This is a collection of what I consider my current best writings on racism on Medium
These do NOT reflect a “typical liberal white woman’s” perspective on racism. Indeed, I don’t identify as liberal. Much of liberalism wears blinders regarding structural inequalities.*
Among other things, the writings here incorporate what I learned from my black female dissertation clients, all of whom submitted, defended, and passed examination of their dissertations with flying colors, and obtained their doctorates.
They will tell you that without my help, which included a lot of hand-holding and emotional support as well as my skills as an editor, that they could not have finished their degrees without me. They have said so themselves.
I committed myself to helping them say best what they wanted to say, backing it all up with references and other such requirements for academic writing, so they could be as persuasive as possible. AND, most importantly, to achieve the doctorates for which they had worked so hard.
I say that not so much to toot my own horn but rather to demonstrate that much of what I know about living black in a white world has come from my clients and from the readings they used to back up their arguments.
My best gifts to them were not any of my own ideas. Instead, I committed to learning from them. I chose to understand as much as possible what they wanted and needed to say, and to enable them to say it in a way that met the expectations for quality academic writing and research in their fields. And also to stand as a bulwark against their giving up under pressures from liberal white academics to do it differently. I would NOT allow them to walk away from their work, because I knew how much value their work held.
Although it is impossible for white people to truly “get inside the heads” of people who have experienced racism all their lives, we must nevertheless try, doing everything we can to learn from the voices of black people what it is like to be black in America. We must TRY TO IMAGINE what it might feel…