Peter M. Tase

  • International Programs Assistant
  • Global Engineering Deans Council
  • Marquette University, College of Engineering

With "Talking About Race: a Workbook About White People Fostering Racial Equality in Their Lives." Kaolin has demonstrated a great interest towards developing and strengthening inter-racial elements of communication in a globalized world as well as improves coexistence and harmony throughout many regions and humanity. As I read Kaolin's book it brings into my memories the suffering of Albanian people ruled by the communist regime of Tirana that lasted for over 45 years. Although thousands of people where persecuted for political reasons in Albania, this kind of persecution is the same as the one encountered by millions, although not as brutal and violent, of African Americans and a well-known civil rights activist, Rosa Parks in the 1960s. It must be emphasized that verbal arrogance and discrimination against African Americans and Latinos in the United States is the same as tortures in the communist gulags of Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, where families were destroyed due to many unjust reason that are absolutely unbelievable for today's generation. Kaolin has mastered the style of concise and attractive writing which encompasses racial inequality and above all provides a new analysis in one of the persisting phenomena namely racism.

This volume is destined for teachers and as a University Textbook it brings an unparalleled contribution in the field of social studies. Educators have chosen their profession due to their passion for teaching, they play an important role to every students' life and there is no doubt that Kaolin's racial remarks and writing will enlighten every educator's lecture and significantly help shed light towards a topic that has not been explored before at the same way as Kaolin's "Talking About Race:"

Margo L. Dill, Author

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*Finding My Place, middle-grade historical fiction, White Mane Kids, October 2012

*Maggie Mae, Detective Extraordinaire and the Case of the Missing Cookies, picture book, Guardian Angel Publishing, TBD *Lucy and the Red Ribbon Week Adventure, picture book, High Hill Press, TBD December 10, 2012

Tamara Harris-Boman, Radio Blog Host at 'Real Talk with THB' Bringing today's leaders together August 2012

" I'd compare Kaolin's book to Harriet Stowe`s work, "Uncle Tom`s Cabin". Not so much because of the content of both, but because of its potential to underscore the part of our culture that affects many people, in this case it`s racism"

Mr. De'Kridge, August 2012

First of all, there is personal truth in Kaolin's words, which appeals to sincerity of intent: lending passage for many on both sides intending to move beyond this perpetual, seemingly impassable, racial chasm. I clicked on Kaolin's LinkedIn connection because she is a white person with a book titled, Talking About Race. It was an instinctive reaction because of my own awareness of how difficult a challenge it is for too many people on both sides of this plight of race to intelligently approach each other with control over profound emotional fortresses: resentment, apathy, confusion, complacency, and ignorance to name a few. Imagine my relief when I was pleasantly surprised by her sincere, individual-and-collective approaches: Kaolin's applied intelligence or technique; her gentle, pragmatic and patient manner in lending advice on how to better recognize, understand and accept each other as we attempt to make less visible the indelible stains making absolute this great divide.

Theresa Glenn : MPH Community Health Educator and Worker, Western Massachusetts, 12/11

"Kaolin's fully on the path with a commitment to foster truth and equity and a world that awakens with words - insightful, inspired writings to encourage people to reach beyond limitations taught through legacies of racism to see the absolute beauty in all people. Bringing to light the life reality for people of color who are cast into an ever deepening despair of a racist world while also hope for change by thoughtfully and sensitively challenging, especially young people of the white privileged class to dig deeply into what they think they know as real to what is truly in their own hearts and experience. There is no "true" tangible color line - only the ones that are created in minds that have not yet awakened to what creates and perpetuates in us the ability to judge human value based on the variations of genetic coding and expression of skin color."

Talking About Race:

A Workbook About White People Fostering Racial Equality in Their Lives by Kaolin Crandall, Dostie & Douglass Books, Inc. 2010 Reviewed by Garine Roubinian, Fall 2011

Talking About Race is an important contribution to the growing body of work by white people encouraging & challenging other white people to start the process of unlearning and interrupting racism and working towards racial equality. Talking About Race seeks to help white people do this by providing some of the beginning tools for self-reflection, self-awareness, and accountability for self and others.

