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Reed contends that the road to a more just society for African Americans and everyone else is obstructed, in part, by a discourse that equates entrepreneurialism with freedom and independence. This, ultimately, insists on divorcing race and class. In the age of runaway inequality and Black Lives Matter, there is an emerging consensus that our society has failed to redress Reed contends that the road to a more just society for African Americans and everyone else is obstructed, in part, by a discourse that equates entrepreneurialism with freedom and independence. This, ultimately, insists on divorcing race and class. In the age of runaway inequality and Black Lives Matter, there is an emerging consensus that our society has failed to redress racial disparities. The culprit, however, is not the sway of a metaphysical racism or the modern survival of a primordial tribalism. Instead, it can be traced to far more comprehensible forces, such as the contradictions in access to New Deal era welfare programs, the blinders imposed by the Cold War, and Ronald Reagan's neoliberal assault on the half-century long Keynesian consensus.


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Reed contends that the road to a more just society for African Americans and everyone else is obstructed, in part, by a discourse that equates entrepreneurialism with freedom and independence. This, ultimately, insists on divorcing race and class. In the age of runaway inequality and Black Lives Matter, there is an emerging consensus that our society has failed to redress Reed contends that the road to a more just society for African Americans and everyone else is obstructed, in part, by a discourse that equates entrepreneurialism with freedom and independence. This, ultimately, insists on divorcing race and class. In the age of runaway inequality and Black Lives Matter, there is an emerging consensus that our society has failed to redress racial disparities. The culprit, however, is not the sway of a metaphysical racism or the modern survival of a primordial tribalism. Instead, it can be traced to far more comprehensible forces, such as the contradictions in access to New Deal era welfare programs, the blinders imposed by the Cold War, and Ronald Reagan's neoliberal assault on the half-century long Keynesian consensus.

30 review for Toward Freedom: The Case Against Race Reductionism

  1. 5 out of 5

    Leif

    Reed's argument with the brutal reductions of racializing politics is the most sustained when his gaze is focused on his contemporaries such as Barack Obama and Ta-Nehisi Coates, and his investigation of Daniel Patrick Moynihan's legacy of conflicted interpretations is also fascinating. I found the introductory material more unfocused and dense, without a corresponding clarity of purpose. Across the whole book, Reed pursues his laudable convictions in common-good political action as a preferable Reed's argument with the brutal reductions of racializing politics is the most sustained when his gaze is focused on his contemporaries such as Barack Obama and Ta-Nehisi Coates, and his investigation of Daniel Patrick Moynihan's legacy of conflicted interpretations is also fascinating. I found the introductory material more unfocused and dense, without a corresponding clarity of purpose. Across the whole book, Reed pursues his laudable convictions in common-good political action as a preferable strategy to the forms of identity-based abstractions which, to his eyes, produce division even as they yield scattered benefits. Or, as he puts it, The bottom line is that the fate of poor and working-class African Americans - who are unquestionably overrepresented among neoliberalism's victims - is linked to that of other poor and working-class Americans. Our road to a more just society for African Americans and everyone else is obstructed, in part, by a discourse that declares the New Deal to be the root of all modern racial ills (despite the fact that the New Deal helped lay the foundation for the civil rights movement), that derides unions as racist (despite blacks' overrepresentation among unionists), that equates 'working class' with crusty old white men while equating entrepreneurialism with freedom and independence (like Black Belt slaveholders weren't petty capitalists) and that, ultimately, insists upon divorcing race from class. As the quotation suggests, Reed at his best is precise and accessible, and he mixes his critical observations with a quick irony. His broadsides against easy sophistries such as reparations (Coates), postracism, or underclass discourse are full of fire and well supported with close-marshalled evidence. In summary: quite a book! I strongly recommend it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Winston Plum

