changes in demographics and policies with regard to immigration, voting rights, education, employment, economic security, housing, health, and criminal justice. While there are a number of anecdotal historical accounts of Mexican Americans in Texas, this book adds an evidence-based examination of racial and ethnic inequalities and changes over the past half century. The contributors trace the litigation on behalf of Latinos and other minorities in state and federal courts and the legislative changes that followed, offering public policy recommendations for the future. The fact that this study is grounded in Texas is significant, as it was the birthplace of a majority of Chicano civil rights efforts and is at the heart of Mexican American growth and talent, producing the first Mexican American in Congress, the first Mexican American federal judge, and the first Mexican American candidate for president. As the largest ethnic group in the state, Latinos will continue to play a major role in the future of Texas.
As service workers in a luxurious sleeping-car train system, Pullman porters had both the highest status in the black community and the lowest rank on the train. They were trapped in the dual roles of charming host and obedient servant, and their constant smiles--even in the face of unreasonable demands by white passengers--were part of the job requirement.
Jack Santino's interviews with retired porters provide extensive firsthand accounts of their work, the job inequities they faced, the formation of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, and the aborted Pullman porter strike of 1928. Through the testimony of ran-and-file workers as well as key figures such as E. D. Nixon, the porter who initiated the Montgomery bus boycott and helped launch the career of Martin Luther King, Jr. and C.L. Dellums, the only surviving founding member of the BSCP, Miles of Smiles, Years of Struggle illuminates the Pullman porters' struggle for dignity.
World War II shaped the United States in profound ways, and this new book--the first in the Legacies of War series--explores one of the most significant changes it fostered: a dramatic increase in ethnic and religious tolerance. A Nation Forged in War is the first full-length study of how large-scale mobilization during the Second World War helped to dissolve long-standing differences among white soldiers of widely divergent backgrounds.
Never before or since have so many Americans served in the armed forces at one time: more than 15 million donned uniforms in the period from 1941 to 1945. Thomas Bruscino explores how these soldiers' shared experiences--enduring basic training, living far from home, engaging in combat--transformed their views of other ethnic groups and religious traditions. He further examines how specific military policies and practices worked to counteract old prejudices, and he makes a persuasive case that throwing together men of different regions, ethnicities, religions, and classes not only fostered a greater sense of tolerance but also forged a new American identity. When soldiers returned home after the war with these new attitudes, they helped reorder what it meant to be white in America.
Using the presidential campaigns of Al Smith in 1928 and John F. Kennedy in 1960 as bookend events, Bruscino notes a key change in religious bias. Smith's defeat came at the end of a campaign rife with anti-Catholic sentiment; Kennedy's victory some three decades later proved that such religious bigotry was no longer an insurmountable obstacle. Despite such advances, Bruscino notes that the growing broad-mindedness produced by the war had limits: it did not extend to African Americans, whose own struggle for equality would dramatically mark the postwar decades.
Extensively documented, A Nation Forged in War is one of the few books on the social and cultural impact of the World War II years. Scholars and students of military, ethnic, social, and religious history will be fascinated by this groundbreaking new volume.
More than twenty-five years after the end of apartheid, water access remains a striking reminder of racial inequality in South Africa. This book compellingly argues that in the post-apartheid period inequality has not only been continuously reproduced but also legitimized.
Michela Marcatelli unravels this inequality paradox through an ethnography of water in a rural region of the country. The Waterberg Plateau is a space where agriculture, conservation, and extraction coexist and intersect. Marcatelli examines the connections between neoliberalism, race, and the environment by showing that racialized property relations around water and land are still recognized and protected by the post-apartheid state to sustain green growth. She argues that the government depicts growth as the best, if not only, solution to inequality. While white landowners maintain access to water, however, black ex-farmworkers are dispossessed once again of this essential-to-life resource.
If the promise of growth serves to normalize inequality, the call to save nature has the effect of naturalizing it even further.
Katrina was not just a hurricane. The death, destruction, and misery wreaked on New Orleans cannot be blamed on nature’s fury alone. This volume of essays locates the root causes of the 2005 disaster squarely in neoliberal restructuring and examines how pro-market reforms are reshaping life, politics, economy, and the built environment in New Orleans.
The authors—a diverse group writing from the disciplines of sociology, political science, education, public policy, and media theory—argue that human agency and public policy choices were more at fault for the devastation and mass suffering experienced along the Gulf Coast than were sheer forces of nature. The harrowing images of flattened homes, citizens stranded on rooftops, patients dying in makeshift hospitals, and dead bodies floating in floodwaters exposed the moral and political contradictions of neoliberalism—the ideological rejection of the planner state and the active promotion of a new order of market rule.
