Skip to Main Content (Press Enter)

Say It Loud!

Best Seller
Say It Loud! by Randall Kennedy
Paperback $20.00
Oct 17, 2023 | ISBN 9780593313367

Preorder from:

See All Formats (3) +
  • Oct 17, 2023 | ISBN 9780593313367

    Preorder from:

  • Sep 07, 2021 | ISBN 9780593316047

    Buy from Other Retailers:

  • Sep 07, 2021 | ISBN 9780593316054

    Buy from Other Retailers:

Buy the Audiobook Download:

Listen to a sample from Say It Loud!

Product Details


A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR • One of Library Journal’s “Titles to Watch”
“In these trenchant essays, Kennedy updates previously published pieces that survey hot-button issues and enduring controversies involving race and the law . . .  [A] wide-ranging volume that stoutly defend[s] his centrist stance on race against excesses of the right and left . . . In a time of polarized racial politics, Kennedy’s closely reasoned and humanely argued takes offer an appealing alternative.
—Publishers Weekly

“Kennedy observes that “social relations are complex and messy.” Having lived through several eras, Kennedy calls himself a “Black/Negro/Colored/African American” man born in the year of Brown v. Board of Education. Some of the pieces are of a historical survey nature, [others] the author’s denunciations of “antiracism gone awry” and small-step racial justice laws that “are attentive to the pluralism that infuses American practices.”
       “Sometimes contrarian, sometimes controversial, Kennedy’s arguments merit consideration in a riven discourse.”
—Kirkus Reviews

Table Of Contents

Preface xi
1. Shall We Overcome? Optimism and Pessimism in African American Racial Thought 3
2. Derrick Bell and Me 31
3. The George Floyd Moment: Promise and Peril 77
4. Isabel Wilkerson, the Election of 2020, and Racial Caste 84
5. The Princeton Ultimatum: Antiracism Gone Awry 93
6. How Black Students Brought the Constitution to Campus 103
7. Race and the Politics of Memorialization 112
8. The Politics of Black Respectability 123
9. Policing Racial Solidarity 138
10. Why Clarence Thomas Ought to Be Ostracized 147
11. Say It Loud! On Racial Shame, Pride, Kinship, and Other Problems 155
12. The Struggle for Collective Naming 172
13. The Struggle for Personal Naming 196
14. “Nigger”: The Strange Career Continues 210
15. Should We Admire Nat Turner? 217
16. Frederick Douglass: Everyone’s Hero 233
17. Anthony Burns and the Terrible Relevancy of the Fugitive Slave Act 240
18. Eric Foner and the Unfinished Mission of Reconstruction 255
19. Charles Hamilton Houston: The Lawyer as Social Engineer 272
20. Remembering Thurgood Marshall 284
21. Isaac Woodard and the Education of J. Waties Waring 321
22. J. Skelly Wright: Up from Racism 331
23. On Cussing Out White Liberals: The Case of Philip Elman 342
24. The Civil Rights Act Did Make a Difference! 352
25. Black Power Hagiography 368
26. The Constitutional Roots of “Birtherism” 390
27. Inequality and the Supreme Court 395
28. Brown as Senior Citizen 410
29. Racial Promised Lands? 425
Acknowledgments 449
Notes 451
Index 490

Looking for More Great Reads?
21 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read
Get the latest updates about Randall Kennedy
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
By clicking “SIGN UP”, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Random House’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use and understand that Penguin Random House collects certain categories of personal information for the purposes listed in that policy, discloses, sells, or shares certain personal information and retains personal information in accordance with the policy. You can opt-out of the sale or sharing of personal information anytime.
Something awesome is on its way.
Back to Top