Cover image for Black lies, white lies : the truth according to Tony Brown.
Black lies, white lies : the truth according to Tony Brown.
Brown, Tony (Journalist)
Personal Author:
First Quill edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Quill, [1997]

Physical Description:
xix, 379 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E185.615 .B74 1995C Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



PBS television commentator and syndicated radio talk-show host Tony Brown has been called an "out-of-the-box thinker" and, less delicately, and "equal opportunity ass kicker." Those who attempt to pigeonhole him do so at their own peril. This journalist, media commentator, self-help advocate, entrepreneur, public speaker, film director, and author is a hard man to pin a label on -- and an even more difficult man to fool.

In Black Lies, White Lies, Tony Brown does what few high-profile African Americans have done before: He dares to challenge the lies of both Black and White leaders, and he dares to tell the truth. He attacks White racism and Black self-victimization with equal vehemence. He condemns integration as a disastrous policy, not for just Blacks but for the entire country. And he confronts the Black Talented Tenth, White liberals, conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, demagogues, and racists on all sides for their self-serving lies, their failures, and their lack of vision.

But Tony Brown does not simply slash and burn. He also offers farsighted, workable solutions to America's problems. He provides a blueprint for American renewal bases on his belief that although we may not have come to this country on the same ship, we are all now in the same boat.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Former Secretary of Education Alexander and black conservative broadcaster Brown both want to be president. Tennessee, successfully seeking its governorship, and here reports an 8,800-mile drive around the U.S. to meet people who are tackling the nation's problems where they live. He talks with a priest who, without government help, is getting homeless men off the street and employed; a minister who organized his church to buy up crack houses; a police chief who, through such means as bringing youngsters playing hooky back to school, has made "the projects" in his city as safe as upper-middle-class neighborhoods; a private street cleaner and patroller whose company has driven the sleeze from around the New York Public Library; etc. Alexander demonstrates through his subjects that citizens can respond better to what's wrong in their communities than can distant government bureaucracies. "Government," he says, "can be good at steering things, not running things." As president, he'll steer federal resources to lower levels sans strings and use the bully pulpit to encourage personal responsibility. Meanwhile, he has written a darn good read, especially for a campaign book. Brown's book bursts with ideas and enthusiasm. Citing as his forebears Booker T. Washington and Marcus Garvey, Brown sees education, hard work, ethnic solidarity, and entrepreneurial capitalism as essential for black Americans (he insists on Black, by the way--capitalized) to achieve economic parity with whites. He derides welfare in all forms as "entitlement socialism" that is, for blacks, the consequence of "liberal racism" ; what's more, he cogently explains those striking terms. He is very enlightening, too, in discussing the reasons for black susceptibility to conspiracy theories to explain their woes, especially in the light of AIDS' disproportionate impact on blacks. As president, he would press many conservative reforms--national sales tax, school vouchers, etc.--and, more intriguing, community-based "Mutual Help Organizations" to replace top-down welfare with grassroots solutions. And that's not all this one-man think tank has to offer. Maybe he should be president. --Ray Olson

Publisher's Weekly Review

Like a series of talk shows (the author hosts Tony Brown's Journal on PBS), this somewhat disjointed book raises both interesting and half-baked ideas, with no one topic fully developed. Brown's basic theme on race relations is sound: blacks shouldn't expect whites to rescue them, but whites must also see that their fate is linked to that of all fellow Americans. A prominent black Republican, Brown has harsh and sometimes appropriate criticism of black leaders, but he undermines his case with a broad-brush assessment of the black community (which he divides into four ``tribes'') and exaggerated references to black leaders' support for (and America's drift to) ``socialism.'' Also, Brown argues that AIDS is misidentified and connected mainly to drug use, sees ``cultural diversity'' (defined vaguely) as a cure for institutional racism and proposes the Internet as a new frontier for black entrepreneurship. And he may run for president, riding an idea for self-help associations ``within electronically-linked neighborhoods.'' Author tour. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved