by Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner
More than any other social scientists, Kenneth and Mamie Clark have been admired and respected as the civil rights movement's most consistent, articulate, and effective northern advocates integration. Both an intellectual biography of the Clarks and a history of the influence of their Northside Center in Harlem, Children, Race, and Power captures the vitality and confusion of progressive politics in New York in the 1950s and 1960s. If racism is America's greatest flaw, then this absorbing study of the continuing struggle to protect the children who are its most vulnerable victims in the nation's leading city and best known black community is, in many ways, a history of the struggle for the American future. The Clarks established New York's Northside Center on the edge of Harlem just after World War II. Much more than a mental-health center, it was deeply involved in many aspects of the civil rights movement: the struggle for integration of northern public education; Harlem's and New York's Wars on Poverty; the Model Cities and urban renewal efforts of the late 1960s; crises in Jewish and black relations; decentralization and community control; community action; and community mental health. At the Northside Center, some of the city's and nation's most important child-welfare advocates, black political leaders, academics, and philanthropists came together seeking common ground. Children, Race, and Power will speak strongly to those concerned about twentieth-century race relations; it is a book from which present-day policy makers, mental-health professionals, social workers, and educational administrators can learn much.
Hardcover: 308 pages