Racial Realities and Post-Racial Dreams

The Age of Obama and Beyond

Non-Fiction - Social Issues
224 Pages
Reviewed on 03/06/2016
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Author Biography

Julius Bailey, PhD, a Christian Existentialist, teaches in the Department of Philosophy at Wittenberg University. He is a philosopher, cultural critic, social theorist, and diversity lecturer. As a socially conscious academic, Dr. Bailey has been interviewed on CNN, Fox, B.E.T, and ABC Nightline. A guest on numerous radio shows as a social critic and education advisor, he is often sought to speak at colleges, prisons, and community organizations across America. Recent publications include: Racial Realities and Post-Racial Dreams: The Age of Obama and Beyond (Broadview Press, Dec. 28,2015); The Cultural Impact of Kanye West (ed. Palgrave-McMillan, March 2014), Philosophy and Hip-hop: Ruminations on Hip-Hop as Postmodern Cultural Form (Palgrave,-McMillan, July 2014) and Jay-Z: Essays on Hip Hop's Philosopher King (McFarland, 2011). He has also authored a host of articles on Hip-Hop Pedagogy and Social Justice issues. He holds Masters Degrees from Howard and Harvard Universities and a Doctorate from the University of Illinois. More information can be found at www.juliusbailey.com

    Book Review

Reviewed by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers' Favorite

Racial Realities and Post-Racial Dreams - The Age of Obama and Beyond by Julius Bailey is a gorgeously written, exceedingly intelligent, impeccably nuanced polemic against the current state of race relations in America. Dr. Bailey includes a bibliographical reference list by chapter that securely establishes his hard-won collection of incontrovertible facts and figures from which he makes his passionate but objective claims, and tentatively prescribes a better future for us all. In a deft move toward placing this highly sensitive discussion in its proper context, Dr. Bailey begins his indelible work by re-emphasizing the mandate of our Declaration of Independence and then offering the irrefutable present day conclusion: “Our current society has chosen liberty, not equality, as the paramount goal to be achieved by our political and social systems.” The ramifications of this rather subtle observation are revealed and documented at great length and in great depth and with an academic mastery that is neither dry nor boringly belabored, covering in turn the historical roots of the present, the multi-faceted aspects of racial reality – including the modern immigration controversy and the distinctly adversarial approach to poverty in our nation, as well as the hyperbolic, manipulated rise of income inequality – with an ironic nod to the shouted aphorisms of American exceptionalism touted by us in the larger world.

In Racial Realities and Post-Racial Dreams, Julius Bailey never steps away from the humanity of his subject. As he so eloquently states, “There is a single note at the heart of this cry: as a putatively moral nation, we are not what we would have ourselves be.” As he is obligated to mention in relation to the heroic and blood-letting Civil Rights Movement with its heartfelt initial gains, “We have lost the path (and especially the togetherness that characterized our first steps on it), and we have become more and more lost, unsure of the future.” One cannot read this deeply moving, brilliant assessment of racial realities today and not come away profoundly touched, significantly enlightened, and oh-so-very tentatively hopeful that the path might be found again, and that we, as a nation, might find our post-racial dreams coming true at last. One of the finest non-fiction books I have ever read. It was a pleasure and a privilege to review.

Deborah Lloyd

As President Obama’s term of office is nearing its end, it is time to reassess racism and other inequalities in the United States. A quote by author Julius Bailey in Racial Realities and Post-Racial Dreams: The Age of Obama and Beyond summarizes his theory: “The fact of the matter is that the election of a Black president does not signify that racism is over.” While a great optimistic fervor of hope exploded eight years ago, Dr. Bailey proves his case. He presents many sobering facts and assists the reader to develop a deeper level of understanding the true nature of prejudice and bias that still exists. At the same time, he points out areas of progress made with the end of slavery and the Civil Rights Movement. Example after example demonstrates how the “systemic and structural oppression of Black people” continues. Dr. Bailey also develops strong cases for the exacerbation of xenophobia, Islamophobia, poverty, and income inequality.

Racial Realities and Post-Racial Dreams: The Age of Obama and Beyond by Julius Bailey should be required reading for all voters this election year. The underlying meanings behind politicians’ words, congressional actions and current laws become evident throughout the book. Although Dr. Bailey’s arguments are presented in a scholarly style, complete with numerous footnotes at the end of each chapter, the book is written in an easy-to-understand, riveting style. Anyone who reads this exceptional book will be changed and hopefully will feel called to take action to make real changes in this country’s priorities. This book is truly a gem.

Gisela Dixon

Racial Realities and Post-Racial Dreams: The Age of Obama and Beyond by Julius Bailey is a much-needed social commentary in the shape of a book on the realities of racism in today’s world. Julius Bailey discusses highly relevant issues around race in America in the twenty-first century, with an emphasis around race and racial prejudices in the wake of the election of President Obama as the first person of color to occupy the highest office. Racial Realities and Post-Racial Dreams is sectioned into basic chapters on broad issues such as disproportionate crime and poverty among the African American communities, the subtle and sometimes overt racially charged criticism and mockery of Obama, the realities of systematic racism with hundreds of examples dispersed throughout the book, and of course an insight once again into the abhorrent so-called “institution” of slavery upon which much of modern America is founded.

Racial Realities and Post-Racial Dreams: The Age of Obama and Beyond by Julius Bailey is a fascinating book and an open discussion on the very real issues of race in America. The writing is extremely engaging, genuine, and empathetic and makes this book a real page-turner. Julius Bailey has done thorough research and presents a comprehensive view of systematic racism and what is needed to bring about a radical change in the future. In the words of Martin Luther King, the hearts of people need to change and the entire system needs to be rebuilt brick by brick. This is a must-read and I would highly recommend this book to everyone.