For most black Americans, the promise of equality rings hollow and false, a feeling made palpable by the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and others. In the face of structural inequality and racism, the Black Lives Matter movement has awakened a new generation of activists. Labyrinth Books and Princeton University’s Department of African American Studies invite you to a discussion of race in America with three of the most incisive advocates for change in race relations writing today.
With Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul, Eddie S. Glaude delivers a stirring reflection on the state of black America, making a grand argument as to how we’ve reached such an impossible place—and how we can move past it. Glaude cites increased police brutality, the Supreme Court’s dismantling of the Voting Rights Act, and the disaster visited upon middle-class black families by the Great Recession among the indicators that black America is in a state of dire emergency. He offers a better way forward through a revolution of values that involves a change in how we view the government, in how we view black people, and in how we view what ultimately matters to us as Americans.
The eruption of mass protests in the wake of the police murders of Michael Brown and Eric Garner have punctured the illusion of a postracial America. In From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation, activist and scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor surveys the historical and contemporary ravages of racism and the persistence of structural inequality such as mass incarceration and black unemployment. She argues that the Black Lives Matter Movement holds the potential to reignite a broader push for Black liberation.
Eddie S. Glaude Jr. is Professor of Religion and African American Studies and the Chair of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University. He is the author of Exodus! Religion, Race, and Nation in 19th c. Black America and of In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics of Black America. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is Assistant Professor in the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University. She is the author of forthcoming Rats, Riots, and Revolution: Black Housing in the 1960s.