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Lure and Loathing

Essays on Race, Identity, and the Ambivalence of Assimilation


Gerald Early (View Bio)
Hardcover: Viking Penguin, 1993; Paperback: Penguin, 1994.

Lure and Loathing
Named an "Outstanding Book" on the subject of human rights in North America by the Gustavus Meyer Center for the Study of Human Rights

"These essays enlighten historically, politically, sociologically, legally, artistically, religiously, and--most certainly--morally. Every public, high school, and academic library should have this book. Highly recommended." — Library Journal

"Ninety years after W.E.B. DuBois posited the 'double-consciousness' of African-Americans ('always measuring one's soul by the tape of the world that looks on in amused contempt and pity' in a constant experience of 'twoness — an American, a Negro...two unreconciled strivings'), 18 African-American intellectuals offer thoughtful responses.... Some writers here lament recent black conformity to American materialist values. Others consider the impact of multiculturalism and multiracialism on historical black/white formulations. Edited by Early, the collection features pieces by, among others, Molefi Asante, Toni Cade Bambara, Stephen L. Carter, Stanley Crouch, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Kristin Hunter Lattany, Kenneth R. Manning, Reginald McKnight, Itabari Njeri, Robert Staples. High-quality essays, often probing and troubling, essays that take a variety of approaches (historical and sociological, personal memoir, creative meditation, political manifesto) to illuminate both the subject and some of the diversity of African-American opinion." — Kirkus Reviews

"Commenting on W.E.B. Du Bois's famous observation that African Americans experience a ‘double-consciousness' when they approach questions of assimilation, race and identity, 20 black intellectuals here offer thoughtful, provocative and divergent responses.... Early, director of African American studies at George Washington University, provides a sensitive introduction; like most of the contributors, he grounds political arguments in a readily accessible personal narrative." — Publishers Weekly

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