Paperback / softback
April 3, 2018
9781625343277
English
168
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
.78 Pounds (US)
$24.95 USD
v2.1 Reference
Hardback
April 9, 2018
9781625343260
English
168
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
.78 Pounds (US)
$90.00 USD
v2.1 Reference

Optimism at All Costs

Black Attitudes, Activism, and Advancement in Obama's America

In the wake of Barack Obama's 2008 presidential victory, most Americans believed that race relations would improve. While many leaders rallied behind the first black president and the black community felt optimistic on the whole, statistics reveal a decline in black Americans' economic fortunes and a slower recovery from the recession in the years that followed.

Lessie B. Branch confronts the tension between black Americans' economic realities and the hope many felt for the future, looking at survey data alongside the rhetoric of leading black figures, including President Obama. This disparity has caused a dangerous resistance to social activism, as discourses of optimism privilege individual success over the need for collective action. Branch sees the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement as a constructive change in this dynamic. As Americans continue to grapple with complicated questions of race and progress in classrooms, in the media, and in legislatures, this short, provocative book will inform and enrich these important discussions.

About the Author

Lessie B. Branch teaches in the social sciences department at Monroe College and is a Fulbright specialist in race, ethnicity, and religion in politics.

Reviews

"We simply need this book, given the current events that continue to show the rage and despair that shape the lives of descendants of enslaved Africans. Branch's call for counter-storytelling (that pushes against the public narrative of 'the survival of the fittest black individual') is as exciting as the call, in her final pages, for a social movement that makes room for the audacity of black hope and the realism of the current structural, socioeconomic condition of black Americans."—Margo Natalie Crawford, author of Black Post-Blackness: The Black Arts Movement and Twenty-First-Century Aesthetics

"This interesting, even provocative, book weaves together work from anthropology, philosophy, political science, sociology, and economics in a very impressive way, providing a valuable contribution."—Vincent L. Hutchings, author of Public Opinion and Democratic Accountability
University of Massachusetts Press

9781625343260 : optimism-at-all-costs-branch
Hardback
168 Pages
$90.00 USD
9781625343277 : optimism-at-all-costs-branch
Paperback / softback
168 Pages
$24.95 USD

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