On the ninetieth anniversary of Booker T. Washington's death comes a passionate, provocative dialogue on his complicated legacy, including the complete text of his classic autobiography, Up from Slavery.Booker T. Washington was born a slave in 1858, yet roughly forty years later he had established the Tuskegee Institute. Befriended by a U.S. president and corporate titans, beloved and reviled by the black community, Washington was one of the most influential voices on the postslavery scene. But Washington's message of gradual accommodation was accepted by some and rejected by others, and, almost a century after his death, he is still one of the most controversial and misunderstood characters in American history. Uncle Tom or New Negro? does much more than provide yet another critical edition of Washington's memoirs. Instead, Carroll has interviewed an outstanding array of African American luminaries including Julianne Malveaux, cultural critics Debra Dickerson and John McWhorter, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and radio talk-show host Karen Hunter, among others. In a dazzling collection bursting with invigorating and varying perspectives, (e.g. What would Booker T. think of Sean Combs or Russell Simmons? Was Washington a "tragic buffoon" or "a giver of hope to those on the margins of the margins"?) this cutting-edge book allows you to reach your own conclusions about a controversial and perhaps ultimately enigmatic figure.
The long-awaited, untold, inside story of the rise of the legendary actor, singer, scholar, and activist. The first volume of this major biography breaks new ground.The greatest scholar-athlete-performing artist in U.S. history, Paul Robeson was one of the most compelling figures of the twentieth century. Now his son, Paul Robeson Jr., traces the dramatic arc of his rise to fame, painting a definitive picture of Paul Robeson's formative years. His father was an escaped slave; his mother, a descendent of freedmen; and his wife, the brilliant and ambitious Eslanda Cardozo Goode. With a law degree from Columbia University; a professional football career; title roles in Eugene O'Neill's plays and in Shakespeare's Othello; and a concert career in America and Europe, Robeson dominated his era. This unprecedented biography reveals the depth of Robeson's cultural scholarship, explores the contradictions he bridged in his personal and political life, and describes his emergence as a symbol of the anticolonial and antifascist struggles. Filled with previously unpublished photographs and source materials from the private diaries and letters of Paul and Eslanda Robeson, this is the epic story of a forerunner who now stands as one of America's greatest heroes.
Michael J. Klarman, author of From Jim Crow to Civil Rights, which won the prestigious Bancroft Prize in American History, is one of the leading authorities on the history of civil rights law in the United States. In Unfinished Business, he illuminates the course of racial equality in America, revealing that we have made less progress than we like to think. Indeed, African Americans have had to fight for everything they have achieved.Klarman highlights a variety of social and political factors that have influenced the path of racial progress--wars, migrations, urbanization, shifting political coalitions--and he looks in particular at the contributions of law and of court decisions to American equality. The author argues that court decisions tend to reflect the racial mores of the times, which is why the Supreme Court has not been a heroic defender of the rights of racial minorities. And even when the Court has promoted progressive racial change, its decisions have often been unenforced, in part because severely oppressed groups rarely have the resources necessary to force the issue. Klarman also sheds light on the North/South dynamic and how it has influenced racial progress, arguing that as southerners have become more anxious about outside challenges to their system of white supremacy, they have acted in ways that eventually undermined that system. For example, as southern slave owners demanded greater guarantees for slavery from the federal government, they alienated northerners, who came to fear a slave power conspiracy that would interfere with their liberties. Unfinished Business offers an invaluable, succinct account of racial equality and civil rights throughout American history.
Led by a coalition of blacks and whites with funding from congressional radicals, the Union League was a secret society whose express purpose was to bring freedmen into the political arena after the Civil War. Angry and resentful of the lingering vestiges of the plantation system, freedmen responded to the League's appeals with alacrity, and hundreds of thousands joined local chapters, speaking and acting collectively to undermine the residual trappings of slavery in plantation society.League actions nurtured instability in the work force, which eventually compelled white planters to relinquish direct control over blacks, encouraging the evolution from gang labor to decentralized tenancy in the southern agricultural system as well as the emergence of the Ku Klux Klan. In this impressive work--the first full-scale study of the effect the Union League had on the politicization of black freedmen--Michael W. Fitzgerald explores the League's influence in Alabama and Mississippi and offers a fresh and original treatment of an important and heretofore largely misunderstood aspect of Reconstruction history.
Historically acknowledged as one of America's most powerful and persuasive orators, Booker T. Washington consistently challenged the forces of racial prejudice at a time when such behavior from a black man was unheard of. While his stance on the separation of the races would become controversial, he worked tirelessly to convince blacks to work together as one people in order to improve their lives and the future of their race.
Spanning from his fight for education through his founding of the world-renowned Tuskegee Institute, Washington's Up from Slavery remains one of the most significant and defining works in American literature.
Amidst the violent racism prevalent at the turn of the twentieth century, African American cultural elites, struggling to articulate a positive black identity, developed a middle-class ideology of racial uplift. Insisting that they were truly representative of the race's potential, black elites espoused an ethos of self-help and service to the black masses and distinguished themselves from the black majority as agents of civilization; hence the phrase 'uplifting the race.'
A central assumption of racial uplift ideology was that African Americans' material and moral progress would diminish white racism. But Kevin Gaines argues that, in its emphasis on class distinctions and patriarchal authority, racial uplift ideology was tied to pejorative notions of racial pathology and thus was limited as a force against white prejudice.
Drawing on the work of W. E. B. Du Bois, Anna Julia Cooper, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Hubert H. Harrison, and others, Gaines focuses on the intersections between race and gender in both racial uplift ideology and black nationalist thought, showing that the meaning of uplift was intensely contested even among those who shared its aims. Ultimately, elite conceptions of the ideology retreated from more democratic visions of uplift as social advancement, leaving a legacy that narrows our conceptions of rights, citizenship, and social justice.
The 64 sites described in this book are a testament to the contribution that African-Americans have made to Virginia history over the last four centuries. The buildings they constructed, the churches in which they worshiped and the schools in they studies preserve the story of these contributions.
The election of L. Douglas Wilder as Governor of Virginia was the first and only time an African-American has been elected governor. This book focuses on five aspects of his election and administration, including the media's response to the victory and the racism that the campaign faced.
In Virginia's Native Son, the election of L. Douglas Wilder in Virginia represents the first time an African-American was elected Governor in the history of the United States. The book hits on five main points of his election and administration, including an analysis of the campaign victory, the media's response to the campaign, the racism involved with the election and administration, the administration itself, and the legacy of the administration.
This collection of essays (1891) is a statement of black feminist thought in the nineteenth century, and is considered to be one of the original texts of the black feminist movement. Cooper came of age in a period of conservatism in the black community, a time when Afro-American intellectual and political ideas were dominated by men. At the heart of her work is a belief that the status of black women, the most oppressed group of all, is the only true measure of collective racial progress.