Summary Essay – Essay Example

In the preface of the book James Davis explains the main point of the book and at the same time s purpose of his work. He writes: “My aim has been to write a book that is objective, that is based on what we know about race relations and that points up the problems and policy issues related to defining who is black”(p.IX) From the preface we can see the idea of the book and its range of problems.
“Who is black” is a very valuable contribution to people’s conception of the role of race in American society. Unfortunately the USA still follows the “one-drop rule” in relation to American Black. This rule doesn’t concern to other racial groups. In his book Davis discusses history of this rule, why and how it developed, its influence. He highlights and analyzes its main aspects.
The author reveals all sides of the fateful policy connected with the race discrimination. In his work he uses biographies of different people, describes historical literature, figures, events to look at the problem from different sides. He explains that the “one-drop” rule has had psychological, political, economic and social impact. Davis considers race to be not a biological but a social concept.
“Who is black” was reprinted many times and it became an integral part of college curriculum all over the United States. It helps people understand the history of nation, find out interesting facts about the “one-drop rule” and its role in the history. In the epilogue Davis reveals the content of the question Who is black? , responses to it and examines challenges to the rule such as multiracial movement and changes in classification of ethnic and racial groups. This book is really thought-provoking and eye-opening. Its clear language and exciting plot attract readers, help them get deeper understanding of important social problems, their causes and results.
Davis, F. James. Who Is Black?: One Nations Definition. Pennsylvania: State University Press, 2001