This provocative case for integration shows how it is the single most radical, discomfiting idea in America, and why solving this fundamental problem is the only way forward.
For four centuries, Americans have found ways to live in a system of racial tyranny and apartheid. We tell ourselves that we know better, but with each generation, too many of us have been satisfied with doing just a little, deciding that the rest is a question for the future.
But as acclaimed writer Calvin Baker argues in this bracing, necessary book, we are now in that future: racism has torn the country apart and threatens our democracy. The only solution, Baker argues, is integration, which he defines as the full self-determination and participation for all African-Americans, as well as all other oppressed groups, in every facet of national life. Desegregation, diversity, and representation, our usual fall-back solutions, are not enough. Integration is the only remedy to a racist state and to our divisions, and the deepest challenge to the racial order. It is the real goal of civil rights, and the most radical, neglected idea in American politics.
At once a provocative reading of U.S. history from the colonial era, and a trenchant critique of the obstacles to integration in our current political and cultural moment, A More Perfect Reunion is also a call to action. As Baker reminds us, we live in a revolutionary democracy; now we must finish that revolution.