Colin Powell: A Flight from Power?  

I was preparing to drive from Cambridge, Massachusetts to my alma mater, Lincoln University, near Oxford, Pennsylvania, the day last fall that General Colin Powell announced his exit from what was a kind of presidential campaign. His decision not to …





Affirmative Action  

Contrary to what many conservatives assert, preferential treatment is not something new to our patterns of public policy. Moreover, it has an ethical basis in what might be called a “higher public purpose”—that of undoing and compensating for a long …



Paradoxes of Black American Leadership  

I begin with a straightforward proposition that there have been three types of black political leadership in twentieth century America: (1) pragmaticactivist,(2) systemic-radical, and (3) ethno-radical. The first of these refers to what we commonly think of as the mainstream …



Symposium  

I write these thoughts on Dissent’s future with a copy of the Spring 1956 issue lying next to my typewriter—part of a fairly complete collection that I cherish immensely. The Spring 1956 issue contains articles that cut across the gamut …



Clinton and the “Race Issue”  

Clinton’s strategists—both white and black— were well aware of the need for any successful Democratic presidential candidate to win back a significant number of “Reagan Democrats” (upper working-class and new middle-class white ethnics). Helping Clinton to place the Reagan Democrats …





Realism About the Black Experience  

Shelby Steele’s argument (“The Memory of Enemies,” Dissent, Summer 1990) has two intertwined parts. First, he asserts that since the early 1970s the opportunity-structure in American society offers more space for social mobility and achievement than black Americans have effectively …



Introduction  

The conclusions of the Kerner Commission Report on the urban riots during the late 1960s have been widely accepted; namely that this angry black urban upheaval was driven by a gnawing alienation and despair among mainly working-class and poor Afro-Americans. …



Problems of Black Politics  

A complex class context underlies the changes in black American politics of the last twenty years. Today’s black stratification comprises sharply different classes—a coping stratum made up of blue- and white-collar workers, professionals and managers, business people and wealthy entertainers, …



Introduction  

The conclusions of the Kerner Commission Report on the urban riots during the late 1960s have been widely accepted; namely that this angry black urban upheaval was driven by a gnawing alienation and despair among mainly working-class and poor Afro-Americans. …