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Desegregating the Dollar: African American Consumerism in the Twentieth Century Paperback – February 1, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0814793275 ISBN-10: 0814793274
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Desegregating the Dollar: African American Consumerism in the Twentieth Century + A Consumers' Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Are African Americans better off now . . . ? This seemingly inevitable question has only one frustrating but accurate answer: Yes and no. Weems, a history professor at the University of Missouri^-Columbia, explores the conundrum by tracing a century's change in African Americans' lives and finances as a special case in the consumerization of American society. After two chapters on the first 60 years of this century, Weems sketches the history of African American consumer activism (through the 1964 Civil Rights Act) and moves on to four chapters on the past four decades. Weems' unique contribution may be interviews with members and former members of a group of black marketing and public relations specialists, the National Association of Market Developers, who have had an inside view of corporate America's ethnic marketing campaigns. African Americans today clearly have a wider range of consumer choices, Weems shows, but a more "integrated" market has often destroyed successful black businesses; new ideas are needed to ensure that African Americans' buying power helps improve infrastructure and activity in their own communities. Mary Carroll --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"This is undoubtedly one of the best reference works ever published on witchcraft. Breslaw, fresh from her well-received revisionist history "Tituba: Reluctant Witch of Salem", brings together work by some of the best-known scholars of the field, including Elizabeth Reis, Carol Karlsen, John Demos, Paul Boyer, Stephen Nissenbaum and David Hall. She organizes primary sources (including the 1486 manifesto "Why Women Are Chiefly Addicted to Superstitions") and insightful secondary essays around topics of European, Native American and African witchcraft. The anthology is to be applauded for its commitment to representing cultural variance--showing how, for example, indigenous American magical traditions differed greatly from tribe to tribe. Breslaw's awareness of diverse cultural contexts highlights the multiple functions that witchcraft and anti-witchcraft served in individual communities." -"Publishers Weekly", --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 193 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (February 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814793274
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814793275
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,220,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jeffery Mingo on August 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
Professor Weems details and analyzes the history of advertising to black consumers and black consumer behavior from the beginning until the end of the twentieth century. This book is a quick read, but you can tell the author put substantial amount of time researching each paragraph and page. In his introductory chapter, Weems sums up the book. This will be helpful to overburdened undergraduate students. However, those who complete the text will be satisfied by it.
The best chapter is the one on African-American consumer action. In that chapter, he discusses how black folk often fought racism economically. For example, he stated that black customers caused the store closing of the family of Emmitt Till's murderers. This chapter illustrates the fresh studies and perspectives still left for African-American scholars to bring forth in their (some woudl say) already crowded field.
This book would be an important tool for ethnic studies majors, business professionals, and historians. It's a wonderful text that should make the author worthy of tenure anywhere. I love the way that he refuses to think of the African-American community as a monolithic blob: differences in class, gender, and living environment are addressed here.
The book is not perfect. It never mentions Madame C.J. Walker, the first black millionaire. It never discusses how white business people often fail to advertise their products in black publications for fear that the product will be perceived as "a black thing." Further, topics are introduced, but their history is often not elaborated upon. For example, in the chapters on the 1970s, black film is brought up. However, black films go back to Oscar Michaux and others. It makes little sense that the topic was not brought up in the beginning, rather than the end, of the book.
Still, this book is worthy of a read from many, black and non-black, inside academia and outside of it.
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Dr Weems has provided a meaningful text for anyone desiring to understand the quandary of a population that spends prodigiously, but that benefits disproportionately from that spending.
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