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How to Be: A Guide to Contemporary Living for African Americans Paperback – February 2, 2000

8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The author of Jumping the Broom, former fashion editor of Essence and president of Profundities, Inc., Harriette Cole has the experience and the skill to translate into contemporary language the values and rules of behavior one learned, or was supposed to learn, as a child, updating them to take into account the vicissitudes of modern life.

Drawing on ancient sages and anecdotal tales, Cole covers general codes of conduct and every particular from dating, travel, and work to money, politics, and family. More conversational than an Emily Post treatise, more reflective than a simple laundry list of do's and don'ts, Cole's How To Be is as much a guide for the spirit as it is for specific behaviors. Still, she does take on specific questions that represent common quandaries, such as "What can I do when my child comes home proclaiming that he has changed his religion?" and "Do I have to change my vocabulary when I am speaking with elders?" and "I am in love with a wonderful man, but my family doesn't like him at all. How can I manage this?" Cole's answers reflect the history and culture of the African American community, but the topics and concerns of her book will be familiar to everyone, regardless of race, and her candid sagacity is refreshing and instructive, no matter what your color or background may be. --Stephanie Gold --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Michael J. Rochon The Philadelphia Tribune Stunning....The essential combination of sound advice and an even sounder advice giver.

Ebony An innovative primer....[It] goes beyond the basics to explain how and why these traditions exist in Black America.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 524 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st Fireside Ed edition (February 2, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684863081
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684863085
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,108,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was interested in a professional etiquette book but there were far more chapters on how to raise your kids in a today's society and african religions, interesting but not what I wanted. Rather then provide info on how to behave in certain social situations the author focuses on her position about social behaviors and issues.....not that useful when you want to know what all those utensils at the table are for. If I had an opportunity to check out the table of contents before purchasing this book, I wouldn't have.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
"How To Be" was a good book. But I would not say that it was an "etiquette" book. We learned about the religious beliefs of the author. We learned her personal views on things. It is fine to use your own life as an example; however, I would have gleaned more if she had used her own life to teach us about etiquette. That did not really happen
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 31, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Harriet Cole is a brilliant woman and writer. Her experiences in life and from those whom she has worked with, qualifies her to write this book. She has been seen on ABC's The View, displaying proper etiquette for dining. This book takes a look at different cultures and what is proper etiquette in different enviornments. From this wonderful book one can learn what are respectable calling times whrn calling others, proper dining, and even how to address others upon entering a room. This book is a great buy for anyone of any race or background.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sharon on September 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I always keep a copy of this close by as well as extras to give to friends. It has come in handy in many situations that have occurred in my life from funerals to birthdays to just plain everyday situations. I will give copies to my children as they grow older to serve as a reference for "how to be" when you don't know.
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