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Cambridge University Press
Expected online publication date:
October 2024
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Book description

In The Anger Rule, Antoine J. Banks and Ismail K. White examine how Black politicians are uniquely penalized for expressing anger, especially anger related to race. Drawing on social psychology and philosophy, Banks and White demonstrate how this anger penalty helps sustain racial inequality. They argue that anger infers power because it propels individuals to change the status quo. When Black politicians are constrained from expressing anger, it limits their ability to mobilize against wrongs and rally fellow group members; it also signals a lack of power to Black voters. This argument is assessed using a multi-method approach of national survey experiments and content analysis of United States presidential and House congressional speeches and remarks. The findings show that Black politicians and voters are aware of the anger penalty, therefore constraining their anger in political spaces to avoid backlash from those who maintain the racial status quo.


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