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White Awake: An Honest Look at What It Means to Be White
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White Awake: An Honest Look at What It Means to Be White

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  1,150 ratings  ·  187 reviews
Daniel Hill will never forget the day he heard these words: "Daniel, you may be white, but don't let that lull you into thinking you have no culture. White culture is very real. In fact, when white culture comes in contact with other cultures, it almost always wins. So it would be a really good idea for you to learn about your culture." Confused and unsettled by this ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published September 19th 2017 by IVP Books
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Rachel Benzine Yes there is! The author bases this book in Biblical truths; as such, the Bible is referenced in every chapter.
Lori Leach I just finished reading this book with a group of 6 people and we did it like a study book. We started a closed Facebook group and the leader posted…moreI just finished reading this book with a group of 6 people and we did it like a study book. We started a closed Facebook group and the leader posted one or two questions after each chapter. She also posted supplemental materials (videos, podcasts, articles) once a week to further facilitate thought and discussion. We met together 3 times and talked about different aspects that we had commented on in the group which allowed a place to go a bit deeper with it. I would highly recommend doing it this way. I lead a small group study weekly and we have gone through 6 different books on faith and it is still a struggle to get people to get vulnerable with one another. Doing the white awake book in a Facebook group Gabe us a safe place to honestly wrestle with our own biases and ideals that we might not have talked about “face to face “-at least at first. The addition of meeting face to face gave us a chance to talk about specific applications in our lives, so I would say the combination of the online group and getting together face to face was a great success. (less)

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Shayla Mays
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klan, but the white moderate... who constantly says: 'I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct actions'; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's ...more
Adam Shields
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Short Review: If possible I would make this a 4.5 star book, but I am rounding up for importance.

Part of what I have come to understand over the past several years is how much as a White man, I can point to other people as having culture and simply say of myself and others like me, that, 'this is the way it is'. Other people have a culture, implicitly Whites often say we just have reality. Whiteness has become normative.

Part of the importance of this book is that the exploration of what it
Hannah Roberts
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Stunning. This incisive and evocative book struck at an issue that I've been trying to ocme to grips with and explain but failing miserably. Pastor Hill walks through six stages of a White Christian understanding racial privilege and the role of reconciliation in the church. With personal stories, careful Scripture interpretation, and a rich selection of research from sociologists, theologians, and current events, this book feels deeply grounded. Hill is determined to spark a focused reflection ...more
Apr 14, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: race
It's been 7 months since I initially reviewed this book. I wanted to give the author, Daniel Hill, as much credit and benefit of the doubt as possible. At the time, I took the positives out of the book, didn't focus too much on the negatives, left a 3 star review, and continued to pray for God's wisdom.

I've realized that despite the good contained in this book, I fundamentally disagree with the book's premise and analysis. So I'm updating my review. My original review will be left below,
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
I feel weird about this book. I read it in hopes of continuing a dialogue on race with my conservative family members. And I think the point stands: conservative, white Christians aren’t going to listen to anyone but a white dude.

But so much of this narrative is centered around the writer’s experience that it feels icky. I don’t know. It feels like a good starter book on the topic, but it’s also a white dude profiting off of a conversation that should be centering marginalized voices instead.
Lianne JM
Things to know about this book:
This book isn’t just from a Christian perspective, but from a Protestant, more Evangelical perspective (this is not a good or bad thing, just helpful to know if, like me, you did not grow up Christian, or, like my friend, you grew up Catholic).

This book was written by a white man and there is no indication in the book of where the money from book sales went. It is problematic for white people to be paid to talk about anti-racism, because it means that white people
Caroline Mixon
Nov 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was so helpful & eye opening to me as a white Christian seeking to navigate race & racism. I was humbled & challenged & encouraged by this book. I recommend this book to all white believers! I gave it 4 stars because I disagree with the chapter discussing shame & honor as an inferior worldview. I truly believe shame & honor is a biblically rooted worldview that has been twisted by sin but can be redeemed. However the rest of Hill’s theology was biblically rich ...more
Jillian Vincent
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Maybe the most important book I’ve read this year. I think every white Christian should walk through this book. I think the book has a lot of good personal stories that were incredibly relatable, but also included a lot of important theology related to the topic of racism and reconciliation. I appreciated the focus on Christ’s ability to take us from blind to sight was particularly helpful over the temptation to jump to what we should do. The book does, however, have practical steps at the end ...more
Bonnie Luttkus
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
After a few years of becoming more aware of racial issues, this is the first book I have read on the topic. I would say it is a great first read and introduction. Written by a white pastor, it is about his journey to becoming awake to the issue as well as practical wisdom for moving forward. He talked about the idea of white privilege, which in his definition means "the ability to walk away." White people can walk away from the topic of race if it gets too uncomfortable. People of color can not. ...more
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great read for white people getting into thinking about race relations for the first time. Straightforward, not overly theoretical, but captures important data and perspectives in a way that hopefully reduces white defensiveness. It was great for me because it calls out my white liberal desire to not be racist and so always refuse to see the ways I am. I appreciated the chapter on lament—we want to “fix” things quickly, just figure out what I can do so I don’t have to worry about this anymore or ...more
Tom Goodwin
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thought a lot. A lot. This book helped me see my own bias and the bias of our culture. Daniel Hill writes in a patient yet confident way about our need in the white culture, the majoroty culture, to understand the complex way in we enter into or fail to enter into the complex world of minority culture ethnicity. I appreciated how he gave practical steps, examples and insights so that I could understand this complex issue that is so easy to walk away from and engage with at our convenience. I ...more
Bekah Eyre
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Truly helpful and honest account to understanding white identity. The book really exposes issues in jumping to action steps and focuses on areas such as repentance and lamenting that I had considered very little previously. It presents ideas that can be hard to grapple with at first-but is filled with the hope we have in Jesus in the area of reconciliation. And as Hill says- transformation rarely comes easily.
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend, speaks very practically and simply. Listened as an audiobook and really enjoyed hearing it in that format.
Varina Denman
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm a somewhat sheltered middle aged white woman, and the past few years, I've done some soul searching and I keep asking myself questions like, "I don't think I'm racist...but am I? How do I know?" Followed by the most concerning, "What am I supposed to DO?" White Awake by Daniel Hill, has answered those questions for me, and helped me grow in the process. If you're asking yourself questions like this, I urge you to read this book. It was life changing for me!
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-shelf, story-us
One of the best books I’ve read/listened to this year.

Planning to reread this book in the future.

May try to write a review for this later.
Ben Moser
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My eyes are opening to a reality greater than I could have imagined. The implications of this blindness-to-sight awakening is a journey from which I cannot turn back. “While I don’t want to discourage anyone from boldly moving forward., I’m tempted to say that it’s not worth stepping into this journey unless you’re ready to follow Jesus all the way to the end.”

This book is really important. But once you read it, there is no going back.
Caitlin Stevenson
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I would highly recommend this book. By far one of the best I've read on the topic (except maybe "One Blood" by John Perkins).
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you are a white Christian, I highly recommend this book.

It's practical, it's theologically sound, it's relatable, and it's informative.

If you've ever found yourself asking, "What am I supposed to do?" about race relations, this book addresses that. (Hint: It stresses that we need to stop asking that question.)

This is a book I will come back to and read again. I highly recommend it.
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Oh, where to begin with this one. I wrestled my way through this book only to find myself more confused than I was going in. Little to no Scriptural support or how Scripture and the Gospel speaks to the topic. Also appeared that Daniel assumed his point often and relied more on anecdotal evidence/stories to further his point. And, in so many ways, it begged more questions than it answered. What evidence for white privilege is there? What about black privilege? Or hispanic privilege? And, he ...more
Sam Hodge
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a book I will recommend to many, many people. Whether you feel like a veteran on the topic of cultural identity, or the term “cultural identity” makes you queasy, this book is a grace-filled, convicting account of what it looks like for white individuals to discover and walk through cultural identity formation. I’m looking forward to reading this again and again and again and hope many of you will too.
Heath Salzman
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology, culture, 2018
Great book to read as a white person coming to terms with the racial injustices and inequities in our culture.

Big takeaways: as a white person, resist the urge to immediately try to fix the issue, you can’t. Instead, learn to lament and sit in sadness with our brothers and sisters who have been treated so poorly.
Chris Theule-VanDam
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you are a Christian and engaged in conversations on race, this is your next book.
Marc Papai
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read, challenging but not preachy; stories from personal journey; good for a small group to do together.

Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent resource. I hope many read this, particularly church staffs and pastoral teams.
Mike B
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Super impactful book that got me thinking quite a bit about power and privilege. Worth a read.
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
After finishing this book by my pastor Daniel Hill last week, I’ve been reflecting a lot on being sheltered and living in bubbles and the relationships and conversations that have helped me see the limits in my own perspective.

Going to Wheaton college, it was so easy for me to get stuck in a mutual loop of judgement about who was most sheltered: myself, as a homeschooler who grew up in Chicago, or the suburban students who only seemed to know people of the same class and age and race. I’m
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Non-Christians might still find this book academically interesting, since a lot of the practical advice still applies. For those who do identify as American, Christian, and white, however, this book should be required reading. If you haven't engaged with race much before, this book is your first call to action. If you're already on your way to "woke," this book will help you identify where you are in your journey and how to keep moving forward.

We should be rightfully leery of a white person
Jon Pentecost
Helpful in trying to expose to white Americans some of the costs associated to life as a black American. Much more suited for someone who has already started to become aware of those differences of how a white man and a black man will experience life in America than for someone unacquainted with that reality. His counsel through different 'stages' of recognition and response are generally wise and helpful.

The low rating is for two reasons:
1-His use of Scripture is dismally disappointing. For
Sarah Bowler
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
White Awake opens with author Daniel Hill attending the wedding of his close friend, who asks some rather unsettling questions about his racial identity. Seeking answers, he read articles and books, listens to TED talks, and peppers a new mentor with questions. Rather than respond with verbal answers, his new mentor encourages him to reflect on the voices of influence in his life—those who shaped his thoughts and values. The rest of the instructions are as follows:

Step 1: Comprehensively list
Noah Filipiak
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you are already starting to wake up as a white person, this book will give you everything you need to advance you far along your journey. It is a great great book. The only downside, and I wouldn't even call it a downside, but the only thing to be aware of is I wouldn't give this to a white person who is not yet awake, if you were trying to convince them. I think the concepts are too meaty for them. But that doesn't take anything away from the book. What it will do is equip you, the one who ...more
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