St. Martin’s Press Paperback 416 pages • $20.00 ISBN: 978-1-250-07489-8
The Colorization of America
“The book is especially useful for novices looking for a primer on race and culture, but it would behoove anyone who has an interest in what it means to be an American to read it.”—San Francisco Chronicle
Race. The greatest social divide in American life, a half-century ago and today. During that time, the U.S. has seen the most dramatic demographic and cultural shifts in its history, what can be called the colorization of America. But the same nation that elected its first Black president on a wave of hope is still plunged into endless culture wars. How do Americans see race now? How has that changed—and not changed—over the half-century? After eras framed by words like “multicultural” and “post-racial,” do we see each other any more clearly? From the dream of integration to the reality of colorization, Who We Be remixes comic strips and contemporary art, campus protests and corporate marketing campaigns, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Trayvon Martin into a powerful, unusual, and timely cultural history of the idea of racial progress. Jeff Chang, the Executive Director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University, brings fresh energy, style, and sweep to the essential American story.
Jeff Chang‘s first book was the award-winning Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation. He has been a USA Ford Fellow in Literature and was named by The Utne Reader one of “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World.” He is the Executive Director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University.
“If future generations ever need an account of America’s current, tumultuous moment, Chang’s book is a good place to start.”—Philip Eil, Salon
In these provocative, powerful essays, acclaimed writer/journalist Jeff Chang takes an incisive and wide-ranging look at the recent tragedies and widespread protests that have shaken the country. Through deep reporting with key activists and thinkers, passionately personal writing, and distinguished cultural criticism, We Gon’ Be Alright links #BlackLivesMatter to #OscarsSoWhite, Ferguson to Washington D.C., the Great Migration to resurgent nativism. Chang explores the rise and fall of the idea of “diversity,” the roots of student protest, changing ideas about Asian Americanness, and the impact of a century of racial separation in housing. He argues that resegregation is the unexamined condition of our time, the undoing of which is key to moving the nation forward to racial justice and cultural equity.
Jeff Chang is also the author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop and Who We Be. He has been a USA Ford Fellow in Literature and the winner of the American Book Award and the Asian American Literary Award. He is the executive director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University.