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America's Atonement

Racial Pain, Recovery Rhetoric, and the Pedagogy of Healing -- 2nd Edition


Aaron David Gresson III

The second edition of America’s Atonement: Racial Pain, Recovery Rhetoric, and the Pedagogy of Healing argues that racial pain is a driving force in contemporary race relations and is especially prevalent in social discourses on identity, fairness, and social justice. Despite its importance, racial pain is too often glossed over as mundane or disingenuous. For this reason, social justice activism and education are in danger of undermining the needs and opportunities to more effectively convey what has been called «difficult knowledge». This book highlights emergent examples of psychic and relational healing.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Gresson, Aaron David.America’s atonement: racial pain, recovery rhetoric, and the pedagogy of healing/ Aaron David Gresson III. — 2nd edition.pages cm. — (Counterpoints: studies in the postmodern theory of education; vol. 476)Includes bibliographical references and index.1. United States—Race relations—Psychological aspects—Study and teaching.2. Racism—United States—Psychological aspects—Study and teaching.3. Loss (Psychology)—Study and teaching. 4. English language—United States—Rhetoric.5. Rhetoric and psychology. I. Title.E185.625.G65 305.800973—dc23 2014048958ISBN 978-1-4331-2878-3 (paperback)ISBN 978-1-4539-1509-7 (e-book)ISSN 1058-1634

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

Cover design by Lisa BarfieldCover photo of Vietnam Women’s Memorial in Washington, D. C.:created by Glena Goodacre, 1994.

© 2015 Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York29 Broadway, 18th floor, New York, NY

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