Showing My Color: Impolite Essays on Race in America

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9780060172565: Showing My Color: Impolite Essays on Race in America

The Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist explores key issues of race, gender, and ethnic identity that have arisen since the civil rights reforms of the 1960s, with essays on the pervasive nature of racism, the politics of race, and more. 40,000 first printing. $75,000 ad/promo. Tour.

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From Booklist:

Whenever Chicago Tribune based columnist Page appears on PBS-TV's McLaughlin Group, you wonder what he's doing there. He's too sensible, sensitive, and self-possessed to fit in with those braying buttinskies. So he remains in this book of newly written work (not collected journalism) whose title announces that he intends in part to be, as he explains, "acting out or showing anger in a loud and uncivilized way." His innate gentlemanliness allows him, however, to discuss such heat-generating topics as black American self-segregation (especially on college campuses), black upper-middle-class guilt, the significance of Louis Farrakhan, black-Jewish relations, the stated conservatism of many black citizens, affirmative action, black relations with other nonwhite ethnics, and partisan politics concerned with race (Republicans playing the "race card" and Democrats the "class card" ) without adding fuel to any fires. His democratic decency compels him to assay inflammatory rhetoric and clever political pleading for the grains of truth in them and to name those truths even when they are not flattering to their speakers or to society, as when he ruefully concludes that "we have had less integration than simply desegregation, . . . which may be the best we're going to get." Unfortunately, his excellent survey of race in America today is somewhat vitiated by poor editing, especially in the last several chapters. Ray Olson

From Publishers Weekly:

Despite the title, this book contains far more about race than gender, and Page, a syndicated columnist based at the Chicago Tribune, is not so much impolite as pragmatic, a skeptical liberal whose views are shaped by experience. Thus, while he recognizes the value of blacks-only organizations and warns that many who call for integration really want assimilation, he also fears that a wholesale retreat into blackness harms black folk. He observes trenchantly that Nation of Islam minister Louis Farrakhan succeeds by wrapping middle-class values "in the trappings of the racial outlaw." Though he'd hardly say that racism and black rage have dissipated, Page also argues that the worst problem facing black Americans is the "failure . . . to take advantage of opportunities that already have opened up." He also analyzes pressures facing middle-class blacks, touches on the relations between blacks and Jews, defends affirmative action and muses on the prospects of a miscegenated America. The book is billed as original essays, but it sometimes reads like blenderized columns, lucid but less compelling than it could be.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Clarence Page
Published by Harpercollins (1996)
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