READINGS & LINKS

STATUS OF BLACK AMERICA | AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE
GANGSTER RAP | OTHER SITES

STATUS OF BLACK AMERICA

 

America's Caste System: Will It Change?
This October 1997 article in The New York Review of Books by George M. Fredrickson reviews recent books on the state of black-white relations and black economic and social progress. It's a smart and valuable overview of the authors' various perspectives and analyses. The authors all claim to speak for liberal values but differ on key issues such as affirmative action. [Note: Fredrickson's footnotes link to addional NYRB online articles on race and the state of black America in the late 20th century, making his article a gateway to other important readings.]

 

Race in America- Dialogue, Stephan & Abigail Thernstrom and Randall Kennedy
A sharp and fascinating online debate on the state of black progress and race relations, published by Slate Magazine. It grew out of Kennedy's critical review of the Thernstroms' 1997 book, America in Black and White: One Nation Indivisble.

 

RACE & AFFIRMATIVE ACTION-Articles from The Atlantic Monthly's archive
Gathered here are a range of articles, most from the '90s, by top writers such as Robert Coles, Daniel P. Moynihan, Thomas Byrne Edsall, Gerald Early and Randall Kennedy.

 

African American Education
Spanning a century, this 'Flashback' section of The Atlantic Monthly offers a collection of articles on black students and education issues. You'll find asessments by social psychologist Claude M. Steele, Booker T. Washington, Nicholas Lemann, W.E B. Du Bois and Bernard W. Harleston.

The Writings and Work of William Julius Wilson.
Wilson is a leading scholar on race, class and poverty and pioneered the study of class within the black community. Here is a selection of his writings and interviews:

 

An Interview with Wilson
In this Mother Jones interview Wilson discusses the policies needed to attain social and racial equality..

 

Race Neutral Programs and the Democratic Coalition
This article appeared in The American Prospect. Wilson lays out why the movement for real equality needs a new political stratgey for the 1990s that would appeal to a broader coalition. He also addresses the problems afflicting minorities that originate in racist practices but won't be solved by race-specific remedies.

 

'A Look at the Truly Disadvantage' -The NewsHour
A series of interesting questions and answers with Wilson, such as--why didn't the billions spent in the war on poverty remedy the inequities in America's social class system?

 

Race Relations - Newshour with Jim Lehrer
The PBS Newshour's Race Relations page collects a range of 1995-to-the-present reports and interviews on race relations, the Million Man March, Clinton's national dialogue on race, etc. Many of these sections in turn connect to the ongoing ONLINE NEWSHOUR FORUM on race relations and additional background reports and archival interviews.

 

1995 Million Man March-USA Today Index
USA Today offers their reports on the event, a profile of Louis Farrakhan, reactions, analysis and updates a year later. Here too are futher links (such as to the Nation of Islam's Million Man March home page.) A good collection for understanding this event and its impact.


AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE

 

Survey Graphic:Harlem Number
Survey Graphic was a journal of social work in America in the 1920s. This March 1925 special issue entitled "Harlem Number" is fascinating. Allow yourself time to explore its many articles devoted to the African American Renaissance in Harlem -- what the magazine calls "the dramatic flowering of a new racespirit." There are lovely discoveries of history and culture here: from "The Black Man Brings his Gifts" by W.E.B. Du Bois, a wry fictional work about racism set in an Indiana town, to Charles Johnson's "Black Workers and the City," to articles such as "Churches in Harlem" and "The Double Task:The Struggle of Negro Women for Sex and Race Emancipation." It's a unique and most interesting online archive on early 20th century black American life and culture.

 

The African American Mosaic
This is "The Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of Black History and Culture." It highlights the Library's unique collection covering nearly 500 years of the black experience in the Western hemisphere. This site offers a glimpse of what kind of material can be found at the Library of Congress. For example, it links to information about colonization, abolition, black migration, ex-slave narratives and also presents pictures and original documents.

 

The Universal Black Pages: 'Electronic Text'
Black graduate students at the Georgia Institute of Technology have put together this online collection of works by black scholars and historians including Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Cornel West. This page of links is part of the larger UBP index on African American history and culture which links to magazines, newspapers, sports articles, etc.

 

W.E.B.Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research
The country's oldest research center dedicated to the study of the history, culture, and social institutions of African Americas. You'll find this web site an important resource with links to the Du Bois Institute's publications, and information about lectures, events and conferences, graduate programs, research projects and books.


GANGSTER RAP
Here's a selection of definitive articles on life and death of gangster rappers Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. from Quincy Jones' VIBE magazine:

 

Chronicle of a Death Foretold
The Notorious B.I.G., a.k.a. Biggie Smalls, Broolyn-born Christopher Wallace, was shot and killed in May 1997 while driving away from a party at an Los Angeles nightcub. This site gathers several VIBE magazine articles on the death of Biggie Smalls along with profiles and interviews with him detailing his turbulent life and career in the violent gangster rap music world.

 

STAKES IS-Puffy and Biggie break their silence on Tupac, Death Row and all the East-West friction

Another article (Sept.'96) from VIBE magazine that enters the dark side of gangster rap culture and the bad hip hop rivalry between Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur.

 

Biggie Smalls - A Memorial
Troubling, thought-provoking tributes and reactions to his death (as well as Tupac's) from fans, hip hop analystsand industry insiders. Also includes reflections on the money, the guns, the media and the hype of the gangster rap culture.


OTHER SITES

 

Bobby Seale's homepage
Announcing that his site "is about more than the sixties protest movement era" Bobby Seale (the chairman and co-founder, with Huey P. Newton, of the Black Panther Party), offers his web sites as a nexis for bringing the sixties movement full circle by connecting civil-human rights issues to "ecological-economic enviro-epowerment" awareness and action. You will find here Seale's biography, background on the sixties and some four dozen photos of Party members and key events during the sixties/early seventies.

 

The Affirmative Action and Diversity Project: A Web Page for Research
From the Univeristy of California, Santa Barbara this site offers various voices on the affirmative action debate and on multicultural issues. It's a site mainly for scholars and students offering law review articles, analyses, policy documents and other writings. Since it is California-based group, there's a lot of information on Proposition 209. Its major sections include Multiculturalism and Diversity; Measuring Cultural Merit; Assimilation, Integration and Separatism and, an annotated Bibliography.

 

 

 
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