The scourge of racism haunts the United States as persistently as it ever did. Life expectancy for black men is w below retirement age. Average black income is only 56 per cent of that earned by whites. In Washington DC, less than 43 per cent of black men have been in prison or on parole, and this state of affairs is getting worse, t better. Black admissions to college education are falling, whilst admissions to prisons rise - blacks compise two-thirds of the US prison population while making up only 13 per cent of the entire population. Faced with a renascent right and an ermous racist legacy, the black struggle, this book argues, has to move beyond existing strategies. The politics of black nationalism, eschewing positions within established structures in order to protect distinctive black political and cultural forms, longer measures up to the task. But neither do inclusionist strategies which, by accepting symbolic representations of blacks within them, fail to challenge endemically racist hierarchies. What is required is a transformatist approach that retains distinctive black cultural identity whilst uprooting the language and logic of inferiority; and seeks to restructure power relations between groups and classes in such a way as to make race potentially irrelevant as a social force. This book opens with an autobiography describing growing up amidst the racism of middle-America in the 1950s. Manning Marable's credentials for shifting the debate in the black community have as much to do with shared experience as academic reputation. They underpin his concluding passionate plea for an affirmative action which is transformationist, drawing together mirity groups into a majority of the poor and exploited, a majority which can throw open the portals of power and govern in its own name. Manning Marable is the author of How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America , Black American Politics , African and Caribbean Politics and Race, Reform and Rebellion: The Second Reconstruction in Black America .
Manning Marable is M. Moran Weston/Black Alumni Council Professor of African-American Studies, and Professor of Public Affairs, History and Political Science at Columbia University in New York City. Marable has written, edited or contributed to twenty-seven books, including How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America (1983), Black American Politics (1985), Black Leadership (1998), The Great Wells of Democracy (2002), and Living Black History (2006). He is currently completing a major new biography of Malcolm X.