Winning the Race
Beyond the Crisis in Black America
By John McWhorter
(Gotham, Paperback, 9781592402700, 448pp.)
Publication Date: December 28, 2006
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In his first major book on the state of black America since the New York Times bestseller Losing the Race, John McWhorter argues that a renewed commitment to achievement and integration is the only cure for the crisis in the African-American community.
Winning the Race examines the roots of the serious problems facing black Americans todaypoverty, drugs, and high incarceration ratesand contends that none of the commonly accepted reasons can explain the decline of black communities since the end of segregation in the 1960s. Instead, McWhorter posits that a sense of victimhood and alienation that came to the fore during the civil rights era has persisted to the present day in black culture, even though most blacks today have never experienced the racism of the segregation era.
McWhorter traces the effects of this disempowering conception of black identity, from the validation of living permanently on welfare to gansta raps glorification of irresponsibility and violence as a means of protest. He discusses particularly specious claims of racism, attacks the destructive posturing of black leaders and the hip-hop academics, and laments that a successful black person must be faced with charges of acting white. While acknowledging that racism still exists in America today, McWhorter argues that both blacks and whites must move past blaming racism for every challenge blacks face, and outlines the steps necessary for improving the future of black America.
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.
Splendid. . . . McWhorters answers are anything but orthodox. . . . [He] has a keen eye for the foibles of social scientists. (The Wall Street Journal)
Provocative . . . both grounded in history and forward-looking. (Publishers Weekly)
A provocative challenge to conventional wisdom. (USA Today)