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Black Nationalism in the United States: From Malcolm X to Barack Obama

James Lance Taylor
Black Nationalism in the United States: From Malcolm X to Barack Obama
ISBN: 978-1-58826-778-8
ISBN: 978-1-62637-185-9
2014/415 pages/LC: 2010026518
"Taylor offers up a careful, nuanced, and well-argued thesis about the central role of black nationalism as a critical historical aspect of black politics.... Critical for uncovering the nature of political visions and engagement among the youth of the hip-hop generation."—Kevin Anderson, Perspectives on Politics

"An important, much needed analysis of black nationalism.... Highly recommended."—Choice

"An extraordinary piece of research and analysis.... deeply grounded in the historical and contemporary literatures on black nationalism, with fresh theoretical perspectives.... Powerful and important."—Robert C. Smith, San Francisco State University


Choice Outstanding Academic Book!

Black nationalism. Is it an outdated political strategy? Or, as James Taylor argues in his rich, sweeping analysis, a logical response to the failure of post–civil rights politics?

Taylor offers a provocative assessment of the contemporary relevance and interpretation of black nationalism as both a school of thought and a mode of mobilization. Fundamental to his analysis is the assertion that black nationalism should be understood not simply as a separatist movement—the traditional conception—but instead as a common-sense psychological orientation with long roots in US political history. Providing entirely new lines of insight and analysis, his work ranges from the religious foundations of black political ideologies to the nationalist sentiments of today’s hip-hop generation.


James Lance Taylor is professor and director of the African American Studies Program at the University of San Francisco.


  • Introduction.
  • Black Political Development in the United States.
  • A Black Sacred Cosmos and the Making of a Black Counterpublic.
  • The Religious Content of Black Political Ideologies.
  • A Genealogical Inquiry into Black Nationalism.
  • Martin Robison Delany and the Nationalism of Ends.
  • David Walker and the Politics of the Black Jeremiad.
  • Black Power and the Problem of Black Nationalism.
  • Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan, and the Haunting of America.
  • The Black Nationalism of the Hip-Hop Generation.  
  • Timeline of Key Events.