Post-Racial America? Nope.

Earlier on the blog I mentioned Thomas Sugrue's SWEET LAND OF LIBERTY as the most important work of American history to appear this year -- heck, maybe this decade. My review of it, posted at Books and Culture's Book of the Week series, is linked below. As mentioned before, this is not a religious history book, of course, but there's an awful lot to learn about religious/civil rights history in it--and many other topics besides.

Post-Racial America? Not Yet.

Why the history of the black "freedom struggle" remains all too relevant today.

Reviewed by Paul Harvey

In a brief interval between college and graduate school, I worked as a canvasser and community organizer in some poorer neighborhoods in the Bay Area, east of San Francisco. My grandfather, an Oklahoma preacher, had worked there during World War II, part of a floodtide of southern migration to industrial jobs. By the time I arrived in the 1980s, however, a largely black working-class population sat in deteriorating neighborhoods, poisoned by environmental contamination from the local Chevron plant and frightened by urban decay and drug-related violence. I accomplished little other than justly earning distrustful looks from embattled longtime residents who were, doubtless, baffled by my own stunning naiveté.

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deg at: November 4, 2008 at 1:05 PM said...

Great review. Looking forward to reading the book soon.

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