Color, Culture, Civilization: Race and Minority Issues in American Society

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University of Illinois Press, 1995 - 398 pages
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For nearly a century, the discourse on ethnoracial minorities in the United States has been framed by debates over assimilation versus pluralism. In this challenging look at race, culture, and the nature of integration, Stanford Lyman explores that discourse, from its philosophical origins in intellectual responses to the "Jewish Question" to its contemporary formulations. Lyman's subjects range from Robert E. Park's shifting views on the relation between assimilation and civilizational advance through the imagery of ethnic groups found in novels, slave narratives, and film; the challenge to ethnohistorical views represented by the Chinese diaspora; and the "badge of slavery" that Asian, Hispanic, and Native American groups have been forced to wear. Finally, Lyman reflects on the innovative ways of speaking, writing, and acting forged by the revival of race consciousness and offers a perspective on how to understand more constructively the major African-American literary and social critics.

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