Henery Gates Jr. examines the central idea that fueled the civil rights movement– remove barriers to integration and 36 million blacks could become productive and join the middle class– and calls it a fallacy. Looking at conventional assumptions about race, race identity and the great class gap dividing the black community, Gates explores the question: are blacks overall better off in ‘ 97 than they were in ‘ 67? Gates is Professor of the Humanities and Chair of the Afro-American Studies department, Harvard University, and Director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research.
GATES: So we have the largest black middle class in history and the largest black underclass in history.
GATES: What is all this gangster culture? With people pretending to be gangsters then some who are real gangsters. Where did it come from? I don’t remember that when I was growing up.