A Dream Deferred
In A Dream Deferred Shelby Steele argues that a second betrayal of black freedom in the United States—the first one being segregation—emerged from the civil rights era when the country was overtaken by a powerful impulse to redeem itself from racial shame. According to Steele, 1960s liberalism had as its first and all-consuming goal the expiation of American guilt rather than the careful development of true equality between the races.
In four densely argued essays, Steele takes on the familiar questions of affirmative action, multiculturalism, diversity, Afro-centrism, group preferences, victimization—and what he deems to be the atavistic powers of race, ethnicity, and gender, the original causes of oppression. A Dream Deferred is an honest, courageous look at the perplexing dilemma of race and democracy in the United States—and what we might do to resolve it.