by Jeffrey Dean Swain, J.D.
|New Book: Black and Still Here|
Black and Still Here is a series of essays on the issue of race in the new millennium. It blends literary analysis, social commentary and history into a thought-provoking look at race in America and world-wide. The essay format is chosen because it releases the writer from the strictures of a purely research driven discussion. The book uses quotations from scholars on the issue of race as a springboard for ten full-length discussions. Each essay is designed so that the reader is left to make up his own mind about whether race matters today.
Jeffrey Dean Swain, J.D.
|So much of the discussion of race is charged with unfettered emotions. Few
Americans want to talk about it in the year 2002. They wished race was a relic - a
dinosaur - that could be put into a museum and viewed as an ancient artifact. Americans,
especially, want to put race in the past so that it poses no questions for the present.
Swain, the author, poses some questions of note, for example:why is the Holocaust worthy
of remembrance but slavery and segregation are worthy of only a footnote as "the
past." His position is that America and the Western world at large want to relegate
race to the periphery because it is too toxic within a capitalistic world.
Black and Still Here also poses another challenge. Its goal is not to be a "black book." Books that bear that label end up in the section of bookstores where no one will see them. Swain says this book is for anyone who wants "America to be America."
The book examines the criminal justice system, the political machine, public education and the church and concludes that each is tainted with racism and irredeemable in its present form. In essence, the book challenges people who believe that the world has arrived at the point where all people are valued equally to weigh the world's words about race against its actions about race.
Perhaps the most compelling aspect of this book is Swain calls everyone to task. Blacks are asked why they want "black leaders." Whites are asked, why did the poorest black neighborhood of Miami only receive a Wendy's restaurant just two years ago; and why does the largest grocery chain refuse to build in a neighborhood known for its consumerism? The question is also posed regarding what does it mean to refer to oneself by continent (i.e, Africa) rather than country (e.g., Italian-American or Japanese-American)? Finally, why doesn't the United States Senate have black members?
When all is said and done, this book is a tour de force for the reader. It does not seek to intimidate - just to ask why. For persons interested in putting their views of race to the test, this is a good book to read. The book's closing chapter ends on a high note. Because the author's purpose is not to merely complain about race but to challenge opinions about where we are in the matter, the book ends with the Swain Doctrine. Here, blacks worldwide are encouraged to take steps to positively resolve the issue of interracial and intraracial prejudice. Black and Still Here is well written and is reader friendly with its 14-point print. It deserves serious consideration as a book every America who loves America should read.
About the Author
Jeffrey Dean Swain is a native of Miami, Florida. He works in the field of public education as an administrator. He holds degrees from Morehouse College, Nova Southeastern University and the University of Miami School of Law.
|His professional career has included music, teaching and law. He is an
avid reader whose taste include poetic, historical, Biblical and socio-political readings.
He was born in Overtown, Miami's formerly world renowned black community, in the early sixties. Born in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement and having come of age during the height of Affirmative Action, Swain's life experiences span the period from racial segregation to multiculturalism. His purpose in writing the book is to explore why race has fallen out of the realm of public discourse and to measure the world's reaction to race in the new millennium. Additionally, he writes out of a need to preserve the history of the people in the African Diaspora.
Published by, Morris Publishing, 267 pages, ISBN # 0-9722175-0-9, $12.00
To order: send $12 plus $3.00 postage and handling within US. to Jeffrey Dean Swain, J.D. P.O. Box 565504, Miami, Florida 33256-5504. You may call:800-624-6848
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