Customer Reviews for

Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted January 2, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Enlightening Reading

    Losing the Race, by John McWhorter was a facinating book. It shed light on aspects of African American culture and social interactions that I have not seen discussed in a book before. Though Dr. McWhorter is a linguist, his insights into African American cultural traits and sociology are well founded. The issues he presents in the book are important and merit serious discussion both within the African American community and within American society in general. While, I can't say that I agree 100% with all of his conclusions (the book did a get a bit anectodal at times). I can say that it got me to think and reevaluate my position on particular issues concerning self-defeatism in the African American community. As mentioned previously, his arguments are well founded and his thesis should be thoroughly evaluated without "indignation" or preconcieved notions. This book should be viewed as an addition not an impediment to the lively and necessary debate on social issues in which any healthy democracy engages. One note of caution. Dr. McWhorter's writing style is academic and thoughtful. It should be read carefully-in other words it's not Hannity or Beck. I highly recommend this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2006

    Excellent, Thought Provoking... Brutally Honest

    Mr. McWhorter wrote a book that some Blacks will fail to read and even fewer will fail to admit to, we are getting in our own way. Blacks must take responsibility for their own short comings and stop blaming everyone else. Our so called Black leaders are here basically for 'show and tell' purposes only. And, most blacks blindly follow a political party, that as of late, has done nothing to really assist most Blacks in their day to day plight. In 2006, Blacks have a far simpler and dare I say easier life than those of the 1960s or 1910s. However, the culturally held belief that we are still 'struggling', is a believe that most Blacks still hold near and dear to their hearts. That is even if they live in a gated community, and their children attend private schools. Mr. McWhorter sheds light on the absurdity of this belief system, as well as our desire to separate ourselves from others who do not think or act, or look like us (even within our own community). Self-defeatism is a scourge in the Black community, that I pray will cease to exist in my lifetime.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Absolutely Life Changing

    As a black man, reading this book was life changing. McWhorter provided insight from not only a black male perspective, but from an American perspective, a fighter's perspective, and an optimistic perspective. No longer will I allow the stereotypes and shallow expectations of others, not only the majority in this country, consume me or derail me. Kudos to McWhorter for have the wherewithal and motivation to write such a great book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2003

    An Excellent and Overdue Piece of Scholarship!

    As a young African-American male who was mercilessly ostracized by his Black peers from elementary to graduate school for "actin' white" just because I took education seriously, and whose "Blackness" was almost always questioned because of it, I cannot thank John McWhorter enough for writing this book. For far too long the liberal Black "leadership" among us has been so quick to point the finger at White America for all of its sins against African-Americans, and to blame ALL of our problems on racism and the legacy of slavery, yet refuse to challenge us as Blacks to take a good look at ourselves and acknowledge how - through word and deed - we do ourselves in. "Losing The Race" airs Black America's "dirty laundry" at a time when it NEEDS to be aired. I come across Blacks every day who are more comfortable being perennial "victims," while not applying themselves or taking advantage of the opportunities for educational and professional advancement that our forebears fought and died for during the Civil Rights Movement. I find it interesting that the majority of Blacks who want to slam McWhorter for writing this book have yet to put forth any academically or empirically sound rebuttals to any of the arguments that he makes therein. Basically, they can't, because they know that he is TELLING THE TRUTH! Furthermore, what is even more interesting is that many of these same Black Jesse Jackson/Al Sharptonesque critics tend to be lighter-skinned Blacks who came of age during the Civil Rights Movement, felt they had to prove themselves in the eyes of their darker-skinned peers and "BLACKEN UP" idealogically (i.e. the "Blacker Than Thou" contingent). If I (a dark-skinned brother), the youngest of six children born to welfare parents in Cleveland, OH, can graduate high school Valedictorian, become the first college graduate in my family, earn a Master's degree, and go on to become a United States diplomat, then what excuse does a Black middle-class student, born to college-educated and financially comfortable parents, from Shaker Heights High School have for NOT realizing his/her full potential? Read this book and you'll understand why.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2003

    Every black person should read this book

    From the beginning chapter to the end chapter, I was amazed. This book covered a lot of things that I was experiencing and could now put a finger on it. This author held nothing back. He spoke the truth and showed how black america was being expoited by these so called civil rights leaders of today. I especially liked how he exposed the dealings of Mr. Sharpton and how he feeds on black americas naive misconception of the extent of racism. What was really great about this book was that the auther did not show a one sided argument, he showed you both sides of the spectrum. He even gave examples of his own experiences dealing with racism. What I gained from reading this book is that I am not capable of changing other people's perspectives concerning racism and its effects on success, however, I am capable of changing my perspective and level of success. Everyone should read this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2002

    A must read for all blacks in America!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I could not put down this book. This is the most honest and accurate piece of work to come from someone within the black community. On numerous occasions while reading this book, I found myself nodding in approval of what was being said. As a recent migrant to this country, I could not understand how I could have achieved the successes I have to date, ahead of those afforded all the rights of citizenship. I have given this book as a gift for any recent occasion celebrated by my friends, and would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone interested in seeking the reasons behind our underachievement.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2003

    EVERY BLACK PERSON SHOULD READ THIS

    John McWhorter's book is says what all blacks need to hear. His indictment of the victimologist cult is a long awaited breakthrough in the quest for truth. I applaud his initiative and his courage to write such an explosive, contoversial, widely deplored, but necesary book. Acknowledgement and acceptance is the first step towards change.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2002

    GOOD THINGS in HARD to Open Packages

    The writer is obviously well-informed. However he takes the less popular road of taking responsibility for one's self. Therefore a traitor to his race's party line. Soundly reasoned thoughts and insights if you are NOT be predisposed to a point of view. One downside is the writing takes some work to get through. I actually waded through ALL of the techno-babble( e.g. low-birth weight = low parent IQ?!!) of "Bell Curve" and this book is head and shoulders above that book. However, at times the book tends to drag a bit in belaboring a point.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2002

    Interesting perspective

    I read this book a while ago but I have been thinking about its contents for a while. Whether some African-Americans do not wish to learn formal education for whatever reason is perhaps true, but that is probably true for some in all of the races and ethnic groups. Lack of incentive is often to blame maybe. Some may feel that early education just leads to college and many do not wish to attend, but then no one gives the possibilities of trades--one can become a plumber and make innovations in the plumbing industry, etc. Lack of duty to one's community and society as a whole is examined in this book--why would some African-Americans be so much into self- sabotage and be so small minded? There is not much teaching of ethics and duty to the community in the schools. Is there more racism than the author thinks--I kept asking myself this throughout the novel. I thought "yes," there is much underlying racism of many sorts and some of it is more obvious through stereotypes and racial profiling, but that African-Americans do also often sabotage their own efforts, and some become as horrible or worse than those they complain about--the usual with all cultures. The leadership in the African-American community does not seem to be helping the African-American community as much as it should. The author raises many interesting issues.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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