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The Racial Healing Handbook: Practical Activities to Help You Challenge Privilege, Confront Systemic Racism, and Engage in Collective Healing

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A powerful and practical guide to help you navigate racism, challenge privilege, manage stress and trauma, and begin to heal. Healing from racism is a journey that often involves reliving trauma and experiencing feelings of shame, guilt, and anxiety. This journey can be a bumpy ride, and before we begin healing, we need to gain an understanding of the role history plays in racial/ethnic myths and stereotypes. In so many ways, to heal from racism, you must re-educate yourself and unlearn the processes of racism. This book can help guide you. The Racial Healing Handbook offers practical tools to help you navigate daily and past experiences of racism, challenge internalized negative messages and privileges, and handle feelings of stress and shame. You’ll also learn to develop a profound racial consciousness and conscientiousness, and heal from grief and trauma. Most importantly, you’ll discover the building blocks to creating a community of healing in a world still filled with racial microaggressions and discrimination. This book is not just about ending racial harm—it is about racial liberation. This journey is one that we must take together. It promises the possibility of moving through this pain and grief to experience the hope, resilience, and freedom that helps you not only self-actualize, but also makes the world a better place.

240 pages, Paperback

First published August 1, 2019

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About the author

Anneliese A. Singh

8 books28 followers
Anneliese A. Singh is a nationally recognized expert on transgender resilience. Her research and advocacy centers on the resilience of transgender people of all ages, transgender people of color, survivors of trauma, immigrants, and South Asian survivors of child sexual abuse.

Dr. Singh is the Program Coordinator for the Counseling and Student Personnel Services, Ph.D. Program (Gwinnett), and she teaches in the School Counseling and Professional Counseling, M.Ed. Programs. Dr. Singh has worked on several national competencies and guidelines projects for the American Counseling Association and American Psychological Association (e.g., ACA Transgender Counseling Competencies, ACA LGBQQIA Competencies, ACA Multicultural and Social Justice Competencies, ASGW Multicultural and Social Justice Principles for Group Work, APA Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Guidelines, APA Prevention Science Guidelines).

Dr. Singh has been published in more than 100 publications in the areas of LGBTQQ and social justice counseling, and is the recipient of over 11 national awards for her work. She is the co-author of two books (Qualitative Inquiry in Clinical and Educational Settings, and Social justice in group work: Practical interventions for change), and the upcoming Handbook of Transgender Affirmative Counseling and Psychological Practice. Dr. Singh is the Past-President of the Southern Association of Counselor Education and Supervision and the Past-President of the Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues (ALGBTIC).

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5 stars
212 (50%)
4 stars
130 (30%)
3 stars
61 (14%)
2 stars
12 (2%)
1 star
7 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 43 reviews
Profile Image for Whitney Atkinson.
940 reviews14k followers
May 25, 2021
Read and completed this workbook as part of my workplace's diversity training and I really enjoyed it! As someone who has researched anti-racism a lot (and is active on the Internet in general), a lot of this book just served as an overview information-wise, but the activities in it and the discussion it generated with my peers was very enlightening and encouraging. This book ends with a list of ways you can continue to work on your racial consciousness, so I'm happy that it concludes on a note that specifies steps I should do next.

Side note, because I didn't say this to any of my coworkers and I don't know where anyone would care to hear about it: doing this kind of work has made me realize how grateful I am for the book community. I used to go to bed at night in 2016-2018 an anxious mess because I was terrified of the call-out culture surrounding diversity in literature/booktube, and I was constantly (and selfishly) terrified I would be canceled over what I read or how I talked about it. I realize now that it was the early part of my journey to becoming fully racially conscious. Now, I couldn't be more grateful for the people who did call out my microaggressions and confront me when I wasn't reading diversely, or when my reviews of diverse books were a disservice to its intended audience. It took a lot of people who were willing to show me when I was wrong for me to now be comfortable being wrong and to step into the conversation rather than avoiding it, and so the foundation of having had those discussions when I was in college is REALLY helpful now as I'm trying to help my company be more racially conscious and diverse. I'm never going to be perfect and I have still more challenges to face in the future, I'm sure, but being able to cite examples of how the book community has helped me to see and understand my privilege, and how to use it to the advantage of anti-racism, was something that was always in the back of my mind as I completed this work. So thank you I guess? I don't know if anyone's reading this.
23 reviews
July 10, 2020

This book gave a lot of perspective to the reader about race and our thought processes, and exercises in each chapter to reflect on personal experiences, thoughts, prejudices. The author also recommends giving a lot of grace to yourself and others as they work through the process of identifying personal prejudices.

