Everyone edits what they say. It’s a part of growing up. But what if we applied tell-it-like-it-is honesty to grown-up issues? In Impolite Conversations, two respected thinkers and writers openly discuss five “third-rail” topics—from multi-racial identities to celebrity worship to hyper-masculinity among black boys—and open the stage for honest discussions about important and timely concerns.
Organized around five subjects—Race, Politics, Sex, Money, Religion—the dialogue between Cora Daniels and John L. Jackson Jr. may surprise, provoke, affirm, or challenge you. In alternating essays, the writers use reporting, interviews, facts, and figures to back up their arguments, always staying firmly rooted in the real world. Sometimes they agree, sometimes they don’t, but they always reach their conclusions with respect for the different backgrounds they come from and the reasons they disagree.
Whether you oppose or sympathize with these two impassioned voices, you’ll end up knowing more than you did before and appreciating the candid, savvy, and often humorous ways in which they each take a stand.
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About the Author
John L. Jackson Jr. is a cultural anthropologist, filmmaker, and writer. At the age of thirty-four, he was named the first-ever Richard Perry University Professor of Communication and Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, and has served as a visiting professor of law at Harvard. He is the author of four books: Harlemworld, a Publisher’s Weekly Notable Nonfiction Book; Real Black; Racial Paranoia; and Thin Description.
Read an Excerpt
Table of Contents
The Intro 1
Cora: let's pray for sexually active daughters 9
John: There's a conspiracy to hypermasculinize black boys 22
Cora: We're not movin' on up 39
John: Watching TV is better than listening to jazz 57
John: Is Twitter the new religion? 73
Cora: Can a nation still have faith if it has lost its hope? 83
John: Are black people still overchurched? 99
John: I could be a Republican 111
Cora: It's time to rethink the American Dream 120
John: Obama makes whites whiter 137
Cora: I don't care about first black presidents 147
Cora: It actually is Mama's fault 156
John: We're all haters 175
Cora: One box rules 193
Cora: Color Wars! 206
John: All my best friends are light-skinned women 225
Cora: F*ck the N-word-bring back the word "nigger" 235
John: Nigger, please! 244
John: Is half as good better than nothing? 255
Cora: Mediocrity Nation? 271
John: No more Sojourners 279
The Conclusion 287