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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Say It Loud: Great Speeches on Civil Rights and African American Identity » User review

A Multicultural Perspective

  • Aug 21, 2010
The presentation is interesting whether or not you
agree with the authors. The book discusses
Malcolm X and his famous "By any means necessary"
reference to dislodging racism. In my own experience,
a more inclusive teaching of global history and
culture would accomplish this aim. The current texts
tend to be Eurocentric; however, this is changing ever
so slowly with the inclusion of Latin America, Asia
and select countries like South Africa.

Malcolm's famous pilgrimage to Mecca is cited.
In addition, Malcolm X believed that the local residents
should own, operate and control the economic entities
within their neighborhood and sphere of influence.
I agree. Residents should own and control the economic
factors of production within their community.

There is an excellent discussion of Lorraine Hansberry.
Her best known work, A Raisin in the Sun, was inspired
by the family's legal battle against racially segregated
housing laws in the Washington Park Subdivision of the
South Side of Chicago .

The chapter on Dr. Martin Luther King was excellent.
In particular, he stated that "the Negro lives in the
basement of the Great Society". There has been
improvement in my lifetime. Specifically, African
Americans have more representation at the very top
of the United States Government. i.e. Presidency,
Cabinet, Supreme Court, The Congress, Governorships

On his death, nearly 100 cities exploded in random
violence. Dr. King's Citizen Education Program
emphasized literacy, consumer education and
Planned Parenthood. Operation Breadbasket in Chicago
resulted in 2200 new jobs and nearly $18MM in incremental
yearly income. Dr. King sought to achieve "A Higher
Synthesis" which will have integrated the best of
theoretic Socialist systems and the Free Market.

Obviously, Socialism had negations in the form of
too much government control, Gosplan under the old
Soviet Union, unrealistic quotas and sporadic expropriations.
The Free Markets have negations in the form of
too much corporate greed, over-consumption of
scarce resources, labor exploitation and
insufficient coordination of government oversight.

The latter part of the book discusses President Obama
and his call to provide health care to the sick,
jobs to the jobless and education to a broader
segment of society and its children.

I believe that the book succeeds in presenting a
fair recitation of African American History through
the prism of the famous people quoted and discussed
at length.

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Dr Joseph S Maresca ()
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About this book


Following Say It Plain (2005), the highly acclaimed anthology of African American political speech of the past century, this collection offers speeches reflecting changes in black identity from 1960 to the present and the continued struggle for equal rights. Each of the 23 speeches is preceded by a biographical sketch of the speaker and the historical context for the speech. The collection begins with Malcolm X in 1964 addressing a Detroit Baptist church, warning of the thinning patience of black Americans longing for racial justice. It includes Martin Luther King Jr. in 1967 at a Southern Christian Leadership Conference convention steering the leadership toward economics and Henry Louis Gates Jr. in 2004 speaking on the eve of the release of his PBS project America beyond the Color Line. The collection ends with candidate Barack Obama in 2008 addressing, for the first time in his campaign, the thorny issue of race. An accompanying CD offers a chance to hear excerpts from most of the speeches, which collectively provide a sweeping perspective on evolving issues of black identity in the struggle for equality. --Vanessa Bush
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ISBN-10: 1595581138
ISBN-13: 978-1595581136
Author: Catherine Ellis
Publisher: New Press, The

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