chapter  1
20 Pages

Introduction The Ironic Dynamics of Race

Blacks and whites in America are partners in a complex and fateful dance. It is a dance that can boast little grace and brings little pleasure, but it is performed with such perverse and practiced regularity that it is, by now, almost impossible to say who leads and who follows. Mostly without awareness, we each issue the cues that lead our partners across the racial divide to perform their roles and in turn to transmit to us the cues that again elicit ours. In reproducing the same tragic pas de deux over and over, we are caught in a vicious circle of vast proportions. A crucial element in that circle is our very failure to recognize that it is a circle, that we are all implicated in perpetuating it.