WDN Expert Bruce Jacobs' Book:

Race Manners for the 21st Century: Navigating the Minefield Between Black and White Americans in an Age of Fear


Bruce A. Jacobs is an author and speaker. His newly revised and updated book offers practical advice for fair-minded people on surviving and overcoming racism and bigotry. It provides perspective on our dealing with the everyday impact of talk-show culture, racial encounters, divisive politics, fear of terrorism, the meaning of Katrina, hip-hop culture, and more. The new Race Manners is available in stores and online. It also features a free downloadable DISCUSSION GUIDE.

Bruce’s book has been hailed as “Enlightening and balanced...A 'Must-read’” (Norine Dresser, Los Angeles Times columnist); “Required reading” (Springfield Republican); “Eloquent...Wise” (Arizona Republic); “A frank, intelligent guide” (Publishers Weekly); and “the best book I have read on American race relations” (Bob Koch, WXXI-AM).

From Publishers Weekly

In a frank, intelligent guide intended for both whites and blacks, Jacobs explores the resentments that thwart a genuine dialogue on race. He lays bare the "wildly, even hysterically" exaggerated fear of African-American males held by many whites, and he urges white people to recognize that a racial double standard exists in law enforcement. Jacobs, a poet and essayist, describes how, as an African-American, he grew up surrounded by racial hatred in predominantly white, middle-class Rochester, N.Y. Nevertheless, he cautions that many blacks have succumbed to a siege mentality, judging all whites as harshly and as broadly as they feel themselves to be judged. While supporting affirmative action, he acknowledges that this policy comes with a price involving sacrifice by some whites for the greater good. He urges blacks to gain as much competence as possible in Standard English, while at the same time deploring the negative attitude many whites harbor toward speakers of vernacular "black English." Whether he is discussing interracial love, ethnic jokes, African-American TV shows or Elvis Presley's borrowings from black music, Jacobs challenges preconceptions and entrenched myths. Agent, Sheree Bykofsky.

Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover Edition.
From School Library Journal

YA-Defining manners as "consideration reached through interchange," Jacobs provides an accessible and inspiring response to the contemporary American climate of grievances and attempts at public dialogue about race. Sorting his discussion into such practical venues of public and social life as maneuvering through the streets, analyzing the dating patterns of strangers, telling ethnic jokes, and shopping at the local supermarket, the author consistently reminds both black and white readers that stereotyping is harmful to the stereotyper as well as to the stereotyped; that history informs attitudes; and that cultural change comes through interpersonal exchange, argument and consideration, not through ignorance, fear of speaking up, or failure to listen. Students, teachers, and others who care about where we are heading-and where we have been-as a culture and as a political state-need to read this book. And, having read it, they will want to talk about it; expand upon it; and consider the ideas, fears, and hopes for further interchange that it elicits.
Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover  edition.





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