WHITE MAN/BLACK MAN by Michael & Jimmy Watson Keating

WHITE MAN/BLACK MAN

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Dual autobiography of the dilemma of two achievement-obsessed men who share a common bitterness about corruption and racism in American society. As a measure of liberal institutional integration after the race riots of the '60's, CBS news commentator Keating sponsored a black internship program that included Watson -- a streetwise, musclebound, suspicious and oversensitive dude who corroborated his prejudices in short order: ""I didn't belong here! I can't be nothing but a fuck'n flunky, I see that now. If I'm ever gonna get what I want outa life. . . I got to get something and hustle. Whitey ain't givin' up nothing."" He enters the antisocial nirvana of the bigtime hard-drug hustler (""money, sex and travel -- the Playboy fantasy,"" Keating calls it) while Keating's spiritual odyssey takes him from futile editorializing for social reform (carte blanche from his boss Paley until a piece on tax loopholes hits him in the pocketbook) to The Greening of America, LSD, divorce and an experimental radio station on New York's Upper West Side. Watson's inevitable bust (""OH, GOD, is this your punishment? OH, LORD! OH, LORD!"") reunited the white journalist and his black apprentice. Hence this collaborative story of an exemplary friendship between two very angry coke-sniffing young men who have more understanding and sympathy for each other than we can muster.

Pub Date: June 24th, 1974
Publisher: Praeger