    This is a fantastic book, and I highly recommend it. There are several authors I’m excited to read anything they write: Toure Reed, Adolph Reed Jr., Cedric Johnson, Thomas Frank, Walter Benn Michaels, Karen and Barbara Fields to name a few. I read “Toward Freedom” a couple of months ago, and I can’t remember all the specifics of the book, but I’ve set myself a challenge to write reviews for all my listed books here on Goodreads. This will be a good activity because it shows what I remember about This is a fantastic book, and I highly recommend it. There are several authors I’m excited to read anything they write: Toure Reed, Adolph Reed Jr., Cedric Johnson, Thomas Frank, Walter Benn Michaels, Karen and Barbara Fields to name a few. I read “Toward Freedom” a couple of months ago, and I can’t remember all the specifics of the book, but I’ve set myself a challenge to write reviews for all my listed books here on Goodreads. This will be a good activity because it shows what I remember about a book a week, a month, or several years after I’ve read it. This is important because if a book has staying power, if it’s expressed something important to you, you should be able to conceptualize the points that moved you or continue to inspire your thinking as you move through your life and away from the particular moment you read the book. In other words, if you’ve forgotten everything about the book two years after you’ve read it can’t verbally express what about the book--thematically, conceptually, politically, artistically--you enjoyed or what continues to inform your thinking or way of being in the world, then the book probably wasn’t very good. Or, more generously, it wasn’t very good for you. “Toward Freedom” continues the project Toure Reed has been at for awhile (at least how I’ve come to understand his scholarship from articles I’ve read on Jacobin and elsewhere) of engaging critically with the nexus of class and race, specifically how black politics has changed over the last eighty years. It’s hard not to think about Toure Reed as the son of Adolph Reed Jr. because Adolph Reed Jr’s writing is so damn good. Toure Reed in a fantastic writer in many of the same ways his father is--powerful, intricate sentences; clear thinking; attention to detail and a grounding of scholarship in discrete historical circumstances; freedom from cant, generalizations or pandering of any kind. What Toure Reed does in this book is make a detailed accounting of the political economy of the United States at specific times and how black political struggle, political alliances (black and between various ascriptive groups), and political movements have been structured and disciplined by the discrete circumstances of various political eras. This is very similar to the work Cedric Johnson did in “From Revolutionaries to Race Leaders” and Adolph Reed Jr. has done in “Class Notes.” This is a worthwhile, powerful project that provides lesson after lesson for today for those of us on the Left. Part of this project, perhaps the most important part, is disaggregating political movements and political blocks (of ascriptive groups) into their constituent parts as opposed to interacting rhetorically and discursively as though there is one black political movement or one black voting block. By doing this (ascribing to the black community in the US monolithic consistency and sameness)--even when it’s done by black and white commentators, scholars, writers, political theorists in good faith (meaning not trafficking in stereotypes; not sugar-coating racial violence in our nation’s past)--a reification of ascriptive identities is the upshot. The writer, scholar et al. is participating in a project of race essentialism and race reductionism (even when the project is ostensibly engaged in a counter-hegemonic project). I’ve gone on an interesting sojourn vis-a-vis writings on race. I was trying to better understand what the Movement for Black Lives was about. This led me to all of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s great articles at The Atlantic, “Between the World and Me,” “White Rage” by Carol Anderson, “White Like Me” by Tim Wise, “White Fragility “ by Robin DiAngelo. I’m not going to disown these books or pretend they didn’t influence and shape my thinking at the time I was read them (especially “BTWAM”), but somewhere along the way I read Cedric Johnson’s critique of Coates in Jacobin and was off and running with Reed, pere and fils, Walter Benn Michaels, Karen and Barbara Fields and the like. Perhaps those earlier texts are way-stations, perhaps even necessary way-stations, for middle class white people (like me) who didn’t experience much diversity with their friend set growing up or in college; perhaps I had ingested racist stereotypes from family members; perhaps I came from a place of privilege (which is just a self-incriminating way to describe how the structural conditions of our society mystify and obscure what is really happening and to whom). The point being is that the essentializing and reification of the black experience (despite some moments of tension and points of contradiction in Coates’s writing where his essentialism of the black experience comes up against his concession that race is a social construct and the reification and essentialism of race as a social identity comes after and as a result of the exploitation that bring race to life) served a purpose for me. It allowed me (and now I’m also thinking of the writing of Jelani Cobb, Hilton Als, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Michelle Alexander) to fully take and understand black lives, and by extension Latinx, Native-American, Asian-American, and whatever other ascriptive identity of person there exists here and abroad) as fully human, as fully complex human beings. In other words to think of those around me who didn’t have the economic privileges I’ve had; who don’t have the same skin shade as I have; who speak in with different accents; who celebrate different holidays and have different cultural practices as human beings just as complex as white people; genetically no different than I as far as “group” identity if concerned. It’s a little embarrassing to write this because these sentiments can be boiled down to “I realized we’re all the same as human beings,” but clearly a lot of people all over the world, and specifically in the United States, don’t feel we’re all the same as human beings. Anyway, this wasn’t only an intellectual realization but also a visceral, emotional and psychological realization, and ultimately, and most importantly, a political realization. Call it racial dialectics, but after having internalized the writings of Coates, Alexander, Cobb et al. and after having read Reed and Johnson for several months, I realized what’s missing from these liberal/progressive frameworks that focus on race is a robust, sustained critique of political economy. I don’t know if Adolph Reed Jr., Cedric Johnson, and Toure Reed call themselves Marxists or socialists and ultimately it doesn't matter because they, nor I, are leading the proletarian revolution at this time, but as scholars they are undertaking political projects that lead with class, that lead with a robust analysis of political economy. These other critiques only make passing comments about political economy and don’t examine in any coherent way the class forces involved in maintaining the structures that ensure black people are disproportionally among the poor and working poor. In other words what is elided is a sustained critique of capitalism and capital accumulation. The neoliberal order is taken as a given and therefore obscured in these authors’ critiques of racism, “systemic racism,” disparity in incarceration rates, disparity in earning power and mean family income, etc. The dialectic I refer to is moving through an internalization all humans are equal, all humans have the same basic needs and respond roughly the same ways when they or their families are deprived of these material needs, to examining capitalism (specifically the quickening of capital accumulation and mass immiseration during the neo-liberal era) as the system that organizes this brutally inegalitarian society. Is the problem just racism? Is it just discrimination of various ascriptive groups? No. But this is also not to say anti-discrimination policies shouldn’t be upheld and strengthened wherever these statutes are on the books at the state and federal level. But it is to say that a deep, robust critique of capital accumulation is necessary to get to the heart of conceptualizing the ways redistributive, universal programs can ameliorate the worst consequences of capitalism. Toure Reed’s book look at particular moments in the 20th and 21st century where a multi-racial, working-class mass politics was stymied and/or slowed down by class contradictions within various movements--class contradictions that existed within the black community just as there are class contradiction within any ascriptive identity group. One of the historical moments Toure Reed looks at is the New Deal, and he provides an important corrective to the notion that’s become unassailable in recent elite scholarship that New Deal policies failed black Americans en masse. This was not the case. There were certain occupations that were not covered by social security and those occupations were disproportionately occupied by black Americans, but as far as gross numbers go whites were also hurt by sharecroppers being left out of social security. In short, the argument shouldn’t be (or at least the whole story shouldn’t be to the exclusion of appreciating the efficaciousness of redistributive programs in general) how these programs feel short because of their discriminatory nature, but how much they actually did help to pull black Americans out poverty. The lesson of redistributive programs (from the New Deal and Great Society) should not be that they failed because of discriminatory features and execution, but that advocating and organizing political commitments around a call for universal, redistributive programs is the best path forward. Means-testing and pitting one ascriptive group against the other (usually the upshot of mean-tested program) is not is not a strategy for political victories. Toure Reed is a great scholar. I recommend reading everything you see with his name at the top of it. I can’t wait to read his next book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lawrence Grandpre

