Black Lies, White Lies: The Truth According to Tony Brown


PBS television commentator and syndicated radio talk-show host Tony Brown has been called an "out-of-the-box thinker" and, less delicately, and "equal opportunity ass kicker." Those who attempt to pigeonhole him do so at their own peril. This journalist, media commentator, self-help advocate, entrepreneur, public speaker, film director, and author is a hard man to pin a label on — and an even more difficult man to fool.

In Black Lies, White Lies, Tony Brown does what few ...

See more details below
$14.42 price
(Save 9%)$15.99 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (70) from $1.99   
  • New (10) from $1.99   
  • Used (60) from $1.99   
Black Lies, White Lies

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$11.49 price


PBS television commentator and syndicated radio talk-show host Tony Brown has been called an "out-of-the-box thinker" and, less delicately, and "equal opportunity ass kicker." Those who attempt to pigeonhole him do so at their own peril. This journalist, media commentator, self-help advocate, entrepreneur, public speaker, film director, and author is a hard man to pin a label on — and an even more difficult man to fool.

In Black Lies, White Lies, Tony Brown does what few high-profile African Americans have done before: He dares to challenge the lies of both Black and White leaders, and he dares to tell the truth. He attacks White racism and Black self-victimization with equal vehemence. He condemns integration as a disastrous policy, not for just Blacks but for the entire country. And he confronts the Black Talented Tenth, White liberals, conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, demagogues, and racists on all sides for their self-serving lies, their failures, and their lack of vision.

But Tony Brown does not simply slash and burn. He also offers farsighted, workable solutions to America's problems. He provides a blueprint for American renewal bases on his belief that although we may not have come to this country on the same ship, we are all now in the same boat.

A self-described "equal opportunity ass-kicker, " Tony Brown attacks white racism, black self-victimization, and the whole concept of integration, which he feels has been disastrous for blacks and the country as a whole. Guaranteed to spark controversy, nonetheless Black Lies, White Lies is certain to be embraced by anyone willing to hear a bold new voice unafraid to speak the truth.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Like a series of talk shows (the author hosts Tony Brown's Journal on PBS), this somewhat disjointed book raises both interesting and half-baked ideas, with no one topic fully developed. Brown's basic theme on race relations is sound: blacks shouldn't expect whites to rescue them, but whites must also see that their fate is linked to that of all fellow Americans. A prominent black Republican, Brown has harsh and sometimes appropriate criticism of black leaders, but he undermines his case with a broad-brush assessment of the black community (which he divides into four ``tribes'') and exaggerated references to black leaders' support for (and America's drift to) ``socialism.'' Also, Brown argues that AIDS is misidentified and connected mainly to drug use, sees ``cultural diversity'' (defined vaguely) as a cure for institutional racism and proposes the Internet as a new frontier for black entrepreneurship. And he may run for president, riding an idea for self-help associations ``within electronically-linked neighborhoods.'' Author tour. (Oct.)
PBS television commentator and syndicated radio talk show host Tony Brown attacks the political and cultural attitudes of both blacks and whites that have perpetuated racism and fostered a black underclass in the US. Also discusses the US economy, AIDS, biomedical research, and other topics. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688151317
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/28/1997
  • Series: Harper Perennial
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 1,391,806
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Tony Brown hosts Tony Brown's Journal, the longest-running series on PBS. He is also the host of the radio call-in show Tony Brown on WLS-ABC Chicago, and is the author of Black Lies, White Lies and Empower the People. A sought-after speaker, he lives in New York City.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Black Lies, White Lies
The Truth According to Tony Brown

Chapter OneDifferent Ship, Same Boat

We didn't all come over on the same ship, but we're all in the same boat.

— Whitney M. Young

In the early 1950s, the townspeople of Charleston, West Virginia, practiced a rather benign form of segregation compared to many parts of the country. The White population in my hometown was not consciously intent on keeping Blacks out, but they did like to keep us at a fair distance.

My experiences as a child were therefore rather mixed when it came to racial matters. Before junior high school, my best friend was a White child, my neighbor, Corky. But when it came to the opposite sex, it seemed to me that the prettiest girls in the world were those from Washington Manor, the Black housing project. The great equalizer in my boyhood world was poverty. Nearly everyone I knew, White and Black, was poor, though Blacks were made poorer by the fact that welfare and public assistance were for Whites only in that time and place. The only "welfare" Blacks were allotted was a sack of potatoes, usually rotten, from a federal program now and then.

The lives of Blacks in Charleston were hardscrabble, but racism and poverty inspired resourcefulness. There was a sense that the world owed you nothing, and even if it did, it wasn't going to pay up soon. So you learned to take care of yourself and your own family, which was often no small task. Families were often extended to include cousins, second cousins, half brothers and sisters, and even people outside of your particular gene pool. Households too were often organizedalong untraditional and occasionally shifting lines.

My brother, two sisters, and I were raised separately, and for a time, none of us lived with either natural parent. In my younger days, I was reared by two women, Elizabeth "Mama" Sanford and her daughter, Mabel Holmes. From the age of two months, when I was delivered to these guardian angels, they called me "Sonny Boy" because they said I shone as brightly as the sun.

I lived with these surrogate mothers until they died within a year of each other just as I reached my teenage years. I was then returned to my birth mother, who by that time had also reclaimed my brother and my older sister. My siblings and I may not have been raised from birth by My natural mother, but we certainly had been stamped with her physical features, and we seemed to inherit also her quick mind and strong will. The key to my overachieving nature, I suspect, is the nurturing I received from my "mama," Elizabeth Sanford, my supportive schoolteachers, and an extended family that in many ways encompassed most of the Black community.

In Charleston, Blacks felt responsible for each other and for each other's children. Adult supervision was considered a community responsibility as well as a parental one. Black children who misbehaved on public transportation could expect to be set straight not just by their own guardians, but by any other Black adults who happened to be present. Our Black schoolteachers also imparted their intense interest in our proper development. In this communal setting, I learned that when you break the rules, you risk forfeiting your standing in the group. This was peer pressure in its most benevolent form, as a force for good. I was taught that in a world that set us apart because of the shade of our skin, we are all we've got, and if we don't stick together, we are doomed.

Early Awakenings

I grew up, then, instilled with the belief that I was under a moral obligation to my community and society in general. At an early age, I developed a finely tuned sense of moral outrage at injustice and dishonesty. The truth, I was taught, could not be denied. My general environment was fundamentalist and proud — to the point of arrogance. If there were Whites who didn't want us around, we thought entirely too much of ourselves to be bothered about it. God would get them for what they did to us, I was taught. Still, when I was a young boy, there were periods when I couldn't wait for God to wade in. I came to see racism as immoral as well as illegal, especially in a nation that preached the Ten Commandments as a way of life and proclaimed that all men were created equal ...

Black Lies, White Lies
The Truth According to Tony Brown
. Copyright (c) by Tony Brown . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Different Ship, Same Boat 1
Ch. 2 Entitlement Socialism: Why America Is Not Working for U.S. 29
Ch. 3 The Failure of Black America's Leaders 46
Ch. 4 Conspiracies and Black America 74
Ch. 5 Fear of Genocide 93
Ch. 6 Negative Images, Negative Results 121
Ch. 7 "AIDS" or "DAIDS"? 140
Ch. 8 The Gang of Frankenstein 182
Ch. 9 Team America: The End of Racism and Sexism 205
Ch. 10 Political Dynamite 233
Ch. 11 A Plan to Make Black America Work 266
Ch. 12 If I Were President, How I Would Make America Work for U.S. 298
Notes and Sources 339
Index 363
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)