Compassionate Conversations on Race Book Discussion: "Waking Up White" by Debby Irving

Sunday, October 15, 2017, 04:00pm
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For the last several years we have collaborated with members of First Church to better understand the issue of race in our culture. We have read and discussed books, attended the Connecticut Forum, and held poetry workshops toward that end. We have, up to this point, seen our discussions as understanding the unseen forces and visible challenges that other races face in this culture, particularly African Americans and Native Americans.
This book brings us a completely different perspective: the unseen forces and visible challenges of the white race, particularly in suburban white culture. Ms. Irving does not heap guilt on her white suburban compatriots. Commenting on how her mother "gravely misled" her about the plight of Native Americans Irving writes, "She didn't do it because she was evil or stupid or had upholding racism on her mind. My mother was warm, compassionate, and bright. She told me the versions of events as she knew them, errors and omissions included." Rather, she challenges us to understand the cultural influences that shape "whiteness" and reveals why we often feel uncomfortable when talking about issues of race. She also points out that our culture will not be able to move the race conversation forward until white suburbanites recognize their own culturally shaped identity.
The discussion is on Oct. 15 at 4pm at First Church in Granby. "Waking Up White" is available on Amazon; from $12-18.
Location : First Church