The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto

Harper. Jan. 2021. 256p. ISBN 9780062914668. $26.99. BIOG
One truth of elections in the Unites States that cannot be stated enough is that the majority of white people have voted Republican at least twice, from Gerald Ford through the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Any discussion of civil rights and racial equity needs to acknowledge a historic and continued lack of support from white America, argues New York Times columnist Blow, in this newest book after Fire Shut Up in My Bones. In this latest work, Blow suggests that the way to give Black America a real voice in politics means undoing the Great Migration. The book develops this thought experiment on how a repopulation of Southern states by even half of the Black population could turn the South into a Black power bloc. Blow uses the examples of anti-war protesters in Vermont and the 2021 Senate runoff in Georgia as proofs of concept. While the account evades some of the tougher questions on economic development and the dismantling of entrenched voter suppression, Blow does provide a compelling argument on how a second migration back to the South could prove a way forward for Black America.
VERDICT Blow, who has followed his own advice and moved to the South, will find a readership in like-minded individuals who are seeing his argument play out in Georgia.
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