Thursday, March 3, 2011

Free Online Manners and Etiquette Tutorials!

Isn't the internet fantastic? I recently found some great resources if you want to improve your manners and learn rules of etiquette that are still applicable today. However, these resources are OLD! I found a library site with many 1950s era videos that were shown to American students in school (I don't remember seeing things like this in Canada but I learned many of these things anyway). You will get a laugh out of how cheesy the videos are but if you pay attention, the information provided is very useful!

On the site ( you can search for other similar videos and e-books :)

This is a link to Lessons on Manners for Home and School Use by Edith E. Wiggin that you can download for free. This recording is based on a book from a time when people still used people used carriages! There is one part I have to warn you about in Lesson #3. In stating an example of the way other cultures revere their elders the reader actually says "The lower races of man" and makes a reference to American Indians and Asians! That gave me pause and brought up those same thoughts I had in my previous post Is Trying to Be Elegant Also Trying to Be White? It didn't feel good thinking I'm reading a book written by a woman who would say I'm from a "lower race". I listened to the whole recording anyway and plan to listen a couple of times more because good manners and being nice is not just something White people do and these behaviours help all people to get along. So I put that unfortunate remark out of my mind, and aside from that the lessonas are actually pretty good.

Racism is a problem with old books on manners and about almost anything. I learned in my online searches that this information is in demand and some people are making a profit out of it. Modern etiquette and manners lessons are not free! There are companies and consultants who sell their services, seminars, workshops, books, and DVDs to people (e.g., business people, high society people etc.) who want to learn these skills today. Maybe one day I will invest in a DVD set. Etiquette Police is a free online program. I don't know how good it is but it's free! I signed up.


  1. check out ronda Rich['s What Southern Women Know (1999)for guidelines about manners. Can't beat southerners for manners and a positive view of life. No racial references are made.

    Choosing Civility by P.M. Forni is also pretty good; especially for workplace etiquette.

    Manners are about respect, not trying to be white. Plus, people forget that some blacks come from families that were slaves in major cities like, Richmond, and they ended up middle class and are very, very etiquette conscious. Not a "wanna'be'white" bone in them.

    Keep up the good workmsister!


  2. nice blog concept. I will add you to my list of black women empowerment sites - thanks!


  3. Thanks for visiting the blog and for the reading suggestions. I really should try to read more for pleasure instead of for school.

  4. Thanks for posting this! I have been "mannish" my whole life and it wasn't until about 2 years ago (when I turned 25) that I realized how powerful it is to perfect the lost art of being a lady. I have also noticed that whenever someone tries to give tips about this subject they are bashed about "coming down" on the black woman. I for one feel we need to acknowledge the fact that most of us are NOT being as lady-like as we should and should probably focus on trying to regain that... so KUDOS to you! :-)

  5. Hi elegance,

    Here are some resources u can share with your readers:

    - Emily Post 1914 book is available here