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Ghosts of Jim Crow: Ending Racism in Post-Racial America Hardcover – March 18, 2013


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Ghosts of Jim Crow: Ending Racism in Post-Racial America + In the Matter of Color: Race and the American Legal Process: The Colonial Period + Shades of Freedom: Racial Politics and Presumptions of the American Legal Process Race and the American Legal Process, Volume II
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 326 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (March 18, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814737471
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814737477
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #369,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Using the fiftieth anniversary of the 1954 Brown decision as his focus, legal-scholar Higginbotham addresses the legacy of America’s racial past and its impact on race equity today. What he wants is a new conversation on race that acknowledges the old paradigm of whites at the top and blacks at the bottom of a racial hierarchy, a model that continues to this day. Higginbotham reviews the history of slavery and Jim Crow–legalized segregation and its contemporary adaptations, with the objective of dismantling the old model that is manifested in significant black separation. He focuses on false notions of white superiority, black separation and white isolation, and black victimization. Changes in the law now place proof of disparate impact over proof of intent and go beyond the employment arena, but Higginbotham argues that we must consider our racial history and legal practices that continue to reduce racial inequality. If the courts and the nation as a whole valued racial diversity as a compelling state interest, affirmative action would be seen as an active tool to reduce racial isolation, which undercuts the pursuit of racial equity. --Vernon Ford

Review

"In Ghosts of Jim Crow, Higginbotham provides a thoughtful and perceptive discussion on the role of race in America today. His keen legal analysis and compelling narrative has resulted in a fascinating examination of how far we have come as a nation, but more importantly, of how far we have to go."-Barbara A. Mikulski,U.S. Senator for Maryland

"Rarely do Americans have the chance to speak freely about race to people beyond their own group. Higginbotham’s analysis provides a clear understanding of what it will mean to have a truly post-racial society in America, and what Americans of all races will need to do to bring about such a society. Ghosts of Jim Crow also provides an excellent foundation for robust dialogue among Americans about issues involving race and racism, from notions about racial superiority and inferiority to the unfortunate, continuing separation of the races, and victimization of African Americans. Higginbotham’s work reflects a level of honesty one rarely encounters because it challenges Americans, regardless of point of view, to look in the mirror and think about preconceived notions."-Freeman A. Hrabowski, III,President, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

"Ghosts of Jim Crow is an important work at a crucial time for our nation. Higginbotham offers scholarly insight into how America's race problem was created with a compelling prescription for its elimination."-Benjamin Todd Jealous,President & CEO of the NAACP

"Using the fiftieth anniversary of the 1954 Brown decision as his focus, legal-scholar Higginbotham addresses the legacy of America’s racial past and its impact on race equity today. What he wants is a new conversation on race that acknowledges the old paradigm of whites at the top and blacks at the bottom of a racial hierarchy, a model that continues to this day. Higginbotham reviews the history of slavery and Jim Crow–legalized segregation and its contemporary adaptations, with the objective of dismantling the old model that is manifested in significant black separation. He focuses on false notions of white superiority, black separation and white isolation, and black victimization. Changes in the law now place proof of disparate impact over proof of intent and go beyond the employment arena, but Higginbotham argues that we must consider our racial history and legal practices that continue to reduce racial inequality. If the courts and the nation as a whole valued racial diversity as a compelling state interest, affirmative action would be seen as an active tool to reduce racial isolation, which undercuts the pursuit of racial equity."-Vernon Ford,Booklist Online

A vision of enhancing racial equality—or simply lessening racial inequality—in America. By African-American legal scholar Higginbotham’s account, it wasn’t until he entered a well-heeled private school that he encountered the N-word thrown his way. When it was, a white coach cracked down hard, issuing “a zero tolerance policy for racial epithets.” No more such epithets were forthcoming, though not necessarily out of any inborn kindness on the part of the man who cast that first stone. The takeaway for Higginbotham: Civil rights movements on the part of the oppressed are well and good, but “whites needed to stand up against racism in order for it to cease.” Things are better in some respects than in the 1960s, but, writes the author, the formula has changed. Blacks—and, to a greater or lesser extent, other nonwhite ethnic groups—are no longer judged and discriminated against strictly on the basis of race, but also on factors of class, education, income and access to political power, among others. For example, regarding sports: “Recruited black players could play in games, but ‘walk-on’ black players could not.” Against such broadband exclusion, Higginbotham mounts a spirited defense of affirmative action policies that is backed by good case law and by common sense—or at least a sense of fair play, for, as he notes, few complain about legacy students getting into a particular college, but people certainly do complain when the numbers of black—or Asian or Hispanic—students go up, particularly if there is a perception that they are somehow undeserving. America may be trending toward justice, but that trend is slow. Otherwise, Higginbotham asks elsewhere in this searching argument, why is there a disproportionate number of homeless blacks? A book worthy of a wide audience and wide discussion.-Kirkus Reviews,

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Patrice Hoffman on March 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Initially I didn't know how to approach this review without being longwinded so I decided to take the things that stood out to me most and use the same structure as the author F. Michael Higginbotham uses in Ghosts of Jim Crow: Ending Racism in Post-Racial America. F. Michael Higginbotham is a tenured law professor at the University of Baltimore and the former Interim Dean at the University of Baltimore School of Law. I really appreciate the approach he used with this book in the fact that it's simple to digest so a broad audience can read it without the aide of a person familiar with legalese or a legalese for dummies book.

Higginbotham begins with a little background into his experiences with racism and how those instances shaped his reasoning behind a lot of his arguments in achieving ending structural and cultural racism and having a true post-racial society. A post-racial society isn't meant in the sense of being color blind but a way of ending notions of racial victimization, racial hierarchy, isolation, or judgement perceptions being a way of the past and not practiced by the majority. Having the preface helps the reader to get to know the author and understand that he's coming from a place of honesty and that plights of one person are actually the plights of many. Although raised in an upper-class home with two parents and well educated, he was still subject to the many prejudices that have longstanding since the days of slavery.

The introduction and Part I explores how the racial paradigm was formed and how the mindsets of black inferiority and white superiority are widespread through society by the installation of laws to make it such. Laws that forbade slaves to read, be publicly tried without a judge or jury, and even them not being lawfully able to own property.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. Wagner on May 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
"If we are to end racial inequality, it is imperative that Americans recognize how these notions, desires, policies, and practices continue to manifest themselves." (p. 31.)
"...there are still astonishing gaps in socioeconomic indicators that divide blacks from whites." (p. 32.)
The author's account of the Jim Crow period immediately following the union troop pullout of the South, not that the North had any bragging rights for equality, is thoughtful, incisive, and will never be found within a Texas based rewrite of U.S. history text book. Slavery had merely morphed into another insidious institution.
His calm manner and objective coverage is a wonder to read. I know I would have been vehemently angry.
Chapter 6 dealing which black empowerment and self help applies to all Americans, and all residents of this planet earth. The final "Integration and equality" chapter puts forth powerful suggestions that will probably never be implemented...not that they should not be.
There is no way humanity can ever be forgiven for abusing its own DNA.
This is a book deserving wider circulation than it will get and which should be required high school reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JohnPeterHagen on July 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I echo the fine, complete reviews of the book already submitted. The material is well presented, written with brevity, and it cuts to the chase of the issues. (Surprisingly, it is also an entertaining read.) It should, indeed, be required reading by anyone concerned with the mores and morality of the US population. John Hagen
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By Genevieve Uzamere on July 31, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Required reading for anyone interested in the past, present, or future of race relations in America. Extremely relevant and highly recommended.
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