Black Lives, White Lives: Three Decades of Race Relations in America

Bob Blauner, Author University of California Press $38 (0p) ISBN 978-0-520-06261-0
This compelling oral history argues convincingly that racism is widespread in the U.S., reflecting whites' deeply ingrained but often unacknowledged attitudes. Most of the 12 white interviewees here cling to over-simplified notions of blacks. A few of the 16 black respondents harbored ready-made anti-white sentiments that mellowed over the 18-year course of the study (1968-86). A sociologist at UC Berkeley, Blauner interviewed longshoremen, hippies, welfare mothers, a gay black painter, industrial managers and street criminals, among others. The talks chart a zigzag from the separatism of the 1960s' black power movement to today's tense atmosphere--poisoned, according to the blacks interviewed here, by Reagan's rollback of civil rights gains. This revealing document mirrors the white backlash of the late '60s, the worsening crisis of urban ghetto youth, growing black concern for the Afro-American family and the bitterness of those trapped in the so-called underclass. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Paperback - 350 pages - 978-0-520-06950-3
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