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Memoir of a Race Traitor
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Memoir of a Race Traitor

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  191 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Against a backdrop of nine generations of her family's history, Mab Segrest explores her experience as a white lesbian organizing against a virulent Far Right movement in North Carolina.
Paperback, 274 pages
Published July 1st 1999 by South End Press (first published July 1st 1994)
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Tara Jay
The first, largest section of this book is the memoir part of the book, what the book takes its title from. It is largely a memoir of Segrest's time doing anti-racist organizing in North Carolina, set against the backdrop of her white family's long history of perpetuating white supremacy -- both her close, immediate family and her distant, long-dead relatives. She isn't too ashamed to write of the Black men her relatives killed, or the organizing her father did against desegregated schools in Al ...more
Jenny Yates

What a great book! Segrest is a clear and perceptive thinker and an eloquent writer, and her story is definitely worth telling and remembering.

Most of the book tells us about Segrest’s work combating the Klan, the White Patriot Party, and other racist forces in the South. Alongside this is her own family’s story. She describes their history, their contradictions, and their adoption of the racist beliefs of their Southern community. And she details her own reaction to the dramatic events of the
This was a great book in many ways. First I was amazed by the extent of recent horrible activity by the klan in NC. I knew about some of this, but was glad to be exposed to more of the facts through a practically first hand account.

This book did a good job of showing the link between racism and homophobia, and why standing up against both serves the same purpose in striving for a nobler future for humanity. It also convincingly links religious and economic condemnations by the right wing power
Of the three books of Mab Segrest's I've read, I think this is my favorite. Her stories of her own evolution are amazing. I think what really gets to me is that 1) how recently (last 20-30 years) some of these events occurred and 2)The more things change, the more they stay the same, unfortunately. Mab has done a great deal of work in the South, fighting against the KKK and fighting for racial justice. Many times I found myself shaking my head wondering how come we humans can't learn from our mi ...more
I am reading this for an anti-racist discussion/reflection group. I was excited to be reading the same book as others because it reminds me of being smart and in university. I am going to read this book faster than everyone in the discussion group. "Let the race begin" (pun intended).

Least importantly I did not win the race... I was second of the group to finish the book. We will discuss it in a few weeks.

Anyway, the book is a reflection of Segrest's efforts to dismantle the threat of the KKK i
I found this especially interesting as it focuses on racism in North Carolina in areas familiar to me.
Segrest describes her years fighting White Supremecists in North Carolina in alternating chapters with chapters describing her family background, coming out as a lesbian, and her personal life. After these sections is a condensed but fascinating analysis of race history in the US, and the final section of the book is a speech she gave to a gay & lesbian gathering where she urges the audience to be more involved in anti-racism and involving people of color in the movement.
May 31, 2008 Amanda added it
i have been reading this book forever. it's a book that i had on my mental "to-read" list for awhile, but i finally got around to it when chris gave me a copy. however, i haven't been able to get into it. there's not much of a narrative and it's hard to pick up and get into it. it's not a subway book, and that's where i do most of my reading. but it is next to my bed, and i should get back to it. i'm hoping that posting it here will be the push i need to finish it.
Mab Segrest writes a non-linear autobiography on her anti-Klan work fighting against racism and homophobia. Her accounts are honest and complex. Some of the book was vague and/or missing information - I have heard from others who heard Segrest speak that she did so to protect herself from those perhaps still alive who might retaliate.
Jun 15, 2008 HeavyReader rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: young radicals
Shelves: life-stories, queer
I think AmyLaura gave me this book and it had a profound impact on me when I read it over a decade ago.

The author is a white Southern woman, a lesbian, and anti-racist. This is the story of her life and how she managed to turn out the way she did.

An excellent read for young radicals.
Incredible book by white lesbian organizing against white supremacist groups in North Carolina. A great reflection on how white folks can be working within our own communities to heal from racism.
A must-read for any anti-racist white activist. This book chronicles her experiences doing anti-Klan organizing in North Carolina. Really amazing biography.
I found parts of this book to be a little dry but I always enjoy reading about other white folks actively fighting racism.
Amazing! Autobiography of a queer woman organizing against white supremacists in the south. Incredible courage and vision.
Apr 03, 2010 Poppy added it
Shelves: tried-meh
This is one of the only books I've had to put down due to poor typesetting. Too many words jumbled on too few pages.
Autobiography of a white lesbian radically organizing and fighting racism and the KKK through the 1970's and 80's.

The very local and startlingly recent account of racism in North Carolina was very interesting.
I love this book so hard!
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Mabelle ("Mab) Massey Segrest is an American feminist, lesbian, writer, and activist.

Born in Alabama, Segrest received her Ph.D. in Modern British Literature from Duke University in 1979 and was appointed the Fuller-Matthai Professor of Gender & Women's Studies at Connecticut College in 2004.

Segrest is often recognized for her efforts combatting sexism, racism, homophobia, classism, and other
More about Mab Segrest...
My Mama's Dead Squirrel: Lesbian Essays on Southern Culture Born to Belonging: Writings on Spirit and Justice Reweaving the Web of Life: Feminism and Nonviolence All Out of Faith: Southern Women on Spirituality The Making and Unmaking of Whiteness

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