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Prof. Harris-Perry’s beef is that “liberals” do not recognize Obama’s competence. She

says these liberals are to blame for Obama’s dramatic fall in white approval ratings. It is

true that whites, who gave Obama more of their votes in 2008 than they did Democrat

John Kerry in 2004, are threatening to abandon him in 2012.

 

 

Books by Melissa Harris-Perry

 

Sister Citizen  / Barbershops, Bibles and BET

 

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Obama Apologist Harris Perry Says Support Prez

Because He’s a “Competent” Black Man

By Glen Ford

 

Melissa Harris-Perry is one of the saddest examples of how the advent of a Black president has distorted the thinking of some of the most promising African American minds. She is a political scientist who has abandoned all the science of politics in order to build a higher Black Wall around Barack Obama, a war criminal with six simultaneous aggressions now running at full tilt, and the prime facilitator of the most massive transfer of wealth in human history. Writing from her roost at The Nation magazine, Prof. Harris-Perry flails about in search of a progressive position from which to defend the First Black President. There being none, she has to settle for saying that Obama is as competent as any white president—Damn it!—and it is white “liberals” that are bringing Obama down by “holding him to a to a higher standard” than his white predecessors—specifically, Bill Clinton.

Essentially, she contends that Clinton did do bad things to Black and poor Americans and to the cause of peace in the world. Obama’s record is, she maintains, “at the very least, comparable to that of President Clinton, who was enthusiastically re-elected.”

We could stop right there and agree with Prof. Harris-Perry that Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are political peas in a pod, both center-right corporate Democrats at the service of the rich, who are eager to ravage welfare as we used to know it, or Social Security as we still have it. Both presidents specialize in opening the doors to the Republicans that they pretend to be opposing. And yes, Obama is every bit as competent at playing the corporate game as Bill Clinton ever was—much better, in fact.

Clinton’s crew freed Wall Street predators from regulation, while Barack Obama rescued George Bush’s bank bailout and then put at least $14 trillion dollars into the accounts of finance capitalists around the world. You can’t top that for competence in the service of finance capital.

Obama has increased the military budget with utmost competence, surpassing George Bush and putting Bill Clinton to shame in his service to the Pentagon. And, when it comes to mounting a frontal assault on the New Deal and the Great Society, nobody can touch Obama, who came into office with a promise on his lips to put all entitlements on the chopping block, and has succeeded in doing so. He is, without question, not just competent, but a most excellent destroyer of social safety nets.

Prof. Harris-Perry’s beef is that “liberals” do not recognize Obama’s competence. She says these liberals are to blame for Obama’s dramatic fall in white approval ratings. It is true that whites, who gave Obama more of their votes in 2008 than they did Democrat John Kerry in 2004, are threatening to abandon him in 2012. But all the evidence indicates that Obama’s white support is evaporating most rapidly among “independents”—the white “swing voters” he caters to so slavishly—not reliably “liberal” white Democrats. That’s why Obama and his crew dismiss liberals—including Harris-Perry’s left liberal colleagues at The Nation—as having no place else to go, and instead spend all their time wooing the political middle of white America. And that’s the same reason Black people get nothing but ostentatious contempt from the White House. The problem is not white liberal racism, but that too many white liberals and African Americans will stick with Obama no matter what he says or does, and will make themselves look ridiculous—and incompetent—in the process. Prof. Harris-Perry, for example

Source: BackAgendaReport

posted 28 September 2011

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Why White Liberals Are Abandoning ObamaMelissa Harris-Perry— September 21, 2011—These comparisons are neither an attack on the Clinton administration nor an apology for the Obama administration. They are comparisons of two centrist Democratic presidents who faced hostile Republican majorities in the second half of their first terms, forcing a number of political compromises. One president is white. The other is black.

In 1996 President Clinton was re-elected with a coalition more robust and a general election result more favorable than his first win. His vote share among women increased from 46 to 53 percent, among blacks from 83 to 84 percent, among independents from 38 to 42 percent, and among whites from 39 to 43 percent.

