America in Denial

How Race-Fair Policies Reinforce Racial Inequality in America

By Lori Latrice Martin

Subjects: Sociology, African American Studies, Political Science, Public Policy, American Culture
Series: SUNY series in African American Studies
Hardcover : 9781438482972, 190 pages, April 2021
Paperback : 9781438482965, 190 pages, January 2022

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Table of contents



1. The Road to a Race-Fair America: How America Lost Its Way

2. Wealth, Inclusivity, and Exclusion

3. From Compulsory Education to Universal Disappointment

4. The Color of Justice

5. Resistance and Racial Progress: Kaepernick and the Practice of Leadership

Conclusion: Changing Course: Race-Transcendent Prophets Must Lead the Way


Examines how race-neutral programs and policies harm, rather than improve, the lives of blacks in the United States.


In America in Denial Lori Latrice Martin examines the myth of a race-fair America by reviewing and offering alternatives to universal, race-neutral programs and policies as well as other allegedly race-neutral initiates. By considering policies and programs related to wealth, health, education, and criminal justice, while presenting themselves as race-neutral, Martin reveals that black scholars and politicians, in particular, seemingly capitulate and have become proponents of these programs and policies that perpetuate the myth of a race-fair America. This (mis)use provides cover for elected officials and presidential hopefuls needed to garner the support and authenticity required to increase public support for their initiatives. These issues must be unpacked and debunked, and the material and nonmaterial harm historically done to black people, and still felt today, must be acknowledged. The idea that programs available to all people will benefit black people is demonstratively untrue, and the alternatives presented in America in Denial will generate much-needed conversations.

Lori Latrice Martin is Professor of Sociology and African and African American Studies at Louisiana State University. She is the author and editor of many books, including Black Women as Leaders: Challenging and Transforming Society.