The author Kaolin based the book on a college course she created and taught titled `Let`s Talk About Race: Confronting Racism Through Education.` Through the class, Kaolin was able to provide a safe space for students to voice the impact of racism on their lives and to begin to see how dynamics of complicity, silence, privilege, power, and supremacy play out in their lives, the lives of their families, and on a broader scale-socially and historically.

Drawing content from the class and the personal stories of students who participated, Kaolin has created a workbook to engage a wider audience. The workbook is simple, accessible, and user-friendly -each chapter utilizing writing exercises and self-study questions to help individuals reflect, gain awareness, and step outside of their comfort box of white privilege and power. The strength of the workbook comes from these self-study questions-allowing each reader to look at their personal `race story` and look at important areas like recognizing racism, defenses and insecurities, responsibility and white privilege, and working to create a new identity, among others.

Another strength of the book is the personal experiences that ground much of the analysis and content-showing the personal dimensions of what Kaolin writes about. Using her students` own words, she allows us to see the active process behind undoing racism. more...

Metapsychology Online Reviews

A Workbook About White People Fostering Racial Equality in Their Lives by Kaolin Crandall, Dostie & Douglass Books, 2010 Review by Elin Weiss Feb. 26th 2011 (Volume 15, Issue 8)

"Working against racism is difficult because it can lead to an inner struggle and feelings of shame, hopelessness or anger. When acting consciously and resisting racism this could result in ruined or uncomfortable relationships, together with resistance from family, friends, and neighbors.

Kaolin gives examples of such difficulties faced by her students and retells some of the stories in her book. Kaolin emphasizes that realizing privilege and doing something about it takes a lifetime, and there is no quick fix. In an educational setting where discussions can arise this can be a helpful book." more …

Marian Haddad, author

Marian believes that "Every classroom in America should have a copy of this book. from junior high through graduate school. Let's not stop at "America" -- this book should be translated into as many languages as possible and read by everyone. We can add Kaolin to the table of much needed voices, such as Howard Zinn and Tim Wise. An educator, herself, who was in an interracial marriage and birthed two biracial children, this woman knows racism from more than one angle. More importantly, this woman knows how to move forward in breaking down racism, speaks to how to identify it, even when we think it is not there. We need this book. ~ Marian Haddad, author.

Jocelyn Morris, Co-Chair of the Combatting Racism Committee for NOW (National Organization for Women)

This is the best and most timely book on the subject of talking about race. Kaolin has shared her personal experiences and her students. The workbook papers take a person from recognizing they have been raised in a racist society to helping them deal with the benefits they get. Also, it helps when someone wants to challenge those benefits or challenge racism in others they encounter. Buy it, use it and share it with everyone you know!!

Victoria Mills, documentary film maker

Kaolin's book "Talking About Race: A Workbook About White People Fostering Racial Equality in Their Lives" takes a non-judgemental approach to a very serious and important topic. The open tone of the book and Kaolin's attitude towards this complicated subject gives the reader an opportunity to be honestly self-reflective about their feelings. The format of the book is lovely in that her examples and exercises are nice icebreakers; allowing the space for feelings and thoughts to come to mind. When we can be curious about our attitudes towards ourselves and others a space opens for change. Kaolin has provided us with that space.

P. Russell, Brooklyn, N.Y.

I am halfway through the book and love it. If you haven't bought it yet, don't waste another minute. Get a fun and challenging book for yourself or someone you care about. Love is the law.

By Catherine McCall

The value of Talking About Race begins with its cover photograph where the faces of three smiling adolescents (from left to right a white girl, an Asian boy, and an African-American girl) render a personal invitation to come inside and work. Believing that reading is an active experience, internal work, and that (again, from Left to Right) racism continues to be far too pervasive in this culture which I am a part of, I was eager to expose myself to the perspective Kaolin might offer as a white woman who had married an African-American man, and borne and reared two children with him. This book offered all I hoped for and more.

Kaolin begins with an explanation of why she created a college course about racism, and proceeds to take us on a step-by-step journey of sharing, reflection, learning, and self-discovery. This is all done in a very personal, engaging manner which felt to me very much like being in class. Her tone is respectful and non-judgmental; her perspective, often psychologically astute; and her approach encourages the reader to be curious and proactive.

As a writer, I understand how important structure and clarity are, and as a reader who is a white woman living in the South, I appreciated how the simplicity of structure in this book allowed and invited me to delve deeper into myself and resurface with a longing to process what I'd found with others, in community. As an educator, I appreciated her use of vignettes, both from her own personal life and the lives of her students, to concretize processes that some might otherwise find difficult to work with. Likewise, the glossary of terms, highlighted and embedded in the text, provides a common language with which to articulate emotionally-laden concepts. And as a family therapist, I was pleased by her instruction to begin by reflecting on what we learned about race in our families of origin.

I was touched by the author's dedication of the book to her son, and as I ponder the stark contrast between the gentle manner in which she engages with us throughout the book and the riveting scene early in the book bout her own father's reaction to her dating the young African-American man who would become her husband, I applaud her publisher's wisdom in selecting this particular workbook written by this particular author. This book belongs in every high school and college curriculum, every adult Sunday school program, and every corporate diversity training program. My recommendation? ... Buy it. Read it. Share it. And talk about it.

Catherine B. McCall is a licensed marriage and family therapist in the United States, with 30 years of is a member of the Speakers Bureau for RAINN, the Rape and Incest National Network, and a contributing blog writer for Psychology Today Magazine under the topic of overcoming child abuse. Catherine McCall is a member of the tribunal judges panel.

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By elizag

"Talking About Race" is that rare book that both confronts and comforts. It shows white readers that racism and white privilege are serious problems that persist in our society and also our hearts. Not easy to take. But at the same time it reassures us that this can be overcome with simple self-awareness and effort, and that the rewards are great. The author does indeed talk with us, on many levels, about race and how to foster equality. The workbook sections are not work-book in a textbook sense; they're more creative than that. They invite us to gradually become our own guides through the maze of race and racism. A needed book.

By Elizabeth Merriweather

This book is a "must have" for anyone looking to educate themselves about the impact racial issues have on all of us. I am a Caucasian woman in a relatively new bi-racial marriage. This workbook has helped me identify and deal with feelings and race related factors that I was aware of, and (most importantly) those I hadn't yet acknowledged. Thank you, Kaolin for having the courage to speak such truths and offer practical guidance to healing from the racial divide that we all know. Excellent examination of communicating about race:

By Jacqueline Steingold

An excellent examination of communicating across racial lines about race, the a uthor does a wonderful job of making the subject matter clear, understandable and helpful for those wanting to illuminate their grasp of the difficulty of this subject area.

Kaolin contacted me about her book, and I thought it sounded so interesting that I told her to send it to me. And I'm so glad she did.

Kaolin has had many jobs in her life: a waitress, a singer, a writer, and a teacher. She's worked in adolescent programs with teens with disabilities and in politics. She has also worked on a tree farm. In 1994, she designed and taught a course titled, "Let's Talk About Race: Confronting Racism Through Education," which after many years became this book I'm talking about today.

The book is divided into seven chapters with a "writing interval" at the beginning. It is written for "white people working to achieve racial equality in their lives, and to readers of color who would like insight into psychological and social experiences white people encounter." Personally, I find this perspective fascinating-as a white woman, I never thought it appropriate or even necessary to address the concerns and topics that Kaolin discusses in her book. But after reading it, I see that it is, and I saw myself and my feelings in the pages of her book-especially when I was younger. I can see youth groups, book clubs, college classes, and more reading and studying this book. It will start conversations that need to be had. I hope that I can discuss these issues with my stepson soon and with my daughter when she is older. And as the cover states, it does not just have to be white people-it can be all races working together.

Kaolin states in her introduction why she wrote it: "Because learning how to talk about racism is hard. Most of us `react' to it first. . . The lack of thought that has gone into many white people's position about racism is amazing to me. . . Talking About Race meets that need."

She begins with recognizing racism with lists that describe what a racist believes and with a section that even addresses, "How do you know you whether or not you are a racist?" The next chapter is titled "Resisting Racism," which can actually bring up many uncomfortable feelings-especially when children/teens are faced with racism from parents or other loved ones, and they don't know how to confront these beliefs or even act around the person. Kaolin gives some ideas for figuring this out. She continues this theme in the "Defenses and Insecurities" chapter.

