Utilizing written sources as well as nationally representative survey data, Daniel H. Krymkowski analyzes the extent and causes of African American underrepresentation in the cultural realms of golf, hiking, hunting and fishing, water sports, winter sports, classical music, painting and sculpture, ballet, and the theater. African American participation significantly lags behind that of non-Hispanic whites in all of these areas, and it is not due to an aversion to these types of activities. Rather, as Krymkowski shows, its primary sources are racial-ethnic socioeconomic differences, as well as historic and contemporary discrimination, both overt and subtle. These causes are rooted in the systemic racism that continues to plague the United States. The lack of opportunity to participate in such cultural forms deprives African Americans of aesthetic experiences that are central to the human condition, and it has implications for both health and the accumulation of cultural and social capital. Krymkowski also explores current efforts to increase African American representation in these areas of culture and discusses the benefits of doing so.
Daniel H. Krymkowski is professor of sociology at the University of Vermont in Burlington.
Chapter 1: Themes and Explanatory Framework
Chapter 2: Golf
Chapter 3: Hiking and Related Nature-Based Activities
Chapter 4: Hunting and Fishing
Chapter 5: Water Activities
Chapter 6: Cold-Weather Recreation
Chapter 7: Classical Music
Chapter 8: Painting and Sculpture
Chapter 9: Ballet
Chapter 10: Theater
Conclusion: The Future of African American Participation in the Fine Arts and Outdoor Recreation
The Color of Culture is a gem! Using historical, qualitative, and quantitative data, Krymkowski demonstrates that Whites control important cultural activities such as golf, hiking, museums, skiing, hunting and fishing, and the like. In a parsimonious yet highly readable manner, he shows racism’s central role in this cultural segregation. This is one of those rare books that can be assigned for undergraduate as well as graduate classes. Bravo!
A timely book, Krymkowski empirically takes to task the exclusion and limited participation of African Americans in many pastimes of the American cultural landscape. Using a mixed-methods approach, he painstakingly examines the spaces in which whites have thoroughly enjoyed, and in which whites have reaped much cultural approbation. These white spaces include golf, hiking, water sports, classical music, painting and more--9 areas in total, areas in which African Americans continue to be denied full access to their benefits and rewards. The book is a must read for anyone still not convinced that racism matters, or those who want a sociological understanding of how the social rights of African Americans continue to be denied some fifty-five plus years after the Civil Rights Movement. It's a must read for any serious racism scholar.