Catalogue


Honky [electronic resource] /
Dalton Conley.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c2000.
description
xii, 231 p.
ISBN
0520215869 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
added author
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c2000.
isbn
0520215869 (cloth : alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8412176
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"Americans have a tough time admitting two things about themselves: Race matters. Class matters. Dalton Conley's journey back and forth across the dividing lines invisibly etched on the map of Manhattan does with good story-telling what good sociology can't. He closes the sale. Through the eyes of a growing child he shows the difficulty of navigating without a map, the hard-won mastery of the unwritten rules. Young Dalton is bewildered by what most of us peers can't even perceive, the easy acceptance of white privilege. But instead of making a whiny tirade out of it, he makes us smell the street. It's a much more effective choice, if you ask me."--Ray Suarez, author ofThe Old Neighborhood: What We Lost in the Great Suburban Migration, and senior correspondent, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer "Honky is dope. For all you white kids that grew up in Hip-Hop dominated America, this book is for you. It's a hard honest look at why, no matter how poor and ghetto you are or want to be, as long as you're white, you've still got an advantage in this country. . .very brave."--Danny Hoch, producer and star ofJails, Hospitals and Hip-Hop "An eye-opening account of what it is like to grow up white in a black inner-city social environment. It is marvelously rich with insights--and a good read, too."--Elijah Anderson, author ofCode of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City. "I loveHonky-- Dalton Conley is a very clever fellow to have strip-mined material so close to home and come up with pure gold. Told within the narrative framework of a white boy's friendships in the minority projects where his liberal, artistic parents raised their family in conditions that came to resemble a fortress, this ruefully comic memoir of growing up fast in the city easily outdistances a dozen sociological treatises on the deep social clashes and warring values of our time."--Susan Brownmiller, author ofAgainst Our Will: Men, Women and Rape
Flap Copy
"Americans have a tough time admitting two things about themselves: Race matters. Class matters. Dalton Conley's journey back and forth across the dividing lines invisibly etched on the map of Manhattan does with good story-telling what good sociology can't. He closes the sale. Through the eyes of a growing child he shows the difficulty of navigating without a map, the hard-won mastery of the unwritten rules. Young Dalton is bewildered by what most of us peers can't even perceive, the easy acceptance of white privilege. But instead of making a whiny tirade out of it, he makes us smell the street. It's a much more effective choice, if you ask me."--Ray Suarez, author of The Old Neighborhood: What We Lost in the Great Suburban Migration , and senior correspondent, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer "Honky is dope. For all you white kids that grew up in Hip-Hop dominated America, this book is for you. It's a hard honest look at why, no matter how poor and ghetto you are or want to be, as long as you're white, you've still got an advantage in this country. . .very brave."--Danny Hoch, producer and star of Jails, Hospitals and Hip-Hop "An eye-opening account of what it is like to grow up white in a black inner-city social environment. It is marvelously rich with insights--and a good read, too."--Elijah Anderson, author of Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City. "I love Honky -- Dalton Conley is a very clever fellow to have strip-mined material so close to home and come up with pure gold. Told within the narrative framework of a white boy's friendships in the minority projects where his liberal, artistic parents raised their family in conditions that came to resemble a fortress, this ruefully comic memoir of growing up fast in the city easily outdistances a dozen sociological treatises on the deep social clashes and warring values of our time."--Susan Brownmiller, author of Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2001-01-01:
Conley's memoir presents a unique view into the childhood of a white male raised in public housing on the lower East Side of Manhattan in the 1970s. His discourse addresses both the material conditions of poverty and his growing understanding of the complexities of race and class. The tale begins with an outline of his lineage and family history and recounts his earliest memory, at the age of three, of "kidnaping" a black infant so that he could have a longed-for baby sister. His descriptions of life in public housing are compelling and exciting, and his retrospective look at his own childhood is at times sociologically analytical. This work is not a study, however, and should be read as a narrative of personal experiences. Conley offers a convincing example of how white cultural capital simultaneously enables and constrains him--in his friendships, in his schooling, and in his developing perspective on race and class. This book offers a close look at the inner workings of white privilege from a novel position, that of white welfare recipients immersed in a world of color and language differences. All general and undergraduate collections. D. Van Ausdale; Syracuse University
Appeared in Library Journal on 2000-12-01:
Conley (sociology, New York Univ.; Being Black, Living in the Red: Race, Wealth, and Social Policy in America) has written a compelling memoir of growing up as a white child in the 1960s in a Manhattan housing project inhabited by African Americans and Latinos. His mother, a writer, and father, an artist, could not afford a middle-class home and refused to borrow from their relatively affluent families. Consequently, Conley's childhood "was like a social science experiment," focusing on the intersections of race and class in late 20th-century America, while his youth provided indelible lessons in the "invisible contours of inequality." The story of the author's best friend, an African American, who was paralyzed in a random shooting, is especially moving. Beautifully written and filled with telling anecdotes, this book is highly recommended.DAnthony O. Edmonds, Ball State Univ., Muncie, IN (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2000-08-11:
"I've studied whiteness the way I would a foreign language," declares Conley at the outset of his affecting, challenging memoir, laced with the retrospective wisdom of the sociologist (at New York University) he has become. As the child of bohemian, white parents, he grew up in an otherwise black and Hispanic housing project on New York's Lower East Side. At elementary school in the 1970s, he found himself placed in the "Chinese class," after his stint in the black classÄwhere he was the only student not to receive corporal punishmentÄleft him uncomfortable. Despite the family's lack of funds, they had cultural capital in the form of social connections, and were able to transfer young Dalton to a better school, where he began to feel some snobbery toward kids in his own neighborhood. Yet the friend who accepted Dalton most was a black youth from the neighborhood, Jerome, who was tragically disabled in a random act of violence that helped spur Conley's parents to leave the Lower East Side for subsidized housing for artists. Part of the memoir concerns the universality of povertyÄbut a thoughtful examination of the privileges of race and class also emerges. Despite the book's title, the author cites only one major episode in which he was threatened and called "honky." Conley acknowledges that he doesn't know how to account for such successes as gaining admission into the selective Bronx High School of Science: race? parental protectiveness? his own aspirations? It is "the privilege of the middle and upper classes," he observes, to construct narratives of their own success "rather than having the media and society do it for us." (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Publishers Weekly, August 2000
Booklist, October 2000
San Francisco Chronicle, October 2000
Washington Post, November 2000
Library Journal, December 2000
Choice, January 2001
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Honky presents Dalton Conley's very personal account of his childhood as a white boy growing up in predominantly African American and Latino housing projects in New York's lower East Side in the 1960s and 1970s.