President Obama has experienced a swift and steep decline in support among white Americans—from 61 percent in 2009 to 33 percent now. I believe much of that decline can be attributed to their disappointment that choosing a black man for president did not prove to be salvific for them or the nation. His record is, at the very least, comparable to that of President Clinton, who was enthusiastically re-elected. The 2012 election is a test of whether Obama will be held to standards never before imposed on an incumbent. If he is, it may be possible to read that result as the triumph of a more subtle form of racism.—TheNation 

Melissa Victoria Harris was born 1973 in Seattle and grew up in the Virginia cities of Charlottesville and Chester, where she attended Thomas Dale High School. She was the youngest of five children of a black father, William M. Harris Sr., the dean of Afro-American affairs at the University of Virginia, and a white mother, Diana Gray, who taught at a community college and worked for nonprofits that helped poor communities “I’ve never thought of myself as biracial,” Harris-Perry says. “I’m black.”—Wikipedia

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Obama Humiliates the Black Caucus—“Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes,” Obama hectored. “Shake it off. Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin’. We are going to press on. We have work to do.”

Black Caucus chairman Rep. Emanuel Cleaver had earlier told reporters, “If Bill Clinton had been in the White House and had failed to address this [Black unemployment] problem, we probably would be marching on the White House."

But Obama came to lay down the law: any marching that you might do will be for my re-election. The well-oiled crowd cheered. Los Angeles congresswoman Maxine Waters seemed to be the only Black lawmaker capable of an adult response:

“I’m not sure who the president was addressing. I found that language a bit curious. The president spoke to the Hispanic Caucus… he certainly didn’t tell them to stop complaining and he never would say that to the gay and lesbian community who really pushed him on don’t ask don’t tell or even in a speech to APEC, he would never say to the Jewish community stop complaining about Israel.”BlackAgendaReport  / Obama Loses Cool At Black Caucus Dinner

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Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

Reviewed by Kam Williams

This book is concerned with understanding the emotional realities of black women’s lives in order to answer a political, not a personal, question: What does it mean to be a black woman and an American citizen?

…The particular histories of slavery, Jim Crow, urban segregation, racism, and patriarchy that are woven into the fabric of American politics have created a specific citizenship imperative for African-American women—a role and image to which they are expected to conform.

We can call this image the strong black woman… The strong black woman myth is a misrecognition of African-American women. But it creates specific expectations for their behavior.—Excerpted from the Introduction (pgs. 20-21)

What is it like to be a black woman in America? That is the basic question explored by Professor Melissa Harris-Perry in her fascinating new book, Sister Citizen. According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.

The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.

As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.

Sadly, that notion has persisted to this day, which is why so many African-American women’s rape allegations aren’t taken seriously, like that of the NYC hotel maid who recently leveled just such a claim against a well-connected guest from France. Despite the existence of DNA evidence, the charges were dropped, thereby leaving the accuser shamed by the insinuation that the contact must have been consensual.

The author might argue that the stigma of the black female as loose played a role in the case’s disposition without even a trial. For as she points out here ever so succinctly, ”White men’s right of access to black women’s bodies was an assumption supported both by their history as legal property and by the myth of their sexual promiscuity,” and “Emancipation did not end the social and political usefulness of this stereotype.”   A feminist manifesto endeavoring to free sisters forever from the cruel and very limiting ways in which they continue to be pigeonholed.

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Cornel West v Barack Obama (Melissa Harris-Perry )

Bill Moyers Interview of Melissa Harris Lacewell

Well, I think that hip-hop has the insurgent possibilities and capabilities. Now there's a little bit of a problem with hip-hop, and that is it's a commodity that's bought and sold. And any time you're a commodity that's bought and sold, you have at least one aspect of your culture that can sort of go in a profit motivation.

But I will say that hip-hop music like Gospel music, like Blues music, like jazz music is the voice of a generation. And it has within it the insurgent capacity, the capacity to say, "Look, I'm not happy here, this is not enough, I expect more, I'm worthy of more." And over and over again in hip-hop from the mid-1970's until today, there's a strain of it that is saying that. . . .

So there's a couple of reasons why Imus could not have been quoting hip-hop. First—it wasn't as though hip-hop taught America how to degrade women or particularly how to degrade black women. America had figured that out long, long, long before hip-hop. Secondly, although hip-hop often uses the word "ho," it rarely ever calls someone a "nappy-headed ho." So we talked a lot about "ho." But we haven't talked much about "nappy-headed." And "nappy-headed" is a way of saying you, black woman, in your natural, physical state in, who you are—are unacceptable, ugly, valueless. Now, that's not hip-hop.

