- List Price: $45.00
- Binding: Hardcover
- Publisher: Columbia Univ Pr
- Publish date: 03/01/1998
- ISBN: 9780231107464
- ISBN10: 0231107463
Marable identifies three major traditions that have defined American black political culture: integration, nationalist separatism, and what he terms democratic transformation. Throughout Black leadership, he profiles the century's most vital black leaders, delving into significant but little-studied aspects of their careers.
The book opens with a trenchant examination of America's political institutions: an analysis of the racial contours of the U.S. Constitution is followed by a chapter on the central motif of slavery, the black family, community, and political life in the century since its demise. This stirring chapter presents Marable's personal family history during slavery and the Reconstruction era, and their efforts to achieve full equality.
At the heart of the book are critical portraits of four leaders whose legacies speak to the challenges of race, class, and power: Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, Harold Washington, and Louis Farrakhan. Marable seeks lessons in each life: Booker T. Washington's conservative strategy of black vocational education and accommodation to racial segregation undermined the struggle for civil rights for severalgenerations; equally conservative, Louis Farrakhan's autocratic nationalism serves to reinforce racial discrimination; and mayor Harold Washington's failure to uproot Chicago's political machine points to the limits of even the most charismatic personality.
For Marable, it is Du Bois -- the engaged intellectual who struggled brilliantly for peace and justice from inside and outside of white society -- who embodies the movement for a multicultural society, where racial equality is linked to economic and political democracy for all. Provocative and plain spoken, Black Leadership goes beyond the rhetoric of racial politics and renews the possibility for lasting economic, social, and cultural change throughout American society.