Many of these essays offer critical insights on the saga of postdisaster reconstruction. Challenging triumphal narratives of civic resiliency and universal recovery, the authors bring to the fore pitched battles over labor rights, gender and racial justice, gentrification, the development of city master plans, the demolition of public housing, policing, the privatization of public schools, and roiling tensions between tourism-based economic growth and neighborhood interests. The contributors also expand and deepen more conventional critiques of “disaster capitalism” to consider how the corporate mobilization of philanthropy and public good will are remaking New Orleans in profound and pernicious ways.
Contributors: Barbara L. Allen, Virginia Polytechnic U; John Arena, CUNY College of Staten Island; Adrienne Dixson, Ohio State U; Eric Ishiwata, Colorado State U; Avis Jones-Deweever, National Council of Negro Women; Chad Lavin, Virginia Polytechnic U; Paul Passavant, Hobart and William Smith Colleges; Linda Robertson, Hobart and William Smith Colleges; Chris Russill, Carleton U; Kanchana Ruwanpura, U of Southampton; Nicole Trujillo-Pagán, Wayne State U; Geoffrey Whitehall, Acadia U.
Palestinians in Israel considers a key issue ignored by the official 'peace process' and most mainstream commentators: that of the growing Palestinian minority within Israel itself.
What the Israeli right-wing calls 'the demographic problem' Ben White identifies as 'the democratic problem' which goes to the heart of the conflict. Israel defines itself not as a state of its citizens, but as a Jewish state, despite the substantial and increasing Palestinian population. White demonstrates how the consistent emphasis on privileging one ethno-religious group over another cannot be seen as compatible with democratic values and that, unless addressed, will undermine any attempts to find a lasting peace.
Individual case studies are used to complement this deeply informed study into the great, unspoken contradiction of Israeli democracy. It is a pioneering contribution which will spark debate amongst all those concerned with a resolution to the Israel/Palestine conflict.
The Paper Bag Principle: Class, Colorism, and Rumor in the Case of Black Washington, D.C. considers the function of oral history in shaping community dynamics among African American residents of the nation’s capitol. The only attempt to document rumor and legends relating to complexion in black communities,The Paper Bag Principle looks at the divide that has existed between the black elite and the black “folk.” While a few studies have dealt with complexion consciousness in black communities, there has, to date, been no study that has catalogued how the belief systems of members of a black community have influenced the shaping of its institutions, organizations, and neighborhoods. Audrey Kerr examines how these folk beliefs—exemplified by the infamous “paper bag tests”—inform color discrimination intraracially. Kerr argues that proximity to whiteness (in hue) and wealth have helped create two black Washingtons and that the black community, at various times in history, replicated “Jim Crowism” internally to create some standard of exceptionalism in education and social organization. Kerr further contends that within the nomenclature of African Americans, folklore represents a complex negotiation of racism written in ritual, legend, myth, folk poetry, and folk song that captures “boundary building” within African American communities. The Paper Bag Principle focuses on three objectives: to record lore related to the “paper bag principle” (the set of attitudes that granted blacks with light skin higher status in black communities); to investigate the impact that this “principle” has had on the development of black community consciousness; and to link this material to power that results from proximity to whiteness. The Paper Bag Principle is sure to appeal to scholars and historians interested in African American studies, cultural studies, oral history, folklore, and ethnic and urban studies.
If you're a woman and you shop for a new car, will you really get the best deal? If you're a man, will you fare better? If you're a black man waiting to receive an organ transplant, will you have to wait longer than a white man?
In Pervasive Prejudice? Ian Ayres confronts these questions and more. In a series of important studies he finds overwhelming evidence that in a variety of markets—retail car sales, bail bonding, kidney transplantation, and FCC licensing—blacks and females are consistently at a disadvantage. For example, when Ayres sent out agents of different races and genders posing as potential buyers to more than 200 car dealerships in Chicago, he found that dealers regularly charged blacks and women more than they charged white men. Other tests revealed that it is commonly more difficult for blacks than whites to receive a kidney transplant because of federal regulations. Moreover, Ayres found that minority male defendants are frequently required to post higher bail bonds than their Caucasian counterparts.
Traditional economic theory predicts that free markets should drive out discrimination, but Ayres's startling findings challenge that position. Along with empirical research, Ayres offers game—theoretic and other economic methodologies to show how prejudice can enter the bargaining process even when participants are supposedly acting as rational economic agents. He also responds to critics of his previously published studies included here. These studies suggest that race and gender discrimination is neither a thing of the past nor merely limited to the handful of markets that have been the traditional focus of civil rights laws.
