For 25 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 listeners will be rooting for her - and ultimately for all of us.
©2014 Debby Irving (P)2016 Audiobooks.com Publishing
I'm a mildly guilty white 2%'er elitist, but I still found her extremely guilty white 0.1%'er elitism over the top.
Honest and gut-wrenching, this book is for any person who thinks he/she is making a difference, or even better, who desires to really make a difference in the areas of peace, justice, and equality in America. Guaranteed to change the way you think for the betterment of all! Should be required reading in schools and colleges!
I alternately listened to and read this book. The further I got into it the more I thought that she took all the lack of insight she had into other races and cultures and heaped it onto the white culture. She is now approaching whiteness with the same broad generalizations she had for all other races.
What seemed to imagine all people were not educated about the Attache on Native American culture or that we were never taught about the trail of tears. In the end I felt sorry for her as she seems to have no more understanding of the non country club class than she did anyone else.
This book left me grateful for growing up firmly middle class and having spent the majority of my adult life in very culturally diverse cities and neighborhoods and having attended public schools. While I was shocked that she had been so blind to the reality of the world and the racism that exist I was even more surprised that she seemed willing to now treat all white people with the same. We'd for help she once treated all people of the global majority.
Nearly the same age as the author, I grew up very poor on a farm and in the country in the Midwest on assistance. I could not relate to the author. Her story made me angry and frustrated. I grew up knowing I was white and it was a race and therefore I was not any better or special because of it. White did not change our poverty nor did it give me a college education or my parents jobs when farming was no longer possible. I saw racism and discrimination my whole life. my relatives that are native american and latino, my friends that are Muslim and Jews, my neighbors that are first generation Cambodian refugees from 1972, my superiors in jobs that were black. I've had more supervisors, managers, bosses that are of color than I have white. if you look, racism is everywhere. I was taught to see it, acknowledge it, build relationships, but crush it. see the person, see the humanity, love them,.I think it's great that the author awoke to being white. I'm glad she is making a difference. there are many stories of white people that grew up differently. I thank my father for raising me to see that white is not the best and only way, but that white is the absence of color. without color nothing is beautiful.
It was very powerful to hear the author in her own words about how she has struggled to better understand what it means to be white in our society. Helps to put words to a lot of feelings and experiences.
I appreciated hearing Debby Irving's difficult personal journey. While there were some parts of her story that I didn't connect with, her careful wording made it easy to listen without judgment. This will be a book to help bridge my own conversations with fellow white friends who are still unaware of just how much privilege they have.
This book would work well as a daily bedtime series. I read this too fast and will have to revisit a lot of bookmarks! I loved it.
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