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Download Double Trouble: Black Mayors, Black Communities, and the by J. Phillip Thompson PDF

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By J. Phillip Thompson

J. Phillip Thompson III, an insider within the Dinkins management, offers the 1st in-depth examine how the black mayors of America's significant towns in achieving social switch. Black components clearly glance to black mayors to impression nice swap for the negative, however the truth of the placement is complex. Thompson argues that African-American mayors, legislators, and political activists have to extra successfully problem critiques and public guidelines supported via the white public and inspire better political inclusion and open political discourse inside of black groups. in simple terms by means of unveiling painful inner oppresssions and exclusions inside of black politics will the black community's energy elevate, and compel related unveilings within the broader interracial dialog in regards to the difficulties of the city terrible. Tracing the historic improvement and modern perform of black mayoral politics, it is a attention-grabbing research of the motivations of black politicians, competing ideologies within the black group and the interior dynamics of city social change.

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Additional info for Double Trouble: Black Mayors, Black Communities, and the Call for a Deep Democracy (Transgressing Boundaries: Studies in Black Politics and Black Communities)

Example text

Make them equals”: What then? Free them all, and keep them among us as underlings? Is it quite certain that this betters their condition? I think I would not hold one in slavery, at any rate; yet the point is not clear enough for me to denounce people upon. What next? Free them, and make them politically and socially, our equals? My own feelings will not admit of this; and if mine would, we well know that those of the great mass of white people will not. Whether this feeling accords with justice and sound judgement, is not the sole question, if indeed, it is any part of it.

Much the same can be said of other groups’ motivations in politics.  In fact, if these things were required, there would have been no civil rights legislation or court decisions. The simple truth is that behavior often changes before attitudes change, and, even working with one’s enemies can make sense if both sides have something to gain or if they are interdependent. Warm feelings, trust, alliance building, and a renegotiation of group identity as the lines between friend and enemy get redrawn, are all important to sustaining relationships, but they do not have to precede political and economic progress and they alone cannot overcome initial hostility.

Some of the questions the book engages are: What are current structural obstacles to black political participation and what kinds of structural reforms would be helpful? How do marginal groups assemble power needed to contend with dominant ideologies and form coalitions with sufficient power to alter political and economic barriers? Why haven’t interracial class coalitions emerged over last thirty years? What  Black Mayors and the Quest for Democracy opportunities exist for deep pluralist discourse and coalition building, and what role can mayors play?

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