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Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race (Paperback)
Title: Waking Up White
Comments: Are you white? Do you check the "Caucasian" box on forms?
Then you need to read this book. I'm not saying you have to but you, we, those with 'white' skin tone, need to know what is in this book. At times the things Debbie Irving reveals on her journey to understanding her white privilege are cringe-worthy. But she is so honest about her ignorance of the Black experience in America post-enslavement that we wake up with her. It is a gentle awakening, sensitively written so we do not have to fear the book, but with such force and lucidity and such a profound desire to understand that we can no longer be the person we were before the book. At the end of each chapter there are workshop suggestions that can help us understand our white fragility and privilege. Role playing and gentle loving hints on how to disarm our own ignorance and join in the conversation without feeling at a loss and listen to bear witness and to learn and to use the topic of race as a 'relationship builder' The end has suggestions for normalizing the conversation. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
For twenty-five years, Debby Irving sensed inexplicable racial tensions in her personal and professional relationships. As a colleague and neighbor, she worried about offending people she dearly wanted to befriend. As an arts administrator, she didn't understand why her diversity efforts lacked traction. As a teacher, she found her best efforts to reach out to students and families of color left her wondering what she was missing. Then, in 2009, one "aha " moment launched an adventure of discovery and insight that drastically shifted her worldview and upended her life plan. In Waking Up White, Irving tells her often cringe-worthy story with such openness that readers will turn every page rooting for her-and ultimately for all of us.