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Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race Paperback – January 9, 2014
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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"Debby Irving's powerful Waking Up White opens a rare window on how white Americans are socialized. Irving's focus on the mechanics of racism operating in just one life -- her own -- may lead white readers to reconsider the roots of their own perspectives -- and their role in dismantling old myths. Readers of color will no doubt find the view through Irving's window fascinating, and telling." -- Van Jones, author, Rebuild The Dream, The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems; President, Rebuild The Dream; Co-host, CNN Crossfire
"Waking up White is a brutally honest, unflinching exploration of race and personal identity, told with heart by a truly gifted storyteller. Much as Irving's family sought to shield her from the contours of the nation's racial drama, so too do far too many white Americans continue to do the same. For their sakes, and ours, let's hope Irving's words spark even more truth-telling. They certainly have the power to do so." -- Tim Wise, author, White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son
"I read Waking Up White in one sitting. To say I loved it is an understatement. It's such a raw, honest portrait .... Irving's experience on display - warts and all - will help white people, who haven't noticed the role systemic privilege has played in their lives, start to see the world in a new way." -- Jodi Picoult, author, The Storyteller, My Sister's Keeper
Irving's personal and moving tale takes us on an adventure to a world utterly new to her as she wakes up to the reality of how, without her knowledge or active pursuit, she lives in a society which is set up to reward her at the expense of people of color. I cannot imagine a more understandable and compelling invitation to learn about how racism lives on in our homes, communities, and nation. -- Bishop Gene Robinson, Retired Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire and Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, Washington, DC
"Deborah Irving's Waking Up White is a courageous, insightful, and critical contribution to awareness of race in the United States. A virtual one-woman Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Deborah's journey from an 'ah-ha' instant to consciousness is a journey for all Americans." -- Thomas Shapiro, author, The Hidden Cost of Being African American; Director, Institute on Assets and Social Policy
From the Author
Dear readers - Thank you so much for your interest in Waking Up White. I hope it will give you or someone you know new insights into how racism works and why you (or white people you know) can get so anxious when it comes to talking about race and racism. Writing the book was not only my way to reach out to other white people confused and/or curious about racism, it was like writing a five-year long journal entry in an effort to make sense of all I learned and experienced in my research. Happy reading ~ Debby
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Being able to first acknowledge this fact, is an accomplishment. Beyond that, being willing to share this with the world, through this book, shows great courage, and provides a pathway to an increased understanding of this systemic practice, as it continues today.
As a person of color, I don't expect "White people" to carry the burden of what started long ago. That's not what I want you to gain from reading this book. I just want you to be able to acknowledge, by God, these things really did happen; they continue to happen today; this is wrong; how can we as a nation change this...together.