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“Gripping and meticulously documented.”—Don Schanche Jr., Washington Post Forsyth County, Georgia, at the turn of the twentieth century, was home to a large African American community that included ministers and teachers, farmers and field hands, tradesmen, servants, and children. But then in September of 1912, three young black laborers were accused of raping and murdering a white girl. One man was dragged from a jail cell and lynched on the town square, two teenagers were hung after a one-day trial, and soon bands of white “night riders” launched a coordinated campaign of arson and terror, driving all 1,098 black citizens out of the county. The charred ruins of homes and churches disappeared into the weeds, until the people and places of black Forsyth were forgotten. National Book Award finalist Patrick Phillips tells Forsyth’s tragic story in vivid detail and traces its long history of racial violence all the way back to antebellum Georgia. Recalling his own childhood in the 1970s and ’80s, Phillips sheds light on the communal crimes of his hometown and the violent means by which locals kept Forsyth “all white” well into the 1990s. In precise, vivid prose, Blood at the Root delivers a “vital investigation of Forsyth’s history, and of the process by which racial injustice is perpetuated in America” (Congressman John Lewis).
A gripping tale of racial cleansing in Forsyth County, Georgia, and a harrowing testament to the deep roots of racial violence in America. Forsyth County, Georgia, at the turn of the twentieth century was home to a large African American community that included ministers and teachers, farmers and field hands, tradesmen, servants, and children. Many black residents were poor sharecroppers, but others owned their own farms and the land on which they'd founded the county's thriving black churches. But then in September of 1912, three young black laborers were accused of raping and murdering a white girl. One man was dragged from a jail cell and lynched on the town square, two teenagers were hung after a one-day trial, and soon bands of white "night riders" launched a coordinated campaign of arson and terror, driving all 1,098 black citizens out of the county. In the wake of the expulsions, whites harvested the crops and took over the livestock of their former neighbors, and quietly laid claim to "abandoned" land. The charred ruins of homes and churches disappeared into the weeds, until the people and places of black Forsyth were forgotten. National Book Award finalist Patrick Phillips tells Forsyth's tragic story in vivid detail and traces its long history of racial violence all the way back to antebellum Georgia. Recalling his own childhood in the 1970s and '80s, Phillips sheds light on the communal crimes of his hometown and the violent means by which locals kept Forsyth "all white" well into the 1990s. Blood at the Root is a sweeping American tale that spans the Cherokee removals of the 1830s, the hope and promise of Reconstruction, and the crushing injustice of Forsyth's racial cleansing. With bold storytelling and lyrical prose, Phillips breaks a century-long silence and uncovers a history of racial terrorism that continues to shape America in the twenty-first century. 36 illustrations
While scholars have been developing valuable research on race and racism for decades, this work does not often reach the beginning college student or the general public, who rarely learn a basic history of race and racism. If we are to dismantle systemic racism and create a more just society, people need a place to begin. This accessible, introductory, and interdisciplinary guide can be one such place. Grounded in critical race theory, this book uses the metaphor of the Racism Machine to highlight that race is a social construct and that racism is a system of oppression based on invented racial categories. It debunks the false ideology that race is biological. As a manual, this book presents clear instructions for understanding the history of race, including whiteness, starting in colonial America, where the elite created a hierarchy of racial categories to maintain their power through a divide-and-conquer strategy. As a toolbox, this book provides a variety of specific action steps that readers can take once they have developed a foundational understanding of the history of white supremacy, a history that includes how the Racism Machine has been recalibrated to perpetuate racism in a supposedly "post-racial" era.
What we can learn from Atlanta's struggle to reinvent itself in the 21st Century Atlanta is on the verge of tremendous rebirth-or inexorable decline. A kind of Petri dish for cities struggling to reinvent themselves, Atlanta has the highest income inequality in the country, gridlocked highways, suburban sprawl, and a history of racial injustice. Yet it is also an energetic, brash young city that prides itself on pragmatic solutions. Today, the most promising catalyst for the city's rebirth is the BeltLine, which the New York Times described as "a staggeringly ambitious engine of urban revitalization." A long-term project that is cutting through forty-five neighborhoods ranging from affluent to impoverished, the BeltLine will complete a twenty-two-mile loop encircling downtown, transforming a massive ring of mostly defunct railways into a series of stunning parks connected by trails and streetcars. Acclaimed author Mark Pendergrast presents a deeply researched, multi-faceted, up-to-the-minute history of the biggest city in America's Southeast, using the BeltLine saga to explore issues of race, education, public health, transportation, business, philanthropy, urban planning, religion, politics, and community. An inspiring narrative of ordinary Americans taking charge of their local communities, City of the Verge provides a model for how cities across the country can reinvent themselves.
Winner of the 2005 Kate Tufts Discovery Award. From the author of Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America and the National Book Award finalist Elegy for a Broken Machine: Poems, here is the first collection from award-winning poet Patrick Phillips. A river runs through Patrick Phillips’s collection Chattahoochee, and through a family saga as powerful and poignant as the landscape in which it unfolds. Here are tales of a vanished South, elegies for the lost, and glimpses of what Flannery O’Connor called the “action of grace in territory held largely by the devil.” In language delicate and muscular, tender and raw-boned, Phillips writes of family, place, and that mythic conjunction of the two we call home.
Tenacious Solidarity features essays and new writings from 2014 to 2018. As all of Walter Brueggemann's writing is, the chapters are deeply biblical while also concerned with the identities, practices, and obligations of religious communities in contemporary contexts within the United States. Brueggemann consistently attempts to weave the biblical texts--vested as they are with the authority of a storyteller--into the deep contours of his readers' experiences, in order to foster a tenacious solidarity that might overcome both the psychic numbness cultivated by a 24-hour news cycle as well as the anxious possessiveness nurtured by so many privatized spiritualities. Brueggemann brings the "transformative potential" of the biblical texts to bear on critical contemporary contexts, including but not limited to economic disparities, racial injustice and white supremacy, climate and care for creation, and the power of memory and mentoring. He delves deeply in the Psalms, which he says, "provides a foundational script for living into the fullest and deepest realities of human existence." And he draws from the Prophets his foundational concept of totalism, which he defines as "automated fragmentation of social life such that we habitually and callously disregard our relations with others."
Now in paperback, this stunning collection of elegies--a finalist for the National Book Award--bears witness to the small beauties and inevitable losses of our transient life. Elegy for a Broken Machineis a son's lament for his father. It takes us from the luminous world of childhood to the fluorescent glare of operating rooms and recovery wards, and into the twilight lives of those who must go on. In one poem Phillips watches his sons play "Mercy" just as he did with his brother- hands laced, the stronger pushing the other back until he grunts for mercy, "a game we played // so many times / I finally taught my sons, // not knowing what it was, / until too late, I'd done." Phillips documents the unsung joys of midlife, the betrayals of the human body, and his realization that as the crowd of ghosts grows, we take our places, next in line. The result is a twenty-first-century memento mori, fashioned not just from loss but also from praise, and a fierce love for the world in all its ruined splendor.

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