Racism or Attitude? The Ongoing Struggle for Black Liberation and Self-Esteem

Racism or Attitude? The Ongoing Struggle for Black Liberation and Self-Esteem

Racism or Attitude? The Ongoing Struggle for Black Liberation and Self-Esteem

Racism or Attitude? The Ongoing Struggle for Black Liberation and Self-Esteem

Synopsis

""It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." - a passage by Charles Dickens published a century ago - describes how African Americans today feel about their chances for advancement. Since the 1960s, socioeconomic reports have examined the difficulties blacks have endured in their attempts to enter into the mainstream. For example, in 1965, then U. S. Assistant Secretary of Labor Daniel P. Moynihan released the "Moynihan Report" stating that the roots of poverty, illiteracy, and despair in the black community are tied to the instability within the family resulting from centuries of slavery and discrimination. Twenty-five years later, U. S. Statistical Abstracts declared that the number of African Americans in correctional facilities equaled those in universities; and the 1990 U. S. Census Bureau reported that not only do 45% of black children live in families barely at the poverty line, but that the median income of a white household is almost double that of a black household. Are there specific reasons for the prevalence of dysfunction in the African-American community?" "Racism or Attitude? The Ongoing Struggle for Black Liberation and Self-Esteem challenges the long-held assumptions of black leaders and liberal thinkers that racism and discrimination are the only reasons behind the state of the African-American population. Dr. James L. Robinson, a political scientist specializing in African-American history, contends that negative attitude and a lack of self-esteem are as accountable as discrimination and racism for the ethnocentric troubles within the black community. The author explores social and economic conditions as they relate to the contradictions between race and class thinking, the varied results of Affirmative Action, and the effects of the civil rights movement on African Americans. Have Affirmative Action and other such programs contributed to a sense of unworthiness within African Americans as to their abilities and intelligence? Or, is today's politically sensitive climate deflecting the responsibility of the individual to succeed in a society based upon merit? In response to these questions, Dr. Robinson, himself a beneficiary of Affirmative Action, demonstrates that true black liberation will occur only when black attitudes toward race change. Racism or Attitude? is a frank analysis on the effects of race, economics, and politics in the United States on present and future generations of all members of society. Sociologists, political scientists, educators, ethnohistorians, demographers, criminologists, and behavioral psychologists will find this handbook on contemporary American history to be invaluable." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

James Robinson has written a book that discusses contemporary black attitudes and public policy in America. He challenges many of the major assumptions made by black leaders and other liberal thinkers regarding the role that racism and discrimination play in keeping many African Americans from achieving success in America. He argues that though racism has been detrimental to blacks in America, it is no longer racism that is limiting black progress. What is limiting black progress is the belief that blacks have about racism, namely, the belief that racism keeps blacks from achieving.

Dr. Robinson argues that this belief in racism's power is a self-fulfilling prophecy and that it stops many African Americans from even trying to succeed. Throughout the book he cites examples of how various black leaders have used racism as an excuse for explaining some of the pathos found in ghetto life.

The analyses in his book combine social science research, political essay, and commentary in an attempt to answer the following questions: Why is it that some African Americans are prospering and doing better than ever before . . .

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