However, it would have been more powerful to have focused on solely on racism; the book turned into every form of identity a person can have which to me meant it started to become about everything and therefore less about anything. In doing so, it also revealed Dr Singh’s own looming prejudices. For example, she has a section discussing “adultism” which is when adults tell kids what to do and how to act, which is prejudiced against letting that child be who he/she is (or, as parents would call it, PARENTING and guiding children in moral formation). In the final half of the book it is pretty clear where Dr Singh’s beliefs fall and anyone whose thoughts and beliefs don’t sync up is prejudiced. Do you see the gap in this argument?
Profile Image for Jason Harris.
18 reviews
November 8, 2020
Read this book as part of a book group. Was very disappointed by this book. It’s definitions were inconsistent and inaccurate. It wasn’t helpful nor healing. Better books are available namely “How to be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi and “Born A Crime” by Trevor Noah
Profile Image for Anna.
427 reviews37 followers
June 23, 2020
This is a well researched, well organized, internally consistent & aligned workbook that opens many potential topics for introspection and discussion. It reminded me of my coursework in counseling diverse communities, and would be a great supplementary text for a similar class. It could also be a great workbook to use in a counseling or consciousness raising group.

That said, I did not personally enjoy it very much simply working through on my own as an individual. The book itself lacks specificity much of the time, and while the author pulls examples from her own life, it would be far more effective to work on this with a group and hear other real-life examples from in-person humans.

I have some specific complaints especially in the chapter on intersectionality, where the author defines lesbian both as "women attracted to women" AND "person attracted to multiple genders," which seems odd, but perhaps is a typo. She also lumps sexism and transphobia together in a catch-all category, which isn't uncommon in this type of text, but still annoying.

All in all, I feel I have to fairly review this book in light of its intended purpose, which is to provide a very broad set of topics and questions that can be used by multiple populations in a variety of settings. It's possibly a unique text in this respect, and for that I think it's doing some very important work. That said, I personally did not find it super helpful in my own racial healing journey.
Profile Image for Briana Bivens.
1 review8 followers
October 20, 2019
In The Racial Healing Handbook, Dr. Anneliese Singh offers thoughtful and practical strategies for what educators, organizers, and helping professionals can do to hone their social change competencies in the service of a more racially and socially just world. Dr. Singh presents a historical analysis of racism and multiple oppressions alongside a constructive, community-based vision for action, healing, and affirmation. Throughout the text, Dr. Singh models vulnerability and cultivates curiosity, creating the space for the reader to engage fully and honestly in the multiple reflection exercises designed to deepen awareness and leverage it for action. The text prompts us not only to reflect on our own experiences and deepen our racial justice education, but it also enlists us in the affirmative project of imagining what the racially just world we’re working to build looks like. The Racial Healing Handbook is a must-read for anyone seeking wisdom for how to connect their personal practices to broader structural change efforts. I've already begun to incorporate this workbook into my own teaching and community organizing, and am thrilled to have an accessible racial justice text that is useful and engaging for both academic and community organizing settings.
64 reviews13 followers
August 1, 2020
I learnt so much from this book. It's so informative in the simplest way possible. It gave me so much vocabulary to be able to unlearn and relearn. It also gave me more comfort wrt to the emotions I tend to feel and strategies to overcome them as per my capacity at that time. Def a book I will make a point to revisit every year. Just to see how much work I'm putting in myself
Profile Image for Weekend Reader_.
798 reviews53 followers
May 8, 2022
Very informative and helpful. I think it would work well as small group workbook or journal prompt.

