...have written provide a glimmer of possibility that we can re-humanize ourselves. By standing in unobscured shadow and light...they have together shown how we might make our way back to that circle [of humanity]. I saw new pathways I could travel." — Katrina Browne, producer/director, Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North
...and that requires the voice of the perpetrator which has largely been missing. These essays are a wonderful primer in how to grapple with the truth...[and] demonstrate how to search your heart for the truths within your family and history, and how to hold these painful truths so that you and others might heal and work toward justice." — Gretchen Schmelzer, PhD, Author of Journey Through Trauma
...in family, communities, and history. When we ask what the stories are underneath what we carry, sometimes we have to change our lives.”
—Lidia Yuknavitch, national bestselling author of Verge and The Chronology of Water
...in their acknowledgment of the ways in which their authors have personally benefited from both White privilege and the myth of innocence surrounding White women…this book takes the important first step in acknowledging how the past continues to benefit White women in the present…A timely and thoughtful discussion about the intersection of gender and White privilege.” — Kirkus Reviews
...from the face of the perpetrator takes tremendous courage. Each and every woman in this book started the painful process of looking at themselves and their family’s history. This book is a rare and necessary document, for which each voice, including author Lisa Iversen, deserves the deepest respect.”— Daan van Kampenhout, author of The Tears of the Ancestors: Victims and Perpetrators in the Tribal Soul
"...it will take groups to transmute it...[Their] emotional work pays beautiful dividends for us and for the potential of antiracist policy change. The work of our history connects us to real people rather than the mirage of whiteness...[and] helps us reclaim the parts of our humanity we sacrifice on the altar of whiteness...the work of transmuting our whiteness, together, results in a grounded joy and freedom. I urge you to accept these gifts from Whiteness Is Not An Ancestor." — Betsy Hodges, Former Mayor of Minneapolis, MN (2014-2018) & author of NYT op-ed "As Mayor of Minneapolis, I Saw How White Liberals Block Change" (7/9/20)
...These are not histories told at a distance. They are not told by innocents. They are thoughtful, often vulnerable, painful and layered stories that, in dialogue, locate us on the ground in our own lives...Thank you to each for the courage to model moving out of denial." — Sandra Semchuck, author of The Stories Were Not Told: Canada's First World War Internment Camps, and recipient of the Governor General Award for Visual & Media Arts
...that begins from a place of acknowledgment of white hegemony. This collection of layered and nuanced essays fills me with hope for the real and honest dialogue that becomes possible when we shift our focus from proving the existence of inequities to taking action toward dismantling the racially unjust systems creating them...this revolutionary anthology serves as both a rallying cry and a guide to the reckoning necessary for meaningful change." — Huda Al-Marashi, author of First Comes Marriage: My Not-So-Typical American Love Story
...a fascinating look at whiteness through the lenses of American racism and Jewish Americans; the Swiss and Nazi collaborations; displacement by war; relationship to unceded tribal Native lands; and German ethnicity and reparations...a good reminder for Americans that whiteness may be expressed differently depending on the country and culture, but has always been associated with privilege and oppression.”
— Patricia L. Dawson, MD, PhD, FACS. Medical Director, Office of Healthcare Equity, UW Medicine
...these writers bear witness to the ways in which they themselves carry and have benefited from the systemic racism that plagues our society. Their core insight is that healing does not grow from denial, or from distancing from those who gave them life, or from claiming innocence. Their reckonings full of pain, love, and new awareness...These lucid essays...point the way toward a better future for us all.”
— Priscilla Long, author of Fire and Stone: Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?
...for the conversations and dialogue that white women and men need to have about their histories—so that the trauma of anti-Black racism and the genocide of our Native American and Alaska Native people can be witnessed and healed.”
—Gretchen Schmelzer, PhD Author of Journey Through Trauma
...many people of color have written about their experience of white people. Clearly, they have been doing the heavy lifting for a long time..It is a long time coming and an important first step towards mending a society broken by racial differences...perhaps we are on the cusp of a Truth and Reconciliation of our own, if we can expand on the path this book has modeled for us." — Dr. Shendl Tuchman, Psychologist/Mediator with High Conflict Family Systems
...Now, as an eighty-one year old retired man...I have become increasingly aware of my White privilege...At Howard, I shielded myself by not talking about my privileged background...but I was learning every day about the effects of racism experienced by my students and colleagues...Twelve white women...may suggest to boys and men that this book is not for them — a very mistaken assumption...I very much appreciate that I have been allowed the opportunity to read this book.” — David Woods, retired Associate Dean for School of Communications, Howard University
...to Lisa Iversen and the eloquent writers she has gathered together for their thoughtful and courageous consideration of “the unpaid debt in the soul” ...and...relieved to find thoughtful clues that now shape my own questioning…these are really good writers. Clear-eyed women who have faced up to the challenges of identity and reveal themselves with great descriptions...understanding human nature’s wisdom and belonging, finding the order and balance in generations of family stories.”
— Donna Livingstone, CEO of the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies
...The discomfort we need to sit in. This is the hard truth we need to name and own. I picked it up off the shelf and faced our stories. I don't know how this story will end, but I know it is the start of a journey worth taking." — Janet Ladd, Senior Director of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging, Equinix Inc.
Copyright © 2020 CAB Publishing. All Rights Reserved. With gratitude for Petr Kratochvil's photo Book Tunnel taken in Prague's library.
Yes, mirrors are used to create this effect. Public Domain license.
Congressman John Lewis quote from interview with Gayle King, CBS This Morning, 6/4/20.
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