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Invisible Ink: Book Review Print E-mail
Written by Kam Williams   
Monday, 22 January 2018 00:00

 
“It has always been a struggle for the relatively few African-Americans in corporate America who do exist, and it is made all the more difficult because we tend to operate in isolation. We are nearly always alone, with no one to fall back on... as we deal daily with an unending stream of slights real and imagined.
 
Even those who do care don't really understand. This is all played out in an environment where we are subjected to a debilitating undercurrent of bias that too many, on both sides of the divide, pretend does not exist...
 
The point of this book is not that the world is an awful place where things never go right but that institutional racism is a virus that is alive and well and needs to be eradicated if fundamental fairness is to be achieved. Black lives matter, and we must take issue and demand change, whether these lives are literally snuffed out in the blink of an eye or figuratively snuffed out in the polite confines of corporate America.”
 
-- Excerpted from the Prologue (page xiii) and Epilogue (page 199)

By any measure, Stephen Graham's would be considered a success story. After earning a B.S. from Iowa State University, he went on to Yale Law School en route to an enviable career as one of the country's top attorneys in the field of mergers and acquisitions.

So, one might expect that when he decided to write a book, it would basically be about how he managed to achieve the American Dream. But he opted to focus more on the impediments he encountered on his rise up the corporate ladder than on the satisfaction of making it to the top of his profession.

That's because he's Black and he doesn't want any African-American attempting to follow in his footsteps to think that the struggle is over once you receive an Ivy League degree. For, as he points out in Invisible Ink, a pernicious pattern of prejudice persists in the business world from the bottom rung all the way up to the rarefied air of the wood-paneled boardroom.

The author makes the persuasive case that there's no reason for the U.S. to rest on its laurels just because it elected Barack Obama president. He also says that it is shortsighted to worry only about the plight of poverty-stricken Blacks stuck in inner-city ghettos.

No, Graham argues that insidious forms of institutional racism have continued to frustrate members of minority groups, too, long after the demise of de jure discrimination. What he finds troubling is the fact that the favoring of Whites is now very subtle indeed, making bigoted behavior often difficult to identify, let alone challenge.

Overall, an intelligent, eye-opening opus relating a riveting combination of touching personal anecdotes and sobering advice about what needs to be done to finally achieve that elusive ideal of a colorblind society.

 

Invisible Ink:  Navigating Racism in Corporate America
 
by Stephen M. Graham
 
CreateSpace
 
Paperback, $11.95
 
220 pages
 
ISBN: 978-1-5411-7117-6
 
The book is available on amazon.com, .ca and .co.uk


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About the author of this book review: Kam Williams is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications around the U.S., Europe, Asia, Africa, Canada, and the Caribbean. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee, and Rotten Tomatoes. He is a contributor to TheLoop21.com, eurweb.com and so on.  He is also a columnist for our webmag www.megadiversities.com   One of his interviews made the cover of Heart and Soul magazine in 2012.  One of Kam Williams' interviews with Spike Lee is included in the 2002 book entitled Spike Lee: Interviews (Conversations with filmmakers).  This book collects the best interviews of Lee.  Some of Kam Williams' articles are translated into Chinese, French and Spanish.  In 2008, he was Voted Most Outstanding Journalist of the Decade by the Disilgold Soul Literary Review.  In addition, he has been honored at the U.N. (for BMORENEWS GLOBAL FORUM ON WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT) on June 15th 2012 by the Foundation for the Support of the United Nations (FSUN). Williams is an erudite Attorney who holds a BA in Black Studies from Cornell University, an MA in English from Brown University, an M.B.A. from The Wharton School, and a J.D. from Boston University. Recently, he was featured on this website: http://www.caribbeanlifenews.com/stories/2015.  Kam Williams is a member of the Bar in NJ, NY, CT, PA, MA & US Supreme Court bars. He lives in Princeton, (New Jersey) with his wife and son. Kam Williams can be reached at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .