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The unmarked marker in racialised hierarchical social systems
Ebun Joseph

1 Race: the unmarked marker in racialised hierarchical social systems Race is constructed for the purpose of maintaining a racial hierarchy. Race does not exist as a neutral attribute of each individual. Race exists as a signifier of group and individual social status. Race is real in its social consequences. If race existed only on its condition of being believed, its life would have ceased long ago. (Zuberi and Bonilla-Silva, 2008: 335–336) Race is a socil construct that has been utilised in separating people into groups for positive or negative treatment

in Critical race theory and inequality in the labour market
Substance, symbols, and hope

The election of Barack Obama was a milestone in US history with tremendous symbolic importance for the black community. But was this symbolism backed up by substance? Did ordinary black people really benefit under the first black president?

This is the question that Andra Gillespie sets out to answer in Race and the Obama Administration. Using a variety of methodological techniques—from content analysis of executive orders to comparisons of key indicators, such as homeownership and employment rates under Clinton, Bush, and Obama— the book charts the progress of black causes and provides valuable perspective on the limitations of presidential power in addressing issues of racial inequality. Gillespie uses public opinion data to investigate the purported disconnect between Obama’s performance and his consistently high ratings among black voters, asking how far the symbolic power of the first black family in the White House was able to compensate for the compromises of political office.

Scholarly but accessible, Race and the Obama Administration will be of interest to students and lecturers in US politics and race studies, as well as to general readers who want to better understand the situation of the black community in the US today and the prospects for its improvement.

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Eugenics in colonial Kenya

This book tells the story of a short-lived but vehement eugenics movement that emerged among a group of Europeans in Kenya in the 1930s, unleashing a set of writings on racial differences in intelligence more extreme than that emanating from any other British colony in the twentieth century. By tracing the history of eugenic thought in Kenya, it shows how the movement took on a distinctive colonial character, driven by settler political preoccupations and reacting to increasingly outspoken African demands for better, and more independent, education. Eugenic theories on race and intelligence were widely supported by the medical profession in Kenya, as well as powerful members of the official and non-official European settler population. However, the long-term failures of the eugenics movement should not blind us to its influence among the social and administrative elite of colonial Kenya. Through a close examination of attitudes towards race and intelligence in a British colony, the book reveals how eugenics was central to colonial racial theories before World War II.

Black radicalism in the long 1980s
Robin Bunce

9 ‘Race Today cannot fail’: black radicalism in the long 1980s Robin Bunce No discussion of the British left in the 1980s would be complete without an account of the Race Today Collective. Simply put, the collective was the most influential group of black radicals in the UK, ‘the centre, in England, of black liberation’.1 From its foundation in the mid-1970s to its dissolution in 1991, the collective coalesced around the magazine Race Today. It was the embodiment of C. L. R. James’s vision of a small organisation. Consequently, members saw their role in the

in Labour and the left in the 1980s
Andrew Carnegie’s dreamworld
Duncan Bell

46 2 Duncan Bell Race, utopia, perpetual peace: Andrew Carnegie’s dreamworld Introduction What is the intellectual history of American foreign policy? Two methodological issues stand out in thinking through this question. The first concerns the appropriate level of analysis, and thus the range of materials that are suitable for constructing such a history. Must we focus on ideas or conceptual schemes that have directly (or even indirectly) shaped debate and decision-​making among the Washington policy elite, or could our analysis also encompass the production

in American foreign policy
Britain, 1870–1914

This study of the ‘colour question’, 1870-1914, offers a new account of the British Empire’s most disturbing legacy. Following contradictions within the ideology of empire, the book provides a revisionist account of race in science, and an original narrative of the invention of the language of race relations, and of resistance to race-thinking. Constructions of race in both professional and popular science were rooted in the common culture, yet were presented as products of nature. Ironically, science only gained a larger public when imperialism, not nature, created a global pattern of racial subordination and conflict. Though often overlooked, the longer term legacy of Victorian racism grew out of the newly invented language of race relations. Originating in the abolitionist movement, this language applied to the management of the historically unprecedented multi-racial communities created by empire. A dissenting minority of abolitionists and persons of African and Asian descent championed racial egalitarianism and colonial nationalism in resistance to the dominant discourse. By 1910, they suffered a crushing defeat in contesting white power in South Africa. As a consequence, in the new twentieth century, visions of a colour-blind empire belonged to a sentimentalised, archaic abolitionist past. Under the guise of imperial trusteeship, a new lexicon of race relations gave legitimacy to the institutionalised inequalities of an empire bifurcated by race.

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Geological folklore and Celtic literature, from Cornwall to Scotland
Shelley Trower

rather than Hunt’s work itself. 5 The chapter will bring together Hunt’s various forms of narrative – namely his mining treatises, poetry and folklore collection – to illustrate how particular rocks serve to distinguish ‘Celtic’ regions and nations from a more ‘sedimentary’ England, and to distinguish the ‘Celtic race’ from the more ‘civilised

in Rocks of nation
John Mundy
Glyn White

in’ (2007: 20). This notion that comedy can be a Janus-like process, a barrier as well as an entrance, both a ‘sword and a shield’, is important when we attempt to understand the relationship between comedy, race and ethnicity. Comic material in broadcasting and film can, as we have seen, have different meanings for different audiences at different times, but it invariably relies a great deal on

in Laughing matters
‘Slaying the dragon of Eskimo status’ before the Supreme Court of Canada, 1939
Constance Backhouse

As a colony Canada inherited both English and French law, was pummelled by American influences, and asserted imperialistic powers of its own across racial boundaries vis-à-vis First Nations’ and Aboriginal communities. This paper focuses on the legal definition of ‘race’, an area riddled with Canadian imperialist thought and practice, at the

in Law, history, colonialism
Eugenics and birth control in Johannesburg, 1930-40
Susanne Klausen

Only the nobler, more intelligent, energetic and healthier citizens of the present should be the ancestors of future generations. 2 (H. B. Fantham, from a lecture presented to the Race Welfare Society, 14 August 1930) The State needs all the good children it can

in Science and society in southern Africa