A roadmap to healing America’s wounds, bridging the racial divide, and diminishing our anger.
Mathabane touched the hearts of millions of people around the world with his powerful memoir, Kaffir Boy , about growing up under apartheid in South Africa and was praised by Oprah Winfrey and Bill Clinton. In his new book, The Lessons of Ubuntu: How an African Philosophy Can Inspire Racial Healing in America , Mathabane draws on his experiences with racism and racial healing in both Africa and America, where he has lived for the past thirty-seven years, to provide a timely and provocative approach to the search for solutions to America’s biggest and most intractable social problem: the divide between the races.
In his new book, Mathabane tells what each of us can do to become agents for racial healing and justice by learning how to practice the ten principles of Ubuntu, an African philosophy based on the concept of our shared humanity. The book’s chapters on obstacles correlate to chapters on Ubuntu principles:
By practicing Ubuntu in our daily lives, we can learn that hatred is not innate, that even racists can change, and that diversity is America’s greatest strength and the key to ensuring our future.
Concerned by the violent protests on university campuses and city streets, and the killing of black men by the police, Mathabane challenges both blacks and whites to use the lessons of Ubuntu to overcome the stereotypes and mistaken beliefs that we have about each other so that we can connect as allies in the quest for racial justice.
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About the Author
Mark Mathabane is the New York Times bestselling author of Kaffir Boy , and his articles on race and education have appeared in the New York Times , the Washington Post , People , and other major publications. He has also been featured on numerous radio and TV shows, including Oprah , NPR’s Fresh Air , CNN, NBC’s Today , and Charlie Rose. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his family.
Table of Contents
Preface: Learning the Language and Lessons of Ubuntu ix
Introduction: Why We Are All Africans 1
Part 1 The Ten Obstacles to Racial Healing 15
Chapter 1 The Teaching of Hatred 17
Chapter 2 Racial Classification 29
Chapter 3 Profiling 38
Chapter 4 Mutual Distrust 48
Chapter 5 Black Bigotry 57
Chapter 6 Dehumantzation 65
Chapter 7 The Church and White Supremacy 74
Chapter 8 Lack of Empathy 86
Chapter 9 The Myth That Blacks and Whites Are Monolithic 90
Chapter 10 Self-Segregation: American Apartheid 102
Part 2 The Ten Principles of Ubuntu: The Keys to Racial Healing 113
Chapter 11 Empathy: Listening Instead of Labeling 115
Chapter 12 Compromise: Talking to the Enemy 127
Chapter 13 Learning: The Power of Education 140
Chapter 14 Nonviolence: The Key to Social Change 153
Chapter 15 Change: Even Racists Can Be Transformed 161
Chapter 16 Forgiveness: The Pathway to Healing 173
Chapter 17 Restorative Justice: Saving the Future 185
Chapter 18 Love: Healing through Agape 201
Chapter 19 Spirituality: The Instrument of Our Common Humanity 216
Chapter 20 Hope: Rebirth of the American Dream 229
About the Author 252