Acting White: The Curious History of a Racial Slur

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Macmillan, Oct 12, 2010 - History - 304 pages

In the tradition of Randall Kennedy's Nigger and Shelby Steele's The Content of Our Character, Acting White demonstrates how the charge that any African-American who is successful, well mannered, or well educated is "acting white," is a slur that continues to haunt blacks. Ron Christie traces the complex history of the phrase, from Uncle Tom's Cabin to the tensions between Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X to Bill Cosby's controversial NAACP speech in 2004. The author also writes candidly of being challenged by black students for his "acting white," and also of being labeled a race traitor in Congress by daring to be Republican. This lucid chronicle reveals how this prevalent put-down sets back much of the hard-earned progress for all blacks in American society. Deftly argued and determinedly controversial, this book is certain to spur thoughtful discussion for years to come.

 

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ACTING WHITE: The Curious History of a Racial Slur

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A notable black Republican's jeremiad on African-American self-image.Christie (Political Science/George Washington Univ. and Haverford Coll.; Black in the White House: Life Inside George W. Bush's ... Read full review

Contents

A New Day or Déjà Vu?
1
The Genesis of Acting White
11
A TurnoftheCentury Uncle Tom Acting White?
27
A Long Journey Toward Equality
42
The Souls of Black Folk and the Roar of the Niagara Movement
52
Who Best to Lead Blacks Forward at the Dawn of the Harlem Renaissance?
71
A Milestone to Equality
88
7 Hawk v Dove? Malcolm X v Martin Luther King and the Struggle for New Black Leadership
101
Upwardly Mobile Black America and the Urban Poor
154
An Uncle Tom Acting White by Selling Out?
176
The Coming Rise of Colorless Valuesor Not?
193
The New Underground RailroadTransporting Black People to Real Equality
221
Appendix of Primary Documents
241
Authors Note and Acknowledgments
269
Notes
271
Index
281

8 Black Power Moral Relativism and Radical Chic
118
9 Affirmative Action
135

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About the author (2010)

RON CHRISTIE, a veteran senior advisor of both the White House and Congress and formerly a special assistant to President George W. Bush, is a noted political and legal analyst. He is a professor of political science and strategy at George Washington University and Haverford College and the author of Black in the White House.

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