- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (June 1, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140244360
- ISBN-13: 978-0140244366
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#255,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #332 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Specific Demographics > Minority Studies
- #618 in Books > Biographies & Memoirs > Ethnic & National > African-American & Black
- #1223 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Specific Demographics > African-American Studies
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My First White Friend: Confessions on Race, Love and Forgiveness Paperback – June 1, 1997
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Newspaper columnist, writer and NPR commentator Patricia Raybon admits that she hated whites for years. She even tried unsuccessfully to whip up a similar rage in her parents. But anger got her nowhere. Eventually, in the philosophies of Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi, she found an alternative: forgiveness. The first part of the book is a series of essays on the life experiences of herself and her father, and the racial history of the country; it ends with "Letter to My First White Friend," a grateful acknowledgment of a white girl at her mostly white high school. In part two of the book, further essays explore the process of moving beyond hate, and the new world it has opened up for Raybon. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Reared in suburban Denver, a black woman of middle age, an associate professor of journalism at the University of Colorado, Raybon decided to challenge her demons and "trace [her] journey from rage to racial reasoning." This diaristic mix of anecdote and meditation shows her embracing complexity, trying to treat people as individuals while recognizing how race still matters. She writes of her father, an auditor, born poor in Mississippi, who willed himself to be a success in the white world but could never relax. She explores the specter of interracial sex, laden with taboo, and suggests that love would mean a healing, quotidian remedy. She has learned from Gandhi and King, flawed men who found inner peace in larger struggle. Marrying a light-skinned black man had forced Raybon to confront her own color prejudice, while her classroom experience has prompted students and professor alike to challenge their stereotypical attitudes. Raybon's terrain here is not all new, but her confessional has the intimate voice of hard-won honesty.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book was written in 1996, but, reading it in 2012, I find that its value is by no means out-dated. First: people like me, members of the white majority, still need to grasp what life has been like (and still can be like!) for a minority in a racially divided culture. Even where overt racism has been moderated, the power of the majority culture can be painfully overwhelming. Second, Raybon's experience of the glorious liberty of forgiveness (both as a recipient, and as a giver) will never go out of date. In fact, if true reconciliation is to be achieved between the races, this is where we all have to start.
I read My First White Friend as part of a women's book club in my church. We are a group of white, middle-class followers of Jesus, and all of us were deeply touched by the gift of spending some time in the shoes of Patricia Raybon, our sister in the faith.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Americans faced and still face in many life situations.Read more