Open Wound

Open Wound : The Long View of Race in America

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In this boldly interpretive narrative, William McKee Evans tells the story of America's paradox of democracy entangled with a centuries-old system of racial oppression. This racial system of interacting practices and ideas first justified black slavery, then, after the Civil War, other forms of coerced black labor and, today, black poverty and unemployment.

At three historical moments, a crisis in the larger society opened political space for idealists to challenge the racial system: during the American Revolution, then during the "irrepressible conflict" ending in the Civil War, and, finally, during the Cold War and the colonial liberation movements. Each challenge resulted in an historic advance. But none swept clean. Many African Americans remain segregated in jobless ghettoes with dilapidated schools and dismal prospects in an increasingly polarized class society.

Evans sees a new crisis looming in a convergence of environmental disaster, endless wars, and economic collapse, which may again open space for a challenge to the racial system. African Americans, with their memory of their centuries-old struggle against oppressors, appear uniquely placed to play a central role.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 344 pages
  • 162.56 x 236.22 x 27.94mm | 612.35g
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252034279
  • 9780252034275
  • 2,144,214

Review quote

"It is good to have a volume that grasps the big picture and connects the beginning with the end in a long chain of causation."--The Journal of American History "Well-written, thoroughly researched, and well-documented work. . . . It is an excellent text for use in any history class covering the span of events in American history as well as in any African-American history course."--Multicultural Review "A penetrating look at the complicated history of race in America."--Booklist
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About William McKee Evans

William McKee Evans is professor emeritus of history at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. His books include Ballots and Fence Rails: Reconstruction on the Lower Cape Fear and To Die Game: The Story of the Lowry Band, Indian Guerrillas of Reconstruction.
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Rating details

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