Sunita Parikh examines the history and fate of affirmative action programs in two ethnically heterogeneous democracies, the United States and India. Affirmative action programs in the United States represent a controversial policy about which the American public feel at best ambivalence and at worst hostility, while in India the expansion of reservation policies in recent years has led to riots and contributed to the fall of governments. And yet these policies were not particularly controversial when they were introduced. How the policy traveled from these auspicious beginnings to its current predicament can best be understood, according to Parikh, by exploring the changing political conditions under which it was introduced, expanded, and then challenged.
Although they are in many respects very different countries, India and the United States are important countries in which to study the implementation of ascriptive policies like affirmative action, according to Parikh. They are both large, heterogeneous societies with democratic political systems in which previously excluded groups were granted benefits by the majorities that had historically oppressed them. Parikh argues that these policies were the product of democratic politics--which required political parties to mobilize existing groups as voters--and the ethnically heterogeneous nature of Indian and U.S. society--where ethnic markers are particularly salient sources of identification as groups. Affirmative action in both countries was introduced because it could be used to solidify and expand electoral coalitions by giving benefits to defined minority groups, according to Parikh. As the policy became better known, it became more disliked by non-targeted groups, and it was no longer an appeal which was cost free for politicians.
This book will be of interest to social scientists concerned with race and ethnic relations and with the comparative study of political and social systems.
Sunita Parikh is Assistant Professor of Political Science, Columbia University.
In 1899 the great African American scholar, W.E.B. DuBois, published The Philadelphia Negro, the first systematic case study of an African American community and one of the foundations of American sociology. DuBois prophesied that the color line would be the problem of the twentieth century. One hundred years later, Problem of the Century reflects upon his prophecy, exploring the ways in which the color line is still visible in the labor market, the housing market, education, family structure, and many other aspects of life at the turn of a new century. The book opens with a theoretical discussion of the way racial identity is constructed and institutionalized. When the government classifies races and confers group rights upon them, is it subtly reenforcing damaging racial divisions, or redressing the group privileges that whites monopolized for so long? The book also delineates the social dynamics that underpin racial inequality. The contributors explore the causes and consequences of high rates of mortality and low rates of marriage in black communities, as well as the way race affects a person's chances of economic success. African Americans may soon lose their historical position as America's majority minority, and the book also examines how race plays out in the sometimes fractious relations between blacks and immigrants. The final part of the book shows how the color line manifests itself at work and in schools. Contributors find racial issues at play on both ends of the occupational ladder—among absentee fathers paying child support from their meager earnings and among black executives prospering in the corporate world. In the schools, the book explores how race defines a student's peer group and how peer pressure affects a student's grades. Problem of the Century draws upon the distinguished faculty of sociologists at the University of Pennsylvania, where DuBois conducted his research for The Philadelphia Negro. The contributors combine a scrupulous commitment to empirical inquiry with an eclectic openness to different methods and approaches. Problem of the Century blends ethnographies and surveys, statistics and content analyses, census data and historical records, to provide a far-reaching examination of racial inequality in all its contemporary manifestations.
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka Kansas (1954) was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court in the twentieth century. It overturned the Court’s earlier ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), declaring the establishment of separate public schools for black and white students, as inherently unequal. This victory paved the way for integration in public schools and the civil rights movement of the 1960s. The Promise of Justice:Essays on Brown v. Board of Education assembles fourteen essays about Brown and its consequences in the fifty years following the decision.
Several of the essayists in this anthology provide personal recollections of the conditions before and immediately after the decision in Brown. One of the authors was a child plaintiff in a related case. Another was the federal district judge responsible for deciding in favor of, and then overseeing, integration in a major northern city. Contributors to this volume include legal specialists, sociologists, educators, and political scientists. A history of the legal milestones of integration is included, as well as judgments about the progress that has been made and the need for additional actions to assure racial equality under the law. Ten of these essays first appeared in a special issue of The Negro Educational Review published in January 2005, and four were written expressly for this volume.
Many saw the 2008 election of Barack Obama as a sign that America had moved past the issue of race, that a colorblind society was finally within reach. But as Marianne Modica reveals in Race Among Friends, attempts to be colorblind do not end racism—in fact, ignoring race increases the likelihood that racism will occur in our schools and in society.
