From Publishers Weekly
The stated purpose of Chideya's book is to "give readers a chance to question the depictions of race that have become standard in newspapers and on the nightly news, a map through the modern realities and misconceptions about race." She succeeds in 18 chapters, each of which discusses an issue, then examines the reality behind frequently asked questions and frequently held myths. For example, Chideya disputes the idea that most welfare mothers are black, have lots of children and no desire to work by citing figures on the ratio of black and white women on welfare, the average number of children each recipient has and their efforts in finding and keeping work. She uses this formula to tackle affirmative action, the armed forces, drugs, gangs, violence, sex, family values, politics and other issues. For someone with her news reporting background (a former staff reporter for Newsweek, she now works for MTV news), Chideya doesn't offer many supporting quotes. More personal insight from African Americans who have been stereotyped as the welfare mother, violent purse snatcher or hopeless drug addict would have offered greater readability and personality to what often sounds like a well-researched senior thesis. Still, the facts alone will make for good discussions after the evening news.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.