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

Shelby Steele
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. In what profession is Steele's wife?

2. Who was Steele's editor for The Content of Our Character?

3. Of the following, what did Chapter 4 say freedom brought for blacks?

4. In what state does Steele work?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Steele said the 60's were turbulent. What are two of the race related movements that took place in that decade?

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

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

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

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

7. According to Steele, the processes that drives one's mind are standard across racial / ethnic lines. Why is this an important observation?

8. What tool do blacks use to create a tolerable, false sense of reality, in Steele's estimation?

9. How do whites act innocent when it comes to the racial struggle, as per Steele's opinion?

10. Why did Steele say he was accused of being inauthentic? How do many blacks say Steele views the priority of the black race? Have other blacks followed in Steele's footsteps? If so, how and why?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What is integration shock, according to Steele? How does race-fatigue lead to integration shock? How do blacks' attitude change with regard to racism? How does this attitude about racism lead to race-holding? Are whites just as susceptible to integration shock as blacks? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

According to Steele, blacks deal with the feeling of powerlessness in two ways: challenging and bargaining. Define what these two terms mean. What is the purpose of taking on these attitudes? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the two? Who are some examples mentioned in the book of people who 'challenge or bargain'?

Essay Topic 3

How did Steele define racial vulnerability? How does it affect the politics, clothing style and dance of blacks? Do blacks generally acknowledge this vulnerability? If so, how? Does racial vulnerability affect the way blacks respond to their problems?

(see the answer keys)

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