Black America: A Broken Social Contract by Jeffery Jones is a social science book. It discusses the issue of race in contemporary America. The author uses a historical approach viewed from a sociological perspective. Jones’ goal, as he makes clear in the introduction, is to facilitate a dialogue between different races in the United States. According to him, the wealthier classes use the fears of the lower social strata to stay in power. The different races in the United States are fighting when, in fact, they should unite against a privileged elite that harms everyone.
As an African American, the author painstakingly describes the history of racial prejudice in the United States. Black America: A Broken Social Contract shows what happened before to explain how the past affects current race relations. Various subjects are discussed in this book: the Willie Lynch Letters, the history of the Ku Klux Klan, examples of the Jim Crow laws in the South, and so forth.
What I liked most about the book was the fact that the author seems to be someone very knowledgeable. He mentions several renowned social scientists like Max Weber, Thomas Hobbes, and Karl Marx in addition to notorious civil rights activists such as Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Robert Spike.
I had no clue that the FBI had played an important role in attacking the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. The FBI created COINTELPRO to infiltrate, illegally spy, discredit, disrupt and fabricate evidence of crimes that had not been committed. Understanding how it all happened was incredible. Not being an American, I had no idea of the ‘dark side’ of Edgar Hoover’s life.
One of the negative aspects of the book was the mention of an alleged speech by William Lynch. This document is probably fake, but many slaveholders likely had a similar mindset. The alleged author, William Lynch, speaks of the reproduction of blacks and compares it with the breeding of animals. He uses N-Word many times in the text and it is a disgusting document. I wholeheartedly believe that Jeffery Jones should not mention this text in the book. An authentic material would be much better and would achieve the same goal. There is no need to use a fake and disgusting document like this one to prove your point.
On the whole, Black America: A Broken Social Contract deserves four out of four stars. It’s captivating, inspirational, and thought-provoking. The book’s only flaw, in my view, is not a strong enough reason to make me take one star away. I found only three grammatical errors, and that’s the main reason why nobody can say that this book is not professionally edited. There are some racial slurs and offensive language. Overall, I would recommend Black America: A Broken Social Contract to anybody who loves social science books and want to understand race relations in America.