Winning the Race

Winning the Race

Beyond the Crisis in Black America

Book - 2006
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A provocative new look at the true sources of the social scourges that are holding back black America—and an impassioned manifesto for change Four decades after the great victories of the Civil Rights Movement secured equal rights for African-Americans, black America is in crisis. Indeed, by most measurable standards, conditions for many blacks have grown worse since 1965: desperate poverty cripples communities nationwide, incarceration rates have reached record highs, teenage pregnancy and out-of- wedlock births are rampant, and educational failures are stifling achievement among the next generation. For years, prominent sociologists and pundits have blamed these problems on forces outside the black community, from lingering racism, to the explosion of the inner-city drug trade, to the erosion of the urban industrial base and the migration of middle-class blacks to the suburbs. But now, in an important and broad-ranging re-envisioning of the post-Civil Rights black American experience, acclaimed author John McWhorter tears down these theories to expose the true roots of today’s crisis, and to show a new way forward.In Winning the Race, McWhorter argues that black America’s current problems began with an unintended byproduct of the Civil Rights revolution, a crippling mindset of “therapeutic alienation.” This wary stance toward mainstream American culture, although it is a legacy of racism in the past, continues to hold blacks back, and McWhorter traces all the poisonous effects of this defeatist attitude. In an in-depth case study of the Indianapolis inner city, he analyzes how a vibrant black neighborhood declined into slums, despite ample work opportunities in an American urban center where manufacturing jobs were plentiful. McWhorter takes a hard look at the legacy of the Great Society social assistance programs, lamenting their teaching people to live permanently on welfare, as well as educational failures, too often occurring because of an intellectual climate in which a successful black person must be faced with charges of “acting white.” He attacks the sorry state of black popular culture, where indignation for its own sake has been enshrined in everything from the halls of academia to the deleterious policy decisions of community leaders to the disaffected lyrics of hip-hop, particularly rap’s glorification of irresponsibility and violence as “protest.” In a stirring conclusion, McWhorter puts forth a new vision of black political and intellectual leadership, arguing that both blacks and whites must abolish the culture of victimhood, as this alone can improve future of black America, and outlines steps that can be taken to ensure hope for the future.Powerful and provocative, Winning the Racecombines detailed research with precise argumentation to present a compelling new vision for black America. Acclaim for Winning the Race: “This is the work of a serious man who knows what the demons are and realizes that they must be identified and fought, not glibly redefined so as to maintain the old order of mush-mouthed ineffectiveness.” —Stanley Crouch, author of The Artificial White Manand The All-American Skin Game, Or the Decoy of Race “John McWhorter demolishes the liberal conventional wisdom about the sources of poverty, crime, family breakdown, and other social ills that afflict the black community today, and offers a compelling alternative vision of how to move beyond the current crisis. Winning the Raceis a must-read for anyone with a serious interest in the problem of race in modern America.” —Stephan Thernstrom and Abigail Thernstrom, authors of America in Black and White: One Nation, Indivisibleand No Excuses: How to Close the Racial Gap in Learning
Publisher: New York : Gotham Books, [2006], c2005.
ISBN: 9781592401888
1592401880
Branch Call Number: 305.896 MCWHORTE
Characteristics: viii, 434 pages ; 24 cm.

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