African-American Social and Political Thought

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In bringing together the most characteristic and serious writings by black scholars, authors, journalists, and educators from the years that preceded the modem civil rights movement, 'African-American Social and Political Thought' provides a comprehensive guide to the range and diversity of black thought. The volume offers a deep history of how the terms of contemporary debate over the future of black Americans were formed. The writings assembled here reveal a tension and a thread between two essential poles of thought. These include those voices that clearly projected civic assimilation as the goal of black aspiration, and those who described how this aim would be achieved, as well as nationalist or separatist voices that despaired of ever having a dignified future in a biracial society. These two positions reflect the most fundamental questions faced by any minority group. In his forceful and courageous introduction to this new edition, Howard Brotz relates the thoughts and reflections of these black thinkers to the social and political situation of blacks in America today and argues against the political orthodoxy and sociological determinism that perpetuates the image of the black as a perennial and passive victim. In the scope and quality of its contents, African-American Social and Political Thought is a unique, invaluable source book for cultural historians, sociologists, and students of black history.