Democracy in Black: A Black History Month Discussion with IGE

Democracy in Black Book CoverBlack families lost home equity, retirement accounts and years of accumulated wealth in the recession of 2008 amounting to triple the losses of white families. The effect on the next generation is already devastating. Yet political developments make the situation either invisible or misunderstood to most Americans in an election year. How did we get here, and how do we go forward in a way that empowers our whole nation to move forward together? Join us for a discussion of the new book by Eddie Glaude, Jr. PhD.: Democracy in Black.

Monday, February 29, 2016 at 7pm
at Institute for Global Education at 1118 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI

Mary McLeod will present on the book and then we will have a discussion. (Reading the book is helpful, but not necessary.)

Eddie Glaude, Jr., PhD, argues that the diversity of black voices has been replaced by a black leadership establishment that keeps the social and economic inequality of black Americans invisible.

Princeton scholar and President-elect of the American Academy of Religion, Glaude documents the enormous and hugely disproportionate loss of wealth by Black Americans since 2008, which has not been recovered. That economic loss wiped out the ability of MANY Black families and institutions to support the next generation of Black children with the most basic necessities for success.

He is critical of recent leaders including Presidents Clinton and Obama for failing to create the conditions necessary for Black Americans to earn and enjoy respect. When the equalizing attempts of the Civil Rights years and Great Society were rolled back after only 15 years under Reagan, we missed an important opportunity to finally create an inclusive economic and social life in American. This rebalancing of subliminal messaging we receive moment to moment about our differences is necessary to close what Glaude calls “the value gap” for the benefit of Americans of every color, including white.

Glaude argues that guilt about continuing inequity prevents all Americans from enjoying clear vision of our nation and undermines our ability to work together respectfully. He chronicles a new mode of leadership enabled by Internet connectivity that is rejecting established leaders in favor of decentralized protest and local political involvement to unmask and redress inequality that is festering in the national psyche to the detriment of us all.