Witnessing Whiteness: The Need to Talk About Race and How to Do It

Witnessing Whiteness: The Need to Talk About Race and How to Do It

by Shelly Tochluk

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Witnessing Whiteness invites readers to consider what it means to be white, describes and critiques strategies used to avoid race issues, and identifies the detrimental effect of avoiding race on cross-race collaborations. The author illustrates how racial discomfort leads white people toward poor relationships with people of color. Questioning the implications our history has for personal lives and social institutions, the book considers political, economic, socio-cultural, and legal histories that shaped the meanings associated with whiteness. Drawing on dialogue with well-known figures within education, race, and multicultural work, the book offers intimate, personal stories of cross-race friendships that address both how a deep understanding of whiteness supports cross-race collaboration and the long-term nature of the work of excising racism from the deep psyche. Concluding chapters offer practical information on building knowledge, skills, capacities, and communities that support anti-racism practices, a hopeful look at our collective future, and a discussion of how to create a culture of witnesses who support allies for social and racial justice. For book discussion groups and workshop plans, please visit www.witnessingwhiteness.com.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781607092582
Publisher: R&L Education
Publication date: 01/16/2010
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 268
Sales rank: 672,593
File size: 506 KB

About the Author

An educator, with a background in psychology, Shelly Tochluk spent ten years as a researcher, counselor, and teacher in California's public schools. Tochluk now trains educators to work with the diverse Los Angeles school population as an Associate Professor of Education at Mount St. Mary's College.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction
Part 2 Part I: Dis-Ease in the White Community
Chapter 3 Naming the Problem
Chapter 4 Facing the Dis-Ease
Chapter 5 Uncovering a Hidden History
Part 6 Part II: The Journey into Witnessing
Chapter 7 Fellow Travelers: Engaging the Journey
Chapter 8 Clearing the Way: Whiteness in Sight
Chapter 9 Blindness at the Crossroads: Leaps of Faith
Chapter 10 Interior Shadows: Lingering Racism
Part 11 Part III: The Work of Witnessing Whiteness
Chapter 12 How Do We Witness?
Chapter 13 How Can We Create a Witnessing Culture?

What People are Saying About This

Luis J. Rodriguez

Accessing the amazing experiences and wisdom of activists, thinkers, writers, and mythologists on the front lines of racial issues in this country, Shelly Tochluk brings to light the most important book about race in a generation. Is 'whiteness' bad in itself? When is it just part of the social, historical and cultural legacy of a people? And what is the prison/poison that this legacy bequeaths us? I highly recommend this book-it's helping raise race dialogue to a more healing and regenerative ground.

Tim Wise

Witnessing Whiteness is a rare and precious gem in the national literature on race and privilege. Shelly Tochluk provides readers of this comprehensive volume with a well-crafted blend of personal and analytical material, which will prove helpful for anyone lucky enough to read it. Unraveling the knot of privilege and unawareness that so often binds white Americans and weakens the struggle for racial justice is a crucial task; and Witnessing Whiteness is a brilliantly honed tool for helping with that unraveling process.

Christine Sleeter

With refreshing honesty and forthrightness, Shelly Tochluk's Witnessing Whiteness invites readers—especially those of us who are white—to tread into the difficult terrain of confronting racism. Using rich storytelling and frank self-reflection, she skillfully engages readers in acknowledging, examining, and then taking on responsibility for racism and the work needed to dismantle it. This powerful and very readable book leads us through a clear analysis of why and how white people remain ignorant of and afraid to acknowledge racism, to laying out a practical framework for action. This book is an indispensable resource for white people who sense that racism is wrong, but don't know where to start.

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