Overview

The critically acclaimed book from the bestselling author of Losing the Race and The Power of Babel

John McWhorter is one of the most original and provocative thinkers on the issue of race in America today. In Authentically Black McWhorter argues that although African-Americans stress hard work and initiative in private, they have assumed the mantle of victimhood in the eyes of the public and have thereby created a distorted meaning of what it...
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Authentically Black

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Overview

The critically acclaimed book from the bestselling author of Losing the Race and The Power of Babel

John McWhorter is one of the most original and provocative thinkers on the issue of race in America today. In Authentically Black McWhorter argues that although African-Americans stress hard work and initiative in private, they have assumed the mantle of victimhood in the eyes of the public and have thereby created a distorted meaning of what it is to be "authentically black." McWhorter takes on this mentality and its debilitating implications—in topics ranging from rap music to the reparations movement, to the portrayal of African-Americans on television to racial profiling— injecting new ideas and a fresh approach into the nationwide debate on race. Authentically Black is a powerful and important book that will inform and influence the opinions of Americans across all racial and political spectra.


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Editorial Reviews

Black Issues Book Review
Bill O'Reilly with a Ph.D.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101216583
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 1/27/2003
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 899,748
  • File size: 475 KB

Meet the Author


John McWhorter is the author of the bestseller Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America, The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language, and four other books. He is associate professor of linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and a contributing editor to The City Journal and The New Republic. He has been profiled in the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and has appeared on Dateline NBC, Politically Incorrect, and The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Not your average Conservative.

    John McWhorter has one common theme throughout all of his books--don't put him in a box! Some Liberals will agree with some things, some conservatives will agree. The same goes with various races. Ultimately, I agree with the main theme of taking responsibility and not making excuses for the many shortcomings of the way things were and are. Some areas where we disagree would be his assessment of progress. I see race becoming a growing problem due to the dynamics of the racial make up in this country. What happens when many figure out that there are more people of color then they thought. Someone needs to write a book about that. The title is very provocative, who decides who's black and who's not? As the definition of black expands, then so will the possibilities. Buy this book!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2006

    An authentically good read...

    This is a very good follow-up to 'Losing the Race'. Very few people take constructive criticism very well. The responses to 'Losing the Race' and 'Authentically Black' proves that Blacks are not immune to becoming chaffed when the truth is thrust before their own eyes. There are those who will accuse him of black bashing or betraying his own race, which in and of itself is quite small minded and painfully unaware. I applaud Mr. McWhorter for his brave attempts to get other members of his own race to open their eyes and better analyze, why it is that they do the things that they do.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2004

    The Truth

    Finally, someone had the courage to speak the truth on the volatile issue of race relations in America. McWhorter's fact-filled prose is a breath of fresh air, compared to the popular 'victimized race' role that the media commonly assigns to American Blacks. He corroborates all of his claims with factual evidence, instead of mindlessly ranting false and unjustifiable racist claims like many of his adversaries. I applaud McWhorter for writing this book, and hope to read more from him on this issue in the future. He truly inspires Black Americans to strive for the best within themselves, instead of taking the easy way out through accepting White pity.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2003

    An appropriate follow-up to "Losing the Race."

    John McWhorter's "Authentically Black" indeed picks up where his best-selling tell-it-like-it-is "Losing the Race" leaves off. Here is an educated (understatement!) and free-thinking black man who is unafraid to turn the sociopolitical microscope on black America, forcing us to take a hard look at the ways in which we do ourselves in, by word and deed, in an era almost 40 years after the Civil Rights Movement. In fact, McWhorter does this with surgical precision, and the only "rebuttal" that most of his black leftist "always blame Whitey!" detractors such as Ismael Reed can come up with is the childish tactic of calling the man names (e.g. "a rent-a-black who writes what conservative whites want to hear..." Give me a break!). The fact is that McWhorter's critics CANNOT offer any intelligent, thoughtful rebuttals to ANY of his arguements, because they know he is telling the truth. Period. John McWhorter realizes that the only way for us as black Americans to fully realize our destiny as the Great People that we are is to START ACTING LIKE IT! Succumbing to the impulse of keeping liberal white folks feeling guilty about today's "never-ending" black plight - horribly overblown in the current era by the likes of people like Randall Robinson - in hopes of exacting continued handouts and pity just doesn't cut it anymore. The author nails this points throughout the book, and especially in the opening chapter "The New Black Double Consciousness." As McWhorter puts it so beautifully, "A race does not make its mark by how successful it has been at exacting charity, but by how much it achieves without charity." I urge everyone who reads this review to buy both this book and "Losing the Race." Both books should be required reading in the African-American studies, sociology and political science departments of every college and university in the country. John McWhorter represents the most insightful and refreshing contribution to today's American race dialogue since Shelby Steele in the early 1990s.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2003

    Being Black is Not An Excuse for Mediocrity

    Bravo, bravo. Thank you for addressing the reality of the 'Black' condition in America as it is today and not as so many have succumb to pretending it to be. This book is demonstrative of a roadmap to success for 'Black' America. The only thing left to solidify the validity of the message is to dispense with thinking of ourselves as 'Black or African' Americans and just simply as Americans. To those who read this book and feel offended or that the author is not competent to address the issues it will only be because the reader is inept and has forged a perpetuated belief that being 'Black' is a handicap and as such nothing beyond mediocrity should be expected of us by us or others.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2003

    Authentically narrowminded

    All he does in his book is attack other blacks that do not share his views, He offers no solutions, visions, or rational for his attacks,He rambles on with no direction the book left me wondering where is he going with this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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