The Great Wells of Democracy: The Meaning of Race in American Life

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2002-11-01
  • Publisher: Perseus Books Group

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In his boldest and most accessible book to date, Manning Marable lays out a new way to think about the past and the future of race in America. Building upon a unique framework for understanding black history from slavery to Jim Crow to the modern urban ghetto, Marable charts a new course for racial progress. He looks beyond the impasse of liberal strategies such as affirmative action and proposes a new kind of inclusive democracy.Exploding traditional lines of left and right, Marable stakes out such controversial and seemingly incompatible positions as the re-enfranchisement of felons, state support for faith-based institutions, reparations for slavery that systematically inject capital into the black community, and a reconfiguration of racial identities that accounts for the increasingly multi-racial nature of our society. He exhorts us to construct a new political language and practical public policies to bridge the racial divide--so that we do no less than reinvent the democratic project called America.Combining the breadth of C. Vann Woodward's The Strange Career of Jim Crow with the urgency of Cornel West's Race Matters, Manning Marable offers the most challenging and important book on the politics of race to appear since the heyday of the civil rights movement.

Author Biography

Manning Marable is Professor of History, Political Science and Public Policy, at Columbia University, where he also serves as the founding director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
Author's Notep. xviii
Introduction: What We Talk About When We Talk About Racep. 1
The American Dilemma
Structural Racism: A Short Historyp. 21
The Retreat From Equality
The Politics of Race and the Limits of Electoral Reformp. 67
Losing the Initiative on Racep. 93
Race and Educational Inequalityp. 125
Facing the Demon Head On: Race and the Prison Industrial Complexp. 147
The Death of the Talented Tenthp. 165
Reconstructing Racial Politics
Building Democracy from Below: Community Empowermentp. 195
Forty Acres and a Mule: The Case for Black Reparationsp. 223
The Hip-Hop Revolutionp. 255
When the Spirit Moves: The Politics of Black Faithp. 271
9/11: Racism in the Time of Terrorp. 293
Epilogue: The Souls of White Folkp. 319
Notesp. 329
Indexp. 353
About the Authorp. 366
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