Book Cover "And don't call me a racist!" A treasury of quotes on the past, present, and future of the color line in America / Selected and arranged by Ella Mazel


About the book


Table of contents

A selection of quotes

What people have said about the book

How people are using the book


Get the book

About "And don't call me a racist!"

This book represents a desire to make a significant contribution toward understanding and resolving the "problems" of prejudice and racism.

It has been distributed without charge to non-profit organizations and institutions whose work involves

  • multiculturalism
  • diversity
  • equal opportunity
  • affirmative action
  • race and gender issues
  • minority studies
  • any other anti-racist program or activity

Since publication in November 1998, it has crossed many lines:

  • ethnic -- with requests not only from black or white organizations, but from many dealing with other minority populations

  • religious -- with virtually every denomination represented, from local church to diocesan headquarters, as well as interfaith groups

  • educational -- from universities and teacher training programs to high schools and middle schools, and even staff use in elementary schools

  • class -- from community groups in affluent suburbs to inner-city social agencies.
For more detail on who is using "And don't call me a racist!" and the many ways they are using it, see:

What's between the covers

In this treasury of over 1,000 quotes, you will find -- in the voices of Langston Hughes and the Delany sisters, for example -- some of the bitter-sweet humor that has helped sustain blacks in this country through their long, oppressive history.

But, in the words of both blacks and whites, you will also find the stark contrast between the "incalculable" advantages of being born white and the "all-consuming" burden of being born black.

In these pages:

  • Apologists for slavery extol the social and economic "harmony and good will" that they claim the system made possible -- and Frederick Douglass cries out about its "crimes against God and man."

  • Lillian Smith describes how, growing up white in the South, she learned "the twisting turning dance of segregation" -- and Arthur Ashe explains why for him race was "a more onerous burden than AIDS."

  • James Baldwin and others convey in brilliant prose the pain and despair of being black in white America -- and "ordinary" people discuss with Studs Terkel their feelings about race in more simple, but nonetheless eloquent, language.

  • Martin Luther King, Jr., lays the moral foundation for the Civil Rights Movement -- and Cornel West articulates the "passionate pessimism regarding America's will to justice" that exists among many blacks today.

  • Melba Patillo Beals -- almost forty years after she risked death as a teenager to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957 -- writes in her heart-wrenching memoir of that experience: "The task that remains is to cope with our interdependence -- to see ourselves reflected in every other human being and to respect and honor our differences."
For more detail about the contents of "And don't call me a racist!" see: For further information, see:

Home | About the book | Introduction | Table of contents | A selection of quotes | What people have said about the book | How people are using the book | FAQs | Get the book

Revised April 2009