Actually hip-hop tends to dress up black women in long, straight wigs, much more likely than it is to go to this place which is a very old place around, slavery, around Jim Crow that says, "Your physical self is an unacceptable, sort of orientation of blackness. I can see that you're black from across the room, and that's unacceptable to me."—Melissa Harris Lacewell

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The Race and Gender DebateI just feel that we have got to get clear about the fact that race and gender are not these clear dichotomies in which, you know, you’re a woman or you’re black. I’m sitting here in my black womanhood body, knowing that it is more complicated than that. African American men have been complicit in the oppression of African American women. White women have been complicit in the oppression of black men and black women. Those things are true.

And so, to pretend that we can somehow take them out of the conversation when a white woman runs against a black man, when she tears up at being sort of beat up by him, when her husband can come in and rally around her and suggest that we need to sort of support her because she’s having difficulties, while Barack Obama is getting death threats, basically lynching threats on him and his family, these are—for a second-wave feminist with an understanding of the complexity of American race and gender to take this kind of position in the New York Times struck me as, again, the very worst of what that feminism can offer—in other words, division. . . .

You cannot both claim this sort of role as independent woman making a stand on questions of feminism and claim that your experience begins as First Lady of Arkansas.

You know, you simply have to stand on your own or not. There are dozens of white women in this country who I would be a huge supporter of for the American presidency. The president of my own university would be at the top of that list, but not someone who is making this claim towards being president as her right as a result of a relationship with a former president. I think that’s exactly what we don’t need in third-wave feminism.—Melissa Harris-Lacewell

Sister Citizen Melissa Harris-Perry

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Maxine Waters—Kitchen Table Summit

I'm not afraid of anybody," Waters told the crowd. "This is a tough game. You can't be intimidated. You can't be frightened. And as far as I'm concerned, the Tea Party can go straight to hell." "We don't know why on this trip that he's in the United States now, he's not in any black community," she said at a jobs forum in Detroit. "We want to give him every opportunity, but our people are hurting. The unemployment is unconscionable. We don't know what the strategy is," she continued. “We’re supportive of the president, but we getting tired, y’all, getting tired."Huffingtonpost 

James Brown Ain't It Funky Now    /  Blues Ain't Nothing ... Don't Let Me Down

Obama Rejects CBC Criticism “I will tell you that I think the most important thing I can do for the African-American community is the same thing I can do for the American community, period, and that is get the economy going again and get people hiring again,” the president said. In further stressing a broader view the president said: “I think it's a mistake to start thinking in terms of particular ethnic segments of the United States rather than to think that we are all in this together and we are all going to get out of this together.” On Wednesday, 10 members of the black caucus boycotted a key House committee vote on financial reform. The group said it would push harder for Congress and the White House to tackle problems including an unemployment rate for blacks of 15.7%, higher than the national rate of 10.2%. "We can no longer afford for our public policy to be defined by the worldview of Wall Street," members of the caucus said in a statement Wednesday. "Policy for the least of these must be integrated into everything that we do."RealDealTalk

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Worsening wealth inequality by race

White Americans have 22 times more wealth than blacks—a gap that nearly doubled during the Great Recession. The median household net worth for whites was $110,729 in 2010, versus $4,995 for blacks, according to recently released Census Bureau figures.

The difference is similarly notable when it comes to Hispanics, who had a median household net worth of $7,424. The ratio between white and Hispanic wealth expanded to 15 to 1.

The gap between the races widened considerably during the recent economic downturn, which whites weathered better than blacks, Hispanics and Asians.

The latter three groups saw their median household net worth fall by roughly 60% between 2005 and 2010, while the median net worth for white households slipped only 23%. This allowed whites to leap ahead of Asians as the race with the highest median household net worth.money.cnn, Tami Luhby 21 June  2012

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books

 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Michelle Alexander: US Prisons, The New Jim Crow  / Judge Mathis Weighs in on the execution of Troy Davis

The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness 

By Michelle Alexander

The mass incarceration of people of color through the War on Drugs is a big part of the reason that a black child born today is less likely to be raised by both parents than a black child born during slavery. The absence of black fathers from families across America is not simply a function of laziness, immaturity, or too much time watching Sports Center. Hundreds of thousands of black men have disappeared into prisons and jails, locked away for drug crimes that are largely ignored when committed by whites. Most people seem to imagine that the drug war—which has swept millions of poor people of color behind bars—has been aimed at rooting out drug kingpins or violent drug offenders. Nothing could be further from the truth.

