The End of Anger: A New Generation%E2%80%99s Take on Race and Rage

Ellis Cose, Editor
Ellis Cose. Ecco, $24.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-199855-3
Reviewed on: 03/28/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-06-209209-0
Paperback - 308 pages - 978-0-06-199856-0
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Cose (The Rage of the Privileged Class), columnist and contributing editor at Newsweek, explores the newfound sense of optimism among African-Americans who in the last few years have astounded pollsters with their sanguinity despite being disproportionately targeted for predatory loans and hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis. Cose attributes the increase of black optimism to three factors: Barack Obama’s election; "generational evolution," which sees each successive generation harboring fewer racial prejudices, suggesting that African-Americans could be facing less racism than their parents did; and the related rise of racial equality. Interviewing M.B.A.s from Harvard, dropouts with a criminal record, as well as representatives from three successive generations spanning 70 years and their white counterparts, Cose provides a paradoxical portrait of race in America, where educated, privileged blacks are optimistic about their future, but for blacks at the lower end of the economic spectrum, equality remains as elusive as ever. One in 12 African-American men are behind bars and the unemployment rate keeps rising even though it is improving for other races—a dilemma not lost on an up-and-coming generation who are trying to tackle these problems at a grassroots level. Although the data and interviews want a stronger authorial voice linking them together, Cose’s treatment, which matches statistics to analysis, is a refreshing, readable, and comprehensive look at race in 21st-century America. (May)
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