SHEAF, ONE VINE
CONSCIOUS WHITE AMERICANS TALK ABOUT RACE
book is made up of the personal statements about race from seventeen white
Americans. What they share is that, for
them, the fact that they are white is more than an incidental, insignificant,
or peripheral aspect of their being; it is central to how they view themselves
and conduct their lives.
men and women you will meet in this book aren’t public figures or leaders of
organizations. They are everyday people:
a postal worker from Philadelphia, a college student from Texas, an attorney
from New York City, a bookstore owner from Washington State, an appliance
repairman from Connecticut, a teacher from Chicago, and so on.
have a very negative image of racially conscious and committed whites gained
largely from the media: neo-Nazi bigots, menacing skinheads, thugs who commit
hate crimes. We are informed about
people of this sort, but we don’t hear from them.
aren’t on television news shows speaking for themselves. They don’t make movies or publish books. Politicians don’t articulate their
perspective or advocate their positions.
Journalists and intellectuals don’t write about them unless it is to
belittle them. Schools make no attempt
to deal with them objectively.
this book, you’ll hear from them. The
words in this book are the speakers’ as they spoke them; they haven’t been
altered, softened, or censored. And more
than come to know their thoughts on race, you’ll meet these people as human
beings. Some of them you won’t soon
depends on the free exchange of ideas.
You make the call whether what these Americans have to say is to any
extent valid. You decide whether what
they say has any implications for what you believe and the way you believe.