This collection of original essays and commentary considers not merely how history has shaped the continuing struggle for racial equality, but also how backlash and resistance to racial reforms continue to dictate the state of race in America. Informed by a broad historical perspective, this book focuses primarily on the promise of Reconstruction and the long demise of that promise. It traces the history of struggles for racial justice from the post US Civil War Reconstruction through the Jim Crow era, the Civil Rights and Voting Rights decades of the 1950s and 1960s to the present day.
The book uses psychological, historical and political perspectives to put today’s struggles for justice in historical perspective, considering intersecting dynamics of race and class in inequality and the different ways that people understand history. Ultimately, the authors question Martin Luther King, Jr.’s contention that the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice, challenging portrayals of race relations and the realization of civil rights laws as a triumph narrative.
Scholars in history, political science and psychology, as well as graduate students in these fields, can use the issues explored in this book as a foundation for their own work on race, justice and American history.
‘This diverse collection of nine essays examining the short and long term dimensions of Reconstruction offers a rich variety of perspectives for this critical period’s impact on our nation’s history and contemporary American life.’
– Robert Kenzer, University of Richmond, US
‘Julian Maxwell Hayter and George R. Goethals have edited an outstanding collection of essays dealing with the repeated efforts to forge a more inclusive republic in the decades after the American Civil War. In elegantly-crafted pieces ranging from the war years to the heights of the first Reconstruction era, and from the 1960s to the troubled present, these established scholars weave together often-forgotten stories of struggles for racial justice. Tragically, many of them remind us that old victories are rarely permanent, and that the fight continues. An important volume for all studying the long arc of Reconstructions in America.’
– Douglas R. Egerton, author of The Wars of Reconstruction: The Brief, Violent History of America’s Most Progressive Era
Contributors: E.L. Ayers, T.J. Brown, S. Fein, C.N. Harold, J.M. Hayter, C.F. Irons, J.P. Thompson, E.R. Varon, K.E. Williams, E.S. Yellin.
Edited by Julian Maxwell Hayter, Assistant Professor of Leadership Studies, University of Richmond and George R. Goethals, E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished Professorship in Leadership Studies, University of Richmond, US.