BOOKS: Between Two Worlds

Two black journalists provide compelling accounts of their struggles to succeed in the white mainstream

Ever since Frederick Douglass forged the story of his escape from slavery into a powerful abolitionist message, black writers such as W.E.B. Du Bois, Richard Wright and Malcolm X have wielded their autobiographies like emancipating swords. Now that weapon has been taken up by two black journalists, Nathan McCall and Brent Staples, each of whom provides a soul- searing account of his uneasy journey from the segregated world of blacks to the token-integrated fringe of the white world.

Together, these life stories provide an unsettling account of the human consequences of an American tragedy: the widening division between blacks and whites...

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