These Walls Between Us: A Memoir of Friendship Across Race and Class

These Walls Between Us: A Memoir of Friendship Across Race and Class

by Wendy Sanford

Narrated by Wendy Sanford

Unabridged — 11 hours, 18 minutes

These Walls Between Us: A Memoir of Friendship Across Race and Class

These Walls Between Us: A Memoir of Friendship Across Race and Class

by Wendy Sanford

Narrated by Wendy Sanford

Unabridged — 11 hours, 18 minutes

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From an author of the best-selling women's health classic Our Bodies, Ourselves comes a bracingly forthright memoir about a sixty-year friendship across racial and class divides. Sanford, who is white, explores her formation in a narrow world of privilege, lifts up the writings and social movements that changed her life, and reveals realities of domestic service rarely acknowledged by white employers. She highlights Mary Norman's part in the Great Migration of African Americans from south to north, her groundbreaking work as the first woman officer a New Jersey county corrections system, and her guiding ethic of care. Together, they confront the obstacles - in society and in Sanford herself - to building lifelong friendship.These two complex and accomplished women will stay with you. Their story sparks conversation and change. A white woman's necessary learning, and a Black woman's resolute survival, make These Walls Between Us a “tender, honest, cringeworthy and powerful read.” (Debby Irving, author, Waking Up White.)

Audiobook Bonus Intro and Afterword: Co-creators Wendy Sanford and Mary Norman in Conversation.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

2022 Sarton Awards Finalist in Memoir
2022 Page Turner Awards Finalist
2022 16th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards Finalist in Multicultural Non-Fiction
2022 Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist in Memoirs (Other) and Social Justice
2022 Eric Hoffer First Horizon Book Awards Grand Prize Finalist
2022 Eric Hoffer Book Awards Honorable Mention in Memoir
2022 Nonfiction Authors Association Awards Gold Winner in Multicultural Nonfiction
2022 Nautilus Book Awards Silver Winner in Memoir/Large Publisher
2021 Best Book Awards Finalist in Multicultural: Nonfiction

A Notable 100 Book in the 2021 Shelf Unbound Best Indie Book Competition
2021 Hearten Book Awards Finalist
2021 Firebird Book Awards First Place Winner in Multicultural Non-Fiction
2021 Firebird Book Awards Second Place Winner in Memoir

“This tender and evocative story about friendship across racial and class lines is told with unflagging honesty and is an important guide for living in this time of racial reckoning.”
—Catherine Whitmire, author of Practicing Peace: A Devotional Walk through the Quaker Tradition and Plain Living: A Quaker Path to Simplicity

“The politics are crystal clear at all levels, the characters are fascinating and it’s a superb read! Sanford presents the humanity of the characters, in all their contradictoriness, while remaining unrelenting in her condemnation of systemic racial and class violence. White people are all complicit in racism, and all responsible for taking it down, relationship by relationship. This memoir shows how tortuous and slippery that is . . . and yet, between humans who will recognize one another as such, always possible.”
—James Seale-Collazo, Faculty, Escuela Secondaria, University of Puerto Rico

“This is powerful book with an important lesson that we all must learn in trying to understand others—a book that both blacks and whites should read so that we can enter into a productive dialogue with each other.”
—Rev. John Reynolds, author of The Fight for Freedom

“A compelling take on how our personal experiences of racism arise from the history and structures of white supremacy, and an emotional glimpse into a lifetime anti-racism journey. Non-profit board members, government leaders, and executives from all sectors will be transformed by Wendy’s journey and her painfully earned pearls of wisdom in her effort to become an anti-racist white person.”
—Sue Gallagher, EdD, Chief Innovation Officer, Children’s Services Council of Broward County, FL

“I found These Walls Between Us very informative, especially the way the author deconstructs the subtle and overt ways that white privilege influences the lives of so many. White privilege is like an invisible thread that maintains the status quo. Thank goodness Wendy Sanford is doing the work that only she can do!”
—Byllye Avery, MacArthur Genius Grant Winner, Founder, Black Women's Health Imperative

“A repurposed white identity that separates itself from internalized white supremacist ideology brings joy and satisfaction to human rights work by embracing the power of hope and transformation. These Walls Between Us models such reclamation for everyone.”
—Loretta J. Ross, founder of Dred Feminist, activist, visiting associate professor at Smith College, and author of Reproductive Justice: An Introduction

“Finally, a story from a white woman raised with ‘help’ who interrogates the relationship’s complexities. As Wendy looks inwards to examine her socialization into a racial hierarchy and strives to break from her inherited role in order to step differently into a potential friendship with Mary, I found myself gripped by the overwhelming forces working against both of them. Their mutual love and courage to choose differently again and again renders a tender, honest, cringeworthy, and powerful read.”
—Debby Irving, author of Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race

“A Black woman and a white woman forge a friendship against the odds. Unique, fascinating, and complex, Wendy Sanford’s wonderful memoir is so rare and engaging that I read the book continuously over twelve hours without wanting to stop.”
—Peggy McIntosh, senior research scientist and former associate director of the Wellesley Centers for Women and author of White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack and On Privilege, Fraudulence, and Teaching As Learning: Selected Essays 1981–2019

“In this beautifully written, bravely honest exploration, Wendy Sanford insightfully explores the class, racial, and—to a lesser degree—gender dynamics that emanate from and reinforce inequalities in the US. In doing so, she contributes significantly to our understanding of how those hierarchies are maintained.”
—Judith Rollins, Professor Emerita, Wellesley College, and author of Between Women: Domestics and Their Employers

Product Details

BN ID: 2940191818856
Publisher: Wendy Sanford
Publication date: 03/20/2024
Edition description: Unabridged
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