Long Description
This intensely personal and engaging memoir is the coming-of-age story of a white boy growing up in a neighborhood of predominantly African American and Latino housing projects on New York's Lower East Side. Vividly evoking the details of city life from a child's point of view--the streets, buses, and playgrounds--Honky poignantly illuminates the usual vulnerabilities of childhood complicated by unusual circumstances. As he narrates these sharply etched and often funny memories, Conley shows how race and class shaped his life and the lives of his schoolmates and neighbors. A brilliant case study for illuminating the larger issues of inequality in American society, Honky brings us to a deeper understanding of the privilege of whiteness, the social construction of race, the power of education, and the challenges of inner-city life. Conley's father, a struggling artist, and his mother, an aspiring writer, joined Manhattan's bohemian subculture in the late 1960s, living on food stamps and raising their family in a housing project. We come to know his mother: her quirky tastes, her robust style, and the bargains she strikes with Dalton--not to ride on the backs of buses, and to always carry money in his shoe as protection against muggers. We also get to know his father, his face buried in racing forms, and his sister, who in grade school has a burning desire for cornrows. From the hilarious story of three-year-old Dalton kidnapping a black infant so he could have a baby sister to the deeply disturbing shooting of a close childhood friend, this memoir touches us with movingly rendered portraits of people and the unfolding of their lives. Conley's story provides a sophisticated example of the crucial role culture plays in defining race and class. Both of Conley's parents retained the "cultural capital" of the white middle class, and they passed this on to their son in the form of tastes, educational expectations, and a general sense of privilege. It is these advantages that ultimately provide Conley with his ticket to higher education and beyond. A tremendously good read, Honky addresses issues both timely and timeless that pertain to us all.
Main Description
This intensely personal and engaging memoir is the coming-of-age story of a white boy growing up in a neighborhood of predominantly African American and Latino housing projects on New Yorks Lower East Side. Vividly evoking the details of city life from a childs point of view--the streets, buses, and playgrounds--Honky poignantly illuminates the usual vulnerabilities of childhood complicated by unusual circumstances. As he narrates these sharply etched and often funny memories, Conley shows how race and class shaped his life and the lives of his schoolmates and neighbors. A brilliant case study for illuminating the larger issues of inequality in American society, Honky brings us to a deeper understanding of the privilege of whiteness, the social construction of race, the power of education, and the challenges of inner-city life. Conleys father, a struggling artist, and his mother, an aspiring writer, joined Manhattans bohemian subculture in the late 1960s, living on food stamps and raising their family in a housing project. We come to know his mother: her quirky tastes, her robust style, and the bargains she strikes with Dalton--not to ride on the backs of buses, and to always carry money in his shoe as protection against muggers. We also get to know his father, his face buried in racing forms, and his sister, who in grade school has a burning desire for cornrows. From the hilarious story of three-year-old Dalton kidnapping a black infant so he could have a baby sister to the deeply disturbing shooting of a close childhood friend, this memoir touches us with movingly rendered portraits of people and the unfolding of their lives. Conleys story provides a sophisticated example of the crucial role culture plays in defining race and class. Both of Conleys parents retained the "cultural capital" of the white middle class, and they passed this on to their son in the form of tastes, educational expectations, and a general sense of privilege. It is these advantages that ultimately provide Conley with his ticket to higher education and beyond. A tremendously good read, Honky addresses issues both timely and timeless that pertain to us all.
Main Description
This intensely personal and engaging memoir is the coming-of-age story of a white boy growing up in predominantly African-American and Latino housing projects on New York's Lower East Side. "Honky" poignantly illuminates the vulnerability of childhood complicated by the effect of race and class at the deepest human level.
Publisher Fact Sheet
An intensely personal memoir & coming-of-age story of a white boy (now Associate Professor of Sociology at New York University) growing up in the predominantly African American & Latino housing projects of New York's Lower East Side.
Table of Contents
Prologuep. xiii
Black Babiesp. 3
Trajectoriesp. 11
Downward Mobilityp. 21
Race Lessonsp. 37
Fearp. 53
Learning Classp. 65
The Hawkp. 75
Getting Paidp. 91
Sesame Streetp. 103
Welcome to Americap. 111
No Soap Radiop. 121
Moving On Upp. 129
Disco Sucksp. 137
Addictionsp. 149
Symmetryp. 161
Firep. 173
Cultural Capitalp. 183
Epiloguep. 197
Author's Notep. 205
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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