Black politics are key to recognizing the most important social dynamics of the United States. Over the past forty years, no commentator has been as deeply insightful about the paradoxes and personalities of Black American public life as the journalist and radio host Glen Ford.
In this stunning overview, Ford draws from his work for Black Agenda Report, one of the most incisive and perceptive publications of the progressive left, to examine competing struggles for class power and identity in the Black movement. In a survey stretching from the violent gentrification of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, through the engineered bankruptcy of Detroit, to the "more effective evil" of the Obama presidency, Ford casts a caustic eye on the empty posturing and corruption of the Democratic Party. This, he insists, depends on a Black constituency for electoral success, while using a co-opted "Black misleadership class" to sell out working people's interests.
Profiling along the way storied Black leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Brown (for whom Ford once worked), The Black Agenda looks, too, beyond American shores, at US intervention in Libya, the Congo and the Middle East, showing how these are imbricated with racism at home. Ford concludes with a discussion of the Black Lives Matter movement, setting out both its pitfalls and potentialities.