Color, Class, Identity: The New Politics of Race

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John Arthur, Amy Shapiro
Westview Press, Jul 5, 1996 - Social Science - 230 pages
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Three recent and highly dramatic national events have shattered the complacency of many Americans about progress, however fitful, in race relations in America. The Clarence Thomas–Anita Hill hearings, the O.J. Simpson trial, and the Million Man March of Louis Farrakhan have forced everyone to reconsider their assumptions about race and racial relations.The Thomas-Hill hearings exposed the complexity and volatility of perceptions about race and gender. The sight of jubilant Blacks and despondent Whites reacting to the O.J. Simpson verdict shook our confidence in shared assumptions about equal protection under the law. The image of hundreds of thousands of Black men gathering in Washington in defense of their racial and cultural identity angered millions of Whites and exposed divisions within the Black community.These events were unfolding at a time when there seemed to be considerable progress in fighting racial discrimination. On the legal side, discrimination has been eliminated in more and more arenas, in theory if not always in practice. Economically, more and more blacks have moved into the middle class, albeit while larger numbers have slipped further back into poverty. Intellectually, figures like Cornel West, Henry Louis Gates Jr., and Patricia J. Williams are playing a central role as public intellectuals.In the face of these disparate trends, it is clear that Americans need to rethink their assumptions about race, racial relations, and inter-racial communication. Color * Class * Identity is the ideal tool to facilitate this process. It provides a richly textured selection of readings from Du Bois, Cornel West, Derrick Bell, and others, as well as a range of responses to the particular controversies that are now dividing us.Color * Class * Identity furthers these debates, showing that the racial question is far more complex than it used to be; it is no longer a simple matter of Black versus White and racial mistrust. A landmark anthology that will help advance understanding of the present unease, not just between Black and White, but within each community, this book will be useful in a broad range of courses on contemporary U.S. society.

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So Divided Orlando Patterson
One Mans March Glenn C Loury
Victims and Heroes in the Benevolent State Clarence Thomas
Clarence X Patricia J Williams
The Chronicle of the Slave Scrolls Derrick Bell
Who Shot Johnny? Debra Dickerson
William Tucker
Counting Asians Peter Shaw
Douglas S Massey and Nancy A Denton
Part Three
Laurence Mordekhai Thomas
Ethnic Transgressions Laurie Shrage
Reflections on a Multicultural
A Differen t Mirror Ronald T Takaki
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Page 165 - What man dare, I dare: Approach thou like the rugged Russian bear, The arm'd rhinoceros, or the Hyrcan tiger; Take any shape but that, and my firm nerves Shall never tremble...
Page 164 - Mongolian, the Negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted with second-sight in this American world, — a world which yields him no true self consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world.
Page 164 - In a wee wooden schoolhouse. something put it into the boys' and girls' heads to buy gorgeous visiting,cards — ten cents a package — and exchange. The exchange was merry. till one girl. a tall newcomer. refused my card. — refused it peremptorily. with a glance. Then it dawned upon me with a certain suddenness that I was different from the others; or like. mayhap. in heart and life and longing. but shut out from their world by a vast veil.
Page 224 - David R. Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class (London: Verso, 1991); Noel Ignatiev, How the Irish Became White...
Page 164 - One ever feels his twoness,- — an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.
Page 201 - Men may change their clothes, their politics, their wives, their religions, their philosophies, to a greater or lesser extent; they cannot change their grandfathers. Jews or Poles or Anglo-Saxons, in order to cease being Jews or Poles or Anglo-Saxons, would have to cease to be, while they could cease to be citizens or church members or carpenters or lawyers without ceasing to be.
Page 165 - Away back in the days of bondage they thought to see in one divine event the end of all doubt and disappointment; few men ever worshipped Freedom with half such unquestioning faith as did the American Negro for two centuries. To him, so far as he thought and dreamed, slavery was indeed the sum of all villainies, the cause of all sorrow, the root of all prejudice; Emancipation was the key to a promised land of sweeter beauty than ever stretched before the eyes of wearied Israelites. In song and exhortation...

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About the author (1996)

John Arthur is professor of philosophy and director of the program in Philosophy, Politics, and Law at Binghamton University. He is author of The Unfinished Constitution and coeditor of Campus Wars: Multiculturalism and the Politics of Difference (WestviewPress 1995). John Arthur is professor of philosophy at Binghamton University. Amy Shapiro a graduate of Harvard Law School, has taught legal history and currently practices law in Binghamton, New York.

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