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A Black Way of Seeing: From "Liberty" to Freedomby Paul Robeson
Synopses & Reviews
“The language of the Declaration of Independence could not have used the word freedom without directly confronting the issue of slavery as the ultimate denial of liberty,” writes the Black American writer Paul Robeson, Jr. in the opening pages of this powerful and forward-looking indictment of contemporary American politics from one of our strongest and bravest Black voices of conscience.
Thereafter, Robeson writes, “liberty meant the privileges to which the elite minority was entitled.” And as for freedom… we are still waiting for it.
In the tradition of Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk, Robeson’s A Black Way of Seeing melds history and analysis in a sweeping panaroma, scathing in its understanding of why black empowerment has failed, prescient in its articulation of what it will take for Black Americans to finally cross over to the status of fully empowered citizens, and what the ramifications of this change can be for the country as a whole.
Today no African-American elected on a Republican ticket sits in Congress. Most Blacks do not trust President Bush, and are not inclined to believe anything he says. When Black Americans begin to change the status quo, Robeson argues, they will change not only their own status in America, but will help change this whole country in the process.
Paul Robeson, Jr., son of the legendary Paul Robeson, served for more than 20 years as his father's close aide and personal representative. An esteemed cultural critic, he has lectured across the United States and England and appeared on radio and television programs across the globe. This is his third book.
"For more than 20 years, Robeson was 'close aide and personal representative' to his father, actor and activist Paul Robeson Sr. Robeson's latest book, following Paul Robeson Jr. Speaks to America: The Politics of Multiculturalism and The Undiscovered Paul Robeson, An Artist's Journey, continues the elder Robeson's tradition of speaking out thoughtfully and frankly, and sketches a vision of American history where Black Americans, from slavery forward, have been forced to live a 'separate reality' from white Americans. He begins with the race implications of 9/11, where he finds hurtful spin by Giuliani ('The Mayor's implied message was clear: We have a lily-white fire department, and we're going to keep it that way'), and moves on to 'Eight Coups in American History' ('George Bush's mission in the White House is to establish nationwide a modern version of the old Confederacy based on the New South'), an account of the War on Terror and of voter fraud in the last two presidential elections, and a program for Black Americans to support the Progressive party along class lines. Like most 'my vision for America' books, this one is thin on documentation, but thick with passion." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A fresh take on race in America, this book offers a bold approach to empowerment.
In the tradition of James Baldwins Notes of a Native Son, Robesons A Black Way of Seeing melds history and analysis in a sweeping panorama of the present moment as we know it to be—scathing in its understanding of why Black empowerment has failed and prescient in its articulation of what it will take for Black Americans to be agents of change for the country as a whole.
In this powerful and forward-looking indictment of contemporary American politics, Robeson melds history and analysis in a sweeping panoramic discussion of why black empowerment has failed, what it will take for Black Americans to finally cross over to the status of fully empowered citizens, and what the ramifications of this change can be for the country as a whole.
About the Author
PAUL ROBESON, JR. is the author of Paul Robeson, Jr. Speaks to America: The Politics of Multiculturalism and The Undiscovered Paul Robeson: An Artists Journey. An esteemed cultural critic, he has lectured across the United States and has appeared on radio and television programs across the globe. Son of the legendary Paul Robeson, he served for more than 20 years as his fathers close aide and personal representative.
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