A Counter Racist Book Review
by Josh Wickett
Black Bourgeoisie is one of the few books I find myself suggesting to White people as much as Black people. Indeed in a perfect world I would be suggesting multi megaton books such as the Isis Papers or The United independent compensatory code/system/concept. But books like that put you on a collision course with a major piece of counter racism code, which is: when truth is revealed regarding race, Black people will be embarrass and White people will be offended.
Black Bourgeoisie actually does this albeit in a sorta academic kinda way. The main premise of the book is that Black people exist in a world of “make believe” based on their inability to acknowledge, confront and counter the system of White Supremacy. Now the Author, E. Franklin Frazier uses more and different words, but that’s what he’s really saying. The book is divided into two parts. Part 1, “The World of Reality” is mainly a fact based objective analysis of the condition of Black people both past and present, it contains much of the usual statistical and historical data. Part 2, “The World of Make Believe” is where he shows how “Black Culture” is really nothing more than our response to White Supremacy.
A funny thing happened when I first read this book. I started with part 2 first; “The World of Make-believe.” and as I read it I noticed that the author kept using the word “Negro” instead of “Black.” I thought this a rather antique term so I flipped to the front of the book and saw the copyright of 1957 I was stunned! Everything I was reading seemed so contemporary that I just assumed he was discussing our present day victimization. He talks about the myth of “Negro Business” whereby Negroes are encouraged to believe that they can create a separate Negro economy not subject to the White Supremacy in which Negro “Bourgeois” businessmen would exercise monopoly control over the “Negro dollar.” He talks about the “Negro press” in which relatively common or simple accomplishments by Negroes are pumped up and blown out of proportion by Negroes magazines like Jet or Ebony. He talks about wealthy professional Negroes who hold memberships is two churches; one composed of light skinned professional Negroes like himself and the other composed of his darker working class “customers.” He tells of things like Black people who buy pianos they can’t play, Expensive books they never read, rampant cultural “Anglophilia” ( a current example of which is Tina Turner‘s fake English accent) and other assorted pathologies all of which are crude attempts to compensate for their victimization as non white people in a system of White Supremacy. Once again the myth of Black people hiding information about themselves from White people is exploded. Don’t ever let ignorance of “Blacks” pass as an excuse for why White people practice racism, they know everything about you.
I heard this book was very controversial and embarrassing to Black people when it first came out and if you read it you will see why. Unlike McWorter’s book “Our Kind of People” in which he explores the history, behavior and lineage of the Black upper classes, Frazier exposes the framework of White Supremacy as the supreme motive force driving these otherwise bizarre Negro behaviors and activities. With this book I finally understood why my father never took a day off from work. As a relatively high ranking Black officer in the military, that uniform offered him a degree of protection against being seen as just some nigger, Plus never missing a day of work insulated him from the charge of laziness that every Black person must overcome. It also may have contributed to his chronic high blood pressure (please pardon my digression).
Black Bourgeoisie is the type of book that leaves you feeling “check mated.” Even if you are honest enough to acknowledge the effects of White Supremacy on its victims, you still don’t know how big it really is. Frazier shows through the behavior of its victims, the true dimensions of racism and ultimately exposes racism for what it really is–A System of White Supremacy
Frazier offers no solutions for “the problem” I guess that’s our job. The world of Make-believe he describes is not entirely of our own making. The White Supremacists encourage and support Negro “feel good” culture such as; “we were kings and queens in Africa”, the Pyramids, Colin Powell… Like any junkie, this world of make-believe serves as a narcotic that allows Black people to “sleep” while the White Supremacist surgically craft a world of White Supremacy around them. I got my “nigger wake up call” years ago and ain’t been back to sleep since, its truly an ugly scene and completely deliberate. Black Bourgeoisie demonstrates an interesting phenomenon. I could be wrong but it appears to me that Frazier’s book about Black people attempting to compensate for the existence of White Supremacy by creating a world of make-believe is a compensatory act in and of itself.
There is no irony in being subject to your own objective analysis, its just the “proof of the truth.”
Get this book, read this book.