Assistant professor of history Jason Sokol has published All Eyes are Upon Us: Race and Politics from Boston to Brooklyn (Basic Books, 2014). Sokol specializes in twentieth-century American politics, race, and civil rights. He graduated from Oberlin College, and received his doctorate in history from the University of California, Berkeley.
In All Eyes Are Upon Us, Sokol examines the northeastern United States—home to abolitionism and a refuge for blacks fleeing the Jim Crow South—which has had a long and celebrated history of racial equality and political liberalism. After World War II, the region appeared poised to continue this legacy, electing black politicians and rallying behind black athletes and cultural leaders. However, these achievements obscured the harsh reality of a region riven by segregation and deep-seated racism. The gap between the northern ideal and the region’s segregated reality left small but meaningful room for racial progress. Forced to reckon with the disparity between their racial practices and their racial preaching, blacks and whites forged interracial coalitions and demanded that the region live up to its promise of equal opportunity.
Watch a video about the book:
Listen to Jason Sokol discussing his book on NPR’s Fresh Air: