An Elegy for the African American Community, or The Unintended Consequences of Desegregation/Integration
African Americans coming of age after the civil rights movement gained access to opportunities previously denied former generations. But the opportunities available to the “Joshua generation” came at an enormous price. While some African Americans foresaw the losses to black enterprises and community, few were willing to barter first class citizenship and the eradication of racial barriers for personal wealth and “racial” solidarity. In Love, Toni Morrison explores this paradox of integration, raising some telling questions about a unitary vision within the African American community and undermining the notion that Black people were ever of one mind. Morrison never waivers in her conviction that African Americans share a common heritage as victims of racism. But she is also keen to note that African Americans’ responses to white racism have varied across and within the class spectrum and that many Blacks embraced or rejected integration based upon personal and self-serving interests. (150 words)
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