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About Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
Taylor received her PhD in African American Studies at Northwestern University in 2013.
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FINALIST, 2020 PULITZER PRIZE IN HISTORY
By the late 1960s and early 1970s, reeling from a wave of urban uprisings, politicians finally worked to end the practice of redlining. Reasoning that the turbulence could be calmed by turning Black city-dwellers into homeowners, they passed the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968, and set about establishing policies to induce mortgage lenders and the real estate industry to treat Black homebuyers equally. The disaster that ensued revealed that racist exclusion had not been eradicated, but rather transmuted into a new phenomenon of predatory inclusion.
Race for Profit uncovers how exploitative real estate practices continued well after housing discrimination was banned. The same racist structures and individuals remained intact after redlining's end, and close relationships between regulators and the industry created incentives to ignore improprieties. Meanwhile, new policies meant to encourage low-income homeownership created new methods to exploit Black homeowners. The federal government guaranteed urban mortgages in an attempt to overcome resistance to lending to Black buyers – as if unprofitability, rather than racism, was the cause of housing segregation. Bankers, investors, and real estate agents took advantage of the perverse incentives, targeting the Black women most likely to fail to keep up their home payments and slip into foreclosure, multiplying their profits. As a result, by the end of the 1970s, the nation's first programs to encourage Black homeownership ended with tens of thousands of foreclosures in Black communities across the country. The push to uplift Black homeownership had descended into a goldmine for realtors and mortgage lenders, and a ready-made cudgel for the champions of deregulation to wield against government intervention of any kind.
Narrating the story of a sea-change in housing policy and its dire impact on African Americans, Race for Profit reveals how the urban core was transformed into a new frontier of cynical extraction.
In this winner of the Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize for an Especially Notable Book, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor “not only exposes the canard of color-blindness but reveals how structural racism and class oppression are joined at the hip” (Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams).
The eruption of mass protests in the wake of the police murders of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City have challenged the impunity with which officers of the law carry out violence against black people and punctured the illusion of a post-racial America. The Black Lives Matter movement has awakened a new generation of activists.
In this stirring and insightful analysis, activist and scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor surveys the historical and contemporary ravages of racism and the persistence of structural inequality, such as mass incarceration and black unemployment. In this context, she argues that this new struggle against police violence holds the potential to reignite a broader push for black liberation.
“This brilliant book is the best analysis we have of the #BlackLivesMatter moment of the long struggle for freedom in America. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor has emerged as the most sophisticated and courageous radical intellectual of her generation.” —Dr. Cornel West, author of Race Matters
“A must read for everyone who is serious about the ongoing praxis of freedom.” —Barbara Ransby, author of Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement
“[A] penetrating, vital analysis of race and class at this critical moment in America’s racial history.” —Gary Younge, author of The Speech: The Story Behind Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Dream
Winner of the 2018 Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Nonfiction
The Combahee River Collective, a path-breaking group of radical black feminists, was one of the most important organizations to develop out of the antiracist and women’s liberation movements of the 1960s and 70s. In this collection of essays and interviews edited by activist-scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, founding members of the organization and contemporary activists reflect on the legacy of its contributions to Black feminism and its impact on today’s struggles.
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor writes on Black politics, social movements, and racial inequality in the United States. Her book From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation won the 2016 Lannan Cultural Freedom Award for an Especially Notable Book. Her articles have been published in Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society, Jacobin, New Politics, The Guardian, In These Times, Black Agenda Report, Ms., International Socialist Review, and other publications. Taylor is Assistant Professor in the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University.
In the midst of loss and death and suffering, our charge is to figure out what freedom really means—and how we take steps to get there.
“In the United States, being poor and Black makes you more likely to get sick. Being poor, Black, and sick makes you more likely to die. Your proximity to death makes you disposable.”
The uprising of 2020 marked a new phase in the unfolding Movement for Black Lives. The brutal killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor, and countless other injustices large and small, were the match that lit the spark of the largest protest movement in US history, a historic uprising against racism and the politics of disposability that the Covid-19 pandemic lays bare.
In this urgent and incisive collection of new interviews bookended by two new essays, Marc Lamont Hill critically examines the “pre-existing conditions” that have led us to this moment of crisis and upheaval, guiding us through both the perils and possibilities, and helping us imagine an abolitionist future.
The five essential speeches presented here are taken from The Anti-Inauguration, held on inauguration night 2017 at the historic Lincoln Theatre in Washington, D.C. The Anti-Inauguration event and ebook are joint projects of Jacobin, Haymarket Books and Verso Books.
« Le meurtre de Mike Brown par un policier blanc a marqué un point de rupture pour les Afro-Américains de Ferguson (Missouri). Peut-être était-ce à cause de l’inhumanité de la police, qui a laissé le corps de Brown pourrir dans la chaleur estivale. Peut-être était-ce à cause de l’arsenal militaire qu’elle a sorti dès les premières manifestations. Avec ses armes à feu et ses blindés, la police a déclaré la guerre aux habitants noirs de Ferguson. »
Comment le mouvement Black Lives Matter a-t-il pu naître sous le mandat du premier président noir ? L’auteure revient sur l’« économie politique du racisme » depuis la fin de l’esclavage, le reflux des mouvements sociaux des années 1960 et l’essor d’une élite noire prompte à relayer les préjugés racistes et anti-pauvres. Elle défend le potentiel universaliste de BLM : afro-américain et tourné contre les violences policières, il peut parfaitement rallier d’autres groupes et s’étendre à une lutte générale pour la redistribution des richesses.
Militante antiraciste, féministe et anticapitaliste, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor enseigne au Département d’études afro-américaines de l’université de Princeton. Black Lives Matter, son premier livre, a reçu de nombreux prix et a été plusieurs fois réimprimé depuis sa sortie aux États-Unis.