Witnessing Whiteness: First Steps Toward an Antiracist Practice and Culture

Shelly Tochluk

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Witnessing Whiteness: First Steps Toward an Antiracist Practice and Culture

Witnessing Whiteness First Steps Toward an Antiracist Practice and Culture Witnessing Whiteness invites educators to consider what it means to be white describes and critiques strategies used to avoid race issues and identifies the detrimental effect of avoiding race on cr

  • Title: Witnessing Whiteness: First Steps Toward an Antiracist Practice and Culture
  • Author: Shelly Tochluk
  • ISBN: 9781578867264
  • Page: 465
  • Format: Paperback
  • Witnessing Whiteness invites educators to consider what it means to be white, describes and critiques strategies used to avoid race issues, and identifies the detrimental effect of avoiding race on cross race collaborations The author illustrates how racial discomfort leads white educators toward ineffective teaching pedagogy and poor relationships with students and colleWitnessing Whiteness invites educators to consider what it means to be white, describes and critiques strategies used to avoid race issues, and identifies the detrimental effect of avoiding race on cross race collaborations The author illustrates how racial discomfort leads white educators toward ineffective teaching pedagogy and poor relationships with students and colleagues of color Questioning the implications our history has for educational institutions, school reform efforts, and diversity initiatives, this book considers political, economic, socio cultural, and legal histories that shaped the meanings associated with whiteness Drawing on dialogue with well known figures within education, race, and multicultural work, the book offers intimate, personal stories of cross race friendships that address both how a deep understanding of whiteness supports cross race collaboration and the long term nature of the work of excising racism from the deep psyche Concluding chapters offer practical information on building knowledge, skills, capacities, and communities that support anti racism practices, a hopeful look at our collective future, and a discussion of how to create a culture of witnessing educators who support allies for social and racial justice.

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      465 Shelly Tochluk
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      Posted by:Shelly Tochluk
      Published :2018-08-13T00:46:50+00:00

    One thought on “Witnessing Whiteness: First Steps Toward an Antiracist Practice and Culture

    1. Joe Henry on said:

      I undertook to read this book with a church school class. I felt more resistance earlier onke in Part 1, where chapters 1-2-3 are entitled: Naming the Problem, Facing the Dis-ease, and Uncovering a Hidden History. I recognize that I have been among the many who haven't experienced much or been aware of experiencing much or given much thought to what she is talking about. I wasn't forced to, I reckon--and, lo, verily, this is part of what is pointed to as "white privilege." (People of color are n [...]

    2. Grace on said:

      Tochluk's writing is definitely highly intellectualized and, in more than a few places, excessively wordy. This style is a good fit for most privileged white Americans (of which I am one). I think this was the goal, so her style should not count against her. I personally felt more connection with the personal accounts and conversations and with the psychological discussions especially when they included references to Carl Jung or Hecate. Sometimes I got lost among the forest of words and had to [...]

    3. Judith Mowry on said:

      This book is blowing my mind. Shelly Tochluk's journey toward being a conscious antiracism activist is so similar to my own and it all rings true. Fantastic book for those interested in learning more about how to personally work to end racism

    4. Susan on said:

      In many ways this is a great introductory instructive book to help us see race differently. The main and biggest idea is an important perspective shift to see white as a race and thus how that race has impacted history, race relations, and continues to perpetuate racism and division in the US. However, the author often uses a narcissistic voice and an illustrative style that I found ultimately alienating. I read this book in conjunction with a 10 session long support group facilitated through my [...]

    5. Jennifer on said:

      I read this book as part of a discussion group. Embracing the idea that if white people don't talk about race (with people of color and other whites) there can be no change is important, but challenging. This is a practical starting point that allows people to have hard conversations and reflect on their own experiences and assumptions. It feels especially timely now, after the 8 year Obama presidency and the backlash of the 2016 election.

