The twenty-fifth-anniversary edition of the groundbreaking classic, with a new introduction
First published in 1993, on the one-year anniversary of the Los Angeles riots, Race Matters became a national best seller that has gone on to sell more than half a million copies. This classic treatise on race contains Dr. West’s most incisive essays on the issues relevant to black Americans, including the crisis in leadership in the Black community, Black conservatism, Black-Jewish relations, myths about Black sexuality, and the legacy of Malcolm X. The insights Dr. West brings to these complex problems remain relevant, provocative, creative, and compassionate.
In a new introduction for the twenty-fifth-anniversary edition, Dr. West argues that we are in the midst of a spiritual blackout characterized by imperial decline, racial animosity, and unchecked brutality and terror as seen in Baltimore, Ferguson, and Charlottesville. Calling for a moral and spiritual awakening, Dr. West finds hope in the collective and visionary resistance exemplified by the Movement for Black Lives, Standing Rock, and the Black freedom tradition.
Now more than ever, Race Matters is an essential book for all Americans, helping us to build a genuine multiracial democracy in the new millennium.
In eight brief but powerful essays, West, director of Afro-American Studies at Princeton, delivers innovative analyses of our nation's racial dilemmas. West is insistently moral, criticizing racial hierarchy and black leaders who cannot transcend race to fight for ``fundamental social change.'' Though he does not spare black liberals, he more harshly criticizes ``new black conservatives'' who in his view ignore the damaging cultural force of black sexual and military images as employed in advertisements and mass media. Exploring black-Jewish relations, he suggests that the moral voices in black America have been drowned out, and in ``Black Sexuality,'' takes on what has long been considered a taboo subject. These essays, none written in the first person, can have an air of detachment: when West calls for a ``politics of conversion'' to fight black nihilism, his best example comes from Toni Morrison's novel Beloved; when he criticizes Malcolm X for having ignored the culturally hybrid character of black life, he proposes the figure of ``jazz freedom fighter'' as one who could ``promote critical exchange and broad reflection.'' But West is more healing visionary than historian. These essays, most of which first appeared in such magazines as Dissent and Z , solidify his position as one of the nation's leading public intellectuals. 40,000 first printing; paperback rights to Vintage; BOMC selection; QPB featured selection; author tour.