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Book Cover
Author Dyson, Michael Eric, author.

Title What truth sounds like : Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and our unfinished conversation about race in America / Michael Eric Dyson.

Publication Info. New York : St. Martin's Press, [2018]


Location Call No. Status
 GDL Central Library Non-Fiction    305.8009 DYS    Available
 GDL Montrose Library Non-Fiction    305.8009 DYS    Available
 PAS Allendale Branch Non-Fiction    305.8 DYS    Available
 PAS Central Library Non-Fiction, 3rd Floor    305.8 DYS    Available
1 copy being processed for PAS Central Library On Order.
1 copy being processed for PAS Allendale Branch On Order.
1 copy being processed for GDL Central Library Non-Fiction.
1 copy being processed for GDL Central Library Non-Fiction.
Edition First edition.
Description 294 pages ; 21 cm
text txt rdacontent
unmediated n rdamedia
volume nc rdacarrier
Note "June 2018"--Title page verso.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 283-294).
Contents The martyrs -- The meeting -- The politicians : whiteness and the state -- The artists : dangerous intersections -- The intellectuals : black on black minds -- The activists 1 : policy and witness -- The activists 2 : bad niggers -- After the meeting : resurrection for RFK -- Even if : Wakanda. Forever.
Summary In 1963 Attorney General Robert Kennedy sought out James Baldwin to explain the rage that threatened to engulf black America. Baldwin brought along some friends, including playwright Lorraine Hansberry, psychologist Kenneth Clark, and a valiant activist, Jerome Smith. It was Smith's relentless, unfiltered fury that set Kennedy on his heels, reducing him to sullen silence. Kennedy walked away from the nearly three-hour meeting angry - that the black folk assembled didn't understand politics, and that they weren't as easy to talk to as Martin Luther King. But especially that they were more interested in witness than policy. But Kennedy's anger quickly gave way to empathy, especially for Smith. "I guess if I were in his shoes...I might feel differently about this country." Kennedy set about changing policy - the meeting having transformed his thinking in fundamental ways. There was more: every big argument about race that persists to this day got a hearing in that room. Smith declaring that he'd never fight for his country given its racist tendencies, and Kennedy being appalled at such lack of patriotism, tracks the disdain for black dissent in our own time. His belief that black folk were ungrateful for the Kennedys' efforts to make things better shows up in our day as the charge that black folk wallow in the politics of ingratitude and victimhood. The contributions of black queer folk to racial progress still cause a stir. BLM has been accused of harboring a covert queer agenda. The immigrant experience, like that of Kennedy - versus the racial experience of Baldwin - is a cudgel to excoriate black folk for lacking hustle and ingenuity. The questioning of whether folk who are interracially partnered can authentically communicate black interests persists. And we grapple still with the responsibility of black intellectuals and artists to bring about social change. What Truth Sounds Like exists at the tense intersection of the conflict between politics and prophecy - of whether we embrace political resolution or moral redemption to fix our fractured racial landscape. The future of race and democracy hang in the balance. -- Provided by publisher.
Subject Kennedy, Robert F., 1925-1968 -- Friends and associates.
Baldwin, James, 1924-1987 -- Influence.
Smith, Jerome (Freedom Rider), 1949- -- Influence.
United States -- Race relations.
African Americans -- Intellectual life.
Cocktail parties -- New York (State) -- New York.
African American civil rights workers -- History -- 20th century.
Civil rights movements -- United States.
Intercultural communication -- United States -- Case studies.
Genre/Form Case studies.
Added Title Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and our unfinished conversation about race in America
ISBN 9781250199416 (hardcover)
1250199417 (hardcover)
9781250199423 (electronic book)
9781250297044 (electronic book)
Standard No. 40028300988

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