In the late 1800s W.E.B. Dubois asked what it really means to be black in America. He raised the spectre of divided loyalties and the blurring of individuality that he called "Double Consciousness". This volume offers an insight into this "dilemma of identity" by asking the seemingly rhetorical question, what does O.J. Simpson have in common with the participants in the Million Man March, the jury that set him free, the people who inexplicably cheered his acquittal, the prosecuting attorney, the black Muslim Louis Farrakhan, or with his own children? Each case involves cross-cutting currents of age, sex, religion, race, ethnicity, class and ideology. But what they share among themselves, and with the rest of the nation, is the firm conviction that they are black. The author aims to reveal the importance of this imaginary bond, this ethnic ethic, this myth of black ethnicity. He explores its creation, its evolution and its role in linking together the many generations of blacks in America. Dr Davis also seeks to show: how this myth connects the slave huts of Alabama to O.J.'s Brentwood estate; how it connects him to his jury emancipators; how it connects Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to discussions of affirmative action; and how it connects an ancient Juffure villager named Kunta Kinte to contemporary slum dwellers in Harlem.
The book argues that it is not race that ties these diverse millions together, but a co-operatively developed paradigm shared by blacks and non-blacks alike as to what constitutes an authentic black existence. By de-bunking the myth, the author seeks to point the way to a fuller recognition of the individual differences that blacks have always had but that are becoming more apparent as the opportunity to express them becomes more prevalent.
Number of pages: 196
Weight: 286 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 11 mm