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July 26 , 2009

Black Leaders and Ideologies in the South

Resistance and Non-Violence


A new collection of philosophical biographies of key figures in Black Southern American social and political thought

Frederick Douglass, Booker Washington and Ida Wells. Thurgood Marshall and Martin King are focused upon, together with Howard Thurman, Richard Wright, Fred Gray and Barbara Jordan. All are important in various ways to the movements this book seeks out. From the perspective of liberation, the two high points in the African-American Odyssey are marked by Emancipation in the nineteenth century and Desegregation in the twentieth. Douglass bestriding the first, King and Marshall the second.

The thread of resistance runs through most of these philosophical profiles, and the thread of non-violence, with greater or less force, also runs throughout. This volume assumes a distinction between (a) an earlier period when Afro-America was more cohesive and collectively committed to self-improvement despite the odds, and (b) the contemporary period, beyond desegregation, marked by rates never previously rivaled of suicide, joblessness, imprisonment, despair and alienation, especially among black poor. The life stories and philosophies presented here make fascinating reading.

This book is a Special Issue of the leading journal, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy.

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