Redefining Black Power: Reflections on the State of Black America

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Joanne Griffith
City Lights Publishers, Feb 28, 2012 - Social Science - 208 pages

The Obama presidency represents a major milestone in black history and the struggle for political, economic and cultural equality in the United States. But how--if at all--has the first black presidency helped move things forward for people of color? Has it delivered the "change we can believe in" and "deepening of democracy" that communities of color organized around? How has the reality and image of a black First Family impacted American culture? What lessons from past struggles can be applied to this unique historical moment to advance multicultural democracy in the U.S.?

Starting the exploration of these questions with the voices of past civil rights and black power activists held in the historic Pacifica Radio Archives, BBC journalist Joanne Griffith traveled the country to interview black intellectuals, leaders and activists.

The result is a rich and wide-ranging exploration of the hot-button issues facing African Americans today, from religion, law and media to education and the economy, to the ever-shifting meaning of Obama's contribution and impact. Both timely and rich in personal wisdom, Redefining Black Power connects the dots between past civil rights struggles and the future of black civic and cultural life in the United States.

Featuring Van Jones, Michelle Alexander, Julianne Malveaux, Vincent Harding, Ramona Africa, Esther Armah and Linn Washington Jr.

Foreword by Pacifica Radio Archives director Brian DeShazor.

Praise for Redefining Black Power:

"Redefining Black Power is an important, historical rumination on race, class, power and politics in the Age of Obama. The conversations with such figures as Van Jones, Michelle Alexander and civil rights icon Dr. Vincent Harding are thoughtful, probing, nuanced insights into the state of African-American political power at this historic moment. The book raises challenging questions, but rather than offer definitive answers, it provokes the reader to personally define 'Black power' and inspires all of us to continue the work of 'deepening the meaning of democracy.'" – Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

"I agree with economist Julianne Malveaux, who says the notion that Obama's election made America 'post racial' is utter nonsense, when you look at current rates of poverty, income and unemployment among black people. Van Jones, former Green Jobs Czar at the White House, intrigued me when he claims that the youth who believe that electing a black president changes nothing were right. Joanne Griffith, of the Pacifica Radio Archives, interviews these and other long distance runners for justice to provide a lively array of conflicting, complex and critical attitudes the first black U.S. president has evoked, to answer the question of whether it's time to redefine Black Power." -- Kathleen Cleaver

Praise for Joanne Griffith:

"Joanne Griffith is a superb journalist! She writes, speaks, and interviews with great skill, sincerity, and sensitivity to those she covers. Joanne has made it in a tough journalism world -- one where the white males, working for wealthy news organizations, have the advantages. Her writings and insights are a lesson to all. She reflects President Obama's spirited call of 'fired up, ready to go!'"
--Connie Lawn, Senior White House Correspondent (since 1968)

"Joanne Griffth's journalism gets to the story behind the story. President Obama, are you hearing me?"
--Dotun Adebayo; Broadcaster and Columnist with the Voice Newspaper(UK)

"Joanne is the consummate professional, who, when she researches something, leaves nothing left to the imagination, no stone unturned."
--Tony Cox, public radio talk show host

"Joanne Griffith is a journalist who brings a wealth of vision, a global world view, a traveller's spirit for curiosity, meticulous detail and a talent for excellence to her work. Through her powerful and informative projects, Joanne maintains persistently high standards and reminds us of the power of great journalism to offer fresh insight, wrap language in a unique world view and open our eyes to fresh possibility."
--Esther Armah, host 'Wake Up Call', WBAI, New York


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REDEFINING BLACK POWER: Reflections on the State of Black America

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Anthology of interviews with notable black scholars, focused on the prospects for social justice in the age of Obama.The book is a companion volume to the Pacifica Radio Archives, which has long ... Read full review


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About the author (2012)

Joanne Griffith: Joanne Griffith is an award-winning international broadcast journalist who has reported, produced and hosted programs for the BBC, NPR and Pacifica Radio. She has spent her 15-year career telling the stories of tragedy and triumph throughout the African Diaspora. Based in LA, Griffith hosts a weekly radio program for BBC Radio.

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