The Black Agenda: Bold Solutions for a Broken System

St. Martin’s. Feb. 2022. 272p. ed. by Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman. ISBN 9781250276872. $28.99. SOC SCI
As the coronavirus pandemic began to decimate Black communities across the United States in 2020, economist/activist Opoku-Agyeman interrogated why the media largely ignored Black policy experts. Redressing the imbalance, her new edited volume features essays by 34 of these experts—professors; scientists; researchers; entrepreneurs; nonprofit and think tank leaders—on policy solutions for ending systemic racism in the U.S. The book is divided into eight topic areas: climate, health care, wellness, education, criminal justice, economy, and public policy. The short essays are packed with statistics, acronyms, and some policy jargon; while they can at times make for dry reading, they offer fresh ideas and perspectives on many of the most pressing problems of this era. Standout essays include Brandeis Marshall on algorithmic assault, Cliff Albright on voting rights, Fenaba R. Addo on student loans and the Black wealth gap, and Kyle K. Moore on stratification economics. A powerful foreword by Tressie McMillan Cottom offers a starting point for critical self-reflection.
VERDICT An important volume for anyone involved in dismantling systemic racism through advocacy and public policy.
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