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. Steele mentioned that which of the following 'spreads like spilled paint'?
(a) Tolerance.
(b) Intolerance.
(c) Overcaution.
(d) Love.

2. What type of shock did Steele say individuals are said to be a part of when in mixed-race situations?
(a) Social.
(b) Integration.
(c) Mixed.
(d) Psychological.

3. What is the oldest formula of aggression, according to Steele?
(a) One's difference from another makes him / her bad, which justifies another's power over that person.
(b) Love in spite of how one is being treated is the best policy.
(c) If one mistreats another, that gives the other person the right to retaliate.
(d) Remain defensive in every situation to prevent being mistreated.

4. At the beginning of Chapter 1, how many of his friends was Steele sipping chardonnay with?
(a) Two.
(b) Seven.
(c) Three.
(d) Twelve.

5. In Steele's opinion, why do blacks avoid 'important opportunities'?
(a) They do not avoid 'important opportunities'.
(b) Other races forbid them from doing so.
(c) They are never in a position to engage in 'important opportunities'.
(d) They do not want to run the risk of failing.

Short Answer Questions

1. What period in time did Steele refer to as 'turbulent'?

2. Whose independence is said by Steele to be oppressed by the black identity?

3. What is the race / ethnicity of Steele's wife?

4. What is Steele often accused of being?

5. With regard to racial insecurity, blacks prove this by portraying what type of attitude about black pride, according to Steele?

Short Essay Questions

1. In Steele's opinion, why is the black, underclass group continually expanding?

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

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

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

5. Did Steele say racial discrimination is always used as a fair claim by blacks? Why or why not?

6. In line with Steele's experience, how are individualistic blacks received by those who have conformed to the 'black identity'?

7. According to Steele, how is the struggle for racial power more of a struggle for innocence for blacks?

8. Steele shared his thought that blacks use themes of re-composition to create black identity. What did he say are these themes?

9. Steele articulated, when blacks feel powerless in white society, they deal with it in one of two ways, by challenging or bargaining. Describe what he means by this.

10. What did Steele mean when he spoke about integration shock? When does it generally occur? Are blacks and whites equally likely to experience it?

(see the answer keys)

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