"Pride goeth before destruction, a hoaughty spirit before a mighty fall." As the biblical fall of Satan suggests, pride as a defining symptom of self-preoccupation follows a paradoxical route at which end lies self-destruction. Dyson explores the fate of pride from Christian theology to the social responsibilities of self-regard and regard for the society as a whole. Pride is also vain glory, or the inordinate obsession with one's existence, body and intellect, which
becomes the playground for human vanity. Dyson examines how pride, within black communities, becomes a necessary and ironic defense against a culture that at once formally rejected it in their vreligious beliefs but embraced it in their social realtions. As a result, blacks were ensconced,
implicated, even embroiled, in the West's schizophrenic views of the deadly sin. Dyson will explore all these moments of pride, attempting to probe the contradictory facets of a vice that in some instances became a celebrated virtue, and a virtue among some cultures that ultimately became a vice.