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Skeptical of received wisdom, Reed casts a critical eye on political trends in the black community over the past thirty years. He examines the rise of a new black political class in the aftermath of the civil rights era, and bluntly denounces black leadership that is not accountable to a black constituency; such leadership, he says, functions as a proxy for white elites. Reed debunks as myths the 'endangered black male" and the "black underclass, " and punctures what he views as the exaggeration and self-deception surrounding the black power movement and the Malcolm X revival. He chastises the Left, too, for its failure to develop an alternative politics, then lays out a practical leftist agenda and reasserts the centrality of political action.
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Adolph L. Reed, Jr. is a member of the Graduate Faculty of Political Science at the New School of Social Research . He is also a regular columnist for The Village Voice and a frequent contributor to The Progressive and The Nation.
Sara Bullard is editor of Teaching Tolerance, a national educational magazine, and director of the Teaching Tolerance Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama.
Julian Bond is currently a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the American University in Washington, D.C., and a Visiting Professor at Williams College.
...Adolph Reed Jr. uses these essays to examine where black leadership has failed and where black action may yet succeed. -- The New York Times Book Review, Allen D. Boyer
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