I'm not sure if I agree that there's was a lot of focus on healing but rather more focused on reflection. I also don't know if individual reflection without structural changes can be as effective as this book sets you up to believe. But it's still a good resource.
Profile Image for Ang.
1,746 reviews40 followers
February 18, 2020
This was super excellent and now I need to buy a copy so I can have it to reference at a moment's notice. If you're trying to do the work of becoming an anti-racist, this is a great resource. The workbook bit may or may not work for you, but so much of the information inside is useful anyway.
Profile Image for Amanda Madden.
8 reviews2 followers
August 19, 2020
Highly recommend! This workbook is extremely helpful for working through your thoughts, experiences, and actions when it comes to racism.
Profile Image for Alyse Millikan.
24 reviews
September 6, 2023
I listened to this on audio and it was good but lost a the value of the worksheets! Will def be looking for a physical copy to work through
Profile Image for Rebeca Núñez.
443 reviews36 followers
July 27, 2019
** Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with the digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review **
Como alguien que ha tenido problemas para aceptar sus orígenes, y que ha visto lo que hace el racismo, me encanto este libro. Recomiendo ademas tenerlo en papel, donde puedan tomar apuntes, etc y tal vez les sea mas practico para realizar las cosas que propone el libro. Ademas, al que ya tiene y al que no, nos permite alcanzar una perspectiva y conciencia correctas sobre el racismo, que es real, y que esta en todas las sociedades, porque en todas las sociedades, y mas en este mundo globalizado, hay personas diferentes al promedio, de otros países y otras razas. Recomiendo su lectura para las personas de todos lados. Aguardo ansiosa que este disponible en español para que se incremente su alcance.
October 19, 2019
To better see my privilege as a white, straight, cisgender male, has been a challenge that has come feelings of anger, frustration, sadness, and guilt (to name a few). This book has been an excellent tool to understand my role in racism better. It provides practical tools to leverage my privilege, to create a positive change, and work towards creating a world where diversity is celebrated, and equity is maximized.
I have had the privilege of having Dr. Anneliese Singh guide me through some of the exercises contained in this book in person. Fortunately, she has put her experience as a passionate educator, community organizer, and activist into this work to help guide both white folks and people of color in their developmental journey towards anti-racism. As someone who is guided strongly by logic and reason, I appreciated how this book includes the right balance of personal experience but also references to research as well as visual models to help see the relationships and progressions of the concepts. The activities helped to explore where I have been, where I am, and where I would like to end up in my development. The inclusion of activities that challenge what I know and how I came to know them fits well into my personal goal of maximizing believing things that correspond with reality and minimizing believing things that don’t.
Having one text that explores the topic of racism from the view of people of color, as well as from the perspective of white privilege, was useful to understand the interaction and intersections of race and racism.
This book will be a valuable resource to keep in your repertoire, whether novice or advanced in the topic of racism. I will likely use this as a way to measure my development and will share it with anyone who would like to explore the issue of racism in a deeply personal, authentic, and systematic approach.
Profile Image for Cynthia D.
89 reviews1 follower
May 31, 2019
My rating: 5/5

This is meant for white people or people who have little to no understanding of racial issues and racial inequalities. I really enjoyed the fact that the author included a section on microaggressions and examples on them AND WHY THEY ARE BAD. I liked the activities as it makes the person really think about race in regards to themselves and the people they know.