This war has been focused overwhelmingly on low-level drug offenses, like marijuana possession—the very crimes that happen with equal frequency in middle class white communities. In 2005, for example, 4 out 5 drug arrests were for possession and only 1 out of 5 were for sales. Most people in state prison for drug offenses have no history of violence or significant selling activity. Nearly 80 percent of the increase in drug arrests in the 1990s—the period of the most dramatic expansion of the drug war—was for marijuana possession, a drug less harmful than alcohol or tobacco. In some states, though, African Americans have comprised 80 to 90 percent of all drug convictions.

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Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays

Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis 

Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America.

This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . . Cited by a literary critic in 2004 as "the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which most scholars in the field 'cut their teeth'."

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Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.

As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.

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Sonata Mulattica: Poems

By Rita Dove

This 12th collection from the former U.S. poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize recipient is her third book-length narrative poem: it follows the real career of the violin prodigy George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower (1780–1860), a former pupil of Haydn, as well as the grandson/ of an African prince, or so his promoters and teachers in England said. Moving to Vienna during the Napoleonic Wars, the violinist met and befriended the famously moody Beethoven, who was prepared to dedicate his famously difficult Kreutzer Sonata to Bridgetower until a rivalry for the same woman drove them apart. Dove tells Bridgetower's story, and some of Beethoven's and Haydn's, in a heterogenous profusion of short poems, some almost prosy, some glittering in their technique. In quatrains, a double villanelle, what looks like found text, short lines splayed all over a page and attractive description, Dove renders Bridgetower's frustrated genius: Music played for the soul is sheer pleasure;/ to play merely for pleasure is nothing/ but work. Dove does not always achieve such subtleties—those who loved her early work may think this book too long: few, though, will doubt the seriousness of her effort, her interest at once in the history of classical music and the changing meanings of race.—Publishers Weekly

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Season of Adventure

By George Lamming

First published in 1960, Season of Adventure details the story of Fola, a light-skinned middle-class girl who has been tipped out of her easy hammock of social privilege into the complex political and cultural world of her recently independent homeland, the Caribbean island of San Cristobal. After attending a ceremony of the souls to raise the dead, she is carried off by the unrelenting accompaniment of steel drums onto a mysterious journey in search of her past and of her identity. Gradually, she is caught in the crossfire of a struggle between people who have "pawned their future to possessions" and those "condemned by lack of learning to a deeper truth." The music of the drums sounds throughout the novel, "loud as gospel to a believer's ears," and at the end stands alone as witness to the tradition which is slowly being destroyed in the name of European values. Whether through literary production or public pronouncements, George Lamming has explored the phenomena of colonialism and imperialism and their impact on the psyche of Caribbean people.

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Civil rights since 1787 : a reader on the Black struggle

Edited by Jonathan Birnbaum and Clarence Taylor

Contrary to simple textbook tales, the civil rights movement did not arise spontaneously in 1954 with the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. The black struggle for civil rights can be traced back to the arrival of the first Africans, and to their work in the plantations, manufacturies, and homes of the Americas. Civil rights was thus born as labor history.

Civil Rights Since 1787 tells the story of that struggle in its full context, dividing the struggle into six major periods, from slavery to Reconstruction, from segregation to the Second Reconstruction, and from the current backlash to the future prospects for a Third Reconstruction. The "prize" that the movement has sought has often been reduced to a quest for the vote in the South. But all involved in the struggle have always known that the prize is much more than the vote, that the goal is economic as well as political. Further, in distinction from other work, Civil Rights Since 1787 establishes the links between racial repression and the repression of labor and the left, and emphasizes the North as a region of civil rights struggle.

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Faces At The Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism

By Derrick Bell

In nine grim metaphorical sketches, Bell, the black former Harvard law professor who made headlines recently for his one-man protest against the school's hiring policies, hammers home his controversial theme that white racism is a permanent, indestructible component of our society. Bell's fantasies are often dire and apocalyptic: a new Atlantis rises from the ocean depths, sparking a mass emigration of blacks; white resistance to affirmative action softens following an explosion that kills Harvard's president and all of the school's black professors; intergalactic space invaders promise the U.S. President that they will clean up the environment and deliver tons of gold, but in exchange, the bartering aliens take all African Americans back to their planet. Other pieces deal with black-white romance, a taxi ride through Harlem and job discrimination.

Civil rights lawyer Geneva Crenshaw, the heroine of Bell's And We Are Not Saved (1987), is back in some of these ominous allegories, which speak from the depths of anger and despair. Bell now teaches at New York University Law School.—Publishers Weekly

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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