After reading a number of dense and/or difficult books, I needed to return to one of my faves! This was at least my third time through this book, and I enjoy it immensely each time – despite the HIDEOUS cover photo.
This book was wonderful! I’d seen it in bookstores and on various lists – like most Jodi Picoult novels, it seemed to be omnipresent – but I had not idea what it was about when a friend pressed it into my hand and assured me that I would LOVE it. It’s about race, which is my favorite topic to read about these days. I’ll share the author’s words about this book, which are going to sell it much better than I could.
This book was disorienting and beautiful. I defer to a professional reviewer for the rest.
This book is doing good work. It’s written by a white man – a pastor from a suburb of Chicago who kept failing to plant churches in the inner city. (Cringes and eye-rolls expected.)
He’s incredibly honest and humble, and the journey of this book starts when a friend points out that whiteness is a culture of it’s own. As he becomes aware of what cultural whiteness means, the book travels through emotional states – encounter, denial, disorientation, shame, self-righteousness, awakening, and active participation.
This book is my go-to recommendation, particularly for Christians from older generations, who believe it’s helpful that they “don’t see race.” But I believe it’s useful for all of us, because I deeply identified with those middle chapters about shame and self-righteousness! It’s only when we can get past all of these unhelpful reactions (aka our white fragility) that we can truly start listening to what people of color have been trying to tell us for decades.
THIS WAS VERY GOOD.
The blurb from the back is perfect:
With a personal touch and the trained eye of a social scientist, Cleveland brings to bear the latest studies and research on the unseen dynamics at work that tend to separate us. Here are the tools we need to understand how to overcome the hidden forces that divide us.