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The New Basic Black: Home Training for Modern Times.

The New Basic Black: Home Training for Modern Times by Karen Grigsby Bates and Karen Elyse Hudson Doubleday, December 2005 $29.95, ISBN 0-385-51626-6

Just in time for the New Year, Doubleday has published a revised edition of the popular African American manners manual, the 1996 classic Basic Black. Karen Grigsby Bates and Karen Elyse Hudson have updated their tome by incorporating tips on cell-phone use, the Internet, banking online, e-mail etiquette, the wellness movement and a host of other tantalizing tidbits for the electronic age.

What makes The New Basic Black unique, however, is its discussion of topics specific to the African American experience: knowing what to say in uncomfortable situations, how to behave when people act as if you're invisible, race in the workplace, the ugly (African) American. The two Karens tackle these "delicate" topics and many others essential to the black experience with aplomb and give their readers practical tips to handle almost any difficult situation.

The conversational tone of the book is comforting, but in no way does it belie the sagacity contained within its pages.

Kalyn Johnson is a lawyer practicing in New York and coauthor of The BAP Handbook: The Official Guide to the Black American Princess (Broadway Books, 2001).
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Author:Johnson, Kalyn
Publication:Black Issues Book Review
Article Type:Book review
Date:Mar 1, 2006
Words:206
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