    The strongest point of the book is his critique of Coats and Obama. The weakest is chapter one, his histography of Black people benefiting from the New Deal and interracial coalition. The author confuses what is often abstract academic liberal/intersectional performative analysis on race as "black nationalism". The author also false to see the long history of independent Black institutions pressuring both government and unions/labor left as a necessary precondition for the interracial coalitions The strongest point of the book is his critique of Coats and Obama. The weakest is chapter one, his histography of Black people benefiting from the New Deal and interracial coalition. The author confuses what is often abstract academic liberal/intersectional performative analysis on race as "black nationalism". The author also false to see the long history of independent Black institutions pressuring both government and unions/labor left as a necessary precondition for the interracial coalitions the author promotes. Many scholars such as Harold Cruse would fundamentally contest his historical analysis around the NAACP and notions that Black radicalism was catalyzed by New Deal/labor organizing. Also, the author ignores long history of Black radical mobilizations outside the labor left (Michael Dawson). A solid attempt to critique neoliberalism's co-options of race as an issue to deploy against radical notions of redistribution which unfortunately falls to often into painting the broad diverse Black radical struggle as capitulating to capitalism vision of freedom and the ideological vision of Daniel Patrick Moynahan.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    had a harder time with the denser first half of the book, which was focused on the New Deal, Oscar Handlin, and the Moynihan report. the analysis and criticism of Obama and Coates in the book’s second half was really worthwhile

