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In this clear-eyed and compassionate study, Robinson (Coal to Cream), Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist for the Washington Post, marshals persuasive evidence that the African-American population has splintered into four distinct and increasingly disconnected entities: a small elite with enormous influence, a mainstream middle-class majority, a newly emergent group of recent immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean, and an abandoned minority "with less hope of escaping poverty than at any time since Reconstruction's end." Drawing on census records, polling data, sociological studies, and his own experiences growing up in a segregated South Carolina college town during the 1950s, Robinson explores 140 years of black history in America, focusing on how the civil rights movement, desegregation, and affirmative action contributed to the fragmentation. Of particular interest is the discussion of how immigrants from Africa, the "best-educated group coming to live in the United States," are changing what being black means. Robinson notes that despite the enormous strides African-Americans have made in the past 40 years, the problems of poor blacks remain more intractable than ever, though his solution--"a domestic Marshall Plan aimed at black America"--seems implausible in this era of cash-strapped state and local governments.
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ISBN-10:  0385526547
ISBN-13:  978-0385526548
Author:  Eugene Robinson
Genre:  Nonfiction
Publisher:  Doubleday
Date Published:  October 5, 2010
Format:  Hardcover
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review by . December 10, 2011
Central to the thinking of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was his vision of what he referred to as the "Beloved Community" which was essentially "a completely integrated society, a community of love and justice wherein brotherhood would be an actuality in all of social life." It seems to me that somewhere along the long the line the priorities of Black America changed dramatically. I suspect it began on college campuses in the early 1970's. Suddenly the concept of "multiculturalism" …
review by . October 07, 2010
I read Eugene Robinson's DISINTEGRATION mainly out of curiosity, because though I find him to be a brilliant mind---I don't normally agree with his politics. After finishing it I have to say that it is probably one of the most thoughtful books I have read this year.    DISINTEGRATION takes a hard look at how blacks have evolved as a people in the United States, and is not without it critiques of the hardships some have brought on themselves. The book reminds you of what so many …
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Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America
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