The Black Agenda
by Glen Ford
Understanding Black politics is key to recognizing the most important social dynamics of the United States. And over the past 40 years no other 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 on his work for Black Agenda Report, one of the most incisive and perceptive publications of the progressive left, to examine the often-competing struggles for class power and identity in the Black movement. In a survey that stretches from the racist assault on Black people in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, through the engineered bankruptcy of Detroit, to the false promise of the Obama presidency, Ford casts a caustic eye on the empty posturing and corruption of the Democratic Party leadership. This, he insists, depends for electoral success on a Black constituency whilst co-opting a section of its leadership in a perpetual selling out of working people’s interests.
Profiling along the way storied Black leaders such as Martin Luther King, Malcom X and James Brown (for whom Ford once worked), The Black Agenda looks, too, beyond American shores at conflicts 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 potentialities and pitfalls.