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Customer Review

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting even when you don't agree, May 27, 2003
This review is from: Authentically Black: Essays for the Black Silent Majority (Hardcover)
Being an African-American of the same age as McWhorter, I can relate to a lot of what he says in these essays. On one hand, many people of our generation are somewhat annoyed by the tendency of Blacks who were born before 1960 to view everything with a racial angle as if we were still fleeing lynchers and Jim Crowists on a constant basis. So to a point, some of this is refreshing. However, I also feel that McWhorter should show some understanding of the effects the Jim Crow era had on that generation and see why they feel the way they do. I've always taken that into consideration when suffering through bitter tirades from people who grew up with segregation. (Read Ishmael Reed's latest "Along The Front Lines" for an example).
However, I like the fact that McWhorter makes it clear that he cannot be pigeonholed as a "Black Conservative" or a "Black Republican" and that his views result from his own readings and personal expreiences, not anyone's recycled dogma. I can respect this even when I don't agree and I'd love to chat with him sometime. By that same token, I also feel that had McWhorter grown up in the deep South or in a more low-income background, he may sing a different tune about race relations. I don't think things are as bad as the gloom-and doomists make it out to be, but I don't think it's quite as rosy on the whole as McWhorter sees in his immediate surroundings.
In either case, I hope he keeps writing. It's certainly different than the norm and not along the party lines of the likes of Ken Hamblin, and it is overall a good source of discussion and dialogue.
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