Our Kind of People: Inside America's Black Upper Class
Lawrence Otis Graham, 1999
In 1995, Lawrence Otis Graham wrote a first-person account of his observations of institutional racism perpetuated at an elite country club—Member of the Club
In Our Kind of People: Inside America's Black Upper Class, Graham focuses his sights on the black upper class, looking at the people, places, and objects it comprises. His examination of the history of this elite — who refer to themselves as "our crowd" — serves as a first-person look at a small, tightly knit group that has wielded an increasingly large amount of power and prestige.
Debutante cotillions. Million-dollar homes. Summers in Martha's Vineyard and Sag Harbor. Membership in the Links, Jack & Jill, Deltas, Boule, and AKAs. An obsession with the right schools, families, social clubs, and skin complexion. This is the world of the black upper class and the focus of the first book written about the black elite by a member of this hard-to-penetrate group.
Author and TV commentator Graham, one of the nation's most prominent spokesmen on race and class, spent six years interviewing the wealthiest black families in America. He includes historical photos of a people that made their first millions in the 1870s. Graham tells who's in and who's not in the group today with separate chapters on the elite in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, Chicago, Detroit, Memphis, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nashville, and New Orleans. A new Introduction explains the controversy that the book elicited from both the black and white communities. (From the publisher.)
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