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Beyond The Whiteness of Whiteness: Memoir of a White Mother of Black Sons
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Beyond The Whiteness of Whiteness: Memoir of a White Mother of Black Sons

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  81 ratings  ·  12 reviews
“I am Black,” Jane Lazarre’s son tells her. “I have a Jewish mother, but I am not ‘biracial.’ That term is meaningless to me.” She understands, she says—but he tells her, gently, that he doesn’t think so, that she can’t understand this completely because she is white. Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness is Jane Lazarre’s memoir of coming to terms with this painful truth, of ...more
Paperback, 168 pages
Published August 13th 1997 by Duke University Press Books (first published 1996)
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A very difficult, thought-provoking book. It is difficult for me to hear or read about the struggles that Black people (and other people of color) have that I don't have simply because I am white. It makes me uncomfortable to think others aren't treated the same way I am, and it makes me uneasy to know that I don't even realize it until it's pointed out to me. I don't want to be racist, but I fear my ignorance leads me to unintentional racism.

The author's story of watching her boys (now grown)
This book covers a sensitive topic that is of the utmost importance. Understanding the racism that is embedded in European-American culture (as well as in other places) is not only important but absolutely necessary if we hope to live in a harmonious and loving world.
"Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness" is now marked as "read" on my profile, though it's words will long remain in my mind. Lazarre has presented many aspects of racism and of consciousness that in some ways, made an exhausting read, as it brought me to reflect on the ways in which race has pervaded my own life or how its absence has allowed me to live comfortably. I am still not sure what to do with many of the bits of consciousness this book has produced within me, but I found this to be a wonde ...more
It was heartbreaking to read her stories of the racism encountered by her sons and the racism encountered by the whole family when together. But more heartbreaking was the alienation she felt from her own family.

What I wondered throughout, though, was to what degree the family's class buffered what would inevitably be worse if her husband or both of them had not been so socioeconomically elite (at least in adulthood). Her family is clearly at least upper-middle class (some would say it is impos
Reading this book was like having all of my internal thoughts, and fears, and love laid out on a page. If you are a white person who loves a black person in this f*ed up racist world, you must read this book.

"It is not that we cannot understand each other, but that we presume that understanding too quickly, close the unfamiliar story down with out own intrusive narrating, have no patience or endurance for the difficult times of exile to that wilderness which can often feel lonely and unsafe."

Many excellent points - clearly written and a great addition to the library of Racial consciousness.
Franny Burd
Jun 21, 2008 Franny Burd rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
I am a mother of a bi-racial son, and there are no words to describe how much I hated this book and the author's pious attitude toward race and how it's perceived in this country. If you're looking for a book dealing with raising children of mixed race, I would highly recommend "The Color of Water" instead, one of my all-time favorite books. Yes, I'm sure I'll be labeled as a just another white woman who "doesn't get it", but so be it.
An incredible read. Should be required reading for everyone. A white mother's story of raising her half-white half-black sons.
Kaycee Looney
A book that really made me think about race relations in America. I would recommend it to others interested in the subject.
Touching and eye opening memoir by a writer more literary than sociological. Loving view into the heart of family.
This resonated with me on so many levels and in so many ways.
Robin Stevenson
Thoughtful and thought-provoking.
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