A More Perfect Reunion reads like a series of thought-provoking essays about the history of race and racism in the United States. Starting in the 16th century with a freeman landowner in Virginia, Baker argues that America’s drudging progress towards equality and integration is not progress at all. It is just a return to the truly equal, humane society that had been founded here nearly four centuries ago.
Any steps taken since that time to reverse the injustice of racial slavery, from the omission of the word slavery from key sections of the constitution, to the Emancipation Proclamation and subsequent (abandoned) efforts to integrate freed black Americans into society, to the Civil Rights Act, were just long-overdue lurches toward the Revolutionary ideal of the country.
In order to fulfill this Revolutionary ideal — of a completely free, equal society regardless of race or any other discriminatory boundary — Baker calls for us to complete the process of integration that has effectively been in stasis for over fifty years.
Baker touched on a lot of subjects and figures I had never heard of, or only heard very little, as if there is an entire unsung history of this country that I’ve only just now been introduced to. I’ll likely comb the references in this book for any other reading on these subjects.
Listening to Baker, I’m inspired to fight for true reform in policing, in education, in economic policy — wherever there is clear inequity and injustice for black Americans.
However, I don’t really know where to start. Baker’s book is a well-written and brutally honest call-to-action, but little else. I don’t feel like I know what types of policies I should be supporting in my local elections. All I know is that I want to do something to help.
If that was Baker’s primary aim, then he achieved it. Now, I’m on the lookout for any more information I can find on what integration means at the policy level.