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The New Basic Black: Home Training for Modern Times -- Revised Edition Hardcover – December 6, 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

PRAISE FOR BASIC BLACK:

“Covering such situations as how to handle yourself in a restaurant where you’ve received unacceptable treatment, common courtesies to be shown to household help and how to respond to racial harassment at work, Bates and Hudson offer a guide that will be of benefit to men and women, singles and families.” —Publishers Weekly

“Full of information about appropriate behavior at soirees of various sorts, from simple cocktail parties to formal dinners, and about how to plan parties, weddings, even tea parties, Bates and Hudson’s advice also includes less obvious subjects such as maintaining family and community ties, taking pride in one’s heritage, and coping with racial incidents at work. After an overview of basic rules, the authors cover communicating; life lessons; “Dating, Mating, and Begetting” ; planning events; and life milestones, closing with a Q & A section, dos and don’ts, a glossary, and a request for reader feedback. Each subject is discussed briefly and entertainingly, with solid common sense. A useful compendium.” —Booklist

“Hallelujah and amen for Basic Black! This engagingly written guide to the social behavior of our times is charming, wise, and truly quite helpful.” —Shirlee Taylor Haizlip, author of The Sweeter the Juice

Basic Black: Home Training for Modern Times…reminds us of the importance of grace.” —Benilde Little, author of Good Hair

About the Author

Karen Grigsby Bates is a correspondent for NPR’s national news magazine Day to Day. For several years, she wrote for Time magazine and was a contributing columnist to the Los Angeles Times Op Ed page. Bates is the author of Plain Brown Wrapper and Chosen People, suspense novels featuring reporter-sleuth Alex Powell. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son.

Karen Elyse Hudson writes an advice column titled “Talk to Me” for the Wave Newspapers Group and is the author of a biography of her maternal grandfather, Paul R. Williams, Architect: A Legacy of Style, and a biography for young people, The Will and the Way: Paul R. Williams, Architect. She speaks extensively on etiquette, party planning, and architecture.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; Revised edition (December 6, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385516266
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385516266
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a great book to answer those questions that your mama and grandmama can't help you with. Anything and everything related to social situations that are part of the African-American community are in this book, as well as, what good manners are.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book so long ago, but never reviewed it... basically it has all your basics for proper etiquette.

I purchased it for my boyfriend who was, let's just say- not trained in manners. Many of the people in life, pre-college, were people with a "hood-mentality". We're totally opposite, as my mom taught my sisters and I how to act when we go in public, how to be proper etc etc... and what happened was that my boyfriend would sometimes do things that were, lets just say... embarrassing.

Once at a ball event, we entered a room and were going to our purchased seats, the people at the table greeted us, and I thought that my boyfriend was going to pull back the seat I was eyeing so that I could sit-down... instead he pulled it back then SAT DOWN HIMSELF. It was soooooo embarrassing because everyone was looking- any they all had the "omg" face. Anyway I decided to get this book for him after that...

I gave it to him, wrote a nice message in the front cover, and hoped that he'd read it. And well, we're broken up now... I'm not sure if he ever really read it, but I know he has skimmed it. My suggestion would be to read a passage weekly with your significant other, or whomever you purchased this for.

Overall its a nice book and I plan to purchase another just to have as a reference book.

If you're a mom or someone buying this for your daughter or for yourself to have around, I would also purchase: The Modern Girl's Guide to Life. This is a cute book to have as well that will help you to know what to do, or what to do properly in certain situations like- throwing/planning a dinner party, what to bring when attending a dinner party, etc.

Plus this book is so inexpensive now on here opposed to when I bought it, so if you're thinking of whether or not to get it- for $4.40 plus shipping why not?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This a a must have. While it targets African American households, everyone can use. It is well written and easy to use. The index is extremely helpful and easy to follow. I highly recommend for people who may have questions about etiquette. Most of your questions will be answered.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book on a recommendation. On first blush through the book, I found it incredibly relatable as a woman of color. It reads like good, sound, common sense advice that any elder woman or man in your life would give on how to "act right", which was strangely comforting while reading. Even if you're sure you know social graces or you're trying to move around in varying social circles, grab this book and keep it for reference for life!
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Format: Hardcover
This book is part of a collection of books that I have related to etiquette and lifestyle. It is an excellent tool for African-Americans and people of any ethnicity or background.

I find it disturbing that one reviewer here on Amazon called the book racist. There's nothing racist about the book. The target audience is African-American, so naturally the content speaks to people who happen to be African-American. The feedback is ridiculous and is the equivalent of saying that Emily Post was racist in her writing.

Basic Black, Emily Post and Miss Manners all work well together! Enjoy the read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a must for people who are moving up. It is unfortunate. Many people do not know basic etiquette. Who should be tipped? What is a proper wedding gift or baby gift? This book helps out the reader. Read it. Many people will learn things that they will not know.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a book that every person who annoys you should have. This should be purchased in bulk by Obama and given out at his events.
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