By the Color of Our Skin

By the Color of Our Skin

The Illusion of Integration and the Reality of Race

Written by:
Written by: Leonard Steinhorn

  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780452278738
  • 336 Pages
  • Plume
  • Adult


While signs of racial progress are everywhere, the reality is that America is hardly more integrated than it was before the civil rights movement. Beyond the rhetoric of politicians, the media, and the prevalent symbols of integration lies a very different reality: 70 percent of black children attend predominantly black schools; and an Hispanic or Asian American with a third grade education is more likely to live in an integrated neighborhood than is a black with a Ph.D. Fueled by these startling statistics, By the Color of Our Skin argues that integration does not exist now; that it never had a chance to exist in the past; and that it will never exist in the future.Leonard Steinhorn and Barbara Diggs-Brown would themselves like to see integration become a reality but find–through polls, statistics, interviews, and anecdotes–that the illusion of integration is more damaging than useful because it keeps society from having an honest dialogue about the problem of race. By the Color of Our Skin explodes powerful myths and outlines a new vision of race in America.

Table of Contents


Part One: Integration Illusion, Integration Reality

1. The Integration Illusion
2. A Day in the Life of Two Americas, Part I: Living, Learning, Working Apart
3. A Day in the Life of Two Americas, Part II: Praying, Playing, Entertaining Apart
4. The Motown Metaphor and the Promised Land of the 1960s

Part Two: How Did We Get Here?

5. What Keeps Us Apart?
6. Virtual Integration: How the Integration of Mass Media Undermines Integration
7. Noble Negro, Angry Black, Urban Outlaw: The Iconography of Our Racial Separation
8. The Perception Gap
9. Rhetorical Integration: The Political Exploitation of a Dream

Part Three: Where Do We Go from Here?

10. Can Integration Work?
11. Toward a More Racially Honest America

Authors’ Interviews