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The Rage of a Privileged Class
A controversial and widely heralded look at the race-related pain and anger felt by the most respected, best educated, and wealthiest members of the black community.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published December 2nd 1994 by Harper Perennial
(first published 1993)
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I read a 20-year-old book to understand why Black Americans I considered well-off were hung up on racial issues; I've always thought that class is more important to life outcome than race. The answer is that racism still exists and it really sucks, which should have been obvious to me. The book dates itself, to be sure, but has excellent chapters about affirmative action (where are the organized political movements against legacy admission preferences?) and the myth of Black crime that still hit ...more
This book was published about 20 years ago, and a lot of its points are still true. I haven't yet read The End of Anger, but it's next on my list. Ellis Cose describes professional African Americans in all kinds of private sectors, including journalism, to write about how race and resentment over affirmative action continues to impede a national (grown-up and real) discussion about race. What was most memorable for me was the part where Joel Dreyfuss talks about editors' lack of imagination when ...more
Privilege is defined by Merriam Webster as "a right or immunity granted as a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor." Or as I define it, something that allows a person to be granted favor or placed in an advantageous position compared to other people. Synonym=honor. Privilege can be viewed through different lenses such as wealth, appearance (fitting accepted beauty standards), perceived intelligence, and personality. In Cose's book, privilege is examined through socioeconomic status-upper middle ...more
This book was a easy read and to the point on the subject matter. It tells the black condition and perspective from someone that has had personal experience and gives personal stories and testimonies of people that have and currently experience racism in a way that only those experiencing it can fully understand.
I read this in preparation for a discussion of Between the World and Me since it was written much earlier. A real eye opener into the world of the Black middle class and the price of non-acceptance in the halls of power.
Ellis Cose is a former columnist for Newsweek, chairman of the editorial board of the New York Daily News, contributor and critic for Time, and columnist for USA Today. The author of numerous books, including the bestselling The Rage of a Privileged Class, he lives in New York City.