The American Enterprise

Bourgeois like me.(Our Kind of People: Inside America's Black Upper Class )(Book Review)

Our Kind of People: Inside America's Black Upper Class By Lawrence Otis Graham HarperPerennial, 422 pages, $14.95

When Lawrence Otis Graham's book was published in 1999, it was greeted with controversy. The black upper class, while not exactly terra incognita, is certainly underexplored, with just a few exceptions like E. Franklin Frazier's Black Bourgeoisie. Add to this the continuing debate over Bill Cosby's criticism of the black underclass, along with the publication of Thomas Sowell's latest book, Black Rednecks and White Liberals, and this becomes a good moment to read Our Kind of People: Inside America's Black Upper Class.

Despite today's "constant cry for diversity," Graham notes in his introduction to the latest edition of the book (in which he discusses the controversy provoked by its publication), there remain "certain narrow stereotypes . …

Log in to your account to read this article – and millions more.