And We Are Not Saved: The Elusive Quest for Racial Justice

And We Are Not Saved: The Elusive Quest for Racial Justice

And We Are Not Saved: The Elusive Quest for Racial Justice

And We Are Not Saved: The Elusive Quest for Racial Justice

Excerpt

Jeremiah's lament that "we are not saved" echoes down through the ages and gives appropriate voice to present concerns of those who, flushed with the enthusiasm generated by the Supreme Court's 1954 holding that segregated public schools are unconstitutional, pledged publicly that the progeny of America's slaves would at last be "Free by 1963," the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation. That pledge became the motto for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's 1959 convention in New York City, where were gathered, in jubilant euphoria, veterans of racial bias and society's hostility who believed that they had finally, and permanently, achieved the reform of the laws that had been for a century vehicles for the oppression of black men, women, and children. Not even the most skeptical at that convention could have foreseen that, less than three decades later, that achievement would be so eroded as to bring us once again into fateful and frightful coincidence with Jeremiah's lament.

With the realization that the salvation of racial equality has eluded us again, questions arise from the ashes of our expectations: How have we failed -- and why? What does this failure mean -- for black people and for whites? Where do we go from here? Should we redirect the quest for racial justice? A response to those questions -- more accurately, a series of responses -- is the purpose of this book. Rather than offering definitive answers, I hope, as law teacher rather than social seer, mainly to provoke discussion that will provide new insights and prompt more effective strategies.

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