Uplifting the Race: Black Leadership, Politics, and Culture in the Twentieth Century

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9780807822395: Uplifting the Race: Black Leadership, Politics, and Culture in the Twentieth Century

Amidst the violent racism prevalent at the turn of the twentieth century, African American cultural elites, struggling to articulate a positive black identity, developed a middle-class ideology of racial uplift. Insisting that they were truly representative of the race's potential, black elites espoused an ethos of self-help and service to the black masses and distinguished themselves from the black majority as agents of civilization; hence the phrase 'uplifting the race.'

A central assumption of racial uplift ideology was that African Americans' material and moral progress would diminish white racism. But Kevin Gaines argues that, in its emphasis on class distinctions and patriarchal authority, racial uplift ideology was tied to pejorative notions of racial pathology and thus was limited as a force against white prejudice.

Drawing on the work of W. E. B. Du Bois, Anna Julia Cooper, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Hubert H. Harrison, and others, Gaines focuses on the intersections between race and gender in both racial uplift ideology and black nationalist thought, showing that the meaning of uplift was intensely contested even among those who shared its aims. Ultimately, elite conceptions of the ideology retreated from more democratic visions of uplift as social advancement, leaving a legacy that narrows our conceptions of rights, citizenship, and social justice.

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Book Description:

"A detailed and engaging book which explores a neglected aspect of US foreign policy. . . . The emotional resonance articulated in the epilogue regarding diasporean African' quest to celebrate their African heritage in addition to formulating a political relationship with Ghana makes a fitting end to this insightful book."-- Modern African Studies

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Amidst the violent racism prevalent at the turn of the twentieth century, African American cultural elites, struggling to articulate a positive black identity, developed a middle-class ideology of racial uplift. Insisting that they were truly representative of the race's potential, black elites esposed an ethos of self-help and service to the black masses and distinguished themselves from the black majority as agents of civilization; hence the phrase 'uplifting the race.'

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Kevin Kelly Gaines
Published by University of North Carolina Press (1996)
ISBN 10: 0807822396 ISBN 13: 9780807822395
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Book Description University of North Carolina Press, 1996. Book Condition: Very Good. Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Bookseller Inventory # GRP59599789

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Gaines, Kevin K.
Published by The University of North Carolina Press
ISBN 10: 0807822396 ISBN 13: 9780807822395
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Book Description The University of North Carolina Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. 0807822396 Item in good condition and has highlighting/writing on text. Used texts may not contain supplemental matierials such as CD's, info-trac etc. Bookseller Inventory # Z0807822396Z3

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