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Color-Blind: Seeing Beyond Race in a Race-Obsessed World Paperback – January 7, 1998

5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Amazon.com Review

More than 100 years after the end of slavery, more than 40 years after the end of legal segregation, race remains a powerfully divisive force in American life. Can we ever get past it? Ellis Cose is guardedly optimistic that we can, though he cautions that we won't be able to move from race-relations hell to race-relations heaven without first passing through a kind of purgatory where confusion and misunderstandings abound. In this provocative and challenging analysis, Cose looks at Latin America, the Caribbean, and South Africa, all of which have had similar, but different experiences of race. He concludes with a chapter where he recommends "12 steps towards a race-neutral nation." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In accessible if not always rigorous style, Cose (The Rage of a Privileged Class) takes on some current controversies in a time when "racial definitions are shifting." Surveying the debate over a "mixed-race" identity, he notes that it can be used to enforce racial hierarchy but also may recognize multiple heritages; he concludes that it is more important to divorce racial classification from discrimination. Responding to The Bell Curve controversy, he finds that communal study groups boost black college achievement and suggests that other educational support would ease inequality. Cose considers affirmative action "an often justifiable, limited and seriously flawed method." He sensibly proposes a more nuanced college admission practice that would take race into account but not treat it as an automatic signifier of deprivation; also, he acknowledges that workplace affirmative action makes virtually no one happy. He offers a skeptical look at the "colorblind" ideal, noting that in Latin America such practice requires silence about racial stratification. Cose concludes with 10 proposals, some more practical than others, for example: "end American apartheid"; presume minority success, not failure; search for solutions, not blame; increase interracial cooperation. While the author is clearly familiar with the recent literature on racial controversy, his book seems a bit detached, unleavened by discussions of popular culture or analysis of the place of race in our political dialogues. $75,000 ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; First edition (January 7, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060928875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060928872
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,073,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"Color-Blind: Seeing Beyond Race in a Race-Obsessed World) is a powerful piece of investigative journalism, which builds on, and should be read in conjunction with his earlier book, "The Rage of a Privileged Class".
In Color-Blind, Cose analyzes the issue of race in America in ways that only someone who has felt the sting of discrimination could fully understand. Building on his earlier examination of race in America (and arguably, Canada), Cose looks at recent events, such as the OJ Simpson trial, and recent pubications, such as "The Bell Curve" and "The End of Racism" to acheve a dual purpose - to further illustrate the stereotypes and misconceptions that pervade American society, and to attempt to find solutions that will help blacks to fully reach their potential in contemporary American society.
Cose starts by picking up where Martin Luther King left off - the dream of a colourblind world. Unfortunaltely, for those who are black, Cose argues that dreams of economic equality, particularly as it relates to discrimination in the workplace, have fallen far short of what Dr. King would have hoped for as we appoach the end of the century.
However, Cose looks at a number of examples, at home and abroad, that illustrate how it is possible for blacks and other minorities to excel and achieve their full potential, and possibly overcome very pervasive and deep-seated stereotypes.
In fact, there is an air of optimism in this book, that a colourblind society could be more than a figment of someone's overly-fertile imagination. Cose even suggests a ten-step plan for achieving this goal.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think this is an outstanding book and it expounds on approaches to race in a supposedly color-blind era. Even in this new millennium this is still not the case, and race continues to play a significant part in all conscious and unconscious decisions being made today by individuals. We still have a long way to get there and Ellis Cose makes some excellent points. I recommend it as another must read!!!
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Format: Paperback
Is it possible for the United States to simply wipe the racial slate clean and surmount its racist past? Or is color-blindness just another name for denial?
"In a world where it is often believed that lighter skin means higher status, money is the great equalizer, and education will set you free, COLOR-BLIND brilliantly reveals why race may be a larger -- and smaller -- issue than many people think. With the keen observational powers of a professional journalist and the concrete solutions of a true visionary, Ellis Cose delivers his most powerful and important book to date."
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Format: Hardcover
"Cose was totally effective in documenting in print what many African-American professionals in the private sector experience, feel, and think, as well as, attempt to deny and suppress.

I personally think that Ellis wrote this particular book to cleverly vent his frustrations and concerns as they relate to the obsession that people (i.e., whites as well as blacks, asians, hispanics, etc.) have with regard to institutional racism and prejudice.

Thank you Mr. Cose for cleverly addressing numerous social issues that I have felt as an upper-middle class black professional male in not on American society, but also in South America and Europe."
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