White Rage: the Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide
By Carol Anderson
Read July 2019
Carol Anderson is Charles Howard Candler Professor of African American Studies at Emory University. Her academic prowess as a historian is exemplified in this concise but thorough review of the continuous barrage of barriers white Americans have placed in the path of progress of their brethren black Americans. This was a difficult book for this (white) reader to read, not because of her exceptionally clear writing, but rather because her work makes clear how much this reader didn’t know about the history of the United States. She starts her work during the Civil War and continues through the Obanna administration. While this reader had some familiarity with Jim Crow laws, methods to prevent blacks from voting (various techniques utilized over the decades), red-lining, unstated Jim Crow in the north, using the “drug wars” to incarcerate blacks at an unimaginable, Anderson describes the systematic aspects of these attacks clearly and concisely. Among new learnings for this reader include the meeting Abraham Lincoln had with leaders in which it was proposed that all black Americans agree to leave the United States and make a homeland in Panama and the liberty his successor, Johnson, gave southern leaders to trod upon blacks in order to keep them happy. These learnings are the tips of the iceberg of what Anderson has to teach.
This book is one that should be widely read so that our understanding of the history of the United States is more accurate and so that our understanding of the on-going struggle for equality has been horribly difficult and still is.