+1(978)310-4246 credencewriters@gmail.com

draft a 500-word Discussion Board essay in response to the above query. Moreover, when drafting your response, remember that you are required to use and reference specific details from the Module’s assigned readings, media clips, and/or PowerPoint lectures to support the points you make in your essay.

Chapter Twenty
The Search for New Directions During
A Conservative Era, 1979-1991
Finding a Place in the Political System.
• Michele Wallace sympathized with the civil rights
movement and admired Black Power advocates.
But in the late 1960s she was transformed by the
emerging women’s movement. In Black Macho
(1979) she challenged the black militancy that
equated black liberation with a violent
assentation of black manhood, exposing tensions
between black men and women and other
conflicts among African Americans in an
conservative era.
• After Andrew Young, U.S. ambassador to the
United Nations, met informally with a
representative of the Palestine Liberation
Organization, objections by Jewish-American
leaders forced his resignation. The episode bred
distrust of the Democratic Party, as President
Carter seemed willing to forego black support for
Jewish support. Black leaders had more to fear
though, from incoming president Ronald Reagan,
a conservative who exploited anti-tax sentiment
and white resentment of black “welfare
• A Black Alternatives Conference in 1980 revealed
disillusionment with governmental programs like
affirmative action, and heralded a new black
conservatism. Some black conservatives
advocated self-help in the tradition of Booker T.
Washington and Marcus Garvey. Others, like
libertarian economist Thomas Sowell, claimed
that government action to combat discrimination
was counterproductive, producing a debilitating
“culture of poverty.”
• This “culture of poverty” passed down
through generations, and created what
sociologist William Julius Wilson called an
“underclass,” falling behind the rest of society.
Though Wilson argued that the black middle
class benefited from civil rights reforms and
affirmative action, Sowell’s influence marked
the beginning of a broad shift away from the
liberal assumptions underlying the social
policies of Roosevelt and Johnson.
• Reagan, elected with little black support, indicated that
his administration would be les responsive than
Carter’s to civil rights concerns. He reduced funding for
welfare and other programs that supported the poor,
with the result that black unemployment and the
number of African American families below the
poverty line grew. After he appointed Clarence
Thomas, a critic of busing and affirmative action, as
head of the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission, the agency’s budget and staff declined. In
Reagan’s second term, Martin Luther King’s birthday
was made a national holiday.
Jesse Jackson’s 1984 Presidential
• Jesse Jackson’s forceful criticisms of Reagan
contributed to his emergence as the nation’s
most influential black political figure. Building
on the anger over Young’s forced resignation,
Jackson traveled to the Middle East, meeting
with PLO leader Arafat, thus further offending
Jewish leaders. He returned to support Harold
Washington’s successful campaign for mayor
of Chicago by emphasizing voter registration.
• In 1984, he decided to run for president, figuring
that if African Americans could gain the balance
of power in the Democratic Party they could force
it to support progressive politics. Jackson
expressed strong support for civil rights, labor
unions, women’s rights, and environmental
causes. His campaign received a boost when his
negotiations secured the return of a black Navy
pilot shot down over Syria following the failure of
the State Department to do so.
• But his earlier successes collapsed following
an anti-Semitic remark magnified in
comments by Nation of Islam leader Louis
Farrakhan. Though Walter Mondale got the
party nomination and Reagan won the lection,
Jackson with his “rainbow coalition” appeal,
demonstrated that a black candidate could
draw white support.
• In Washington, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Mary
Frances Berry, and Walter Fauntroy founded
the Free South Africa Movement, and
repeated protests at the embassy
strengthened the campaign to force South
Africa to end apartheid. Campus activists
compelled universities such as Stanford and
Columbia to divest endowment funds from
companies that did business in South Africa.
The Popularization of Black Feminism
• Ultimately, Congress overrode Reagan’s veto
to institute economic sanctions against South
Africa, the first time since the 1960s that
African Americans had spearheaded a national
campaign of nonviolent direct action.
• Alice Walker, a participant in the Free South
Africa movement and a qualified defender of
Black Macho, attracted a controversy with her
best-selling novel The Color Purple.
• Like Zora Neale Hurston, Walker focused on
relationships within black families rather than
on external black-white relations, revealing
the brutality of gender oppression and the
indomitable spirit of a woman who endures
and ultimately prevails. The book’s film
version made stars of Whoopi Goldberg,
Oprah Winfrey, and Danny Glover, but director
Steven Spielberg was criticized for turning
male characters into caricatures.
• Walker’s success built on a foundation
established by earlier black women writers,
including Hurston. Maya Angelou’s
autobiographical I Know Why The Caged Bird
Sings was widely studied as a metaphor for
women’s oppression. The fiction of Toni Morrison
and Gloria Naylor, together with the works of
influential black women poets, blended militant
feminist advocacy and intimate revelation of
black women’s perspectives on male-female
• Their criticisms of black males made them
vulnerable to charges of racial disloyalty, and
all faced a dilemma as they sought to depict
African American life accurately but also
• TV dramas featuring black families were
primarily sit-coms, and Hollywood produced
formulaic black characters who ties to realistic
black communities.
• Following The Color Purple, black actors
increasingly moved into primary or co-starring
roles. Although hit movies of the 1980s, such
as Trading Places, used predictable racial
culture clash themes, a few films, such as A
Soldier’s Story and Glory, made serious
attempts to illuminate African American life
and history. Director Spike Lee demonstrated
the possibilities for significant African
American films outside the studio system.
• August Wilson’s plays were praised for their
sensitive portrayal of African American family
relationships. Meanwhile, the popularity of hip
hop and gangsta rap indicated a competing black
cultural trend with lyrics that sometimes
degraded women and celebrated an outlaw
lifestyle of sex, drugs, and violence. But rap was
also controversial, and a large segment became
highly politicized, the most overt social agenda
music since the urban folk movement of the
Racial Progress and Internal Tensions
• Jesse Jackson’s second presidential campaign,
in 1988, garnered greater support than his
first, but it also exposed growing divisions
among African Americans. Many Democratic
leaders saw him as a liability, believing the
party needed to distance itself from the
causes he championed. Republican George
Bush won the election, in part by inciting
racial prejudice in TV attack ads.
• The Democrats’ defeat reinforced the party’s
tendency to veer away from its tradition of
civil rights reform.
• Despite black conservatives arguments that
affirmative action and other racial preference
programs were no longer necessary, the
nation continued to be beset by racial
problems-all unaddressed by the Reagan and
Bush administations.
• Colin Powell’s appointment as head of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff indicated that individual
African Americans could excel, but when Bush
nominated Clarence Thomas to replace
Thurgood Marshall on the Supreme Court, a
new controversy erupted. Already opposed by
civil rights and feminists groups, Thomas was
accused by Anita Hill, an EEOC lawyer when he
headed the agency, of sexual harassment.
• Her testimony set off a contentious national
debate on issues of class, gender, race, and an
ideology that marked the convergence of the
past decade’s cultural and political trends. By
a slim margin, Thomas’ nomination was
confirmed, but Norton credited Hill for the
upsurge in political activity among women
that helped make 1992 “The Year of the
Woman,” in which a record number of women
were elected to national office.

Purchase answer to see full

error: Content is protected !!