The Content of Our Character: A New Vision of Race in America Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

Shelby Steele
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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. For blacks, what is a method of handling freedom, per Steele's thoughts?
(a) Believing it exists but blacks are not entitled to it.
(b) Writing and publicly performing songs that promote the freedom.
(c) Acting like it doesn't exist.
(d) Creating a black American identity.

2. What prompted Steele to begin writing his first book?
(a) His infatuation with being a rich and famous author.
(b) His mother telling him that she thought he'd make a great writer.
(c) Listening to two gentleman speak about race in a politically correct manner, rather than the truth.
(d) His boredom with life.

3. Whose independence is said by Steele to be oppressed by the black identity?
(a) Those who live under the 'white identity'.
(b) Individualistic blacks.
(c) All mankind.
(d) Individualistic whites.

4. Steele said what of 'black anger'?
(a) It frightens whites.
(b) It is productive to the black race.
(c) It changes the stereotypes of the black race.
(d) It flatters white power.

5. What does Steele say is a bad source of recomposition for blacks?
(a) White nationalism.
(b) Learning ancestral roots.
(c) Black nationalism.
(d) Graduating from institutions of higher learning.

Short Answer Questions

1. What inflates the individual seeking power over another, according to Steele?

2. In terms of responding to racial insecurity, what did Steele comment blacks do with regard to names for themselves?

3. Steele stated that although some of his life experiences may be different from other races, what is true?

4. Dealing with doubt does what for blacks, in Steele's estimation?

5. Steele said that blacks do not know how to do what?

Short Essay Questions

1. Steele quoted a former professor by saying, 'Ideas themselves come a dime a dozen.' Why is understanding this relevant to understanding this book?

2. What is Steele's opinion of the black identity?

3. In order to explain issues specific to race, Steele said it was necessary for him to understand human universals. What was he talking about?

4. In Chapter 3, how did Steele say blacks deal with racial insecurities?

5. According to Steele, how does black nationalism ultimately affect blacks?

6. In Chapter 2, what does Steele say is the biggest hindrance of black progress? How can whites help?

7. What effect did Steele say integration shock has on blacks' attitude about racism as a whole? How did he say it affects their individual attitudes?

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

9. How did Steele say race-holding negatively affects the civil rights freedoms won decades ago? What must blacks do to avoid this?

10. As per Steele's philosophy, why do blacks many times avoid opportunities?

(see the answer keys)

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