Living with Racism: The Black Middle-Class Experience

Living with Racism: The Black Middle-Class Experience

Living with Racism: The Black Middle-Class Experience

Living with Racism: The Black Middle-Class Experience

Excerpt

"What is it like to be a black person in white America today? One step from suicide! What I'm saying is-- the psychological warfare games that we have to play everyday just to survive. We have to be one way in our communities and one way in the workplace or in the business sector. We can never be ourselves all around. I think that may be a given for all people, but us particularly; it's really a mental health problem. It's a wonder we haven't all gone out and killed somebody or killed ourselves."

Our interviews began with this statement from a successful black entrepreneur, the first respondent of 209 African Americans we interviewed in a number of cities across the United States. She challenges us to see the personal and family losses that have resulted from decades of dealing with prejudiced whites. She summons us to understand the great tension between conforming to white standards and trying to maintain personal integrity and black identity. She dares us to look beyond the statistics of inequality conventionally provided by scholars and journalists to experience the reality and pain of . . .

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