Black Intellectuals: Race and Responsibility in American Life

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W. W. Norton & Company, 1996 - Biography & Autobiography - 335 pages
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In the volumes of literature on black history and thought too few books have focused on the black thinkers who have helped shape the course of American culture. Now, this landmark work reveals the complex and vital role of African American intellectuals in the United States. It is a rich history, beginning with the arrival of Africans as slaves, when medicine men and conjurers held ancient, powerful wisdom. Author William Banks discusses with absorbing insight prominent figures ranging from such black pioneers as Alexander Crummell, Frederick Douglass, and Anna Cooper to intellectuals of the modern age such as W. E. B. Du Bois, Alain Locke, E. Franklin Frazier, and Toni Morrison. These and hundreds of other black scholars and artists - many of them interviewed for this volume - people an enlightened and imaginative landscape, fascinating in both its range and its diversity. Full in historical scope and cultural vision, Black Intellectuals also illuminates facets of American history such as African tribal traditions; American slavery; and black schools, churches, politics, and popular culture. It is a comprehensive and readable history of African American intellectuals.
 

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Black intellectuals: race and responsibility in American life

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Banks, a professor of African American studies at Berkeley, surveys the historical relationship between black intellectuals and the African American community from the Colonial era to the present. (LJ 10/15/96) Read full review

Contents

Laying the Foundations
3
Black Thinkers in a White Movement
22
The Black Intellectual Infrastructure
33
Slowly Making Their Mark
48
Prosperity Change and More of the Same
68
A Talented But Trapped Tenth
92
Not a Lull Not a Storm
118
Standing at the Crossroads
144
Capturing the Definition
160
Rude Awakenings
173
Imagining for the People
196
What Shall I Render?
221
EPILOGUE Or Crust and Sugar Over
242
NOTES
301
INDEX
323
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About the author (1996)

Banks is professor of African American studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

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