By Manning Marable
In his boldest and such a lot obtainable booklet so far, Manning Marable lays out a brand new technique to take into consideration the earlier and the way forward for race in the US. Exploding conventional strains of left and correct, Marable stakes out such debatable and likely incompatible positions because the re-enfranchisement of felons, kingdom help for faith-based associations, reparations for slavery that systematically inject capital into the black group, and a reconfiguration of racial identities that money owed for the more and more multi-racial nature of our society. He exhorts us to build a brand new political language and sensible public guidelines to bridge the racial divide--so that we do not less than reinvent the democratic undertaking known as the United States.
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Extra resources for The Great Wells Of Democracy: The Meaning Of Race In American Life
Yet interwoven within the national political culture was the reality of whiteness, a privileged 34 THE GREAT WELLS OF DEMOCRACY racial category justified by negative racist stereotypes, passed down from generation to generation so as to become acceptable, normal, and part of the public common sense. America's legal establishment and public institutions rationalized and condoned this massive exploitation of black people. At the 1787 Constitutional Convention, the delegates agreed to count each slave as three-fifths of a person regarding each state's representation in the House of Representatives.
It is certainly true STRUCTURAL RACISM 39 that Douglass was a bitter opponent of all back-to-Africa proposals; that he advocated full racial integration in schools and public accommodations; and that he personally embraced racial intermarriage (much to the anger and alienation of his children by his first wife). But the key issue to Douglass, I believe, was not cultural assimilation, or a multiracial fusion breaking across rigid sexual and social taboos established by white supremacy. Douglass's primary objective was actually political, or "state-based": the complete incorporation of the African American as a citizen of the United States, a full partner in the American social contract subject to all of the concomitant rights and responsibilities that are part of citizenship, such as the elective franchise.
From the blues of the Missis- 16 THE GREAT WELLS OF DEMOCRACY sippi Delta, to the soaring sounds of bebop in Harlem in the 1940s, to the provocative rhythms of today's hip hop, black music reflects the pulse and sensibility of blackness. Black history and culture reveal the gift of grace, the fluidity of motion and beauty that an oppressed people have claimed as their own. It is constantly recreated in many ways: from the artistry of dance to the spectacular athleticism of Michael Jordan. Grace is the ability to redefine the boundaries of possibility.