Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Self-Portrait in Black and White: Unlearning Race

Rate this book
A meditation on race and identity from one of our most provocative cultural critics.

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 multigenerational 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 I have come to believe that I am no longer black or that my daughter is white,” Williams writes. “It is that these categories cannot adequately capture either of us.” Beautifully written and bound to upset received opinions on race, Self-Portrait in Black and White is an urgent work for our time.

192 pages, Hardcover

First published October 15, 2019

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Thomas Chatterton Williams

3 books224 followers
Thomas Chatterton Williams is the author of Losing My Cool and Self-Portrait in Black and White. He is a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine, a 2019 New America Fellow and the recipient of a Berlin Prize. He lives in Paris with his wife and children.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
474 (33%)
4 stars
607 (43%)
3 stars
251 (17%)
2 stars
57 (4%)
1 star
15 (1%)

Loading...

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.