ROSELLE, NJ. -- Fourteen years ago when a skillful teacher took a try at teaching a college-level course on racism she opened some minds. Then life moved on. The teacher, an undergraduate student, finished her degree and graduated. The course and her students remained in her thoughts.
Kaolin, who uses only a single name, was that teacher. A decade after her college classroom experience, Kaolin decided to place her experiences and materials into a book format. The result is Talking About Race: A Workbook about White People Fostering Racial Equality in Their Lives.
"My students taught me that racism is a burden," says Kaolin. "I still find today that the great majority of educators will want to understand that students carry a lot of racist baggage with them from grade to grade in school."
Educators are a target audience for Talking About Race although the book is written for wider appeal. To some measure the book addresses all white people. It contains material specifically concerning white people working to achieve racial equality in their lives. Kaolin hopes the book will appeal to readers of color as well, providing "insight to psychological and social experiences white people encounter." The book can be used by individuals, small study groups, and in secondary and higher education classrooms.
Talking About Race has an introduction, seven chapters, a glossary, and woven among the chapters, over 140 self-study questions. The first two chapters, "Recognizing Racism" and "Resisting Racists," introduce key concepts while giving the reader the chance to write his or her own race story. Chapter Three outlines common defenses and insecurities that stop us from seeing and working on racism. Chapter Four discusses "Responsibility and White Privilege" and Chapter Five talks about "A New Identity." Chapter Six offers a glimpse of what racial equality would look like, and the final chapter consolidates the material and gives encouragement to the reader.
Heartfelt stories from Kaolin's students fill the text. Rather than stepping from point one to point two in a didactic, logical way, the author weaves personal stories together with a logic based on a lifetime's experience to offer an impressionistic look at how racism enters our lives.
Talking About Race can be purchased in bookstores or by sending $14.95 (plus $4.00 shipping and handling) to Crandall, Dostie & Douglass Books, Inc., 245 West 4th Avenue, Roselle, NJ 07203. Call credit card orders toll free to: (877) 679-6119. Order online at www.CDDbooks.com.
About the Author
In 1991 Kaolin moved to Seattle and legally adopted her present name. Born Patricia Anne Graham in Brooklyn, NY in 1951, Kaolin, a white woman, married George Allen Williams, an African American man, in 1970. They have two children. Over her career, Kaolin has taught in pre-schools and has been a substitute teacher in elementary, middle and high schools and she has worked in a residential treatment center for children and young adults ages seven through twenty-two. Her two children went through the school system. Kaolin received her B.A. degree summa cum laude from the University of Massachusetts - Amherst in 2000.