This intriguing volume focuses on a “racially friendly” suburban charter school called Excellence Academy, highlighting the ways that students and teachers think about race and act out racial identity. Modica finds that even in an environment where students of all racial backgrounds work and play together harmoniously, race affects the daily experiences of students and teachers in profound but unexamined ways. Some teachers, she notes, feared that talking about race in the classroom would open them to charges of racism, so they avoided the topic. And rather than generate honest and constructive conversations about race, student friendships opened the door for insensitive racial comments by whites, resentment and silence by blacks, and racially biased administrative practices. In the end, the school’s friendly environment did not promote—and may have hindered—serious discussion of race and racial inequity.
The desire to ignore race in favor of a “colorblind society,” Modica writes, has become an entrenched part of American culture. But as Race Among Friends shows, when race becomes a taboo subject, it has serious ramifications for students and teachers of all ethnic origins.
Race and Ethnicity in Arkansas brings together the work of leading experts to cast a powerful light on the rich and diverse history of Arkansas’s racial and ethic relations. The essays span from slavery to the civil rights era and cover a diverse range of topics including the frontier experience of slavery; the African American experience of emancipation and after; African American migration patterns; the rise of sundown towns; white violence and its continuing legacy; women’s activism and home demon¬stration agents; African American religious figures from the better know Elias Camp (E. C.) Morris to the lesser-known Richard Nathaniel Hogan; the Mexican-American Bracero program; Latina/o and Asian American refugee experiences; and contemporary views of Latina/o immigration in Arkansas. Informing debates about race and ethnicity in Arkansas, the South, and the nation, the book provides both a primer to the history of race and ethnicity in Arkansas and a prospective map for better understanding racial and ethnic relations in the United States.
Black and white Americans have occupied separate spaces since the days of "the big house" and "the quarters." But the segregation and racialization of American society was not a natural phenomenon that "just happened." The decisions, enacted into laws, that kept the races apart and restricted blacks to less desirable places sprang from legal reasoning which argued that segregated spaces were right, reasonable, and preferable to other arrangements. In this book, David Delaney explores the historical intersections of race, place, and the law. Drawing on court cases spanning more than a century, he examines the moves and countermoves of attorneys and judges who participated in the geopolitics of slavery and emancipation; in the development of Jim Crow segregation, which effectively created apartheid laws in many cities; and in debates over the "doctrine of changed conditions," which challenged the legality of restrictive covenants and private contracts designed to exclude people of color from white neighborhoods. This historical investigation yields new insights into the patterns of segregation that persist in American society today.
This book tells the dramatic story of twenty-eight law students—one of whom was the author—who went south at the height of the civil rights era and helped change death penalty jurisprudence forever.
The 1965 project was organized by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which sought to prove statistically whether capital punishment in southern rape cases had been applied discriminatorily over the previous twenty years. If the research showed that a disproportionate number of African Americans convicted of raping white women had received the death penalty regardless of nonracial variables (such as the degree of violence used), then capital punishment in the South could be abolished as a clear violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.
Targeting eleven states, the students cautiously made their way past suspicious court clerks, lawyers, and judges to secure the necessary data from dusty courthouse records. Trying to attract as little attention as possible, they managed—amazingly—to complete their task without suffering serious harm at the hands of white supremacists. Their findings then went to University of Pennsylvania criminologist Marvin Wolfgang, who compiled and analyzed the data for use in court challenges to death penalty convictions. The result was powerful evidence that thousands of jurors had voted on racial grounds in rape cases.
This book not only tells Barrett Foerster’s and his teammates story but also examines how the findings were used before a U.S. Supreme Court resistant to numbers-based arguments and reluctant to admit that the justice system had executed hundreds of men because of their skin color. Most important, it illuminates the role the project played in the landmark Furman v. Georgia case, which led to a four-year cessation of capital punishment and a more limited set of death laws aimed at constraining racial discrimination.
A Virginia native who studied law at UCLA, Barrett J. Foerster (1942–2010) was a judge in the Superior Court in Imperial County, California.
MICHAEL MELTSNER is the George J. and Kathleen Waters Matthews Distinguished Professor of Law at Northeastern University. During the 1960s, he was first assistant counsel to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. His books include The Making of a Civil Rights Lawyer and Cruel and Unusual: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment.
African American voters are a key demographic to the modern Democratic base, and conventional wisdom has it that there is political cost to racialized “dog whistles,” especially for Democratic candidates. However, politicians from both parties and from all racial backgrounds continually appeal to negative racial attitudes for political gain.
