Blackness and Whiteness as Historical Forces (new essay)

My review essay covering Kevin Gaines’ “Uplifting the Race”, Nikhil Pal Singh’s “Black is a Country”, Adolph Reed’s “Stirrings in the Jug”, Tim Wise’s “White Like Me”, and David Roediger’s “Colored White” and “Working Toward Whiteness” appeared in the January-March 2009 issue of “Multicultural Perspectives.”

Give it a look if you have the chance.


“At the core of the epistemology of black identity in the twentieth century United States is the assertion that freedom is a human right, not a privilege to be earned. By the late nineteenth century, an ideology of racial uplift had emerged that revolved around four concepts – compassion, service, education, and a commitment to social and economic justice for all citizens, as Kevin Gaines notes in Uplifting the Race. (1996) These elements would form the foundation for black identity and the argument for racial integration in the United States. It was the strength of these ideals that ultimately civilized a plurality of American citizens between 1955 and 1965, resulting in the landmarks of the Civil Rights Movement (the Brown decision, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the confrontations in Selma and Birmingham (Alabama), the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965). For the first time in American history, white Americans publicly rejected the legitimacy of white supremacy as a pillar of civilization. This is no small accomplishment.”

Tim Wise and a precocious youngster share a laugh at Ursinus College.
Tim Wise and a precocious youngster share a laugh at Ursinus College.

Author: waltergreason1

Public Figure.

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