Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Book Review: What Does It Mean To Be White In America (Gabrielle David)

What Does It Mean To Be White In America?
by: Gabrielle David

Genres: Non-fiction, Narrative

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE WHITE IN AMERICA? BREAKING THE WHITE CODE OF SILENCE, A COLLECTION OF PERSONAL NARRATIVES, is a collection that asks just that. While the literature on whiteness has long been dominated by an academic point of view, editors Gabrielle David and Sean Frederick Forbes came to the realization that there was an unmet need for an anthology of personal narratives about race and culture from the perspective of white Americans. In this conception process, WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE WHITE IN AMERICA? was born. The first of its kind, this collection of 82 personal narratives reflects a vibrant range of stories from white Americans who speak frankly and openly about race, not only as it applies to people of color, but as it applies to themselves. In answering the question, some may offer viewpoints one may not necessarily agree with, but nevertheless, it is clear that each contributor is committed to answering it as honestly as possible. With an introduction by racial justice educator and writer, Debby Irving, and an afterword by award-winning poet, author and scholar, Tara Betts, the purpose of WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE WHITE IN AMERICA? is to, as Irving points out in her introduction, break the code of silence so that we can engage in frank conversations about race. An invaluable starting point that includes a glossary and a bibliography of suggested reading, WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE WHITE IN AMERICA? is highly recommended for students, teachers and anyone else interested in seeking a deeper and richer understanding of race in America. 

I'm not going to lie, my initial thought was that I wouldn't be touching this one with a ten-foot pole. After all, I am a white female who wants nothing to do with the race war currently consuming the country. I grew up in the bible belt, even better a small town in Alabama (that is probably still considered one of the most racist places in the country), and I knew reviewing What Does It Mean To Be White In America? would mean that I'd need to share some of my personal feelings, which I honestly wasn't sure that I wanted to do on CommonBookSense. Then I thought about really thought about it, and realized how absurd that sounded.

What Does It Mean To Be White In America? is a book that every (that's right EVERY) person in this country, regardless of race, should be required to read. PERIOD. It's comprised of 82 stories that were written by white Americans from all over the country. The need for political correctness was waived....and a brilliant collection of much needed thoughts, opinions, and personal reflection was created.

As always you can find all the related links below.

Until next time......

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