The fundamental litmus test for American democracy-its economy, government, criminal justice system, education, mass media, and culture-remains: how broad and intense are the arbitrary powers used and deployed against black people. In this sense, the problem of the twenty-first century remains the problem of the color line. --from the new Preface
First published in 1993 on the one-year anniversary of the L.A. riots, Race Matters was a national best-seller, and it has since become a groundbreaking classic on race in America.
Race Matters contains West's most powerful essays on the issues relevant to black Americans today: despair, black conservatism, black-Jewish relations, myths about black sexuality, the crisis in leadership in the black community, and the legacy of Malcolm X. And the insights that he brings to these complicated problems remain fresh, exciting, creative, and compassionate. Now more than ever, Race Matters is a book for all Americans, as it helps us to build a genuine multiracial democracy in the new millennium.
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affirmative action African American society Anita Hill anti-Semitism behavior black America black anti-Semitism black authenticity black communities black conservatives black freedom struggle black humanity black identity black intellectual black leaders black leadership black liberal black male black middle class black nationalist black poor black poverty black progress black rage black self-love black sexuality black supremacy black women black-Jewish relations Clarence Thomas color conservatism courage crisis of black critiques cultural hybridity degradation democratic downplay economic Elijah Muhammad ethical fear form of black groups highlight issues Jewish Jews justice living major Malcolm X Martin Luther King middle-class moral multiracial myths of black nihilistic threat notion of psychic numbers obsessed one's percent plight policies politics of conversion psychic conversion Race Matters racial reasoning racist redistributive measures self-image self-respect simply social strategies supremacy Thomas W. E. B. Du Bois white America white racism white supremacist xenophobia