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Discusses the disaffection of affluent and college-educated African Americans, describing their encounters with prejudice and prospects for interethnic harmony
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Ellis Cose is the author of several books, including the bestselling The Rage of a Privileged Class. A former contributing editor for Newsweek magazine, his writing has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, Time magazine, USA Today, the Washington Post, and the New York Daily News, among other publications.From Booklist:
There is a huge black middle class, many of whom are well educated, competent, and prosperous. Yet despite their great achievements, says Cose, they are frustrated and even enraged. He cites one survey after another to portray the subtle forms of prejudice that black professionals must endure: a black woman may be hired in public relations, say, but then whites will see the position as weak and nonintellectual, a job designed for blacks. A black male lawyer hired to fill a quota may file brilliant briefs, but he'll be held back from a partnership because affirmative action may get you in the door, but it quickly becomes a millstone. Cose considers every aspect of prejudice affecting blacks--the resentments of underclass blacks toward successful ones, complexion-based discrimination of blacks against blacks, white assumptions that all blacks are criminals because of media portraits of street thugs, white perceptions that blacks aren't good managers--even, with his extraordinary fairness, the frustrations of white males, many of whom feel that black advances come because they are discriminated against. Although Cose feels affirmative action has been helpful, he is ambivalent about it as a course for the future, instead favoring workplace models based on honest assessments of diversity; in some ways, though without the same faith in the ultimate justice of market forces, he carries forward the arguments of Stephen Carter's Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby (1991). In any event, Cose has written an exceptionally reflective book, and serialization in Newsweek should assure demand. John Mort
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