Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Book Review: The End of Blackness

In this book, the author, Debra Dickerson tells some home truths... truths that may be hard to hear for some people... some of the tough things that we, as black Americans, should have been saying for many many years.

Ms Dickerson deserves full marks for having the courage to skewer many of the sacred cows that we have been praying to for so many years. Further, she doesn't shrink from taking stab at today's almost-useless civil rights leaders.

It is time, and past time for us to be proud of who we are for what we are and what we have done in this country. Not because white people will acknowledge it... some will, some won't, but so what? The acknowledgement of others shouldn't be the goal of ethnic pride. That said, it should also be said that ethnic pride shouldn't be a bar to the pride that comes from being an American.

It is time, and past time for us to stop seeing ourselves only in comparison to how we are treated by white people... or any other people, including other black people. Black Americans have done remarkable things. We are inseparably woven into the fabric of American history and society.

It is time, and past time for us to stop pretending that we exist outside of American society. We don't. This is our country! We are full citizens, but must begin to act like it. We should walk tall, be proud, look others in the eye with dignity and self-respect.

As Americans, we should be sure of ourselves and of our pivotal role in the building, and the success of this great country. We don't need to wait for the approval of other people to feel good about ourselves. This is childish behavior.

This book could have been written better, Ms. Dickerson's writing is disjointed in some places, but that doesn't detract from the message.

While I don't share every conclusion that the author comes to, she deserves full marks for having the courage to say things that needed to be said in an open forum.

Dickerson is right... the mind truly is the last plantation. The gate is open, and all we need do is walk through it, opt in, and be a participant in creating our own destinies.

GF

7 comments:

Hahn at Home said...

Knowing you are raising your youngest that way is terrific. Instilling pride in ALL that they are is a goal I have in raising mine. Through knowledge of the past comes understanding--through understanding, comes healing, and when healed, the sky's the limit. Doesn't mean oppressors won't still be out there--but it does give one the power to ignore them.

BETTY said...

Dickerson is right... the mind truly is the last plantation. The gate is open, and all we need do is walk through it, opt in, and be a participant in creating our own destinies

I love this line and it isn't exclusive to ethnicity it can also apply to insecurities, who is to say what is beautiful or smart it's all subjective and if you have the sense to believe in yourself then I think that is smart and sexy. Be proud of who you are no matter what.

PT-LawMom said...

Great post. I like her message of taking control of your own destiny. Not blaming or making excuses but owning your life and forging your own path.

the only daughter said...

...be a participate in creating our own destinies. Absolutely!

Jenn in Holland said...

I saw her recently on something, what? CNN? something else? Talking about this book. I really appreciated her points in the interview and the book sounds fascinating.

soccer mom in denial said...

I've been thinking about this post since I snuck a peak during work (ssshhh don't tell anyone). And while so much of our destiny comes from within, there still are larger forces that an individual cannot overcome.

Why do pregnant women with the exact same education and income, have different birth outcomes when comparing black v. white?

Why do families, again with the same education and income, are offered different mortgages when comparing white v. black?

And while I applaud efforts to take control, there has to be some role for changing societal perceptions (e.g. doctors, teachers, police) and stereotypes.

Thanks for the post. I hadn't heard of the book.

Paige said...

"The mind is the last plantation." So true. Sounds like an interesting book Gunfighter. I'll have to check it out.