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A Dream Deferred: The Second Betrayal of Black Freedom in America Paperback – October 6, 1999
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While Steele zealously praises civil rights victories, terming the movement that effected them "the greatest nonviolent revolution in American history (one of the greatest in all history)," he concludes that a simultaneous outcome--the stigmatization of whiteness--has led to disaster. Shamed whites try to prove their innocence through redemptive acts, according to Steele, and he has always disdained the "moral self-preoccupation" of post-'60s white liberals, which "made them dangerous to blacks--ready to give them over to an 'otherness' in which nothing is expected of them."
Steele, a self-described black conservative, complains, "The great ingenuity of interventions like affirmative action has not been that they give Americans a way to identify with the struggle of blacks, but that they give them a way to identify with racial virtuousness quite apart from blacks." He contends that victimization is the greatest hindrance for black Americans: while white liberals see blacks as victims to assuage guilty consciences, blacks parlay their status as victims into a currency that turns out to have no long-term buying power. Steele's conclusion: the only way for blacks to stop buying into this zero-sum game is to adopt a culture of excellence and achievement untrammeled by set-asides and entitlements. --Lise Funderburg --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Shelby Steele has been misused in both those ways. He has chosen a hard road because he writes sincere, thoughtful, and passionate essays that do not merely support or oppose widely held beliefs. Yes, he is attacked as if he were merely a water carrier for the GOP or praised as if all he were about were attacking affirmative action. He is far more subtle than this! Please take the time to read him carefully because there is so much more to gain from his writing, whether or not you end up agreeing with him.
This book consists of one very long and three shorter essays. I hate to summarize the ideas in the essay because they are more thoughtful than any summary I can give and the mere mention of the subjects involved will likely provoke a polarized response to a position already held. What I will say is that if you force yourself to put aside your already firmly held views ad read these wonderful essays with an open mind, you can find insights that can move you to new thinking and attitudes.Read more ›
A DREAM DEFERRED reminds me of a rather poignant experience I had with an Ohio State University doctoral student. Three of us were sitting together over some coffee. Two of us were white male graduates, while the third was a Native American graduate student. He lamented the racial discrimination he faced with one particular professor. My colleague and I were quite distressed with the comments from this young man. We had some power and could do something about this unsavory situation. With some prodding, the young man eventually told us who the professor was. Upon hearing the name, puzzlement came over our faces, then a smirk. We were both familiar with the professor in question. He was terse, pompous and arrogant - all common characteristics of doctoral faculty. However, he was NOT a racist. We were able to convince the young man that his experience was not racially motivated but rather the professor was simply a jerk. No, he wasn't a racist; he merely treated everyone like trash.
A DREAM DEFERRED provides the basis for whites to understand the predicament faced by many minorities. They have difficulty distinguishing between social activities that are racially motivated and social activities that emerge as stressful but have no elements of racial bias. Steele suggests that whites must stand firm. Funny thing is -- Steele is well aware that most white will not follow his directions. African Americans must take the lead.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent book with great points that are never discussed and mentioned at large. A worthwhile read to anyone interested in the problems that led to the current situation with the... Read morePublished on March 13, 2014 by Paulette Metoyer
Shelby Steele spend too much time blaming others and too little time offering solutions. Makes some valid points but they are clouded by his view point.Published on October 15, 2013 by John M. Kegley
Embedded within these cleanly written but repetitious essays, Professor Steele has one crowning well-hidden meta-theory, that there are two Americas; one white, free-standing,... Read morePublished on August 25, 2013 by Herbert L Calhoun
The essays in this book put forth some very thought-provoking ideas, but, as other reviewers have noted, Steele repeats his theses far more than is necessary. Read morePublished on November 16, 2012 by Wal-Mart'Queisha Jenkins
The book was in excellent shape. I purchased it for my daughter for a reading assignment. The book arrived at the time it was due. I received a nice book for a good price.Published on August 18, 2009 by Kim S. Jones
In this book Shelby Steele eloquently argues his position in opposition to modern day liberalism and its viewing of African Americans as victims. Read morePublished on June 11, 2008 by dirtymc
This book is an excellent sequel to "The Content of our Character". While repetitive at times, the essays contained in the book are a welcome departure from the political... Read morePublished on September 12, 2007 by stephen-b
Another great book by an intelligent observer of the hopes and failures of the civil rights movement for blacks, run mostly by whites with lots of hidden agendas and feelings of... Read morePublished on June 26, 2006 by James S. Moore
I chose to stop reading this book in the middle of the first chapter. The author's writing style was very child-like. Read morePublished on December 23, 2003