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Publisher's Summary

America's leading young black intellectual reveals the hidden rules of race that dominate politics, society, and cultural life. The author discusses the state of Black leadership; the Black Church and sex; Black youth, pop culture, and the politics of nostalgia; why in a color-blind society race will continue to rule; and other important issues. Michael Eric Dyson, former welfare father, and now an ordained Baptist Minster and Princeton Ph.D., is professor of Communications Studies at the University of North Carolina.
©1996 Michael Eric Dyson (P)1996 by The Audio Partners Publishing Corp.
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Critic Reviews

"... a strong, timely, and important book... a work that lets nobody - including its own author - off the hook." (Jonathan Kozol)
"...Dyson offers a prescription for a world in which race would no longer rule... " (E. Lynn Harris)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By drwjbrown on 03-19-06


The book was read and flowed very well. It was a fast listen. I appreciated Dr. Dyson’s academic, yet social perspective of some of the major issues that plague Black Americans. I particularly appreciated the time spent clarifying the aspects of leadership provided by the various Black leaders of the country. This clarification helped bring about a greater understanding of why there is difficulty within the Black populous to merge because of the various perspectives from which the problems are presented. A very interesting point made in the book was the relevance of the OJ Simpson case to major issues of Blackness in the country. An inference was made that the general populous of Black America does not know the actual causes of our current state of social status. Factually, in many ways, I fall within that group.

The insights revealed some of the possible reasons that Black youth of demonstrating the patterns of behavior that we see now was well done. Understanding these reasons may open some dialogue of possible approaches to bringing about a change in the direction Black youth are taking. Even though there had been disconnects between society in general and the courses for which Black Americans have taken, Dr. Dyson did not really engage in presenting a meaningful solution for recapturing our youth. His notion that a close examination of the messages within gangster rap could lead to solutions did not seem to be a significant or viable solution to the ills of the disconnect exhibited by Black youth.

Leadership that emphasizes Quality and Excellence in a way that is supportive of ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, academia, and national pride may well be the answer. This book is definitely worth the time it takes to listen. The book can be particularly uplifting for many Black women whom Dr. Dyson amply and accurately elevated in this book.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By PeacefulSeeker on 04-26-15

Not surprised much

Dyson takes on the gulf between black and white by sampling sensitively the letter of a disgruntled white American.

It's impressive and needed knowledge. He narrated as though it was someone else's work, however. I never hear him speak like this on TV... so not him, so dispassionate and choppy.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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