In a world where everything is neat, pristine and without blemish it’s the perfect type of environment to feel that a favorable existence would be most desirable. It would be par for the course not to assume that the races are not bonding and getting along the way God intended in such a scenario. All of the aforementioned is fine and perfect, and the way it should be...but if you are a person of color you would not believe any of this is possible now, and surely you have no reason to believe it wouldn’t be attainable in the foreseeable future if change wasn’t eminent. Now comes authors Randal Pinkett and Jeffrey Robinson who has answers and devised how the game should be played, and how you can stay in place and THRIVE! Their new book, Black Faces in White Places not only has a plan of action, but it comes intact with ten game changing strategic gems to achieve long-lasting success where greatness isn’t a second thought to destiny. As an African American you may have done all you can feeling that you are ready for the world, ready to ascend corporate American and show her what you can do and what you’re made of...you’re credentialed and well-learned; and you feel that you’ve arrived -- been there, done it and certainly ready to prove that you belong.
Alas, along the way to reality there’s a few obstacles in your way. In your mind you would know that strategies and a viable plan would definitely be needed because things just haven’t gone right with you stumbling every now and then and feeling that it’s no fault of your own. Or is it? “Why am I not looked upon with the same accolades as my white counterparts, some whom I consider peers, even”, you may say. Sure, you’ve put yourself in these shoes because they are real and it may have already happened to you. And you also ask yourself, “what can be done to turn the tide...how can we stay in place without having to prove that we can hang with whomever has been deemed the ones we should emulate”?
This is no ordinary ‘how to’ book with rudimentary precepts that cannot be used with a sense of continuity. Black Faces in White Places is a mindset written and designed for Black folk to change the game and score repeatedly. I feel that there’s greatness in all that apply and are able to persevere against all odds. The ten strategies are well-placed and thought-provoking to elicit challenges and changes. The book is divided into four parts with each strategy interspersed in subcategories with its own topical subjects. The authors’ voices are vociferous with all of the analogies and objectives loud enough as if to jump off the pages to keep you rooted to the cause. The ‘game’ is all about living, learning and listening. There’s homilies on learning the game, playing the game, mastering the game, and redefining the game. Would you be effective and respected if you don’t establish strong identities and purposes, or not obtaining broad exposure to create branding operatives? What about the need to build diverse and solid relationships while seeking the wisdom of others...and if there’s strength in numbers, then can we collectively allow entrepreneurial fortitude to bolster self, family and community? The key would be to give back generously for sustained synergy for solid scale and scope. All of these questions are answered in-depth with applicable initiatives to use and expand the idea of ethnicity as an asset in lieu of liabilities that have always plagued Blacks in America.
I loved this book, and as a matter of fact, is one of the best books I’ve read this year (2010). I’m partial to this book for many reasons, but the main ones are the ones where comfort zones are challenged to recognize how the search for excellence is not a moot point, but a point of contention. As a Black man myself, I’m not immune to what needs to be done for me to be accepted and assimilated in the icons of respectability. I’m concerned about not being able to beat people of other persuasion at their own game. I want to be able to master ways to balance scales and plant seeds for positive practices and lasting legacies of strength. You should too. Moreover, reading this outstanding book gave me hope that there’s a method to the madness, and ways to build beneficial relations and powerful networks. In closing, social responsibility is ours to exact ways to diffuse inferiority complexes that we have allowed ourselves to operate from. For sure, Black Faces in White Places is a ‘must read’ tome for us to redefine the rules, narrow gaps (real or imagined), and to master the inherent 10 strategies to navigate the authors’ roadmap to respectability. I’m more than ready, what about you? Buy this book , do an about face and create your own space in the place!