Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race (Paperback)

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Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race (Paperback)


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Phoenix Books Burlington
On hand as of Jan 19 3:44pm
(Biography & Memoir)

Staff Reviews

Waking Up White is the most important book I’ve read in years (possibly ever).  Debby Irving was raised in a middle/upper middle class white enclave of suburban Boston.  As a young adult, she felt she ‘got it’ when it came to race – a liberal do-good type. 

Through graduate studies, she began to learn about white privilege – how our culture ensures that we benefit in every way because of the color of our skin. 

People of color are fully aware of this injustice, that the deck is entirely stacked no matter how they behave, how much money they earn, no matter what.  Whiteness forms the fabric of our society. 

Irving was profoundly disturbed by learning about this reality.  I especially appreciate that the tone of her memoir is not defensive or attacking or apologetic.  Rather, because she is willing to expose her naiveté and ignorance with graciousness, I, as a liberal, white person very sensitive to race, was able to look at my own world and my place in it in a more open way.  I am grateful to Irving because she has given us a significant gift.

I encourage book groups to choose Waking Up White.  I believe that this book will generate heartfelt exploration and foster invaluable conversations.

— From Waking Up White, by Debby Irving

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.
Product Details ISBN: 9780991331307
ISBN-10: 0991331303
Publisher: Elephant Room Press
Publication Date: January 9th, 2014
Pages: 288
Language: English