Book Review: “Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game – Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness”

Book review by: ellis j. still 

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Across the country, millions of African Americans are challenged by the quagmire of race which provides for an often unique set of challenges. It has been taught that as an African American you have to be the best… that African Americans have to work twice as hard in order to achieve the same levels of success as others. Furthermore, there is often an abandonment of personal identity and values in order to fit in with the greater professional culture and social society.

Today, frustration is a common theme due to the fact that even when you are the best at what you do and are positioned for elevation, the rules of the game often change, and African Americans often find themselves on the outside looking in while colleagues advance onward and upward. Much progress has been made over the years, and the metaphor of the “Glass Ceiling” has been shattered on many fronts. However, there is still much work to do, as African Americans are still unrepresented in many professions.

In today’s marketplace the “Glass Ceiling” metaphor no longer applies to the new millennium. Therefore, in order to become relevant to today’s challenges, the authors suggest a new metaphor – “The Ever Changing Game”.

“Black Faces in White Places” takes an encouraging and surprisingly new look at where African Americans have been, where they are today, and how to face the new Millennium. The book is not just for African Americans in corporate America or entrepreneurs, but for anyone who aspires to a dream of going beyond where they are now in their chosen profession or their personal lives.  It is a call towards greatness… an important resource for our generation, and for generations to come in a sense that it speaks directly to challenges and frustrations that are common among many African Americans today.

Authors Jeffrey A. Robinson, Ph.D, Dr. Randal Pinkett and Philana Patterson introduce us to strategies that will allow for the leveling of the playing field. Being excellent in the workplace, contrary to popular belief, will only get you so far and therefore the authors offers strategies to not only be more successful, but to be poised towards greatness. The book combines professional and personal life experiences of the authors with scholarly research, case studies, and interviews to provide a balanced representation of our current dilemma, followed by solutions that can be readily applied.

Black Faces in White Places is a great read in that it identifies and confronts the widespread challenges that are found in today’s workplace and in the personal lives of African Americans. Moreover, the authors give the readers a sense of “you are not alone” in their writing. Each strategy is broken up into smaller bite-sized components, allowing for short, mid, and long term reflection and implementation. Reading this book will propel you grow out of your comfort zone, and into levels of greatness that you thought was unattainable.

After reading this book, the reader will no longer have to be stuck in mediocrity, but be bound towards increase in all areas of their lives. It is not a book about dividing people, as some may perceive by the title, but diversifying your personal self.  It is an accurate snapshot of where society is today, and provides tools in how to navigate through the future. Thoughtful and insightful, it makes you realize that it really isn’t about “them”, but more about you, and how you strategize the different components of your life.


Dr. Randal Pinkett is the founder, chairman and CEO of  BCT Partners, a multimillion-dollar consulting firm based in Newark, NJ, that specializes in program management, information technology and public policy. Dr. Pinkett was also named the winner of NBC’s hit reality television show, The Apprentice, with Donald Trump. Dr. Pinkett holds five degrees and was named to New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine’s official shortlist as a potential running mate for Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey. Dr. Pinkett attends First Baptist Church in Somerset, NJ, where he resides. He is happily married to his wife, Zahara, and they are both proud parents of their daughter, Amira. Dr. Pinkett firmly believes that “to whom much is given, much is expected,” so throughout his endeavors he places great emphasis on his desire to give back to the community.

Jeffrey A. Robinson, Ph.D. is the Assistant Professor and Assistant Director at the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development,  Rutgers Business School. He is a business scholar, an entrepreneur and an advocate for community economic development. He has completed five degrees which includes a Ph.D. in Management and Entrepreneurship at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business.  He is married to Valerie Mason-Robinson who reside in Piscataway, New Jersey with their three children and are active members of Abundant Life Family Worship Church of New Brunswick, New Jersey. He holds life memberships in the National Black MBA Association and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He is particularly committed to supporting community building, entrepreneurship and the development of social ventures.

Philana Patterson is a business news editor for the Associated Press, with experience in print, online and broadcast journalism with an expertise in financial subjects. Areas of reporting expertise include investing, financial markets, personal finance, real estate and retailing. She has completed her degree in Journalism at Northwestern University and has written and edited for Patterson Media Ventures, Earl G. Graves Ltd., Bloomberg L.P., Dow Jones News Wires, The Daily Press, The Greenville News, and also performs ghost writing and book editing services and academic journal editing.

Question: What strategies are you utilizing to elevate youself and future generations to greatness?

Disclosure of Material Connection Based Upon a Review Copy: I have a material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned because I received a review copy (book, CD, software, etc.), or an item of nominal value that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255


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