My friend Bruce is writing a book. I am supporting his effort. You can read why below or you can just take the plunge and become a supporter too.
During a trip to San Francisco, when I served as the Presbyterian Church’s associate for antiracism training, I asked a number of friends, colleagues, and wise people who I should meet for conversations about race and racial justice. A number of individuals were named, but one individual was named on a regular basis.
I listened. I contacted Bruce. And, over coffee, we met for the first time.
Our conversation ranged across the landscape of the social construction of race and the deconstruction of the structures put into place by racism. We explored the different perceptions of race held by different generations … the different experiences of raced lived by different generations … the differences between racism as experienced on the West Coast and in the Mid West and in other parts of our county. And we experienced the commonalities interwoven within these distinctions.
In the short time we spent together, I developed a deep respect for Bruce, the seeds of friendship were planted, and I realized that he has a voice I and others need to hear on questions related to race. Of course, listening to each other applies to all people. The difference is that Bruce is writing a book.
Bruce will self-publish No … where are you FROM? He is in the process of raising funds through Kickstarter. I am proud to be a backer – even though I will receive no Pittsburgh Steelers swag as a result – despite my many suggestions of how that would enhance the project to my San Francisco 49ers supporting friend (comments about the results of this weekend’s games will be deleted).
Bruce describes his reason for writing as:
If you’ve ever wanted to cultivate honest conversations about race, this book is my attempt at offering ways to help make that happen.
He reflects on his hope for the book in these words:
My hope is that by sharing my story – the joys and the struggles – this book will compel folk to enter a space where they can get at some of the assumptions, misunderstandings and intentions about race so that deeper connections and relationships can be had.
You can get a sense of his perspective as well as the flavor of his writing from some of his earlier articles:
- Three Myths of the “I don’t see race.” World – on reyes-chow.com
- Reflection on “Whites See Racism as Zero Sum Game Which They are Now Losing” Study – on Patheos
- Why Do All Asians Look the Same – on The Huffington Post
- What Historically White Denominations Can Learn From the Republican Party – on Red Letter Christians
- 10 Unhelpful Things We Say About Race – slides on SlideShare
Bruce notes that:
it is also my hope that you will find the time, faith and courage to jump into these conversations with an openness that challenges the expectations of the world around race.
I plan to take that jump. I assume that Bruce’s book will challenge my expectations around race. And I hope that I will be better equipped to engage in conversations that will help me challenge expectations around race and realities around racism.
Thanks Bruce for writing this book (even if you are a heretic and you talk to your cat – it’s on the Internet, it must be true).
I’m a supporter and I urge others to become supporters as well!
See you along the Trail.