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Potomac Books







Peace Be Still, Peace Be Still, 0803246935, 0-8032-4693-5, 978-0-8032-4693-5, 9780803246935, Matthew C. Whitaker, , Peace Be Still, 0803249586, 0-8032-4958-6, 978-0-8032-4958-5, 9780803249585, Matthew C. Whitaker, , Peace Be Still, 0803249640, 0-8032-4964-0, 978-0-8032-4964-6, 9780803249646, Matthew C. Whitaker

Peace Be Still
Modern Black America from World War II to Barack Obama
Matthew C. Whitaker

2014. 412 pp.
37 photographs, 10 appendixes
$75.00 s
Out of Print
2014. 412 pp.
37 photographs, 10 appendixes
$30.00 s

A concise, engaging, and provocative history of African Americans since World War II, Peace Be Still is also nothing less than an alternate history of the United States in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Organizing this history around culture, politics, and resistance, Matthew C. Whitaker takes us from World War II as a galvanizing force for African American activism and the modern civil rights movement to the culmination of generations of struggle in the election of Barack Obama.

From the promise of the post–World War II era to the black power movement of the 1960s, the economic and political struggles of the 1970s, and the major ideological realignment of political culture during the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s, this book chronicles a people fighting oppression while fashioning a dynamic culture of artistic and religious expression along with a program of educational and professional advancement. A resurgence of rigid conservative right-wing policies, the politics of poverty, racial profiling, and police brutality are ongoing counterpoints to African Americans rising to political prominence and securing positions once denied them.

A history of African Americans for a new generation, Peace Be Still demonstrates how dramatically African American history illuminates the promise, conflicts, contradictions, hopes, and victories that all Americans share.


Matthew C. Whitaker is ASU Foundation Professor of History and founding director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Arizona State University. He is the author of Race Work: The Rise of Civil Rights in the Urban West (Nebraska, 2005) and the coeditor of Hurricane Katrina: America’s Unnatural Disaster (Nebraska, 2009).

“An indispensable survey of modern African American history and its implications in the present. Expansive in its breadth, keen in its observations, and fluid in its prose, this is the best single volume on the period.”—William Jelani Cobb, associate professor of history and director of the Institute of African American Studies, University of Connecticut, and author of The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress

“A strong contribution to the field and historiography of African American history. Written in clear and concise language and filled with brilliant insights.”—Peniel Joseph, professor of history at Tufts University, and author of Dark Days, Bright Nights: From Black Power to Barack Obama

“Eloquent yet concise, Professor Whitaker’s thoughtful survey of contemporary African American History offers a rich narrative that expertly situates the victories and hardships of the last half century, within the context of a long Black Freedom struggle, the ebbs and flows of which continues to this day. Peace Be Still should be required reading for all serious students of U.S. and African American History.”—Yohuru Williams, professor and chair of the Department of History, Fairfield University, and author of Black Politics/White Power: Civil Rights Black Power and the Black Panthers in New Haven

"This history of African Americans for a new generation breaks new ground by offering a fresh, articulate, succinct, and comprehensive examination of recent black history."—W. T. Howard, CHOICE

 2014 Bayard Rustin Book Award

Publication of this volume was assisted by the Virginia Faulkner Fund, established in memory of Virginia Faulkner, editor in chief of the University of Nebraska Press.

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