Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race

I bought Waking Up White by Debby Irving and got it on audiobook at the same time. So, while I listened to it on my walk/runs, I kept having to stop, find the part that was resonating with me in the text to underline and notate, and then start again. I enjoyed hearing the memoir read by the author and highly recommend both the audiobook and the book itself. It’s a great primer on race in America. Debby is a good writer and speaks of her awakening in a relatable way. There are lots of things to quote, but this at the very end struck me in particular:

“I can’t give away my privilege. I’ve got it whether I want it or not. What I can do is use my privilege to create change. I can speak up without fear of bringing down my entire race. I can suggest change with less chance of losing my job. If I lose my job, I have a white husband who can support me because he’s a white man who had access to education and now has access to employment. If my husband’s job gets targeted because I speak up against racism, I have an extended circle of white family and friends who would advocate for us. At least I think they would….We have a choice to make: resist change and keep alive antiquated beliefs about skin color, or outgrow those beliefs and make real the equality we envision.”

Grab this book if you can find it.

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