"Talking About Race is wonderfully engaging, truly conversational, and because it is so personal it takes the subject out of the realm of academic discussion and confronts readers with the reality of their own thoughts, their own experiences. I think it would be a very useful book for teachers and students." ~ Howard Zinn, " A People's History of the United States"
Received his Ph.D. from Columbia University, taught at Spelman College and Boston University, and has been a visiting professor at the University of Paris and the University of Bologna. He has received the Thomas Merton Award, the Eugene V. Debs Award, the Upton Sinclair Award the Lannan Literary Award and the Prix des Amis du Monde Award.
George A. Williams, Artist/Peace Activist
Kaolin's book "Talking About Race: A Workbook About White People Fostering Racial Equality in Their Lives,"is one of a kind. As an African American Vietnam Veteran (having experienced the dehumanization of the Vietnamese,) and a New York Firefighter (20 years), I've waited for someone to write on the issue of racism as witnessed by a white privileged individual. It takes courage to look into a mirror and say, 'What am I doing? Or, how can I address the racial inequality I see?' Kaolin's journey through her book was as fascinating as how she managed to have the students come forward with stories of their families prejudice,while openly addressing the issues that surfaced as a result, including the day-to-day stresses racism imposed upon them.
"Talking About Race" gives me hope for the future. So does the white privilege discussion group ( a group of dedicated white adults who meet monthly to discuss their privilege and systemic racism, while deciding upon actions to take to dissolve its influence over them) that have been meeting for several years in my community.
In order to fix, cure, or solve anything we must take a first step. Kaolin gives us 'Seven Steps We Can Take' (P. 106) to begin our journey, the journey of dismantling white privilege and fostering racial equality in our lives. Everyone can benefit from taking those steps. Read the glossary and let the discourse begin. Howard Zinn, the author of "A People's History of the United States" wrote of "Talking About Race: A Workbook About White People Fostering Racial Eqaulity in Their Lives" ... "It takes the subject out of the realm of the academic and confronts readers with the reality of their own thoughts, their own experiences." Kaolin's antipathy toward white privilege and racism is etched in stone!
Dr. Carlie C. Tartakov
Emerita Professor, Iowa State University and retired public school teacher
Immediate Past President, Iowa Chapter
National Association for Multicultural Education
Talking About Race is a valuable tool for raising awareness of the number one problem in the US today: Racism. It is written from the standpoint of Whites who benefit most from race bias. Anyone interested in standing up for social justice has something to learn from the lessons taught and learned by Kaolin and her students.
As the nation attempts to dismantle racism's devastating effects, open discussion is essential. Kaolin's book gives a look at the burden Whites carry in a racist environment without minimizing what People of Color suffer on a daily basis. This book shines a light on the guilt, shame, fears, challenges and triumphs of unpacking White privilege.
Readers will find the questions and exercises an opportunity to go beyond book knowledge and escape their comfort zone to flex their "racial equality muscles." These practical and proven strategies encourage both new ways of thinking and action. Kaolin's message is quite clear: everyone loses in a racist society but there is hope if we work to change it.
Craig Taylor, CEO & Founder http://www.rarehiphop.com
As a young black athlete growing up in NYC during the seventies and early eighties, my teams weren't afforded the luxuries of having a 'home court' advantage and had to travel to play in white CYO gyms around the city. More times than not, we had to literally defend ourselves against rogue gangs of youths, that wanted to cause us bodily harm as we left the gym. Oft times this also occurred during the games.
While these experiences did help to shape me, I still never understand why such racism exists. Kaolin's workbook, 'Talking About Race' answers some of these questions, because now I can hear it from 'the other side'. Kaolin attacks this delicate subject by telling her experiences as a wife and mother in an inter-racial marriage and as a teacher on this delicate topic. To also hear Caucasian students speak on how they were introduced to racism and their subsequent reaction to it shows us that racism is inherited and not hereditary and can be lessened over generations if properly addressed. I highly recommend this workbook to all seeking to eradicate this disease.
Dr. Diane Beers, author and Professor Social Sciences Division, Holyoke Community College
As an educator who teaches the history of racism, I see firsthand just how much students want to discuss-really discuss-the topic of race. We educators need to do more, and Talking About Race is a great resource to get that much-needed discussion going.
Director/Producer "Biracial Not Black"
Talking About Race, identifies the on start of racism and will demystify the process of deprogramming (for both blacks and whites). This honest, enjoyable read touched me as a biracial woman, made me LOL, as well as made me hopeful that we are one step closer to becoming "just" different shades of the same human race.