I don’t like having this on ebook though. This is a book you HAVE to buy a paper copy of this book to get the best formatting to take advantage of all the activities.
Profile Image for Laura Brewer.
13 reviews2 followers
August 5, 2020
Depending on where you are in your antiracism journey, some chapters may be more/less useful than others, but all are good to remember and review. I didn’t actually write my answers to the workbook exercises, but I did think about them all. It was a helpful tool to reflect on my own racial education and upbringing and how I respond to situations now. I appreciated the author’s perspective as a biracial, queer woman and psychologist. This perspective felt different than other books I’ve read on the topic.
122 reviews
July 15, 2020
This book offers a "how-to-do-it" format including journaling on experiences and exploring actual practices to not only heal from racism but to enjoin the work of antiracism. I am using this book as a tool for helping a White church group become more aware and engaged in the work of antiracism. I will add to this review after the conclusion of our group's study.
2 reviews
September 28, 2020
This book was exactly what I needed. It presented a step by step process from self reflection to collective action on racial healing and racial justice. The author was genuine and unapologetic, understanding yet stern. The practices were helpful and hard to do, and after reading it I can truly say it changed me for the better.
13 reviews
November 13, 2020
A life commitment guide to racial healing intended as a handbook for working thru the layers of healing and transformation required to address system racism in our selves, our institutions and our culture.
122 reviews1 follower
October 6, 2020
A very helpful book to learn more about yourself and racism.
Profile Image for Trina.
117 reviews4 followers
September 29, 2019
I received The Racial Healing Handbook by Anneliese A. Singh from NetGalley in exchange for my review. This book is an amazing workbook. There are few books I feel could benefit the world in such an amazing way as Singh does with The Racial Healing Handbook. This work is hard to do, but straight forward, and there is no piece that feels unnecessary. This book is the right length and exercises are reasonable. This puts the reader into the perfect discomfort to learn. I encourage this book for anyone wanting to get to know themselves better or wanting to make the world better.
April 20, 2023
While I think this book has some valuable content and discusses an incredibly complex and multifaceted topic, I was hoping for a lot more nuance and tangible strategies at a slightly more advanced level than is presented here. An excellent collection of exercises for truly beginning to think about racial "healing," but healing is very subjective and culturally specific and the prompts within may have limited impact for people who have already begun learning around race and systems of oppression.
Profile Image for Kate Phillips.
141 reviews
August 17, 2023
I read this book for class. This book has great insight on how to handle internalized racism. It helps break it down, gives solutions to issues you may have in healing internal racism. It gives insight into the facts of racism, how it started, the intersection intersectionality etc. I loved the writing prompts. It inspired me to look into fighting this, to join the cause, and to handle my own internal racism. If I wasn't taking the class I am, I really never would have know about this book or that there are ways to grow in the fight against racism. Thank you Dr. Singh!
Profile Image for Greg Beale.
24 reviews1 follower
November 26, 2020

Finally some work on real cultural awareness and the dominant white influence. Our social justice system never was. We need, as white culture beneficiaries to be schooled in the historical systemic prejudice and discrimination of our divided country. We need to understand that race is a fiction that supported a caste system of labor then and now. The unfairness undercuts human development. It is a sin based on a lie. And it is very hard to cure!
Profile Image for Hayley Wood.
268 reviews13 followers
March 6, 2021
"I refuse to accept the view that [hu]mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood [and sisterhood] can never become a reality...I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word."

This handbook is great! I love all the workbook pages so that I can work through all my thoughts and learn more about how to become an ally.

Profile Image for Larry.
440 reviews3 followers
April 11, 2021
The book is mostly comprised of exercises that require readers to reflect on the racism in our own lives. Those were often very challenging because I often wrote about what a "white" bubble I lived in for almost all of my life. I also realized how much comfortable I am with the conceptual level of anti-racism than I am with the emotional and experiential. It was a good choice for our anti-racism book club.
57 reviews
September 6, 2020
4 stars because this book covers important ground that I haven't seen covered in other anti racism work: self awareness, personal story and narrative, grieving, community systems, boundaries. I left off 1 star because the racial healing exercises can sometimes feel repetitive or formulaic as the book goes on, rather than peeling back more layers like it intends
Profile Image for Adina.
247 reviews
August 3, 2022
Although I think this book is thoughtfully-conceived and well-intentioned, I don't find myself getting much out of the "handbook" model for this kind of personal growth. It was challenging to relate my personal experience to a set of activities often predicated on more binary notions of racial privilege and experience.
Profile Image for Amy Lyke.
209 reviews5 followers
July 21, 2021
I’ve been working through the book with a racial justice group with church and wow. I’m grateful to have had the experience of working through this workbook. It’ll get you thinking and working. I recommend this book highly.
Profile Image for David P.  Craig.
89 reviews14 followers
August 19, 2021
The most useful book I've read this year and so easy to use and put into practice. I can tell I'll reread it sooner than later and use the questionnaires for years to come to help me be a better me and my community realize its potential.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 43 reviews

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