Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Top 10 under-recognized books on race

For The Root, John McWhorter named a top ten list of books on race that should be more widely read.

One title on the list:
Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle For Civil Rights In The North by Thomas Sugrue (2008)

Sugrue is best known for his chronicle of what led to the riots in Detroit, The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race And Inequality in Postwar Detroit, now established as a go-to source on black urban history and often assigned in college courses. Sweet Land Of Liberty will never occupy that kind of place: It doesn’t have the advantage of a single-line narrative thrust. Yet it is well worth a look. We know about Montgomery, Atlanta and Selma. But how often do we learn about the desegregation of schools in Westchester County, or moves to integrate Levittowns? This book shows what a serious kick-butt organization the NAACP used to be, and also teaches us that the black “militant” mood didn’t begin in 1966, but was very much in the air—just minus the Afros—as early as the late ‘40s. Lots of important stories here about ordinary people who worked just as hard as the rock stars down South.
Read about another book on McWhorter's list.

See: Writers Read: Thomas Sugrue.

--Marshal Zeringue