Alex Zamalin's African American Political Thought and American Culture: The PDF

By Alex Zamalin

ISBN-10: 1137528109

ISBN-13: 9781137528100

ISBN-10: 1349553093

ISBN-13: 9781349553099

In African American Political concept and American Culture, Alex Zamalin argues that African American writers James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, and Toni Morrison extend the bounds of yankee political notion and perform. those 3 writers uniquely reimagined middle American beliefs equivalent to freedom, democratic dedication, and generosity, demonstrating that the perform of those values in way of life, along the enactment of public guidelines and laws, is vital for attaining racial justice. via a traditionally and politically grounded examining in their paintings, Zamalin demonstrates that getting to those insights illuminates a formerly unrecognized point of 20th century African American political suggestion and highbrow lifestyles, and divulges a robust and energizing resource within the modern fight for racial equality.

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Extra resources for African American Political Thought and American Culture: The Nation’s Struggle for Racial Justice

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Who wanted legal nondiscrimination, equal dignity and public respect. 6 But Baldwin always resisted thinking about freedom in ways understandable to Americans. Freedom was not alive in ways American patriots believed. 7 Equally puzzling was his belief that freedom was something private and existential. ”8 Emphasizing freedom rather than liberty meant eschewing the debate about its political manifestations. 9 He also refused to follow the modern tradition of natural rights thinking, which believed freedom was synonymous with birth.

Nonetheless, their belief in their own abstract patriotic myths, tropes of honor, fantasies of sexual purity, valor and faith in justice remained unshaken. Baldwin believed that what was missing here was both the corrective to this world-view and what both camps misunderstood: “Human freedom is a complex, difficult—private—thing. If we can liken life, for a moment to a furnace, then freedom is the fire which burns away illusion. ”34 As if to name the dynamic, individual life at its center, human rather than political freedom was a powerful force for destroying misconceptions and lies.

76 Baldwin’s call for such self-knowledge departed from African American political thought’s equation of knowledge with worldly education.

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African American Political Thought and American Culture: The Nation’s Struggle for Racial Justice by Alex Zamalin


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