Dream and Reality: The Modern Black Struggle for Freedom and Equality

By Jeannine Swift | Go to book overview

enjoy the swankiest hotels, eat in the finest restaurants, live on the boulevard, ride anywhere, worship anyplace, work anywhere, get high-paying jobs, send more men to Congress, get more judgeships--but remember that we can do all these things and not be a part of the policy-making bodies that shape education, industry, and government. We can do all these things and still be grossly discriminated against when there is no sign of segregation in sight. This kind of discrimination which we will meet in the interim between desegregation and integration will be subtle and will be administered not by the Maddoxes, the Wallaces, and the Barnetts, but by our liberal friends in Congress, in education, and in industry. If we aren't careful, we will live another century dangling between desegregation and integration, with all the discrimination inherent therein. (16)

In the same year ( 1967) that Dr. Mays delivered his prophetic address, a black militant and a black scholar collaborated to write a book, Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in America. Although it never enjoyed the distinction of being on mainstream America's best seller lists, its crisp analysis and recommendations hold as true today as they did two decades ago.

Carmichael and Hamilton state:

The adoption of the concept of Black Power is one of the most legitimate and healthy developments in American politics and race relations in our time. The concept of Black Power speaks to all the needs mentioned in this chapter. It is a call for black people in this country to unite, to recognize their heritage, to build a sense of community. It is a call for black people to begin to define their own goals, to lead their own organizations. It is a call to reject the racist institutions and values of this society. The concept of Black Power rests on a fundamental premise: Before a group can enter the open society, it must first close ranks. (17)

The painful lessons blacks learned in futile attempts at integration demand a new mindset which clearly states that black children need not attend predominantly white schools to learn; blacks need not live in white communities to be comfortable and safe; and blacks need not patronize white entrepreneurs exclusively to receive quality products and services. All blacks, but black children particularly, need to learn that all of the so-called good things in life are not attained only in the white community.

In the language of the 1954 Brown decision, constantly being told that one can only attain the best that life has to offer outside of one's home and community environment is injurious to the minds and hearts of Black Americans.


NOTES
1.
Anthony Lewis, "The School Segregation Cases," in Black History: A Reappraisal, ed. Melvin Drimmer ( Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, Doubleday, 1969), 423.
3.
Jennifer L. Hochschild, Thirty Years After Brown ( Washington, D.C.: Joint Center for Political Studies, 1985), 19, 20.

-84-

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Dream and Reality: The Modern Black Struggle for Freedom and Equality
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Afro-American and African Studies ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • 1: A Tale of Two and One-Half Decades 3
  • Notes 11
  • 2: A Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. 13
  • 3: Rediscovering Women Leaders of the Civil Rights Movement 19
  • Conclusion 26
  • Notes 26
  • 4: The Civil Rights Movement: Upheaval and Organization 29
  • Conclusion 39
  • Notes 40
  • 5: Blacks and the New South: Civil Rights in the Eighties 43
  • Introduction 43
  • Conclusion 49
  • Notes 50
  • 6: Improving the Plight of Black, Inner-City Youths: Whose Responsibility? 53
  • Notes 65
  • 7: Racial Attitudes of Black and White Adolescents Before and After Desegregation 69
  • Conclusion 73
  • Notes 74
  • 8: The Ills of Integration: A Black Perspective 77
  • Introduction 77
  • Notes 84
  • 9: A Dream Deferred for Quality Education: Civil Rights Legislation and De Facto Segregation in the Cincinnati Schools, 1954-1986 87
  • Notes 91
  • 10: The Housing Conditions of Black Americans: 1960s-1980s 93
  • Conclusion 98
  • Notes 105
  • 11: The Collapse of the Employment Policy Agenda: 1964-1981 107
  • Introduction 107
  • Conclusion 120
  • Notes 121
  • 12: Black Workers at Risk: Jobs for Life or Death 125
  • Conclusion 131
  • Notes 133
  • 13: "Where Do We Go from Here" 137
  • Notes 144
  • Index 147
  • About the Editor and the Contributors 153
  • Hofstra University's Cultural and Intercultural Studies Coordinating Editor, Alexej Ugrinsky 157
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