Review Of "Dark Ghettos: Injustice, Dissent, And Reform" By T. Shelby

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This measured yet powerful philosophical and moral analysis of African American ghetto life and the injustices suffered by its denizens deserves to be widely read. Any educated citizen, any student, and any academic in economics, the social sciences, or philosophy can read it with profit. While Shelby (African and African American studies and philosophy, Harvard) does not opt for any overarching political philosophy, he does make trenchant arguments about the nature and conditions of community, family, work, crime, and punishment, and the right to resist deeply unjust and humiliating laws and practices. With regard to work, for example, Shelby's subtle analysis explores not only how the white majority frames the lives of those who don't work and cannot find work (e.g., "freeloaders," "lazy"), he also explores what work means in the lives of most people, coupled with how work, and its absence, affects family and civic life. While Shelby advocates abolishing the ghetto, he does not mean abolishing black neighborhoods. Rather, he urges a fundamental reform of the basic structure of society. This has implications for policing and the creation of employment opportunities, and much more. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.


This work is freely available courtesy of Choice Reviews. The review has been reproduced in full in the abstract field.

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