Envy of the World: On Being a Black Man in America
by Ellis Cose
(Hardcover - February 2002) Editions: Hardcover
(Microsoft Reader) | Digital
(Adobe Reader) ~ Cose, a contributing editor and columnist at Newsweek
and author of the critically acclaimed The
Rage of a Privileged Class, was
ordered out of a San Francisco restaurant because the matred claimed
he was a "troublemaker." Drawing from his own experience
(much of it, thankfully, much less hateful), as well as that of men
he interviewed, Cose in nice prose details the myriad experiences of
black men, among them Henry
Louis Gates at Harvard University; Antwan Allen, a Harlem
teenager who rejects what "being black" means on the
Eugene Perkins, poet and author of Home
is a Dirty Secret; and Loquillo, who died of a heroin
overdose at the age of 45. Spinning these stories, Cose begins to
map the complex social, emotional and political fabric in which
African-American men such as Tiger
Woods and Colin
Powell are lionized or like Willie Horton, scorned and
feared. He presents an impressive array of statistics
"twenty-eight percent of all black males... eventually will end
up in jail"; a Harvard study that showed "black students
were nearly three times as likely as whites to be labeled `retarded'
" which are used not simply to prove racism but to explore the
underlying cultural and racial contradictions that produce it.
Examining a wide range of cultural artifacts, from William
Foote Whyte's classic 1943 Street
Corner Society to the 2001 movie Whiteboys, and never
avoiding hard questions such as black-on-black crime or interracial
sex, Cose charts both an urgently argued history of black
masculinity and a moving and nuanced snapshot of where it is now. A
six-city author tour should draw Cose's regular Newsweek
readers and move copies of the book. Agent, Michael Congdon.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Press by Ellis Cose
Rage of a Privileged Class: Why Do Prosperous Blacks Still Have the Blues?
by Ellis Cose (Books) (Paperback
- January 11, 1995) Other Editions:
~ There is a huge black middle class, many of whom are well educated,
competent, and prosperous. Yet despite their great achievements, says
Cose, they are frustrated and even enraged. He cites one survey after
another to portray the subtle forms of prejudice that black
professionals must endure: a black woman may be hired in public
relations, say, but then whites will see the position as weak and
nonintellectual, a job designed for blacks. A black male lawyer hired
to fill a quota may file brilliant briefs, but he'll be held back from
a partnership because affirmative action may get you in the door, but
it quickly becomes a millstone. See also
Stephen Carter's Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby (1991).
In any event, Cose has written an exceptionally reflective book, and
serialization in Newsweek should assure demand.