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Description - Black Movements in America by Cedric J. Robinson

For nearly 400 years, Black Americans have been torn between two constructions of America: the Jeffersonian promise of a just republic and the nightmare of racial oppression. In Black Movements in America , Cedric Robinson traces the emergence of Black political cultures in the United States from slave resistances in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to the civil rights movements of the present. Drawing on the historical record, Robinson argues that Blacks have constructed both a culture of resistance and a culture of accommodation based on the radically different experiences of slaves and free Blacks. Robinson describes accommodation as informed by republicanism in the early American national period and an identification with the values, ideals and aspirations articulated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Alternatively, resistance was forged from a succession of quests: the return to Africa; escape and alliances with anti-colonial Native American resistance; and eventually emigration. The divergence of these political cultures can be seen as early as the first half of the nineteenth century; and following the Civil War and the gutted promises of Reconstruction, the two cultures became more distinct and conflictual. With the rise of Black political and social elites and an increasingly oppressive Black rural mass in the late nineteenth century, the political tendencies toward accommodation and resistance hardened. In the present century, the development of legalistic strategies around civic equality have contrasted with separation and emigration. Robinson concludes that contemporary Black movements are inspired by either a social vision--held by the relatively privileged strata--which holds the American nation to its ideals and public representation, and another--that of the masses--which interprets the Black experience in America as proof of the country's venality and hypocrisy.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780415912228
ISBN-10: 0415912229
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x mm)
Pages: 192
Imprint: Routledge
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 20-Feb-1997
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Cedric J. Robinson

Cedric J. Robinson is a Professor of Black Studies and Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His published works include Black Marxism (1983) and The Terms of Order (1980).