A book review on The End of Blackness, by Debra J. Dickerson. The book's reviewer, Elizabeth Wright, was a controversial black conservative and editor of Issues & Views. She died in 1990.
(The American Conservative)
From the promotion of this book and from the first few pages of its introduction, a reader comes to Debra Dickerson’s The End of Blackness expecting something other than an extensive catalogue of the sins and moral failings of whites. The author does get around to the book’s supposed premise, which is a call to blacks to free themselves from obsession with past grievances and take responsibility for the choices and decisions they make, but not before she engages in a considerable amount of verbiage aimed at whites’ past crimes and present incivilities.
We first get a tour of the old horror stories of bigotry—Emmett Till’s murder, the duplicitous Tuskegee “experiment,” Rosa Parks’s humiliation. Then come the generalizations about whites, along with some peculiar contradictions. Whites refuse to accept the “full dimensions” of their wicked past. Whites subsist only on their “windfall of skin privilege,” an implication that individual whites have achieved little through their own efforts. Whites believe so much in “their own infallibility” that when blacks fail to fit certain stereotypes, whites have to “build their own Frankensteins to fear and loathe.” And this is why elderly white ladies clutch their purses at the sight of a black man, and why whites “tremble” when finding themselves in all-black settings.
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