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The Rage of a Privileged Class: Why Are Middle-Class Blacks Angry? Why Should America Care? Paperback – December 2, 1994
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Top Customer Reviews
Cose sums up the central problem for Blacks in the corporate world as follows: "[S]enior corporate executives and senior partners in law firms are ... expected to conform to a certain image. And though their positions may not require golden hair and blue eyes, they do require the ability to look like--and be accepted as--the ultimate authority. To many Americans that image still seems fundamentally incongruous with kinky hair and black skin."
In other words, even the most successful African Americas cannot escape the American racial paradigm, which perceives character, merit, and prestige through a distorting lens of color.
One minor weakness of the book is Cose's tendency to focus on African American men; women comprise a minority of his interviews. Also, while many white collar African Americans work in the less ruthless public sector, Cose gives them short shrift.
For the reader uncomfortable with free-market capitalism, some of the interviewees may come off as materialistic and self-interested "company" men whose assimilationist values are defined by White corporate America. Therefore, at times it may be difficult to feel compassion for some of the men.Read more ›
A central theme of the work makes clear that regardless of the rate of one's acknowledges material success; racial prejudice remains one of if not the most pervasive and oppressing impacts on the lives of people of color in this society.
"What is there to be angry about?", one may ask. Our President enjoys the benefits which have flowed to him solely due to his Father's success at Yale. At the same time, he decries as "unfair" a Law School's use of race to assist in determining which members of this generation will get to enjoy the same benefit. One person is unabashed about his ability to enjoy the blessings of an accident of birth. Another is challenged and denigrated for the temerity of seeking a corner of the same benefit.
Sometimes, seeing someone else explain the problem makes it not necessarily easier to deal with, but easier to understand (I guess in some way that leads to being easier to deal with). Often as I read this, I thought "yeah".
If the "privileged class", those who by virtually every yardstick appear to be "making it" (and have the most invested in this society) have this much rage, the feeling which is pervasive throughout much of the throughout the rest of Black America is something which must be resolved.
Anyone who thinks that we have got this problem of race in America solved ought to read this book.
And Cose's book is filled with interviews and observations from Afro-Americans in banking, law, etc. who describe the destruction or paralysis of their careers for the same reason I left corporate journalism. All of this coupled with the lack of access to the level of capital some of our Caucasian counterparts get access to (Weill started on his road to becoming a man worth over $1 billion today by borrowing $30,000 from his mother in 1960 as his share in helping launch a financial services firm; $30,000 in 1960 is probably the same as at least $100,000 in 2000; and how many Afro-Americans can go to mommy or daddy for that kind of money?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good analysis, some dated examples but conclusion, caucasian awareness building a bit weakPublished 9 days ago by Peggy Otto
Excellent and true to life people may think that good blacks don't get the racist backlash that is bestowed on the masses and it far from the truth, inequality, marginalization,... Read morePublished 17 days ago by Urban Professor
This 1993 book is outdated. The author himself more recently said that "even the most ardent pessimist has to admit that things have changed dramatically" (Cose, Feb. Read morePublished 28 days ago by M. Dannelley
Just another long winded tirade on the mean ole white people and how blacks will never have a chance in America. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Amazon Customer
This is a must read book for all young black men. Mr Cose mentions that's not the reason for writing it but it is a beneficial book to read. Read morePublished 2 months ago by John Jeffrey
A must read for anyone who wants to understand race in America.Published 3 months ago by Bill Payer
This was a great read, very informative on race and what's still happening today. It confirms things I've always thought. I hope this book sparks a conversation with the world.Published 4 months ago by Lorie
I found this book to be remarkable true. However, it is my hope that all African Americans to be treated with dignity and respect. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Claudia B. Ratcliff