by Carol Anderson
Book list The election of Barack Obama to the presidency in 2008 represented for many the transition of the U.S. into a post-racial nation. In the aftermath of the 2015 Charleston shootings, continued episodes of police violence, and repressive voter registration laws signifying the continuation of historical tendencies, however, critical issues once thought closed are now just as alive as ever. In this engaging, thought-provoking work, Anderson (Eyes off the Prize, 2003) argues that what is really at work in America is a white rage. This rage is characterized by an epistemic violence working through the courts, legislature, and government bureaucracies and triggered by black advancement. Anderson examines this larger trend, from the close of the American Civil War to the aftermath of Brown v. Board of Education and the civil rights movement to the current, contentious debates. Anderson's clear, ardent prose detailing the undermining of America's stated ideals and democratic norms is required reading for anyone interested in the state of American social discourse.--Odom, Brian Copyright 2016 Booklist
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Library Journal Fitting together historical flash points from the aftermath of the Civil War to the current Black Lives Matter movement, historian Anderson (African American studies, Emory Univ.; Bourgeois Radicals) displays how public policies have systematically discarded all attempts at a colorblind U.S. democracy. The author shows how whites have passionately refused to budge from positions of privilege, thwarting at every turn black advances toward equal rights and economic opportunity. Indeed, she illustrates how white rage has persistently undercut progress among African Americans. For example, by closing down public schools and then abandoning public education systems, she notes, white reaction sabotaged the Supreme Court's 1954 Brown v. Board of Education mandate for equal rather than separate public education. The author further exposes white rage as national; not regional, as she recounts -Northern and Midwestern opposition to the Great Migration of the 1900s and describes mass black incarceration, decimated central cities, defunded and dysfunctional institutions, and even the vitriol heaped on President Barack Obama. VERDICT Anderson's mosaic of white outrage deserves contemplation by anyone interested in understanding U.S. race relations, past and present.-Thomas J. Davis, Arizona State Univ., Tempe © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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