My Life in the Black Middle Class
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 An African-American journalist's memoir chronicling his increasing disillusionment with mainstream America. Fulwood, an award-winning journalist and Washington, D.C., correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, explores his past and present relationship with the American promise of integration and concludes that Rev. Martin Luther King's dream is passÇ. Born into a middle-class family, Fulwood was urged early on to ``hold your own with the best [white students].'' In his ardent pursuit of success, Fulwood entered journalism convinced that his generation would be the first in American history to be judged solely on merit, not skin color. As Fulwood's career progresses, he becomes increasingly aware that he was wrong. In his early years of writing for the Charlotte Observer, he too often finds himself the lone black at cocktail parties and comes to feel that his greatest professional asset is in being the ``token'' black on staff. He perceives that he is desirable because he is a stereotype-breaking black man--educated and unthreatening, and thus acceptable to white America. His experiences at the Baltimore Sun further convince him that ``black reporters and editorial writers fit in a newsroom only to service the status quo, not to challenge it.'' Fulwood reaches the height of his disillusionment when the Atlanta Constitution reduces an article about a major address by Louis Farrakhan to a few lines in the business section. Though Fulwood tries to transmit a sense of rage to the reader, it often seems contrived. His success would be the envy of many journalists of any race. Fulwood's hyperbolic rage provides us with the literary equivalent of rap music's middle-class studio gangsta. (Author tour)

Pub Date: April 18th, 1996
ISBN: 0-385-47822-4
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Anchor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1996