It's the Little Things: Everyday Interactions That Anger, Annoy, and Divide the Races

( 4 )

Overview

New York Times veteran Lena Williams candidly explores the everyday occurrences that strain racial relations, reaching a conclusion that "no one could disagree with" (The New York Times Book Review)

Although we no longer live in a legally segregated society, the division between blacks and whites never seems to go away. We work together, go to school together, and live near each other, but beneath it all there is a level of misunderstanding that breeds mistrust and a level of ...

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Overview

New York Times veteran Lena Williams candidly explores the everyday occurrences that strain racial relations, reaching a conclusion that "no one could disagree with" (The New York Times Book Review)

Although we no longer live in a legally segregated society, the division between blacks and whites never seems to go away. We work together, go to school together, and live near each other, but beneath it all there is a level of misunderstanding that breeds mistrust and a level of miscommunication that generates anger. Now in paperback, this is Lena Williams's honest look at the interactions between blacks and whites-the gestures, expressions, tones, and body language that keep us divided.

Frank, funny, and smart, It's the Little Things steps back from academia and takes a candid approach to race relations. Based on her own experiences as well as what she has learned from focus groups across the United States, Lena Williams does for race what Deborah Tannen did for gender. Finally, we have a book that traverses the color lines to help us understand, and eliminate, the alarmingly common interactions that get under the skin of both blacks and whites.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
PRAISE FOR IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS
"Socially penetrating. . . . [This] should be put in every schoolchild's hand as soon as the youngster can understand it."-The Boston Globe
"A lighter discourse on the ultra-serious matter of race in America . . . A sounding board for blacks and whites concerned with bridging the racial divide."-Newsday
"The kind of reading that will make some black folks chuckle . . . A promising sort of harmony that's especially impressive."-The African Sun Times
"Sassy and informative, It's the Little Things lets blacks and whites walk a mile in each others' shoes."-The Christian Science Monitor
From The Critics
Sassy and informative, It's the Little Things lets blacks and whites walk a mile in each others' shoes.
Boston Globe
Socially penetrating. . . . [This] should be put in every schoolchild's hand as soon as the youngster can understand it.
Boston Globe
Socially penetrating. . . . [This] should be put in every schoolchild's hand as soon as the youngster can understand it.
Christian Science Monitor
Sassy and informative, It's the Little Things lets blacks and whites walk a mile in each others' shoes.
KLIATT
Williams has been a reporter for the New York Times for 25 years; her friend Charlayne Hunter-Gault wrote the foreword to this book. Any book that will help black and white Americans to think about race relations and improve communications in our country is welcome, and Williams has supplied such a book. White people reading it may be amazed at some of the little things that aggravate black people, and white people need to understand why these "little" things are aggravating—not to feel guilty perhaps, but just to be more sensitive. White people, being the majority as least for now, tend to just accept how they do things as the normal way of doing things. Williams' frank talk will help white readers think again about some of the things they say and do. Black people reading this book may see that some of their reactions to "little things" appear to be overly sensitive. Williams often writes about her personal experiences, and she used focus groups across the country to gather more information. This personal approach, often with humor attached, makes the book extremely readable. KLIATT Codes: A—Recommended for advanced students and adults. 2000, Harcourt, Harvest, 278p.,
— Claire Rosser
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780156013482
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 1/28/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 871,943
  • Product dimensions: 7.78 (w) x 10.96 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Lena Williams, left, is a twenty-five-year veteran of the New York Times. Currently covering sports, she is the senior delegate of the Author's Guild at the New York Times. Her article "It's the Little Things" won the National Association of Black Journalists award for feature writing. She lives in New York City.

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Table of Contents

Foreword

Introduction
1. Little Things in Public Places
2. Little Things in the School
3. Little Things in the Home
4. Little Things in the Workplace
5. Little Things in Social Settings
6. Little Things in the Mass Media
7. The White Take
8. It's Not Just a Black/White Thing
Conclusion

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2003

    ! TABOO!

    Lena Williame really captures the reality of race relations from both points of view. Within minutes of reading this book she opens up a view of what blacks and whites find offensive in everyday encounters. Such as when we as black people take advanage of the race card in simple disagreements and when whites hide there rasist views until in the company of there peers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2009

    AWFUL

    Lena Williams should be ashamed of herself writing and speaking on issues in the present day that she knows nothing about in the diverse world we live in today. She sounds like she's stuck in 1985. I wouldn't recommend her book to anyone. Petty and completely uninsightful and uninspired. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME ON THIS JUNK.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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