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Rituals of Blood: Consequences of Slavery in Two American Centuries

Patterson, Orlando

29 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1887178821 / ISBN 13: 9781887178822
Published by Counterpoint, Washington, D.C., U.S.A., 1999
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
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About this Item

First printing. Patterson, a leading scholar on the history, sociology and culture of African-Americans, examines their relationships as the product of a dysfunctional culture shaped by slavery and other historical events.This account makes ample use of statistical data, charts, graphs and has extensive chapter Notes. Photo supplement of historical photos and documents on coated paper. Book near fine, seemingly unread with paper starting to age. DJ near fine. 330 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 12473

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Rituals of Blood: Consequences of Slavery in...

Publisher: Counterpoint, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Edition: 1st Edition.

About this title


In the first essay, Patterson analyzes the very latest survey data to delineate the different attitudes, behaviors, and circumstances of Afro-American men and women, dissecting both the external and internal causes for the great disparities he finds.In the second essay, Patterson focuses on the lynching of Afro-American boys and men during the decades after Reconstruction, particularly on the substantial number of cases that constituted apparent ritual human sacrifice. As no one has done before, Patterson reveals how the complex interplay between Christian sacrificial symbolism and the deep recesses of post-bellum Southern culture resulted in some of the most shameful, barbaric events in American history.The third essay brings us into the late twentieth century, with an investigation of the various images of Afro-American men portrayed by the media. From the demigod (Michael Jordan) to the demon (Colin Ferguson) to the demigod-turned-demon (O. J. Simpson) and the crossers of racial and gender boundaries (Michael Jackson and Dennis Rodman)—all contribute to the cultural complications of our contemporary society.Rituals of Blood advances Patterson’s new model of ethnic relations that opens American society to a new and freer dialogue.


African Americans have triumphed over slavery and continue to fight the good fight against racism and segregation in America, but according to noted Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson, the battles have exacted a heavy price on Afro-American social relations. With pointed, precise, and often painful prose, Patterson outlines several areas of contention in the black community: combustible male-female relations, the destructive media images of African American males, and the horrible legacy of lynching and its parallel of religious sacrifice. His conclusions may be controversial for some, as were those of 1997's The Ordeal of Integration, but Patterson takes on the role of a doctor willing to endure the protests of his patient to lead him to good health. --Eugene Holley Jr.

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