The Problem of Race in the Twenty-First Century
This brief book speaks powerfully to the question of how the circumstances of race and racism have changed in our time--and how these changes will affect our future. Foremost among the book's concerns are the contradictions and incoherence of a system that idealizes black celebrities in politics, popular culture, and sports even as it diminishes the average African-American citizen. The world of the assembly line, boxer Jack Johnson's career, and The Birth of a Nation come under Holt's scrutiny as he relates the malign progress of race and racism to the loss of industrial jobs and the rise of our modern consumer society. Understanding race as ideology, he describes the processes of consumerism and commodification that have transformed, but not necessarily improved, the place of black citizens in our society. As disturbing as it is enlightening, this timely work reveals the radical nature of change as it relates to race and its cultural phenomena. It offers conceptual tools and a new way to think and talk about racism as social reality.
- 2000 President and Fellows of Harvard College
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