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tom G

    Almost feels conspiratorial in its bold rejection of the accepted truths of our current discourse around race and politics. Unlike the majority who have been fooled by the treacherous rhetoric of their neoliberal hegemons at the DNC, Reed recognizes that economic and racial equality in American society are inextricably linked; that, in spite of those who have been taught by party line parrots to scoff at the very idea, a rising tide does indeed lift all boats, inasmuch as genuinely redistributiv Almost feels conspiratorial in its bold rejection of the accepted truths of our current discourse around race and politics. Unlike the majority who have been fooled by the treacherous rhetoric of their neoliberal hegemons at the DNC, Reed recognizes that economic and racial equality in American society are inextricably linked; that, in spite of those who have been taught by party line parrots to scoff at the very idea, a rising tide does indeed lift all boats, inasmuch as genuinely redistributive and pro-labor economic policies are concerned. A concise and well-argued book that puts to rest the racial fatalism of Ta-Nehisi Coates et al. that has inspired the current wave of obsessive, self-flagellating antiracism that is stymying the American left, and proposes concrete solutions for addressing the economic disparities that are at the heart of black/brown inequality.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dean Scwartz

    The author makes well-executed complex arguments and he's funny! What?! One must read the footnotes, humorous gems are found there too. The author makes well-executed complex arguments and he's funny! What?! One must read the footnotes, humorous gems are found there too.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Reed Kelly

    An excellent, concise history (and argument) both of 1) the relationship between race and class in the effects of U.S. policy making on the economic welfare of black populations during the 20th century and 2) the development of race reductionism as a conservative, inegalitarian, pro-capitalist tendency and force embraced by liberals in race-focused discourse and advocacy from the 1980s onward; published months before nationwide mass demonstrations against the ghastly police murder of George Floy An excellent, concise history (and argument) both of 1) the relationship between race and class in the effects of U.S. policy making on the economic welfare of black populations during the 20th century and 2) the development of race reductionism as a conservative, inegalitarian, pro-capitalist tendency and force embraced by liberals in race-focused discourse and advocacy from the 1980s onward; published months before nationwide mass demonstrations against the ghastly police murder of George Floyd drove liberals to embrace and celebrate “diversity trainer” and ‘White Fragility’ author Robin DiAngelo’s grim, dead end race-essentialism in their flailing efforts to learn how to relate with and support their oppressed neighbors of color.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Glenn

    Legally forbidden to have an opinion.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Peter Jana

    I’m putting this on my shelf next to Ta-Nehisi Coates because, amongst other things, Reed presents a well-reasoned critique of him in the latter chapters. As much as I have learned from Coates and admire him, it’s edifying to read something about him that is not laudatory, or narrowly focused on his “pessimism.” It opens up new avenues for discussion, research, and political mobilization. I would love to see Coates and Reed debate or see if Coates has addressed Reed-like critiques in writing. In I’m putting this on my shelf next to Ta-Nehisi Coates because, amongst other things, Reed presents a well-reasoned critique of him in the latter chapters. As much as I have learned from Coates and admire him, it’s edifying to read something about him that is not laudatory, or narrowly focused on his “pessimism.” It opens up new avenues for discussion, research, and political mobilization. I would love to see Coates and Reed debate or see if Coates has addressed Reed-like critiques in writing. In short, Reed accuses Coates (and others like Obama) of race-reductionism by ignoring the larger context of political economy to the determinant of sustained structural progress. Part of this critique involves the legacy of New Deal universal programs. Reed claims that African-Americans benefited from them and that liberals, contrary to Coates’s misreading of history, abandoned them. In other words when Coates claims that class-based social policies don’t work for African-Americans he is misguided because in the post-war period the US never fully adopted them in the first place. From at least the Johnson administration forward, neoliberalism has been the reigning orthodoxy for Democrats and Republicans alike. Johnson’s war on poverty pursued policies promoting social diversity and economic expansion (a rising tide raises all boats mentality) as opposed to interventions in the labor market and income redistribution. The trend only accelerated with Reagan and Clinton. Obama did the bare minimum to keep the country afloat during the financial crisis while adopting the same economic assumptions of his predecessors and promoting a “underclass” ideology that placed more blame on individual decisions and alleged cultural factors than the root causes of black (and white) poverty - the generations long inadequate responses to deindustrialization and automatization. Trump’s victory in 2016, therefore, owes more to failed policies that hurt black and white alike, then to an uncompromising racism. This explains the white Obama voters who voted for Trump and the depressed voter turnout across all racial categories. While reading this section of the book I was reminded of a New York York Times story published right after the 2016 election. The author interviewed black barbers in Milwaukee who didn’t vote on the grounds that “nothing changes.” https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/21/us... I’m in no position to adjudicate the historical arguments raised by Reed but I’m glad he raised them. Something has clearly not worked. Reed’s analysis provides a digestible and historically grounded explanations of why.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Matthew McCarthy

