Acting White by Ron Christie
The Curious History of a Racial Slur

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Synopsis

In the tradition of Randall Kennedy’s Nigger and Shelby Steele’s The Content of Our Character, Acting White demonstrates how the charge that any African-American who is successful, well mannered, or well educated is “acting white,” is a slur that continues to haunt blacks. Ron Christie traces the complex history of the phrase, from Uncle Tom’s Cabin to the tensions between Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X to Bill Cosby’s controversial NAACP speech in 2004. The author also writes candidly of being challenged by black students for his “acting white,” and also of being labeled a race traitor in Congress by daring to be Republican. This lucid chronicle reveals how this prevalent put-down sets back much of the hard-earned progress for all blacks in American society. Deftly argued and determinedly controversial, this book is certain to spur thoughtful discussion for years to come.
 

About Ron Christie

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RON CHRISTIE is a senior advisor to both the White House and Congress, and was a special assistant to President George W. Bush. Christie is adjunct professor of strategic advocacy at George Washington University. He resides in New York, New York, and Alexandria, Virginia.
 
Published October 12, 2010 by Thomas Dunne Books. 303 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Christie seems stricken that, in contrast to Du Bois’ era, when blacks fought for voting and educational rights, now “a large segment of the black community is voluntarily ceding intellectual development without conscience.” His argument weakens when he emphasizes that “the seeds sown by affirmat...

Oct 12 2010 | Read Full Review of Acting White: The Curious His...

Publishers Weekly

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Christie (Black in the White House) aspires to construct a historical account of the pejorative "acting white" and dismantle its legitimacy.

Aug 16 2010 | Read Full Review of Acting White: The Curious His...

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