    6. Carol on said:

      Read this in conjunction with a facilitated discussion through the YWCA which was so valuable. While I struggled with the format of the book, I loved the ideas the book brought to a healthy and productive discussion about race struggles and the role of white people.

    7. Jen on said:

      This is a helpful perspective on white privilege and what to do about it, written by a white person for white people. It's kind of academic; not an easy read, but worth it. A group of us from my professional association read this & had an online book discussion that was really good.

    8. Tara on said:

      A must read for white people. The writing style leaves much to be desired, but the information and topic is vital to being an anti-racist white person. I'd recommend reading it in a book club where you can discuss each chapter with discussion questions from online.

    9. Emily on said:

      Really grateful to have read this book with a small group of faculty/staff from my school. If you’re interested, connect with your local YWCA to join a book group - way more impactful to read and discuss with others.

    10. Charity on said:

      I read this book as a part of a book study I joined at my school. Because I teach at an inner-city school, lean way left and believe strongly that there is, undeniably, white privilege in this country, I wasn't really sure what I would learn; I kind of felt like I would be justified in my current beliefs. However, no matter where a person in his or her journey, this is a book one can learn from! The book deals with white privilege and the idea that some people don't believe it exists. Hey-we hav [...]

    11. Joy Weese Moll on said:

      Witnessing Whiteness blends memoir, scholarship, and depth psychology to help white people see and reflect on our whiteness. Whiteness can be hard to see for white people, since it dominates our society. We’re like fish searching for water. Witnessing Whiteness guides us to opened vision by revealing history that we weren’t taught in school and illuminating how present-day experiences of people of color differ from our own. With that background, we can enter into conversations about race wit [...]

    12. Kathy on said:

      Quotable:[D]eveloping a Radical White Identity essentially asks individuals to devote concentrated time to exploring (1) our ethnic roots so that we can appropriately deal with the effects of our assimilation process, (2) our history of privilege and the systems that have oppressed people throughout our country’s existence, (3) the way privilege works in concert with our other multiple social identities, and (4) our individual and collective potential to work against racism, oppression, and th [...]

    13. Barbara on said:

      White privilege is invisible to so many of us. This book continues to open my eyes to the privileges I enjoy just by walking around in 'white' skin. It also helps me to be able to talk about it to friends and colleagues without defensiveness in either party.I am also engaged in a 6-session workshop through the Rochester YWCA in diving deeper into this book and the practices it recommends. Awesome.

    14. Pamela on said:

      I led a group reading and discussing this book over the past six weeks. I give it a 5 star rating for he importance of the dialogues it provokes when read in a group setting. However, for the quality of the writing, I would give it only a 3 star rating. So average that out to the 4 stars above.That said, it is a book discussing very important and timely issues that I would recommend to all who want to help create an anti-racist culture.

    15. Tom Elliott on said:

      This if for a very targeted audience, and I happen to be in that target (although I believe everyone could benefit from it). She has an agenda and isn't shy about that, as is evidenced in the title. If you want to debate whether white privilege exists, this isn't your book, as it assumes that it does. (And I agree.) The value of the book for me is in taking some unsettling feelings beyond the realm of hand-wringing.

    16. C.interruptus on said:

      Finally ended up buying this because I needed to refer to it so often in conversations with friends, family, acquaintances, strangers etc. Tochluk makes transparent a plethora of subtle racial dynamics that I had had trouble articulating to people who had no clue such dynamics existed and were resistant to the very idea of their existence. Love this book.

    17. Chris on said:

      The title says it all. A combination of the author's journey of self-about her "whiteness" and techniques we all could use for our own awareness and growth. We have made progress but we all have "stuff" to do. I intend to continue my learning. Join me by reading this book, for starters.

    18. Kielyn on said:

      Basic, cursory, introduction to whiteness. Very delicately written, appeals to white fragility which should be the opposite of its goal.

    19. Mell on said:

      This is an intro-level anti-racism book, but you can never learn enough. Hopefully I'll find something new.

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