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Self-Portrait in Black and White  By  cover art

Self-Portrait in Black and White

By: Thomas Chatterton Williams
Narrated by: Thomas Chatterton Williams
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Publisher's Summary

A reckoning with the way we choose to see and define ourselves, Self-Portrait in Black and White is the searching story of one American family's multi-generational transformation from what is called black to what is assumed to be white. Thomas Chatterton Williams, the son of a 'black' father from the segregated South and a 'white' mother from the West, spent his whole life believing the dictum that a single drop of 'black blood' makes a person black. This was so fundamental to his self-conception that he'd never rigorously reflected on its foundations - but the shock of his experience as the black father of two extremely white-looking children led him to question these long-held convictions.

It is not that he has come to believe that he is no longer black or that his daughter is white, Williams notes. It is that these categories cannot adequately capture either of them - or anyone else, for that matter. Beautifully written and bound to upset received opinions on race, Self-Portrait in Black and White is an urgent work for our time.

©2019 Thomas Chatterton Williams (P)2020 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

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  • Daniel Burke
  • 08-18-20

After reading this, I became an ex-biracial man

One of the best books that have read on the subject of race

Thomas Chatterton Williams in this book creates an excellent and compelling case to abandon racial essentialism and instead unite together as humanity.

For many people, like his former self, race has become an integral but misplaced source of identity, and he describes his journey and the freedom he experienced in letting go and choosing no longer to let his race define who he is and he relates to the world.

He now describes himself as an ex-black man. After reading this book I became an ex-biracial man.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-04-23

Stunning

Simply stunning. A composition of striking elegance and profound generosity. The scope is at once intensely intimate and far reaching.

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  • MICHAEL W.
  • 08-08-20

Personal, insightful and a joy to read.

Highly recommended.

A personal, poetic and insightful book based on the authors own life, experiences and reflections. It puts forth original and rarely-heard ideas on life, race and understanding (building bridges with grace and passion) and a pleasure to read. Fluid and heart-felt prose, humanising and deeply moving story and analysis (presenting complex, diverse individuals from the authors life, while avoiding contemporary orthodoxies of the critical-race-theorists and some of their simplifications, binaries and essential-isms) a remarkable book!.

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  • Alan Harvey
  • 06-28-20

Shines a spotlight onto the elephant in the room

Brilliant book. Highly recommended. This book not only stimulates thoughts it also prompts further study.

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  • Jenny Cutler
  • 02-26-20

Important facts.

Hard to enjoy, but glad I read it. I feel so strongly that skin colour is thought to be so significant. It's as ridiculous as eye or hair colour. And, as he says, nobody is white and virtually no one is black. Let's just start again.

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  • Therkj
  • 02-07-20

great personal portrait

Candid personal journey through black and whiteness. loved it. appreciate you Thomas. keep writing. brilliant