My First White Friend: Confessions on Race, Love and Forgivenessby Patricia Raybon
"In mid-life Afro-American journalist Raybon made a conscious decision to stop hating white people. Her journal/analysis provides discourse on hatred and forgiveness, the rise of her hatred, and her efforts to conquer her fears and forgive the past. An unusual account of conscious change."—Kirkus Reviews. See more details below
"In mid-life Afro-American journalist Raybon made a conscious decision to stop hating white people. Her journal/analysis provides discourse on hatred and forgiveness, the rise of her hatred, and her efforts to conquer her fears and forgive the past. An unusual account of conscious change."—Kirkus Reviews.
For most of her life Raybon saw that "white people, conveniently, played their timeless role . . . every day [they] did something hateful"and she hated them in response. But in middle age, Raybon, a journalist and commentator on National Public Radio's Weekend Edition, found that she had to "stop hating . . . to start living." Here she traces the origins of her racial hatred through several generations, focusing on how lessons of hate, not love, were taught in daily life (her own, her father's, his mother's). A combination of racism and self-doubt fed their desire for white approval, a condition that became more acute for Raybon when her family moved to a predominantly white Denver suburb. There she learned a self-negating art: "Smiling when nothing is nice. Laughing when nothing is funny. Agreeing when nothing is agreeable." These essays, while episodic, are packed with powerful moments: Raybon seeing her first anti-segregation picket, being terrorized by a pack of white boys at school, being approached on the playground by a kind girl who became her first white friend. In her quest for peace, the author looks mainly to God and to the writings of Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Through them, she says, she freed herself from the hatred for white people that had kept her a slave to her anger and her past. But forgiveness, she stresses, is a process, a matter of degrees. Unfortunately, Raybon leaves some holes in the narrative: The relationship between her own daughtersone dark-skinned, and one lightremains unexamined, and readers never learn what became of Kerry Monroe, her first white friend.
A tale of hard-won racial healing, and a universal testament to the power of reaching out and moving on.
- Penguin Publishing Group
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- Sold by:
- Penguin Group
- NOOK Book
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- File size:
- 276 KB
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
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