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White Rage

White Rage

The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide

Book - 2017
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"As Ferguson, Missouri, erupted in August 2014, with media commentators referring to the angry response of African Americans yet again as 'black rage, ' historian Carol Anderson wrote a remarkable op-ed in the Washington Post showing that this was, instead, 'white rage' at work. 'With so much attention on the flames, ' she writes, 'everyone had ignored the kindling.' Since 1865 and the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, every time African Americans have made advances toward full participation in our democracy, white reaction has fueled a deliberate and relentless rollback of their gains. The end of the Civil War and Reconstruction was greeted with the Black Codes and Jim Crow. The Supreme Court's landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision was met with the shutting down of public schools throughout the South while taxpayer dollars financed segregated white private schools. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 triggered a coded but powerful response--the so-called Southern Strategy and the War on Drugs that disenfranchised and imprisoned millions of African Americans. Carefully linking these and other historical flash points when social progress for African Americans was countered by deliberate and cleverly crafted white opposition, Anderson pulls back the veil that has long covered punitive actions allegedly made in the name of protecting democracy, fiscal responsibility, or protection against fraud. Compelling and dramatic in the unimpeachable history it relates over a century and a half, White Rage will add an important new dimension to the national conversation about race in America."--Publisher information.
Publisher: New York :, Bloomsbury, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc,, 2017
Edition: Paperback edition
ISBN: 9781632864130
Branch Call Number: 305.800973 A545w 2017
Characteristics: 287 pages ; 21 cm


From Library Staff

Historian Carol Anderson reframes the history of race in the United States as a matter of white rage against Black success.

From the end of the Civil War to the tumultuous issues in America today, an acclaimed historian reframes the conversation about race, chronicling the powerful forces opposed to black progress in America.

From the critics

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Oct 19, 2020

(Actually listening to the audiobook. :))

Jun 04, 2020

Anderson provides a crucial analysis of the pattern of African American progress being met by forces of reaction. This is a great source for those who need to learn about the ongoing history of repression and atrocity against Black people in the United States, and at less than 200 pages, it's highly readable--ideal for those who might be put off by more weighty surveys.

Anderson's structure is to look at periods throughout history when African Americans made progress against the flow of racism, only be set back by racial violence and by laws supporting white supremacy. She includes narratives from the brutal backlash of the Reconstruction era following the Civil War, then goes on to look at the post-World War I Great Migration, when southern landowners used any means necessary to keep African Americans from leaving the South so they could remain in peonage. She then turns to the reaction to the Supreme Court decision (Brown v. Board) outlawing segregation in public schools, when southern states implemented the "Massive Resistance" strategy to preserve segregation at any cost. We then visit the post-Civil Rights Movement years when government policy ended up introducing a flood of crack cocaine into our cities, leading to the scourge of drug abuse, a failed "war on drugs," and the beginnings of the plague of mass incarceration that we live with today. Finally, she examines the enormous efforts made by the Republican Party to suppress voter turnout following the Obama elections.

Hand this to your friend who still insists that "things aren't that bad" or adamantly claims that all we need to do is to be "colorblind."

Jan 27, 2020


Oct 08, 2019

Read, wake up and smell the continual racism!

OPL_DavidD Jul 17, 2019

A good look at the history of racism in the United States, and how white resentment of black ambition and progress has been what has fueled a lot of it's development. It's fascinating to see the legal history of how many states self sabotaged their own future, rather than let society progress.

Jan 01, 2019

White Rage should be mandatory reading for every American citizen in order for them to gain a comprehensive understanding of the most shameful and permanently devastating chapter of this country's history.

PimaLib_MattL Jun 13, 2018

White Rage traces white resistance to civil rights over the years since the 13th Amendment and the abolition of Slavery. From the terror of lynchings post-Reconstruction, to Black Codes and Jim Crow, to the fight against voting rights and the desegregation of schools, every advance in U.S. civil rights history has triggered a powerful response. Carol Anderson links the various carefully crafted, and not so carefully crafted responses - usually in the courts and legislatures - but often in violence. These links connect the past with the present strategy of mass incarceration and the disenfranchisement of millions, and the rash of voter suppression laws in southern and swing states.

Apr 01, 2018

This was a broad strokes look at racism in the government and legal system from the Civil War to the present. It mostly focuses on legal cases but very little on a continuing narrative, other than racism. It could possibly be a good choice for someone just getting into the subject but didn't go into enough depth for me.

Sep 23, 2017

Very succinct, clear, and well-written account of how white Americans have dragged black Americans back 5 steps for every 1 step of progress they make in our society. Until America is teaching this history of oppression and hate to all our students - and white Americans admit and reckon with these horrible truths - we will never be a true democracy or a just and equal country. Devastating, depressing, infuriating. A must read for white America.

Sep 10, 2017

I suppose the one upside of Hurricane Trump is that the illusion of racial harmony or a post-racial America has been destroyed. In its wake, there have been many books trying to make sense of the fractured, anti-fact era we're living in. Carol Anderson, a professor at Emory, insists, as other have, that white supremacy is not the exception to the American story, but an essential part of it. Books such as "Stamped from Birth" (One of the most impressive books I've ever read about the history of racism.), "Between the World and Me," and "The Black History of the White House" have covered similar ground. The history was valuable, but I would've liked a little more analysis of the current crisis in our racial tensions.

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