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February 04 , 2008

Contesting Post-Racialism

Conflicted Churches in the United States and South Africa


After the 2008 election and 2012 reelection of Barack Obama as US president and the 1994 election of Nelson Mandela as the first of several blacks to serve as South Africa's president, many within the two countries have declared race to be irrelevant. For contributors to this volume, the presumed demise of race may be premature. Given continued racial disparities in income, education, and employment, as well as in perceptions of problems and promise within the two countries, much healing remains unfinished. Nevertheless, despite persistently pronounced disparities between black and white realities, it has become more difficult to articulate racial issues. Some deem "race" an increasingly unnecessary identity in these more self-consciously "post-racial" times.

The volume engages post-racial ideas in both their limitations and promise. Contributors look specifically at the extent to which a church's contemporary response to race consciousness and post-racial consciousness enables it to give an accurate public account of race.

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