A Brief History of the Subordination of African Americans in the U.S.: Of Handcuffs and Bootstraps

1st Edition

Alexander Polikoff, Elizabeth Lassar

February 10, 2020 Forthcoming
Reference - 152 Pages - 1 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780367423223 - CAT# 338152
Series: Routledge Advances in American History


Available for Pre-Order. This item will ship after February 10, 2020
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This "brief history" presents the essential story of the subordination of African Americans in the U.S., captured in a 1968 cartoon by Pulitzer-prize-winning cartoonist John Fischetti. The drawing is of a black man handcuffed to a wall with cuffs labeled "White Racism." The caption reads, "Why don’t they lift themselves up by their own bootstraps like we did?" Bootstraps shows just how little lift-up there has been, and how the handcuffs of white racism have been and continue to be the cause.

Unique in its combination of comprehensiveness and brevity, Bootstraps is written in language for the general reader; yet its extensive endnotes will make it useful to both scholars and students. Its succinct overview of the subordination history includes an in-depth treatment of residential segregation – a legacy of slavery and a central problem of our time – and a response to the view that today’s racial inequality is due largely to African Americans’ own moral and cultural failures. By addressing a serious omission in the way we have educated our children, the book’s narration of our white racism history may make a contribution to a much-needed confrontation with our racist past.

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