Synopses & Reviews
Throughout his analysis the author addresses the ebb and flow of optimism about American promise and progress. Concluding with a discussion of the continued presence of black jeremiahs such as Jesse Jackson, Howard-Pitney describes how this rhetoric has been most successful in fomenting social-political reform with regard to civil rights and least successful when advocating basic economic change. David Howard-Pitney is a Lecturer in American History and Studies at San Jose State University.
Praise for the First Edition:
"...a superb work. Using speeches and writings of these prominent African Americans, and written in a style that is accessible to a wide readership, David Howard-Pitney has created a work that gives great insight into the African American prophetic vision and daring mission to make the nation right."
—Journal of American Ethnic History
About the Author
David Howard-Pitney is Professor of History at De Anza College. He has worked at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project at Stanford University, and during 2000-2002 was a Commissioned Scholar for the Public Influences of African-American Churches Project of Morehouse College. His publications include Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and the Civil Rights Struggle of the 1950s and '60s.
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgments
Introduction: Civil Religion and the Anglo- and African American Jeremiads
1. Frederick Douglass's Antebellum Jeremiad against Slavery and Racism
2. The Brief Life of Douglass's "New Nation": From Emancipation-Reconstruction to Returning Declension, 1861-1895
3. The Jeremiad in the Age of Booker T.Washington: Washington versus Ida B.Wells, 1895-1915
4. Great Expectations:W. E. B. Du Bois's American Jeremiad in the Progressive Era
5. Mary McLeod Bethune andW. E. B. Du Bois: Rising andWaning Hopes for America at Midcentury
6. Martin Luther King, Jr., and America's Promise in the Second Reconstruction, 1955-1965
7. Malcolm X: Jeremiah to Blacks, Damner ofWhites—to the End?
8. King's Radical Jeremiad, 1965-1968: America as the "Sick Society"
Conclusion: The Enduring Black Jeremiad