Race Manners: Navigating the Minefield Between Black and White Americans

Race Manners: Navigating the Minefield Between Black and White Americans

by Bruce A. Jacobs

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On a plane, a black passenger nervously scrutinizes an Arab–American passenger. In front of a store, a white woman clutches her purse as a black man walks by. In conversation, the topic of race comes up and both people wonder what they are willing to say—and what they are not. Each scenario reveals that how we act and react to each other on a daily basis stems from racial assumptions, biases, and misunderstandings. Some we acknowledge, others we overlook.

In the wake of 9/11, confronting race relations in America is as daunting as it is necessary. Race Manners shows us how we can begin a civilized, meaningful dialogue—not with evasive abstractions, but with practicality and candor. Bruce A. Jacobs, a tireless speaker, has traveled the country over the past six years, learning and listening as people reacted to the first edition of this book and told him their own stories. In this newest edition, here is a candid assessment of and guide to improving race relations that offers honest clarity on fear of crime and terrorism, the role of “rage talk media,” the problem with tolerance, race in pop music from Elvis to Eminem and beyond, the “N-word,” and much more.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781628721430
Publisher: Arcade
Publication date: 08/01/2011
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 144,883
File size: 335 KB

About the Author

Bruce A. Jacobs is an author and speaker. He has appeared at scores of colleges, organizations, companies, places of worship, and community gatherings from New York to Arizona to California, as well as on C-SPAN, NPR, Pacifica, and radio and television shows nationwide. He is a featured participant in “Race and Reconciliation in America,” a series of national conversations about race convened at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Table of Contents

Introduction: "Shut Up!": Fear, Trash Talk, and the Death of Discourse 1

Out In The Open

1 Black, White, and Scared: Our New Scapegoating in the Post-9/11 Age 11

2 Traveling in Terror: Self-Protection versus Excess Baggage 25

3 Still Caught in Katrina: Facing Our Ongoing Storm of Race and Class 35

4 Survival and Stereotype on the Street 46

5 Subliminal Training: Race in Public Transit 59

Matters Of Opinion

6 Rage Radio and Screaming Heads: How to Survive Talk Show Culture 71

7 Take Me to Your Leader: Who Gets to Speak for Whom? 86

8 Till O. J. Do Us Part: Race and Our Encounters with Police 92

9 The Extraterrestrial's Guide to Hate 105

10 Affirmative Action and Beyond: Controversies That Will Not Die, and Why 119


11 Showing Our ID: What Is Race, Anyway? 135

12 You My Nigga: Who's Naming Whom? 144

13 Congratulations! You're Ethnic! 157

14 Elvis to Eminem: Black Music and the Fight over Who Owns Culture 166

15 Hey, Yo: What Color Do You Speak? 179

16 Telling Ethnic Jokes: Do You Dare? 191

Just Between Us

17 What's Wrong with "Tolerance"? 201

18 Picking Your Spots: When Is It Worth It to Speak Up? 206

19 A State of Being Sorry: The "Nice Black Man" Syndrome 217

20 "Learn Three Facts and Start Yelling": The Updated Ten Most Bigoted Ideas Held by Black and White Americans 226

21 The Color of Love: Interracial Relationships in Black and White 238

Epilogue: Is There Hope? 255

Acknowledgments 257

Recommended Resources 259

Notes 263

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