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Civil Rights and Civil Wrongs: The Politics of Virtue

"In the civil-rights era, we were not asking for preferences. We were asking for equality. I see myself as just simply very much in line with that."

-Shelby Steele,
The Chronicle of Higher Education,
September 5, 1990

Shelby Steele, a professor of English at San Jose State University, is the author of The Content of Our Character: A New Vision of Race in America (1990). He has written numerous articles and essays on race, diversity, affirmative action, and racism in America for such publications as Harper's, American Scholar, Dissent, and The New York Times Magazine.

Steele's book has stirred response from both the right and the left. Randall Kennedy, a law professor at Harvard University who reviewed Mr. Steele's book, stated "He's soft on racism. That's the biggest flaw in the book." George Will, in an issue of Newsweek, hailed Steele's writings on race as "the most powerful since Martin Luther King's Letters From Birmingham Jail" (1963). Steele also produced an award-winning PBS documentary, "Seven Days in Bensonhurst," which aired in May 1990.

Please come and be challenged by Professor Shelby Steele's perspective on race.