Departmental Papers (ASC)

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Du Bois Review





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There are some telltale signs that we might really be living in the kind of moment that academic provocateurs have labeled “postracial” (i.e., indifferent to historically self-evident expectations about race relations and race-based identifications): Duke lacrosse players, all of them White, who taunt a Black collegian-cum-stripper with carefully crafted quips better suited for a comedy club than a Klan rally (“Thank your grandpa for my cotton shirt”); a Black Ivy League professor testifying under oath that a baseball bat-wielding White vigilante who begins pummeling a Black man in Brooklyn by calling his victim a “nigger” does not necessarily harbor any race-specific animus; a former Education Secretary seemingly shocked and appalled that African Americans would be shocked and appalled by his comments regarding the hypothetical abortion of African American babies as a technique for lowering crime rates; and any of the dissenting judicial opinions penned by the lone Black justice on the nation's highest court. Race is doing some very strange things these days.

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Copyright © W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research 2010


Review of the books:

  1. Prudence L. Carter, Keepin’ It Real: School Success Beyond Black and White. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.
  2. Mica Pollock, Colormute: Race Talk Dilemmas in an American School. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004.


High school, African American, Teaching and Unteaching, race and racism, race relations


Date Posted: 09 October 2014

This document has been peer reviewed.