by Farai Chideya ‧ RELEASE DATE: Feb. 1, 1999
A provocative, informed look into the complexities of race relations in America and what they portend. Chideya (Donâ€”t Believe the Hype: Fighting Cultural Misinformation about African-Americans,1995), a contributing editor to Vibe and Time, as well as an ABC news correspondent, here interviews dozens of young men and women across the nation on issues of race. She contends that as the white majority starts to perceive that theyâ€”ll soon become the minority, they will react, increasingly, with fear and resistance to change. The inevitable backlash has already begun, she asserts, with mounting hate crimes against minorities and immigrants, and a shift to a more reactionary American policy regarding these groups. The author documents, for example, how profoundly blacks have been hurt by the decision to ban all affirmative action from the University of California. Chideya is especially concerned with the conflicting messages sent out by the media and pop culture. While we see more minorities in commercials, in sports arenas, and on movie screens, we also discover a disproportionate number in the evening news reports on crimes and in treatments of welfare recipients. Moreover, as the number of multiracial children continues to increase, more and more Americans will have to confront their prejudices about race and race mixing. It is important, contends Chideya, that we fully examine our biases, since "how America deals with race in the coming decades will help shape the culture of the entire world." She's concerned not only with white-black tensions, but with those dividing minority groups: the past decade has witnessed fights for control among blacks and Latinos, blacks and Asians. The future need not be bleak, she argues, if we begin to take the right steps (e.g., a fostering of coalitions between different racial groups). Chideya defines the terms of the debate on America's most volatile topicâ€”and tells us what to do about it. (Author tour)
Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1999
Page Count: 288
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1999
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