Challenging what we think we know about race and politics, LaFleur Stephens-Dougan argues that candidates across the racial and political spectrum engage in “racial distancing,” or using negative racial appeals to communicate to racially moderate and conservative whites—the overwhelming majority of whites—that they will not disrupt the racial status quo. Race to the Bottom closely examines empirical data on racialized partisan stereotypes to show that engaging in racial distancing through political platforms that do not address the needs of nonwhite communities and charged rhetoric that targets African Americans, immigrants, and others can be politically advantageous. Racialized communication persists as a well-worn campaign strategy because it has real electoral value for both white and black politicians seeking to broaden their coalitions. Stephens-Dougan reveals that claims of racial progress have been overstated as our politicians are incentivized to employ racial prejudices at the expense of the most marginalized in our society.
In the struggle over affirmative action, no employment setting has seen more friction than urban fire departments. Thirty years of legal and political efforts have opened the doors of this historically white male preserve, but men of color have yet to consolidate their gains, and women's progress has been even more tenuous. In this unique and compelling account of affirmative action at the "street level," Carol Chetkovich explores the ways in which this program has succeeded and failed.
Chetkovich follows the men and women of the Oakland Fire Department Class 1-91 through their academy training and eighteen-month probation. In vivid and sometimes surprising narratives, newcomers tell of their first battle with a full-fledged fire, their reactions to hazing rituals, and their relationships with veterans and fellow trainees. Real Heat explores how the process of becoming a firefighter interacts with the dimensions of race and gender to support some and discourage others. The book examines the implications of these interactions for public policy and social justice.
When the 2016 Oscar acting nominations all went to whites for the second consecutive year, #OscarsSoWhite became a trending topic. Yet these enduring racial biases afflict not only the Academy Awards, but also Hollywood as a whole. Why do actors of color, despite exhibiting talent and bankability, continue to lag behind white actors in presence and prominence?
Reel Inequality examines the structural barriers minority actors face in Hollywood, while shedding light on how they survive in a racist industry. The book charts how white male gatekeepers dominate Hollywood, breeding a culture of ethnocentric storytelling and casting. Nancy Wang Yuen interviewed nearly a hundred working actors and drew on published interviews with celebrities, such as Viola Davis, Chris Rock, Gina Rodriguez, Oscar Isaac, Lucy Liu, and Ken Jeong, to explore how racial stereotypes categorize and constrain actors. Their stories reveal the day-to-day racism actors of color experience in talent agents’ offices, at auditions, and on sets. Yuen also exposes sexist hiring and programming practices, highlighting the structural inequalities that actors of color, particularly women, continue to face in Hollywood.
This book not only conveys the harsh realities of racial inequality in Hollywood, but also provides vital insights from actors who have succeeded on their own terms, whether by sidestepping the system or subverting it from within. Considering how their struggles impact real-world attitudes about race and diversity, Reel Inequality follows actors of color as they suffer, strive, and thrive in Hollywood.
In 1964, when the Civil Rights Act was passed, Congress wisely created an agency based in the U.S. Department of Justice to help forestall or resolve racial or ethnic disputes evolving from the act. Mandated by law and by its own methodology to shun publicity, the Community Relations Service developed self-effacement to a fine art. Thus the accomplishments, as well as the shortcomings, of this federal venture into conflict resolution are barely known in official Washington, and even less so by the American public. This first written history of the Community Relations Service uses the experiences of the men and women who sought to resolve the most volatile issues of the day to tell the fascinating story of this unfamiliar agency.
This multiracial cadre of conciliation and mediation specialists worked behind the scenes in more than 20,000 confrontations involving racial and ethnic minorities. From Selma to Montgomery, at the encampment of the Poor Peoples’ Campaign in Resurrection City, to the urban riots of the sixties, seventies, and eighties, from the school desegregation battles north and south, at the siege of Wounded Knee, and during the Texas Gulf Coast fishing wars between Southeast Asian refugees and Anglos, these federal peacemakers lessened the atmosphere of racial violence in every major U.S. city and thousands of small towns.
These confrontations ranged from disputes that attracted worldwide attention to the everyday affronts, assaults, and upheavals that marked the nation’s adjustment to wider power sharing within an increasingly diverse population. While Resolving Racial Conflict examines some of the celebrated breakthroughs that made change possible, it also delves deeply into the countless behind-the-scenes local efforts that converted possibility to reality.
Among the many themes in this book that provide new perspective for understanding racial conflict in America are the effects of protest and conflict in engineering social change; the variety of civil rights views and experiences of African Americans, Native Americans, Asians, and Hispanics; the role of police in minority relations; and the development and refinement of techniques for community conflict resolution from seat-of-the-pants intervention to sophisticated professional practice. Resolving Racial Conflict will appeal to students of civil rights and American history in both the general and academic communities, as well as students of alternative dispute resolution and peace and conflict studies.
