As Barack Obama’s historic presidency nears its end, many argue U. S. race relations haven’t been so fraught since Martin Luther King, Jr. proclaimed his “Dream.” Last in Line challenges this view, arguing that America never actually realized Dr. King’s vision. Modern disparities in U.S. justice, education, health care, and economic systems are rooted in age-old social and legal norms that survived the Civil Rights Movement and have now defied the legacy of America’s first African American president.
Last In Line bases its assertions in government, think tank, and university research but elevates such data through a distinct, engaging narrative. Mtshali chaperones the reader through the worlds of Americans who have encountered injustice in its many faces. Mainstream theories on mode minorities, affirmative action, and respectability politics are also critiqued in a distinct, literary tone. Last In Line concludes by advocating twenty-first-century policies that will promote racial harmony and at last birth America’s long-deferred destiny.
by Jamal Mtshali