Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
The Rage of a Privileged Class: Why Are Middle-Class Blacks Angry? Why Should America Care? Paperback – December 2, 1994
All Books, All the Time
Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
There is a huge black middle class, many of whom are well educated, competent, and prosperous. Yet despite their great achievements, says Cose, they are frustrated and even enraged. He cites one survey after another to portray the subtle forms of prejudice that black professionals must endure: a black woman may be hired in public relations, say, but then whites will see the position as weak and nonintellectual, a job designed for blacks. A black male lawyer hired to fill a quota may file brilliant briefs, but he'll be held back from a partnership because affirmative action may get you in the door, but it quickly becomes a millstone. Cose considers every aspect of prejudice affecting blacks--the resentments of underclass blacks toward successful ones, complexion-based discrimination of blacks against blacks, white assumptions that all blacks are criminals because of media portraits of street thugs, white perceptions that blacks aren't good managers--even, with his extraordinary fairness, the frustrations of white males, many of whom feel that black advances come because they are discriminated against. Although Cose feels affirmative action has been helpful, he is ambivalent about it as a course for the future, instead favoring workplace models based on honest assessments of diversity; in some ways, though without the same faith in the ultimate justice of market forces, he carries forward the arguments of Stephen Carter's Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby (1991). In any event, Cose has written an exceptionally reflective book, and serialization in Newsweek should assure demand. John Mort --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"A disciplined, graceful exposition of a neglected aspect of the subject of race in America."-- "New York Times Book Review"
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 63%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Top customer reviews
Cose begins by presenting several stories of middle class blacks who, for one reason or another, have a reason to be dissatisfied with their position in life. What is most striking about these stories is that they are not rich with examples of egregious racial discrimination (though a couple of them are), but that they are mostly stories of affluent blacks who have more or less "made it," in spite of having a deck stacked against them. It is here that Cose introduces his first common theme: though the people interviewed for his book were more successful than most Americans, they have no idea where they may have ended up had they been given a chance to fulfill their potential.
During the course of his numerous interviews with middle class black professionals, Cose found a curious pattern. There were approximately 12 common threads among the many stories he heard. The author named these common threads "The Dozen Demons." They were, in essence, the most common hurdles to the success of today's black professional. Managers would do well to study these 12 complaints, for they are not what most would guess them to be. In fact, more introspctive white managers might find that they unconciously engage in undermining behavior every day, without even knowing it. In this respecet, the book serves as a valuable tool for self-aware people who accept that racism exists, yet do not want to accept that condition.
The central theme of the book is that modern racism is less about hatred and hostility than it is about condescension. Since the implements of racism now have a decidedly lower profile, it is more difficult for people who are not the victims of racism to show much empathy or acknowledgement. That being the case, middle class blacks have generally tended to find that being vocal about racism is not a particularly effective means of creating dialogue. Instead, Cose observes, they tend to keep a low profile, stay outside the mainstream, and distance themselves emotionally from their white counterparts in order to cope. Unfortunately, many white people mistake this reaction for "reverse discrimination," or anti-white prejudice.
Rather than eliminate racism, it seems that Americans have instead eliminated many of the effective means of protesting, arguing against, or even identifying racism. It is becoming more fashionable to insist that race does not matter rather than start any meaningful discussion of the remaining efforts necessary to eliminate racism. When someone treats a black person with respect as an individual, it is a deed to be rewarded with praise. Yet white people expect that same treatment as a social norm.
Cose theorizes that the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s had the unfortunate effect of creating a great deal of "White Guilt". That white guilt is responsible for policies that see minorities as targets of charity, which serves to reinforce the low expectations and perception of laziness that unconciously pervade the minds of many white people.
The problem is not that people do not feel guilty enough, it is that they are in denial. Cose's work goes a long way toward opening eyes, if we can set our fear aside long enough to take a very hard look at ourelves. Reading this book is a good start.
i've suffered many of the same slings and arrows aimed at blks in amer. i'm expected to dress-up to shop at a discount chain store, in 2011. as soon as, i enter an art supply super store, i'm followed... security offers to assist me, but admits he doesn't have a clue... loudly, admonishing tone, in front of other shoppers...a women who can't speak english feels so free that she identifies me as a "type" and let's me know that she will follow me every step...and will summon the police if i make one false move... both instances are before i begin to shop...i am still angry as hell and sorry that i didn't sue...if for no more than principle...i could go on and on...i'm also tired and demand, verbally and in writing, that my rights be respected...but yes, i'm still enraged.
there was one aspect or reference in the book that left me confused ...and that is seemingly, private and ivy league schooling...equals privileged class...but at the same time middle class...confusing.
i was taught that the differentiation of class, for blacks was not the same as for whites...considering the ceilings placed on black accomplishments...who promised those blacks of "privilege" that the rules of class and discrimintion were going to be relaxed or removed...for them?
i'm old enough to have known blks. who were pre-60's ivy league, they had special privileges...but they never expected america to share its wealth or acknowledge their accomplishments...they lived in my neighborhood, shopped on the ave., voted in my district and some sent their children to neighborhood schools...they knew class lines differed esp. regarding race.
i felt that there was something related to class that i was supposed get by reading between the lines...but the lines were skewed... privileged and middle classes are separate and distinct...esp., when race is a part of the equation...expect that the rules will not apply.
i recommend the book, esp. to "privileged" blacks...they may find that their feelins of frustration are real and shared...the reading may give insight to other classes who're experiencing similar frustrations...what would happen, if they banned together to demand fairness for all...
straight-forward reading, except for the lines that separate privileged and middle classes?