Revolutionaries to Race Leaders: Black Power and the Making of African American Politics

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These are some of the questions implicit in Johnson's critique that call out for more investigation. The wider framing of that history should include the struggles of black mayors to get elected in the first place; the struggles they confronted when in office, such as corporate flight to the suburbs, to the non-union South, and inevitably to foreign shores; the budgetary demands on depleted city budgets by white-led teachers', policemen's and firemens' unions; the sniping and patronizing coverage by the white press; the budget cutbacks imposed by an indifferent when not hostile state legislature; and the related problem of an equally indifferent and often partisan federal government disposing of federal funds everywhere—except in the inner cities.

So the political history is much more complex than Johnson describes and much more oppositional, which is another reason that his and Baraka's neocolonial analogy needs rethinking. But, returning to the case of Newark—unlike Mobutu of the Congo et al—where are Gibson's riches?

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What material benefits did he derive for his condemned complicity with the capitalist state? In fact, rather than befriend and enrich him, in an impressive bipartisan display, state and federal prosecutors indicted Gibson not once, or twice, but three times under the Republican administrations of Ronald If you would like to authenticate using a different subscribed institution that supports Shibboleth authentication or have your own login and password to Project MUSE, click 'Authenticate'.


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View freely available titles: Book titles OR Journal titles. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. Disenchanted by the hollow progress of federal desegregation during the s, many black citizens and leaders across the United States demanded meaningful self-determination. The popular movement they created was marked by a vigorous artistic renaissance, militant political action, and fierce ideological debate.

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Although Black Power activists transformed the face of American government, Johnson contends that the evolution of the movement as a form of ethnic politics restricted the struggle for social justice to the world of formal politics. The popular movement they created was marked by a vigorous artistic renaissance, militant political action, and fierce ideological debate. Although Black Power activists transformed the face of American government, Johnson contends that the evolution of the movement as a form of ethnic politics restricted the struggle for social justice to the world of formal politics.

Johnson offers a compelling and theoretically sophisticated critique of the rhetoric and strategies that emerged in this period.


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Drawing on extensive archival research, he reinterprets the place of key intellectual figures, such as Harold Cruse and Amiri Baraka, and influential organizations, including the African Liberation Support Committee, the National Black Political Assembly, and the National Black Independent Political Party in postsegregation black politics, while at the same time identifying the contradictions of Black Power radicalism itself.

Documenting the historical retreat from radical, democratic struggle, Revolutionaries to Race Leaders ultimately calls for the renewal of popular struggle and class-conscious politics. Paperback , pages.

Black Power and the Making of African American Politics

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Jul 04, Pascal rated it really liked it. Good explanation of the process by which the Black power movement evolved into creating today's Black political establishment. The book effectively shows how the concept of race unity as the basis of political mobility was unsound because of class divisions within the Black community. The book also discuses how the philosophies of both Harold Cruse and Amiri Baraka played a role in the development of the current Black political establishment.

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Discusses very important and tragic trends in Black p Good explanation of the process by which the Black power movement evolved into creating today's Black political establishment. Discusses very important and tragic trends in Black politics like the system of political brokerage, and Black elite co-optation. Tim rated it really liked it Jul 27, Jishnu Guha rated it liked it Sep 16, Thomas rated it liked it Nov 19, Quinn rated it liked it Nov 06, Josh rated it liked it Aug 02, Steven rated it it was amazing Jun 05, Courtney rated it it was amazing Nov 21, Reginald Simms rated it liked it Sep 21,