Friday, March 11, 2011
I flew out to Denver with Reverend Jesse Jackson to the 2008 Democratic National Convention that nominated Barack Obama. Many people know that Jackson and I go way back. I could share many stories about that trip. But the scene that replays out in my memory is walking down the street in downtown Denver and coming across a black vendor selling t-shirts with Obama’s face superimposed over Malcolm X’s in the famous photo where Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm meet and shake hands. I stopped dead in my tracks. I cussed out loud and indignantly said to a fellow I didn’t know, ‘that’s fucked up.’ I asked in an irksome tone, ‘how ya’ll gonna just spray paint that brother in a place in history he wasn’t at?’ To my surprise (and good fortune) he didn’t come back ugly on me. He grinned and said, “C’mon man, jus makin’ that money” and went on with his business.
That said, this book’s title reflects where I believe black politics in the United States stands at this moment in time. To me things are still moving in the wrong direction in more ways than one. Even with an African American as head of state. And more black billionaires, millionaires, media personalities, athletes and entertainers then every before. And more black elected officials, most who are democrats, in the nation’s history. Just think about it. There were about 100 black elected officials back in 1964. There were well over 9,000 as of 2010. So arguably, the most pronounced accomplishment of black politics in the decades following the death of Martin Luther King Jr. is gaining public office.
This book is my take on the road black politics has traveled. It's a project I've worked on over a numbers of years which needs a bit of funding for completion before the 2012 elections. I hope that it will hope people better understand the politics they are facing and the electoral choices the have to make.
Table of Content:
2 INTRODUCTION - It just keeps getting harder to fight
3 The excesses of the 60s
4 The Civil Rights era
5 Black Power, Black Panthers, Malcolm X and the Limitations of Black Nationalism
6 Black politics and anti-colonialism
7 Jesse Jackson, the Rainbow Coalition and the left
8 Bling – The Reagan-Oprah-Nike-two Michael’s Generation
9 The 90s resurgence of black nationalism
10 War on drugs, 9-11 and war on Iraq
11 Black versus Brown
12 Class and Culture
13 The New Smoothy-Doovys - The New Democrats and the rise of Barack Obama
14 Conclusion I: Black Power?
15 Conclusion II: Getting in the game
To be published by Verso Books.
Project location: Columbia, SC