By Jason Sokol
From the nineteenth century, while northern towns have been domestic to powerful abolitionist groups and served as a counterpoint to the slaveholding South, throughout the first half the twentieth century, whilst the North turned a vacation spot for African americans fleeing Jim Crow, the Northeastern usa has had a protracted historical past of reputation and liberalism. yet as historian Jason Sokol finds in All Eyes Are Upon Us, northern states like Massachusetts, manhattan, and Connecticut have been additionally strongholds of segregation and deep-seated racism. In All Eyes Are Upon Us, historian Jason Sokol indicates how Northerners—black and white alike—have struggled to gain the North's innovative previous and power because the Forties, efforts that, he insists, have slowly yet definitely succeeded.
During international battle II, the second one nice Migration introduced an inflow of African american citizens to Northern towns, forcing citizens to reckon with the disparity among their racial practices and their racial preaching. at the one hand, black political and cultural leaders looked as if it would embrace the so-called northern mystique of enlightenment and racial growth. All of Brooklyn—Irish and Jewish citizens, Italian immigrants, and African americans newly arrived from the South—came out to help Brooklyn Dodger Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball's colour barrier in 1947 and led the Dodgers to 6 global sequence video games. Republican Ed Brooke was once elected to the Senate from Massachusetts in 1966, turning into the nation's first black senator when you consider that Reconstruction and successful a kingdom whose inhabitants was once ninety seven% white. David Dinkins turned the 1st black Mayor of latest York in 1990, promising to unravel the racial tensions that wracked the city.
But those achievements have been on no account ideal, nor have been they continually consultant of the African American event within the Northeast. White Northerners who rallied at the back of Jackie Robinson or voted for Ed Brooke have been hardly prepared to re-examine their very own prejudices or the regulations of segregation that reigned. Jackie Robinson, like many African american citizens in Bed-Stuy and Brownsville, confronted housing discrimination in Brooklyn and in suburban Connecticut; Ed Brooke used to be undone via the anti-busing violence in South Boston; and David Dinkins' short tenure was once undermined by means of ongoing racial violence and a backlash between white citizens. those political and cultural victories were major yet fragile, and so they couldn't go beyond the region's racial strife and fiscal realities—or the empty claims of liberalism and color-blindness made via many white Northerners. however the hole among white liberal craving and the segregated fact left small yet significant room for racial progress.
As Sokol argues, the region's halting makes an attempt to reconcile its innovative picture with its legacy of racism should be considered as a microcosm of America's struggles with race as an entire: outwardly democratic, inwardly imbalanced, yet consistently difficult itself to stay as much as its idealized position as a version of racial equality. certainly, Sokol posits that it used to be the Northeast's fierce satisfaction in its recognition of progressiveness that finally rescued the zone from its personal prejudices and propelled it alongside an not going route to equality.
An worthwhile exam of the background of race and politics within the Northeast, All Eyes Are Upon Us bargains a provocative account of the region's bothered roots in segregation and its promising destiny in politicians from Deval Patrick to Barack Obama.
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Extra info for All Eyes are Upon Us: Race and Politics from Boston to Brooklyn
Out-of-date voting technologies and local control over the election process produce widely disparate election results—empowering some voters while effectively disenfranchising many others. Even the way we organize our elections—employing at-large or mandatory majority vote procedures—repeatedly dilutes the impact of certain groups’ ballots, in the process undermining the significance of the act of voting. For most of our national history, almost as much effort has gone into denying disliked or despised groups the vote—or at least diluting the impact of their vote—as into expanding the franchise.
How can a democratic nation allow such exclusions to happen? Doesn’t democracy mean that everyone gets to vote? How democratic can we be, given the existence of widespread vote Page xii denial—and the all-too-slow process by which we opposed this denial? S. politics and constitutional government? How healthy can they be? Should they be? Are we in trouble here? Or are the events of the 2000 election simply an aberration already being fixed by legislative initiative? These are questions central to the health and future of the nation.
Many analytical, theoretical, and statistical studies provide essential insight into the workings (or nonworkings) of our electoral systems. In fact, this book would not have been possible in its present form without the work of many other scholars. Given the need to compress and summarize a complex subject, I have been forced to stand on the shoulders of such works, and I willingly acknowledge my indebtedness to those scholars working in this field—social scientists, legal scholars, and historians.