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By Daryl Michael Scott

For over a century, the concept African americans are psychologically broken has performed a big function in discussions of race. during this provocative paintings, Daryl Michael Scott argues that harm imagery has been the made of liberals and conservatives, of racists and antiracists. whereas racial conservatives, frequently taking part in on white contempt for blacks, have sought to take advantage of findings of black pathology to justify exclusionary rules, racial liberals have used harm imagery essentially to advertise rules of inclusion and rehabilitation. In advancing his argument, Scott demanding situations a few long-held ideals in regards to the background of wear imagery. He rediscovers the liberal impulses in the back of Stanley Elkins's Sambo speculation and Daniel Patrick Moynihan's Negro kinfolk and exposes the wear imagery within the paintings of Ralph Ellison, the best anti-pathologist. He additionally corrects the view that the Chicago institution depicted blacks as pathological items of matriarchy. New Negro specialists reminiscent of Charles Johnson and E. Franklin Frazier, he says, disdained sympathy-seeking and shunned exploring person pathology. Scott's reassessment of social technological know-how sheds new mild on Brown v. Board of schooling, revealing how specialists reversed 4 many years of thought with a view to symbolize segregation as inherently destructive to blacks. during this arguable paintings, Scott warns the Left of the hazards of their fresh rediscovery of wear imagery in an age of conservative reform.

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Extra info for Contempt and Pity: Social Policy and the Image of the Damaged Black Psyche, 1880-1996

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Rather his attention centered on the state of monogamy and what he perceived as a high level of promiscuity in the black community. He believed that the weak status of monogamy belied the census numbers, which suggested that the family life of black people was as stable as that of native-born whites. 11 Unlike scholars who would later use statistics to show that three-quarters of black families were healthy, Du Bois, peering into his subjects' homes to gather data, found problems. Many who lived together were not married, which he interpreted as making them more vulnerable to breaking up.

Moreover, he violated a cultural tradition of the black folk on whose behalf he spoke. 27 Du Bois, a leading student of black life, surely knew of this folk value. Black tradition and professional ideals notwithstanding, Du Bois, like a docent for a public museum, proceeded to raise the veil and give whites a guided tour of his representation of the inner sanctum of black people's lives. " He spoke of his own sufferings, of the refusal of a white classmate to exchange visiting cards with him. "Then it dawned on me with a certain suddenness that I was different from the others ...

Most academics have viewed damage imagery as racist and conservative. Moreover, they have viewed it as a constant, unchanging feature in social science thought. 1 This study argues that damage imagery has been the product of liberals and conservatives, of racists and antiracists. Often playing on white contempt toward blacks, racial conservatives have sought to use findings of black pathology to justify exclusionary policies and to explain the dire conditions under which many black people live.

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Contempt and Pity: Social Policy and the Image of the Damaged Black Psyche, 1880-1996 by Daryl Michael Scott

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