TV newsman Teague ( Live and Off-Color ; Letters to a Black Boy ) uses the device of letters to his son to express positive and provocative thoughts on the ``imperatives that come with being black.'' Blaming white society for all the ills in black society is, in Teague's view, counterproductive, even self-defeating. In support of that argument, he cites the example of immigrants and refugees who become readily assimilated in the mainstream of competitive America despite a variety of handicaps. Interspersing anecdotes of his personal experience with accounts of bias and hostility he has encountered in his professional life, he underscores the verities of stable family life, describing them as essential for release from the welfare syndrome. As he addresses his son, who is on the brink of his own media career, Teague speaks also to today's young black Americans, offering them challenges he believes they are ready to accept. (Feb.)
Teague has worked in TV news for over 25 years as anchorman, reporter, producer, so his thoughts about being black in a predominantly white professional world carry real weight. Cast as letters to his 21-year-old son, these recollections are particularly moving, too, when discussing the difficulties and rewards of assuming adult reponsibilities in parenting, at work, with personal relationships. Most surprising, perhaps, is his defiance of conventional black wisdom about race in America. Teague seethes at the racial bigotry he's seen on the job and experienced himself, but he counsels his son that blaming white society is a dead-end strategy; he says, ``that government handouts constitute the most damaging assault on black pride and dignity since the founding of the Ku Klux Klan.''-- Daniel Levinson, Thayer Acad., Braintree, Mass.