Explores the ways in which white Christian leaders in Richmond, Virginia navigated the shifting legal and political battles around desegregation even as members of their congregations struggled with their own understanding of a segregated society
Douglas E. Thompson’s Richmond’s Priests and Prophets: Race, Religion, and Social Change in the Civil Rights Era presents a compelling study of religious leaders’ impact on the political progression of Richmond, Virginia, during the time of desegregation. Scrutinizing this city as an entry point into white Christians’ struggles with segregation during the 1950s, Thompson analyzes the internal tensions between ministers, the members of their churches, and an evolving world.
In the mid-twentieth-century American South, white Christians were challenged repeatedly by new ideas and social criteria. Neighborhood demographics were shifting, public schools were beginning to integrate, and ministers’ influence was expanding. Although many pastors supported the transition into desegregated society, the social pressure to keep life divided along racial lines placed Richmond’s ministers on a collision course with forces inside their own congregations. Thompson reveals that, to navigate the ideals of Christianity within a complex historical setting, white religious leaders adopted priestly and prophetic roles.
Moreover, the author argues that, until now, the historiography has not viewed white Christian churches with the nuance necessary to understand their diverse reactions to desegregation. His approach reveals the ways in which desegregationists attempted to change their communities’ minds, while also demonstrating why change came so slowly—highlighting the deeply emotional and intellectual dilemma of many southerners whose worldview was fundamentally structured by race and class hierarchies.
A Rift in the Clouds chronicles the efforts of three white southern federal judges to protect the civil rights of African Americans at the beginning of the twentieth century, when few in the American legal community were willing to do so. Jacob Treiber of Arkansas, Emory Speer of Georgia, and Thomas Goode Jones of Alabama challenged the Supreme Court's reading of the Reconstruction amendments that were passed in an attempt to make disfranchised and exploited African Americans equal citizens of the United States. These unpopular white southerners, two of whom who had served in the Confederate Army and had themselves helped to bring Reconstruction to an end in their states, asserted that the amendments not only established black equality, but authorized the government to protect blacks. Although their rulings won few immediate gains for blacks and were overturned by the Supreme Court, their legal arguments would be resurrected, and meet with greater success, over half a century later during the civil rights movement.
Universality is a dangerous concept, according to Grace Kyungwon Hong, one that has contributed to the rise of the U.S. nation-state that privileges the propertied individual. However, African American, Asian American, and Chicano people experience the same stretch of city sidewalk with varying degrees of safety, visibility, and surveillance.The Ruptures of American Capital examines two key social formations—women of color feminism and racialized immigrant women’s culture—in order to argue that race and gender are contradictions within the history of U.S. capital that should be understood not as monolithic but as marked by its crises. Hong shows how women of color feminism identified ways in which nationalist forms of capital, such as the right to own property, were repressive. The Ruptures of American Capital demonstrates that racialized immigrant women’s culture has brought to light contested modes of incorporation into consumer culture.Interweaving discussion of U.S. political economy with literary analyses (including readings from Booker T. Washington to Jessica Hagedorn) Hong challenges the individualism of the United States and the fetishization of difference that is one of the markers of globalization.Grace Kyungwon Hong is assistant professor of English and Asian American studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Recent scholarship has argued that "race" is a fairly recent concept in Western thought and arose concurrently with modern science. Yet, in recent decades, science has been a powerful tool employed against racialist thinking. How is it that science has been a factor for both the rise of racialist thinking and its demise? This volume of essays, drawn from the journals Isis and Osiris, demonstrates that race and political and social ideologies have interacted in complex and unexpected ways.
The first part of this book presents a fresh and encouraging report on the state of racial integration in America's neighborhoods. It shows that while the majority are indeed racially segregated, a substantial and growing number are integrated, and remain so for years.
Still, many integrated neighborhoods do unravel quickly, and the second part of the book explores the root causes. Instead of panic and "white flight" causing the rapid breakdown of racially integrated neighborhoods, the author argues, contemporary racial change is driven primarily by the decision of white households not to move into integrated neighborhoods when they are moving for reasons unrelated to race. Such "white avoidance" is largely based on the assumptions that integrated neighborhoods quickly become all black and that the quality of life in them declines as a result.
The author concludes that while this explanation may be less troubling than the more common focus on racial hatred and white flight, there is still a good case for modest government intervention to promote the stability of racially integrated neighborhoods. The final chapter offers some guidelines for policymakers to follow in crafting effective policies.