The book goes on through real-life examples and encouraging prose, as well as pages of thinking questions with room to write answers, to face racism head on and understand how it can affect people in a family and in a community. Kaolin forces people to also look at themselves and how behaviors can either promote or stop racism. It's not a book intended for people to feel bad about themselves or members of their family. It's a book written to get people talking and thinking and hopefully changing hurtful behaviors.

I highly recommend using Talking About Race with teens and college-age students. I think it is perfect for a home school group, a church youth group, a community group like Boys and Girls Club, and more. It's well-done!

Here are a few of the questions from it that get adults and children USING the book:

If you woke up this morning and there had been no racism in your life, how would your life have been different? Have you ever feared someone because of his or her color? Have you been fearful of anyone because of your color? With respect to your own color, would you say you were born lucky?
Do you think white people have no problems? In order to correct a racist situation, I would need. . .

By Paul D Russell

A great read, if you feel confused about what 'racism' is or what you can do about it. White supremacists aren't the only players who have responsibility in this dynamic - we all do. A great book for reflection turned into action. I'm a white guy who's been yelled at for being sexist and racist and I didn't understand. In fact, I avoided the topic. Now, I feel empowered to talk about it more and take action. Don't hesitate to pick it up.

By J. Morrison

This is the best and most timely book on the subject of talking about race. Kaolin has shared her personal experiences and her students. The wookbook papers take a person from recognizing they have been raised in a racist society to helping them deal with the benefits they get. Also, it helps when someone wants to challenge those benefits or challenge racism in others they encounter. Buy it, use it and share it with everyone you know!! Seldom can one claim a workbook can stir emotions. Kaolin Kay managed to create a vision of looking at one's self in the mirror while etching into words a critical picture. As you read "Talking About Race" a picture of yourself is exposed of how and why you view the subject of race as you do. Kaolin's experience and passion has allowed her to create a body of work that will potentially progress race relations in a very positive way.

By Stephanie Schroeder
Important book for people at every stage of unlearning racism

As a person already engaged in anti-racist work, I thought "Talking About Race: A Workbook About White People Fostering Racial Equality in Their Lives" would be pretty basic and just a nice refresher for me. What I found was that so much in the book resonated personally, ideas I had not thought of or previously encountered previously in my life. And, the workbook aspect, such a crucial component of this book, initially threw me into a panic: I didn't want to read my own answers! After Donald Trump was elected president of the U.S. I used many of the techniques from the book to confront some people from my formative years about the issues relating to the election of this man: white supremacy, nationalism, casual racism, Islamaphobia, race baiting, etc. It was hard to do, to confront people I call friends, whom I've had in my home and with whom shared meals and laughs. It all had a happy outcome and we were all able to discuss these important issues together. But, even if it hadn't had a positive ending, the experience was so valuable and I'd have been more prepared to accept and deal with it because of this reading this book and incorporating new ideas and practices into my life. "Talking About Race: A Workbook About White People Fostering Racial Equality in Their Lives" is for everyone, even if for folks who think they already know a lot about/engage in racial equality. You might just learn something new – about yourself, your friends, family and colleagues, about the world in which we live.

Freelance Writer: Portfolio
Co-editor, HEADCASE: LGBTQ Writers and Artists on Mental Illness

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By Gina Rhodes

Talking About Race: A Workbook about White People Fostering Racial Equality in Their Lives book review by Gina Rhodes, IYNO [In Your Name Originals} costume design jewelry, necklaces, compacts, brooches and more!

In choosing to address the weighty subject of racism within the format of a workbook, Kaolin opens the portal through which the multiple-largely-unconscious-ways that racism has impacted lives can begin to be revealed. Participating in the exercises, the reader is set upon and almost kaleidoscopic path of self-discovery and reckonings.

Through this journey, inescapably, we are left to own either our complicity in, or activism against the disease of racism. In these highly polarized times, the substantial contribution toward equality that Talking About Race …makes is to be applauded.

By Michael J. Scourby (Teacher, Activist)

September 14, 2017
Format: Paperback

Kaolin has written a remarkable book about white people and their interaction with people of color. Her personal insight is extremely relevant in today's society. Three cheers for a book every white person in America should be reading.