Abstract

This interdisciplinary essay explores a fundamental paradox at the heart of American race relations since the 1960s: “the changing same.” The more things change; the more they remain the same. Combining historical and social-scientific evidence with autobiographical reflections, this discussion critically probes the paradoxical decline and persistence of two dimensions of our enduring racial quagmire: racial inequality and white supremacy. The essay argues that these powerful and interrelated elements of America's continuing racial dilemma demand a massive democratic movement to alleviate both at once. This wide-ranging struggle to realize the promise of American democracy requires more than just a revitalized African American Freedom Struggle that is both intraracial and interracial. Progress toward resolving the seemingly intractable problem of racial inequality in the United States demands far more than intensified efforts to alleviate economic inequality; it requires alleviating white supremacy as well.

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