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Two Nations: Black And White, Separate, Hostile, Unequal.


Shock may set in as African-Americans read Andrew Hacker's Two Nations: Black and White, Separate, Hostile, Unequal. The book provides a detailed, revealing, controversial analysis of the unequal world America's black and white citizens occupy.

Hacker, who is white, is a political science professor at Queens College in New York. His theory is that whites receive unspoken privileges that other Americans are denied. The result is that whites also enjoy a higher standard of living because of the value of their "whiteness." Conversely, black American lives are devalued because of their "blackness." Blacks are forced to overcome barriers in the minds of white Americans imposed upon them through the collective actions of the dominant white culture.

For blacks who don't already suspect what many whites really think about them, this book is a revelation. In a straightforward manner, Hacker explains the fears, prejudices and misconceptions whites have about blacks. He then uses statistics to show that while whites deny feelings of ill will toward blacks their actions are contradictory.

The book paints a vivid picture of black American struggle but does not ignore black shortcomings in the areas of education, employment and family cohesiveness. Although whites will probably have a tougher time reading it, Hacker's analysis will stir powerful emotions among blacks.

Hacker doesn't offer solutions. This may leave readers feeling hopeless. But his analysis provides a base to work for change. And at least that's a start toward helping these two nations become one.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., Inc.
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Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Scott, Matthew S.
Publication:Black Enterprise
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jul 1, 1992
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