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, when an individual is tired of thinking in racial terms, he / she is said to have which of the following?

2. Steele believes some people have chosen what over race?

3. What did Steele say is the driving force when one gives utmost attention to race?

4. In what ways did Steele say blacks are excommunicated by their race when they create their own individual identity?

5. When someone uses their race to avoid addressing how he / she really feels about something, the person is engaging in what, said Steele?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. 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.

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

5. 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?

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How did Steele say an inferior complex from discrimination leads to aggression and low self-esteem in blacks? How does this mentally and emotionally affect them? How does this mentally and emotionally affect whites?

Essay Topic 2

Rather than doing away with insecurity, Steele noted many blacks respond to the anti-self mindset with denial. What do they deny? What is an example of something they would say or do to exhibit this denial?

Essay Topic 3

What is the response that Steele notes when he spoke to white students about campus racial tension? What do their responses reveal about their internal feelings of race relations?

(see the answer keys)

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