Black Man Emerging: Facing the Past and Seizing a Future in America

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First published in 2000. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company. Review
We are all familiar with America's stereotyped images of black men: criminals, sexual predators, and intellectually challenged athletes and entertainers. In Black Man Emerging, psychology professors James H. Cones III and Joseph L. White outline the evils that befall black men in modern society (drug addiction, gang violence, apathy, and limited educational and economic opportunities) and help contribute to those stereotypes. But they also detail another image of the African American male, honoring his triumph over slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, police brutality, and miseducation. While they feel that African Americans and whites can both solve America's racial problems, they write: "Black men will have to face up to their responsibility for the Black-on-Black crime and violence in the inner cities, teen pregnancies, paternal absence and family deterioration." They show how the legacy of the ancestral traditions of Africa, the survival of the Middle Passage to America, and the slave revolts created a glorious past of Afro-American male heroics that inspired leaders from Martin Luther King to Malcolm X--and can continue to inspire, along with those latter examples, today. --Eugene Holley Jr.

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