Lure and Loathing: 2essays on Race, Identity, and the Ambivalence of Assimilation

Gerald Early, Author, Various, Author, Gerald Early, Editor Viking Books $23.5 (384p) ISBN 978-0-7139-9101-7
Commenting on W.E.B. Du Bois's famous observation that African Americans experience a ``double-consciousness'' when they approach questions of assimilation, race and identity, 20 black intellectuals here offer thoughtful, provocative and divergent responses. Several attack Du Bois's premise: essayist Stanley Crouch argues for recognition of ``the miscegenated national heart,'' while Afrocentrist Molefi Kete Asante recalls a segregated boyhood that ``made my consciousness unitary and holistic.'' Novelist Kristin Hunter Lattany affirms a ``healthy double-consciousness'' that includes `` `off-timing'--a mockery of white folks and their madness.'' Sociologist C. Eric Lincoln suggests that while ``the browning of America'' will redefine racial reality, it could either render ``the notion of Du Boisian dubiety'' obsolete, or multiply Du Boisian ``fragments of self-consciousness.'' Others look within their specialties: Yale law professor Stephen Carter argues that ``the professional ethic'' is neither white nor Eurocentric but American, and Kenneth R. Manning, a professor of rhetoric and of the history of science at MIT, explores how Du Bois's ideas were shaped by racist scientific practices. Early, director of African American studies at George Washington University, provides a sensitive introduction; like most of the contributors, he grounds political arguments in a readily accessible personal narrative. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1993
Release date: 03/01/1993
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FORMATS
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-14-015937-0
Hardcover - 978-0-670-84185-1
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