This book examines the ongoing struggle for social justice by and for African Americans. Examining the persistent rolling back of civil and voting rights for this population and other minorities since the end of Reconstruction, the author discusses the continued colonization of African Americans and the rise of white nationalism before considering what can be done to create a democratic version of Americanism. With discussions on the possibilities that exist for eliminating health disparities, increasing income and reducing wealth inequality, enhancing the urban environment and housing stability, reforming criminal justice, and reconsidering the case for reparations for the descendants of slaves, the author considers whether white nationalism is a threat to Democratic Americanism and if the declining fortunes of working class Americans can be reversed by means of a "Marshall Plan" for the United States. A study of the sustained racial injustices of American society over the last century and a half and their possible remedies, A Nation Apart will appeal to all those with interests in race and ethnicity and questions of social justice.
Table of Contents
Part I: The Continued Colonization of African Americans
1. Contemporary African-American Insecurity
2. The Building of Incapacity: Race, Poverty, Subordination and Gaps in Health Services
3. The Impact of Slavery and Jim Crow on Today’s African-American Communities
4. The Emerging and Continued Importance of Racial Stigma
5. Gaps in Government Services and Regulations: Maintaining Incapacity and Insecurity
6. Insecurity on the Streets and the Illegitimacy of the Criminal Justice System
Part II: The Systematic Undoing of Civil Rights and Federal Supports for African Americans
7. The Promise of Reconstruction
8. Jim Crow Law and Customs: A Return to White Hegemony
9. States’ Rights as a Form of Resistance, Black Deaths, and Freedom Fighters in the South
10. Twentieth Century Civil Rights Legislation: Expanding Civil Rights and Protecting Voting Rights
11. The Incubation of White Populism
Part III: The Triumph of the White Nationalists
12. The Making of the American Working Class: A Brief Historical Discussion
13. The Emergence of White Nationalism in the Twentieth Century
Part IV: Advancing Democratic Americanism
14. Ideas for Diminishing White Nationalism
15. Targeted Interventions
16. Ending Insecurity Brought on by Unacceptable Living Conditions
17. Reforming Criminal Justice in the Twenty-First Century
18. Considering the Case for Reparations
19. White Nationalism Trumped by Democratic Americanism
Arnold Birenbaum is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, USA. He is the co-author of Norms and Human Behavior and the co-editor of Social Problems: Private Troubles and Public Issues and People in Places: The Sociology of the Familiar.
"This is a thought-provoking book. A timely work which highlights the complexities of racial dynamics in the United States since Reconstruction. It reframes our perspectives by contesting interpretations of racial progress during the first half of the twentieth century, and positing new views on the post-Civil Rights era."
Leslie Wilson, Professor of History, Montclair State University, USA
"Arnold Birenbaum's book gives an in-depth account of the African-American struggle for human dignity, respect, and honor in America that has taken place over multiple centuries. He masterfully strikes a moral chord that sends a piercing sound which causes all 'True Americans' to no longer turn away from such injustices."
Corey L. Kennard, Senior Pastor, Amplify Christian Church, USA