The Content of Our Character: A New Vision of Race in America Short Essay - Answer Key

Shelby Steele
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1. What did Steele mean when he said the discussion of race relations has become scripted?

Steele begins The Content of Our Character by observing the fact that the discussion of race relations is not fully candid. Both parties involved in the discussion share their views in a manner that somewhat relays their stance, but does not do so in what may considered an offensive manner. The lack of truthfulness prevents dealing with many of the negative issues associated with race relations.

2. Steele talks about forgetting that he is black while writing this book. What did he mean by that?

In order to produce an effective work, Steele said he had to forget he was black while writing this book. In order to share the truths of discrimination without being viewed as biased, Steele had to maintain an objective point-of-view. This impartial stance kept Steele from writing based solely on his personal experiences.

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