Showing Our Colors: Afro-German Women Speak Out is an English translation of the German book Farbe bekennen edited by author May Ayim, Katharina Oguntoye, and Dagmar Schultz. It is the first published book by Afro-Germans. It is the first written use of the term Afro-German.
Opponents of speech codes often argue that liberal academics use the codes to advance an agenda of political correctness. But Jon B. Gould's provocative book, based on an enormous amount of empirical evidence, reveals that the real reasons for their growth are to be found in the pragmatic, almost utilitarian, considerations of college administrators. Instituting hate speech policy, he shows, was often a symbolic response taken by university leaders to reassure campus constituencies of their commitment against intolerance. In an academic version of "keeping up with the Joneses," some schools created hate speech codes to remain within what they saw as the mainstream of higher education. Only a relatively small number of colleges crafted codes out of deep commitment to their merits.
Although college speech codes have been overturned by the courts, Speak No Evil argues that their rise has still had a profound influence on curtailing speech in other institutions such as the media and has also shaped mass opinion and common understandings of constitutional norms. Ultimately, Gould contends, this kind of informal law can have just as much power as the Constitution.
Rukmini Pande’s examination of race in fan studies is sure to make an immediate contribution to the growing field. Until now, virtually no sustained examination of race and racism in transnational fan cultures has taken place, a lack that is especially concerning given that current fan spaces have never been more vocal about debating issues of privilege and discrimination.
Pande’s study challenges dominant ideas of who fans are and how these complex transnational and cultural spaces function, expanding the scope of the field significantly. Along with interviewing thirty-nine fans from nine different countries about their fan practices, she also positions media fandom as a postcolonial cyberspace, enabling scholars to take a more inclusive view of fan identity. With analysis that spans from historical to contemporary, Pande builds a case for the ways in which non-white fans have always been present in such spaces, though consistently ignored.
For more than thirty years, Bob Blauner's incisive writing on race relations has drawn a wide and varied audience. Whether his topic is the Watts riots in 1965, Chicano culture, or the tension between Blacks and Jews, his work is remarkable for its originality and candor. Beginning with the key essays of his landmark book, Racial Oppression in America, this volume makes the case that race and racism still permeate every aspect of American experience.
Blauner launched his concept of internal colonialism in the turbulent 1960's, a period in which many Americans worried that racial conflicts would propel the country into another civil war. The notion that the systematic oppression of people of color in the United States resembles the situation of colonized populations in Third World countries still informs much of the academic research on race as well as public discourse. Indeed, today's critical race and whiteness studies are deeply indebted to Blauner's work on internal colonialism and the pervasiveness of white privilege. Offering a radical perspective on the United States' racial landscape, Bob Blauner forcefully argues that we ignore the persistence of oppression and our continuing failure to achieve equality at our own peril.
After World War II, Mexican American veterans returned home to lead the civil rights struggles of the fifties, sixties, and seventies. Many of their stories have been recorded by the Voces Oral History Project (formerly the U.S. Latino & Latina World War II Oral History Project), founded and directed by Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez at the University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism. In this volume, she draws upon the vast resources of the Voces Project, as well as archives in other parts of the country, to tell the stories of three little-known advancements in Mexican American civil rights. The first two stories recount local civil rights efforts that typified the grassroots activism of Mexican Americans across the Southwest. One records the successful effort led by parents to integrate the Alpine, Texas, public schools in 1969—fifteen years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that separate schools were inherently unconstitutional. The second describes how El Paso’s first Mexican American mayor, Raymond Telles, quietly challenged institutionalized racism to integrate the city’s police and fire departments, thus opening civil service employment to Mexican Americans. The final account provides the first history of the early days of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and its founder Pete Tijerina Jr. from MALDEF’s incorporation in San Antonio in 1968 until its move to San Francisco in 1972.
Race is clearly a factor in government efforts to control dangerous drugs, but the precise ways that race affects drug laws remain difficult to pinpoint. Illuminating this elusive relationship, Unequal under Law lays out how decades of both manifest and latent racism helped shape a punitive U.S. drug policy whose onerous impact on racial minorities has been willfully ignored by Congress and the courts.
Doris Marie Provine’s engaging analysis traces the history of race in anti-drug efforts from the temperance movement of the early 1900s to the crack scare of the late twentieth century, showing how campaigns to criminalize drug use have always conjured images of feared minorities. Explaining how alarm over a threatening black drug trade fueled support in the 1980s for a mandatory minimum sentencing scheme of unprecedented severity, Provine contends that while our drug laws may no longer be racist by design, they remain racist in design. Moreover, their racial origins have long been ignored by every branch of government. This dangerous denial threatens our constitutional guarantee of equal protection of law and mutes a much-needed national discussion about institutionalized racism—a discussion that Unequal under Law promises to initiate.
