Black conservatism is no oxymoron. Recent polls have indicated that an increasing number of black Americans identified themselves as conservatives, favoring smaller government, lower taxes, tougher crime laws, welfare reform, and personal initiative. While applauding the moral and legal victories of the Civil Rights Movement, the conservative spokespeople in this dynamic new collection reject the claims of inequities and what they consider to be the self-serving agenda of the present civil rights establishment. National leaders such as Justice Clarence Thomas and former Representative Gary Franks and writers such as Shelby Steele and Glenn Loury appear either as contributors or as subjects in this volume. They emphasize the grassroots aspects of black conservatism with a reliance on common sense and common humanity.
The strength of the black conservative voice lies in the growth of its numbers and social influence. As more African-Americans shift to the right and embrace conservative ideology, they are signalling what may be one of the most politically significant trends in American public life as the 20th century draws to a close. This provocative collection of essays shatters the myth that black Americans are uniformly left of center and that conservatism is an ideology with a white face. Unique in its personal and political portrait of black conservatives in America, this book shows the remarkable diversity of ideas from one of the most talked-about political movements to emerge in recent years.
STAN FARYNA is Director of Research of the New Coalition for Economic and Social Change, a Chicago-based think tank, and a research associate of The David Institute, a social research group in California.
BRAD STETSON is Director of Studies at The David Institute and lecturer in Religious Studies at California State University, Long Beach. He is author of Pluralism and Particularity in Religious Belief (Praeger, 1993), Human Dignity and Contemporary Liberalism (forthcoming from Praeger), coauthor (with Joseph G. Conti) of Challenging the Civil Rights Establishment (Praeger, 1993), and editor of The Silent Subject (Praeger, 1996).
JOSEPH G. CONTI is a Research Associate at The David Institute and a Lecturer in philosophy at Kansas Community College. He is coauthor (with Brad Stetson) of Challenging the Civil Rights Establishment (Praeger, 1993).