Books: Skin Deep

CERTAIN PEOPLE: AMERICA'S BLACK ELITE

by STEPHEN BIRMINGHAM

301 pages. Little, Brown. $8.95.

In his latest social history, Stephen Birmingham does for the black rich what he did for the Irish rich in Real Lace, the Jewish rich in Our Crowd, and the Wasp rich in The Right People. With a raconteur's ear for a good anecdote and an interior decorator's eye for a well-placed objet d'art, he classifies the values of the wealthy blacks, their habits, schools, clubs, skin tones, accents, charities and floor plans.

We learn, for instance, that the Chicago apartment of Ebony...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!