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A Dream Deferred : The Second Betrayal of Black Freedom in America - Shelby Steele

A Dream Deferred

The Second Betrayal of Black Freedom in America

By: Shelby Steele

eBook | 18 August 2023

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Award-winning author Shelby Steele's essay collection A Dream Deferred reveals the untold story behind the polarized racial politics in America today.

A New York Times Notable Book

Through thought-provoking insights, National Book Critics Circle Award Winner Shelby Steele argues that a second betrayal of black freedom in the United States—the first one being segregation—emerged from the civil rights era when the country was overtaken by a powerful impulse to redeem itself from racial shame. According to Steele, 1960s liberalism had as its first and all-consuming goal the expiation of American guilt rather than the careful development of true equality between the races.

In four densely argued essays, Steele takes on the familiar questions of affirmative action, multiculturalism, diversity, Afro-centrism, group preferences, victimization—and what he deems to be the atavistic powers of race, ethnicity, and gender, the original causes of oppression. A Dream Deferred is an honest, courageous look at the perplexing dilemma of race and democracy in the United States—and what we might do to resolve it.

"Steele has given eloquent voice to painful truths that are almost always left unspoken in the nation's circumscribed public discourse on race." —New York Times

"Steele's skill compares with that of James Baldwin, Richard Wright, or Frederick Douglass." —Chicago Tribune

"Sweeping in its formulations . . . Perceptive . . . Steele is a clever critic." —Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Deeply engaging public-policy criticism." —Booklist

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