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Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America

Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America

Written by Eugene Robinson

Narrated by Alan Bomar Jones


Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America

Written by Eugene Robinson

Narrated by Alan Bomar Jones

ratings:
4.5/5 (5 ratings)
Length:
7 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Nov 17, 2010
ISBN:
9781452670119
Format:
Audiobook

Description

The African American population in the United States has always been seen as a single entity: a "Black America" with unified interests and needs. In his groundbreaking book Disintegration, longtime Washington Post journalist Eugene Robinson argues that, through decades of desegregation, affirmative action, and immigration, the concept of Black America has shattered. Now, instead of one, there are four distinct groups: a Mainstream middle-class majority with a solid stake in society; a large Abandoned minority with less hope than ever of escaping poverty; a small Transcendent elite, whose enormous wealth and power make even whites genuflect; and newly Emergent groups of mixed-race individuals and recent black immigrants who question what black even means.



Using historical research, reporting, census data, and polling, Robinson shows how these groups have become so distinct that they view each other with mistrust and apprehension. And yet all are reluctant to acknowledge division. Disintegration shines light on crucial debates about affirmative action, the importance of race versus social class, and the ultimate questions of whether and in what form racism and the black community endure.
Publisher:
Released:
Nov 17, 2010
ISBN:
9781452670119
Format:
Audiobook


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    1 person found this helpful

    DisintegrationEugene RobinsonEugene Robinson is perhaps best-known as a columnist for the Washington Post, where he comments on the national scene, particularly politics, from his post in the nation’s capital. But he is also an author of several books. This, his latest, is an examination of what he describes as the end of what had been a more or less monolithic Afro-American community.In Robinson’s view, previous to the mid-60s, Jim Crow laws in the South and de facto segregation in housing and discrimination in employment in the North resulted in a more or less communal experience among blacks, and forged an identity and unity that allowed them to survive and to struggle for their rights. But the passing of the Civil Rights Acts in the mid and late 60’s opened up possibilities in housing and employment for blacks that had not existed. In addition, reform of immigration laws saw a wave of black immigration from the Caribbean and Africa. These critical events, according to Robinson, resulted in the splintering of black Americans into four distinct groups: The Transcendent--those with wealth and power; the Mainstream--middle-and upper middle class blacks, the majority; the Emergent--two subgroups, those who are biracial and those who are the new immigrants; the Abandoned--those who live in a cycle of poverty and its attendant ills.To make his case, Robinson uses an impressive and eye-opening array of statistics about black America that had me amazed. “Everybody knows” about the Abandoned and their problems. But how many people really know about the other groups? I had no idea just how large the black middle class was, no idea of the extent of the Transcendent (of whom Barack Obama is merely the most obvious). While I knew that there was immigration from African countries and the Caribbean, I had no idea of the extent--or the kind of people who were immigrating; they are among the best educated of all immigrant groups. It goes on and on.I found it highly informative and utterly fascinating, doubly so because of having read Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns immediately before starting Robinson’s book.But the end of the book somewhat weakens what has gone before. Robinson seems to shift focus, as if he started out to do one thing with the book and wound up doing something else. He ends with serious concern about the Abandoned, which is natural enough--but has very little new to offer. As he himself says, “everyone knows” about these problems, “everyone knows” that Something Has To Be Done. But what? Robinson does not come up with any new ideas, just generalities that “everyone knows.”That was disappointing, but should not deter anyone from reading this excellent, informative book. Highly recommended.

    1 person found this helpful