In this Book

Open Wound
summary
In this boldly interpretive narrative, William McKee Evans tells the story of America's paradox of democracy entangled with a centuries-old system of racial oppression. This racial system of interacting practices and ideas first justified black slavery, then, after the Civil War, other forms of coerced black labor, and, today, black poverty and unemployment. _x000B__x000B_At three historical moments, a crisis in the larger society opened political space for idealists to challenge the racial system: during the American Revolution, then during the "irrepressible conflict" ending in the Civil War, and, finally, during the Cold War and the colonial liberation movements. Each challenge resulted in a historic advance. But none swept clean. Many African Americans remain segregated in jobless ghettoes with dilapidated schools and dismal prospects in an increasingly polarized class society._x000B__x000B_Evans sees a new crisis looming in a convergence of environmental disaster, endless wars, and economic collapse, which may again open space for a challenge to the racial system. African Americans, with their memory of their centuries-old struggle against oppressors, appear uniquely placed to play a central role.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page
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  1. Copyright Page
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-xi
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  1. Interpretive Overview
  2. pp. 1-6
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  1. Prologue: Race and the Human Race
  2. pp. 7-10
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  1. PART 1 The Colonial Period
  2. p. 11
  1. 1. How the American Racial System Began: Atlantic Slavery Becomes Market-Driven and Color-Defined
  2. pp. 13-23
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  1. 2. Anglo Americans Adopt the Atlantic Racial System
  2. pp. 24-35
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  1. 3. The Construction of Planter Hegemony, 1676-1776
  2. pp. 36-49
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  1. 4. The Era of the American Revolution: The Challenge to Slavery and the Compromise
  2. pp. 50-62
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  1. PART 2 The Antebellum Republic
  2. p. 63
  1. 5. The Old South's Triumph
  2. pp. 65-74
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  1. 6. The Old South's Crisis and the Emergence of the White Solidarity Myth
  2. pp. 75-92
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  1. 7. Emancipated but Black: Freedom in the Free States
  2. pp. 93-108
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  1. 8. The Planter and the "Wage Slave": A Reactionary Alliance
  2. pp. 109-119
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  1. 9. King Cotton's Jesters: The Minstrel Show Interprets Race for the White Working Class
  2. pp. 120-129
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  1. The War of the Cabins: The Struggle for the Soul of the "Common Man"
  2. pp. 130-144
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  1. PART 3 The Racial System Challenged and Revised
  2. p. 145
  1. 11. The Republican Revolution and the Struggle for a "New Birth of Freedom"
  2. pp. 147-162
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  1. 12. Reconstruction: The Radical Challenge, 1865-77
  2. pp. 163-174
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  1. 13. Between Slavery and Freedom: The Conservative Quest for a Halfway House
  2. pp. 175-186
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  1. PART 4 The Racial System in a Rising Superpower
  2. p. 187
  1. 14. The Age of Segregation at Its Zenith: The Racial System in a World of Colonialism
  2. pp. 189-198
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  1. 15. Radical Challenge, Liberal Reform: African Americans Gain New Allies
  2. pp. 199-209
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  1. 16. The American Century, the American Dilemma
  2. pp. 210-220
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  1. 17. The Black Freedom Movement
  2. pp. 221-234
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  1. 18. The Racial System in the Age of Corporate Globalism, Technological Revolution, and Environmental Crisis
  2. pp. 235-248
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 249-320
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 321-330
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