All Eyes Are Upon Us

All Eyes Are Upon Us

Race and Politics From Boston to Brooklyn

Book - 2014
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"The Northeastern United States--home to abolitionism and a refuge for blacks fleeing the Jim Crow South--has had a long and celebrated history of racial equality and political liberalism. After World War II, the region appeared poised to continue this legacy, electing black politicians and rallying behind black athletes and cultural leaders. However, as historian Jason Sokol reveals in All Eyes Are Upon Us, these achievements obscured the harsh reality of a region riven by segregation and deep-seated racism. White fans from across Brooklyn--Irish, Jewish, and Italian--came out to support Jackie Robinson when he broke baseball's color barrier with the Dodgers in 1947, even as the city's blacks were shunted into segregated neighborhoods. The African-American politician Ed Brooke won a senate seat in Massachusetts in 1966, when the state was 97% white, yet his political career was undone by the resistance to busing in Boston. Across the Northeast over the last half-century, blacks have encountered housing and employment discrimination as well as racial violence. But the gap between the northern ideal and the region's segregated reality left small but meaningful room for racial progress. Forced to reckon with the disparity between their racial practices and their racial preaching, blacks and whites forged interracial coalitions and demanded that the region live up to its promise of equal opportunity. A revelatory account of the tumultuous modern history of race and politics in the Northeast, All Eyes Are Upon Us presents the Northeast as a microcosm of America as a whole: outwardly democratic, inwardly conflicted, but always striving to live up to its highest ideals"-- Provided by publisher.
"From the 19th century, when northern cities were home to strong abolitionist communities and served as a counterpoint to the slaveholding South, through the first half of the 20th century, when the North became a destination for African Americans fleeing Jim Crow, the Northeastern United States has had a long history of acceptance and liberalism. But as historian Jason Sokol reveals in All Eyes Are Upon Us, northern states like Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut were also strongholds of segregation and deep-seated racism. In All Eyes Are Upon Us, historian Jason Sokol shows how Northerners--black and white alike--have struggled to realize the North's progressive past and potential since the 1940s, efforts that, he insists, have slowly but surely succeeded. As Sokol argues, the region's halting attempts to reconcile its progressive image with its legacy of racism can be viewed as a microcosm of America's struggles with race as a whole: outwardly democratic, inwardly imbalanced, but always challenging itself to live up to its idealized role as a model of racial equality. Indeed, Sokol posits that it was the Northeast's fierce pride in its reputation of progressiveness that ultimately rescued the region from its own prejudices and propelled it along an unlikely path to equality. An invaluable examination of the history of race and politics in the Northeast, All Eyes Are Upon Us offers a provocative account of the region's troubled roots in segregation and its promising future in politicians from Deval Patrick to Barack Obama"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Basic Books, c[2014]
ISBN: 9780465022267
046502226X
9780465056712
Branch Call Number: 323.1196 SOKOL
Characteristics: xxvi, 385 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm

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