Tag Archives: tim wise

Book Event: Waking Up White with Author Debby Irving and Interviewer Shay Stewart-Bouley

10 Feb

Just last week I attended a book signing and author interview featuring Debby Irving and her newly published, Waking Up White.  The event took place at the Central Square Theater in Cambridge, Mass.

The evening was sponsored by local non-profit racial equity organization Community Change, Inc. Serving as interviewer was Community Change’s new Executive Director, Shay Stewart-Bouley.  Ms. Stewart-Bouley is also known for her blog, Black Girl in Maine, which is described as the musings of a black woman living in one of the whitest states.

Waking Up White was published this month and I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but have been looking forward to it’s arrival ever since I met Debby at the Muse and the Marketplace Writers’ Conference in Boston several years ago.  […]

Wendy Jane’s Holiday Top 10 Race-Related Books Wish List

6 Dec

I’m lucky.  Since I started Wendy Jane’s Soul Shake, friends and readers send all things race related (and MJ related too) my way–links to blogs, book reviews, newspaper articles and videos.  Of course it gets to the point I can’t keep up with all the wonderful items sent that pique my interest.  I then have to write down the referrals and hope for the day to come when I will buy the book, or read that tantalizing article.

Just in time for the rest of the holiday season after coming off of Thanksgivukah, I’ve gone back over my notes, and here’s my Top Ten Race-Related Book Wish List  (not in any particular order): […]

Re-Post from www.timwise.org: Brave New Voices Video, “We Don’t Mean To Offend You By Calling You Racist”

7 Sep

I came across this post on author and anti-racism educator, Tim Wise’s, blog.

Of course, I think the young women poets here are amazing, and I love what they have to say, but as a white person, I end up feeling guilty, and wonder, “are they talking to me?”–especially if I start to think, “but I’m a cool, understanding, empathetic, didn’t grow up in the suburbs, down with black people, white person…”–does that make me even more pointedly who they are talking about?

Please watch, and post your comments below:

Brave New Voices: (Video) “We Don’t Mean to Offend You By Calling You Racist”

Oh my…these women are amazing, and this message much in need of being heard. Below the video, check out the link for Brave New Voices, and YouthSpeaks…




SOURCE:  www.timwise.org

Anti-White Bias? Racial Profiling For Whites? Read on!

15 Aug

You have to read these two blog posts from one of my new favoritest (that’s a word–so what if spell-check doesn’t think so) blogs on race and racism, Race Files by Scot Nakagawa.

In this first post, Scot poses the question, Why Don’t We Racially Profile Whites, since we have been so at the ready to racially profile blacks and other people of color.  He, and anti-racist educator/speaker/author, Tim Wise, have some very wise (yes, I just used the word wise again:) thoughts regarding the creation, or lack thereof, of a profile for persons who commit school, and other mass shootings.  Be sure to also check out Scot’s follow-up post, written after he gave some thought to a commentator’s point-of-view on the original post:  More On Racially Profiling Whites.

Finally, I happened to see a twitter link to an article on a Tufts University website TuftsNow, titled, Whites Believe They Are Victims of Racism More Often Than Blacks.

The article, which was written in May of 2011, reveals results from a study conducted by researchers at Tufts and Harvard.  I feel this article relates to the Race Files posts, which trace the history of white supremacy born out of a strong desire (understatement) to control just that–that whites stay on top, and that black people, who were seen as sub-human by groups like the KKK, were kept at bay, and couldn’t infringe on all the opportunities that should be had only by white people–economic independence, quality education, and social justice.

While the article doesn’t give specifics, I wonder if the people that believe in anti-white bias, are the same people who wish to do away with affirmative action in the areas of employment and admission to higher education institutions.  Or even the same people, who in Tim Wise’s book, White Like Me, complain that their children were passed over on sports teams in favor of black children who were simply assumed to be better in sports because of their skin color.

What say you?


SOURCES:  www.racefiles.wordpress.com, Why Don’t We Racially Profile Whites, Scot Nakagawa, August 10, 2012  and, More On Racially Profiling Whites, August 14, 2012

www.now.tufts.edu, Whites Believe They are Victims of Racism More Often Than Blacks, Sam Sommers, May 23, 2011






Wendy Jane Reads: White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son by Tim Wise

10 May

The last book I read was How To Be Black, by Baratunde Thurston, so reading the memoir,White Like Me, by anti-racist activist/educator, Tim Wise, seemed like a natural follow-up.

Wise, 44, born to a Jewish father and Anglo-Celtic mother, grew up in Nashville, Tennessee.  I have to say that I was jealous to learn that he had a childhood that placed him in an even more diverse school setting than mine–but, seriously, was glad to learn that his mother purposely enrolled her son in a pre-school where the majority of the students were black because she believed strongly in integration.  Wise continued to enjoy being part of a diverse elementary school, but that diversity waned when he arrived in high school and found that many of his black friends were placed in remedial classes, while the majority of white students were placed in advanced or honors classes.  Here, Wise tells of how he finally had to learn how to “act white” by suddenly claiming to love bands like AC/DC and Kiss, when before he listened to rap and funk music.

I have to admit that when I first heard the term “white privilege,” I thought it meant white people who come from privileged backgrounds; from money.  Wise lets us know that by the very virtue of being born white, we are privileged.  He also shows us how white Americans benefit from institutionalized racism, whose construction began centuries ago.

Through personal stories of his growing up in the South, joining his high school debate team as a way to avoid trouble at home with his alcoholic father, his college years at Tulane University where he became an enthusiastic activist in the fight against apartheid in South Africa, to organizing  in black communities, and becoming a nationally known speaker/educator on anti-racism, Wise skillfully, and with much humility, examines how white privilege exists in the lives of white Americans.  He also shows us how we can stand up and work to try and break down the institutionalized racism that has become such an ingrained part of our everyday lives without us consciously noticing how we benefit from it.

Wise is clearly well educated  on matters of race, and racism, and how whites benefit from the impact of racism against black Americans.  Yet, it is his personal life experiences he shares with the reader throughout his memoir that moved me the most.  Wise was never afraid, and in fact almost relished, the opportunity to come clean and show when he fell short of being the ideal activist.

At a school rally Wise organized in protest of Tulane’s investments in companies doing business in South Africa during apartheid, Wise, the debater who cannot be beaten, gets beaten down, when a female African American student from a nearby college, asks in the midst of the crowd of hundreds, how come Wise is spending all his energy on trying to fix problems in South Africa, and not doing anything to help the “apartheid” happening right in front of his face in New Orleans.  Her bold, truthful question left Wise speechless.

Wise completes his book with a section on how things have changed, or not, with our first black President, Barack Obama, and one on parenting, and how we as parents, can help teach our children how institutionalized racism has been constructed, in an effort to begin to break down and reduce the notion of privilege, and thereby reduce racism, too.

I see that Wise has just published a new book, Dear White America, Letter To A New Minority, which is about whites’ insecurities about a future in which we will no longer be the majority.  I think I’ll have to add that to my reading list.