Based on first-hand accounts and extensive fieldwork, Unfree in Palestine reveals the role played by identity documents in Israel’s apartheid policies towards the Palestinians, from the red passes of the 1950s to the orange, green and blue passes of today.
The authors chronicle how millions of Palestinians have been denationalised through the bureaucratic tools of census, population registration, blacklisting and a discriminatory legal framework. They show how identity documents are used by Israel as a means of coercion, extortion, humiliation and informant recruitment. Movement restrictions tied to IDs and population registers threaten Palestinian livelihoods, freedom of movement and access to basic services such as health and education.
Unfree in Palestine is a masterful expose of the web of bureaucracy used by Israel to deprive the Palestinians of basic rights and freedoms, and calls for international justice and inclusive security in place of discrimination and division.
The Space Age began just as the struggle for civil rights forced Americans to confront the long and bitter legacy of slavery, discrimination, and violence against African Americans. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson utilized the space program as an agent for social change, using federal equal employment opportunity laws to open workplaces at NASA and NASA contractors to African Americans while creating thousands of research and technology jobs in the Deep South to ameliorate poverty. We Could Not Fail tells the inspiring, largely unknown story of how shooting for the stars helped to overcome segregation on earth. Richard Paul and Steven Moss profile ten pioneer African American space workers whose stories illustrate the role NASA and the space program played in promoting civil rights. They recount how these technicians, mathematicians, engineers, and an astronaut candidate surmounted barriers to move, in some cases literally, from the cotton fields to the launching pad. The authors vividly describe what it was like to be the sole African American in a NASA work group and how these brave and determined men also helped to transform Southern society by integrating colleges, patenting new inventions, holding elective office, and reviving and governing defunct towns. Adding new names to the roster of civil rights heroes and a new chapter to the story of space exploration, We Could Not Fail demonstrates how African Americans broke the color barrier by competing successfully at the highest level of American intellectual and technological achievement.
Is race something we know when we see it? In 1857, Alexina Morrison, a slave in Louisiana, ran away from her master and surrendered herself to the parish jail for protection. Blue-eyed and blond, Morrison successfully convinced white society that she was one of them. When she sued for her freedom, witnesses assured the jury that she was white, and that they would have known if she had a drop of African blood. Morrison’s court trial—and many others over the last 150 years—involved high stakes: freedom, property, and civil rights. And they all turned on the question of racial identity.
Over the past two centuries, individuals and groups (among them Mexican Americans, Indians, Asian immigrants, and Melungeons) have fought to establish their whiteness in order to lay claim to full citizenship in local courtrooms, administrative and legislative hearings, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Like Morrison’s case, these trials have often turned less on legal definitions of race as percentages of blood or ancestry than on the way people presented themselves to society and demonstrated their moral and civic character.
Unearthing the legal history of racial identity, Ariela Gross’s book examines the paradoxical and often circular relationship of race and the perceived capacity for citizenship in American society. This book reminds us that the imaginary connection between racial identity and fitness for citizenship remains potent today and continues to impede racial justice and equality.
African Americans have experienced life under the rule of law in quite different contexts from those of whites, and they have written about those differences in poems, songs, stories, autobiographies, novels, and memoirs. This book examines the tradition of American law as it appears in African American literary life, from pre-Revolutionary murder trials to gangsta rap. The experience, and the critique it produces, changes our pictures of both American law and African American literature.
This study reads the already canonical works of nineteenth- and twentieth-century black literature in the context of their responses to and critiques of American legal history. At the same time, it examines little known texts of African American life, from the urban humor of James D. Corrothers, through the early political essays of Chester Himes, to the adventures of black comic book heroes like Steel, Wise Son, and Xero. These are contextualized within specific legislation and case law, from the slave laws of early Virginia to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, from the case of Phillis and Mark in 1755 to the Simpson trials of the mid 1990s.
Finally, the legal texts presented are themselves critiqued by the fictions and legal analyses of the African Americans who lived out their implications in their daily lives. Through a positing of the legal and cultural concepts of privacy, property, identity, desire and citizenship, and the romantic ideals of authenticity, irony, and innocence, Suggs is able to show how our understanding of American law should be influenced by African American conceptions of it as depicted through literature.
This book will appeal to students and scholars of literary and cultural studies, law and literature, American history, as well as to scholars of African American literature and culture.
Jon-Christian Suggs is Professor of English, John Jay College, City University of New York.