Lawrence D. Bobo: Are We 'Black No More'? Not Quite

Roundup: Media's Take

Lawrence D. Bobo is the W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University.

(The Root) -- Although 2012 did not produce the Mayan apocalypse, it did produce an unending drumbeat of claims for "postracial America." So much so, I suspect, that if Harlem Renaissance novelist and essay writer George Schuyler had lived through it, he would be inspired to write a whole new version of his classic novel Black No More.

In the main, the book is a biting satire of the dilemmas created by race and race prejudice in the United States, with the plot driven by the deeds of Harlemites Max Disher and his friend Bunny Brown. They concoct a way to make black people white. Yet as the book unfolds, the problems associated with race seem to infinitely multiply rather than vanish. There is a lesson for us there.

Think about all the grist for Schulyer's mill we received over the past year. In January of 2012, researchers declared it to be "The End of the Segregated Century." No sooner, however, had this conservative Manhattan Institute report come out than it became the subject of a wave of criticism. Of course, everyday experience and common sense makes it evident that distinctly black communities and "the ghetto" have not disappeared....

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