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. According to Steele, accepting the negative feelings that others have towards another, generally promotes what two emotions for the 'victim'?

2. What nickname did Chapter 4 say some blacks are given when they strive for achievement?

3. According to Steele's outlook, what controls how blacks react to their problems?

4. How did Steele say Bill Cosby deals with the feeling of powerlessness?

5. What did Steele's attitude say is true of racial discrimination?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How does Steele define the self-inflicted mindset of anti-self?

4. In Chapter 1, Steele said the only way to do away with racial problems is for all to move from a racial consciousness to a moral consciousness. What does that mean?

5. How did Steele say the black students in his classes react to discussions of racism?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What is the 'double-bind' , according to Steele, that middle class blacks are typically a part of? How does it affect their 'blackness'?

Essay Topic 2

Steele points out that the only way to resolve racial issues is to approach them with moral consciousness rather than racial consciousness. What is moral consciousness? What is racial consciousness? What type of 'consciousness' did Steele say blacks had until the early 60's? What was their 'consciousness' from the late 60's to the 70's? What effect did this have on blacks?

Essay Topic 3

Steele identified four themes of re-composition. Define the term themes of re-composition. What are the four themes outlined? Describe each theme and characterize how each of them affects blacks.

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