    Occasionally you read a book that gives you a sigh of relief, something that's able to cogently articulate your conscious, latent, and intuitive opinions on an issue. Touré Reed's Toward Freedom is a necessary tonic to so many misguided discussions - and solutions - regarding racial inequity. Reed is able to crystallize the complexity of this issue in the proper historical and political-economic framework, correctly avoiding the seductive, ontological pitfalls of liberal-identitarian commentarie Occasionally you read a book that gives you a sigh of relief, something that's able to cogently articulate your conscious, latent, and intuitive opinions on an issue. Touré Reed's Toward Freedom is a necessary tonic to so many misguided discussions - and solutions - regarding racial inequity. Reed is able to crystallize the complexity of this issue in the proper historical and political-economic framework, correctly avoiding the seductive, ontological pitfalls of liberal-identitarian commentaries on race. Chapters 3 and 4 are, simply put, necessary reading for progressives, whatever their stripe. In the current political moment, I'm just relieved this book exists. Read it. For a version of Chapter 4, see Touré Reed, "Between Obama and Coates," Catalyst Vol. 1, No. 4 (Winter 2018). For a survey of some of the arguments in Toward Freedom, see Reed's recent appearances on Stay At Home #12: "The Pitfalls of Liberal Antiracism and Woke Neoliberalism," Weekends with Ana and Michael, and TMBS.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    Toure synthesizes the argument that his dad's been making for quite some time, that the conversion of Black movement activism into an elite-driven, race-centered politics from the late 60s onward has served to negate the egalitarian goals articulated best by Civil Rights leaders Bayard Rustin and A. Philip Randolph. Reed is part of a loose coalition of thinkers who rebuke the practice of disaggregating race and class, most of whom have been published at least once over at Nonsite (Cedric Johnson Toure synthesizes the argument that his dad's been making for quite some time, that the conversion of Black movement activism into an elite-driven, race-centered politics from the late 60s onward has served to negate the egalitarian goals articulated best by Civil Rights leaders Bayard Rustin and A. Philip Randolph. Reed is part of a loose coalition of thinkers who rebuke the practice of disaggregating race and class, most of whom have been published at least once over at Nonsite (Cedric Johnson, Adolph Reed Jr., Walter Been Michaels). The general premise is that the Civil Rights movement made a pivot around 1964 from race/class conscious/labor rights radicalism to a more narrow race-central framing. According to Reed, this pivot has led to decades of activism that provides a barrier to addressing inequality, as it is allowed to co-exist alongside the growth politics that continue to pose barriers to upward mobility. In their view, race affinity, while demonstrating some utility in consolidating small BIPOC communities, nevertheless suffers from singling out culturalist theories of coalition building, while generally putting aside ideas of egalitarian restructuring. As a result, activism of this sort tends to be atomized, obfuscates solutions, and is generally antithetical to multi-ethnic coalition building. Critiques of this perspective are more than fair: yearning for a class uprising is overly backward-looking, myopically hung up on some limited gains made by Blacks in the New Deal era, and their hostility to culturalist race-centered identity politics ignores what has historically motivated people. Nostalgia aside, the critique of Reed that he engages with directly is that he is simply is engaging in “class reductionism,” no matter how much he acknowledges the lived reality of systemic discrimination. Of the few who have bothered to acknowledge Reed's book, critics dismiss the book's focus on neutral rhetoric of equity, and reject that there is solid evidence of multi-ethnic solidarity having ever led to real change. Seeing that the evidence shows “the more volatile claim” of racism is the motivating factor with the most potential to induce radical action, any claims otherwise are illusory. Nevertheless, it's useful to look at how Reed challenges the utility of solutions that flow from a race-based approach. Reed often takes pains to remind his readers that the “Freedom Budget for All” agenda of Randolph and Rustin has mostly been black-holed, as well as the full policy agenda behind the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, with the historical record more often than not leaving the “Jobs” part out. The tragedy according to Reed was that actual change was within our reach, with calls for public works programs and a broad redistributive anti-poverty agenda that would have directly addressed the material sources of racial disparities. But ultimately the Johnson administration abandoned a public good model of governance in favor of a growth-oriented agenda, launching the neoliberal consensus that takes us all the way up to the present day. There's a case to be made that Reed's socialist take may be essentialist in its own right. While Reed claims to be balancing economic structuralist critiques against how communities actually perceive themselves and each other (through culturalist and ontological theories of race), the thrust of his argument tends to be premised primarily on material interests. And as much as he claims to be sympathetic to the real world traumas and gravity of racial injustice, Reed has penned a polemic, which by nature takes the shape of Maslow’s hammer.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Fisher

