Summary: Written by two preeminent scholars of the subject, this book provides a panoramic view of the theory, research, and praxis of African American leadership. Walters and Smith offer a great deal to students of black leadership, as well as important strategy and policy recommendations for black leaders.
The book first presents a comprehensive assessment of the social science research literature on black leadership. It finds that older studies (1930s to 1960s) ...show moredealt with the nascent formation of leadership theory, where blacks were located predominantly in the context of southern politics and had to adopt a conservative to moderate leadership style. The authors also review and evaluate research on black leadership from the 1970s to the present and suggest attention be given to studies of leadership that involve community level leadership, female leaders, black mayors, and black conservatives.
African American Leadership also focuses on the practice of black leadership. It begins with an analysis of the roles of black leadership and historical analysis of strategies or ''strategy shift.'' The authors then provide illustrative case studies of the styles of black leadership. They examine the continued utilization of mass mobilization in the form of boycotts, direct action, and mass demonstrations and marches. The issue of collective black leadership or the framework of unity--an illusive but necessary form of community organization--is also explored, and serious attention is given to issues, recruitment, and deployment.
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