Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness

Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness

Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness

Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness


If the name Randal Pinkett sounds familiar, it may be because Pinkett was the first African-American winner on The Apprentice. When he won, this black man also became the only contestant to be asked to share his victory- with a white woman. The request (and Pinkett's subsequent refusal) set off a firestorm of controversy that inevitably focused on the issue of race in the American workplace and in society.

For generations, African-Americans have been told that to succeed, they need to work twice as hard as everyone else. But as millions of black Americans were reminded by Pinkett's experience, sometimes hard work is not enough. Black Faces in White Places is about "the game"- that is, the competitive world in which we all live and work. The book offers 10 revolutionary strategies for playing, mastering, and changing the game for the current generation, while undertaking a wholesale redefinition of the rules for those who will follow. It is not only about shattering the old "glass ceiling," but also about examining the four dimensions of the contemporary black experience: identity, society, meritocracy, and opportunity. Ultimately, it is about changing the very concept of success itself.

Based on the authors' considerable experiences in business, in the public eye, and in the minority, the book shows how African-American professionals can (and must) think and act both Entrepreneurially and "Intrapreneurially," combine their collective strengths with the wisdom of others, and plant the seeds of a positive and lasting legacy.


It is an arduous road to get there. Its path is laced with obstacles and dangers and pitfalls and traps. Those who make it will find that when they finally arrive—they will likely be alone and will be left to their own devices with only grains of guidance, no direction, and little advice. the euphoria of success is tempered with the reality that in this place, their degrees will mean little, their past accomplishments even less, and the experience and talents that brought them here will be put to the test—a new test, never before given—and one whose rules are ever-changing. It is not a reality show, but it is real. It is all part of “the game”—a very serious competition.

Drs. Randal Pinkett and Jeffrey Robinson have opened the door to a place that few have talked about but many have experienced—that phenomenon of being “a Black face in a white place.” It is a life that many have had to confront, especially from the end of the 1960s to present day. This book captures in words the essence of the lives of thousands of Americans who dove headfirst into the exclusive waters of corporate America’s most guarded pool. They invaded education’s most honored institutions, and they had the audacity to proclaim their place as business owners, elected officials, and community leaders. They emerged as significant figures in the philanthropic, nonprofit, and religious sectors. the places they were are places few of “us” had ever been or seen. Some struggled, some floated, and a few actually swam against the tide and survived to give birth to others.

It is sobering that in 2010, African Americans are still underrepresented in several fields and in some cases grossly absent at the highest levels. Yet most successful people of color can tell you a story of being the only one in the group of their particular race or ethnic group. the money doesn’t . . .

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