    The choice of enemies is appropriate — 'race reductionism' has probably even accelerated in popularity since the publication of this book — and he successfully puts Coates through the wringer. The criticism to be lobbed here is not that of 'class reductionism,' but rather its (honestly, rather infuriating) refusal to step outside the bounds of a left-liberalism. I'm sorry, but the 'political economic' determinants of race formation and economic 'inequalities' are not 'automation' and 'deindustri The choice of enemies is appropriate — 'race reductionism' has probably even accelerated in popularity since the publication of this book — and he successfully puts Coates through the wringer. The criticism to be lobbed here is not that of 'class reductionism,' but rather its (honestly, rather infuriating) refusal to step outside the bounds of a left-liberalism. I'm sorry, but the 'political economic' determinants of race formation and economic 'inequalities' are not 'automation' and 'deindustrialization.' Anyone serious about their Marxism would know the old man spent about four-hundred pages on how alterations in the process of production can give different forms of appearance to capitalist social relations without altering their essential characteristics whatsoever. Go after capitalism itself! It is this — and its therefore attendant 'solutions' that remain bounded by what is oddly called a 'public-good framework' (?) in opposition to 'growth politics' (??) — that render even its effective critique of neoliberalism ultimately insufficient. Probably wouldn't care as much if it wasn't published by Jacobin, which should push the ball harder.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Marco Vidal

    It was a little hard to read at times but very insightful. Toure Reed does a great job comparing and contrasting the works of Ta-hisi Coates and others to give us a breakdown as to why specific funding programs have not helped to alleviate African American poverty in the US. A worthwhile read if you want to understand how Race and Class are intertwined. The historical examination on how the deindustrialization of the US in the 60s did not allow the African American poor to participate in the eme It was a little hard to read at times but very insightful. Toure Reed does a great job comparing and contrasting the works of Ta-hisi Coates and others to give us a breakdown as to why specific funding programs have not helped to alleviate African American poverty in the US. A worthwhile read if you want to understand how Race and Class are intertwined. The historical examination on how the deindustrialization of the US in the 60s did not allow the African American poor to participate in the emerging economy that favored higher skilled workers was especially interesting. There is just too much to try and explain so I'll just recommend that you read the book instead.

  14. 5 out of 5

    John

    I read this immediately after reading "White Fragility" by Robin Diangelo. Needless to say, it was a much different view on race relations in the United States. Dr. Reed's focus on economic relationships AND race was excellent. He does not shy away from confronting racism in the U.S. but he puts it in the context of structural economic issues. I highly recommend this book for it's detailed examination of race and class in the U.S. I read this immediately after reading "White Fragility" by Robin Diangelo. Needless to say, it was a much different view on race relations in the United States. Dr. Reed's focus on economic relationships AND race was excellent. He does not shy away from confronting racism in the U.S. but he puts it in the context of structural economic issues. I highly recommend this book for it's detailed examination of race and class in the U.S.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jose

    Concise, clear eyed, well thought out argument here. The great thing about this book is how it touches on historical policies and events and finally culminates in the best part of the whole book, which is a pretty analytical and fair critique of Obama's and Coates' writings, speeches, and policies on race. Concise, clear eyed, well thought out argument here. The great thing about this book is how it touches on historical policies and events and finally culminates in the best part of the whole book, which is a pretty analytical and fair critique of Obama's and Coates' writings, speeches, and policies on race.

  16. 4 out of 5

    David Goldfarb

    Timely and great companion book to racecraft by field sisters.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kavish Gandhi

    A concise, incisive criticism of race reductionism, as manifested by Obama and by Coates, and a clarion call for an analysis that touches both race and class, and policy prescriptions that follow

  18. 5 out of 5

    Reana Kovalcik

    Easily the best book on race and/or class issues that I've ever read. Easily the best book on race and/or class issues that I've ever read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amit

    Well-argued historical and political text. Chapter 4’s critique of Coates and Obama is alone worth the price of admission.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Peck

    Incredibly informative

  21. 5 out of 5

    EB

  22. 5 out of 5

    Citizen Ken

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ashkan

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Desmarais

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ethen Winright

  26. 5 out of 5

    S. McCarty

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ashlee

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sean McTague

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ben

  30. 5 out of 5

    Brian Haynes

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