The Challenge of Blackness:
The Institute of the Black World and Political Activism in the 1970s

Derrick E. White

Foreword by Stanley Harrold and Randall M. Miller, Series Editors
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"White poignantly chronicles the rise and fall of the Institute of the Black World and assesses its role as progenitor of radical scholarship, Black Studies, and the African Diaspora. Written in provocative yet accessible prose, this book is sure to spark debate on the intense relationship between Black Power, Marxism, and anticolonial politics during the long seventies."--Paul Ortiz, University of Florida

"This important book discusses the challenges faced by a visionary organization as it struggled with the turbulent 1970s. An excellent contribution to Black Power Studies and social movement research."--Fabio Rojas, University of Indiana

The Challenge of Blackness examines the history and legacy of the Institute of the Black World (IBW), one of the most important Black Freedom Struggle organizations to emerge in the aftermath of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
A think tank based in Atlanta, the IBW sought to answer King's question "Where do we go from here?" Its solution was to organize a broad array of leading Black activists, scholars, and intellectuals to find ways to combine the emerging academic discipline of Black Studies with the Black political agenda.
Throughout the 1970s, debates over race and class in the Unites States grew increasingly hostile, and the IBW's approach was ultimately unable to challenge the growing conservatism. By using the IBW as the lens through which to view these turbulent years, Derrick White provides an exciting new interpretation of the immediate post-civil rights years in America.

Derrick E. White is associate professor of history at Florida Atlantic University and contributor to "We Shall Independent Be": African American Place-Making and the Struggle to Claim Space in the United States.

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"White's excellent study critically examines its history as a pragmatic Black Nationalist think-tank." Book News, Inc.

"Groundbreaking in its impressive research and critical analysis, White's study will go down as the definitive history of this vital activist think tank and its community of activist intellectuals." The Journal of Southern History

"Derrick White provides a historical account and a political analysis (the two do not always go together) that requires serious engagement in our contemporary moment." Ethnic and Racial Studies

“Possesses an analytical rigor that adds to the emerging understanding of this critical decade of both racial change and stasis.” Florida Historical Quarterly

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