The Content of Our Character: A New Vision of Race in America - Chapter 3, Being Black and Feeling Blue, Black Hesitation on the Brink Summary & Analysis

Shelby Steele
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Chapter 3, Being Black and Feeling Blue, Black Hesitation on the Brink Summary and Analysis

Steele regards it as a shame that while equality and opportunity have increased for blacks, their achievements with respect to whites have declined. The black underclass however continues to expands and racial anxiety is a major problem. Steele then illustrates from his own experience in a segregated school and how discrimination made him feel inferior. He developed what he calls an "anti-self" or the part of one's identity that internalizes the negative attitudes that others have about you. Embracing this negativity produces aggression and low self-esteem. Blacks naturally respond this way however, since they are the most despised race in the community of races.

The most common response to the anti-self is denial rather than eradicating insecurity. Blacks often refuse painful...

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This section contains 334 words
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