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Black Liberation Through the Marketplace: Hope, Heartbreak, and the Promise of America
“Our country has enough studies of failure and despair to last several lifetimes. Ferguson and Witcher do something much more interesting in this volume: they examine Black entrepreneurial success—under some of the most challenging conditions—and offer reflections on what we might learn in order to make such success available to even more people today. The result is both inspiring and instructive.” —Robert L. Woodson, Founder of the Woodson Center and author of several books including Lessons from the Least of These: The Woodson Principles
If we face America’s racial history squarely, will it mean that the American project is a failure? Conversely, if we think the American project is a worthy endeavor, do we have to lie, downplay, or equivocate about our past?
In this book, we use the classical liberal lens to ask Americans on the political right to seriously reckon with America’s deep racial pain—much of which arises from violations of rights that conservatives say they deeply value, such as property rights, freedom of contract, and the protection of the rule of law. We ask those on the left to take a hard look at the failed paternalism, and in some cases, thoroughgoing racism of past progressive policy. All Americans are asked to apply their concern for individual rights and constitutional order fairly to our historical record. What readers will find are deep injustices against black Americans. But they will also find black entrepreneurs overcoming amazing obstacles and a black community that has created flourishing institutions and culture.
Exhausted by extremism on both left and right, a majority of Americans—black and white—love this country and want to do right by all of its citizens. In Black Liberation Through the Marketplace, readers will come away with a better understanding of black history and creative ideas for how to make this nation truly one with liberty and justice for all.
“Ferguson and Witcher provide a carefully reasoned and well documented narrative of Black exploitation in America. They integrate that history well with the classical liberal principles that are the best answer to our racial problems.” —P.J. Hill, Professor Emeritus, Wheaton College.